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New Xeons for next year

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Steve ConnorNew Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 7:31:38 am

http://pcper.com/news/Processors/Intel-Planning-10-core-Xeon-E5-2600-V2-Ivy...

Are these what Apple are waiting for?

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Andrew RichardsRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 12:39:05 pm

I can only imagine they are waiting for a Thunderbolt-friendly Xeon if they are waiting at all. A couple more cores is nice, but skipping Sandy Bridge EP and letting another year go by does not make sense for a couple more cores and an incremental improvement in TDP. Not to me, anyway.

Best,
Andy


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Marcus MooreRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 1:08:48 pm

That's the thing. I'm not sure whether they would have taken more or less heat on the MacPro if they'd updated this year without USB3 and TB support. I'm sure there are people who would have been happy for the processor upgrade since they're using other forms of external storage. But is that the majority of MacPro users?

No update this year with a known more substantial update next year.

Update this year without USB3 and Thunderbolt.

Which is the more "Epic Fail?"



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Frank GothmannRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 1:33:44 pm

USB3 would have been no problem. All competing PC workstations utilizing new E5 Xeons have USB3.
And again, I don't think next year will see a new Mac Pro. Apple has been very careful in their wording ("something" great); I doubt it'll be "something" most potential Mac Pro customers will be happy with. And if a smaller form factor is what they're going for... farewell PCIe and probably Xeons as well since there is no room for decent cooling.

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Devin CraneRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:12:39 pm

More than likely based on Apple's trend, it will be a "pro" workstation with all the performance but without a disc drive or PCI expansion making it much smaller but still a work horse. Maybe with the ability to expand the graphics card though. WIth several vendors finally coming out with TB expansion bays I would not be surprised if this is the case. They are just waiting for the market to catch up.



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Marcus MooreRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:22:03 pm

I'm going to disagree. If you strip out expansion and performance enhancements, then a high-end iMac is already serving that market. Those are the differentiating factors. And as much as I think Apple would like, they can't address those outbound via Thunderbolt yet.

Regarding USB3- It seems to be Apple's modus operandi that they want support on the board. They waited until USB3 was integrated into the IveyBridge processors to include them on their laptops this year (while PCs had them since last year), and I think the same will be true with the Xeons. I have no idea what they're rational is, or in what way it's advantageous, but that seems to be their pattern.


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Rich RubaschRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 8:37:35 pm

The other thing that scares me is an iMac that is truly expandable. Meaning the case opens up like that HP computer and you can access the guts to add RAM and update cards etc. Reason being I don't want the CPU in my edit bays along with all the drives and other "boxes". I run cables so all my rooms are quiet and not getting all the heat. But Apple might see monitor sales going down and the way to recoup is to require you to buy the monitor because it is attached! I also run 2 23" widescreen monitors on every system and they all can connect to flexible JBOD and RAID enclosures in the machine room. I can't lose that flexibility. 6+ Macs in one room all working together keeping the noise and heat in the equipment room.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:44:07 am

For various reasons I don't think Apple wanted to release any new machines without Thunderbolt. I think they're trying to push out old technology and given that many people who buy MacPros keep them in service, often as a primary machine for 3-6 years, they wanted to avoid that. Given the small sales (for Apple) of MacPros they probably rather increase pent up demand and release a machine with Thunderbotl (and USB3) along with whatever the new case design brings to ensure the move to Thunderbolt in the highest end of their market.



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Herb SevushRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:54:37 pm

[Steve Connor] "Are these what Apple are waiting for?"

When it comes to a new Mac Pro what is Apple waiting for?

The next US solar eclipse (2017)
Hailey's Comet (2061)
Brigadoon (once every hundred years)
Till the cows come home

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Michael GissingRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 10:09:03 pm

Available third quarter 2013? I have little confidence there will be a MacPro form factor available in a year and if it still lingers then waiting for this chip while allowing PC competitors to easily outgun you for less price means MacPros have been left to wither for too long.

Sorry but I agree with Andrew that this doesn't compute.


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Joseph OwensRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 11:11:33 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Brigadoon (once every hundred years)"

LOLZ.

Brigadoon (the movie, 1954) is a standing joke in my family. (All star cast. Budget. Minelli. All That Plaid. Turkey.)

Anyway, I'm in despair watching the Yankees go down... see? step 3 already and its only the bottom of the 6th. Just like the 2013 "something special".

With zero zippo nada nil zilcherama consultation, sure its what we're all waiting around for with bated breath. Apple knows where the puck is going, right? (Errr... except when the players are locked out, I guess.) See the Samsung commercials -- Especially think: the "headphone plug will be on the bottom -- (boom *blows my mind*) nitwit waiting for the next big errrr... i-thingy. Can think of dozens of "improvements" that no one is asking for that will make the systems unuseable. Something magnetic? Something that limits all that "guesswork" and "ambiguity" that just drives us simple-minded folk crazy... so sure, Apple will just decide for us we don't need that anymore. Especially all those $6-$7K GPU expanders a lot of us now own in the vain attempt to row upstream from the waterfalls.

You know, I think its great I've got this iPad with MLB.tv running -- its just like a transistor radio with pictures. The quad split view is great, reminds me of working in the truck. This novelty is a great boon to personal entertainment. Maybe Apple should really concentrate its efforts there and just surrender to the hypocrisy of all that smug "I'm a Mac' (and noticeably superior) bs. Yeah, they were funny, but now that Hodgman is running circles around Justin Long, the laughs are harder to come by. I'm just waiting for Microsoft to pick up on that idea. That would be "something special".

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:51:36 am

Clearly you've never used a MBP Retina.
There are certainly good PC Laptops but nothing like Retina. Not when you consider the built in monitor and the Thunderbolt to PCIe chassis expansion (available on all Macs 'cept what's left of the MacPro).

This is why there was no MacPro this year. It'll have Thunderbolt next year and you'll be able to move nearly any device to any Mac with it's a RAID or a Decklink Quad.



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Herb SevushRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:22:54 pm

[Joseph Owens] "Anyway, I'm in despair watching the Yankees go down... "

down, down, waayyyy down, this is the worst loss since dropping 4 in a row to the sox.

[Joseph Owens] " Apple will just decide for us we don't need that anymore. Especially all those $6-$7K GPU expanders a lot of us now own in the vain attempt to row upstream from the waterfalls."

This is where the argument that Apple had to wait for Xeon Thunderbolts breaks down. How about a USB3 capable, better GFX card available, more PCI slot loaded SandyBridge upgrade? I would have bought the best version available with a smile, instead of having to buy the cheapest 2010 version with a scowl. Why is that so far beneath contempt for Apple to come out with while waiting for the next big thing?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Marcus MooreRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:52:49 pm

If Criag is right, and Apple sees the average lifetime on a tower being 5-6 years in a post house- then maybe they are keen to have as few people possible motivated to buy in now, just (relatively speaking) before they release their new product in this space.

Maybe the math works out better that they figure that fewer people will jump ship to a PC platform vs those who will wait it out now that we know something is coming. Who knows.

But outside of FCPX improvements themselves, there's little I'm more keen on seeing than what Apple is going to bring to the table here. Maybe Apple can still surprise us, or maybe not and it will be a misstep. I see about 50/50 odds at this point.

Regardless, whatever it is, coupled with wherever FCPX is at when it's released, will be the definitive word on where Apple's philosophies lay in Video Production. Those who are waiting, hopefully or skeptically, can see the full picture and make a decision (if they haven't already).

It will be interesting one way or the other.



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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 3:39:56 pm

Nano tubes.

Once the nano tubes have arrived, the Xeons will follow.

If you build it, it will sizzle core.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/09/apples-rumored-carbon-fiber-part-shipme...

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/09/26/apple-sourcing-carbon-fiber-components-...

Oh, and Thunderbolt.

Unless Apple is planning on building a line of bicycles? iBike? Mountain Bike Pro?

Jeremy


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:07:32 pm

Along these lines, what we may see is the "portable" desktop.

Obviously those of us who want a desktop find a laptop, for various reasons, less than ideal for some work.
Such a portable desktop/workstation would be the sizzle core beast with Xeons and appropriate GPU but most other things on Thunderbolt. Bring to location, hook to monitor and Thunderbolt devices and your portable workstation is ready to go.

The tower is gone but the power is there and it's portable.



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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:36:54 pm

[Craig Seeman] "The tower is gone but the power is there and it's portable.
"


Bring it!

As long as I can extend it to a machine room like Mr Rubasch says, I'm good.


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 3:58:33 pm

[Herb Sevush] "This is where the argument that Apple had to wait for Xeon Thunderbolts breaks down. How about a USB3 capable, better GFX card available, more PCI slot loaded SandyBridge upgrade? I would have bought the best version available with a smile, instead of having to buy the cheapest 2010 version with a scowl. "

Because Apple wants you to buy Thunderbolt MacBox when they release and not a PCIe slotted box you're going to keep using for 5 years.



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Clint WardlowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:23:06 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Because Apple wants you to buy Thunderbolt MacBox when they release and not a PCIe slotted box you're going to keep using for 5 years."

And I think this is a mistake on Apple's part. One of the big reasons I (and I think a lot of others) bought Macs was the perception --true or not-- that a Mac machine outlasted a PC. If Apple suddenly forces us to purchase big iron every 2 to 3 years to keep working, the impetus to purchase a Mac loses ground. At that point why not go with PC which gives you more power for less money if you have to buy new machines every couple of years anyway?


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Marcus MooreRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:31:30 pm

I don't think Graig is implying that Apple wants the shorten the useable life of the MacPro (or whatever it's replacement will be called). Only that they might be motivated to have people start their next 5 years with the NEW 2013 product, rather than having a large chunk of the MacPro user base buy now on a CPU upgrade with the existing form factor and technologies.



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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:35:05 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "At that point why not go with PC which gives you more power for less money if you have to buy new machines every couple of years anyway?"

Is it really more power for less money?

What PCs offer is iMac speed (quad core i7) in a desktop form factor.

When you start building "big iron" from the likes of HP with enterprise Xeons, the prices are very similar.

Jeremy


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Clint WardlowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:51:26 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Is it really more power for less money?

What PCs offer is iMac speed (quad core i7) in a desktop form factor.

When you start building "big iron" from the likes of HP with enterprise Xeons, the prices are very similar."


You are actually right about that. I think I was more irritated by the notion that I was able to buy a mac get five or six years (or even longer out of it) but Apple may be putting an end to that.

I know for a lot of folks on here constantly updating hardware is a something they have to live with (and their big bitch about the Mac Pro is that it hasn't given them a decent upgrade in years). However for a small potatoes guy like me, having to upgrade hardware every two years is a killer.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:42:00 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "You are actually right about that. I think I was more irritated by the notion that I was able to buy a mac get five or six years (or even longer out of it) but Apple may be putting an end to that.

I know for a lot of folks on here constantly updating hardware is a something they have to live with (and their big bitch about the Mac Pro is that it hasn't given them a decent upgrade in years). However for a small potatoes guy like me, having to upgrade hardware every two years is a killer."


I don't get it. Why can't you get 5 or 6 years out of a Mac that you buy today?

And why do we have to upgrade every few years?

I'm a pro and I don't upgrade every few years. 3 years is usually the norm. Sometimes longer. In the case of our MacPros, it's going to be longer as I am trying to hold out for this MacPro replacement, whatever it may be. If worse comes to worst, we'd probably get fully loaded iMacs and deal with it for a while. I can buy Thunderbolt enclosures for my PCIe cards and limp through and those enclosures won't go to waste.

It is becoming more and more clear that the software is demanding new hardware, whether that's Adobe CS, Autodesk Smoke, FCPX, almost everything (except FCS3) besides Avid MC. If I am going to stick with FCS3, there's plenty, and I mean plenty, of certified used computers to buy for a fraction of the price of a new machine. How am I losing out here?

On the consumer side, my phone contracts don't let me update but once every few years without a huge cost premium.

So, let's say that Apple DID launch a MacPro this year with newer Sandy Bridge procs. Then, not one year later, the new version of the "MacPro" came out with USB3, Thunderbolt, and holographic cloud fibre channel storage whizbangs. Wouldn't I have been silly to not wait? This is the tough decision that I believe Apple has made.

Apple has actually given a modicum of a roadmap. We don't know exactly where that road is going, but something is coming. That is a relatively new practice for Apple in telling their customers that something new is coming a whole year in advance, don't you think?

If we can all remember to back when there was the PPC to intel switch.

What came first? Laptops and iMacs. The desktops came just under a year later.

Plus, nanotubes.


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Clint WardlowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:25:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't get it. Why can't you get 5 or 6 years out of a Mac that you buy today?

And why do we have to upgrade every few years?"


Well, it is my hope that I don't have to. But from your post (and I may have misunderstood), you seemed to infer that one of Apple's tactics may be to eliminate the user that squeezed 5 or 6 years out of the same computer.

I have to upgrade because of bad timing on my part. I bought an i7 imac a year before they released Thunderbolt. This would be fine, but noe that I have gotten more heavily into AE, I am finding that complex compositing is pushing my system, even with 16 gigs of ram, to its limit. So I want to upgrade (better graphics card that takes advantage of Cuda and more RAM).

The delay in a decent upgrade to Mac Pro has left me in a quandry. Do I stick with mac, suck up that my imac under-performs in AE, and hope that next year I am getting the Mac Pro update I desire? Or do I just jump ship and eat the relicensing fees on Adobe (or move to Cloud)?

Either way I know it's going to be costly and am hoping my next purchase will last me 5 or 6 years. But your points about software --plus a move towards 4K in video production-- has me left me with some doubts. Maybe it is just the nature of the modern beast.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:04:18 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "Well, it is my hope that I don't have to. But from your post (and I may have misunderstood), you seemed to infer that one of Apple's tactics may be to eliminate the user that squeezed 5 or 6 years out of the same computer."

Me? When did I say that?

Let's work backwards.

It is now October 19, 2012.

The computers that were released in October of 2006 were:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/by_year/macs-released-in-2006.html

If using your machine as a professional with people in the room, chances are, you probably aren't using one of these machines. You could be, but you probably wouldn't be.

But what is different about those computers than what Apple is selling today on the Apple store? Not a whole heck of a lot. The MacPro is virtually the same with more advanced components. The iMac is the same, except it now has a much faster i/o capability in Thunderbolt.

The MBPs are pretty much the same but limited to 15/13" screens, but now have Thunderbolt

You have other options in the Air (which I would not consider a "production" machine, but it has Thunderbolt) and the Retina.

The Retina is locked down similar to an iMac but it also comes with the most amount of RAM available from Apple in a laptop to date, and also comes standard with fast SSD storage, as well as faster more plentiful connections in both two thunderbolt ports and USB3 as well as new display technology for Mac computers.

So why, all of a sudden, is this news to long time Mac users that Apple does not offer upgrade options to offer every single GPU/CPU option available on the market today? Leaving Thunderbolt out of it, their product line looks very very similar to six years ago.

Adding Thunderbolt back in, that connection offers a tremendous amount of capability/connectivity to machines that didn't have those options six years ago.

And of course Apple wants people to buy more products, name me a company that doesn't want you to buy more products. I want my paying clients to come back early and often, don't you?

[Clint Wardlow] "I have to upgrade because of bad timing on my part. I bought an i7 imac a year before they released Thunderbolt. This would be fine, but noe that I have gotten more heavily into AE, I am finding that complex compositing is pushing my system, even with 16 gigs of ram, to its limit. So I want to upgrade (better graphics card that takes advantage of Cuda and more RAM)."

I'm sure you knew that when buying an iMac, there are few upgrade options and that even at that time, there was no CUDA support. Right?

An iMac is a locked down machine and always has been. Ae is not a speed demon, either. RAM will help, but the only thing that helps Ae render more quickly is raw CPU speed. Also, there is not a ton of GPU accelerated options available in Ae CS6. Ray tracing is one, GPU previews is another. A bulk of the rendering, is CPU. Perhaps an i7 is not enough, maybe you need more. You might find this problem on a PC as well.

[Clint Wardlow] "The delay in a decent upgrade to Mac Pro has left me in a quandry. Do I stick with mac, suck up that my imac under-performs in AE, and hope that next year I am getting the Mac Pro update I desire? Or do I just jump ship and eat the relicensing fees on Adobe (or move to Cloud)?"

Moving to the cloud would probably be your best bet. It is platform agnostic. It is a great value.

Why not buy one of those cheap PCs you were talking about? It will still be the same CPU as your iMac, or very similar. Maybe Ae runs faster on PCs, I don't know.

[Clint Wardlow] "Either way I know it's going to be costly and am hoping my next purchase will last me 5 or 6 years. But your points about software --plus a move towards 4K in video production-- has me left me with some doubts. Maybe it is just the nature of the modern beast."

Absolutely, Clint. These types of problems are not unique to Macs, although this forum seems to demonize Apple for some reason. I would have them look at the competition and realize things are just about the same, technology moves faster and faster, computers get old. A six year old intel PC would have just as much "trouble" running Ae CS6 as a six year old Mac.


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Walter SoykaRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 1:55:44 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So why, all of a sudden, is this news to long time Mac users that Apple does not offer upgrade options to offer every single GPU/CPU option available on the market today? Leaving Thunderbolt out of it, their product line looks very very similar to six years ago."

I think there are a couple factors here: the Mac Pro update that wasn't an update, and the recent rise of the GPU.

Apple was not selling eight-year-old processors six years ago. Until this year, hasn't Appe offered the best of the current generation of Intel CPUs at each Mac Pro refresh? Apple has not done all the minor revisions, but they've never skipped a major Xeon revision before. Apple chose to sit this round out, and I don't think it's hard to see why people -- long-time customers -- who were hoping to upgrade this year might be upset about their options.

GPU matters way more now to editors than than they did in 2006. GPGPU (general purpose computing on graphics cards) didn't exist before, so if Apple only offered crummy cards, the only folks who would really notice were 3D artists who could actually benefit from better OpenGL performance. There were a handful of GPU-processing systems in 2006 (this was one of the things I liked best about Motion!), but the majority of video processing was happening on the CPU (and Apple offered competitive CPUs).



[Jeremy Garchow] "Ae is not a speed demon, either. RAM will help, but the only thing that helps Ae render more quickly is raw CPU speed. Also, there is not a ton of GPU accelerated options available in Ae CS6. Ray tracing is one, GPU previews is another. A bulk of the rendering, is CPU. "

After Effects does need RAM. Gobs of it. 2-4 GB per CPU core. Without a load of RAM, Ae can't feed all those sizzle cores fast enough.

With 16 GB for a quad-core, Clint is in fine shape. However, as he adds more CPU cores, he also needs to add more RAM.

You are absolutely right that Ae itself is still largely CPU-oriented, but if you do use the ray-tracer, the speed difference between CPU and GPU is enormous. Also, there are a few really important plugins that leverage the GPU: GenArts Sapphire (CUDA), Video Copilot Optical Flares & Element 3D (OpenGL), Mettle ShapeShifter AE and FreeForm Pro (OpenGL & OpenCL). I have been advising Ae artists to ignore their GPUs for years, but that's shifting now and I think the importance of the GPU in this context will continue to grow over foreseeable future.

To Craig: workstations aren't just about sizzle cores. They need to be balanced systems to operate efficiently. Fast CPUs are worthless without fast RAM and fast disks, and now fast GPUs. Fast RAM and fast GPUs require physical space and cooling. Miniaturization is difficult. Expansion slots are not the only thing that make workstation boxes big.


[Jeremy Garchow] "These types of problems are not unique to Macs, although this forum seems to demonize Apple for some reason. I would have them look at the competition and realize things are just about the same, technology moves faster and faster, computers get old. A six year old intel PC would have just as much "trouble" running Ae CS6 as a six year old Mac."

Jeremy, I agree 100%. PC workstations are not cheaper, and they become outdated just as fast. Apple workstations have offered good value (prior to the current generation). You do have additional options available on the PC side, like faster components and better support, but technology change is cross-platform, and your hardware "investments" will depreciate fast no matter what you buy.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 3:52:51 pm

[Walter Soyka] "To Craig: workstations aren't just about sizzle cores. They need to be balanced systems to operate efficiently. Fast CPUs are worthless without fast RAM and fast disks, and now fast GPUs. Fast RAM and fast GPUs require physical space and cooling. Miniaturization is difficult. Expansion slots are not the only thing that make workstation boxes big."

This is where I expect Jonathan Ive and Apple engineering to do their miracle work. My prognostication but only geeks will get what they've done when they release the box. Their approach to cooling will be the kicker.



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Frank GothmannRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 11:14:38 pm

[Craig Seeman] "This is where I expect Jonathan Ive and Apple engineering to do their miracle work. My prognostication but only geeks will get what they've done when they release the box. Their approach to cooling will be the kicker."

Then they better step up their game because their current approach to cooling in the is seriously flawed and problematic.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 21, 2012 at 12:40:47 am

[Walter Soyka] "Apple was not selling eight-year-old processors six years ago. Until this year, hasn't Appe offered the best of the current generation of Intel CPUs at each Mac Pro refresh?"

True. I think they have offered the best, I don't know for sure. They might have offered only an 8 core when a 12 core was available at one time. We can get in to the Apple-not-being-concerned-with-the-speediest-procs-on-the-market conversation again, if you'd like? ;)

For the most part, they offer the newest proc technology until now.

[Walter Soyka] "Apple chose to sit this round out, and I don't think it's hard to see why people -- long-time customers -- who were hoping to upgrade this year might be upset about their options."

I'm a long time customer. When we buy machines, we buy big, usually fully maxed out. To do that right now, even with cheaper third party updates (RAM hard drives, etc), your'e looking at approaching 10 thousand bucks, times two machines.

The way I look at it, Apple just told me to save 20 grand by not releasing the latest processor. They didn't kill the MacPro line, so they are keeping that channel open. Tim Cook said something is coming. Without coming out saying that I should wait, they have told me to wait.

[Walter Soyka] "GPU matters way more now to editors than than they did in 2006. GPGPU (general purpose computing on graphics cards) didn't exist before, so if Apple only offered crummy cards, the only folks who would really notice were 3D artists who could actually benefit from better OpenGL performance. There were a handful of GPU-processing systems in 2006 (this was one of the things I liked best about Motion!), but the majority of video processing was happening on the CPU (and Apple offered competitive CPUs)."

Yes, it matters more if you use certain programs. Not all applications are so dependent on ultra fast and expensive GPUs.

[Walter Soyka] "After Effects does need RAM. Gobs of it. 2-4 GB per CPU core. Without a load of RAM, Ae can't feed all those sizzle cores fast enough."

I didn't say more RAM wouldn't help, I just said it's not going to significantly speed up Ae renders. More RAM make Ae run longer (longer RAM previews, et al) not faster.

[Walter Soyka] "You are absolutely right that Ae itself is still largely CPU-oriented, but if you do use the ray-tracer, the speed difference between CPU and GPU is enormous. Also, there are a few really important plugins that leverage the GPU: GenArts Sapphire (CUDA), Video Copilot Optical Flares & Element 3D (OpenGL), Mettle ShapeShifter AE and FreeForm Pro (OpenGL & OpenCL). I have been advising Ae artists to ignore their GPUs for years, but that's shifting now and I think the importance of the GPU in this context will continue to grow over foreseeable future."

Yes I pointed out where Ae uses the GPU. The other plugins you mention are GPU enabled, true, but those are plugins, and a few them are almost applications in their own right. If you use those plugins, you'll want a decent GPU.

We are now reliant on a specific hardware if your application relies on Nvidia.

[Walter Soyka] "You do have additional options available on the PC side, like faster components and better support, but technology change is cross-platform, and your hardware "investments" will depreciate fast no matter what you buy."

Better support?

Yes, PCs have ALWAYS offered more. Always for ever and ever, that's what I was saying.


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Clint WardlowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 22, 2012 at 4:59:39 pm

[Walter Soyka] "With 16 GB for a quad-core, Clint is in fine shape. However, as he adds more CPU cores, he also needs to add more RAM."

What am I doing wrong? With multiple layers and FX, my playback slows to a crawl in AE. I assumed this was because I was pushing the RAM.

Oh Jeremy, when I purchased the imac I was working mainly in FCP7 with occasional side trips to Color and Motion. I figured an unexpandable system would work fine. However, things have changed (especially when I was able to get the Adobe Production Suite at half price). So stupid me on that one.

P.S. And now --two years after the purchase--I get this scary email from Apple telling me I need to get in and have them replace the faulty seagate hard drive they installed asap. Thank god for time machine.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 22, 2012 at 6:59:10 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "So stupid me on that one."

You made the right purchase for the time. That's not stupid.

[Clint Wardlow] "What am I doing wrong? With multiple layers and FX, my playback slows to a crawl in AE. I assumed this was because I was pushing the RAM."

This is how Ae works. It is not a real time playback application. What helps is to drop previews to half resolution, or set it to auto resolution and put your canvas at 50% (which effectively halves the resolution). You also need to RAM preview and not "playback".

This is what I was saying, more RAM here will not make the machine suddenly go faster.


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Clint WardlowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 22, 2012 at 7:04:48 pm

Thanks Jeremy.


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Walter SoykaRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 22, 2012 at 7:25:28 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "What am I doing wrong? With multiple layers and FX, my playback slows to a crawl in AE. I assumed this was because I was pushing the RAM."

Ae doesn't do real-time. You have to do a RAM preview (where Ae renders frames to RAM, then reads them back from RAM for playback). Press the 0 key on your numeric keypad.

The best way to make Ae render faster is to use multi-processing, where Ae takes advantage of multi-core systems by launching multiple instances of the renderer to render multiple frames at the same time. Each instance of the renderer requires its own RAM -- and this is what pushes RAM requirements up so high, and why everyone says that RAM is critical to Ae performance. However, Jeremy is correct to note that blindly adding RAM may not improve performance, because RAM usage may not actually be the bottleneck. More on that in a moment.

If you have not already, enable multiprocessing and choose some good settings [link] as a starting point. Optimal settings on the same hardware can actually vary by comp, so I think it's generally most important to get some decent all-around settings.

Once multi-processing is on, you can watch Activity Monitor while you render to see if there's a bottleneck. If your CPU usage is high, then you are bottlenecked by the CPU. If your CPU usage is not high, but your RAM usage is high and disk access is low, then you are bottlenecked by RAM. If your CPU usage is not high and your RAM usage is also not high, but your disk access is, you are bottlenecked at I/O.

Adobe has a great page in the help system on improving performance [link], and we field a lot of performance questions over on the COW's After Effects forum [link]. Bring this topic over that way if you want some more detail.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Shawn MillerRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 5:52:50 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Is it really more power for less money?"

Technically no, I suppose. But you can get faster processors, more powerful graphics cards and more RAM in a PC. So it seems that this can only be true if you compare what's available on the Mac to similar a PC.

[Jeremy Garchow] "When you start building "big iron" from the likes of HP with enterprise Xeons, the prices are very similar."

Only if you limit your options to one of the large systems integrators like HP or Boxx. There are other SI's to choose from though, plus the option to build your own... which is a lot cheaper.

Shawn



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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:09:11 pm

[Shawn Miller] "Technically no, I suppose. But you can get faster processors, more powerful graphics cards and more RAM in a PC. So it seems that this can only be true if you compare what's available on the Mac to similar a PC. "

This has been true since time immemorial, no? Not one thing has changed in this regard, except perhaps a lot of Mac users looking at PCs in earnest for the first time in a long time, or perhaps for the first time, period.

[Shawn Miller] "Only if you limit your options to one of the large systems integrators like HP or Boxx. There are other SI's to choose from though, plus the option to build your own... which is a lot cheaper."

I can also build my own Mac. I'd much rather pay for peace of mind via support, but that's just me.


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Shawn MillerRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:48:14 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I can also build my own Mac. I'd much rather pay for peace of mind via support, but that's just me."

I have seen more people bulding Hackintosh computers, can you still get OS support from Apple if you do that? I ask because I genuinely don't know.

I do agree that buying from a solid SI goes a long way to keeping your sanity, I have a few vendors that I favor myself. I guess I also like the freedom and cost effectiveness of building my own machines. I have fantasies of building my next workstation myself... time will tell if I actually have time to do it. :-)

Shawn



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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:22:20 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I have seen more people bulding Hackintosh computers, can you still get OS support from Apple if you do that? I ask because I genuinely don't know."

Well, what would OS support from Apple look like?

I was talking more about hardware support, like, "my computer exploded into a ball of fiery bits, send me a new one" type of support. ;)

As far as being able to legally install an Apple OS on non Apple hardware, it varies by country.

Have a look at the Psystar case.

In a place like Germany, it's OK to sell a non Apple branded computer with OSX due to a EULA loophole in German law:

http://pearc.de/ueber-pearc-eng-1?parentid=72&parentname=ueber-pearc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PearC

Jeremy


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Shawn MillerRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 9:47:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Well, what would OS support from Apple look like?

I was talking more about hardware support, like, "my computer exploded into a ball of fiery bits, send me a new one" type of support. ;)"


I was also thinking of the computer meltdown scenario.. if you take your machine to a shop in the Windows world, the first thing a tech wants to know is if you have a legal copy of Windows. If not, they won't do more than replace faulty hardware or format your system drive. I was wondering if it was the same on the Apple side. If your Hackintosh goes South, can you still have it serviced by an Apple certified repair shop?

[Jeremy Garchow] "Have a look at the Psystar case.

In a place like Germany, it's OK to sell a non Apple branded computer with OSX due to a EULA loophole in German law:

http://pearc.de/ueber-pearc-eng-1?parentid=72&parentname=ueber-pearc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PearC"


Interesting stuff, thanks for the links.

Shawn



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Jeremy GarchowRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:06:59 pm

[Shawn Miller] "If your Hackintosh goes South, can you still have it serviced by an Apple certified repair shop? "

You aren't going to get warrantied Apple support and replacement, no.

You don't get the one year warranty, and you can't buy AppleCare protection plan on a Hackintosh.


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:40:13 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "And I think this is a mistake on Apple's part. One of the big reasons I (and I think a lot of others) bought Macs was the perception --true or not-- that a Mac machine outlasted a PC"

It's not that the new boxes wont last 5 years. It's that they want that box to be a Thunderbolt box. They don't want PCIe slots hanging on that long. I can speculate why they're doing that but it does seem obvious to me that's what they're doing (pushing people to new technology).

Very speculative on my part but it may be that Apple as "learned" that there's money to be made in short turnover... such as people who update their iPhones every year. Keep in mind that doesn't mean the older device goes away. In fact there's a very big used market for such devices. In fact what it may do is drive up market share in that not only are the older devices are in use for several years, there's a drive to buy the newer device.

One anecdotal version of this I experienced recently, I was talking to someone who bought a MBPr with 8GB of RAM. I asked them what would happen if you eventually decided you need 16GB (for those who don't know, the RAM is not user changeable)? He said he'd sell the 8GB model and use the money towards a 16GB model.

I'm not saying for sure this will be the model for the MacPro replacement but, selling the old and buying the new, gets more machines in circulation.

In any case, I don't think Apple is going to shorten the usable life of the MP replacement. I just don't think they had any business interest in selling a 2012 MP without Thunderbolt, USB3 and whatever other revisions they have coming for it. Keep in mind the MP is a very low sale item for Apple so the last thing they may have wanted is for you to buy a 2012 MP with Sandy Bridge Xeon and new GPU and keep that going instead of buying next year's major revision.



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Franz BieberkopfRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 5:24:58 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I just don't think they had any business interest in selling a 2012 MP without Thunderbolt, USB3 and whatever other revisions they have coming for it."

Craig,

... but you neglect to note that they are in fact selling such a machine.

Franz.


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Herb SevushRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 4:53:30 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Because Apple wants you to buy Thunderbolt MacBox when they release and not a PCIe slotted box you're going to keep using for 5 years"

This kind of Mac-centric reasoning doesn't work, it assumes there are no options other than to wait for what they hand out. In my case Apple just f*cked up because now the odds are 80-20 the thunderbolt computer I'm probably buying next will not be made by Apple. If they would have provided me with the machine I just talked about in a reasonable timeframe they would have had me for at least another 5 years.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 5:54:17 pm

[Herb Sevush] "This kind of Mac-centric reasoning doesn't work,"

Apple would disagree with you I suspect.

[Herb Sevush] "t assumes there are no options other than to wait for what they hand out."

There have always been other options. All metrics point to Apple's Computer market share growing while most others are shrinking. I suspect Apple thought through how to make the MacPro replacement viable for them as a business model.

[Herb Sevush] " In my case Apple just f*cked up because now the odds are 80-20 the thunderbolt computer I'm probably buying next will not be made by Apple."

I'm glad you discovered a source of Xeon based Thunderbolt Windows computers. Apparently whoever is making them has the world's worst marketing given the lack of news on such.

I think Apple may be FIRST to market with this just as they were first to market with Thunderbolt computers. There's also great value when an entire line is using the same connectors. That can't be said of any of the PC makers implementing Thunderbolt. Every Thunderbolt peripheral you buy can be attached to any Mac you own (once the MacPro replacement comes out). That's an ecosystem strategy when a single peripheral purchase can work on your MacMini, MacBookAir, MacBookPro, iMac . . . and finally MacPro Replacement. It economizes the peripheral purchase decisions. BTW everyone of those Macs can also run Windows natively with Bootcamp.


[Herb Sevush] " If they would have provided me with the machine I just talked about in a reasonable timeframe they would have had me for at least another 5 years."

Thunderbolt Xeon doesn't exist and it's not entirely within their control as Intel has a big role to play in this. I'm sure Apple will be ready when the technology is ready and they will probably be FIRST to market with it.



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Herb SevushRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:10:42 pm

[Craig Seeman] "[Herb Sevush] " In my case Apple just f*cked up because now the odds are 80-20 the thunderbolt computer I'm probably buying next will not be made by Apple."

I'm glad you discovered a source of Xeon based Thunderbolt Windows computers. Apparently whoever is making them has the world's worst marketing given the lack of news on such. "


I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, although I did use the word "next" - perhaps your unfamiliar with it.

This past summer I bought an overpriced 2010 MacPro out of necessity, my next computer purchase will be in about 2 years, by which time I would imagine the Xeon Tbolts will have come out, and, if the market supports it, will be in use by everyone. Apple's 1 year advantage will be long gone.


[Craig Seeman] "[Herb Sevush] " If they would have provided me with the machine I just talked about in a reasonable timeframe they would have had me for at least another 5 years."

Thunderbolt Xeon doesn't exist and it's not entirely within their control as Intel has a big role to play in this. I'm sure Apple will be ready when the technology is ready and they will probably be FIRST to market with it."


The computer I referenced is the one mentioned in the previous post -NO thunderbolt, but USB3 better GFX, more PCI slots, Sandy Bridge etc. That's the computer that should have been available in June, that's the computer that would have made me happy to stay with Apple and buy their Tbolt computer next time around.

But instead I was forced, with a dead computer and no options, to buy a replacement with 3 year old technology at no price reduction - the single most overpriced piece of shit computer I was ever stuck with.

The lesson learned, a theme for the past two years, is the value of keeping your options open - with major software try to stay with companies that are cross platform, with hardware try to buy systems offered by multiple vendors -- I guess that doesn't sound like Apple.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:44:21 pm

[Herb Sevush] "my next computer purchase will be in about 2 years, by which time I would imagine the Xeon Tbolts will have come out, and, if the market supports it, will be in use by everyone. Apple's 1 year advantage will be long gone."

I can't predict the future (although you know I try) but things seem to be moving slowly on Windows TBolt. Those that have them (Lenovo) really aren't promoting it. Maybe they'll be a critical mass acceleration by then... maybe not.

I'm not sure how you can predict your next purchase when Apple hasn't even released its box yet. It's comparing nothing to nothing. You won't know if you'll like what Apple does until you see it... unless you feel either mine (or someone else's) prediction on form and function are likely accurate.

[Herb Sevush] "This past summer I bought an overpriced 2010 MacPro out of necessity"

Not an enviable position to be in for sure.

[Herb Sevush] "But instead I was forced, with a dead computer and no options, to buy a replacement with 3 year old technology at no price reduction - the single most overpriced piece of shit computer I was ever stuck with. "

No argument from me there. I would have hunted around for a used/refurbished genuine 2010 model for less than the revisionist 2012 model with 2010 technology. If you're using cross platform software that might have been the time to move to Windows (at least for that one box).

All my recent Macs are Bootcamped because I often need to use Windows software and sometimes it's easier to with certain workflows. While that doesn't give you the hardware flexibility of the PC (and that's a major downside of the 2010/12 MacPros) but it certainly more cost effective for me to have boxes that run both OSs.



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Herb SevushRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:52:09 pm

[Craig Seeman] " I would have hunted around for a used/refurbished genuine 2010 model for less than the revisionist 2012 model with 2010 technology."

I'm not quite stupid enough to get one of the 2012s. I bought a refurbished 2010 from Apple - still around 3K that I would rather have put towards the 5-6K machine that I wanted.

If next year's MacPro offering wows me, I'll consider it, but it would have to be much better than any comparable PC or the single vendor factor will have me looking elsewhere.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Craig SeemanRe: New Xeons for next year
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 4:17:27 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I bought a refurbished 2010 from Apple - still around 3K that "

Hmm why not hunt for a used box on the market? Granted there's risks with that. Given the number of people and facilities shifting to Windows (as people claim) there should be many boxes being dumped onto the market.

Apple's prices are sick when it comes to MacPros given their age.

I think the issue is compounded in that even the iMacs are now aging. Some hope that changes on Tuesday.

It may depend on what one does but I'd imagine a 2011 iMac with quad i7 and passible AMD with 2GB might be a competent machine. Add PCIe chassis (cost depends on what cards you're trying to rescue from a dead MacPro), one could have a reasonable box for under $3k including monitor. While it might not be a "lead" machine, it could get one through a year while one decides what to do about Xeons.



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