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Bob Zelin
my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 10, 2013 at 10:41:48 pm

1) you can make your existing Mac Pro's into a nice server.

2) no 10gig ports. I am surprised, but not that surprised.

3) I guess ATTO, Magma, and Sonnet better get busy making Thunderbolt 2 expansion chassis, and Tbolt2 products.

4) it appears that there are SIX independent Thunderbolt 2 ports, that each can control 6 devices on their chain. So it APPEARS to me (and what the hell do I know) that these are "independent busses", and not everything is sharing one buss. Maybe I am wrong. But if I am right, this means that when you plug in a Thunderbolt 10gig box, you are not splitting the bandwidth with an external Thunderbolt drive array. Which is a good thing. But I could be wrong.

5) if in fact these are independent busses (again, I could be wrong, and misinterpreting all of this), this means that you could plug in several 10gig Tbolt boxes (like ATTO) and have multiple direct connect 10gig ports. If you want to avoid a switch.

6) I don't really give a crap if it looks like a "mess" with all the external boxes and cables hanging off of it. As long as it actually works, and does not bog down in high performance applications, like a Mac Mini does.

7) at least it has 2 independent 1GbE ports, and they didn't force you to buy Tbolt to Ethernet adaptors for this.

I wonder what it's going to sell for ?

And I wonder if OS X 10.9 will still run FCP 7. I can already assume that every card manufacturer that we use (Areca, ATTO, Sonnet, Small Tree, Solarflare, Myricom, AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, Highpoint) is going to have to write new drivers to get any of their stuff to work.

Well - at least they didn't say "no new Mac Pro, but we have a really super duper new iPad !".

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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David Gagne
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 10, 2013 at 11:46:45 pm

One thing some may have missed ... It appears there are only 4 memory slots.

Also, I'm not sure where they fit the second CPU? If you look at the pictures @ apple.com it looks like it only has one slot. So... Maybe a next-gen E5 with 12 cores? I believe the E5-2600 V2 will top at 12 cores.


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Jess Hartmann
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:46:46 am

Yes, I do believe this is a single CPU system. The E5-2600 V2 is a 12 core (24 thread) Chip. I don't think there's enough room for 2 CPU's.

How important will firewire be for existing users? T-Bolt to PCIe expansion bay in order to plug in FW drives?

Jess Hartmann
CEO
ProMAX Systems
http://www.promax.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:55:49 am

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echo15thunderboltdock.html

Sonnet will sell A LOT of these, as well as their (non existant)
Tbolt 2 Echo expansion chassis. I can only assume that this is Sonnet's #1 research project now (as well as Magma, and ATTO).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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David Gagne
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:56:15 am

I think FW is going to die fairly quickly now that Apple is moving on. USB 3.0 is sufficient for most.

But we NEED TBolt drive enclosures to come down in price.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 11, 2013 at 6:02:16 pm

[David Gagne] "But we NEED TBolt drive enclosures to come down in price."

Agreed; I am pessimistic about it though: enclosure, cooling, power, circuitry, etc. - you're basically re-creating a small computer with that enclosure. The market is not big enough for them to come down in price, they'll keep costing a dear penny. Storage boxes - more so, because each has to house a full-featured RAID controller, and you can't expand it outside the box. What if I wanted a 48TB array with a 2GB/s throughput? Stripe two (or four) Promise boxes together over multiple TB ports? It'll get expensive faster than it'll get fast.

What Apple did (again, like with Mac Mini, iMac, MB Air)) was create an all-in-one box that you can't mess with much, at the expense of expandability and upgradeability. You can't add a SAS RAID controller or a Fibre Channel HBA to it. 10GbE? An extra box, lots of extra $$. More storage? More boxes, more $$. Each with their own fans and power supply - very efficient (not).

Sure, it's the right thing to do in the face of the shrinking PC market, in general. Is it the right approach for a high-end editing system though?


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Eric Hansen
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 11, 2013 at 10:58:39 pm

@ Jess - Apple sells TB to FW800 adapters for $29

I do believe FW800 will go away. it's so much slower than USB3.

Thunderbolt RAIDs are cheaper than SAS, and faster than RAIDs based on eSATA port multiplication (limited to 250MB/s). I think single and dual drive USB3 enclosures will become the norm, along with Thunderbolt for the larger RAIDs. The Areca 8050 levels out around 900MB/s. So theoretically you could stripe 2 of them for 1800MB/s. Switching from SAS to Thunderbolt is an interesting proposition. I'm curious to see how it will work at the SAN level.

having said that, I don't like the requirement to use Thunderbolt for all expansion. I've used a few Thunderbolt expansion boxes from Small Tree, Sonnet and Magma and none of them are as quiet as a Mac Pro tower. And that's 3 more power supplies. The Promise SANLink has heat sinks instead of a fan, which is nice. But it requires a power supply that I've already lost.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Frank Gothmann
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 12, 2013 at 11:44:44 am

I doubt those are independent TB controllers. Probably three at best. To be able to add four pci cards to it would add 1.800 bucks for expansion cases on top right from the get go - to get basic functionality you get for free with any other workstation - at higher speeds. And it's a single cpu system. It's cables and adapters on top of cables and adapters - plus probably issues with chaining order and what not. Also, much bigger and substantially cheaper Raid systems available via SAS. That won't change. TB is and will remains a niche with a not so great adoption rate - so Apple does what they always do if they want you to use what they think you should use - force and bully you into using it by taking everything else away.
All this sacrifice for what - so it's smaller. Unless, of course, you add all the additional boxes you'll need. It's a weird machine and a concept I'd never support or buy into.

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"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."
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Bob Zelin
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 12, 2013 at 9:15:01 pm

I fully understand (and I fully wanted) a simple Mac Pro, with TBolt and USB3, and the damn internal PCIe slots. But then, I wanted
FCP 8, and I didn't get it.

I fully understand that I could run a HP Z820, and do the exact same thing that a loaded new Mac Pro Maverick can do, but I also understand the reality of this business. From the early days of AVID and Sound Tools (now Pro Tools), thru all the changes of Pro Tools, FCP 7, Adobe CS6 (Premiere), Smoke for Mac, Davinci Resolve for Mac - one thing in common from DAY 1 of the non-linear revolution - EVERYONE WANTS TO USE A MAC. IT doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me if this is a stupid decision, or a poor financial decision. This is what people want to do, and have wanted to do from day 1 of the original NLE revolution.

There are countless external T Bolt boxes out now - drive arrays from G-Tech, Lacie, Maxx Digital and others, T Bolt I/O boxes from
AJA, Blackmagic and Matrox, expansion chassis from Sonnet and Magma, specialty boxes for RAID cards and 10gig cards from Small Tree, ATTO and Sonnet. And all of these (and plenty of new brands) will become Thunderbolt 2 interfaces, and this will happen within the next few months. Because there is a demand for it. So it will be RARE for people to say "oh, I have to get an expansion chassis for my AJA Kona LHi card" - THEY WONT DO THIS - they will BUY a Tbolt 2 product for their new expensive Mac Pro.

And do you know what all of this means. It means that ALL the hardware companies, including Apple, ATTO, AJA, and everyone else get to SELL NEW HARDWARE, which is the #1 thing they are in business for. And everyone (like you and me) will bitch about this (my AJA card and my ATTO card work just fine right now !) - but we will eventually give in (maybe you will buy the HP Z820, or build your own Super Micro Win 7 chassis).

Bottom line - people want Macs. Apple wants to sell new products. And so does every other advertiser that you see here on Creative Cow. They could not give a S@#$ about your perfectly working I/O cards, hard drives, etc. They want MORE of your money, and Apple has found a way for them to get it. So EVERY manufacturer will embrace this, because ALL of them want more money, and Apple has given them a way to get it.

What makes sense, has nothing to do with what people use.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Frank Gothmann
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2013 at 1:31:39 am

Oh, I agree with you 100 per cent. A large part of this is squeezing more money out of people, and shorten the intervals till the next squeeze is due.
And yep, I am dropping Apple one machine at a time. We're down to two Mac Pros from 8 early last year and we won't buy any new Apple stuff. We switched NLEs, too. Guess what, I live, quite happily, and I am kicking myself for not looking into alternatives much earlier.
For video guys this machine may work, for 3D, scientific computing... I don't see it. Which takes away another chunk from an already small market. The server guys have left the playroom quite a while ago and nobody from that end wants a Mac anymore.
Everything has a breaking point. So far, Apple has been lucky in their choices to take things away left right and forth, people still bought into it. Let's see how it goes this time.

------
"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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Bob Zelin
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2013 at 1:59:57 am

Frank writes -
The server guys have left the playroom quite a while ago and nobody from that end wants a Mac anymore.

REPLY - I feel like my reply almost belongs on the FCP-X The Debate forum at this point, since I am discussing politics, and not technical issues about drive arrays.

The server guys have left the playroom, because they can't be the big bullies anymore ("I'm the IT guy and I control all your computers"). While OS X Server in it's Lion/Mountain Lion version is limited, it works quite well as a simple file server. But the MOST important thing, and the only reason I am even writing this, is that EVERYONE (including the owners of companies that employ the server guys) don't want to rely on the "server guys". They want it to be easy. Just like a Canon Camera is easy to take professional pictures with. This is the whole mindset of FCP-X. Any high school student can become an editor very quickly. Maybe not a great one, but they can kind of "fake it". And modern OS X server lets a NON "server guy" fake it, and have his file sharing system, without any knowledge of servers, Open Directory, etc. Netgear ain't Cisco, but there are a heck of a lot more Netgear switches out there than Cisco today.

The point is that "hi end professionals" are threatened with all this new stuff, and Apple is working very very hard to make doing "professional stuff" easy, so that "anyone" can do it. So of course, pros hate this. And pros feel they can "back this up" because they can do SO MUCH MORE than FCP-X editors using OS X Server. But you know what - more and more people don't care. They don't want to hire server guys. They don't want to hire professional editors that can dance with AVID, FCP 7 and Adobe Premiere. They want to do it themselves, or have some $22,000 a year kid do it for them. And if it looks "ok", and the system kind of "works" then they are happy. And this is why Mac's dominate in so many markets.

Me ? I'm just trying to make a living. For the record, I am writing this to you on my HP Z420 Workstation.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Andrew Richards
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 4:12:07 am

[Bob Zelin] "it appears that there are SIX independent Thunderbolt 2 ports, that each can control 6 devices on their chain. "

Per Phil Schiller's WWDC preso, there are three TB2 controllers, each of which is driving two of the six ports. As best we can tell, TB2 doesn't get more bandwidth at the controller, it just combines the formerly segregated twin 10Gbps lanes (one for data, the other for DisplayPort) into a single 20Gbps lane.

Given all that, I don't understand how they can claim 20Gbps on something being fed by a bus (PCIe 2.0 x4) that is only capable of doing around 12Gbps. Clearly I'm not understanding something about how Thunderbolt really works...

[Bob Zelin] "no 10gig ports. I am surprised, but not that surprised."

That made me sad when they listed the specs. Intel has this nice, inexpensive X540 chipset just begging to be used and they ignored it.

[Bob Zelin] "And I wonder if OS X 10.9 will still run FCP 7."

It should, the QuickTime C APIs are still there in 10.9, although they are now fully deprecated with the advent of the new AV Kit API (if you have an Apple Developer account, go watch the Moving to AV Kit Session from WWDC2013). 10.9 may be the last OS X that can run FCP7, QT Player Pro 7, and any other legacy QuickTime app.

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 8:54:47 pm

[Andrew Richards] "[Bob Zelin] "no 10gig ports. I am surprised, but not that surprised."

That made me sad when they listed the specs. Intel has this nice, inexpensive X540 chipset just begging to be used and they ignored it."


You might find this by Alex Gollner (aka Alex4D) Interesting.
http://alex4d.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/os-x-10-9-networking-boost/

According to FAQ-MAC a feature of Apple’s forthcoming Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks might allow many more Macs be used in simple render farms: IP over Thunderbolt.

and

Internet Protocol over Thunderbolt means that you can connect Macs via Thunderbolt cables and use the Thunderbolt cable as a network connection. Thunderbolt 1 connections have a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 10 Gb/s – which is similar to the speed of 10 gigabit Ethernet, which is a popular post production networking standard.



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Bob Zelin
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 10:52:49 pm

no offense Craig, but who cares. Netgear 10gig switches will be cheaper than any Thunderbolt hub that is created (at least at the beginning), and you can do 1G and 10G Adobe CS6 render farms right now for free (well - CS6 ain't free) but they give you the software to do this, and a simple network (with 1G or 10G) will allow you to do this.

So are you saying that you won't create a network do render engine work, or won't do 10gig, until it's "built into" an Apple computer ? Are you a FCP-X user only ? Sorry for being so rude (I am always rude), but it seems that there is a desperation for people to want APPLE to provide these things with the computer (no matter how much it may cost), even if it can be done cheaply right now in 2013, without waiting for anything. Don't you have to make a living in the mean time.

All this reminds me of the insane posts when the Red Scarlet was going to be released for $3000, and users on Cow were "not going to shoot their feature" until the Scarlet became available. Well, 10G is available right now, and it's cheap, and you can even use a 80 dollar Netgear 1G switch to do AE renders right now with free software. So what's the big F#$%@#g deal ?

OOOH but Apple will give it to me, and then it's ALL APPLE !!!!!!
Praise the Lord !

Apple will not save you. But Creative Cow will.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Rich Rubasch
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 12:41:19 am

I can see the new MacPro being a server to other older MacPros via Thunderboldt. I have four systems that are used all day every day...add a PCI thunderbolt card to them and hook them to the new MacPro. Add a raid via thunderbolt to the new MacPro and serve it up like a SmallTree RAID etc.

Lots of configs here with this new thing they are calling Thunderbolt...leave it to Bob Z to make us all think outside the box for once! Or twice.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 2:12:44 am

So two fundamental questions:

1. Does 6 Thunderbolt2 pots on the Mac Pro "Tube" mean bandwidth of 1x20, 3x 20 or 6x20Gbps?

2. Will ProMax get into the Hackintosh business with the Pro One? ProMax Ireland, maybe? ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Frank Gothmann
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 7:51:50 am

[Oliver Peters] "1. Does 6 Thunderbolt2 pots on the Mac Pro "Tube" mean bandwidth of 1x20, 3x 20 or 6x20Gbps?"

it has three controllers so it's 3x20. Of course, the interesting question is what happens when you plug-in a TB 1 device, or use it a part of a TB device chain. Very likely that the whole port switches to slower TB1 mode.

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Bob Zelin
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:38:06 pm

Frank writes -
it has three controllers so it's 3x20. Of course, the interesting question is what happens when you plug-in a TB 1 device, or use it a part of a TB device chain. Very likely that the whole port switches to slower TB1 mode.


REPLY - well, you know that 100% of the manufacturers in this business (ATTO, Areca, AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, G-Tech, Cal Digit, Sonnet, and everyone else) will be building T-Bolt 2 everything, and you will see TONS of Tbolt 2 products BEFORE NAB 2014. So if you have 3 independent TBolt 2 busses, and you MUST use that AJA I/O XT that you have right now (or promise Pegasus, etc.), then you put it on ONE buss, and you have the other busses available for your new TBolt 2 products that you will purchase when the new Mac Pro comes out.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:34:46 pm

Rich Rubasch writes -
I can see the new MacPro being a server to other older MacPros via Thunderboldt. I have four systems that are used all day every day...add a PCI thunderbolt card to them and hook them to the new MacPro. Add a raid via thunderbolt to the new MacPro and serve it up like a SmallTree RAID etc

REPLY -
rich,
1) there will be no thunderbolt card for older Mac Pro's
2) you are MUCH better off retiring one of your existing Mac Pros, make that the server, and connect to the new Mac Pro Maverick as the server. Then you have a super duper Mac Pro for hi speed AE renders, and your old dog Mac Pro as the server via 1G or 10G Ethernet. It will work perfectly.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 2:37:46 am

Ease of use Bob. The easier Apple makes it the better they do. The easier it is for people without the experience to do it. Will cost more with Apple? Sure! But the ROI for those taking the Apple shortcut will be worth it to them. Apple may cost more but the cost the higher experience is greater than that.



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Walter Soyka
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:17:06 am

[Craig Seeman] "According to FAQ-MAC a feature of Apple’s forthcoming Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks might allow many more Macs be used in simple render farms: IP over Thunderbolt."

The physical networking is not the hard part of building a render farm. It's not even usually the bottleneck -- though the render nodes all banging on the same shared storage can be.

The client/server system for distributing assets needed for the render, assigning jobs to nodes, monitoring nodes' statuses, tolerating faults, and re-assembling the split output is the hard part of networked rendering.

I don't see signs that Apple is interested in this area. They discontinued XGrid, and when was the last major update to Qmaster?

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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Richard Dee
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 9:31:16 am

I've been waiting with baited breath for a new Mac Pro, but I can't imagine jumping in any time soon
till all the peripheral issues are worked out.

Can't believe I'm saying this but a Hackintosh is looking better and better.


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Craig Seeman
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 4:02:45 pm

[Walter Soyka] "They discontinued XGrid, and when was the last major update to Qmaster?"

We'll have to see where Apple is going with Mavericks. Maybe IP TB is just a "throw in/throw away" feature.

It'll certainly be useful to some as Alex Gollner notes:

I assume IP over Thunderbolt is less efficient than a dedicated Fibre Channel PCI Express card, but at least Thunderbolt is available on a wide range of Macs.

With a little distributed rendering, my 27” iMac connected to a pair of Thunderbolt equipped Macs will get through QuickTime encodes much more quickly


I'm assuming if it's there in the OS, this may be what Apple is intending.



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Mark Beazley
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 1:59:58 pm

First, the new MacPro uses PCIe 3.0, which is 985MB/sec per lane. Not sure how mane lanes they dedicated to each TB controller, but TB2 is only 20Gb/sec which is only 2.5 GB/sec. So in theory they only need 3-4 PCIe 3.0 lanes to handle the data rate.

16 lane PCIe 3.0 is 15.75 GB/sec (gigabytes vs gigabits).

That could be were the confusion is. GB = gigabytes , Gb = gigabits

As far as TB1 devices being plugged in, it probably isn't a big deal since it will only be asking for half the allowed rate.

Not exactly sure how may PCIe lanes the new Haswell chip has, but I have seen the number 40 mentioned.

-mark



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Andrew Richards
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:13:09 pm

[Mark Beazley] "First, the new MacPro uses PCIe 3.0, which is 985MB/sec per lane. Not sure how mane lanes they dedicated to each TB controller, but TB2 is only 20Gb/sec which is only 2.5 GB/sec. So in theory they only need 3-4 PCIe 3.0 lanes to handle the data rate."

If you read the articles I linked to AnandTech carefully, they say that the new TB2 controllers are still a PCIe 2.0 x4 device. Now maybe they are stating that with incomplete info from Intel's press releases, but I trust them to be technically accurate. The E5 Xeons do indeed have PCIe 3.0 baked in, but the chipset they socket into also provides PCIe 2.0 lanes and this is what the TB2 controllers could be hanging off. We don't know till we can take one of these new tubes apart.

[Mark Beazley] "That could be were the confusion is. GB = gigabytes , Gb = gigabits"

I accounted for bits vs bytes in my math.

[Mark Beazley] "Not exactly sure how may PCIe lanes the new Haswell chip has, but I have seen the number 40 mentioned."

I'm not concerned with how many lanes Ivy Bridge E5 Xeons will support (the new Mac Pro will have these, not a Haswell CPU), I only want to understand how TB2 is delivering its claimed bandwidth. It is not adequately explained anywhere I have been able to find.

Best,
Andy


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Mark Beazley
Re: my first comments on the new Mac Pro
on Jun 16, 2013 at 6:48:34 pm

Hmmm, that is a good point since PCEe 2.0 only gets 2GB/sec over 4 lanes.

Perhaps the TB and the GPUs are tied directly to the CPU lanes. That would allow the GigE and the UBS3 to be tied to the chipset lanes.

It will be interesting once someone gets a hold of one and tries to reverse engineer.

I am holding off any negative judgements until more info is released; from what we do know, it seems like a very capable out of the box kit for 3d animators and motion graphic designers.

-mark



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