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More rumors to scoff at.

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Andrew Richards
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:14:53 am

You beat me to it.

If it is another G5-esque tower I will be disappointed. I want a 19" x 19" (or less) 2U box with twin 16x PCIe 3.0 slots and at least two discrete Thunderbolt busses along with all the usual I/O. An all new form factor would portend a much longer tail than one more cheese grater.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:20:05 am

[Andrew Richards] "An all new form factor would portend a much longer tail than one more cheese grater."

I don't know if that will happen, though. Apple decidedly killed their rack mount based computers, why would they go back?

Besides the power supply redundancies (and updated tech), you're asking for an Xserve-ish form factor, right?


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Andrew Richards
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 5:00:25 am

I just want the new Mac Pro to fit in a rack, not require one. It will usually be a mini tower. Heck, the current case is already a 3ishU 19" square if you remove the pointless "handles" that are little more than a visual homage to the old plastic G3 and G4 cases. They could stick with the current form, but when better than now with a disruptive tech like Thunderbolt to redesign the case?

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 5:31:48 am

There's nothing in the article that indicates the case design is staying the same. The new GPU doesn't preclude a new form factor. I'd want to see the same thing Andrew does. My guess is a lot of people would.



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Bret Williams
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 6:23:09 am

I'm going to go out on a limb and say SSD standard on the MacPro. Just so they can keep some margins and differentiate.

But seriously, if I get an iMac i7 before the end of this year, you can bet the Mac Pro will be released in January. And it'll probably cost $1500. That'd be the price point for me that would make it really intriguing. The more I spend in December, the cheaper the next Mac Pro will be. But in reality I think $1999. Which would be somewhat reasonable if it is more of a Mini Pro form factor. It'd be a headless iMac with Xeon chips and ECC RAM and maybe a swappable GPU. Add a thunderbolt display and it's $3000, which is $500 more than the best iMac I think.

Checking out Geekbench btw and the iMac is the 10th fastest Mac out there. The only thing faster is the 8 core (or more) Mac Pros and the 3.33ghz 6 core Mac Pro (still the best overall Mac Pro value I think.) And in reality, they're only faster when it comes to hyper threaded functions. So if you're running Final Cut Pro classic, then the i7 iMac is probably the fastest machine oddly.


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Kevin Patrick
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 12:04:40 pm

[Bret Williams] "if I get an iMac i7 before the end of this year, you can bet the Mac Pro will be released in January."

If that's the case, I'm sure we can take up a collection from other Mac Pro users to get you your new iMac right away.


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Bret Williams
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:58:45 pm

Sweet! Then when the Mac Pro comes out I sell the iMac, and buy the Pro. Works for me. Creative Cow readers buy me a Mac Pro, and I write off the iMac this year. This is a deal.

AND the general Mac community benefits from Apple releasing a new Mac Pro. It's a win/win for everybody.

How do we get this going?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:15:06 pm

[Andrew Richards] "I just want the new Mac Pro to fit in a rack, not require one. It will usually be a mini tower. Heck, the current case is already a 3ishU 19" square if you remove the pointless "handles" that are little more than a visual homage to the old plastic G3 and G4 cases. They could stick with the current form, but when better than now with a disruptive tech like Thunderbolt to redesign the case?"

I hear you. Really, I do. I'd like a rack mount capable tower, too. I am a positive person and I think Apple will release another tower rather than kill off their top of line machine, but design rules the roost. A rack mount blob isn't the Apple way. Those handles help keep the MacPro cool and quiet due to airflow. A square cage won't be as effective unless you put really noisy fans in there.

We will see! I hope I'm wrong.

Jeremy


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Andrew Richards
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:35:16 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "A rack mount blob isn't the Apple way. Those handles help keep the MacPro cool and quiet due to airflow. A square cage won't be as effective unless you put really noisy fans in there."

The perforated metal lets the air flow, but the handles are just...there. They aren't heat sinks. It couldn't be a solid aluminum shell like a mini, but they could put the current case on a bit of a diet without losing any key functionality. Who actually uses two optical drives? And the two 4x slots are bandwidth-equivalent to Thunderbolt, so that's even more interior space that can be ditched. The Xeons with their generous heat sinks, and the PSU , and space for full length PCIe cards still need the same amount of room. If they turn the wide bits 90 degrees and trim the fat, 19"x19"x3.5" should yield enough interior volume for my wish list.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:45:04 pm

You're right.

Those handles keep the bottom of the machine off the floor and the top actually let you pick that beast up and move it. There's a method to it.

Sounds like we will have an answer soon enough, perhaps and maybe.


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Andrew Richards
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:47:49 pm

With Apple's design talent, you'd think they could design a handle that was a little more ergonomic and a little less enhanced interrogation...

That's why I put quotes around "handles", they barely qualify.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:53:52 pm

Think if those handles werent there. How would you move the computers aroun easily?

Every time I need to get behind the rack or swap a PCI board, those handles come in handy.


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Andrew Richards
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:00:15 pm

Oh I use them too, but I wish they required less than a hacksaw to remove and weren't so harsh on the hands. On my fantasy box they are held on the top and bottom with a few beefy screws that would also support optional rails. Having them molded in shouldn't be a design necessity. It is only seamless on one side anyway since the access babel breaks up the other side.

Best,
Andy


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Walter Soyka
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:56:12 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Those handles keep the bottom of the machine off the floor and the top actually let you pick that beast up and move it. There's a method to it."

The Z800 has handles, too -- they just don't push the size of the case beyond 19". It's also got a rackmount kit available from HP.

Apple could have made the current design rack-friendly, if they had chosen to. They chose form over function.

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:01:56 pm

[Walter Soyka] " They chose form over function."

That's my point. "Design rules the roost" as how I ineloquently put it. They are still Apple.

I'd like to see a rack mount capable product, but they killed the one they had.


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Walter Soyka
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:30:48 pm

[Walter Soyka] " They chose form over function."

[Jeremy Garchow] "That's my point. "Design rules the roost" as how I ineloquently put it. They are still Apple."

I don't mean to split hairs, but that's not design; that's aesthetics.

Good design would be aesthetically pleasing AND functional; I don't think that shrinking the Mac Pro and inch and a half would have completely foiled the aesthetics of the case, but it would have allowed it to sit on its side in a rack.

I would be very curious to know what percentage of Mac Pros are rack-mounted, and how many RUs of space are wasted in the world because Mac Pros must be mounted vertically (unless you modify the case).

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:22:21 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't mean to split hairs"

It's OK, we are getting very good at it. :)

[Walter Soyka] ",but that's not design; that's aesthetics."

It's both. It design aesthetics. Apple wraps function in form, it is their ethos. My point is that the MacPro is a well designed machine that looks good. Sure, Apple could design something that "functions" better, but doesn't look as nice. Since the dawn of the blueberry line of iMacs, that's not what Apple does, at all. Apple has never designed computers to function like the Z800. Their top of the line computers they HAVE designed are well designed, but not the most powerful computers as the design aesthetics dictate a bit of that. The sliding processor/RAM trays are a really nice design. It would be nice if you could simply swap those trays out from Apple, and not necessarily from a third party company like OWC.

If you flipped the motherboard so it's horizontal instead of vertical, those processor trays would have to function very differently. Knowing Apple, they would want rack manufactures to design vertical rack trays instead of horizontal.

Jeremy


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Walter Soyka
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:58:26 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's both. It design aesthetics. Apple wraps function in form, it is their ethos. My point is that the MacPro is a well designed machine that looks good."

I agree with you that good design is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. I am suggesting that the Mac Pro does not show good design, because though it may be aesthetically pleasing, it is not as functional as it should be. Apple sacrificed the ability to rack mount the machine (a reasonable thing that professionals would want to do with their workstations) for an inch and a half of looks-good height.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Since the dawn of the blueberry line of iMacs, that's not what Apple does, at all. Apple has never designed computers to function like the Z800."

We're not talking about Bondi blue iMacs -- we're talking about Apple's professional line of computers, sold for things like video, audio, and research work. A lot of Mac Pro core customers are likely to rackmount their equipment. This is not an esoteric or expensive feature request. The computer just needs to be an inch and a half shorter to sit sideways on a rack shelf.


[Jeremy Garchow] "If you flipped the motherboard so it's horizontal instead of vertical, those processor trays would have to function very differently. Knowing Apple, they would want rack manufactures to design vertical rack trays instead of horizontal."

I love my Macs. They offer a simple, rich, human-centric experience, but still a reasonable amount of power under the hood (both on the hardware and the OS).

Other the other hand, Apple chooses not to pay attention to industry standards (like rack dimensions), and then we have to jump through hoops to integrate them.

These two ideas put together: Apple products are usable by professionals, but not designed for professionals.

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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Walter Soyka
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 7:20:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I agree with you that good design is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. I am suggesting that the Mac Pro does not show good design, because though it may be aesthetically pleasing, it is not as functional as it should be. Apple sacrificed the ability to rack mount the machine (a reasonable thing that professionals would want to do with their workstations) for an inch and a half of looks-good height."

Replying to myself, I don't think that the Mac Pro case is an example of poor design, either. There are a lot of things that are really elegantly designed in the Mac Pro case. It's modular, well-built, and pretty easy to work on.

In the context of all the thought and effort that went into making the Mac Pro case, the lack of rack-friendliness is a silly oversight.

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 Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 7:27:45 pm

[Walter Soyka] "In the context of all the thought and effort that went into making the Mac Pro case, the lack of rack-friendliness is a silly oversight."

It may be that at the time of the MacPro (PowerMac) external case design, the Xserve served that purpose. All the more reason for the MacPro to get a case redesign. If whatever replaces the MacPro is to be viable, it'll have to "serve" in a variety of environments.



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Walter Soyka
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 7:44:19 pm

[Craig Seeman] "It may be that at the time of the MacPro (PowerMac) external case design, the Xserve served that purpose. All the more reason for the MacPro to get a case redesign. If whatever replaces the MacPro is to be viable, it'll have to "serve" in a variety of environments."

As a server -- sure.

For creative pros in video and audio studios -- I doubt it. XServe had only 2 PCIe slots.

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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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 7:53:50 pm

[Walter Soyka] "For creative pros in video and audio studios -- I doubt it. XServe had only 2 PCIe slots."

and that's what Craig and Andrew seem to be fighting for (along with some thunderbolt connections that make internal 4x PCIe redundant).

I personally don't think Apple is going to "remake" the XServe with updated guts, but who knows.


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Walter Soyka
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 8:01:02 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "and that's what Craig and Andrew seem to be fighting for (along with some thunderbolt connections that make internal 4x PCIe redundant)."

They're arguing that TB would obviate the need for more internal expansion. Although I'd personally like to have the option of more internal expansion, they're right that TB could move a lot of peripherals outside the box.


[Jeremy Garchow] "I personally don't think Apple is going to "remake" the XServe with updated guts, but who knows."

I'm with you. Sounds like there will be a new Mac Pro, but I'd be surprised if it were dramatically different. Maybe the 3RU tower rumor will be true, but I'd be really surprised if it were a pizza box.

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 Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 8:08:02 pm

[Walter Soyka] "For creative pros in video and audio studios -- I doubt it. XServe had only 2 PCIe slots."

Sounds like what I think the Mac Pro replacement will be like. 2 PCIe slots (16x I'd hope) and 3 or 4 Thunderbolt ports, obviously something the XServe did not have. The new box will be able to work in both environments. It'll be a step up from the iMac for some, a server to others.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 8:12:18 pm

[Craig Seeman] "The new box will be able to work in both environments. It'll be a step up from the iMac for some, a server to others."

Craig, I love you man, but do you think Apple would really "go back" to some sort of server based model?

Sure it isn't a blade type of situation, but don't you think they've pissed off that side of the market enough at this point?


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Craig Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 8:37:21 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Craig, I love you man, but do you think Apple would really "go back" to some sort of server based model?"

I do think it's not beyond Apple to rethink something remotely similar to a paste design much as the MacMini is what the Cube wasn't, an elegant squarish box.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Sure it isn't a blade type of situation, but don't you think they've pissed off that side of the market enough at this point?"

It seems pissing off markets doesn't seem to stop Apple in a given area. After all this has been an FCPX forum of sorts.

I think if the MacPro replacement is going to sell well, it'll have to fill more roles. If it's simply a redesigned workstation it faces the same small declining market. Not that the server market is big either but if you consider they have a MacMini Server variant, if you start thing of a box that would be both attractive to Mini and iMac users as a step up, address server and power users, have a price entry point within reach if stripped bare, it's a box that can fit many roles. No one niche is large, but filling all of them can expand sales.

The issue with the server market was that XServe was a targeted niche product which wasn't very profitable for Apple. Apple needs a box that can hit several niche markets in order to be viable. They can't exclude any market nor can they target any one. Of course one might think it won't satisfy any of the niches but I think this is Apple's gamble.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 8:50:45 pm

[Craig Seeman] "It seems pissing off markets doesn't seem to stop Apple in a given area. After all this has been an FCPX forum of sorts."

I hear you, and I see what you're saying. I think they wanted out of the server game like they wanted out of the high end compositing game.

Although they killed off a grand portion of the Suite, they did it by offering another completely different product (for better and worse). With the MacMini and MacPro they offered in the place of XServe, they repurposed existing tech, much to the chagrin of people who actually needed the XServe form factor.

If there were going to run another rackmount style case, wouldn't the XServe D-Day have been a better place and time to do this? I guess this is more of a rhetorical question as I can think of reasons why they didn't.


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Craig Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 9:34:28 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "f there were going to run another rackmount style case, wouldn't the XServe D-Day have been a better place and time to do this?"

Maybe the technology wasn't there at the time. Thunderbolt changes things. Gaps between exit and entrance is not uncommon with Apple. One can certainly argue that with FCP and FCPX.

If you really want to stretch you can go back to the Newton through to the iPod Touch and iPad. Apple will jump out if something isn't fitting with their business model and jump right back in when it does.

Actually you could even look a the original Macs that were originally all in ones and the long gap . . . Jobs comes back and there's the iMac as the all in one returns.

You can even look at specific technologies like Express port which was dropped from MBP 15" to the current Thunderbolt so that everything from MacBookAir to iMac can handle a given peripheral. The Matrox MXO2 goes from something limited to 17" MBP or MacPro to something that works with every Mac on the market.

That might seem like a tangent but I think it's just another variation of Apple making boxes that can meet multiple needs. One might say the goal is all peripherals work with all Macs and any Mac can fulfill any number of roles.

If you want to play around with this further, add a Thunderbolt Cinema Display to the Thunderbolt port of a MacBook Air and you now have Firewire and Ethernet ports.

So internal PCIe becomes the real oddball here. It can't go away for reasons you and others have mentioned but it it's inevitable (I think) that the box would drop to two slots (one for GPU and one 16x because there's no real point for them to have a 4x slot IMHO).

Sorry if the post seems to be a bit of a Mobius strip but the resultant box would make sense as a server as one if its purposes.

Apple has no problem dropping out of a market and coming back with something else that works better as technology permits.

If you go here and click on Server (I can't link to it directly).
http://www.apple.com/mac/
You can see how a new box makes sense as a step up from the Mini, replaces the MacPro for power user, makes more sense for server use than the MacPro. Fits better with ubiquitous connectivity. It's not that Apple is "trying" to re-enter the server market so much as simply getting back to making "the best computer they can" and the various niche markets will incorporate it.

Another way to look at it is that Apple is missing a computer from their lineup and it will replace the MacPro which doesn't fit its current business model and doesn't sell well.
_____
In the meantime this forum will be flooded with "what did you do to may PCIe slots" and "look Apple has abandoned the Pros for sure" when that happens.

Meanwhile it'll be the box that can motivate Thunderbolt developers.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 10:11:10 pm

[Craig Seeman] "If you go here and click on Server (I can't link to it directly).
http://www.apple.com/mac/
You can see how a new box makes sense as a step up from the Mini, replaces the MacPro for power user, makes more sense for server use than the MacPro."


It is interesting they still tout server capability/software, and it does line up with what I think is going to happen in the shared FCPX space of Lion/XSan.

Good show, and thanks for taking the time, Craig. It does seem to make "sense".

[Craig Seeman] "In the meantime this forum will be flooded with "what did you do to may PCIe slots" and "look Apple has abandoned the Pros for sure" when that happens."

You mean like this? Or something like this? Or not at all?







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Andrew Richards
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:52:05 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I'd like to see a rack mount capable product, but they killed the one they had."

They didn't kill it because it was rack-able, they killed it because it didn't sell enough units to justify continuing. If Jony Ive can stomach making an iMac hang on a wall, he should be able to tolerate a Mac Pro neatly suspended in a rack.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:27:14 pm

[Andrew Richards] "They didn't kill it because it was rack-able, they killed it because it didn't sell enough units to justify continuing. If Jony Ive can stomach making an iMac hang on a wall, he should be able to tolerate a Mac Pro neatly suspended in a rack."

I understand. I think the VESA mount fits in to Apple's ethos. Less is more. A hanging computer looks much better than a rack case.

I'm not saying they killed it because it was rackable, but they did kill it. My thoughts are that they wouldn't go back to a rackable kit as they got out of that game.

Just from a tea leaf perspective, the XServe is kind of what you and Craig are proposing. "Just add" thunderbolt, and a few higher speed PCIe ports, and away you go. As I said, I'd like to be wrong.

Jeremy


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Andrew Richards
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:51:50 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Just from a tea leaf perspective, the XServe is kind of what you and Craig are proposing. "Just add" thunderbolt, and a few higher speed PCIe ports, and away you go. As I said, I'd like to be wrong."

Not really. The Xserve was 1U with hot swap HDDs and PSUs, forcing them to get very sophisticated inside and forcing it to be more than 30" deep. I want a 3/4 thick Mac Pro (I guess that is more like 3U) with detachable handles. That's a considerably smaller leap. I don't even care if they don't sell their own rack rails.

Best,
Andy


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Bret Williams
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 6:11:34 pm

So quickly everyone forgets that Apple designed their own rack system back in the day, but it just didn't do well. Remember this keynote?







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Kevin Patrick
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:23:56 pm

Did I miss anything here? Was this (10.7.3 beta) the first time the Lion OS referenced these new cards?

If Apple was going to pull the Mac Pro line, I can't believe they would suddenly add support for some new ATI cards, only for existing Mac Pro users. Why stop selling Mac Pros and Mac Pro graphic cards in all their enormously successful stores only to add support for new cards, which would only be for exiting Mac Pro customers, knowing they are going to end the Mac Pro line?

If Apple just added this reference to that latest release of Lion beta and it was not already there is previous releases, or betas, then I would say this is a very positive sign a new Mac Pro is coming.


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Phil Hoppes
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:08:35 pm

This means nothing other than 10.7.3 will have drivers to support a new AMD card. It could me a new MacPro or simply that this newer version of Lion will be required to support the new AMD cards that will be released in Jan 2012 for existing MacPro's.

That Apple is approx 18 months off cycle for a MacPro, that they've dumped the main app that needed MacPro's (FCP) for something that runs fine on an iMac (FCPX) would lead me to believe towers are not long for this world in Apple's lineup. In terms of both revenue and profit, this product line is nil. It doesn't even register it is so small and desktops in this traditional sense are a declining market. There may be one more spin left in there but I would not bet on it and I certainly would not bet my company on it.


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Craig Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:30:15 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "It could me a new MacPro or simply that this newer version of Lion will be required to support the new AMD cards that will be released in Jan 2012 for existing MacPro's."

Apple's business model is not to have you update the GPU but buy a new Mac.
Apple says 5770/5870 only "officially" supports MacPro 2010 forward even though people bought them for MacPro original 2006 for FCPX.

[Phil Hoppes] "they've dumped the main app that needed MacPro's (FCP)"
The same FCP7 that was 32 bit so didn't take advantage of the memory and didn't take advantage of all 8 or 12 cores for most functions? Actually FCPX is better suited to MacPro because it can use both the memory and the cores. When the time comes to push the 4K files around that FCPX is capable of handling, one might need a beast. While MacPros offered expansion, the power was severely underutilized by FCP7.

[Phil Hoppes] "t doesn't even register it is so small"
Which is why it will be replaced by a more profitable but equally powerful box.



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Phil Hoppes
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:53:27 pm

Well we will all see won't we. A lot of people really don't understand profitability especially when it comes to large business (but they should even for small ones). There is a significant cost (which is factored into the total "profit" equation) called "Opportunity Cost" which basically boils down to if you have X resources to use what is the best way to maximize your ROI on those resources. If you have a product line that is in a declining market (High end desktop PC's) that is also returning less profit than it should, a prudent business manager will look at that and say is there another use for those resources (say a low cost iPhone????) that can return far more revenue and profit? If you don't think those arguments are not going on within the halls of 1 Infinite Loop, well you are loopy. Relative to:

"Apple's business model is not to have you update the GPU but buy a new Mac.
Apple says 5770/5870 only "officially" supports MacPro 2010 forward even though people bought them for MacPro original 2006 for FCPX."

Well, if they are killing the MacPro line they may in fact not do what they have done in the past just so the new AMD cards could be supported.

I don't think it is a question of IF Mac Pros will die, simply a matter of WHEN. Their may be one more spin left in there but it's future is most certainly on the bubble.


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Craig Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:05:36 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "If you have a product line that is in a declining market (High end desktop PC's) that is also returning less profit than it should, a prudent business manager will look at that and say is there another use for those resources"
[Phil Hoppes] "I don't think it is a question of IF Mac Pros will die, simply a matter of WHEN."

The new box won't be a MacPro and it will reach a wider market. High end as far as power but not a "desktop" as we know it. You could look at any number of markets Apple entered and changed. Tablet and netbook markets were considered "non starter" markets by many and look at iPad and MacBookAir.

iMac sales aren't declining for example. I assume MacMinis are still serving a purpose otherwise Apple would kill those as well. The new box will be more versatile in form. It will be less expandable internally (as iMac and Mini).

Apple doesn't simply "enter or exit" markets. They asses and design. There's a need for powerful computers. What's declining is the desktop workstation form. It'll be different and a lot of the "traditionalists" will scoff at it. It'll probably spur the growth of Thunderbolt products since PCIe will be limited to the GPU and maybe one additional IMHO.



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Phil Hoppes
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:40:06 pm

I never said iMac sales are declining, in fact Apple has shown amazing resilience in defying the current market trends and iMac desktop sales enjoy are enjoying a very brisk increase in sales and total market share.

High end PC graphic workstations, ala MacPro, however are declining as main stream (iMac's and PC equivalents) continue to increase in performance and decrease in cost.

Hey, I'm an original Mac FanBoy and I continually recommend iMacs to family and friends. Apple machines, sans MacPros, are a very good value. I've continually shown people that if you compare a Dell, HP and Mac, spec for spec and as equivalent configurations as you can the cost difference is usually nill. You can get more configurations from HP and Dell but within the same specs, the point has really become moot.

On MacPros, Apple is simply a rip off. I just installed a 2xXenon 2.4Gz Hex Core 24GbRam, 1Gb disk server on my farm from Asus. Cost me a whopping $2600. I just priced it at over 6K from Apple. Thats crazy. I like Apple but I don't like them that much. They don't really support nVidia Quadra, which I need for all the other software I use, and their overall high end graphic card driver support is abysmal on the cards they do support.


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Craig Seeman
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 5:12:28 pm

I think Apple prices at least in part reflect that they can't leverage buy at low prices. Think of how limited MacPro sales are compared to Windows boxes. This is why I think Apple is going to do a major redesign. They have to attempt something they can sell at higher volume with over all lower cost to bring down both their component and manufacture costs.

There are rumors about Mac and nVidia but nothing mentioning the MacPro. An interesting thing about the rumor articles about new AMD card support is that it mentions that Apple has supported cards they don't sell "officially."

Apple business goal isn't necessarily to match pricing on competitor's boxes. If they can't make money following their business model, they just wont do it. Apple will have to come up with a compelling box. It may not be the "fastest" because that alone isn't their formula for best form/function/utility.



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Phil Hoppes
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 5:21:36 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Apple business goal isn't necessarily to match pricing on competitor's boxes. If they can't make money following their business model, they just wont do it. Apple will have to come up with a compelling box. It may not be the "fastest" because that alone isn't their formula for best form/function/utility."

Exactly my previous point. 1) There boxes in the high end market they are attempting to serve are WAY out of line. 2) At what point to you quit beating a dead horse and go play in a market that gives much better ROI?

I've obviously switched my workstations and servers to Windows. I had to for reasons too numerous to mention. I love Macs and OSX but in the end I have to get my work done and not go broke doing it and I just can't sit around and "wait" to see what Apple is up to.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: More rumors to scoff at.
on Dec 5, 2011 at 4:34:32 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "I don't think it is a question of IF Mac Pros will die, simply a matter of WHEN. Their may be one more spin left in there but it's future is most certainly on the bubble."

You could expand that out to all desktop PCs. Look at what HP did earlier this year, they were talking about getting out of the consumer hardware game. Here's just one of many articles.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/18/technology/hp_pc_spinoff/index.htm

and a "reversal": http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-20126667/hp-flip-flop-company-keeping-p...

There are no concrete answers in here, but it is clear, every big company is taking a good look around and asking, what's next?


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