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Andrew Richards
E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 1, 2012 at 10:39:50 pm

via MacRumors.com:

"...Xeon E5 chips have been in the channel for a few weeks now and confirmed to us that it won't be a paper launch. We have also been shown Xeon E5 systems from other large vendors that give credence to the notion that Intel's Xeon E5 will arrive, for real, next week."

Maybe the iPad 3 isn't the only new hotness coming out of Cupertino next week.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 1, 2012 at 10:45:50 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Maybe the iPad 3 isn't the only new hotness coming out of Cupertino next week.
"


Dude! That would be good news.


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Andrew Richards
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:17:18 am

Of course, if the cynics are correct and Apple has indeed given up on the Mac Pro, new Xeons could just be the final nail in the coffin.

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 2:22:25 am

[Andrew Richards] "final nail in the coffin."

So it'll be a coffin shaped MacPro?

They're going to have to come out with some dongle to sell those Thunderbolt Monitors to.



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Andrew Richards
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 2:28:09 am

I'm not one of those cynics. That Thunderbolt Display argument is the best evidence we have in favor of something more than a Mac mini.

The suspense for me is not if there will be a new Mac Pro, but rather what it will look like. We both want roughly the same redesign on the case.


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Phil Hoppes
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:42:05 pm

Really? I really do love Mac. My MBP is simply the best laptop I've ever owned bar none. I've jacked the memory to 16gb and thanks to MacSales added a second internal HD for plenty of space and with Bootcamp it's the best Windows 7 laptop you can get to boot. That being said, my home built Win7 Desktop that I use for the majority of my work, at the time I built it and compared it to what was available to getting a MacPro was 20% faster and 2.5x cheaper. Mac Pro's are simply crazy in price especially for what you get. Now, in general on spec for spec comparisons of an iMac to a HP or Dell machine, I continually show nay sayers, that Apple hardware is really not that much more expensive ...... but in the case of MacPro's these boxes are simply way stupid overpriced.

I'm a cynic. I'll eat the crow if a new one comes out but I think Apple is going to push iMac's and Air's. The MacBook is gone and should the rumor be true, MBP's are moving to the Air form factor. From a business perspective and marketing perspective I think it is brilliant. Par down the lines. Make a few things and make them really well. Spread your inventory across as many product lines as possible to maximize your purchasing power and reduce your costs as low as possible. A MacPro line shoe horned in between iMac's and Air's make no sense to me.... but what do I know.


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Ben Holmes
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 2:04:17 pm

Comparing the price of high-end workstations to Mac Pros the price difference is never what is suggested - of course you can buy and spec something a lot cheaper.

As there are no Mac Pros out with even an i7 chip, you can't make price comparisons.

Given the trend on pricing, I would expect a new model to encompass a (lower starting) wider price range, making it more volume product, with a smaller form factor, or a rack mount pro beast, or both.

If there is a new model. 50/50 on that.

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/community/communitydetails/?UserStoryId=87...


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Phil Hoppes
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 2:26:14 pm

I beg to differ. A MacPro is simply a motherboard with 2 Xenon CPU's, Ram, Ports, Slots, HD's an a power supply. This is not rocket science. Tyan, Asus and SuperMicro all make Xenon motherboard that are very high quality. Apple limits the speed they run their Xenon CPU's at as they don't want hot boxes with noisy fans. Thats fine. My machine has faster Xenon CPU's 24Gb of ram, SSD drives and a 1Kw power supply. It runs rings around any MacPro at a significantly lower price.

My point on iMacs is that on that line, I feel, and rightly so because I've done the price point comparison numerous times, Apple is actually quite competitive. On MacPro's they are out to lunch, even compared to an HP or Dell workstation of equal specs.

For my Mac Video work it's all exclusively my MBP and FCPX and now with 2 internal HD's that setup is very, very sweet and runs extremely fast. My other work is all 3D CGI and there it's all about threads and CPU speed. The more threads I can get for the fewer dollars is what I need. I can get a workstation AND a server for the price of one Mac Pro.


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Andrew Richards
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 3:31:26 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "On MacPro's they are out to lunch, even compared to an HP or Dell workstation of equal specs."

This is simply untrue. HP and Dell offer specs you can't get on a Mac Pro (GPU's particularly!), but similarly spec'd systems are similarly priced (as of this post):

HP Z800 = $3,443
Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5645 (8 cores, HT, 12MB L3)
6GB (6X1GB) DDR3-1333 ECC RAM
1TB 7200-rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
ATI FirePro V4800 1GB
One 16x DVD-RW

Dell Precision T7500 = $3,409
Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5645 (8 cores, HT, 12MB L3)
6GB (3X2GB) DDR3-1333 ECC RAM
1TB 7200-rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
ATI FirePro V4800 1GB
One 16x DVD-RW

Apple Mac Pro = $3,499
Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5620 (8 cores, HT, 12MB L3)
6GB (6X1GB) DDR3-1066 ECC RAM
1TB 7200-rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
One 18x DVD-RW

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 3:49:09 pm

As Andrew shows, Xeon based system are similarly priced across computer manufacturers. There's some value added based on case design, expandability, etc.

Given the profit on the systems Apple would want, they're most likely to focus on the value added to such system. They may also focus on trying to hit a wider audience which is why I'd agree with Ben.

Apple has been very successful at moving things into the mass market. Their target isn't "consumer" so much as multipurpose. They've taken a product categories that were generally small (tablets, ultraportables) and grew them tremendously. I can't help but think another big surprise will be how to make Xeon based systems more desirable to a wider market.

There's no way an Xeon based system is going to be an iPad or even a MacBookPro but a system that can range from a rack mountable server to a high end workstation would move in that direction. I think Thunderbolt will be key to that. The ability to move peripherals between laptop and desktop, to be centralized on a network as needed, will be part of the "value added" in the new MacPro IMHO.



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Phil Hoppes
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 4:18:01 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Their target isn't "consumer" so much as multipurpose."

You can't be serious? Ok, I stand corrected on the current price quote but I did do a comparison when the last update to MacPros came out and at that time there was a considerable difference especially when you factor that from HP and Dell both offered 3.3Ghz machines and Apple won't and your graphics card selection is MUCH wider from HP or Dell. That being said, I'm a "build it myself" person when it comes to Windows machines so I really don't care what HP and Dell offer I can pretty much make anything substantially better and substantially cheaper.

... but back to your "...target isn't "consumer"..." Let's just break down their revenue here. Ok... 109 Billion for last years revenue of which 108.8 Billion could be classified as consumer and being very gracious, 200Million was MacPros which I would not call consumer.

No.... I really think Apple is a consumer company.


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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 4:39:04 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "No.... I really think Apple is a consumer company."

iPhones and iPads are used in Enterprise and that market is growing. One can say the iPad has become the "Day Runner" of choice for business people. I don't think MacBookAirs are "consumer" either when one considers a market for that was a light portable for business travelers. All these products are used by both "consumers" and professionals. I also know professionals using MacMinis in workplace environments. Currently the only "consumer" specific product is AppleTV since it's probably too limited to be used in the corporate presentation room environment.



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Phil Hoppes
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 5:13:26 pm

Simply because a product is targeted and designed for one market does not mean someone from a different market won't buy it. Products are classified as to what market they are design for. Apple products are targeted towards consumers. There is not an SQL server package from Apple. They dropped all of their server products. They don't give a rat about supporting the enterprise market. If enterprise users want to buy their products they are not going to stop them but they are also not going to target their product design for them either.

A note. In my previous life before doing what I do now I was a chip designer serving the PC industry. I worked at companies that provided IC's to Dell, HP and Apple for use inside of their computers. I can tell you unequivocally and without hesitation at no time did I ever hear anyone inside of Apple ever mention much less talk about needing any products to serve the enterprise market. They did not care then. They do no care now.


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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 5:52:36 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "Products are classified as to what market they are design for. Apple products are targeted towards consumers."

I've seen in numerous reports, that's not the case. Apple's approach is to target making "the best possible product" and the customer uses as they see fit.

[Phil Hoppes] "They don't give a rat about supporting the enterprise market."
Not according to many articles and interviews I've read.

I think RIM (BlackBerry) would strongly disagree with you for one.

There's been a lot of work to make iOS devices work to support the enterprise market. There's certainly a number of gov't contracts that probably wouldn't have happened without that work either.



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Andrew Kimery
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:20:51 pm

I've got to agree more with Philip on this one. Apple got the iPad and iPhone into enterprise through the back door. They made products that people really liked and wanted to use and that grass roots movement, if you will, is forcing companies and governments to figure out how to support the devices and fold them into their infrastructures.

A friend of mine works closely with IT for a large insurance company and what he told me once I think sums this up. Whether we like it or not people will demand to use these devices for work purposes so we need to figure out how to support them because not supporting them isn't a realistic option.


-Andrew

2.9 GHz 8-core (4,1), FCP 7.0.3, 10.6.6
Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse (7.9.5)



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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:31:22 pm

It's not "back door" if Apple is working on this.

Apple puts a product out in the market and people come back with "needs demands" and then Apple responds.

In many respects this is what happened with FCP legacy as well. It certainly didn't support "Pro" features out of the gate. They developed over time.

Thunderbolt is not a "consumer" technology . . . event if that enters consumer use "through the back door." It's designed for those who need the throughput.



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Shawn Miller
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:37:18 pm

"I think RIM (BlackBerry) would strongly disagree with you for one."

Blackberry is still more popular in the enterprise space than Apple. In fact, Research in Motion is growing again after some very painful cuts last year.

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1139950--blackberry-maker-rim-holds...

Shawn



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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:48:36 pm

That the company is recovering doesn't mean that their growth in enterprise matches Apple.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/01/07/survey_suggests_50_growth_in_...

Apple targeting iOS Enterprise development.
https://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/02/28/mac_business_sales_surge_51_a...



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Shawn Miller
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 8:13:21 pm

"That the company is recovering doesn't mean that their growth in enterprise matches Apple."

You're right, it doesn't. But Apple's growth in enterprise users doesn't mean it will catch up to Blackberry either.

It's possible you may also be overlooking the fact that Windows tablets are also popular in the enterprise.

(Same company as cited earlier, but from an Asia perspective)
http://www.enterpriseinnovation.net/content/debunking-6-myths-it-consumeriz...

"In Singapore and globally, the Android phone (50% of Singapore respondents cite Android as No. 1) is the single most popular device inhabiting the workplace today. In Australia, the Apple laptop (30%) and Windows tablet (30%) prove equally popular amongst local employees."

Shawn



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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 10:59:33 pm

Survey: For enterprise workers, iPhone beats BlackBerry
http://gigaom.com/apple/survey-for-enterprise-workers-iphone-beats-blackber...

According to a quarterly survey of enterprise companies by commercial Wi-Fi provider iPass, the iPhone has a 45-percent market share of mobile employee usage, passing the undisputed king BlackBerry, for the first time.

See charts here as well.
http://mobileenterprise.edgl.com/top-stories/Apple-Begins-to-Dominate-on-Bl...



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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:05:59 pm

iPhone 1, Blackberry 2, Android 3. Both iPhone and Android growing and Blackberry declining.



2012 anticipated use


iPad tablet use




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Shawn Miller
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 3, 2012 at 12:17:12 am

"Survey: For enterprise workers, iPhone beats BlackBerry
http://gigaom.com/apple/survey-for-enterprise-workers-iphone-beats-blackber....."

This study is mostly made up of respondents from North America. Blackberry still enjoys a large following in Asia.

"The survey was conducted between September 27 and October 26, 2011, and represented employees across
multiple age groups and geographies. 49 percent of respondents were from North America, 32 percent from
Europe, and 12 percent from the Asia/Pacific region."

Shawn



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Kevin Patrick
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 3, 2012 at 2:25:08 pm

[Shawn Miller] "In fact, Research in Motion is growing again after some very painful cuts last year."

Every time I look at RIM's market share, it shrinks.

They might be adding some jobs, but the net result I believe is still negative.


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Andrew Richards
Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:32:08 pm

Dell: we're no longer a PC company

That on the heels of HP's flirtation with dropping PCs. HP has since replaced its CEO and retracted the plan to abandon PCs, but they are losing money on them rather badly either way. The only company seeing any solid growth in the PC business these days is... Apple!

I think there is a big difference between Apple's avoidance of the big iron enterprise market and Apple abandoning the desktop workstation market. Regular joes don't buy servers, but photogs, indie editors, designers, and developers buy Mac Pros.

I guess we'll all find out which way the wind is really blowing in Cupertino very soon.

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 12:10:29 am

Basically the "traditional" Desktop market is shrinking and the Xeon type Workstation market is shrinking more. With Desktops, it's simply that that laptops are a viable alternative for some. With Workstations, as other computer gain power, the need for a Workstation is in decline. Sure there's still the need. It's just that that niche is shrinking compared to overall computer use.

The entire industry is facing the issue that the economies of scale are not profitable in the Desktop/Workstation market so they have to consider how to make it profitable. Personally I can only see "modularity" as part of on answer.



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Christian Schumacher
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 4:30:22 am

Dell updated a workstation with Sandy Bridge Xeons a year ago.
It's called T1600. And it's for sale for a while now. Check their site.

http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/direct2dell/b/direct2dell/archive/2...

Oh! And HP also added SB Xeons to its HP Z210


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 5:03:52 am

[Christian Schumacher] "Dell updated a workstation with Sandy Bridge Xeons a year ago. "

Those are single-socket E3 Xeons. They can't be had in dual CPU boards. They are essentially Core i7s that support ECC RAM. Could Apple have done a single proc line of Mac Pros? I guess, but since the Mac Pro debuted, Apple has rolled with 5000 series Xeons, which the E5 is the successor to. There wouldn't be very much to separate Thunderbolt i7 iMacs from E3 Mac Pros, performance-wise.

Best,
Andy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 2:19:35 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Those are single-socket E3 Xeons. They can't be had in dual CPU boards. They are essentially Core i7s that support ECC RAM."

Well, add to those a headless Quadro 6000 (a Tesla) coupled with a CTO Quadro 2000 and watch your Adobe Premiere NLE run circles around any future dual-socket Mac Pro/TB/FCP-X.







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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 2:34:43 pm

And? The discussion heretofore was about whether the Mac Pro would see another rev and how the E5 Xeon is the key to all that. You seemed to be making the point that Sandy Bridge Xeons had been out a long time, as if that were the proof anyone needed to see Apple had already closed the book on towers.

Nowhere in this thread did I try to make any points about the performance of FCPX vs PPro or anything else. I bet PPro would scream on any CPU as long as it had an SLI stack of GPGPUs to call upon. It's all about the CUDA.

Best,
Andy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 2:56:44 pm

[Andrew Richards] "You seemed to be making the point that Sandy Bridge Xeons had been out a long time, as if that were the proof anyone needed to see Apple had already closed the book on towers."

[Andrew Richards] "Dell: we're no longer a PC company
That on the heels of HP's flirtation with dropping PCs."


I didn't say that Apple nailed that coffin, but you jumped to quote that both HP and Dell were doing so. Aren't their recent R&D and further releasing of SB Xeon Workstations the proofs that they are betting in the high-end much more than Apple, for that matter? Yeah, I know Apple should be waiting for a dual-socket, but that just shows how slow and inefficient their R&D is. Their computer line used to have a stronger appeal to that high-end niche. That is not quite the case recently, that was my point.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 9:13:41 pm

There is very little R&D necessary to take some parts from Intel or AMD and assemble them in an ATX chassis. Apple hasn't ever bothered with 3000 series Xeon or Core series towers. It is clearly a market they aren't interested in. Anyone can build a tower with parts from Newegg. If Apple's R&D is so lousy, why can't anyone compete with the MacBook Air, a product that actually requires some bespoke engineering?

I get that everyone is frustrated that Apple neglects towers, but this is nothing new. There is a new Mac Pro when there are new dual proc Xeons to put in it, that has been the pattern since 2006.

Best,
Andy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 4, 2012 at 2:51:23 am

[Andrew Richards] "There is very little R&D necessary to take some parts from Intel or AMD and assemble them in an ATX chassis. Apple hasn't ever bothered with 3000 series Xeon or Core series towers. It is clearly a market they aren't interested in. Anyone can build a tower with parts from Newegg."

Dell and HP design the chassis and the motherboard, don't they? Just like Apple does? And that Newegg assembly doesn't come with a 3 to 5 year support plan either...That Apple aren't interested in mid-sized workstations is just a shame, look at their iMacs, soon these will have soldered RAM chips in them.

[Andrew Richards] " If Apple's R&D is so lousy, why can't anyone compete with the MacBook Air, a product that actually requires some bespoke engineering?"

I thought we were talking desktops/workstations, but since you brought that up, the MBA and the other portables are the only things they put effort into nowadays. That's not unrelated, either. Judging from the computer majors' releases, Apple is the only one that truly represents a mobile company today. I grant you that, Apple's R&D in mobiles is great, indeed. Mac Pro? Not so much. You know, the GPU has been lacking. And I wonder if that is just an accident too or it has been planned for a while. We'll see when that pumped-up Mac Mini arrives.

[Andrew Richards] "
I get that everyone is frustrated that Apple neglects towers, but this is nothing new."


Wait until Apple finally drop them. There, I said it :-)


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 4, 2012 at 3:37:40 am

[Christian Schumacher] "Dell and HP design the chassi and the motherboard, don't they? Just like Apple does?"

Not the kind of R&D necessary to make an all-in-one or a ultra-thin laptop, that's all I meant. Or even a dense server for that matter. Seems to me towers require the least R&D of any form factor. So much of their design is modular to common dimensions, hence interchangeable PSUs and mobos.

[Christian Schumacher] "look at their iMacs, soon these will have soldered RAM chips in them."

Recent iMacs have easier to service RAM than previous case designs. The RAM is easier to service on the Mac mini now versus the old paint scraper methods needed on the originals. The only Mac with hard soldered RAM is the Air, and that is understandable given the goals of the design. Everything else from Apple has been very friendly to RAM swaps in recent years.

[Christian Schumacher] "I grant you that, Apple R&D in mobiles is great, indeed. Mac Pro? Not so much."

They decided they would not bother with midrange towers, so there wasn't much for them to R&D while Intel lagged on releasing the E5, was there? What more could they do, specs-wise, with the Mac Pro on the Xeon 5000 series that they hadn't already done? They aren't going to put a lot of effort into revving a product in between generations of the CPU they use, they're going to put the effort in when there are next-gen guts to put in it.

[Christian Schumacher] "You know, the GPU has been lacking. And I wonder if that is just an accident too or it has been planned for a while."

I've been looking into the GPU issue. It all seems to center around BIOS vs EFI. To date, almost all GPU cards are flashed with firmware that only supports BIOS, while Macs all use EFI. The GPU OEMs would need to sell EFI-enabled GPUs to work on Mac Pros, and the Mac Pro market for third party GPUs hasn't been big enough to justify unique hardware SKUs. However, Sandy Bridge controllers ship with EFI plus a BIOS emulator for legacy support. So we could be at a turning point where the next generation of GPUs ship with firmware support for both BIOS and EFI. From there they only need to release drivers for OS X. According to reports, the most recent NVIDIA drivers for Lion enable the GTX580 to "just work" in Mac Pros (albeit without support for showing the Apple EFI bootloader screen since the drivers only load after the OS boots).

One or the other of us will be eating crow very soon. The E5s are coming, and Apple will either ship a new Mac Pro or not.

Best,
Andy


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Steve Connor
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 4, 2012 at 7:02:53 pm

[Andrew Richards] "One or the other of us will be eating crow very soon. The E5s are coming, and Apple will either ship a new Mac Pro or not."

I'm betting they will, even if it's in the same case design, although I wouldn't expect any news this week as it's the iPad 3 that will be stepping into the spotlight

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 3:14:24 am

[Steve Connor] "I'm betting they will, even if it's in the same case design, although I wouldn't expect any news this week as it's the iPad 3 that will be stepping into the spotlight"

I'd say they will just appear on Apple's site with no fanfare and they will launch as soon as inventory is in the channel. The iPad 3 is the media darling, but since Apple no longer does big reveals for Macs, there isn't a reason to hold it back just because the headliner is also launching that week.

Best,
Andy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 2:02:10 pm

[Andrew Richards] "
Not the kind of R&D necessary to make an all-in-one or a ultra-thin laptop, that's all I meant. Or even a dense server for that matter. Seems to me towers require the least R&D of any form factor."


Absolutely, but thinking in overall strategy HP, Dell and Lenovo are developing and releasing towers in a constant fashion, as opposed to Apple, which only puts effort into those portables. That's evidence that contradicts what you have stated in this sub-thread, regarding Dell/HP. Perhaps these are considering to add more portables to their portfolio, and not to drop their entire desktop computer lines. That's likely Apple's goal.


[Andrew Richards] " Everything else from Apple has been very friendly to RAM swaps in recent years."

Yes, for now. Look at HDD replacement, the iMac's hard drive has had further restrictions at its last iteration.
http://blog.macsales.com/10146-apple-further-restricts-upgrade-options-on-n...


[Andrew Richards] "They decided they would not bother with midrange towers, so there wasn't much for them to R&D while Intel lagged on releasing the E5, was there?"

Not for dual-socket machines, sure. Meanwhile at Dell, HP and Lenovo there are new workstations released with Sandy Bridge Xeons, the E3s. As soon as the E5s are available, these companies will release them too. So which one of these major companies are NOT betting on the enterprise? The mobile one, yep that's Apple. And It's very telling that they haven't considered that intermediate market for midrange workstations. Check what they have come up with; the beefed-up iMac/Macmini? p-p-please...That's what fits in their walled garden.


[Andrew Richards] "One or the other of us will be eating crow very soon."

It may surprise you, but if I would be the one eating crow, I'd be happy.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 3:52:02 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "Absolutely, but thinking in overall strategy HP, Dell and Lenovo are developing and releasing towers in a constant fashion, as opposed to Apple, which only puts effort into those portables. That's evidence that contradicts what you have stated in this sub-threat, regarding Dell/HP. Perhaps these are considering to add more portables to their portfolio, and not to drop their entire desktop computer lines. That's likely Apple's goal instead."

HP, Dell, and Lenovo (and Acer) ship a box with just about every single iteration of Intel's and AMD's product offerings. This is the only way they can drive sales since there is little else to differentiate them from each other or their previous offerings. They all sell boxes with the same OS made of parts from the same OEMs. Apple does mostly sell to consumers, and consumers are overwhelmingly shifting their general purpose computing to portables. I agree the Mac Pro is a bone thrown to pro users and not the centerpiece of Apple's product portfolio like the G3 and G4 once were. This is why they don't bake a box out of every range of components Intel produces and limit their tower offering to 5000 series Xeons. They have been consistently following this limited tower strategy since before there even was an iPhone.

[Christian Schumacher] "Yes, for now. Look at HDD replacement, the iMac's hard drive has had further restrictions at its last iteration."

That's what RAM installation was like on the iMac G5. Now there is a little panel with captive screws. The original Mac mini required a putty knife to get at the RAM, now it requires only opposable thumbs.

[Christian Schumacher] "So which one of these major companies are NOT betting on the enterprise? The mobile one, yep that's Apple. And It's very telling that they haven't considered that intermediate market for midrange workstations."

Apple hasn't sold an entry-level workstation (that's how Intel describes E3 Xeons, as "entry workstation") since switching to Intel. Apple has also never done more than flirt with "enterprise" products (I'm including the Xserve and Xserve RAID in that characterization). Apple has had a very consistently limited good/better/best single-range tower PC product since Jobs returned, so what is so telling that they haven't changed course? The only thing that would be telling of Apple walking away from the workstation business would be a conspicuous absence of a new Mac Pro once HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer start shipping E5 Xeon boxes.

What is telling is that IBM sold their PC business to Lenovo. HP was on the verge of walking away from the PC business altogether, fired its new CEO because of it, and may yet find the PC business is fading to the point that it isn't a viable business any more. Dell is now telling everyone “We’re no longer a PC company, we’re an IT company.” Microsoft is taking Windows 8 in a very touch-centric tablet direction, even more than Apple is marrying iOS to OS X. Herb Sevush made a good point elsewhere, and I agree with it: the days of mass market PC workstations are probably numbered, and heavy duty NLE work in a few years may all be taking place on server hardware. And who knows what the OS landscape will be like. If I were Adobe and Avid, I'd be looking very hard at porting my products to Linux. Now that would change things!

Best,
Andy


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 11:47:00 pm

[Andrew Richards] " If I were Adobe and Avid, I'd be looking very hard at porting my products to Linux."

Stranger things have happened, so who knows. But for now, my comment must be a quiet snicker and *snort*. ;-)


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 3:02:29 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Nowhere in this thread did I try to make any points about the performance of FCPX vs PPro or anything else. I bet PPro would scream on any CPU as long as it had an SLI stack of GPGPUs to call upon. It's all about the CUDA"

Not everything is centered around CPU power, and that just furthers my point on Apple's lagging as well. BTW, that's not SLI, it's "Maximus", a sort of SLI but it's another "thing". Premiere won't benefit from SLI. Just clarifying.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 9:31:18 pm

I don't know why Apple has such poor support from AMD and NVIDIA, but I've seen speculation that with Windows 8's move to ubiquitous UEFI support that getting GPUs compatible with Macs might be less of a problem. Whatever the case, I hope a Mac Pro with a standard PCIe GPU continues to exist and that we get something approaching parity with GPU support between OS X and Windows. Might be too much to hope for though.

Best,
Andy


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 4, 2012 at 5:26:04 pm

[Andrew Richards] " I hope a Mac Pro with a standard PCIe GPU continues to exist and that we get something approaching parity with GPU support between OS X and Windows. Might be too much to hope for though."

It will never be anywhere close to parity until I can uninstall a video driver on OSX and install a new one of a previous version WITHOUT doing a clean install of the entire OS. This, and their paltry lack of support for high end graphic cards is why my desktop workstation is and will continue to be Windows. I can put up with their lousy support on my MBP because there are specific tasks as well as software that I simply don't or can't run on my MBP so I just partition my work to know certain specific things have to be done on my workstation. It's an aggravation but one I can put up with.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 3:10:38 am

[Phil Hoppes] "It will never be anywhere close to parity until I can uninstall a video driver on OSX and install a new one of a previous version WITHOUT doing a clean install of the entire OS."

This can be done, either by tracking down the files installed with something like pkgutil on the command line and then deleting them, or by making your own uninstaller .pkg using InstallEase. I agree though that OS X is long overdue for a built-in uninstaller based on package receipts and registered dependencies.

[Phil Hoppes] "This, and their paltry lack of support for high end graphic cards is why my desktop workstation is and will continue to be Windows."

Is this Apple's fault or AMD and NVIDIA's fault? Or more accurately, is it the GPU OEMs just doing what makes sense for the mass market? The GPU OEMs have thus far only been shipping PC market cards that work on BIOS while Macs are all EFI. Many Sandy Bridge boards run EFI with a BIOS emulation and Windows 7 64-bit (and Windows 8 64-bit) supports installation on EFI. This should mean the GPU OEMs will not be able to ignore EFI like they have been. When they ship cards with EFI-capable firmware, they should be able to work on Macs without Mac-specific GPU firmware. I can't find anything about the Radeon HD 7000 series being EFI-friendly and the GTX600 series isn't out yet.

Best,
Andy


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 12:12:37 pm

I don't care who's fault it is. I simply need to have the choice that if I want a Quadro 6000 card I can use it and know it is supported. Apple's squabbles with either AMD or nVidia are not my problem.

And on drivers, I've neither the time nor the patience to use hacks to uninstall drivers in pieces. Takes me 2 minutes to do that task on a Windows machine and I 100% know what I did was done correctly as far as the OS is concerned.

Look I do love many of Apple's products (MPB, iPhone, iPad) and use them daily but your trying to defend the lousy job they have done with their architecture WRT high end workstations and there is nothing worth defending. It's plain to see that they throw no resources at it. Their designs as far as features and performance are mediocre at best and very lacking vs what else is available. I understand completely where Apple targets their resources and why, which is also why I gave up 2 years ago on them for my workstation needs. Should they grace the market with a MacPro upgrade, which I seriously doubt, I'm completely positive I'll be able to build an equivalent machine for 50% less and it will perform 20% better.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 2:31:56 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "I don't care who's fault it is. I simply need to have the choice that if I want a Quadro 6000 card I can use it and know it is supported. Apple's squabbles with either AMD or nVidia are not my problem."

Your previous post laid the lack of GPU support at Apple's feet, and you do so again here. GPU OEMs choosing not to support EFI with their firmware is hardly a squabble with Apple. It is market forces at work where Apple is not using the legacy BIOS that the rest of the x86 world used exclusively until Intel's Sandy Bridge chipsets came along with EFI as standard. I get that it boils down to a pragmatic decision (which I agree with, by the way), but your language indicts Apple.

[Phil Hoppes] "I've neither the time nor the patience to use hacks to uninstall drivers in pieces. Takes me 2 minutes to do that task on a Windows machine and I 100% know what I did was done correctly as far as the OS is concerned."

Removing files is not a hack, it is how you uninstall something on UNIX. There is no registry to edit. If you use the utility I linked to, it would also take you two minutes.

[Phil Hoppes] "your trying to defend the lousy job they have done with their architecture WRT high end workstations and there is nothing worth defending. It's plain to see that they throw no resources at it."

Again, I'm only pointing out what is actually going on. Apple's Mac Pro rev cycle has been in lockstep with Intel's Xeon 5000 series roadmap since the switch from PowerPC in 2006. I agree it would be great for video pros if Apple made an entry-level tower with a stack of PCIe slots and if the GPU OEMs made cards that were EFI-friendly. Your previous posts framed Apple as the lone bad guy when their sins are limited to ignoring the entry-level tower market. Intel is guilty of taking forever shipping a 5000 series Xeon successor and the GPU OEMs are guilty of nothing more than building a product for the mass market. I guess Apple could throw a bunch of money at the GPU OEMs to subsidize a range of EFI-friendly GPUs for Mac Pros, but then Mac Pros would need to cost even more and we'd be hearing even more complaints about the Apple tax on pro customers.

[Phil Hoppes] "Should they grace the market with a MacPro upgrade, which I seriously doubt, I'm completely positive I'll be able to build an equivalent machine for 50% less and it will perform 20% better."

That's a bold claim. Let's price components for a DIY dual proc Sandy Bridge E5 Xeon workstation vs whatever becomes of the Mac Pro, should Apple grace us with one. If history is any guide, 50% less cost and 20% better performance will be extremely optimistic. The reason you are able to do that today is because Sandy Bridge is such a leap beyond Nehalem that the E3-1200 even outperforms the 5000 series Xeons. When you're building from the same parts bin, I don't think you'll get near that kind of a price/performance delta. Are you able to build your DIY workstation for 50% less than an spec-similar HP and bench it 20% faster?

Best,
Andy


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 4:22:48 pm

Ok so I just did a price comparison to a 2x2.9Ghx MacPro with a 1tb Drive, 32gbram and the 5870 ATI card. I can build a system at Newegg for about 30% less including a 256gb SSD with 2x3.3Ghz Xenon Westmire CPU's which should deliver close 15% overall better performance, so yes, my 50% less and 20% more is too inflated. I'll take 30% less and 15% more all day long.

On the drivers, where pray tell, since every driver package I've ever gotten from AMD or nVidia are all bundled inside of installers, do I get the magic files that I need to replace?

In the end, we could do this all day long. You like MacPro's and you feel a need to defend your position. I've moved on from MacPro's and could not be happier. I still use a MBP for a portable solution and love it. I have a windows main workstation network with windows rendering servers (1U Asus rackmounts) and I use Deadline as a render manager. This is the slickest thing since slice bread and I do it at a fraction of the cost of buying off the shelf hardware. It works for me and makes my workflow efficient.

For your sake and the others that really want to continue to use MacPro's I really hope that Apple does do a refresh for you. If they don't I can see where a lot of people, again, are going to feel really screwed. Me, I could care less, as no matter what they do it won't affect a thing I do.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 4:44:48 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "On the drivers, where pray tell, since every driver package I've ever gotten from AMD or nVidia are all bundled inside of installers, do I get the magic files that I need to replace?"

InstallEase (among other things) can take an installer .pkg as input and generates an uninstaller .pkg for everything the installer places. It isn't the centrally OS-managed uninstaller that Windows has, but it is just about as easy to work with if you need to roll back a .pkg installation.

[Phil Hoppes] "You like MacPro's and you feel a need to defend your position. I've moved on from MacPro's and could not be happier."

I tolerate Mac Pros because I love OS X. If I could build my own Mac from parts without it being a hack that breaks with every little update, I would. As it is, I have to root for the Mac Pro to soldier on so that there is still a truck in the Apple garage.

Best,
Andy


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 5:02:12 pm

Andy,

Your obviously a Unix wizard. I love it too. In my previous life as a chip designer I lived on Slowaris ( ;-) ) and RedHat. I have to agree that OSX is simply the best OS (unix) with a wonderful GUI. That being said, I had to capitulate to the Borg as I just got tired of having things brake or worse, certain software just is not available (Mari, Mudbox, Motion Builder) so I had to get a different system.

Best wishes and as I said for your sake and others I hope there is a full plate of Crow for me....


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Andrew Richards
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 5, 2012 at 5:58:39 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "Your obviously a Unix wizard. I love it too. In my previous life as a chip designer I lived on Slowaris ( ;-) ) and RedHat. I have to agree that OSX is simply the best OS (unix) with a wonderful GUI."

The irony for me is I came to UNIX via OS X. Now I find myself ill at ease with Apple's apparent retreat from anything using the GPL. I love the best-of-both-worlds UNIXness of OS X, but it worries me that Apple seems to be backing away form that.

Best,
Andy


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Steve Connor
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 3:02:27 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "watch your Adobe Premiere NLE run circles around any future dual-socket Mac Pro/TB/FCP-X."

Maybe not if the rumours about Apple going back to Nvidia cards are true

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Walter Soyka
Re: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 10:34:01 am

I'm not sure it's correct to declare that the workstation market is shrinking. It's not all rainbows and butterflies, but workstation shipments exceeded 1 million units for the first time in Q3 of last year: 20% year over year growth.

http://jonpeddie.com/press-releases/details/workstation-market-saw-some-ret...

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: Meanwhile, at Dell...
on Mar 3, 2012 at 3:21:01 pm

I guess it depends on how you measure shrinkage. Volume might be growing but share of overall computer sales is lower.

If you look at sales across all PC manufacturers, they're mostly all down with Apple being one of the few exceptions and their PC growth is primarily driven by laptops although their desktop sales (mostly iMacs I'd suspect) is growing as well.

If I recall, HP's consideration in spinning off or selling their PC division wasn't so much that it was unprofitable but that profits were small and growing slowly compared to their other products/services.

True, we do need to separate workstations from the broader desktop market. Laptops are replacing desktops but there's nothing really that replaces a workstation for heavy lifting.

I don't think workstations will disappear. I do think the business model from the manufacturers will change. We can speculate what the change will be. My guess is modularity. Thunderbolt helps. At the point when Thunderbolt goes optical that will be significant. The next leap might be improvements in clustering. These are challenges with that but I think that's where the industry will head. What would be the alternative? Raising the prices on workstations?



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Shawn Miller
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:29:15 pm

"One can say the iPad has become the "Day Runner" of choice for business people."

Sorry Craig, I think you may be overstating this.


http://www.avanade.com/Documents/Resources/consumerization-of-it-executive-...

"Across media and industry discussions, iPhones and iPads have become synonymous with the trend of consumerization of IT. Research shows Apple is a factor in the consumerization of IT, but it is far from alone in driving the trend. In fact, the most popular consumer device that employees are bringing into the enterprise is not an Apple product."

Shawn



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Craig Seeman
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:37:06 pm

Given iPad sales vs other tablets, I don't think Android would come close.
iPhone vs Android is another story.

If anything, the article shows that there's no longer a clear division between "consumer" and "business" products.

It would be perfectly reasonable for Apple to retool the MacPro to fit broader market demands. To do that would mean a Xeon based computer would have be designed to fill multiple niches.



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Shawn Miller
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 2, 2012 at 7:58:32 pm

"Given iPad sales vs other tablets, I don't think Android would come close."

Possibly, but I think this is a long way from your original statement "...the iPad has become the "Day Runner" of choice for business people." For most business folks, the smartphone is the dayrunner. And it is clear that Blackberry is used far more often for this purpose than anything from Apple.

Shawn



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Bill Davis
Re: E5 Xeons already shipping?
on Mar 3, 2012 at 12:16:25 pm

Two personal experiences.
First is talking to a senior exec with a major health care firm. Paraphrasing: "We're giving 600 of our top people iPad 2s today. What's great is that they'll train themselves in how to use them just by having them. Then next year we'll start rolling out our electronic product sheets, point of sales assets and training - its a no brainer.

Second was listening to an IT pro talk about walking into any corporate building and through simple wireless sniffers, he can see precisely the percentage of users on different connected OS's, how many iOS devices, and how many iPads are actually in use at that moment.

The point being is that Apple et al know precisely what the enterprise market represents because they are all ready inside it. Theyre already a major player thru iPhone and now iPad participation.

Doesn't really matter if it's the front or back door - if it's formal IT requests like my senior exec example or employees voting via personal tech purchases.

The point is all Apple is already inside. If they simply play nice with the house IT folks and execs, they'll thrive.

And they know it.

FWIW

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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