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Mac Pro - The Roadmap

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Franz Bieberkopf
Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 12:53:41 pm

An update (from the bureau in Stockholm, I think):

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/11/david-pogue-new-imacs-and-mac-pros-comi...

A MacRumors reader writes in to share an email he received from Apple CEO Tim Cook after he asked about the future of the Mac Pro:

Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year.


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Liam Hall
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 12:58:56 pm

Don't you love the way they publish unsubstantiated claims made by anonymous readers? That email "quote" was floating about everywhere last night - including here. I wouldn't read too much into it.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 1:14:02 pm

Well Steve Jobs claimed the next version of FCP was going to be "awesome". And to many it is. But..... it is following Apple's vision to where they want to participate in the market. I can easily see a very high end iMac that replaces the MacPro but I have a very hard time believing that a traditional PC Box version of the MacPro is in the works anywhere.


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Rick Lang
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 1:16:53 pm

Franz:
"Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year."

I suppose if this is going to be in the class of a 'next generation' machine like June 11th's MacBook Pro Retina, it may not be ready yet. Could apply to a rack-mountable server for example as well as a rethought tower. Another year of angst? Comments generally are not sympathetic to waiting again for Apple to show you more love!

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Keith Koby
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 1:57:28 pm

I just replied in another thread that it should be acknowledged the procession of the switch to intel which first occurred in the laptop line and then rolled out to the imac and macpro.

The retina display is what will really drive an imac or macpro upgrade. Ask yourself; does it make sense to upgrade a product line now if your goal is to have thunderbolt retina displays and retina imacs in the next 6 mos or more? Did the G5 get any significant upgrade after the intel macbook release?

When you look at the macpro bump in that light, I think you can feel confident that there is indeed something big on the horizon. Otherwise, why bother?

Keith Koby
Sr. Director Post-Production Engineering
iNDEMAND NETWORKS
Howard TV!/Movies On Demand/iNDEMAND Pay-Per-View/iNDEMAND 3D


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:26:02 pm

[Keith Koby] "The retina display is what will really drive an imac or macpro upgrade."

I get that for the iMac, since it has an integrated monitor, but why should retina display affect the Mac Pro release?


[Keith Koby] "Ask yourself; does it make sense to upgrade a product line now if your goal is to have thunderbolt retina displays and retina imacs in the next 6 mos or more? Did the G5 get any significant upgrade after the intel macbook release?"

The G5 became the Mac Pro, running with Intel processors. Pretty significant upgrade if you ask me.

But then was not the same as now. The PowerPC/Intel transition was a major architectural change and marked the beginning of Apple's dependence on Intel for timing major releases. The Mac Pro was released about a month after the Xeons that powered it were.

There is a newer Intel architecture available today (Sandy Bridge E5 Xeons), but Apple, for the first time, has released a "new" Mac Pro that doesn't use Intel's latest and greatest.


[Keith Koby] "When you look at the macpro bump in that light, I think you can feel confident that there is indeed something big on the horizon. Otherwise, why bother?"

There are too many possibilities, and there's only one that's good for the workstation crowd. Others are not so good.

Much has been made of David Pogue's quote: "Many Apple observers also wonder if Apple thinks that desktop computers are dead, since not a word was said about the iMac and Mac Pro. An executive did assure me, however, that new models and new designs are under way, probably for release in 2013."

I'll note, just like Craig Seeman said I would, that despite what the headlines say, this quote does not promise new Mac Pros. All this quote says to me as that Apple will have new desktops sometime between 6 months and 18 months from now.

Apple's desktops are all a year or two behind. This is the second time in year that Apple has left a gigantic hole in their professional video offering. If you look at Apple's view of post production today, it's FCPX on a MBP:TNG. That is a great fit for some, but it's not a compelling offering across the entire platform like they used to offer.

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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Paul Dickin
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:58:43 pm

[Walter Soyka] "...but why should retina display affect the Mac Pro release?
"

Maybe because next generation x16+ Thunderbolt is part of what Jobs/Ives envisioned for a replacement top end Mac? To allow unimpeded reworking of the 'workstation' meme - multiple retina TB displays...

Whatever it is I reckon it was there sitting in Jony's design studio for Steve to drop in and admire since Intel got the Light Peak demo show on the road (with some OS X guts).

But Tim Cook can't actually get a functioning supply train in operation - yet.

As to Pogue, in respect to the iMac I think his Apple Executive's quote could have been referring to the full make-over next generation iMac with Haswell guts - which I understand will have vastly improved integrated graphics power. Enough power to allow all the 'haptic' stuff that's floating around in the blogoshere ;-)

A 'new' iMac meme in 2013, but in the meanwhile there will be an Ivy Bridge 2012 iMac (and Mac Mini) will just be a minor refig, like the Unibody 13/15" MBP's have just had.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:11:29 pm

[Paul Dickin] "Maybe because next generation x16+ Thunderbolt is part of what Jobs/Ives envisioned for a replacement top end Mac? To allow unimpeded reworking of the 'workstation' meme - multiple retina TB displays..."

Certainly a reasonable hypothesis -- but Intel's Thunderbolt roadmap is still PCIe 2.0 4x in 2013 [link], and only indicated DP1.2 pass-through. Seems it will still be DP1.1a. Doesn't that mean no resolution increase?

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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Keith Koby
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:10:29 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I get that for the iMac, since it has an integrated monitor, but why should retina display affect the Mac Pro release?"

retina thunderbolt display doesn't exist yet, open cl/OS upgrades and fitting for a graphics card powerful enough to drive it need developed. why put the cart before the horse to release a redesigned macpro that won't drive their next gen of display?


[Walter Soyka] "The G5 became the Mac Pro, running with Intel processors. Pretty significant upgrade if you ask me."

Exactly. A pretty significant upgrade is what you should be expecting. retina capable, thuderbolt, usb3, faster processor, smaller more compact, no optical. a major overhaul... Think retina macpro version of retina macbook pro.

What I'm trying to point out is that dev and release hasn't been in tandem on multiple product lines with them in the past. Why expect it to be different this time?

Keith Koby
Sr. Director Post-Production Engineering
iNDEMAND NETWORKS
Howard TV!/Movies On Demand/iNDEMAND Pay-Per-View/iNDEMAND 3D


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:30:01 pm

[Keith Koby] "Exactly. A pretty significant upgrade is what you should be expecting. retina capable, thuderbolt, usb3, faster processor, smaller more compact, no optical. a major overhaul... Think retina macpro version of retina macbook pro. "

Intel is doing the heavy lifting here. I'd argue that continuing to support Intel's reference designs is nowhere near as complex as transitioning from the PowerPC architecture to the Intel architecture.

Why assume that smaller, more compact, and no optical are good fits for the workstation crowd? I'd rather have the same size (with more performance per dollar) and more expansion options.

Smaller is a feature on a laptop, but it's a liability on workstation. If they want a smaller desktop, let them shrink the Mini.


[Keith Koby] "What I'm trying to point out is that dev and release hasn't been in tandem on multiple product lines with them in the past. Why expect it to be different this time?"

I'd argue that development has already advanced. Sandy Bridge Xeon shipped a month ago, Thunderbolt shipped a year and a quarter ago, and USB3 shipped two and a half years ago. CUDA and OpenCL are important, but Apple is still offering ATI cards that are three generations old.

The current "new" Mac Pro would have been a tolerable update last year, but by now, it's utterly irrelevant.

Why wait another 6-18 months for hypothetical retina displays? People who buy workstations need computation power and expansion capability -- and there have been many developments in those areas since August 2010.

The Mac Pro should have been updated now, and then should have been updated again when Thunderbolt advanced enough to support higher-res displays and when higher-res panels became available.

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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Keith Koby
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:05:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "The Mac Pro should have been updated now, and then should have been updated again when Thunderbolt advanced enough to support higher-res displays and when higher-res panels became available."

Can't argue with you there... I would have loved to have seen it happen.


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Rick Lang
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:24:35 pm

Keith:
"The retina display is what will really drive an imac or macpro upgrade."

In that light, a Retina iMac or Mac Pro, with a 27" screen, would be 5,120x2880 pixels. There may not be an existing single card from NVIDIA that can drive such a screen! Which means Apple might be waiting on NVIDIA to develop one as well as solving the Thunderbolt iintegration ssues related to discrete graphics cards. That screen at 220 dpi (double current resolution) would be mire than 14 megapixels.

Don't remind me about my Power Mac G5 purchase. At least I'm still using the 23" Apple Cinema Display (ADC) connected to my iMac but the G5 just died after 5 years.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Herb Sevush
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:04:51 pm

[Keith Koby] "The retina display is what will really drive an imac or macpro upgrade. "

Why - I use broadcast monitors for anything of visual significance, why would I give a sh*t about retina displays - so the fonts in my file browser would be sharper?

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


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Keith Koby
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:21:48 pm

whatever man... just giving some speculation as to why you didn't see a major overhaul yesterday. It looks to me like retina is a goal for them and one driver in holding off until they got it nailed down. a fatter thunderbolt is probably necessary along with a slew of other parts.

The other folks (the majority?) that might use mac pros (graphics) probably do give a sh*t, about such a feature. I know that the huge advertising agency next door to my office has an entire fleet of macpros...


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Andrew Richards
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 1:17:12 pm

Here's your roadmap:

Pittsburgh's "Bridge to Nowhere" circa 1966

Best,
Andy


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Bobby Mosca
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 1:58:32 pm

What do you expect him to say?

"Nah... the pros can eat it."

Later next year? Maybe they really don't do market research!


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Clint Wardlow
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:25:35 pm

And even if it is true that there is some super cool Mac Pro update in the wings for late 2013, it is like Apple is saying: "yes, in these fast moving modern times where innovation appear quickly and success is often determined fiscal quarter by fiscal quarter, you pros are important to us. We know you don't mind waiting another year and a half for us to deliver what you need now. Besides, by then maybe we will also have updated FCPX enough to fit all your needs."


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Bobby Mosca
Re: Mac Pro - The Roadmap
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:29:57 pm

Good point.


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