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Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum

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Herb Sevush
Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 3:16:34 pm

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/346/13960#13960

Interesting thread, especially this post by Gary Bettan:

( As a note, in case you are unaware, the DIY designations are specs for do-it-yourself builds for PC video editing computers created by Videoguys and updated about once a year.)

"There have been many posts and discussions on the COW and all over the web about the future of Mac Pro and speculation about features. Here comes my rant, and many folks aren't going to like it one bit.

Personally, I don't see why Apple would waste any time or money investing in developing a new Mac Pro. The top of the line fully loaded 27" iMac is a killer machine and more than adequate for 90% of editors.

Our now old DIY9 machine is almost as powerful as the latest iMacs and even more customizable. We're waiting for an enthusiast level chipset with Thunderbolt for our DIY10. When we make the jump, I'm confident it will deliver performance beyond the current iMacs.

If you require more power than a single CPU iMac or DIY build then a dual Xeon CPU workstation is for you. The new HP z620/820 or Dell T5600/7600 workstations blow the current Mac Pro out of the water. They are more powerful and more cost effective. Plus you get a level of flexibility and configurations that Apple simply does not offer.

Getting back to the future and why I don't think Apple will ever offer the Mac Pro that video editors are wishing for. FCPX is an app which you the end user download directly to your computer. There is no value add opportunity or requirement. It runs fantastic on an iMac or Mac Book Pro and that makes 90% of their user base very happy. From Apple's perspective these FCPX users are far less demanding, do not require a middle man (ie Video VAR) and they are very happy with the results. Those that aren't happy have moved on, and quite frankly, I think Apple is glad to see them go. High volume, high margin products is what Apple is all about now.

So the Apple VARs are moving on as well. They are integrating iPads and Mac Books and iMacs into all kinds of super cool solutions, but video editing ain't one of them. These solutions do not require the huge overhead and cost of a Mac Pro. Instead they tap into the power of the cloud and mobility and delivering customized applications specifically for vertical markets and solutions. Apple innovations are changing the world, but they are doing it without the need for big bulky boxes (ie Mac Pros).

If you are going to FCPX, stick it on an iMac and have a ball.
If you have moved on to Adobe or Avid, run it on a new PC or an iMac. As I've said many times before, I love the new iMacs for video editing. That said, you will get great performance and a bigger bang for your buck on a PC, and most of all the flexibility to configure it as needed with optimized components for your workflow.
If you are sticking with FCP7, then you need to understand this. Hear it now, so you don't end up crying about it later. If and when (and I doubt it will ever come) that Apple releases a new line of Mac Pros, FCP7 ain't gonna run on it. Apple is not going to bog it down with any legacy support for old, antiquated products. Actually FCP7 may run, it may not, but it will definitely not take advantage of any of the new technology and performance a new Mac Pro would deliver.


Think I'm wrong? Look back to what they did when they launched FCPX. They completely abandoned FCP. What would make anyone think they would reverse this direction with a new Mac Pro?

On the flip side, why would Apple give Adobe or Avid the technical support and collaboration they would need to optimize their software for this theoretical new Mac Pro? When was the last time anyone heard the words share and Apple used in the same sentence unless they were talking about their stock price?

Apple is about closed proprietary systems that allow Apple to take in revenue every step of the way. It's a brilliant plan and I admire Apple more than any other company on earth. I just don't see why they would alter this strategy to make a new Mac Pro."

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


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Michael Phillips
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 3:52:53 pm

In related news:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/26/apple-to-move-mac-mini-production-to-u-...


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 4:16:25 pm

Sounds like a rant from someone who isn't getting much in the way of sales based on Apple's decisions, more than any substantial analysis on the MacPro replacement. It sounds more like he refuses to acknowledge the direction of the market nor does he understand why someone would want the new MacPro replacement.

No it's certainly NOT going to be specifically for the vast majority of editors. In fact if it were that targeted it would once again see minuscule sales. It will be for "power users" who will need Xeon processors and 16 lance GPUs and that certainly includes post production, not simply "editors."

Flexibility? To me that's being able to use any Video I/O device or RAID storage with computers that serve different purposes and that's what Thunderbolt does. To me, flexibility is NOT locking in PCIe cards and drives to specific machines although I know others want that.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 4:42:15 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Sounds like a rant from someone who isn't getting much in the way of sales based on Apple's decisions"

They don't sell computers at all. The DIY spec is just something they post to help editors who want to do it, they don't sell any of the parts that go into it. They sell software and video hardware, they are platform agnostic. You'll have to go elsewhere when you try to trash their motivations.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 5:00:14 pm

[Herb Sevush] "They don't sell computers at all."

I know that. They may not be selling much in the way of Mac software given the App store and the way the plugin market is working. They also sell peripherals though and apparently there may be a decline in PCIe cards used in Macs. Thunderbolt peripherals don't require a MacPro of course.



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Dennis Radeke
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 5:21:15 pm

Herb,

however you slice it, Videoguys are good people who are supporting the industry (Mac or PC). They have a lot of lines that are Mac centric and a good portion of their sales are for Mac based customers. They're in Long Island and attend a bunch of events. It would not be hard for you to get to know them a bit.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 5:44:35 pm

[Dennis Radeke] " It would not be hard for you to get to know them a bit."

I've been buying from them for years and I agree with you but I think you meant to address this to Craig.

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


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 5:47:34 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I've been buying from them for years and I agree with you but I think you meant to address this to Craig."

indeed.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 5:58:27 pm

I do know their reputation. They're more or less local to me as well.
I certainly think they're wrong and he admits it's a "rant" so I suspect it's coming from some level of frustration and I wouldn't be surprised if it's business related. That doesn't mean I suspect an ulterior motive but I can't help but think they are experiencing an issue with selling to the Mac market.



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Dennis Radeke
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 6:08:47 pm

rolling eyes.... 9_9


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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 5:49:54 pm

[Craig Seeman] "They may not be selling much in the way of Mac software given the App store"

They sell both Avid and Premiere for OSX, neither of which is available form the App store, and in the opening paragraphs Gary called the 27" Imac "a killer machine and more than adequate for 90% of editors." OK, I see, they obviously hate Apple.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 6:01:21 pm

[Herb Sevush] "OK, I see, they obviously hate Apple."

It's not that they hate Mac it's that they don't see sales related to MacPros. I doubt many would given its current state. If he's analysis were true I doubt there would be a MacPro replacement. Apple has a computer in mind that will reach a market they currently don't reach (not with the aging MacPro) and he entirely misses that possibility.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 6:45:44 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Apple has a computer in mind that will reach a market they currently don't reach (not with the aging MacPro) and he entirely misses that possibility."

That's fine, you might be right, he might be wrong; but the tenor of your opening post was to discredit them for financial bias, which was not fair or accurate.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:40:54 pm

[Herb Sevush] "the tenor of your opening post was to discredit them for financial bias, which was not fair or accurate."

I don't think the bias makes them "bad" in any way. The VARs were impacted by FCPX and certainly those selling software and Mac video peripherals may be hurt by the direction Apple is going it. I think that's the perception he may be coming from regarding the MacPro replacement. I have no idea how it will impact his business but apparently he thinks it won't be of great value for editors (my inference) and I suspect he's wrong (about the value to editors not sure what the value will be to his business).



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Mark Raudonis
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 4:19:41 pm

Well stated, Herb.

I came to this conclusion almost two years ago!

mark



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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 4:47:19 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "Well stated, Herb."

I wish I could take credit but I was just quoting Gary Bettan over at Videoguys. I agree with the both of you and while I'm riding out FCP7 for the moment, at this point the only active solution for my multicam workflow is Avid. So unless something changes, and doesn't it always, I'll be following in your footsteps soon.

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


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Brett Sherman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:04:43 pm

I just don't agree with this analysis. Tim Cook has already said they are releasing a MacPro or Pro Market Mac in 2013. They would have to change gears completely and reneg on a promise.

Secondly, I'm not sure the cost for them to develop a Mac Pro is all that high. Sure it may be a money loser, but it is a worthwhile investment for them to keep the pro market. And the loss would be small in comparison to profits from iOS devices.

I also don't think it is out of bounds to suggest that someones opinions may be colored by their financial incentives. This is psychology 101 really. How many opinions on this board are colored by financial incentives - 99%? I guess my point is this guy has no more information than anyone else. I find it pretty meaningless.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:10:59 pm

[Brett Sherman] "I also don't think it is out of bounds to suggest that someones opinions may be colored by their financial incentives"

I don't think it's out of bounds either, if in fact their are any financial incentives. In this case your dealing with someone who doesn't have a pony in the race.

[Brett Sherman] "I guess my point is this guy has no more information than anyone else. I find it pretty meaningless."

Correct, he has no more and no less information than many of the posters here. Discerning it's usefulness was the point of my re-posting it.

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


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Gary Bettan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 8:38:30 pm

Brett,

I hope you are right and that we do see a really new, really powerful Mac pro. I just don't believe we will. It is just my opinion based on the info I have and talking to people I respect in the industry.

It's OK to disagree and it's OK to question my motives. While I don't sell computers, I definitely do sell video editing software, hardware, storage, plug-ins, I/O peripherals and more.

And to be fair - I'm always selling!
I'll be the first to admit that my reviews and articles are biased towards selling more stuff. But I also think I try to be fair and objective at the same time. I took a ton of heat for killing FCPX a few weeks prior to it's release, based on all the info I was able to gather post NAB. I felt pretty sure it was going to leave my professional post customers short. And I was spot on!

The funny thing is I like FCPX, I think Apple added some amazing new features and performance. I LOVE the magnetic timeline, but I know it's not for everyone. (I also like the Avid Smart Tool, while most pros initially hated it, and some still do) But I also understand how FCPX falls short for my professional customers workflows. FCPX is getting better, but so are the other NLEs that compete with it!

Great discussion here. Everyone have a great New Year.

Gary
http://www.videoguys.com

COW members get 5% OFF with Coupon COW5OFF

http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 | We are the video editing and production experts!


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Gary Bettan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:25:06 pm

Thank you Herb & Dennis for the support. I expected to get some negative heat from the article. Overall the feedback has been more positive then I expected, with the majority of those chiming in agreeing with me more then not.

I will admit that some of my rant is frustration with Apple. Not for killing or not killing the Mac Pro, but for refusing to give professional editors who depend on their products for their livelihood better info.

I talk to these guys everyday. Many find themselves stuck. Not just on FCP7, but on their old reliable Mac Pro.

  • They see other NLEs, including FCPX, getting features and performance that they don't have.

  • They see HP and Dell workstations that are more powerful and cost effective then their Mac Pro.

  • They see the new iMac being almost or as powerful as their Mac Pro, depending on what they own.

  • They see guys running Avid or Premiere on a DIY machine that cost less then $3K and handles any HD file format they throw at it.


They want to migrate to something, but they just don't have enough information from Apple. I feel Apple is teasing/leading them on to keep them from jumping ship all the way. I will tell you that many editors and post facilities are migrating to or actively exploring migrating to PCs. Many are also integrating iMacs into their facilities/ edit suites.


I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to see a new Mac Pro in 2013. Or an expandable / upgradable iMac. I love the MacBook Pro w Retina for NLE. How cool would an iMac w/ Retina be? Imagine if it also allowed for easy access to add RAM, additional SSDs and a better GPU. An iMac Pro for lack of a better name. Who knows?

Gary

COW members get 5% OFF with Coupon COW5OFF

http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 | We are the video editing and production experts!


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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:39:57 pm

Gary -

I love reading your DIY blogs. I have no interest in ever building one for myself but I find it invaluable for understanding what's going on in world of PC components. Thanks.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 8:03:40 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Gary -

I love reading your DIY blogs. I have no interest in ever building one for myself but I find it invaluable for understanding what's going on in world of PC components. Thanks.
"


I'll second that! I've been buying from Videoguys for years, and I particularly recognize their contribution to our little community. I also believe Gary's assessment is a fairly realistic one.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:58:08 pm

[Gary Bettan] "I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to see a new Mac Pro in 2013."

My own speculation as that the MacPro replacement will be a different sort of beast in many respects given Apple's design direction. The face some challenges given the importance of Thunderbolt in their business model. To date there are no Xeon motherboards with Thunderbolt. All Thunderbolt systems have a GPU (mobile I believe) on the motherboard. Given this and the possibility they're working closely with Intel, they're not likely to talk about such things in advance

It'll have Xeons, at least one if not two 16 lane PCIe slots for GPU. There may not be additional HDD slots and not any other PCIe slots as it'll all be 4 lane Thunderbolt. Some Post people will love it and others wont. I suspect Apple is banking it on reaching a bigger audience than the current MacPro though.

I can't imagine them taking it in any other direction. Maybe my imagination is limited.

I certainly have a reason to prefer a computer with Xeons and a better GPU than the "mobiles" they're using but I don't have much angst about that because I fully expect that. It's the other stuff that's a bit of a mystery such as internal HDD slots, the number of Thunderbolt ports, whether they'll be a motherboard based GPU even if they have to resort to a mobile one and the 16 lane slot an addition.

I expect it'll be a major design controversy just like FCPX is.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 5:13:12 pm

[Gary Bettan] "They want to migrate to something, but they just don't have enough information from Apple. I feel Apple is teasing/leading them on to keep them from jumping ship all the way."

This all comes back to Apple not releasing fcp8.

If Apple did, the Apple M.O. described above is de riguer and Apple would have continued just as they always have.

Apple has never given much information. As a matter of fact, even if it is vague, we have more information than ever, and perhaps a bit of a timeline.

Whether or not users want to put up with that bullshit anymore is another story. Although do we know when the Kona4 is coming? Or CS Next? Or the next major HP design revision? Not really. Even if we can turn to history and hedge on one of the major broadcasting shows or computer shows, do we know what's in store? There's a few hints, but nothing concrete.

My feeling is that if there was an fcp 8 (or FCS 4), the hardware discussions would be less harried.

My personal feeling is that there will be another machine that fills in the MacPro space, otherwise Apple wouldn't have refreshed the current line, and Apple would have killed it outright. They aren't afraid to cut and run due to lackluster sales or technology legacies, and honestly for a company like Apple, what is the advantage of keeping that aging technology and channel alive unless you have plans for it?

As a reseller, what is your take on that? I'd be curious as to your opinion.

And Gary, this isn't directed specifically at you, I don't knock your hustle, I am just using your quote as the talking point as I feel it reflects the emotional involvement of many video pros in regards to the non release of FCS 4.

Jeremy


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Gary Bettan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 5:41:00 pm

Jeremy, you make a very good point about Apple's channel plans. I don't have any idea on that, because Apple keeps sending VARs mixed signals as well.

Pro Video VARs can't hit their sales goals anymore selling just video. If you can't hit your goals, you can't make good profit margins. It becomes a downward spiral that threatens your business model. You have to branch out into other areas, beyond video. Not everyone can successfully do that. Many have shifted away from Apple or away from video, or BOTH. As a result Apples core Video VAR channel is a shell of what it once was.

WOW! This has really exploded into a great discussion thread. I appreciates everyone's opinions, feedback and speculations.

Gary

COW members get 5% OFF with Coupon COW5OFF

http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 | We are the video editing and production experts!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 6:52:43 pm

Regarding VARs isn't this the nature of the entire Video industry. Even HP considered selling off the desktop line. Of course there are many smaller companies making great workstations.

While the move to FCPX may have only brought on the emotional angst, Apple has been a hardware disrupter and that's really the issue when it comes to MacPro replacement concerns. People are only more acutely aware of it more recently.

Consider what Apple has done in recent years, predating but leading up to the current MacPro concerns.

The MacPro had been a rare point of "stasis" for Apple with no major case designs for half a decade.

They've always been disruptive though. Consider one of the reasons why Avid considered pulling out of the Mac market was the limited number of PCI slots for their proprietary cards.

While Windows PCs have had USB3 for years, Apple waited until Intel added it to the motherboard.
Apple on the other hand was using Firewire 800. This mean peripherals makers has USB3 versions and Firewire 800 version (if they catered to that market at all). Finally Firewire 800 is on the decline on Macs and USB3 is there going forward.

Apple introduced Thunderbolt and once again peripheral makers had to consider supporting that.

All through the recent years, the MacPro had been the Rock of Gibraltar with USB2, Firewire, PCIe slots.

That's likely to change. That's the Apple disruption. While we (and certainly I) speculate, there's fear about PCIe slots going away. The reliance on Thunderbolt. The overall internal and external expandability.

No longer can one easily compare an HP Z series to a MacPro (at least through 2010) and focus on OS differences. The MacPro replacement will be a new beast and possibly more "unique" in design than "traditional workstation"

Of course with the radical shift in hardware design comes a serious concern about facility design and whether it's worth the changes in infrastructure to continue a Mac based facility.

While that's absolutely a real and serious concern, I can't see how one would conclude that Apple won't be making a "workstation class" computer that some facilities may want to consider (and like FCPX some will run away from).

Thunderbolt peripherals may even uptick if (and only if) Apple's new box gets a bigger user base than the MacPro (which was small). On the other hand, they'll be no turnkey system as a revenue stream for those VAR that do/did depend on that. On the Mac side that's likely been in decline for some time given the lack of serious MacPro updates since 2010.

So
[Gary Bettan] "Think I'm wrong? Look back to what they did when they launched FCPX. They completely abandoned FCP. What would make anyone think they would reverse this direction with a new Mac Pro? "

Yes, Apple's going to abandon the old hardware design and make a new box. There's would be no point to Apple doing it if it weren't going to be a powerful box for the "Pro" user. There's no guarantee it won't be another Cube disaster (or hockey puck mouse) but, especially when it comes to hardware design, they seem to have learned.

and
[Gary Bettan] "On the flip side, why would Apple give Adobe or Avid the technical support and collaboration they would need to optimize their software for this theoretical new Mac Pro?"

It seems Autodesk is amongst those happy with the iMac and rMBP. I have a hunch Adobe might be happy that Apple has moved to nVidia with the iMac.

In fact one might say Apple is catching up to the others (finally) when it comes to software. Avid and Adobe weren't exclusively tied to Quicktime architecture for some years and, with AVFoundation, Apple's Post Productions software finally isn't either. Of course, Apple is more closely tying it's software to the OS. Avid and Adobe are cross platform but I certainly don't see an issue with hardware.

The nature of VARs are changing because the nature of the industry is changing. Apple is certainly a disruptor when it comes to hardware but I don't see how one can conclude a lack of flexibility or power coming from their MacPro replacement. They'd have NO reason to make another box except to appeal to, expand the base of, increase revenue from, power users.



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Gary Bettan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 7:27:00 pm

nice post.

Now that Apple has finally given us Mac Book Pro w/ Retina and iMacs that have NVIDIA GPUs, we can finally run Adobe CS6 on them without having to sacrifice performance. This is a huge upgrade, and as I said initially, it means that with these models they can cover the bulk of the NLE business. I use the 90% figure, feel free to use your own.

I'll go back to my original rant. With 90% of the market covered, and the new FCPX driving even more sales at $299, I just don't see Apple needing or wanting to stay in the high end workstation market. I know Apple editors WANT a new Mac Pro, I just don't think it's going to happen. I'm thinking we may get a hybrid type machine - call it an iMac Pro or even a Mac Mini Pro. I can even see Apple designing a new expandability that allows you to cluster them into a more powerful beast. I just don't see them actually ever releasing a new line of hi end workstations. But once agoan, that';s just my opinion.

Gary

COW members get 5% OFF with Coupon COW5OFF

http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 | We are the video editing and production experts!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 8:29:12 pm

[Gary Bettan] "I just don't see Apple needing or wanting to stay in the high end workstation market. I know Apple editors WANT a new Mac Pro, I just don't think it's going to happen. I'm thinking we may get a hybrid type machine - call it an iMac Pro or even a Mac Mini Pro. I can even see Apple designing a new expandability that allows you to cluster them into a more powerful beast. I just don't see them actually ever releasing a new line of hi end workstations. But once agoan, that';s just my opinion. "

It may depend on how you define a workstation. It won't be a tower if that's what you mean.
While FCPX can even run on a MacBookAir, Apple seems to be pushing for the use of more system resources. As Thunderbolt moves to optical in a couple of years give or take, that's only going to escalate.

[Gary Bettan] "I can even see Apple designing a new expandability that allows you to cluster them into a more powerful beast. "

I'd absolutely agree with that. I don't think any of this precludes the use of Xeon processors or 16x GPU. My own guess is that Apple's motive for the MP replacement (MPr) will be to push people to buy it but taking advantage of the higher powered system resources available.

If you mean by iMacPro MacMiniPro with i7 and mobile GPU, I'd strongly disagree with you. I simply doubt that would take that many years to design a new case given the rest of the technology is already present.

The only reason I can see for such a long period between 2010 and "later in 2013" is they're once again pushing technology. The Xeon and GPU issues with Thunderbolt have been the challenge.

One thing seems clear to me in the professional market. Demand for real time performance and real time file delivery. That's just not going to happen with Xeon processors and GPUs to match. The demand for that is expanding. This is where Apple's MP replacement will focus on. Granted the processors and GPUs are obviously there on Windows but the Apple difference is ubiquitous Thunderbolt (still very rare on Windows). That may grow further when Thunderbolt Optical happens.

Apple also is not inclined to fragment itself by making an iMacPro or MacMiniPro using the same i7 and mobile GPU technology. They just don't do it. There's no recent history to that IMHO.

If you mean by MacMiniPro something in that form factor with Xeons and 16x professional GPU, that might be the case... with a much bigger case given cooling issues. To me the only big variable is how they handle the GPU issue. Will it be built into the motherboard only? It's possible they may do something odd such as mobile GPU on the mobo but a separate 16x PCIe slot (or two) that the user can populate with another nVidia or AMD GPU.

Just to be clear, I believe Apple's MP replacement will have Xeon CPUs and room for one or two 16x PCIe GPU cards. I believe the design and features will reach as many if not more potential users than the current MacPro. Apple's goal is not simply "units sold" though. It's about profit. They will make a Xeon based system that will be more profitable to them.

Gary, you haven't said flat out, do you believe Apple will abandon multi processor Xeons and limit themselves to moble GPUs?

At least for me that's what the question comes down to. As long as Apple's software keeps pushing demands up (and I think they will push up more than i7 and mobile GPUs can deliver for maximum performance) they going to push up in the resources a system can deliver.



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Gary Bettan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 8:49:43 pm

Craig, some very good points.

I don't see Apple releasing a multiple XEON CPU computer with multiple 16x (or faster) PCIe slots. It's just not that lucrative a market and HP / Dell are far ahead of the current Mac Pro.

I don't see them sticking with only mobile platforms either.

Below is not my speculation, but a kind of dream/wish list:

What if Apple released a scalable solution, perhaps built around optical Thunderbolt, that would allow users to add additional performance as needed. A modular system that would include the ability to add a GPU module or additional CPUs or huge banks of memory. Now that would be sweet!

So you get a base iMac Pro, then you can attach via optical thunderbolt a Mac Mini like device that accepts multiple GPU. Or an external box filled with RAM or additional CPUs.

When the Sony Playstation 3 first released, I heard rumors about the engineers in Japan running Vegas Pro on multiple Playstations pooling their CPUs together for massive acceleration. Something that never materialized, but really opened my eyes to the potential. Could optical thunderbolt be the missing link for this??

Gary



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Steve Connor
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 9:15:10 pm

I think the whole "modular" approach is not the sort of thing that Apple would do, it's not elegant.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 11:25:17 pm

[Gary Bettan] "So you get a base iMac Pro, then you can attach via optical thunderbolt a Mac Mini like device that accepts multiple GPU. Or an external box filled with RAM or additional CPUs."

Maybe Intel will surprise us but I don't think Optical Thunderbolt is ready yet. Once that happens it certainly does open the door to external GPUs through Thunderbolt.

My guess, not this year.

[Gary Bettan] "I don't see Apple releasing a multiple XEON CPU computer with multiple 16x (or faster) PCIe slots."

I can't see any other reason for them to release a MacPro replacement. There's nothing "pro" about i7 and the motherboard GPUs. They've already done that. If there's no performance improvement, Apple is not going to fragment what they currently offer.

[Steve Connor] "I think the whole "modular" approach is not the sort of thing that Apple would do, it's not elegant."

I agree. If anything Apple is locking things down tighter much to the chagrin of some. Apple is not one to sell a case with user changeable CPU. Apple wants the user to have as little contact with the innards as possible. If anything they're moving further in that direction.

They may have a single box with BTO between 8 and 16 cores. They might even do something like lock down the GPU.

Just to clarify the GPU situation, there's notable performance difference between the nVidia GeForce GTX 680MX which is on the iMac motherboard and the nVidia GeForce GTX 680C which some people have used in MacPros. There are even better GPUs but that's always been Apple's bane.

The GPU is going to be one of their biggest challenges.

If Gary is right and Apple will live with the limitations of i7 and motherboard based GPUs, I just don't see any motivation for Apple to come out with another box with those specs. What would make it iMac"Pro" or MacMini "Pro" if there's no improvements with the specs and, sans optical Thunderbolt, no way to improve the GPU? Even if the big surprise were Optical Thunderbolt, they'd just incorporate that into the top of the line iMac.

The wait has been too long for this to be a box with specs no better than an iMac. Too much R&D time for a box that doesn't reach what they already reach.

[Gary Bettan] "It's just not that lucrative a market and HP / Dell are far ahead of the current Mac Pro. "

Apple's not about "market share" though.
It's about increasing profit margin.
Apple, the commodity company, will make a box that given the supply chain and costs, will be one size fits many (not all) so they will have a good margin on each box sold.
It's about ecosystem sales expansion
Once you buy Windows Tower, you have less motivation to buy Thunderbolt based MBP and iMac and Thunderbolt peripherals. Someone buying a Thunderbolt based MacPro replacement will be able to use Thunderbolt peripherals across the entire product line so you can take your RAID or Video I/O from your workstation to your MBP or your iMac. MacPro Replacement workstation helps both the peripheral makers and encourages you to buy into the rest of the Mac line for compatibility.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 11:03:35 pm

[Gary Bettan] "So you get a base iMac Pro, then you can attach via optical thunderbolt a Mac Mini like device that accepts multiple GPU. Or an external box filled with RAM or additional CPUs."

As long as we are all trying to think of what's coming next, there's the very real Phi from intel that is basically a lower power, but rather large wad of coprocessors.

Since it operates with very little additional programming (unlike other GPUs), and requires Xeons to work, I could see this is a modular processing outfit good enough for Apple as long as these can fit in an "optical Thunderbolt box".

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/11/13/intel-phi-coprocesso...

http://www.drdobbs.com/parallel/intels-50-core-xeon-phi-the-new-era-of-i/24...

Or maybe I am just over analyzing, and thinking wishfully.

If you look at what FCPX can do, and a lot of it can be done concurrently such as import, edit, transcode proxies (high or low), analyze, export, effects previewing to name specifics, then an i7 Retina or iMac simply won't have the guts to get this all done. If broadcasters start to see any value in FCPX and what it can do just from the standpoint of a massive volume of file flipping with editing and titling, then they are going to need all the CPU/GPU/Coprocessing they can get.

FCP 7 and below forced you to do the above list in separate stages and routinely forced you to stop what you were doing while it worked in the foreground. FCPX seems to have been redesigned out of those restrictions, it doesn't really stop you from doing anything concurrently within the one application, but the computer itself will obviously get filled up with tasks pretty quickly.

Jeremy


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Paul Harrison
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 2:44:07 am

Jeremy,

You may just be onto something. An MP with a Xeon in 2013 will be able to support the Phi coprocessor which has a Jan '13 general availability date. This combo can be sealed Apple style into a unique "magical" product which outperforms all nVidia/AMD GPU's and with t-bolt connectivity doesn't rely on extra PCIe slots for anything. In my speculative fever tonight I predict it will be sold as a desktop "super computer" based on the Phi becoming the goto coprocessor for top clustered true supercomputers. The Phi is supposed to run OpenCl, and CUDA ports are supposedly quite manageable, and mainstream x86 code, too. This gets Apple out of the perennial angst over multiple, esoteric gpu programming models. AMD and nVidia can fight over orders for the next iMac/MBP on-board gpu socket space. And Intel can be held somewhat more accountable by Apple for the Phi working with the Intel Xeon main cpus.

It wont be cheap, with the Phi going for 2k, but as a one-size-fits-all, sizzle-core beast Apple may be able to crank out good margins at a pro-affordable price. What BTO options will be left? It will come with SSD and user upgradeable memory. I am liking this fantasy. Why not, guys?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:22:51 am

[Paul Harrison] "You may just be onto something. An MP with a Xeon in 2013 will be able to support the Phi coprocessor which has a Jan '13 general availability date. This combo can be sealed Apple style into a unique "magical" product which outperforms all nVidia/AMD GPU's and with t-bolt connectivity doesn't rely on extra PCIe slots for anything. In my speculative fever tonight I predict it will be sold as a desktop "super computer" based on the Phi becoming the goto coprocessor for top clustered true supercomputers. The Phi is supposed to run OpenCl, and CUDA ports are supposedly quite manageable, and mainstream x86 code, too. This gets Apple out of the perennial angst over multiple, esoteric gpu programming models. AMD and nVidia can fight over orders for the next iMac/MBP on-board gpu socket space. And Intel can be held somewhat more accountable by Apple for the Phi working with the Intel Xeon main cpus. It wont be cheap, with the Phi going for 2k, but as a one-size-fits-all, sizzle-core beast Apple may be able to crank out good margins at a pro-affordable price. What BTO options will be left? It will come with SSD and user upgradeable memory. I am liking this fantasy. Why not, guys?"

1) Everything I have read on Phi suggests that it can work as a coprocessor (just like a GPU) or as a cluster within its host computer -- so in either case, it's not "bolt-on" power to the host computer that software can automatically exploit (see my geekery on expansion versus system busses elsewhere in this thread). You write for Phi as if it were a coprocessor (like writing for a GPU) or write for it as if it were a cluster. I am willing and eager to be educated here.

2) Phi is Intel's tech, not Apple's. What's in it for Intel to make this Apple-only? Or what does Apple have to offer that makes this a compelling and platform-specific advantage?

3) If Apple can make this a compelling and platform-specific advantage, what sort of adoption will it see outside of Cupertino? Will cross-platform developers fork their development even further to support it?

4) Apple is out of the angst of of multiple esoteric GPU programming models. They are all about OpenCL, which is not just about GPGPU, but rather about parallel, heterogenous computing (dividing up many little tasks across all kinds of different hardware). OpenCL would fit very well with Phi here, but again, OpenCL is not Apple-specific.

I am not saying this won't or can't happen -- I'm just asking if this would really change anything if it did.

If Apple uses the same commodity hardware as everyone else, then hardware cannot be their advantage.

If Apple uses radically different hardware than everyone else, then they risk isolating their platform.

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 30, 2012 at 4:44:06 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I am not saying this won't or can't happen -- I'm just asking if this would really change anything if it did. "

1) It's not bolt on, but with x86 it's pretty 'easy'. The software all of us use today will have to be modified very little, unlike other GPU models, and it's PCIe so with fast Thunderbolt (another intel product) this could be a reality. Maybe.

2) Nothing makes it a platform advantage to Apple exclusively, unless they do something exclusive with it which seems possible given the programing structure. The Phi is PCIe, so theoretically, since the programming is easier it could be sequestered in a TBolt external box. Of course, we'd like to have more than 4x speed, but it would still be faster than not having it, I would imagine. FCPX is aleady sending separeate functions to GPU and CPU, I'm sure a Phi instrcution wouldn't be that hard. Maybe.

3) Isn't it cross platform? If you know how to make x86 work, can't you amke it work on Windows or Mac? Or Linux as the articles state?

4) Not much to react to here. :)

[Walter Soyka] "I am not saying this won't or can't happen -- I'm just asking if this would really change anything if it did. "

Well, it would allow almost anyone to tap in to it with already available instruction sets and wouldn't have to rely on a separate GPU architecture or host support for that architecture. If you don't have it, things just run a bit slower, or thing don't run as fast.

I've said it before, but this seems like it would be an awesome compliment to FCPX specifically as to what it allows you to do concurrently, but I am just theorizing.

Since Apple is already tied to intel for now, this seems like a logical extension of that bond.


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Paul Harrison
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 30, 2012 at 9:35:22 pm

Walter & Jeremy: you both raise several good points. I am still liking the idea. If Apple were really clever they might build some cluster services into OS X, since that is probably the one thing other computer manufacturers can't clone. Just as parallelism is supported now with Grand Central Dispatch, XPC Services and OpenCL/OpenGL interfaces, an MPI capability built in would let a Phi-equipped MP act as a little personal renderfarm. FCPX could be extended to utilize this capability. More importantly for Apple, it opens up the opportunity to sell MP's into a bigger market: turnkey High Performance Computing at the desktop level. Sort of a re-imagining of the XGrid and XServe models on a personal scale and usable by any software developer who wants to supercharge their application.

Today's macs utilize integrated and discrete gpus and can determine the level of OpenCL or OpenGL support provided. To be revolutionary, Apple would need to make the Phi not just a 2k powerful graphics coprocessor, but expose these broader x86 capabilities through something like an embedded clustering capability.

On the one hand, this is getting pretty fantasmagoric. But on the other hand, it seems pretty clear that the shrinking of HPC clusters in space, power and cost is going to continue. Apple could have their MP future sights on a market much bigger than NLE's pushing more pixels around faster.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 3:41:50 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "1) It's not bolt on, but with x86 it's pretty 'easy'. The software all of us use today will have to be modified very little, unlike other GPU models, and it's PCIe so with fast Thunderbolt (another intel product) this could be a reality. Maybe... it would allow almost anyone to tap in to it with already available instruction sets and wouldn't have to rely on a separate GPU architecture or host support for that architecture. If you don't have it, things just run a bit slower, or thing don't run as fast. "

Jeremy, I don't think the bit about x86 in the Phi marketing is directed at us. I think it's directed at the massive computational users that already have x86-specific code running on clusters.

The hard part about writing for some kind of massively parallel co-processing like a GPU or a Phi isn't the instruction set of the hardware -- it's designing your application to exploit parallel processing in the first place. Your application has to be cool with its execution being split up into literally hundreds of pieces that can run concurrently, all separated from the main system by the expansion bus.

You couldn't just (say) recompile an old app like FCP7 with the Phi switch turned on and get a co-processor accelerated app. You'd have to actively design and develop the application for parallelism (like FCPX has been with OpenCL, or Pr has been, first with CUDA, now with CUDA/OpenCL).

Speaking of which, if Phi runs OpenCL, FCPX and Pr should be able to make use of it as such almost out of the gate. Maybe.



There are two larger points I'm trying to make here.

First, I think that Phi, like Thunderbolt before it, is being hyped far beyond reality. Both are very cool technologies, but neither are magic. I don't not trying to be a wet blanket, I don't dislike Apple, and I'm not trying to diminish the influence Thunderbolt has had on raising the capabilities of otherwise consumer-class portables, but it seems to me that a lot of the discussions about these technologies veers away from their real-world, practical applications and into fantasyland very quickly.

Phi is fast, but NVIDIA's Tesla K20X is up to 30% faster. Intel will very certainly offer a nice toolchain to support Phi development, but NVIDIA's CUDA toolchain has a huge lead in both maturity and community. The big news about Phi is that the massively parallel co-processing race has expanded from two horses (NVIDIA and AMD/ATI) to three (adding Intel).

Second, I'm questioning the suggestion here that whatever the future Mac Pro will be, it will be some technological marvel the likes of which are unlikely to be matched, like when Craig says "The only reason I can see for such a long period between 2010 and "later in 2013" is they're once again pushing technology" or when Rick says "Perhaps that would be optical, not copper, at far greater speeds and/or bandwidth which could disrupt the hardware playing field. If you were announcing to the world that you will be bringiing "something really great" to the dinner table, then you have set expectations that it will be something really delicious after all. What we've speculated about would be tasty appetizers but we may be surprised by a new satisfying entreé we hadn't realized how much we craved until it is served on our platter."

As long as Apple is dependent on Intel, I don't see them gaining some huge disruptive hardware advantage over the rest of the industry. If Apple does move toward some proprietary system, they will have to get other third-party developers on-board, too, or FCPX on a 2013 Mac Pro will basically be a turnkey system.

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 5:43:35 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Jeremy, I don't think the bit about x86 in the Phi marketing is directed at us. I think it's directed at the massive computational users that already have x86-specific code running on clusters."

Sure. It's not an end user type of situation, I agree, unless you as an end user have software that can take advantage of it.

[Walter Soyka] "The hard part about writing for some kind of massively parallel co-processing like a GPU or a Phi isn't the instruction set of the hardware -- it's designing your application to exploit parallel processing in the first place. Your application has to be cool with its execution being split up into literally hundreds of pieces that can run concurrently, all separated from the main system by the expansion bus. "

And my personal feeling is that Apple's flagship performance demanding applications in the ProApps department, could take advantage of this. You've talked of the common renderer, I've talked about all the things that can be done concurrently with FCPX. Looking at the render files folder and the way it's structured, it looks kind of like the Compressor cache folder that holds all the temp transcodes. Compressor is geared to be broken up to little parts and separate renders, Apple themselves have written down in the release notes of 10.0.6:

"Background Rendering uses the GPU on the graphics card, enabling CPU-based processes like transcoding and proxy creation to continue uninterrupted while effects are rendering."

[Walter Soyka] "You couldn't just (say) recompile an old app like FCP7 with the Phi switch turned on and get a co-processor accelerated app. You'd have to actively design and develop the application for parallelism (like FCPX has been with OpenCL, or Pr has been, first with CUDA, now with CUDA/OpenCL).

Speaking of which, if Phi runs OpenCL, FCPX and Pr should be able to make use of it as such almost out of the gate. Maybe."


Totally. But my feeling from what I have read, is that it will be much 'easier' than say, CUDA. If using Adobe as an example, CUDA seems very compartmentalized. Some things work with CUDA, and some don't. It is filter by filter, action by action, app by app. It's not as if everything is ready for CUDA within the Adobe applications. I think Phi is different in this regard since it's a part of the underlying OS instructions. Or maybe I'm wrong about that.

[Walter Soyka] "First, I think that Phi, like Thunderbolt before it, is being hyped far beyond reality. Both are very cool technologies, but neither are magic. I don't not trying to be a wet blanket, I don't dislike Apple, and I'm not trying to diminish the influence Thunderbolt has had on raising the capabilities of otherwise consumer-class portables, but it seems to me that a lot of the discussions about these technologies veers away from their real-world, practical applications and into fantasyland very quickly."

Phi is new, I don't know what it will bring, but Thunderbolt is very tangible. It has brought powerful workflows to "lesser" powered computers, namely portables, that simply weren't possible before. To me, that's not a fantasy. If you can add PCIe extenders to other machines, that is Thunderbolt except it has pass through. I think you are saying that computers will somehow be able to be "ganged" through thunderbolt, and I think you're right in that regard in that you won't be able to double your CPU speed by attaching a MacMini to an iMac and create a render farm, or whatever.

[Walter Soyka] "Phi is fast, but NVIDIA's Tesla K20X is up to 30% faster. Intel will very certainly offer a nice toolchain to support Phi development, but NVIDIA's CUDA toolchain has a huge lead in both maturity and community. The big news about Phi is that the massively parallel co-processing race has expanded from two horses (NVIDIA and AMD/ATI) to three (adding Intel)."

No question about that. I don't think anyone is arguing that CUDA is faster, but if you read about the programming for Phi, it's that it's much easier and convenient. CUDA isn't as easy, or at least that's where my reading has taken me.

There's also a big difference in that this would allow Apple to free themselves from the GPU wars. They are obviously already tied to intel pretty heavily.

Everyone has theorized about modularity. Since external GPUs aren't part of OSX's DNA without some hacking, Phi seems to sit a bit differently there. It would allow, via PCIe, and already available instruction set. Of course each application would have to be written to take advantage of it, but it would allow Apple to keep their computers relatively "hands off" in that they could offer a limited range of GPUs to keep the ecosystem under control, Xeon processors, and then, if you need more power, a Phi in an external enclosure or perhaps PCIe. It does away with multiple GPUs.

I guess, in a way, I see it as more controllable by Apple.

[Walter Soyka] "Second, I'm questioning the suggestion here that whatever the future Mac Pro will be, it will be some technological marvel the likes of which are unlikely to be matched, like when Craig says "The only reason I can see for such a long period between 2010 and "later in 2013" is they're once again pushing technology" or when Rick says "Perhaps that would be optical, not copper, at far greater speeds and/or bandwidth which could disrupt the hardware playing field. If you were announcing to the world that you will be bringing "something really great" to the dinner table, then you have set expectations that it will be something really delicious after all. What we've speculated about would be tasty appetizers but we may be surprised by a new satisfying entreé we hadn't realized how much we craved until it is served on our platter." "

Yeah, I'm not sure what it will be, or if it will be a technological marvel anymore than say, the Retina is a technological marvel. The "Something Special" MacPro will be there, though, and it will be what Apple has to offer in terms of "high-end". It will be more expensive and have more capabilities than their current offerings. I think it will go a bit beyond a case redesign. It will be smaller and lighter, it will be more locked down and will not have every single option to it that a PC has. Let's face it, it will still be a Mac so what else is new in that regard? I think Craig is right in that some will hate it, some will love it.

If you can get past the partisanship, the Retina is a well designed machine for the amount of capability that is packed in to a small, light, and efficient portable. My feeling is that the new MacPro channel replacement will be of this ilk, but it will need a little something extra to push it over the edge. Thunderbolt will help, but it won't be the end all be all as it doesn't extraordinarily help performance in the desktop class besides being able to universally connect your thunderbolt pieces and parts. I guess this shouldn't be undermined as it's actually a pretty big deal, but I don't think it's enough to persuade the waning public to buy an expensive Apple desktop.

There has to be more meat on the bone there, and Phi with the release dates, Tim Cook's "later in 2013" comment, the tea leaves, and watching all the processing instructions FCPX can do concurrently, all of that seems to be in alignment. Perhaps it's just false hope on my part, but I'm not afraid to be wrong. ;)


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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 1, 2013 at 12:29:49 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "There has to be more meat on the bone there, and Phi with the release dates, Tim Cook's "later in 2013" comment, the tea leaves, and watching all the processing instructions FCPX can do concurrently, all of that seems to be in alignment. Perhaps it's just false hope on my part, but I'm not afraid to be wrong. ;)
"


I just love it, Jeremy! Its glass all full here. If you're right, I get to put my hands on an awesome machine. And, if you're not, I get to point out just how wrong you were. Totally win-win from my POV.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 3:40:13 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "But my feeling from what I have read, is that it will be much 'easier' than say, CUDA. If using Adobe as an example, CUDA seems very compartmentalized. Some things work with CUDA, and some don't. It is filter by filter, action by action, app by app. It's not as if everything is ready for CUDA within the Adobe applications. I think Phi is different in this regard since it's a part of the underlying OS instructions. Or maybe I'm wrong about that."

That's the thing I disagree with you on. Just because Phi runs x86 doesn't mean it runs your OS. It is a co-processor, not some kind of bolt-on processing power. OS system calls happen on the main system; these libraries are not available on the co-processor, which is essentially a separate computer within a computer.

In other words, in some very important ways, A 16-core Xeon system plus a 50-core Phi is closer to a Xeon plus a GPU or to a Xeon networked to a little cluster than it is to a 66-core Xeon.

Phi shares some of the challenges of GPGPU solutions: it's segregated from the main system, it has limited memory on the coprocessor card, and there is appreciable transfer overhead (getting code and data from the main system onto the co-processor and back over PCIe/whatever).

The big advantages of Phi being x86 (as I understand them) are that if you are already using supported parallel programming methods for computation, your Fortran, C, or C++ code can compile and run on Phi coprocessors, and that if you tune your code for running on Phi, it will realize performance benefits running on Xeon systems without Phi, too.

The hardest part of all this, whether we're talking about CUDA, OpenCL, or Phi, is making sure your program is highly parallel. If you want to use a co-processor, you have to specifically develop for it.


[Jeremy Garchow] "And my personal feeling is that Apple's flagship performance demanding applications in the ProApps department, could take advantage of this. You've talked of the common renderer, I've talked about all the things that can be done concurrently with FCPX. Looking at the render files folder and the way it's structured, it looks kind of like the Compressor cache folder that holds all the temp transcodes. Compressor is geared to be broken up to little parts and separate render"

I just want to reiterate that I agree with you here. Both Apple and Adobe are very well-positioned to take advantage of co-processing: both FCPX and Pr are nicely multi-threaded, and both FCPX and Pr already support some kind of co-processing via OpenCL/CUDA. Autodesk has been using background processing since before it was cool, but most rendering is OpenGL, not GPGPU. I can't speak to MC.


[Jeremy Garchow] "If you can get past the partisanship, the Retina is a well designed machine for the amount of capability that is packed in to a small, light, and efficient portable."

Absolutely. I plan on updating mine with the next rev.


[Jeremy Garchow] "There has to be more meat on the bone there, and Phi with the release dates, Tim Cook's "later in 2013" comment, the tea leaves, and watching all the processing instructions FCPX can do concurrently, all of that seems to be in alignment. Perhaps it's just false hope on my part, but I'm not afraid to be wrong. ;)"

I think you could be on to something. I hope your prediction comes true.

I'm still excited about what you can do with Thunderbolt, I'm excited about what we can do with GPGPU, and I'm excited about what we'll be able to do someday with Phi. I think that these technologies are more evolutionary than revolutionary, but they are very cool and are already provided our industry with big benefits.

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 4:11:56 pm

[Walter Soyka] "That's the thing I disagree with you on. Just because Phi runs x86 doesn't mean it runs your OS. It is a co-processor, not some kind of bolt-on processing power. OS system calls happen on the main system; these libraries are not available on the co-processor, which is essentially a separate computer within a computer.

In other words, in some very important ways, A 16-core Xeon system plus a 50-core Phi is closer to a Xeon plus a GPU or to a Xeon networked to a little cluster than it is to a 66-core Xeon."


Yes, I understand, but the actual instructions, since they are the same as they are the Xeons on board, are very similar to write, unlike other instructions. Maybe I just can't say it the way I mean it. I know that sticking a Phi into a Xeon isn't a bolt on processor just like putting in an NVidia card won't give you entire system CUDA availability.

[Walter Soyka] "I think you could be on to something. I hope your prediction comes true."

I'm sure I'm wrong, but in my feeble brain, there has to be some reason to wait this long for a Xeon refresh from Apple. Phi could very well be a logical reason for it.

On the other hand, maybe Apple is all in for i7/i5.

I do see that a lot of people that have bought "the cheaper PC" buy core i7s with a decent GPU. It seems to be good enough for video work on the PC side, and perhaps it is on the Mac side as well.

Jeremy


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 4:48:16 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Yes, I understand, but the actual instructions, since they are the same as they are the Xeons on board, are very similar to write, unlike other instructions. Maybe I just can't say it the way I mean it. I know that sticking a Phi into a Xeon isn't a bolt on processor just like putting in an NVidia card won't give you entire system CUDA availability."

Ok, I get it now. Sorry for my denseness.

You are making a good point. With Phi, as a parallel programming developer, you don't need to learn any of the special CUDA libraries or OpenCL APIs that you would have to learn to exploit other hardware.

Have I gotten it now?

This might be a two-edged sword. With CUDA, you have access to lots of libraries that simplify parallel development. For example, Ae's 3D ray tracer runs on CUDA, not OpenCL, because NVIDIA has developed a CUDA-specific ray-tracing library called OptiX. Developers aren't so different from us, and a library or API is a lot like an effects plugin: it may not offer anything that we couldn't do from scratch if we had to -- but why do it from scratch when someone has already built the core for you?


[Jeremy Garchow] "there has to be some reason to wait this long for a Xeon refresh from Apple. Phi could very well be a logical reason for it."

Phi may be a logical reason for releasing a Mac Pro with Phi in 2013, but is it also a logical reason for not releasing a Mac Pro with E5s in 2012?

Everyone says the worst part is not knowing. But you've pointed out time and again that we don't really know with the other vendors, either.

I think the worst part is not trusting. "I need a new workstation soon, but Apple sat the last round out. Will the 2013 Mac Pro have what I'm looking for, or should I think about an iMac or a PC?"


[Jeremy Garchow] "I do see that a lot of people that have bought "the cheaper PC" buy core i7s with a decent GPU. It seems to be good enough for video work on the PC side, and perhaps it is on the Mac side as well. "

I agree. Core i7/decent GPU is good enough for an awful lot of work. The iMac is a really appealing machine. The days of needing a tower/workstation/whatever for any kind of video work at all are behind us.

Again, sorry for my denseness above, and thanks for taking the time to continue the conversation. Happy new year!

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 5:03:31 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Have I gotten it now?"

Correct. If you are already writing for parallel processing, and perhaps even offloading to Grand Central Dispatch, in theory, you won't have to relearn anything. It's fun to read article comments about Phi when it's programer to programmer. There's a lot of insight there.

[Walter Soyka] "This might be a two-edged sword. With CUDA, you have access to lots of libraries that simplify parallel development. For example, Ae's 3D ray tracer runs on CUDA, not OpenCL, because NVIDIA has developed a CUDA-specific ray-tracing library called OptiX. Developers aren't so different from us, and a library or API is a lot like an effects plugin: it may not offer anything that we couldn't do from scratch if we had to -- but why do it from scratch when someone has already built the core for you?"

Yes, as with most technology, Phi isn't perfect and it won't solve world hunger.

[Walter Soyka] "Phi may be a logical reason for releasing a Mac Pro with Phi in 2013, but is it also a logical reason for not releasing a Mac Pro with E5s in 2012?"

Not a good logical reason, unless I do more speculating and say that Apple was comfortable enough to take the risk and sit this round out. I could point to the supply chain, some sort of Thunderbolt ecosystem (assuming the next "MacPro" has Thunderbolt), or the ever present, the MacPro and anything like it, is truly dead. Long live the MacPro.

[Walter Soyka] "I think the worst part is not trusting. "I need a new workstation soon, but Apple sat the last round out. Will the 2013 Mac Pro have what I'm looking for, or should I think about an iMac or a PC?""

Yep. As I mentioned earlier on in this thread, all of this really boils down to the extinction of FCP7 and the Legend of FCP, which you have summed up in one word, "trust". If FCP8 was here and had some 64 bit yadda-yaddas and Color v2.0 now with 5k, the hardware speculation would be less severe.

[Walter Soyka] "Again, sorry for my denseness above, and thanks for taking the time to continue the conversation. Happy new year!"

No no, thank you! If anything is dense, it would be the blatant optimism that I continue to espouse.

Happy New Year!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 5:14:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Yep. As I mentioned earlier on in this thread, all of this really boils down to the extinction of FCP7 and the Legend of FCP, which you have summed up in one word, "trust". If FCP8 was here and had some 64 bit yadda-yaddas and Color v2.0 now with 5k, the hardware speculation would be less severe."

Conversely -- do you think FCPX be less scary if 2011 and 2012 had also seen sock-rocking Mac Pro releases?

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 5:23:07 pm

Q[Walter Soyka] "Conversely -- do you think FCPX be less scary if 2011 and 2012 had also seen sock-rocking Mac Pro releases?"

No. FCPX will still scare the people who don't like it no matter how fast the machine.

Upgrading to faster hardware is one thing (or dealing with slower hardware), but workflow is king.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 5:31:25 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "No. FCPX will still scare the people who don't like it no matter how fast the machine. Upgrading to faster hardware is one thing (or dealing with slower hardware), but workflow is king."

I meant that more from a trust perspective than a capabilities perspective. I see editors both here and in real life rejecting FCPX, even where it fits (or wins) the workflow, because of the point of view (which I have certainly espoused) that Apple is not making decisions based on "our" needs. I wonder if that feeling could have been reduced by continuing to offer new hardware during this transition.

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 2, 2013 at 6:06:04 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I wonder if that feeling could have been reduced by continuing to offer new hardware during this transition."

I'm sure it certainly could have reduced a small fraction of the stress that has been caused due the EOL of most of FCS3.

People would still be extremely grumpy about it.

While it might not look like exactly what you thought it might, you could replace today's MacPro with an iMac and Thunderbolt peripherals and live to tell the tale.

What you can't replace as easily is FCS3.

Replacing a MacPro and moving to an iMac with TBolt all round costs money and of course some time to get it installed, but everything basically, remains the same in regards to workflow. There's no retraining. You can keep going on FCS3 while trying new software if you want.

Replacing FCS3 with whatever, costs a lot more time.

I'm not sure if a sizzle core would ease that pain.

It would certainly help those users who didn't use FCS3 in the first place.

Jeremy


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 5:39:08 am

Gary -- great thread you've started here!


[Gary Bettan] "What if Apple released a scalable solution, perhaps built around optical Thunderbolt, that would allow users to add additional performance as needed. A modular system that would include the ability to add a GPU module or additional CPUs or huge banks of memory. Now that would be sweet! So you get a base iMac Pro, then you can attach via optical thunderbolt a Mac Mini like device that accepts multiple GPU. Or an external box filled with RAM or additional CPUs."

Multiple GPUs via Thunderbolt could be very interesting.

I'm not saying never, but this I don't think the RAM/CPU idea matches current computer architecture (geekery follows below). A lot would have to change about the way we design computers and write software before this would work.

Systems connected via expansion busses are more likely to work like clusters (multiple separate machines networked together) than multiprocessing systems (like current dual-socket Xeons).

Current Apple technology seems to be trending away from clusters. XGrid has been untouched for years. Grand Central Dispatch is designed for symmetric multiprocessing systems; it does not support clustering.

I'd think that supporting clusters would add significant development difficulty, as you have to build a whole client/server architecture to coordinate the multiple independent systems cooperating in the cluster.

There's also the added wrinkle that third-party developers like Avid and Adobe may not choose to make their products dependent on Apple-only technologies because they would complicate cross-platform development.


On to the geekery. As I detailed elsewhere [link]:

Current Intel architecture puts the memory controllers directly on the CPUs (eliminating slower memory controllers), and uses QPI (QuickPath Interconnect) as the CPU interconnect (replacing the old front-side bus or FSB). The CPUs also connect via QPI to to an IOH (Input/Output Hub), which in turn connects to the PCIe controller (from whence Thunderbolt flows).

The separation between the system bus and the expansion busses means they do not need to be synchronized: the CPUs do not have to be slowed down to the speed of the expansion bus. This also allows the bus's controller to coordinate the expansion devices; without an expansion bus controller, the CPUs themselves must expend cycles intermediating expansion devices.

Thunderbolt will get faster, no doubt -- but remember that in terms of expansion, Thunderbolt (external packetized DisplayPort + PCIe) is itself a subset of PCIe with additional overhead. Also remember that while PCIe/TB speeds are improving, so too are CPU interconnect speeds improving. PCIe was never designed to connect CPUs and RAM, and it's unlikely that it will ever be the best solution for doing so.

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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Pat Horridge
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 10:14:14 am

I think they're spot on and many folks have seen the writing on the wall for this for some time now.

Apple and FCP-X is going to be the way forward for an increasing amount of content creation and that will run just fine on off the shelf hardware. An ipad version I'm sure isn't far away.

And yes the HP machines blow he current MacPros out the water but then the MacPros are now old tech. Not that the future for HP is a sure thing...

Will we see a new MacPro and if so will it regain the lost ground? Who knows and if it won't support the FCP legacy users then I'm not sure wht people will be editing on it with...

Pat Horridge
Technical Director, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
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Brett Sherman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:17:05 pm

"If you require more power than a single CPU iMac or DIY build then a dual Xeon CPU workstation is for you. The new HP z620/820 or Dell T5600/7600 workstations blow the current Mac Pro out of the water. They are more powerful and more cost effective. Plus you get a level of flexibility and configurations that Apple simply does not offer."

It's pretty clear in the post he's trying to sell PCs. Maybe he's right or not, but it's definitely a sales pitch. Not that there's anything wrong with that.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 7:27:09 pm

[Brett Sherman] "It's pretty clear in the post he's trying to sell PCs. "

Well he might be pitching them but it's not for financial reasons as his company doesn't sell ANY computers or computer parts, not PC, not Mac, not Linux. They sell video equipment - editing software, external hard drives, I/O cards, audio, etc. What did you find untrue about the statement you quoted from his post?

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 8:27:13 pm

I don't see why Gary's credibility is being attacked as his post says nothing that hasn't been said here, or other places, a dozen times. Is Gary the only one that's said Apple's lack of a roadmap and tendency to make abrupt course changes makes it hard for users to plan future, big ticket purchases? Is Gary the only one that's pointed out that, speaking strictly of hardware, your dollar goes farther on the PC side since the MPs are years old at this point? Heck even RED, whom Apple partnered with early, now has a hardware partnership with HP. Is Gary the only one saying that Apple may no longer see the need to sell a big, expandable tower to an ever shrinking percentage of their users? Is Gary the only one saying that FCP7 users should not plan on new hardware and software from Apple supporting FCP7?

I don't understand why people are trying to manufacture a reason to discredit Gary's opinion when this piece is a culmination of things that have been talked about in the community for the past few years.

[Brett Sherman] "I just don't agree with this analysis. Tim Cook has already said they are releasing a MacPro or Pro Market Mac in 2013. They would have to change gears completely and reneg on a promise."

Tim Cook never said a new Mac Pro or Pro Market Mac. He was asked a question about Mac Pros and said they were "... releasing something really great next year [2013]." Maybe Apple will release a new tower that is very feature similar to the current MP. Maybe Apple will release a product they think is the modern day version of a tower but isn't a tower at all (a Mac Mini Pro for example). Who knows, and what Apple defines as really great is up for grabs, IMO.

As far as changing gears goes, Apple's history is full of misinformation.

[Brett Sherman] "It's pretty clear in the post he's trying to sell PCs. Maybe he's right or not, but it's definitely a sales pitch. Not that there's anything wrong with that."

I guess he is trying to sell Macs too as he states three different times how great current Macs are for editing.




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Rick Lang
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 2:08:51 pm

Some have gone, some will go, some will wait, some will stay, and some will come. When Tim spoke in 2012 about addressing the needs of the professional creative communities, he gave an ambiguous timeframe "later in 2013" which could mean 'later, not now but in 2013' or it could mean 'late in the year 2013' however I suspect it meant the latter with new hardware to be delivered about October 2013 if it is ready then.

If he was planning on that distant a release, the date could change depending on so many factors related to introducing new technology. As an example, what if the new design includes the next generation of Thunderbolt? Perhaps that would be optical, not copper, at far greater speeds and/or bandwidth which could disrupt the hardware playing field. If you were announcing to the world that you will be bringiing "something really great" to the dinner table, then you have set expectations that it will be something really delicious after all. What we've speculated about would be tasty appetizers but we may be surprised by a new satisfying entreé we hadn't realized how much we craved until it is served on our platter.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 2:59:29 pm

[Rick Lang] "he gave an ambiguous timeframe "later in 2013" which could mean 'later, not now but in 2013' or it could mean 'late in the year 2013' however I suspect it meant the latter with new hardware to be delivered about October 2013 if it is ready then. "

I think the key to the date is mostly in Intel's hands given the challenges I suspect they're facing.
Xeon motherboard supporting Thunderbolt.
Handling a GPU that's not on the motherboard as has been the case with Thunderbolt computers to date.

The other issue which is in Apple's rather than Intel's control, new case design and handling cooling in what I suspect may be a smaller case.

Intel has been known to delay things.



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Michael Phillips
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 3:14:19 pm

Apple waiting for Intel is like consumers waiting to buy the iPad that will last more than 18 months before a complete refresh is announce/ready, etc... ;)

I brought this up in another thread, but if Apple moves away from Intel as has been rumored in one of the zillion Apple rumor sites, what does that mean to the future of Thunderbolt on Apple products? From what I understand (and I could be wrong), this is Intel processor IP with Apple being an early licensee.

And as part of the same discussion, what is the future of OS X and iOS over time?

And... (speculating on Apple development timelines is futile), but what about the the sun-setting of Mac Pros over the next 12-18 months with the increased development of FCPX so that FCP on new OS/Hardware architecture over the same period time making the FCP discussion a moot point?


Michael


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 3:59:53 pm

[Michael Phillips] "I brought this up in another thread, but if Apple moves away from Intel as has been rumored in one of the zillion Apple rumor sites, what does that mean to the future of Thunderbolt on Apple products? From what I understand (and I could be wrong), this is Intel processor IP with Apple being an early licensee."

I think a lot of rumors have coming from places that have no understanding of Apple's business model. IMHO Apple and Intel are more closely joined at the hip than every before. Not that Apple is comfortable with that but there's no way out until they develop a viable way out.

[Michael Phillips] "Apple waiting for Intel is like consumers waiting to buy the iPad that will last more than 18 months before a complete refresh is announce/ready, etc... ;)"

This may well portend Apple's business model with the MacPro replacement. While the new case design may be with us for a while consider how the internals might be updated much as has been done with iOS devices.

For predictive example:
The first MPreplacement may still only be PCIe 2
A year later the MPr will finally include PCIe 3
A year (or two) after that Thunderbolt Optical will be introduced.

The idea being to push the power user into replacing their MPr every couple of years rather than the current MP which some keep in lead use for upwards of 5 years.

Apple is "stuck" waiting for Intel for Xeon motherboards with Thunderbolt. Apple is "stuck" waiting for Intel for Thunderbolt Optical. Update schedules will be a bit rubbery as a result.

Higher end peripheral makers will love it in that power users may be pushed into re-buying newer versions to take advantage of new hardware.

This is the "commodity" Apple at work. Of course some pros will hate it. Apple's interest is that a wider base of pros will buy it.

[Michael Phillips] "And... (speculating on Apple development timelines is futile), but what about the the sun-setting of Mac Pros over the next 12-18 months with the increased development of FCPX so that FCP on new OS/Hardware architecture over the same period time making the FCP discussion a moot point? "

The sun has set on the MacPro already, depending on how you define it. There's still a need for Xeon processors though. The need for more GPU power is growing given how more software (especially Apple's own software) takes advantage of it.

The "low end" is much higher now. I think that's the bases for Gary's article. I think he overlooks that Apple is going to use the "high end" as commodity as well. Any professional with a "need it yesterday" job is going to need a power beast. If anything that base may be growing. With codecs like H265 on the way and the potential growth of 4K workflows along with the demand for real time rendering and encoding on everything, the push for the "need it yesterday" market to move up is going to grow. That's where the MPr will be hitting.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 4:59:43 am

[Craig Seeman] "I think the key to the date is mostly in Intel's hands given the challenges I suspect they're facing. Xeon motherboard supporting Thunderbolt. Handling a GPU that's not on the motherboard as has been the case with Thunderbolt computers to date. The other issue which is in Apple's rather than Intel's control, new case design and handling cooling in what I suspect may be a smaller case. Intel has been known to delay things."

Craig, I'm not picking on you specifically here, but I want to use this as a jumping-off point.

If the huge innovation in the new Mac Pro successor is really a cross-platform Intel technology, then are we really all supposed to be excited about Apple's big contribution of a new case design?

If the huge innovation in the new Mac Pro successor is specifically an Apple-only technology, then will it matter outside of Cupertino? Look how slow Thunderbolt uptake was, or how no other developers in the post space are exploiting AV Foundation.

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 5:38:56 am

[Walter Soyka] "If the huge innovation in the new Mac Pro successor is really a cross-platform Intel technology, then are we really all supposed to be excited about Apple's big contribution of a new case design?"

Maybe. Maybe not. There's nothing much about the chips in any other Mac that's specific to Apple yet I suspect Apple believes their case design, along with the OS, are part of the attraction. It's certainly profitable to Apple. In their price ranges, Apple laptops and all in ones sell well.

If the case design gives it a functional advantage, rather than just aesthetic, it might be. If it's space efficient and/or rack mountable that will help. On the other hand some would consider it a serious draw back if, outside of a 16x PCIe slot or two, all PCIe and Storage would have to be external.

We'll know when it's released and sales happen or not. As I mentioned elsewhere Apple has had the Cube and hockey puck mouse, On the other hand I suspect people like the MBAir, MBPRetina and, seemingly, the new iMac.

Part of the key is whether Thunderbolt on a workstation has value. That would be whether higher end users really want the ability to move peripherals to other systems as needed or would prefer a traditional workstation with space for several Drives and PCIe slots. That hasn't been done so there's nothing to base it on.

Don't understatement the importance of Thunderbolt. It's probably a key reason why professionals find MBP and iMacs usable.

The slow uptake on Thunderbolt is whole 'nother story which had to do, in part, with the lack of resources for developers. At this point there's a reasonable number of Thunderbolt devices for a professional to do their work.

[Walter Soyka] "how no other developers in the post space are exploiting AV Foundation."

I had mention that in Apple's case this is sort of a catchup. Avid and Premiere weren't entirely dependent on Quicktime for some time. That Apple finally can break that dependency themselves is a step forward for them. Others have already done that.

As to whether AV Foundation will be something worthwhile for other media software tools, probably wont begin to be apparent until OSX 10.9 I suspect. At that point I think the Quicktime legacy will fold and FCP7 will be broken amongst other things.

The odd thing is what's going on with Apple on Windows. While Quicktime 7.6.6 was the end on the Mac, it's up to 7.7.3. What will be handling ProRes on Windows? Does Apple have a plan?



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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:04:49 am

[Craig Seeman] "There's nothing much about the chips in any other Mac that's specific to Apple yet I suspect Apple believes their case design, along with the OS, are part of the attraction."

The industrial design on the Z-series is really quite good -- arguably better than the cheese grater.

I really like Mac OS X, but it turns out that Windows 7 is pretty good, too. As always, it comes down to the software you need to run. Where the software is cross-platform, I'm continually amazed at the amount of OS prejudice in creative circles.

If Apple can solve the issues of heat and space that I bring up every time we discuss the Mac Mini Pro (in other words, if Apple can overcome physics), then they are pursuing the wrong industry. They should be going after the XServe market they gave up, where lowering heat heat output and increasing computational density really matter and where people are really willing to pay for those improvements.



[Craig Seeman] "Don't understatement the importance of Thunderbolt. It's probably a key reason why professionals find MBP and iMacs usable. "

I certainly don't underestimate it, and you are absolutely right that Thunderbolt makes these machines usable for all kinds of work they couldn't otherwise do.

I just think it's less relevant on traditional workstations where it is not adding new capabilities (beyond a network effect with the smaller systems, which is considerable).


[Walter Soyka] "how no other developers in the post space are exploiting AV Foundation."

[Craig Seeman] "I had mention that in Apple's case this is sort of a catchup. Avid and Premiere weren't entirely dependent on Quicktime for some time. That Apple finally can break that dependency themselves is a step forward for them. Others have already done that. As to whether AV Foundation will be something worthwhile for other media software tools, probably wont begin to be apparent until OSX 10.9 I suspect. "

I assume Adobe made the decision to develop MediaCore because their media applications were fundamentally dependent on someone else's library (Apple's QuickTime) that they couldn't develop or control.

Seems like a pretty good move now that QuickTime is being deprecated on the Mac platform and is a zombie on Windows.

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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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 27, 2012 at 8:11:34 pm

[Brett Sherman] ""If you require more power than a single CPU iMac or DIY build then a dual Xeon CPU workstation is for you. The new HP z620/820 or Dell T5600/7600 workstations blow the current Mac Pro out of the water. They are more powerful and more cost effective. Plus you get a level of flexibility and configurations that Apple simply does not offer."

It's pretty clear in the post he's trying to sell PCs. Maybe he's right or not, but it's definitely a sales pitch. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
"


Nope. You're wrong. They don't sell PCs. AND the majority of what they do sell works on both Windows on OSX OSs. They are trying to give the best advice they can to their customers. I've used them for years. I know them as a company. Disagree with their assessment if you like, but don't besmirch them just to buoy up your own wishful thinking.


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Andy Field
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 1:51:06 am

The best part of this thread....at the bottom is a banner add for Videoguys! (at least on my page ..it may rotate)

Perfect product placement

(they are great by the way...bought many things from them - terrific customer service)

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Darren Kelly
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 1:30:50 pm

Craig has consumed so much Apple Kool-Aid that they (Apple) could commit mass murder and he would see it as a positive action.

What Gary wrote has been talked about here and other places' and I personally believe is reality. I don't think his motivation is anything negative, but rather an opportunity to try and help his customers, past, current and future make informed decisions as we all go into a new year.

Craig, you talk like you are some sort of authority, but you are not. I haven't been on this forum for more than 6 months, and you are still pushing the same inaccurate information that you have been since FCP X was released. Are you capable of learning? Capable of actually seeing what's in front of your face?

None of your predictions about Apple's plans, products, etc have come anywhere near reality. Stop spreading your personal fantasies as anything more than that.

Happy New year everyone!

DBK


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 3:05:00 pm

So far, not enough time has passed to say much about accuracy.
I certainly think I'm accurate about how FCPX is growing in features and market penetration (slow and mostly younger people through attrition).

I guess you think Autodesk is drinking Apple Kool-Aid as well.

Apple's MacPro replacement will be a radical departure in design, break new technological ground. There goal will be a broader user base (as has been with everything these days). Some will love it. Other won't. Just like FCPX. It may sell better than the MacPro did. It will be competitive as far as workstation processors go.



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Darren Kelly
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 4:18:44 pm

Craig,

"So far, not enough time has passed to say much about accuracy.
I certainly think I'm accurate about how FCPX is growing in features and market penetration (slow and mostly younger people through attrition)."

You predicted new MacPro's 18 months ago. You predicted production grade Mac mini's based on Thunderbolt, you predicted the industry moving to thunderbolt based technology (Intel doesn't have MB with the technology on it yet)- you predicted the majority of editors would stick with FCP X - the list is endless. It took Apple 18 months to re-introduce the drop shadow to FCP X - this is not a software package that is moving quickly. Your accuracy is worse than if I let my Dog pick stocks by choosing which part of the paper to mess on!



"I guess you think Autodesk is drinking Apple Kool-Aid as well."


I spend no time thinking about Autodesk. They don't pontificate on these forums.


"Apple's MacPro replacement will be a radical departure in design, break new technological ground. There goal will be a broader user base (as has been with everything these days). Some will love it. Other won't. Just like FCPX. It may sell better than the MacPro did. It will be competitive as far as workstation processors go."

Once again, this is YOUR SPECULATION. You have no knowledge or fact, hell it isn't even a rumor, yet your statement suggests it's fact. It is your own personal opinion. You know nothing about their plans.

Yes, Tim Cook said they would release something. Yes, they even announced they would be making them in California - that's the only fact that exists. That it will be revolutionary - doubtful - and that's my opinion only. At least I am not afraid to express when it's my opinion, and not try and suggest I KNOW what Apple is doing.

D


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 4:38:46 pm

[Darren Kelly] "You predicted new MacPro's 18 months ago. You predicted production grade Mac mini's based on Thunderbolt, you predicted the industry moving to thunderbolt based technology (Intel doesn't have MB with the technology on it yet)- you predicted the majority of editors would stick with FCP X - the list is endless."

Sorry, not me. Your've really misunderstanding or misstating what I've said.
The Mac Pro replacement may look somewhat like a large Mac Mini. Big and flat.
Thunderbolt will be the future. I hold to that.
I never predicted the majority of editors would stick with FCP X. I don't even know what that means. It's user base is expanding. The FCPX Techniques forum looks to be busy. I said it'll grow through attrition and I hold to that.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 5:23:09 am

[Craig Seeman] "I guess you think Autodesk is drinking Apple Kool-Aid as well."

[Craig Seeman] "It seems Autodesk is amongst those happy with the iMac and rMBP."

It seems like you're trying to borrow some of Smoke's luster (see what I did there?) to puff up the iMac and MPB, as if these are the systems Autodesk built Smoke for. I'm not sure that's fair.

Smoke on the Mac was released in 2010. Presumably Autodesk started work on it a couple years prior. It's been said that Smoke 2013 has been in the works for three years.

Smoke is very UNIXy, and a Mac port must have been vastly easier (and seemed much smarter back around 2008/2009) than a Windows port (though I do see the question about Windows arise pretty often).

I wouldn't assume that Autodesk has inside knowledge of Apple's long-term hardware plans. In fact, see this post [link] where Grant says Autodesk wouldn't be supporting Retina yet because they couldn't even get a rMBP for testing a month and a half after it was announced.

Finally, a lot of Smoke rendering is on the GPU via OpenGL. Since there are so few serious GPUs available for the Mac Pro, the performance penalty of working on an iMac (especially with fast-ish RAIDs via Thunderbolt and new compressed framestore options to lower disk requirements) isn't that huge.

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:15:55 am

[Walter Soyka] "I wouldn't assume that Autodesk has inside knowledge of Apple's long-term hardware plans."

Neither would nor do I intend to imply that.That it's a viable platform for professionals is important.
They moved Flame away from SGI and Irix when they felt it made sense. They could do that if they felt the same way about Apple. it's obvious to me they don't.

[Walter Soyka] "Since there are so few serious GPUs available for the Mac Pro,"

While I don't know if they'll be more but I suspect they'll be better options with the MacPro replacement. If they're going to differentiate it from an iMac, I'd think there's be a major improvement in the GPU options. Not that I expect a lot of options but I do believe the options will include competitively better cards. It's going to depend on whether the new box is an attractive target for nVidia I suspect. Quadro K5000 might be interesting. Support for Radeon HD 7000 series has been spotted in OS builds. It's all rumors but when I see things like this, while obviously not about the MP replacement, one might have some hope.

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57508676-263/nvidia-quadro-k5000-comin...
and
http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro-k5000-mac.html



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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:53:24 am

[Craig Seeman] "Neither would nor do I intend to imply that.That it's a viable platform for professionals is important. They moved Flame away from SGI and Irix when they felt it made sense. They could do that if they felt the same way about Apple. it's obvious to me they don't."

First, I am sorry for misinterpreting your points regarding Autodesk, Apple-flavored Kool Aid, and the iMac.

I don't think Flame on SGI/Irix and Smoke on Mac are comparable. Smoke on Mac is Autodesk's first move in this space as a broad-release, software-only product. The software is so heavily tied to UNIX that OS X was and is the only sensible choice for doing this on the desktop today.

I don't think anyone in this thread is arguing that the Mac is not a viable platform for professionals, but let's also note that the Mac is not the sole platform for any high-end, demanding finishing system today.


[Craig Seeman] "While I don't know if they'll be more but I suspect they'll be better options with the MacPro replacement. If they're going to differentiate it from an iMac, I'd think there's be a major improvement in the GPU options. Not that I expect a lot of options but I do believe the options will include competitively better cards. It's going to depend on whether the new box is an attractive target for nVidia I suspect. Quadro K5000 might be interesting. Support for Radeon HD 7000 series has been spotted in OS builds. It's all rumors but when I see things like this, while obviously not about the MP replacement, one might have some hope."

Agreed. I am very hopeful about the K5000 -- it could really turn the GPU on Mac situation around. I'll be even more hopeful when Apple and NVIDIA start playing nice about their driver releases.

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 29, 2012 at 7:21:25 am

[Walter Soyka] "I don't think anyone in this thread is arguing that the Mac is not a viable platform for professionals, but let's also note that the Mac is not the sole platform for any high-end, demanding finishing system today."

Personally I think a Xeon based Mac with properly capable GPU is part of the equation... and people are certainly arguing about that. I think Smoke might be a good example of something that would be that much more valuable given "workstation grade" CPUs/GPUs. Not that Autodesk knows what coming but I can't believe they'd be entirely happy if the iMac was the best they could do with Smoke.

[Walter Soyka] "Agreed. I am very hopeful about the K5000 -- it could really turn the GPU on Mac situation around. I'll be even more hopeful when Apple and NVIDIA start playing nice about their driver releases."

The politics between Apple and GPU manufacturers is probably one of the bigger problems with Apple computers. There's even a recent batch of rumors saying Apple may move back to AMD in the next iMac.

Personally I think the real bellwether to MacPro replacement viability will be how they handle GPU issues between pressure from Intel to Apple's ping ponging business relationships between nVidia and AMD.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 30, 2012 at 4:46:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't think anyone in this thread is arguing that the Mac is not a viable platform for professionals, but let's also note that the Mac is not the sole platform for any high-end, demanding finishing system today."

I would argue that it barely was two years ago. In this regard, not much has changed. I know we all like to think that the Mac was the highest performance machine on the planet, but it simply wasn't and never has been.

"High-end" and "demanding" and "finishing" are broad terms.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 30, 2012 at 9:09:27 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know we all like to think that the Mac was the highest performance machine on the planet, but it simply wasn't and never has been.
"


Totally agree with you, but remember back to the early G5s when, just by pushing the power button, you could totally ride it across the living room and through the closed door into the tree in the yard? Now that was fast! There was no way you could ride a Wintel box like that.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 2:27:06 am

[Chris Harlan] "There was no way you could ride a Wintel box like that."

No, it would just do it in 3D due to the seemingly endless supply of RAM/PCIe/GPU.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 4:05:44 am

LOL


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 4:45:39 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I would argue that it barely was two years ago. In this regard, not much has changed. I know we all like to think that the Mac was the highest performance machine on the planet, but it simply wasn't and never has been."

We have this argument every time. You keep telling me that Macs have never been high-performance machines.

But as best I can recall, the 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Mac Pros all used the fastest Intel processors available at the time. In 2009, the Mac Pro actually introduced Intel's new Nehalem microarchitecture.

These were all screaming machines when they were introduced, and Apple had been marketing screaming performance on their pro systems since before the Intel transition (whether they had to make up crazy Photoshop benchmarks to prove it or not!).

Apple did do high-performance hardware. Yes, there were caveats, but any system has caveats. The areas where Macs were limited (RAM capacity, PCIe slots) relative to other workstations were immaterial for the sort of work we're discussing here. It wasn't until GPU co-processing started catching on for some specific software that Apple's poor GPU drivers, limited GPU choices, and lack of slots to put them in started to matter. I think that practically speaking, the concern about slots/GPU on Mac had been forward-looking until maybe last year.

Think back just a few years. How much better could you do than a 8-core Intel workstation with 32 GB of RAM, running UNIX, with an NVIDIA Quadro FX4800, AJA Kona, and fibre channel or RAID card installed?


[Jeremy Garchow] ""High-end" and "demanding" and "finishing" are broad terms."

Guilty as charged. Like Justice Potter, I'm finding these terms hard to define, but don't we know them when we see them?

There are lots of places we could take the discussion from here if anyone is inclined.

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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Gary Bettan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 4:59:04 pm

From our perspective when Apple jumped to the Intel Xeons, they caught up to HP. For both performance and value. When the XP8400 was the workstation of choice on the PC side, the 2nd gen Mac Pro w Intel was just as solid a performer and value. I actually gave Mac Pro an edge then, because the 3rd party hardware folks had much tighter drivers for Mac Pro then Win.

With the z800 series HP jumped ahead, Apple gained some ground, but the lack of GPU support was an big issue. Mac Pro was still a good a value, but a z800 offered more performance and options.

As we all know with the z820 and new Dell workstations, the Mac Pro is now very far behind.

I'll go back to the original post. I don't see Apple releasing a new Mac Pro this year. I'd love to see them push technology forward, but I just don't see it happening. Big high end hardware does not match up with their current corporate strategies or goals. Of course, that can change at any time, and with Apple NO ONE knows anything, we are all speculating.

Happy New Year to all!

Gary

COW members get 5% OFF with Coupon COW5OFF

http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 | We are the video editing and production experts!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 5:53:10 pm

Tim Cook basically has said something will be in that "pro space" by my interpretation. I'm not sure how you can interpret it differently.

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

and in Forbes
"An Apple spokesman just told me that new models and new designs of the Mac Pro, as well as the iMac desktop, are in the works and will likely be released in 2013. That confirms what New York Times columnist David Pogue said yesterday, citing an unnamed Apple executive, about Apple’s commitment to its desktop computers."

and David Pogue in NYTimes (yes I know he's a fanboi).
"An executive did assure me, however, that new MacPro designs are under way, probably for release in 2013."

Sorry, but I just can't fathom another non Xeon system being added to the lineup. Apple doesn't fragment its product line. Apple's too guarded about the language used by their staff and by mainstream media. There's no economic point to another i7.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 1, 2013 at 12:21:37 am

[Gary Bettan] "I'll go back to the original post. I don't see Apple releasing a new Mac Pro this year. I'd love to see them push technology forward, but I just don't see it happening. Big high end hardware does not match up with their current corporate strategies or goals. Of course, that can change at any time, and with Apple NO ONE knows anything, we are all speculating. "

I pretty much agree with you. The one bit of hope I do see for a newer, brighter Mac Pro is that the blowback at the last Developers shindig seemed to get management's attention. I think Cook and company were genuinely surprised by the damage the lack of attention to the workstation workspace was creating among developers. It may have sunk in that having a strong workstation in the line would pay off in terms of morale.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 5:55:17 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Apple did do high-performance hardware. Yes, there were caveats, but any system has caveats. The areas where Macs were limited (RAM capacity, PCIe slots) relative to other workstations were immaterial for the sort of work we're discussing here. It wasn't until GPU co-processing started catching on for some specific software that Apple's poor GPU drivers, limited GPU choices, and lack of slots to put them in started to matter. I think that practically speaking, the concern about slots/GPU on Mac had been forward-looking until maybe last year.

Think back just a few years. How much better could you do than a 8-core Intel workstation with 32 GB of RAM, running UNIX, with an NVIDIA Quadro FX4800, AJA Kona, and fibre channel or RAID card installed?"


Yes, they did high performance hardware, but every time we talk about this, we have to talk about the entire system.

When running the same CPU intensive applcaiton (After Effects for example) on the the relaitve same hardware, PC's usually always win the speedtests. This of course is doubly true now as Apple has let a generation of Xeon's lapse so the comparison's are no longer on the same scale.

I am saying, Apple systems on the whole, are slower, even if they have the same stats as a PC and you can connect the same devices.

Then, of course, there's two or three FX4800s, which just ins't possible with Macs without bus saturation and weird PCIe extending dongles, and some serious programming. It's not as easy to get this done on Mac as it is on Windows.

I know you disagree with me, but you cannot go as fast on a Mac as you can on Windows.


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Walter Soyka
q
on Jan 2, 2013 at 3:55:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know you disagree with me, but you cannot go as fast on a Mac as you can on Windows."

Do we really disagree as much as this thread suggest?

All I'm saying is that Apple sold some pretty sock-rocking systems, especially from 2006 to 2010ish. They were competitive performance systems in our market -- the fastest CPUs, enough (but not the most) RAM, enough (but not the most PCIe), and the GPU didn't matter all that much for most of our software yet.

If there was a small performance difference on cross-platform software between a top-end Mac and identically-spec'ed PC, it was probably a worthwhile trade-off for most of us to have FCP on the same box.

From 2010ish (with DaVinci Resolve on Mac being the first major application in our segment that could use multiple GPUs) through now (with no E5 Xeon), the Mac Pro has been outclassed.

I hope they change that. FCPX is fast on a Sandy Bridge i7. It could be faster still on an E5 Xeon.

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: q
on Jan 2, 2013 at 4:18:55 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Do we really disagree as much as this thread suggest?"

Not at all.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 30, 2012 at 7:48:30 pm

I didn't realize they didn't sell PCs. I never intended to besmirch anybody. I think I was clear in saying there is nothing wrong with selling things. I don't think I have any more wishful thinking than those who dislike Apple. I have to say there's quite a bit of wishful thinking on the other side also.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 30, 2012 at 9:34:51 pm

[Brett Sherman] "I didn't realize they didn't sell PCs. I never intended to besmirch anybody. I think I was clear in saying there is nothing wrong with selling things."

Glad to hear it. I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with trying to sell things. Where we disagree, however, seems to be on the legitimacy of offering supposedly neutral advice or opinion that is formed not by the facts at hand, but is arranged solely for financial gain. That may be OK with you, but the sense I've gotten from Videoguys over the years is that strive to rise far above that.


[Brett Sherman] "I don't think I have any more wishful thinking than those who dislike Apple. I have to say there's quite a bit of wishful thinking on the other side also.
"


I'm not sure at all what you mean by this. I personally own 7 Macs, a string of phones, 3 Apple TVs, numerous iPods, 2 iPads, and the networking guts to connect them together. I enjoy using them all. But, I also believe that Apple has taken a far more consumer-oriented path in the last few years, and that they no longer have the incentive to support the needs of the high-tech artistic community. I also believe they don't have much desire to do so anymore. So which "side" am I on? Do I dislike Apple because I believe they no longer have my core needs in their sights? Wishful thinking on my part would be for Apple to build a fully competitive MacPro. I just doubt that they are going to.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 3:54:34 pm

[Brett Sherman] "I don't think I have any more wishful thinking than those who dislike Apple. I have to say there's quite a bit of wishful thinking on the other side also."

Brett, I'm not sure where you'd put me. You might consider me on "the other side" and I have certainly been vocal and critical of Apple, but I really don't dislike them.

I wrote other comments here on a PC. I'm writing this on a Mac now. I'm looking forward to retiring my current MBP and buying a new retina-display MBP this year. I use PCs, and I use Macs. No big deal.The right tool for the job. I hope that there will be a cool new Mac Pro in 2013. I bought into Smoke this year, so I'm in the market for an updated Mac workstation. I'd love to run one alongside my HPs.

I'm curious what wishful thinking you see on the other side. I talk about theory here because that's the way the conversations sometimes go, but I work in the real world and practicality matters a lot to me. If I'm being impractical about something, I would love to re-consider.

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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Michael Phillips
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 4:30:44 pm

[Walter Soyka]: If Apple does move toward some proprietary system, they will have to get other third-party developers on-board, too, or FCPX on a 2013 Mac Pro will basically be a turnkey system.


And I don't think Apple really has a problem with this strategy. Looking at the overall Apple ecosystem from OS to hardware, to managed applications via iTunes/App store, mobile, and content consumption/sharing, this might actually be their strategy. I often wonder what the tipping point is for a monopoly... ;)


Michael


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Walter Soyka
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 4:49:22 pm

[Walter Soyka] If Apple does move toward some proprietary system, they will have to get other third-party developers on-board, too, or FCPX on a 2013 Mac Pro will basically be a turnkey system.

[Michael Phillips] "And I don't think Apple really has a problem with this strategy. Looking at the overall Apple ecosystem from OS to hardware, to managed applications via iTunes/App store, mobile, and content consumption/sharing, this might actually be their strategy."

I'd bet a tasty beverage that Apple has FCPX running on an A6X in a lab somewhere.


[Michael Phillips] "I often wonder what the tipping point is for a monopoly... ;)"

Well, apparently it's somewhere after Bruce Willis's iTunes collection... :)

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: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 5:56:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "[Michael Phillips] "I often wonder what the tipping point is for a monopoly... ;)"

Well, apparently it's somewhere after Bruce Willis's iTunes collection... :)"


Or buying hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 31, 2012 at 6:21:43 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I'm curious what wishful thinking you see on the other side. I talk about theory here because that's the way the conversations sometimes go, but I work in the real world and practicality matters a lot to me. If I'm being impractical about something, I would love to re-consider."

I wouldn't label any particular person as on one side or another. Neither am I the Apple fanboy that I seem to be labeled. I used PCs until about 5 years ago.

However, as a mostly outsider to this forum who rarely posts I do notice a tenor to the discussion. I think there is a lot of bitterness towards Apple because some people dislike FCP X. I think that translates into a some schadenfreude and negative speculation about Apple.

I only posited a differing theory about why Apple would not abandon the pro market and got called out for "wishful thinking". Which was perhaps not the best phrasing, but was the phrasing that was thrown at me for some reason.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Jan 1, 2013 at 12:10:51 am

[Brett Sherman] "I only posited a differing theory about why Apple would not abandon the pro market and got called out for "wishful thinking". Which was perhaps not the best phrasing, but was the phrasing that was thrown at me for some reason.
"


Sorry. I apologize for being such a b@st@rd to you there, Brett. As for phrasing, I don't think wishful thinking is such a bad thing. I do it all the time. I don't think I "called you out" either; I was simply defending Gary from what I thought of as a vaguely defamatory statement. But, I do concede that that may be wishful thinking on my part.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 2:33:25 pm

[Herb Sevush] "If you are sticking with FCP7, then you need to understand this. Hear it now, so you don't end up crying about it later. If and when (and I doubt it will ever come) that Apple releases a new line of Mac Pros, FCP7 ain't gonna run on it. Apple is not going to bog it down with any legacy support for old, antiquated products. Actually FCP7 may run, it may not, but it will definitely not take advantage of any of the new technology and performance a new Mac Pro would deliver. "

This was true for the 2010 Mac Pro in 2010. FCP7 hasn't been able to take advantage of new hardware in a Mac Pro aside from CPU clock speed bumps, really, ever. Slots for I/O cards and faster storage made a difference, but that will be true of any Mac FCP7 can run on. FCP7's ability to run on future Macs is tied only to OS X's support for the frameworks it depends on. That is what will ultimately halt FCP7's use on future Macs, not any hardware design decisions Apple makes about whatever it is they are doing with whatever is replacing the Mac Pro. The old APIs and frameworks that FCP7 is built upon will be dropped from some future release of OS X (some have been deprecated for two OS X major releases already), and only then will it no longer be able to run on the newest Mac to come.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Dec 28, 2012 at 9:45:17 pm

[Andrew Richards] "only then will it no longer be able to run on the newest Mac to come."

Andy, I agree with your general assessment, but I don't think you are at all at odds with what Gary is saying. Prior to 2008, or so, improvements in clock cycles and RAM access were pretty much the only ways that a new computer could boost the performance of FCP. This was still true in 2010 for NLEs, though other graphics programs were beginning to get a boost from GPUs. Since then GPUs have become far more important. I think Gary would have no problem agreeing that FCP7 would gain from a boost in cpu speed, but that his point is that much of the recent speed gains are do to changes in GPU usage, and legacy FCP will not garner anything from that. Also, your point about OS X is of course correct, but I think Gary implies that as well. Far more than Microsoft can, Apple tailors it OS to current and recent machines. We all know that it won't be long until an OS upgrade no longer supports Legacy. If there hadn't been such an outcry, it might already have happened.


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Steve McGarrigle
Re: Nice thread on the future of the Mac Pro on the Videoguy's forum
on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:03:02 pm

"When was the last time anyone heard the words share and Apple used in the same sentence unless they were talking about their stock price?"

Apple loves the word Share, they used it to replace all instances of the word 'Export" in FCPX, Motion and Compressor. :)


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