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Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?

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Mark Dobson
Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:51:41 am

I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering whether to wait for the illusive new MacPro which we have been promised for later this year.

Or to cut to the chase and either buy the new iMac or the recent 15" Retina MacBook Pro.

For some reason I've never been lucky with Apple Displays so I will probably hang on and wait for the MacPro.

But the alternatives are getting very attractive and Larry Jordan has just published this blog about his new 27" iMac.

For those who have not seen it here is the link:

http://www.larryjordan.biz/app_bin/wordpress/archives/2084


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David Eaks
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 1:12:55 pm

I say wait. There is no reason to jump the gun (unless there is). While I'm anxious to upgrade both my 2008 8-core & bought-just-months-before-thunderbolt-released-MBP and those new 27" iMacs sure are tempting. I'm hoping that the new Mac Pro really will be "something great". I bet it will be "made for FCPX" and it will run smokin fast, maybe even get decent Motion 5 performance :) I could see losing an internal storage slot or two, the optical drives, even firewire (just don't take away my PCI slots!) and having a seek, trimmed-down, nice rack-sized "sizzle-core beauty".

but if it sucks and won't work for you at all, those iMacs will still be there.


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John Godwin
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 1:19:33 pm

I have a 2008 Mac Pro, probably the only one they ever made that crashed as often running FCP. Never have figured out why, but I blame the VAR.

In any case I have the 27" iMac, maxed out. Ordered OWC memory and maxed that out, too. I haven't run any official speed tests, but this thing is solid, stable and blazing fast. I took an existing FCPX :30 project done on my 15" Retina MacBook (which is already pretty fast) and tried it on my Mac Pro and the new iMac. A lot of effects and image work, including Magic Bullet Looks and ToneGrade, neither of which will play back at all on the Mac Pro without rendering.

On the Mac Pro:
5-10 minutes to render
No realtime playback

On the MacBook Pro:
2-3 minutes to render
Realtimeish, but showing maybe 10-15 frames per second

On the iMac:
15-20 seconds to render
Almost perfect realtime, dropping maybe 1-3 frames per second (again, with VERY heavy effects)

Why, it's almost as if FCPX and the iMac were made for each other. Imagine that.

I'm extremely happy with the iMac. The screen reflections issue bothered me a bit with the 2009 iMac I also have, somewhat, but I actually hadn't even remembered it as a factor until I read the Larry Jordan interview just now. At least in my setup it seems fine, no glare to speak of at all.

My expectation is that sometime before or around NAB someone'll release a Thunderbolt magic box with all the inputs and outputs I need and that'll take care of things for a while.

For me the question is, now, when Apple releases the Mac Pro replacement, will I actually need to pay what I assume to be a premium for what I assume to be even more power? Or is this iMac so good that "more" is a waste for my needs?

Oh, and anyone interested in a Mac Pro tower (sorry, I'm not in the office and don't have the specs handy) with Kona 3 and breakout box) let me know before I put it on eBay).

Best,
John


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David Eaks
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 2:24:55 pm

[John Godwin]
"On the iMac: 15-20 seconds to render
Almost perfect realtime, dropping maybe 1-3 frames per second (again, with VERY heavy effects)

Why, it's almost as if FCPX and the iMac were made for each other. Imagine that."


It comments like this that make it so tempting. Especially with Larry and Walter and so many others praising the iMacs as well. I've never had the opportunity to edit on any TBolt Mac (not counting messing around at the Apple store). I spoke with a couple yesterday, friends of a friend, they just bought a new 27" iMac with upgraded RAM. I said I've heard good things about them for what I do. They said it has a hard time playing "The Sims" and I just wanted to take the computer away from them.

[John Godwin] "My expectation is that sometime before or around NAB someone'll release a Thunderbolt magic box with all the inputs and outputs I need and that'll take care of things for a while."

Yeah, I thought that when the time came for me, the Belkin dock would be my pick. Then they dropped eSATA and now I'm not so sure-
http://www.macrumors.com/2013/01/07/ces-2013-belkin-drops-esata-support-for...

[John Godwin] "Oh, and anyone interested in a Mac Pro tower (sorry, I'm not in the office and don't have the specs handy) with Kona 3 and breakout box) let me know before I put it on eBay)."

May as well put it up on the classifieds here :)


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Bret Williams
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 4:19:33 pm

It's odd that everyone is having this relevation now. The 2011 iMacs were literally just a few hz slower. But they have a Dvd burner and FW 800. No USB 3 or Fusion though. If one is buying for FCPX then they're arguably a better, more well rounded machine. The new ones' main advantage is GPU suppt for Adobe AE and Premiere we assume is coming. It can already be hacked.


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Steve Connor
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 4:35:35 pm

[Bret Williams] "The new ones' main advantage is GPU suppt for Adobe AE and Premiere we assume is coming. It can already be hacked.
"


and more importantly for me they work better with Resolve. I've been editing on a 2011 iMac today at a clients office and I was very impressed with the speed. I'll be ordering a 2012 iMac shortly and if the MacPro turns out to be much better then I'll trade up!

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:35:09 am

I checked out the monitor the other day, and it IS better. Much less glare than on the current TBolt monitor, which is actually what I was shopping for. In fact, I looked at the two side by side, and the Tbolt was just reflectively hideous. So, no TBolt monitor for me. I found the reflection on the iMac acceptable, though I'd still rather have matte. I can see a possibility of one for me down the road. As for a monitor, I'll probably get the comparable Dell or an Asus, since both come with matte finish, though, sadly, niether come with TBolt.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:52:22 am

[Chris Harlan] "I checked out the monitor the other day, and it IS better. Much less glare than on the current TBolt monitor, which is actually what I was shopping for. In fact, I looked at the two side by side, and the Tbolt was just reflectively hideous. So, no TBolt monitor for me. I found the reflection on the iMac acceptable, though I'd still rather have matte. I can see a possibility of one for me down the road. As for a monitor, I'll probably get the comparable Dell or an Asus, since both come with matte finish, though, sadly, niether come with TBolt.
"


I agree about the TBolt monitor.

It is a pity because the rest of it is a very nice looking monitor, but the glare truly sucks.

For a decent 27" check out the Viewsonic LED if you want dual link res:

http://www1.viewsonic.com/products/tvs/vp2770led.htm

The HP is also very very nice:

http://www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/382087-382087-64283-72270-3884471-51...'>http://h10010.http://www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/382087-382087-64283-72270-3884471-51...


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John Godwin
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 4:47:42 pm

Between ThunderBolt (in the future) and my 15 or so FireWire drives I think I can live without eSata.

Here's the thing - it makes no sense to me that Apple would go through the complete FCPX change and NOT have a master plan for maxing out the software/hardware combination, better integration than FCP Legacy (a purchased product) would have.

Perhaps it's the time of life I'm in or just the confluence of events, but I look at my Mac Pro and all the boxes and machines attached to it (HDV, DVcam, Betacam) that I have used once or twice a year in the last year or two and just want to slim down, especially since I can accomplish everything I currently need to do with so much less now.

Best,
John


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 4:58:51 pm

[David Eaks] "hey said it has a hard time playing "The Sims" and I just wanted to take the computer away from them."

Thank you for this detail. I needed it.


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Mark Dobson
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 4:15:18 pm

[John Godwin] "Why, it's almost as if FCPX and the iMac were made for each other. "

Thanks for that information John.

Sounds like you have really benefited from getting the new iMac.

What storage are you using?


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John Godwin
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 4:37:30 pm

I have a bunch of FireWire drives that I see no reason to throw away, so I'm mostly using those with the ThunderBolt to FW adaptors. I have an eSata Raid on my old Mac Pro but I expect to sell that with the system and not worry about an eSata port. Eventually I expect to get a TB Raid but why waste all those FireWire drives? I've cut a couple of small things off the internal HD to see what would happen and that actually worked fine. I don't think I'll make that a habit, though.

To Bret's point about the 2011 iMacs, I have a 2009. It handled FCPX pretty well and I haven't done a direct comparison, but subjectively the new one seems much faster and smoother. And I suspect the graphics card in the new iMac is a major player in that.

Are you the same Mark that was on the Liquid Silver boards a lot some years ago? I see a lot of Silver DNA in some of the FCPX choices ...

Best,
John


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Bret Williams
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 6:24:58 pm

And dont forget the hyper threaded i7.


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Mark Dobson
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:37:25 pm

[John Godwin] "Are you the same Mark that was on the Liquid Silver boards a lot some years ago? I see a lot of Silver DNA in some of the FCPX choices ..."

Not me - liquid silver sounds like something I shouldn't tried out at one of those festivals I used to go to when I was young and used to edit using a cutting block and glue!


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John Godwin
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:03:51 am

[John Godwin] "Are you the same Mark that was on the Liquid Silver boards a lot some years ago? I see a lot of Silver DNA in some of the FCPX choices ..."

Not me - liquid silver sounds like something I shouldn't tried out at one of those festivals I used to go to when I was young and used to edit using a cutting block and glue!""

Mark,

Yeah, me too. I think editors who have only cut on electronic/digital systems have missed the very educational tactile experience of literally cutting apart slices of reality and rearranging them, abetted by that potent glue, of course.

First tv job I had the only way I could do dissolves (on 16mm film) was to shoot the shot, fading the shutter manually to closed with a little lever on the side of the Bolex, backwinding the film x number of frames, then starting the next shot and fading manually back up. In camera dissolves. Timing was pretty important.

Now, whatever system one chooses, the options are almost limitless. That's why I sometimes am amazed by the lack of appreciation of how good we've all got it.

Then my adult son makes some smart remark about how I used to have to carve my shots frame by frame in stone with a hammer and chisel and I just get back to work.

Best,
John


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 2:51:36 pm

I think it's just a matter of how hampered you feel you are by your current hardware.

No one knows what Apple's schedule on this is beyond "2013". But I think a timeframe of 6-10 months is probably a reasonable assumption.

I have a friend setting himself up with Smoke on the Mac, and he's been asking me about investing in upgrading his 2010 MacPro vs. buying a new topped out iMac as a stop gap until Apple releases whatever this next thing is.

If you buy an iMac now, two possibilities occur-

1. The new MacPro comes out and either it isn't what you need/want, or you've found that the iMac is fast enough for you. Either way you've got a good machine.

2. The new MacPro comes out and it's advantages over the iMac are significant enough to merit the switch. In that case you have a nearly new top of the line iMac that will have lost very little of it's value in that 6-8 months. It will still be a current generation machine, so I can't see not being able to sell it at 80-90% of it's purchase price. So maybe you loose $500-$800 in the transaction. Pretty small potatoes if you're using that machine to earn a living.

For myself, I'm currently working on a 2011 iMac which is serving me quite well. When the new MacPro comes out, this machine will go to my wife, and I'll sell the topped-out 17"MBP to finance the purchase of the new machine.



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Chris Kenny
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:57:41 pm

[Marcus Moore] "No one knows what Apple's schedule on this is beyond "2013". But I think a timeframe of 6-10 months is probably a reasonable assumption."

I would imagine that at this point Apple will wait for Intel's Ivy Bridge E processors, which would indeed be Q3 or Q4 according to Intel's roadmap.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Gary Huff
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 6:03:03 pm

I would get the new iMac and max it out (27" 2GB GeForce, and 768GB SSD with 32GB of RAM From OWC). I wouldn't hold my breath that Apple releases anything like a MacPro in 2013.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 6:25:09 pm

Especially when they've already said they are.



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Gary Huff
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 6:50:20 pm

[Marcus Moore] "Especially when they've already said they are."

Well, that's what people say was said, but here's what was really said:

"Although we didn’t have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year. We also updated the current model today."

That's not exactly a "We are making a new Mac Pro" statement. That's, "we are making something Pros can use." That could be literally anything, especially since the e-mail went on to tout the FCPX features that were added and the fact that many pros have switched to using a MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Again, I wouldn't hold my breath if you're in need of an updated workstation.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:26:30 pm

I think it's really important to bring up that quote, because you're right, they DID NOT say they would be releasing a new MacPro, but "something" for those users....

My own logic on that statement reads that it's something that does what an iMac doesn't, because if it didn't, then those users are ALREADY being served by an iMac.

The distinguishing features of a MacPro from an iMac are:
1. Server Class CPUs
2. PCI expansion.
3. Loads of RAM (beyond the 32GB that you can put in an iMac)
4. Access to the beefy GPUs that won't fit in an iMac (really PCI expansion again)

If this new product doesn't address these elements in some fashion, then it has no reason for being, because otherwise it's an iMac. And this machine isn't just to serve video and audio pros, but for app developers as well, who's work can also churn thru loads of processing power. So even if you question Apple's commitment to Creative Pros, I think they're commitment to App Developers is certainly easier to qualify- it's obviously serving their greater interests.

Just my thoughts. I reserve the right to be horribly wrong.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:08:49 pm

Fundamentally it would have to Xeon processors and powerful GPU.

We can argue about other aspects but there's absolutely zero business or market reason for Apple to come out with another variation with iMac specs.

I'd love for the naysayers to explain what market viable machine Apple would come out otherwise.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:18:08 pm

[Craig Seeman] "We can argue about other aspects but there's absolutely zero business or market reason for Apple to come out with another variation with iMac specs."

I mostly agree with this.

In the argument that I kept instigating on another thread on Mac vs PC and cost, it kept coming back to the hole in the Apple product line, in that they don't have an "iMac Tower".

While you and I probably don't see Apple producing something like this (it wouldn't take this long to produce an iMac tower, we'd have it already), I imagine it would go over like gang busters in many many places. I don't think Apple is interested, but I bet consumers of all professional trades would be interested.

What I am wondering is if Apple does keep a tower config available, perhaps it would be scalable from i7 to Xeon. Xeon would need a TBolt connection, of course.


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Bret Williams
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:45:48 pm

After seeing how many Pad devices, phones, and laptops that were made as proof of concept, mockups, and early versions that were never fully built, released or sold - I'm pretty confident many iMac tower variations have existed over the years in an apple lab somewhere.

My guess is that some sort of small form factor will be designed with 4 Thunderbolt ports and perhaps an extra PCI slot beside the pci GPU. Xeons hopefully. Or perhaps xeons and pci slots in an iMac form factor. Perhaps shrinking down the guts of the iMac served another purpose. So that xeons and pic cards could fit inside the previous size iMac.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:52:42 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "While you and I probably don't see Apple producing something like this (it wouldn't take this long to produce an iMac tower, we'd have it already), I imagine it would go over like gang busters in many many places. I don't think Apple is interested, but I bet consumers of all professional trades would be interested."

But I don't think it's simply lack of interest from Apple. You have 4x PCIe expansion with Thunderbolt. Given Apple's "control" of their market, coming out with a product that might move some people to buy PCIe cards over Thunderbolt devices, wouldn't serve Apple's interest nor their desire to push developers to have viable Thunderbolt products. This is why I say there's market considerations in Apple's approach to this.

Would there be interest in a "headless" i7 desktop with PCIe slots from Apple? Yes for many users but no as far as what benefits Apple's business interests and how they want to push third party development of Thunderbolt.

BTW this is also why I suspect there will be minimal internal PCIe in the MacPro replacement. 16x (and 8x) is necessary for GPUs and a few other cards but I think from Apple's market push, the common 4x and lower cards will all be handled through Thunderbolt. Basically it is in Apple's interest to push as much of "their" market into Thunderbolt as technically possible. The alternative will be the continued increase in third party PCIe to Thunderbolt chassis (best utilized for 4x and lower) which still moves you to Thunderbolt.

To put it simply. Apple forces you to buy Thunderbolt where technically possible (not really for 8x or 16x cards yet). Developers are market pushed to make Thunderbolt versions. Increasing Thunderbolt development has some market forced price pressure on such peripherals.

Yes this is a case of Apple making a decision for you by force but that results in Apple's force on third party development and market driven pricing (over time).

Also Apple has no business motive to compete with its own iMac especially with an i7 box that might have a longer life cycle. Actually that, I suspect, was the problem with the MacPro from Apple's perspective. In that case not only is the market small but the replacement rate is much less frequent.

When you look at Apple's business and market model, I think they're somewhat predictable. This doesn't mean you'll like what they're doing in the short run (or at all for some people) though.



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Gary Huff
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:59:54 pm

So why would you expect to get anything beyond an iMac when enclosures already exist to turn your Thunderbolt port into an extension of 4x PCIe and even ExpressCard?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:04:11 pm

[Gary Huff] "So why would you expect to get anything beyond an iMac when enclosures already exist to turn your Thunderbolt port into an extension of 4x PCIe and even ExpressCard?"

For the Xeons.

And let's not forget, as of today, there's no Xeon processor, let alone motherboard configs with Thunderbolt.

Jeremy


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Gary Huff
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:17:49 pm

And is that likely to change in 2013? And if not, then where does that leave the likelihood of a traditional Mac Pro arriving this year? I highly doubt Apple will release a machine without Thunderbolt. I highly doubt Apple cares about supported add-on PCIe cards for GPUs. I highly doubt that Apple is interested in pursuing any kind of connectivity outside of Thunderbolt.

Which brings us right back to the iMac as the standard desktop machine for "Pros".


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:50:48 pm

[Gary Huff] "And is that likely to change in 2013?"

Why not?

A different theory is Phi, but that's a whole 'nother set of pipe dream.


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David Eaks
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:35:38 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "A different theory is Phi, but that's a whole 'nother set of pipe dream."

I'd be interested in hearing a pipe dream theory or two regarding Phi, if you care to share.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:47:31 pm

[David Eaks] "I'd be interested in hearing a pipe dream theory or two regarding Phi, if you care to share."

First here:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/44185

We get into it a bit here:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/46052

Jeremy


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:54:56 pm

Actually it is. The next-gen Xeons arriving this year are due to have TB support as far as I know...

As for PCIe- Look, if Apple felt that the iMac was their new "Pro" machine they would have just said that by now and discontinued the MacPro. There's no reason to have "refreshed" and kept the MacPro alive in 2012 unless it's a stopgap for something in 2013. Thunderbolt as a I/O isn't due to get a speed bump for at least another year if I remember correctly, and who knows how close that gets us to it actually being a PCIe replacement for the faster protocols. So I don't see how PCIe isn't in this new machine.



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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:07:41 pm

Exactly- this is why I don't agree with this theory from Craig.

Thunderbolt expansion may be a viable solution when we can address those higher speeds (presumably at the 100GB/s optical stage), but for now it's a way to bring SOME of those higher-end tasks to the iMac (broadcast monitoring for example). It's also the I/O for displays, storage, audio gear-- and the speeds do diminish as you lengthen the chain.

PCIe is I'm sure a technology that Apple would love to be done with, but there's no viable alternative today.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:32:51 pm

[Marcus Moore] "PCIe is I'm sure a technology that Apple would love to be done with, but there's no viable alternative today."

Which is why I said I expect to see 16x PCIe. That will handle 8x and 16x cards. I do not expect to see 4x slots though. My guess would be it'll have two 16x slots.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:55:42 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Which is why I said I expect to see 16x PCIe. That will handle 8x and 16x cards. I do not expect to see 4x slots though. My guess would be it'll have two 16x slots."

Here's the thing I don't understand about that assumption. The market for dual Xeon workstations is admittedly small. For many in that market 2 16x PCIe slots with everything else 4x is just not enough. It's not enough for me, I'm pretty sure it's not enough for Walter, I think it won't be enough for many in the EFX / Compositing field who make up a sizable chunk of this very small market. Why would Apple want to come out with a workstation that automatically writes off lets say 20% (wild guess) of the already small workstation market. Unless this machine is being designed specifically for the server market, a market Apple has pretty much abandoned, where's the advantage of small size if it costs you any power user that needs 3 or more PCIe slots. HP and Dell are competing heavily in the workstation market and I don't see them limiting PCIe slots, I see them adding as many as they can -- that's the point of a workstation isn't it? I just don't see the market that Apple would be going for with your proposed Dual Xeon, 2 slot + thunderbolt mini station.

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


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:01:27 pm

Agreed.

The assumption of a mini-tower has always seemed dubious to me. There's little to no market segment between those already being served by an iMac, and those who need the power (relatively speaking) and expandability of a MacPro.

And I think we can all agree that once this new product is released, the MacPro as it exists today will go away- there's no room for a 2-tier solution in the Big Iron space.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:58:32 pm

[Marcus Moore] "The assumption of a mini-tower has always seemed dubious to me. There's little to no market segment between those already being served by an iMac, and those who need the power (relatively speaking) and expandability of a MacPro."

I went on and on about this the other day.

It, of course, veered off course but we were talking about the death of the MacPro.

And then the "build-it-yourself-for-much-cheaper" PC argument came along.

The people that are building their own PCs, time and time again at least in the small samples that have been posted here to the cow, are building the equivalent of an iMac tower.

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that if a headless iMac tower came into being, it would fly off the shelves like hot cakes. Apple likes hot cakes.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:01:23 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The people that are building their own PCs, time and time again at least in the small samples that have been posted here to the cow, are building the equivalent of an iMac tower."

...and loving it, I should have added.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:41:05 pm

Herb, I'm basing my reasoning from what I see of Apple's business model.

If Apple's assessment was similar to yours then in 2012 they would have released a new MacPro with new Xeons... although that might still not fit your description because the MacPro only has one open 16x PCIe slot. I'm not saying there's no need for multiple 16x slots but I don't see Apple heading in that direction because it's a small market.

[Herb Sevush] "Unless this machine is being designed specifically for the server market, a market Apple has pretty much abandoned"

I actually think this is more likely in building a machine that can "serve" more markets. The box would range from a Xeon equivalent of the MacMini to a workstation that someone using Resolve might be OK with (2 16x GPU slots).


[Herb Sevush] "HP and Dell are competing heavily in the workstation market and I don't see them limiting PCIe slots," I'm not absolutely sure of the value of these markets to either given that HP was considering leaving the PC market (obviously changed course though) and Dell may be sold to a Private Equity firm (and such articles note that Dell themselves have been making acquisitions geared towards business service, rather than PC sales as a business model).



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Herb Sevush
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:52:51 pm

[Craig Seeman] " I'm not absolutely sure of the value of these markets to either given that HP was considering leaving the PC market (obviously changed course though) and Dell may be sold to a Private Equity firm (and such articles note that Dell themselves have been making acquisitions geared towards business service, rather than PC sales as a business model)."

Come on Craig, this is a distortion and you know it. HP was considering getting out of the consumer PC market, it never once, not for a moment considered getting out of the workstation market. And Dell is acting real funny for someone not committed to the workstation market - the T7600 would blow anything your describing out of the water.

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: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:32:12 am

[Herb Sevush] "HP was considering getting out of the consumer PC market, it never once, not for a moment considered getting out of the workstation market."

I'm not going to start digging up articles but there were a few which did clarify that they included workstations. I may have posted one at the time which explicitly raised and addressed that workstations were part of what they were looking to sell off.

[Herb Sevush] "And Dell is acting real funny for someone not committed to the workstation market - the T7600 would blow anything your describing out of the water."

Specs don't make the company, profit margins do. Dell is in trouble. That doesn't mean Private Equity will dismember them. P.E. usually does one of two things. They either do a strip down or, alternatively, really infuse a company with needed capital to grow. If it's the latter it may be to help Dell make more acquisitions to compete with HP in the business service area. But that too would make PCs a smaller part of its future business model (meaning they could sell that off specifically). Even selling it off doesn't mean "death" to that division. It seems Lenovo is doing very well post their IBM PC division acquisition... and Lenovo is probably hitting Dell's sales since Lenovo is combing while Dell sales are falling precipitously.

BTW it's not that workstations are universally unprofitable to sell but it seems relative to other markets, it's a shrinking portion of the pie.

Basically HP, Dell, and Apple too, are thinking about their business models relative to workstations. Each may head in different directions in handling that.



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Keith Koby
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:48:42 pm

From the minority camp of those wanting "a" pci-e slot. Latency is supposedly introduced over the thunderbolt to fiber channel san link adaptor. This makes thunderbolt suspect as a means to connect to fiber channel while running a metadata controller on a san.

Having said that, we are doing it with minis on one volume in particular and it seems to be working just fine.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:51:38 pm

[Keith Koby] "Having said that, we are doing it with minis on one volume in particular and it seems to be working just fine."

Meaning, you are dedicating one particular volume for testing or only one volume in particular does not show the latency for whatever reason?

Have you tried an ATTO box?


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Keith Koby
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:00:45 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Meaning, you are dedicating one particular volume for testing or only one volume in particular does not show the latency for whatever reason?"

We have one volume actually in production that does lots of ingest that uses the minis with san links and gigabit thunderbolt adaptors as metadata controllers. They use the built in gigabit nic for the private md net and the thunderbolt gigabit adaptor through the second port on the san link as the "public" lan connection. No complaints yet. It's snappy.



[Jeremy Garchow] "Have you tried an ATTO box?"

No but it would in affect be the same situation as the promise san link in that it is a container for a pci-e fiberchannel card with a thunderbolt adaptor on it. I would assume similar latency.


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Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:50:43 pm

I'm wondering about the same option, but if I decided to buy a top notch iMac, I would end up spending something like 3.200,00 Euro. I should then add an external RAID array. It should be as quiet as possible and at least 6Tb to equal what I have inside my MP now and to fit my needs. Maybe a Thunderbolt one, since FW800 and eSata are not present on the latest iMacs. A Pegasus G4 is about 1760,00 Euro. Then I would need a box to continue using all of my esata enclosures, RAID arrays and cards like the Intensity Pro and Sonnet Tempo. About 750.00 Euro. Total money: about 5710.00 Euro. If a new MP would come out with internal storage slot and PCIe slots, maybe it would not be much more expensive. Since my early 2008 MacPro seems to handle my current workflow with no particular problem, I think I'll still wait for a while. If quiet and reliable single drive external quick swap Thunderbolt enclosures were available, that would possibly be a cheaper option (no RAID array but a few sparse disks and just a couple of adapters instead of a pcie box).

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:00:49 pm

[Marcus Moore] "Exactly- this is why I don't agree with this theory from Craig."

Craig's theory does fit well in to the Apple ecosystem though, you can't deny that.

[Marcus Moore] "PCIe is I'm sure a technology that Apple would love to be done with, but there's no viable alternative today."

PCIe as a technology, no, but being done with PCIe as a design aesthetic, yes.

Thunderbolt, by definition, includes PCIe.

Jeremy


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:06:52 pm

Right, but not at the speeds most many PCIe cards require.

I've said before that if TB was available at the needed speeds, I think a modular product would probably be what we were getting.

But if we take Apple as true to it's word that it will release a "really great" product for people who use MacPros, AND take for granted that Thunderbolt isn't going to change substantially this year- then we're sort of painted into a corner, aren't we?



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:43:45 pm

[Marcus Moore] "But if we take Apple as true to it's word that it will release a "really great" product for people who use MacPros, AND take for granted that Thunderbolt isn't going to change substantially this year- then we're sort of painted into a corner, aren't we?"

Certainly, unless they know something that we don't, you know, that whole "double down on secrecy" thing. That previous sentence is a hyperlink that probably doesn't show up in your email, but does show up on the cow.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:23:06 am

I think Apple would love to double down on secrecy- but it didn't seem to help them with the iPhone5 leaks.

Granted, the MacPro doesn't have the same appeal for scoop-seekers as a new iPhone or iPad; which is likely how the new Retina MacbookPro and iMac were able to be released relatively unspoiled.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:20:12 am

[Marcus Moore] "Granted, the MacPro doesn't have the same appeal for scoop-seekers as a new iPhone or iPad; which is likely how the new Retina MacbookPro and iMac were able to be released relatively unspoiled."

Exactly. We'll see what happens later this year, but my guess is that we will start to hear some leaks come game time.


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Helmut Kobler
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 7:36:51 am

I have a 2009 8-core Nehalem MP right now, which is beginning to feel its age in terms of rendering times. I've thought about getting an iMac instead, but I would have to buy new raid gear, and a new doohickey for broadcast video output, and at least one multi-disk external drive enclosure to handle the 4 drives I run inside my Pro. I'd have to run all of that off Thunderbolt, which could eventually choke even its 10Gb bandwidth (see tests performed by Macworld), and I'd have to store all that stuff on my desk or near it (instead of inside the machine), *and* I'd have to power everything separately. BLAH.

Honestly, I've considered just getting the 2012 12-core Mac Pro as a replacement. I would get performance beyond any iMac, could use all my existing cards (in which case Thunderbolt doesn't really matter), and keep it all in one tidy case. And I'd get another 3 year warranty. Not really ideal, but compared to trying to make everything work with an iMac, it doesn't look so bad.

-------------------
Los Angeles Cameraman
Canon C300 (x2), Zeiss CP.2 lenses, P2 Varicam, etc.
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:23:10 pm

Check barefeats articles from the last month detailing performance tests of the iMac vs MacPro. While the MacPro wins on some raw benchmark scores, the iMac wins in some real-world situations. The current gen MacPro is not cut and dry faster than the iMac in all situations- depending on what software you're using.



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Helmut Kobler
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 6:14:54 pm

"Check barefeats articles from the last month detailing performance tests of the iMac vs MacPro. While the MacPro wins on some raw benchmark scores, the iMac wins in some real-world situations. The current gen MacPro is not cut and dry faster than the iMac in all situations- depending on what software you're using."

Hi Marcus,
All of Barefeats' recent tests have been done on a *single* CPU Mac Pro, using 6 cores. Yup, the newest iMac scores well against that, but I don't think it would do nearly as well against a Mac Pro with two CPUs/12 cores, running software that's multi-core aware like After Effects, Adobe Media Encoder, FCP X and Compressor.

Another reason I'm still considering a current-gen Mac Pro is this: I think Apple will ship a new pro machine with one or two PCIe cards, instead of the four in the Mac Pro. Apple will want to put as much momentum behind Thunderbolt as possible, and the prospect of adding more gear outside my machine and worrying about daisy chains bugs me.

-------------------
Los Angeles Cameraman
Canon C300 (x2), Zeiss CP.2 lenses, P2 Varicam, etc.
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 6:38:53 pm

[Helmut Kobler] " I don't think it would do nearly as well against a Mac Pro with two CPUs/12 cores, "

While I do think a 12 core MacPro will have some advantages it may not be as big as you imagine. Obviously it'll depend on software and what's being executed.

FCPX takes advantage of AVX technology that doesn't exist in the Xeon's being used in the MacPro. There's also limited choice of very old GPUs and you can see that impact in the Barefeats tests now.

I suspect the newer Xeons (which one may depend on the release date of the MacPro replacement) will be a major difference. Of course the GPUs choices will be as well.

Given the price performance and vintage of the Xeons and GPUs in the current MacPros I don't see any long term value.

[Helmut Kobler] " think Apple will ship a new pro machine with one or two PCIe cards, instead of the four in the Mac Pro"

As I mentioned elsewhere this is going to steer third party peripheral development. For example, if there are no 4x PCIe slots, I don't think you'll see much new development in that area. That will all move to Thunderbolt.

Basically if you're keeping a lot of legacy stuff going and using software that will take advantage of the older core technology, I can see buying one but not beyond that.

I think the CPU/GPU improvements over the aging MacPros will not be trivial even if the rest of the internals are "controversial."



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 6:47:20 pm

Barefeats also usually tests a 6 core not a 12 core.

They are pretty clear that a MacPro can be much faster, but you will have to spend a lot more money to get there. "A lot more".

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 6:49:59 pm

Woops.

I'm late to this party. I'll see myself out, enjoy the cocktails.


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Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 7:29:40 pm

If one already owns a MacPro and 2+1 displays, which I think is actually the most common situation among professional editors, so that one can use the PCIe esata and HDMI output cards, the drives and the external non thunderbolt enclosures and arrays that he's using moving them to a new 2012 MP, it could end up being even cheaper than the iMac, if I am not missing something:
MP 2012, 2x2,4 Ghz Xeons, 12 cores, 32Gb RAM, top GPU: E. 4901,00 http://store.apple.com/it/configure/MD771T/A?
iMac 27" i7, 32Gb Ram, top GPU, Pegasus G4 external Thunderbolt RAID, external Thunderbolt 2xPCIe adapter, about E. 5710,00. One could go for a cheaper FW800 or esata to use with the adapter, but anyway it would be about the same price at best, not much cheaper, and I think an external FW would not be the same as the internal RAID the MP offers. I am considering that option....

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Marcus Moore
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 8:02:18 pm

My only regret in purchasing the G5QUAD when it was released back in 2005 was that ultimately (even though it was impossible to know this at the time) it was the WORST time to buy a Mac from a longevity perspective. In 2006 Apple announced the Intel transition, and so my $10,000 machine was obsolete way before it should have been.

I would be very cautious about buying into what's essentially already 2 year old hardware at this juncture. I think we should definitely expect an inflection point for the hardware with this new machine, and I'd personally be worried about have the current MacPro get left behind like mine was...



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Brooks Tomlinson
Re: Wait for the new MacPro or get the new iMac?
on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:41:06 pm

Lets Put some Math into the equation, and I'll tell you my plan.

Anywork I do on my mac at is at home, or freelance. So I too wanted a new mac pro, but was tired of waiting. Then the retinas came out and I bought one in June.

I figured I would rent to myself the new macbook pro, until the Mac pro was released.

I paid 2300 for 16gig retina macpro (2.3). I know the resell value will be fair to high.

7 months later, gazzelle is buying for 1450 right now, selling privately for 1700.

So if I privately sell at 1700, currently thats only $85 a month. If I had to sell to gazzelle, it is $141

I bought only accessions that I know would work in a tower. For fast storage, I use a 256 SSD , and have a 2tb drive. I use the Seagate line, so I can switch between usb 3.0 (174mb read/write) or the thunderbolt adapter (350mb Read/write) I just transfer my projects on and off the fast drive like we did in the old days. Rarely do I have more than 256 for a project (even full show edits)

I have a 120 SSD for my Smoke, and AE cache drive.

On my laptop I run, smoke, mocha, ae, primere, nuke, all real time. Even RT red footage. FCP X is super fast as well. I've been really impressed with the speed, especially smoke.

One last benefit, when I want create a new look, or a do a new tutorial, I can do it in the living room with my wife while we watch tv. I get to work, and she gets together time :)

Downsides,
I have a 24 inch monitor, and to hook it up, you have to buy a 100 dollar apple adaptor. I all ready had it.

The retina will get hot on long work hours. I had to buy a laptop cooler, but it has a USB 3 hub built in!


That was my plan. Honestly though, what will probably end up happening is I will just save up for the new mac pro, and keep the macbook instead of selling my macbook.

Brooks

Brooks Tomlinson
"I dream in 32bit float"


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