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Harry Pallenberg
Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 1:12:26 am

Sure the new tower looks cool and is more powerful than god... and I hope I can afford it. But I think its very design is its biggest flaw.

Not because of the lack of internal drives. My desk is covered with firewire drives already...

Not because it has 8GB RAM soldered in... they are not that stupid & the animation looks like that at least will be user upgradable.

Not because there will now be even more cable spaghetti to hook anything up... again I already have a full pasta bar on my desk...

Not because of the lack of CD/DVD... although I do have an awful lot of them around... guess I'll need an external to add to the drives & spaghetti...

Not because it is not rack mountable... although I'm sure someone will figure out something...

My issue is that it is a round peg fitting into and onto a square hole. My desk is a rectangle. I like things that are 90º's. A old tower fits nicely under it or on it. The large flat side makes a nice place for post-its. The other large flat side is a nice barrier which stops (round) things from rolling off. The top is a great mini-table for a drive or airport or pen & paper... which I still use... and comes in a rectangular notebook... as do all the external drives and just about all the other 'things' I'm looking at.

In short my desk is a mess and does not live up to Jony Ive's expectations of a barren slab of slate or maybe a single plane of teak lumber as a desk with an austere black cylinder, a monitor and a wireless keyboard & mouse as the only things on it.

Thanks,
Harry

Forum Cowmunity Leader: Indie & Doc

Current Projet: Where They Raced
http://www.wheretheyraced.com
http://www.harrypallenberg.com



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 1:29:27 am

Look at it this way, you can practice Bernoulli's principle.

Simply write your notes on ping pong balls and you're good.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 1:29:28 am

Given that computer components are rectangular or square, a tube cannot be a good use of space. Big questions will be heat dissipation.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 1:45:57 am

I suspect given its core cooling, squaring out the sides would have been unused internal space.
I do think the cylinder design seems outwardly impractical but I suspect this is the most space efficient given the internal cooling.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 1:56:36 am

I really don't think space efficiency is important nor is a cylinder ever going to be the most efficient shape for square components. This is clearly a style decision. We shall see if it can keep cool anyway.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:08:15 am

I don't know. I could see how squaring the corners might mess up the airflow. Fans are round, not square. And just think of all the space this is going to free up on your desk. Just don't be an idiot and stack things on it.

I never thought lack of post-it note space would be a deal breaker.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:29:27 am

I know I live in a different world to most by having everything in a central machine room all nicely rack mounted. This design is clearly a waste of space and vents the heat out the top. I need boxes that are only as big as they need to be and vent heat out the front and back so that the ground level air con and ceiling vents create a laminar air flow to take the heat away from the other computers stacked in the rack.

Harry's point that a round shape on a rectangular table is inefficient use of available space is also valid. It looks to me that heat will come out the vents at the top (if the see through prototype pictures are any indication). Not where I want it to be. Do I place it on its side with some wedges to stop it rolling and push the heat out the back? How to then mount all the bits that would otherwise be already in the box? It is style not practicality, otherwise computers would be in round boxes already.

http://thecontaminated.com/r2d2-computer-case/


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:01:36 am

[Michael Gissing] "I know I live in a different world to most by having everything in a central machine room all nicely rack mounted. This design is clearly a waste of space and vents the heat out the top. I need boxes that are only as big as they need to be and vent heat out the front and back so that the ground level air con and ceiling vents create a laminar air flow to take the heat away from the other computers stacked in the rack. "

Our MacPros are in racks. It is nothing short of a pain in the ass to swap something, or work on something as the whole machine needs to be shut down, undressed, taken out, worked on, put back in, and redressed.

This MacPro, with all external expandability, and easily turned around in a small space, the Thunderbolt cables are all the same size and shape, no fumbling around with little optical or dvi or other connection points in a small indent. All external cabling remains in tact from hard drive to SDI to Sata as pretty much everything is tethered by Thunderbolt. If a TBolt peripheral needs servicing, I can remove only that peripheral and the MacPro can still keep working.

While agree that the air will be shooting up to a shelf above it, it's only 10 inches high. There's plenty of space for cooling if your MacPros are sitting upright on the bottom rack shelf currently. Colder air is drawn in from the bottom.

While it is not the most rack unit friendly, it's service friendly, at least that's how it seems to me.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:13:53 am

I agree Jeremy that from a service point of view it is nice to have the guts of the machine on the outside. From the point of view of fitting a few machines into an existing rack room, this is awkward.

Also as Rich has said, a lot of existing infrastructure like monitor extension cables etc is in need of replacing. This happens from time to time. DVI was a royal pain to extent and switch. But they are all factors in deciding whether to build my own PCs in rack boxes that fit the existing or purchase a more awkward shape and change all the connectors, patchbays etc.

If it is underpowered or over priced then why?


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Chris Kenny
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:39:33 am

[Michael Gissing] "I agree Jeremy that from a service point of view it is nice to have the guts of the machine on the outside. From the point of view of fitting a few machines into an existing rack room, this is awkward. "

A lot less awkward than sawing the handles off of a traditional Mac Pro to get it to fit in a 19" rack....

These things are so small that unless you need a large number of them, you're not going to lose much by just arranging a few of them on a rack shelf with 6" of clearance over them.

In fact, if you wanted to get really silly, it seems like you could plausibly fit 10 or 11 of them on a 29" deep rack shelf. (You'd obviously want some well planned auxiliary cooling to move air out of the space over those machines if you went that far — there's probably 3-5 KW of heat coming off that shelf at that point.)

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:47:42 am

[Michael Gissing] "If it is underpowered or over priced then why?"

It all depends on your comfort level. If building and supporting your own hackintoshes works, then yeah, why not?

If Thunderbolt is cost prohibitive due to the chassis, or rebuying of certain TBolt periphs is silly, then of course, pcs might make more sense.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:00:19 am

I am not going Hackintosh as I really don't need Mac OS for anything but Legacy and the old MacPro is fine.

Win OS is fine and the software bundle I am running works best for me if use Win 7. I like to think I am OS agnostic so it is all about the application software. Legacy on a 2009 MacPro and SL is a working package that still makes money.

No-one is sending thunderbolt drives to me. And still no-one has sent a FCPX project either, although one editor did ask if it was OK and I said yes. If I was a lone editor using X then sure this MacPro looks sweet on paper. And really it is only form factor that we can start discussing not price, performance and cooling. I hope it is really quiet because it should be on a pedestal in full view not hiding under a desk or in a rack room.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:17:31 am

[Michael Gissing] " I hope it is really quiet because it should be on a pedestal in full view not hiding under a desk or in a rack room."

With a ping pong ball floating in the top of it:







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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:29:59 am

Ping Pong ball - nice touch but noisy!


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Harry Pallenberg
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:39:08 am

I was also hoping it would float a ping pong ball - but the top vent looks too large...

Thanks,
Harry

Forum Cowmunity Leader: Indie & Doc

Current Projet: Where They Raced
http://www.wheretheyraced.com
http://www.harrypallenberg.com



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David Mathis
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 5:29:10 am

A ping pong ball is nice but what about the infamous spinning beach ball?


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Harry Pallenberg
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 5:50:33 am

brilliant! great idea

Thanks,
Harry

Forum Cowmunity Leader: Indie & Doc

Current Projet: Where They Raced
http://www.wheretheyraced.com
http://www.harrypallenberg.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:57:47 pm

There's room to put the bubble juice on top and have a happy bubble machine running while it operates.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 6:02:38 pm

[Mark Suszko] "There's room to put the bubble juice on top and have a happy bubble machine running while it operates."

Yes!

And then we can attach a cotton candy spinner to the fan, and joy will be brought to all the world.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 12:09:59 pm

[David Mathis] "A ping pong ball is nice but what about the infamous spinning beach ball?"

You, sir, are a genius.


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Jim Wiseman
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 8:48:39 am

Think of a Vornado (fan).

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Gary Huff
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:23:34 am

[Michael Gissing] "I really don't think space efficiency is important nor is a cylinder ever going to be the most efficient shape for square components. This is clearly a style decision. We shall see if it can keep cool anyway."

I could see how it would look cool sitting on top of a desk. I don't think it's meant to sit on the floor like the old model.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:30:30 am

It is all about looking Cool Gary but I have a machine room so clients don't get to drool


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Chris Kenny
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:45:31 am

[Michael Gissing] "I really don't think space efficiency is important nor is a cylinder ever going to be the most efficient shape for square components. This is clearly a style decision. We shall see if it can keep cool anyway."

Look at the photos Apple has posted of the internals. There are three main boards in there — a motherboard and two of what are effectively (very non-standard) graphics cards. They run vertically up the sides, arranged in a triangle relative to each other so they can share a cooling channel. This triangle clearly takes up less space than would a rectangular sold enclosing the motherboard and two GPU boards positioned at a 90 degree angle to it (i.e. sticking out the way standard PCIe cards do from the motherboard).

OK, so that explain why the case isn't a rectangular solid. But why not have the case follow the prism shape created by the boards themselves? Well, if you follows that shape, that would provide the same clearance over the boards at all points. But some components are taller than others, which means you can have the machine take up less total volume by using a cylinder and placing components that require more clearance closer to the center of each board, and those that require less toward the edge.

In other words, though the cylindrical case looks like it was a purely stylistic choice when you first see it, this actually seems to very much be an example of form following function. It all flows from asking "We've got these three boards. How can we arrange them to achieve the most efficient cooling?"

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:56:11 am

Sorry Chris but I really think this is function conforming to form which is style based.

If not then why has this form factor never been used by seriously players who make money out of power to space ratios and thermal efficiency?


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Chris Kenny
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:14:44 am

[Michael Gissing] "If not then why has this form factor never been used by seriously players who make money out of power to space ratios and thermal efficiency?"

This machine is designed for your desk, and most systems focused on density are designed for data centers. Data center use means that a) you want case shapes that interlock with no wasted space in between (which cylinders do not) and b) you don't care very much about how much noise your cooling system produces, which means you can use small, fast fans, making this machine's 'unified thermal core' approach less relevant.

Also, as I described in my previous post, this cylindrical shape seems to flow from the fact that the internal hardware consists of three boards of roughly similar size (the CPU board is somewhat larger). That's not necessarily applicable to other machines.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Robert Brown
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:21:33 am

[Michael Gissing] "Sorry Chris but I really think this is function conforming to form which is style based.

If not then why has this form factor never been used by seriously players who make money out of power to space ratios and thermal efficiency?
"


Exactly. I'm sure this is a great computer and will run well but all I can say though is that my reaction to the G5 was "wow, what a cool computer I want one!". The Mac Pro was "even cooler" and I own my second one now. This one is like "why bother?". I'm sure I'll be able to get the same or better performance from a Hackintosh or PC for less money whenever I decide to upgrade. Apple has pretty much lost me. The things they are doing just don't make sense to me anymore nor do I NEED to follow them as I once did. They have become irrelevant sad to say.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

http://vimeo.com/user3987510/videos


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Chris Kenny
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:59:57 am

[Harry Pallenberg] "My issue is that it is a round peg fitting into and onto a square hole. My desk is a rectangle. I like things that are 90º's. A old tower fits nicely under it or on it. The large flat side makes a nice place for post-its. The other large flat side is a nice barrier which stops (round) things from rolling off. The top is a great mini-table for a drive or airport or pen & paper... which I still use... and comes in a rectangular notebook... as do all the external drives and just about all the other 'things' I'm looking at."

Have you actually measured out the size of this thing? It's 6.6" in diameter an 9.9" tall. Even if you assume any space saved by it being a cylinder with a 6.6" diameter instead of a rectangular solid 6.6" on a side is useless because of how it interacts with rectangular items (which is not strictly true), it still has a desk footprint 26% smaller than that of a Mac mini. I suspect it won't actually be all that difficult to fit onto a cluttered desk. Instead of resting external drives on your Mac Pro, this is a Mac Pro small enough to rest on a (full size) external drive.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Harry Pallenberg
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 5:01:18 am

That is indeed small... I don;t think I realized just how small it was...

But think how many more happier people there would be if instead of a 3 sided triangle with a thermal core, they built it 4 sided with the 4th side composed of hard drives... even if it could only hold 2 of them... still be nice to have 2 - 4 TB internal... and the cube could be an homage to Jobs.

Either way - I already want one even if it would still sit on an eyesore of a desk...

Thanks,
Harry

Forum Cowmunity Leader: Indie & Doc

Current Projet: Where They Raced
http://www.wheretheyraced.com
http://www.harrypallenberg.com



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Harry Pallenberg
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 5:18:31 am

One more thought about the design... how often do you plug in a thumb drive? Headphones? Or drive from a client? All the time... but will I have it facing backside out? Or will I have to reach around? Turn it? Will it be easy to turn with a bunch of things plugged in?

hmmm....

Thanks,
Harry

Forum Cowmunity Leader: Indie & Doc

Current Projet: Where They Raced
http://www.wheretheyraced.com
http://www.harrypallenberg.com



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Brett Sherman
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:22:18 pm

I wonder if the whole concept of the "equipment room" can be rethought. For me, the only reasons I want to move the computer out of the edit room is noise, heat and UPS power requirements. With this Mac Pro that is no longer an issue. I'm guessing it's going to be practically silent, produce little heat and a small UPS will suffice.

There are enormous complications moving the computer to a different location than it is being used. Ridiculously long display cables, lack of access to plug in drives, lack of bluetooth capabilities, difficulty in modifing (moving from DVI cables to Displayport for example). Walking back and forth and back and forth to burn a DVD. It just creates efficiency problems.

I'm thinking it's a better arrangement to have the computer in the room with the editor and have storage and network infrastructure in the equipment room.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:35:14 pm

[Brett Sherman] "I wonder if the whole concept of the "equipment room" can be rethought. For me, the only reasons I want to move the computer out of the edit room is noise, heat and UPS power requirements. With this Mac Pro that is no longer an issue. I'm guessing it's going to be practically silent, produce little heat and a small UPS will suffice.

There are enormous complications moving the computer to a different location than it is being used. Ridiculously long display cables, lack of access to plug in drives, lack of bluetooth capabilities, difficulty in modifing (moving from DVI cables to Displayport for example). Walking back and forth and back and forth to burn a DVD. It just creates efficiency problems.

I'm thinking it's a better arrangement to have the computer in the room with the editor and have storage and network infrastructure in the equipment room."


This might be possible, and I think Thunderbolt will be much easier to extend, so you can have the computer net to you, and then the peripherals extended via TBolt to the equipment room.

Our SAN and the AC that goes with it, is really loud. Even our LTO machine is loud, there some advantage to keeping things in the other room.

The other nice aspect of about this, is Thunderbolt is dasiy chainable, so you can get a little breakout box like this: http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F4U055 and have some ports exactly where you need them.

I'm not a systems engineer, and I know it's going to cost some money to retool, but really, when I start looking at the upsides, it is not so bad. Extending current MacPro's is a pain (and also not cheap).

Jeremy


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Brett Sherman
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 7:39:20 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The other nice aspect of about this, is Thunderbolt is dasiy chainable, so you can get a little breakout box like this: http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F4U055 and have some ports exactly where you need them."

Hadn't thought of that, you could still leave the Mac Pro in the equipment room and have local ports. But I'm still wondering why do all that. Aren't you just sending tons of cable to and from the equipment room for no good reason.

If you leave the computer in the edit room, have your video interface there connected right to the monitor in the room, have your audio interface connected right to speakers in the room, connect your keyboard, mouse, control surface right in the room, the only remote thing you need is to connect to storage in the equipment room.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 7:45:11 pm

[Brett Sherman] "If you leave the computer in the edit room, have your video interface there connected right to the monitor in the room, have your audio interface connected right to speakers in the room, connect your keyboard, mouse, control surface right in the room, the only remote thing you need is to connect to storage in the equipment room."

Often, facilities make these things routable, separating rooms and computers and allowing access to any computer in any room.

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: Core problem of the new Apple...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 9:29:32 pm

[Brett Sherman] "Hadn't thought of that, you could still leave the Mac Pro in the equipment room and have local ports. But I'm still wondering why do all that. Aren't you just sending tons of cable to and from the equipment room for no good reason. "

The good reason is that everything is one place.

If something is wrong with non monitor hardware, you go to one room, not all the rooms. It is much easier to swap things around when it's in fewer places.

It is also easier for networking, with SANs often needing two or more physical connections.

There's always tons of cable with equipment rooms.

The new MacPro has 6 TBolt ports. You can get a lot of capability from 6 TBolt cables.


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