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OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure

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Steve Connor
OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 1:26:55 pm

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/the-new-mac-pro-is-a-failure

I'm buying another system soon and unless there is a radical update, I'll be buying a tower MP on eBay.


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Tom Sefton
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:08:36 pm

Not for us it isn't. Fast and v. reliable. The GPU and RAM performance when dealing with 4K+ resolution is fantastic.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 12:07:25 pm

I think it's hard to separate the software from the hardware when considering FCPX, since it's not cross-platform. You have to look at the system as a whole, which makes side-by-side comparison difficult. I also think that Moore's Law has put video editorial on the desktop and off of the workstation, so there comes a point when you don't need more than fast enough.

I like the nMP. It's enormously powerful for its size. But it's not slam-dunk better than other options, including the now five-year-old cMP.


[Tom Sefton] "Not for us it isn't. Fast and v. reliable. The GPU and RAM performance when dealing with 4K+ resolution is fantastic."

We have a different experience -- but we have different requirements, too.

I'd suggest that the nMP, limited to a single CPU socket, is a half-fast workstation. (Rimshot.) That matters for compositing and 3D.

The GPU performance on the nMP leaves a lot to be desired for us. We wanted to use nMPs to drive our Oculus Rift VR project because they are so compact, but we are getting a lot more quality at higher framerates out of newer, significantly less expensive, only slightly larger Windows systems with modern GPUs. (Even accounting for the noticeable performance improvement running Windows via Boot Camp on the nMP hardware!)

Regarding RAM, a 64 GB ceiling is low for 4K/stereo/beyond. I understand OWC supplies a 128 GB kit -- that's cool, but it's also an unsupported configuration. Apple should qualify it.

Regarding reliability, I have trust issues. Of the four nMP units we own, two had to be shipped off for repairs.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Chris Harlan
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 6, 2015 at 4:39:39 pm

Hey Walter!

I'm thinking about a Rift machine on the PC side that I'll also run Avid / Premiere on. dnx universality has freed me up enough to move in that direction. But I'd like Thunderbolt, since I've got a dozen T-Bolt RAIDS. What are you using for Oculus? How are those HP Tbolt cards?


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:11:22 pm

I am just shocked to learn that everything I thought about the Trash Can when it was first announced turns out to be true. The only thing Pro about the nMP is the price. And yes Bill, some editors still need something more than a laptop, no matter how nifty-keen they are to edit with around the pool.

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


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Tom Sefton
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:18:42 pm

I just haven't seen anything but impressive performance from it. For instance - we shoot a lot of Red Epic Dragon footage. The nMP is encoding 4k r3d files to prores in realtime and editing in FCPX is smooth with raw files. It even works with 6K full frame files and encodes 10mins of 6K footage in less than 16mins.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Steve Connor
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:23:56 pm

[Tom Sefton] "I just haven't seen anything but impressive performance from it. For instance - we shoot a lot of Red Epic Dragon footage. The nMP is encoding 4k r3d files to prores in realtime and editing in FCPX is smooth with raw files. It even works with 6K full frame files and encodes 10mins of 6K footage in less than 16mins.
"


Very impressive, what spec is your machine?


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Tom Sefton
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:30:00 pm

It's an 8core 64GB RAM with D700s. Media is stored on a G-tech Studio XL via thunderbolt 2 that read/writes at more than 840MB/s.

The other 2 machines are 6 core machines with 32GB RAM and D700s and they are almost realtime (10mins of 4Kr3d takes around 11mins).

The best performance that we get for encoding r3d to pro-res comes in fcpx, followed by adobe media encoder. it seems that the best way to get maximum performance with the nMP is via lots of RAM, D700s and fast storage.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 27, 2015 at 10:32:13 pm

[Tom Sefton] "It's an 8core 64GB RAM with D700s. Media is stored on a G-tech Studio XL via thunderbolt 2 that read/writes at more than 840MB/s."

Same here, but our Pegasus R6 does high 9's... before El Capitan. Better now...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Tom Sefton
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 29, 2015 at 8:40:44 pm

Yeah the g tech ones go much much faster but we have them set at raid 6 at the moment. When we had them at raid 0 it was way over 1000mb/s

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 30, 2015 at 12:02:55 am

[Tom Sefton] "Yeah the g tech ones go much much faster but we have them set at raid 6 at the moment. When we had them at raid 0 it was way over 1000mb/s"

I should have been more clear... we're getting over 1000 in RAID 5, not RAID 0...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:31:20 pm

[Tom Sefton] "I just haven't seen anything but impressive performance from it."

I'm sure that's true -

... If you don't mind living in a morass of cables and external boxes
... If you don't mind having a system with absolutely zero upgrade capability
... If you never have to edit with software other than FCPX

For everyone else it is not quite so impressive, which is why Steve is thinking about buying a 6 year old used MacPro off of eBay. The fact that he's even considering this option speaks volumes.

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


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Tom Sefton
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 2:44:26 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I'm sure that's true -

... If you don't mind living in a morass of cables and external boxes
... If you don't mind having a system with absolutely zero upgrade capability
... If you never have to edit with software other than FCPX

For everyone else it is not quite so impressive, which is why Steve is thinking about buying a 6 year old used MacPro off of eBay. The fact that he's even considering this option speaks volumes"


True - it's horses for courses I suppose.

However, we don't just edit with FCPX and have great performance from all other media programs - adobe, resolve, fusion and redcine x.

The external cables and boxes - yeah that can be a drag, but it's putting the upgrade outside of the form so to speak. For instance - you can add more GPU performance via a PCIE adaptor, and use this for networked RAID storage over 10Ge so each machine doesn't need its own RAID attached. We've also upgraded RAM in one Mac Pro and found someone in the UK who offers hard drive upgrades to 2TB if required on the nMP. Someone even send a mailshot offering an upgrade on the CPU to a 10core processor. It's not ideal, but I suppose it can be done. The major worry for me is that apple doesn't seem to be focussed on its pro market regarding hardware. No updates to the nMP line in 2 years, no 5K monitor and a macbook released that has one connector and can't use thunderbolt peripherals is not a good indicator.

We are lucky to have plenty of desk space so we can arrange things so that external RAIDs, sound cards, PCIE adaptors etc are hidden away.

I'd love to hear what performance can be achieved in a similar PC rig that has thunderbolt connectivity. If we dropped £6k on a Mac Pro - what could a PC achieve with the same budget?

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Neil Goodman
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 3:29:23 pm

There are fast for sure.

My only thing is they havent had an update in almost 2 years. Kind of worries me about he commitment apple has to it. I know they cant be selling that many of them.

I just opted for a maxed 5k iMac instead because there fast enough for my needs and it seems like apple is committed to them.


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Shawn Miller
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 6:55:13 pm
Last Edited By Shawn Miller on Nov 24, 2015 at 7:02:46 pm

[Tom Sefton] "I'd love to hear what performance can be achieved in a similar PC rig that has thunderbolt connectivity. If we dropped £6k on a Mac Pro - what could a PC achieve with the same budget?"

I imagine running the same hardware will yield similar performance. It's funny, I've been having this conversation with a few coworkers for the past few weeks. They are designers who are moving into motion graphics and 3D animation, so they're looking to upgrade their hardware. They are CONVINCED that an identically speced Mac Pro will be faster than a PC. I'm sort of left scratching my head, as nothing will move them from this notion, not Cinebech scores, not logic, nothing. It reminds me of the thread about DIY PC performance vs the nMP: https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/63665#63705


[Phil Hoppes] "...and while you can build a 12 Core Xenon PC with dual Radeon cards I doubt very seriously that it's performance would even come close to what the current raft of benchmarks are delivering for the MacPro."


[Oliver Peters] "If you look at the pricing for HP's best machine, the Z820, and compare equivalent specs to the Mac Pro, the Z820 is more expensive. Yes, it is more expandable, but otherwise is actually a less capable machine based on the internal parts."

[Shawn Miller] My only question is why you think this. I'm even willing to concede the cost argument (pitting DYI and HP against Apple). :-)

Shawn


EDIT: I meant to add that you can see for yourself, what sort of machine you can build for 6k US. This will be my integrator of choice for my next computer.

https://www.pugetsystems.com/nav/genesis/II/customize.php


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Ricardo Marty
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 9:10:56 pm
Last Edited By Ricardo Marty on Nov 24, 2015 at 9:13:58 pm

Look at these babies:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2887581/boxx-apexx-5-heres-what-a-36-core-fi...



http://www.titancomputers.com/Titan-A450-Quad-CPUs-AMD-Opteron-Abu-Dhabi-p/...


Ricardo Marty


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:26:35 am

[Shawn Miller] "I imagine running the same hardware will yield similar performance."
My personal experience has been different. In fact, that's how I got my first Mac. I had a Lenovo Core 2 Duo laptop with 8GB memory but Windows was having a really hard time running multiple VMware virtual machines. I couldn't get more than 2 working before the whole system grinded to a halt. Someone left work who had a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro and they ask me if I wanted it. I looked up the specs and the processor was the same and the memory was the same as my Lenovo laptop. So I popped the 8GB of memory out of the Lenovo and into the MacBook Pro, installed VMware Fusion and I could get 4 or 5 virtual machines running without OS X breaking a sweat. I was amazed that with an exactly matched PC and Mac the Mac performed so much better.

That has nothing to do with the hardware and everything to do with how efficient Mac OS X is and how tuned it is to using the hardware. That's really the problem with Windows. It's bloated with drivers to support an infinite combination of parts where no two PC's are exactly alike which reduces the chances that everything will work, while on a Mac, the developer who is writing the software, in comparison, has a small number of configurations to support so the chances for optimization increase dramatically.

After receiving that MacBook Pro at work and experiencing first hand how much better it was than an equivalent Windows PC, I sold all of my PC's and bought Mac's and never looked back.

Having said that... the Mac does occasionally have better hardware for a short period of time while the PC catches up. When the new Mac Pro came out, there were no SSD's for PC's that could come close to the performance of the ones Apple was using in the Mac Pro. Same is true for Thunderbolt. It simply didn't exist on PC's until they caught up. I'm reminded of the Extreme Tech article: Apple’s new ‘overpriced’ $10,000 Mac Pro is $2,000 cheaper than the e... where if you bought the same quality parts that Apple uses, PC's really aren't cheaper. This is especially true for the new Mac Pro where the equivalent GPU's are very expensive if you were to buy them as external cards instead of built in.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Shawn Miller
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 2:26:45 am

[John Rofrano] "That has nothing to do with the hardware and everything to do with how efficient Mac OS X is and how tuned it is to using the hardware."

I think that may have had more to do with how VMWARE was written for Windows. I can recount many cross platform applications that ran great on one platform but not very well on another; ZBrush, Cinem4D, Maxwell, Realflow, etc.

[John Rofrano] "That's really the problem with Windows. It's bloated with drivers to support an infinite combination of parts where no two PC's are exactly alike which reduces the chances that everything will work"

That's kind of an odd statement. You make it sound as if Windows installs a bunch of drivers for hardware that isn't on the system...
some companies write great drivers, some don't. I don't think that's a platform specific issue.


[John Rofrano] "When the new Mac Pro came out, there were no SSD's for PC's that could come close to the performance of the ones Apple was using in the Mac Pro."

Are you talking about PCIeFlash drives? FusionIO and OZC had been been shipping those for some time before the nMP...

[John Rofrano] "Same is true for Thunderbolt. It simply didn't exist on PC's until they caught up."

That's because Apple bought exclusivity rights to Thunderbolt... the "catching up" was other vendors gaining access to Intel's technology after the agreement expired.

[John Rofrano] "I'm reminded of the Extreme Tech article: Apple’s new ‘overpriced’ $10,000 Mac Pro is $2,000 cheaper than the e... where if you bought the same quality parts that Apple uses, PC's really aren't cheaper. This is especially true for the new Mac Pro where the equivalent GPU's are very expensive if you were to buy them as external cards instead of built in."

I didn't say anything about cost...

Shawn



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Gary Huff
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 5:22:24 pm

[John Rofrano] "I'm reminded of the Extreme Tech article: Apple’s new ‘overpriced’ $10,000 Mac Pro is $2,000 cheaper than the e... where if you bought the same quality parts that Apple uses, PC's really aren't cheaper. "

Except it wasn't accurate. It counts the D700 as a FirePro, when it's not. It's rebadged Radeon 7970, retailing for $850/per (at the time), while this article has them listed as $3400/per, making that article's similar homebrew workstation come out at $3k less .


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 6:06:22 pm

[Gary Huff] "Except it wasn't accurate. It counts the D700 as a FirePro, when it's not. It's rebadged Radeon 7970"
Not according to AMD and they should know:

AMD FirePro™ D-Series GPUs

Don't let the chips fool you. Both NVIDIA and AMD play this game. They use the exact same parts in both Consumer and Pro lines and just enable/disable a few features and create different drivers. Supposedly you are paying for "superior drivers and professional support". So every FirePro and Quadro is a rebadged consumer card!

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Gary Huff
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 6:28:32 pm

[John Rofrano] "Not according to AMD and they should know:"

AMD D700
2048 stream processors
384-bit-wide memory bus
264GB/s memory bandwidth
3.5 teraflops performance

AMD Radeon 7970 (specs)
2048 stream processors
384-bit-wide memory bus (Wikipedia)
264GB/s memory bandwidth
3.79 TFLOPS

Yep, nothing similar here at all.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 6:37:47 pm
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Nov 25, 2015 at 7:11:13 pm

[Gary Huff] "Yep, nothing similar here at all."
You didn't read my post. The specs don't tell the whole story. Every NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro is a rebadged consumer card with the *exact same specs*! The specs don't make it FirePro. AMD enabling the FirePro features and drivers makes it a FirePro. So yes, the specs are very similar but not exact.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Gary Huff
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 7:11:56 pm

[John Rofrano] "The specs don't make it FirePro. AMD enabling the FirePro features and drivers makes it a FirePro."

So what features does AMD enable on the D700 that makes it more than a Radeon? And why does building a Hackintosh with a 7970 in it make OSX identify it as a D700 automagically? Are these features enabled in such a configuration? And how does that negate my point at all? The article you linked to compared the D700 with the FirePro W9000, a nearly $4k/per card. And the biggest difference is that the D700 doesn't have to have drive 6 mini display ports on its own hardware (i.e. it's linked with the Mac Pro's motherboard), nor does the D700 have ECC memory (it has the same memory as the Radeon, not the FirePro branded cards).

And how does that negate my point in the first place? The point I made was that the hardware is still more expensive because the D700 is the 7970 hardware and not the FirePro and thus you can build a Hackintosh system that identifies the same GPU for $3k less than what the article you linked to claimed.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 10:45:36 pm

[Gary Huff] "So what features does AMD enable on the D700 that makes it more than a Radeon?"
They usually have to do with clipping regions, buffering, hidden line removal, aliasing, and generally things that only 3D application card about. These are mostly enabled via the drivers. As I said, the game that they play is for their drivers to check a signature in the firmware of the card and refuse to install if it's not the correct signature so you don't get the benefit of the FirePro drivers with a consumer card like the 7970.

The cards are not completely identical either. The D700 has 6GB of RAM instead of 3GB in the 7970 and obviously if the TFLOPS are different there must be other differences between the cards. But that's not the point. The point is that all FirePro's are based on consumer cards and the difference is in the testing and tweaking of the drivers for professional applications.
[Gary Huff] "And why does building a Hackintosh with a 7970 in it make OSX identify it as a D700 automagically?"
Because the drivers are hacked to get around the signature problem.

I've done this. I had a GeForce that I converted to a Quadro card simply by changing 4 bytes in the firmware to have the Quadro signature. The drivers loaded. The new features were enabled. And the card performed like a Quadro because it had the same specs. Was it a Quadro? Hmmm... you tell me. I'd say it was a consumer GeForce card masquerading as a Quadro card because all Quadro cards use the same chips as the consumer cards. AMD is no different.
[Gary Huff] "And how does that negate my point in the first place? The point I made was that the hardware is still more expensive because the D700 is the 7970 hardware and not the FirePro"
Because the D700 is a FirePro because AMD says it's a FirePro. You don't get make that designation.

Here is the description of the D700 from GameDebate:

"FirePro D700 is a workstation Graphics Card based on the 28nm GCN architecture.
It's based on the Tahiti XT GL (same used on Radeon HD 7970) and therefore offers 2048 Shader Processing Units, 128 TMUs and 32 ROPs, but on a 384-bit interface of fast GDDR5. The central unit is clocked 850MHz while the memory clock operates at 1375MHZ.

It is thus considerably lower clocked and its gaming performance is even lower, as Radeon HD 7970 benefits from certified gaming drivers which unlock the GCN's architecture potential while FirePro D700 is made for professional applications. Therefore, expect its performance to be similar to Radeon HD 7950 Boost Edition.
"


Just because the D700 is based on the Radeon HD 7970 doesn't mean it's not a FirePro. My Radeon HD 7950 has the same specs as a FirePro W7100. Does that make it a FirePro? Can I load the FirePro drivers? Can I sell it as a FirePro and argue that the specs are the same therefore it should be considered a FirePro. I think not anymore that I can say that the FirePro W7100 is not a Firepro because it shares the same specs as my 7950. Specs don't make it a FirePro. AMD makes it a FirePro by tweaking the firmware.

All FirePro's have consumer card counterparts. You can hack the drivers to make them think a 7970 is a D700. That doesn't mean you can substitute them in a build and call it a fair swap anymore that you can substitute a $200 AMD 8-Core for a $1,000 Intel 8-Core and call it a fair swap.

BTW, you might get a kick out of reading this PDF file from HP:

The professional advantage: Quadro versus GeForce

It attempts to explain why you should pay 3x the price for a Quadro over the exact same game card and all they focus on are the drivers, testing, and support because there are no "technical" difference. ;-)

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Gary Huff
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 5:30:23 am

[John Rofrano] "Because the drivers are hacked to get around the signature problem."

No they are not. This is what Yosemite reports, there was no hacking of any drivers. It automatically reports the 7970 as the D700.

[John Rofrano] "BTW, you might get a kick out of reading this PDF file from HP:"

It's all marketing that you're assuming is absolutely true...but it's marketing.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:40:48 pm

[Gary Huff] "No they are not. This is what Yosemite reports, there was no hacking of any drivers. It automatically reports the 7970 as the D700."
That's interesting. I wonder if OS X is making a best guess based on specs and not checking the firmware. It won't be the first time OS X got the name of a graphics card wrong that it didn't expect to see. It doesn't help the Windows build because when you add the 7970 to the Windows build, it will not use the FirePro drivers. So you can't substitute it when comparing systems.
[Gary Huff] "It's all marketing that you're assuming is absolutely true...but it's marketing."
Exactly! That was my point. There is no "technical" difference between a GeForce and a Quadro or a Radeon and a FirePro. The difference is that they use different drivers that have been tested and tuned for a specific set of 3D applications and given a "Pro" designation and better support. Those are the only differences.

The D700 is a FirePro because AMD has designated as such and it will use the FirePro drivers and get FirePro support from AMD. The Radeon HD 7970 is not.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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David Mathis
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 9:45:29 pm

[Tom Sefton] "However, we don't just edit with FCPX and have great performance from all other media programs - adobe, resolve, fusion and redcine x."

Good to know. On my cheese grater machine (the old school variety) Resolve seems to be erratic. Of course my machine might not have the right stuff in it.


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 10:14:19 pm

ooh - time for me to throw my useless 2 cents in !

Is the "new" Mac Pro a failure - OF COURSE NOT. It's a great (and expensive) machine that is not "expandable", unless you do it externally.

I still LOVE the old Mac Pro's (a 12 core with 32 Gig of RAM, and an NVidia Graphics card, and 10G card is amazing) - is it cheaper than a "new" Mac Pro - YES it is. But is the new Mac Pro excellent - YES IT IS.

Not only is it fast, and not only is Yosemite and El Capitan nice and stable, but in addition to running the usual Adobe/Apple/Blackmagic software on it, there is a myriad of wonderful hardware from AJA/Blackmagic that is inexpensive and works wonderfully. As for adaptors for your legacy stuff, companies like Sonnet, Highpoint, Lacie, CalDigit, ATTO, Promise, OWC, etc. have wonderful Inexpensive products that let you hook up all your old junk to it. As for drive arrays, between Promise, Maxx Digital, G-Tech, Highpoint, and Netstor, there are wonderful amazing drive arrays that just plug right in, and give you enormous capacity and performance. Expander rack chassis' from Sonnet and JMR make the new Mac Pro extra wonderful.

But you can get a killer "old" Mac Pro on ebay for $2000 bucks. You can't find a new 6,1 Mac Pro for that kind of money.

What DON'T I like about the 2013 6,1 Mac Pro ? The threat that in 2017, Thunderbolt 3 will be on these machines, making these expensive boxes (obsolete) (remember that all "old" Mac Pro's are now obsolete).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Don Scioli
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 10:33:34 pm

I've had my Mac Pro 6 core, 32 GB ram, D 700's since Jan 2014 and it's been a great editorial station. I've edited many commercials, marketing videos, and an very extensive feature documentary in HD and it has been ultra fast, quiet and expandable via external drives. I had 2 older MAC Pro towers which were great, but this machine is far better. And paying only $4,500. for an edit station is a bargin.


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 24, 2015 at 11:56:45 pm

of course, what kills me, is that very few (these damn young kids) seem to forget that a basic AVID in "the stone age" of the 90's cost $80,000. If most people had to pay $80,000 for anything, they would rather kill themselves. But that was the normal price "back then" (which was a lot cheaper than $250,000 to $500,000 for a small linear editing system).

"OOH - $4500 for a computer that I can make my entire living from - I can't spend that kind of money - it would take me 3 years to pay that off !!!!".

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Don Scioli
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 12:07:50 am

This cost factor is a major "problem" in the film/video business today. As you mentioned, I remember it cost over 100K for a D2 recorder in the 90's, let alone a CMX suite. Because now, just about anyone can afford equipment that is reasonably good for web, social and even regional/local broadcast video. I cannot even begin to count the "hacks" which have flooded the Bay Area with video companies which you have to wade through to get to the client to see your work.

Yes, I agree that quality eventually stands out, but a potential client has to to swim through a lot of muck to see your stuff.

Give me those days of an ARRi BL, a Steenbeck and 5247!


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:58:59 am

[Don Scioli] "Give me those days of an ARRi BL, a Steenbeck and 5247!"

You were definitely living large - for me it was the days of the Eclair ACL, a Moviola flatbed, and 7247.

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


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Don Scioli
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 5:26:48 am

Well, they were the good clients. Many times it was an ARRI 2C or Eclair, 7247 at 30 Frames a sec and a Moviola or a KEM. Later it went to a Rank converter and a CMX.

It's too easy now, HD right into a MAC and online, no cutting neg, no prints, no FEDEX deadlines to ship spots back East, too easy.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 12:19:06 am

[Bob Zelin] "But you can get a killer "old" Mac Pro on ebay for $2000 bucks. You can't find a new 6,1 Mac Pro for that kind of money. "
I resemble that remark! ;-)

Late last year I decided to upgrade my 2008 Mac Pro 8-Core and my choices were a new Mac Pro 8-Core, a 27" iMac Retina 5K, or an old 2010 Mac Pro 12-Core on eBay...

I picked up a Mid 2010 Mac Pro 12-Core (Dual 6-Core Xeon 2.93GHz), 24GB memory, ATI Radeon HD 5870 w/1GB, Apple RAID Card with 3x 2TB RAID 5 & 1x 1TB boot HDD for $2,275 USD on eBay. I add a an OWC Mercury Accelsior E2 PCI Express SSD (650/580MB/s Read/Write) and USB 3.0 card and I'm really impressed with the performance so far. My 32-bit Geekbench score is 24,946 which is just below the 12-Core nMP and 2,000 points above the 8-Core nMP. Considering it was 1/2 the price of an 8-Core nMP I'm happy with my purchase. I didn't get dual GPU's but I did save a LOT of money.

That doesn't mean that the new Mac Pro was a failure to me. I think it's a brilliant design and I don't see expandability as being an issue. It didn't buy it because it simply cost too much for my budget. I would have loved to have been able to afford one though.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Oliver Peters
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 12:34:41 am

Part of the deal with the nMP is its industrial design, which is both a blessing and a limitation. Someone linked a review of a big Boxx station. However, far more interesting and more in direct competition to the nMP is this Boxx:

http://www.boxxtech.com/products/apexx-1

No Thunderbolt, but a ton of USB3.0.

What actually bothers me far more than the hardware is the continual issues Apple has with RAM leaks on their software, including FCPX and LPX. Clearly there a problem in the OS and these apps.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Craig Alan
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 6:24:45 am

[Bob Zelin] "The threat that in 2017, Thunderbolt 3 will be on these machines, making these expensive boxes (obsolete)"

so no early 2016 update that will include thunderbolt 3/usb-c?

That's the MacPro I'd like.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Tom Sefton
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 2:22:47 pm

[Bob Zelin] "What DON'T I like about the 2013 6,1 Mac Pro ? The threat that in 2017, Thunderbolt 3 will be on these machines, making these expensive boxes (obsolete) (remember that all "old" Mac Pro's are now obsolete).
"


Why will they become obsolete Bob? I thought that thunderbolt 3 was going to be compatible with thunderbolt 2 peripherals - the only thing you couldn't do is use a thunderbolt 3 peripheral with a thunderbolt 2 port....? I've possibly misunderstood this...

We've spent way more on thunderbolt peripherals than we have on 3 new Mac Pro's, so having them useful for as long as possible is something we are very keen to do....

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 4:27:29 pm

[Tom Sefton] "Why will they become obsolete Bob?"
I wouldn't call them obsolete because, as you pointed out, they would continue to work but they are definitely limiting your options that normally would not be limited if the new Mac Pro was expandable like the old Mac Pro. I've been thinking more about what Herb said in regard to not having PCIe slots internally and this is one of those cases.

For example... my 2010 Mac Pro comes with USB 2.0 but because it had PCIe slots, I was able to purchase a 4 port USB 3.0 card and now my 2010 Mac Pro has USB 3.0. I didn't have to throw it away to get it.

Another example is SATA III. My 2010 Mac Pro only has SATA II so I purchased a SATA III card and installed it into a PCIe slot and now my 2010 Mac Pro has SATA III and eSATA. I didn't have to throw the whole thing away to get it.

You can't do either of these with the new Mac Pro.

So when the next Mac Pro has Thunderbolt 3, instead of buying a Thunderbolt 3 card and installing it into a PCIe slot, you'll have to sell your Mac Pro and buy the next Mac Pro to get it. That is why they will become obsolete a lot faster. This was the main factor in my upgrading my 2008 Mac Pro to a 2010 Mac Pro. I was able to get USB 3.0 and SATA III and upgrade the GPU to a Radeon HD 7950 for a lot less than a new Mac Pro and there was really no downside.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:02:39 am

[Herb Sevush] "... If you don't mind living in a morass of cables and external boxes"
Any more than we already have? I'm not sure why that would be. I have 2010 Mac Pro tower with an external RAID 5 with a eSATA cable connecting it, and a Firewire cable connecting my M-Audio Firewire 410 audio device, and a FW800 cable connecting my Time Machine backup drive. If I bought a new Mac Pro, I'd have a much smaller Mac with a Thunderbolt cable connecting an external RAID 5, and a Thunderbolt cable connecting my audio device, and a Thunderbolt cable connecting my Time Machine backup drive. I don't see why there would be more cables than I already have? Just because it has less storage space internally? Not a big deal when you already have external storage.
[Herb Sevush] "... If you don't mind having a system with absolutely zero upgrade capability"
There are only 3 things a customer can upgrade on any computer (1) Memory, (2) Storage, (3) GPU (I don't consider CPU upgrades a "customer replaceable part" and I understand you can swap out the CPU on a new Mac Pro just like any other computer anyway... all you need is a steady hand and some thermal paste)

The new Mac Pro can upgrade (1) Memory and (2) Storage. You just can't upgrade the GPU. So it has 2/3 the upgrade options of other computers. That's hardly "zero". If you're talking about PCIe cards then what PCIe cards would you be adding? It has an incredible amount of I/O on the back panel already.
[Herb Sevush] "... If you never have to edit with software other than FCPX"
Not sure why you think that you can only run FCP X on it. Adobe CC should run just fine as should Avid. I really don't understand what makes you say this.
[Herb Sevush] "For everyone else it is not quite so impressive, which is why Steve is thinking about buying a 6 year old used MacPro off of eBay. The fact that he's even considering this option speaks volumes."
Late last year I bought a 5 year old 2010 Mac Pro 12-Core for $2,275 from eBay because it was 1/2 the price of a new Mac Pro 8-core. It had nothing to do with the number of cables... It had nothing to do with expandability... it had nothing to do with running FCP X... it all came down to affordability. Getting almost the same power for 1/2 the price was my deciding factor. If I could afford it, I'd buy a new Mac Pro in a heartbeat. I love the smaller form factor a lot.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bob Zelin
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:32:18 am

I am dragging this thing out, because what I see on forums like Creative Cow (and what I see in real life) is that as young users get into our industry - everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is just too expensive. Why ? Because they are willing to work for free, and the clients (who are really the only guilty ones) will say "I don't care if you work for free, will you paint my house and clean my toilet, in addition to shooting this video for free). And the sad part is, there are kids that say "well, if I shoot this video for free, and edit it for free, and paint his house, this will look great on my reel, and maybe he will hire me next time for 50 bucks".

Look - I am equally guilty of this now, at the age of 59 (but in a different field). I recently learned how to play guitar, and me and my little band of OLD GUYS plays for free (we get our drinks for free) at the local bar, and we think that is COOL. I am sure that any professional musician that walks in wants to kill us and say "these guys are not only idiots, but they are ruining it for all of us that are trying to make a living doing it". And so, when we see kids doing what we do for free, or almost free, we get mad.
And when I see someone on creative cow saying "I can get this 2005 SCSI RAID array for free, can I use this with FCP-X or Blackmagic Davinci Resolve 12" - well, that is an assault on what I do for my living, so I start my rant on this poor kid. But it's the same thing. When we see the thread "I just got my iPhone to shoot my new feature, but Verizon charges SO MUCH MONEY for my monthly fee for the iPhone, isn't there a cheaper way to get this phone, so I can post my movie on iTunes" - well, I want to kill. But I guess I am just as guilty. But I have fun playing music. I am not trying to pay my health insurance from doing it.

Go out and buy a new Mac Pro for $4500. If this is not a good investment to you, then you are in the wrong industry. As I have ranted in the past, if you are a UBER cab driver, and can't afford a nice clean Prius, and can only afford the old rust bucket that your parents got you for graduation, then you CAN'T be a professional UBER cab driver.


Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 3:32:16 pm

[Bob Zelin] "And so, when we see kids doing what we do for free, or almost free, we get mad. "
I couldn't agree more...

I had a pretty good business writing productivity plug-ins for Sony Vegas Pro. I went to NAB every year and demoed them at the Sony Creative Software booth. Life was good. Then a young kid decided to write a similar plug-in and sell it for 1/2 the price. As if that wasn't enough, another hobbyist started writing similar plug-ins and giving them away for free. Now I can deal with the first guy. That's competition and it forced me to rethink my sales strategy. But there is no way that I can compete with FREE! So more and more people download the free plug-ins and less and less people can justify paying for what I believe is a superior product with support. And so it goes... you can't compete with free.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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James Culbertson
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 7:13:36 pm

[Bob Zelin] "Go out and buy a new Mac Pro for $4500. If this is not a good investment to you, then you are in the wrong industry."

As usual there is not much to add to what Bob has said. The new Mac Pro is the best computer I have ever owned (well, except maybe for my new Mac Book Pro). Very stable, I barely notice render times anymore, and I can pay for it with under two weeks of work. This is the best time to be in our industry. What the heck are we arguing about anyway?


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:55:20 am

[John Rofrano] "Any more than we already have?"

If you need PCI then yes, more than you already have.

[John Rofrano] " You just can't upgrade the GPU."

I love it when people use the word "just", it generally signifies that the author trying to fudge the most significant point in an argument. Yes, you cannot only not upgrade the GPU, you are locked out of Invidia GPUs or the ability to add more than 2GPUs.

[John Rofrano] ". Adobe CC should run just fine"

By all accounts Ppro does not run nearly as well as FCPX on the nMP - possibly because of the lack of Nvidia cards, possibly because Adobe can't afford to spend the time to optimize Ppro for just this one machine the way Apple has with FCPX.

[John Rofrano] "Late last year I bought a 5 year old 2010 Mac Pro 12-Core for $2,275 from eBay because it was 1/2 the price of a new Mac Pro 8-core."

Name one other computer where you would actually consider buying something built in 2010 to buying a newer model because you can get near equivalent performance for less price. Would you consider buying a 2012 Imac or MBP to save some money - I think not. And the reason you wouldn't is that the technological advances of the past 3 years make that type of saving pointless compared to the disadvantages. But with the 2010 MacPro vs the 2013 nMP it really is something to consider - and this fact alone is proof of what a wasted opportunity the nMP is.

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


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 4:34:26 am

[Herb Sevush] "I love it when people use the word "just", it generally signifies that the author trying to fudge the most significant point in an argument."
Let me tell you why I use the word "just". Because the 2010 Mac Pro tower is limited as well which makes it not that big an advantage. This was my biggest disappointment. The most powerful GPU made for the 2010 Mac Pro is the AMD Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition. That's the equivalent of an AMD Radeon R9 280 which is no where near as powerful as the R9 290, 295 and 295X.

The limitation comes from the fact that 300w is the maximum limitation on all PCIe slots combined for the 2010 Mac Pro, and the newer graphics cards need more power than the Mac Pro's PSU can put out. (they need 2x 8 wire connectors and the Mac Pro only has 2x 6 wire connectors). So in order to add a more powerful GPU to a 2010 Mac Pro you need to add an addition power supply. You see you can only take these older technologies so far.

I'll give you another example from my PC days. I had an older Intel Core 2 Quad PC and I bought an NVIDIA Quadro for it. No where was this requirement listed except on the box when I got it home, it said: Requires Intel Core i7. I put it in my Core 2 Quad PC anyway and it worked pretty well. Eventually I upgraded to an Intel Core i7 Quad and used the same Quadro card. Boy was I shocked when the Quadro card performed remarkably better. The old Core 2 Quad couldn't hand off work to the Quadro fast enough so it never reached it's full potential. Once I got the Core i7 it was like getting a new GPU as well.

The moral of the story is that when you upgrade your systems you must keep them in balance. You can't put too powerful a GPU with a weak CPU or a Powerful CPU with a weak GPU. So expandability, IMHO, is highly overrated. At some point you need to buy a new system to get the benefits of the latest technology. So to me, "just" not being able to upgrade the GPU is not a deal breaker.
[Herb Sevush] "But with the 2010 MacPro vs the 2013 nMP it really is something to consider - and this fact alone is proof of what a wasted opportunity the nMP is."
Wasted in what way? What could they have done different?

There is no doubt that the radical shift in design left some people wanting for more. But Apple is not in the "upgrade" business... they are in the "technology is disposable" business which is why Android phones have slots for memory cards and iPhone must be thrown away or traded up when you need more memory. This is Apple's entire business model.

I think another part of it is that Moore's Law is no longer in effect. CPU speed has plateaued. Nothing seems to be able to break the 4Ghz barrier. So now manufacturers are going multi-core but software can't always take advantage of multi-core because not all problems can be parallelized (like AVC/H.264 encoding) so there is very little room for improvement. A 12-Core Mac Pro from 5 years ago is still a formidable beast. I don't think I would want to use a Quad Core PC from 5 years ago In fact, I sold my 6-Core 2012 PC to buy my 12-Core 2010 Mac Pro. That more a testament to what an incredible machine the 2010 Mac Pro is.

Would I have liked to see a new Mac Pro that was more expandable. I'd have to say yes. Having options is always a good thing. But as I pointed out expansion needs to be balanced and at some point it's better to buy a new system. People tell me they would never buy an iMac because if the display goes bad you have to send the whole system in for repair. Then I ask them if they have a laptop. Usually they say yes. Then I say, "so if the screen on you laptop goes bad don't you have to send the whole system in for repair?". It's funny how people have double-standards like that. People get use to things being a certain way.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Gabe Strong
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 6:05:37 am

[John Rofrano] "Let me tell you why I use the word "just". Because the 2010 Mac Pro tower is limited as well which makes it not that big an advantage. This was my biggest disappointment. The most powerful GPU made for the 2010 Mac Pro is the AMD Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition. That's the equivalent of an AMD Radeon R9 280 which is no where near as powerful as the R9 290, 295 and 295X.

The limitation comes from the fact that 300w is the maximum limitation on all PCIe slots combined for the 2010 Mac Pro, and the newer graphics cards need more power than the Mac Pro's PSU can put out. (they need 2x 8 wire connectors and the Mac Pro only has 2x 6 wire connectors). So in order to add a more powerful GPU to a 2010 Mac Pro you need to add an addition power supply. You see you can only take these older technologies so far."


Well.....yes and no. Yes the most powerful GPU 'made' for the 2010 Mac Pro may be the AMD Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition. And
yes, you are limited in how much power you can draw from the older Mac Pros. However, Nvidia has made available web drivers
so that you can install newer and much more powerful GPU's in your old Mac Pro's. How powerful? How about a GTX 980 Ti(6GB)?
Or a Titan X (12GB)? Two of the most powerful single cards available. And they work just fine with the available power from the old
Mac Pro's. I have a 2009 single quad core Mac Pro myself. I flashed the firmware and installed a six core 3.46ghz CPU ($235) and
a GTX 980 Ti GPU in mine myself. Fairly cheap (much cheaper than even buying a low end iMac) and my system is faster than a mid
range 'new' Mac Pro.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 3:49:05 pm

[Gabe Strong] "Nvidia has made available web drivers so that you can install newer and much more powerful GPU's in your old Mac Pro's. How powerful? How about a GTX 980 Ti(6GB)? Or a Titan X (12GB)? Two of the most powerful single cards available. And they work just fine with the available power from the old Mac Pro's."
I wasn't aware that any of the modern cards had a power requirement low enough to be used in the 2010 Mac Pro. That's good news. Do these cards have the Mac EFI so that they work at boot time? I have a triple boot system so I need to be able to hold the Option key and boot into multiple partitions.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Gabe Strong
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:00:35 am

[John Rofrano] "[Gabe Strong] "Nvidia has made available web drivers so that you can install newer and much more powerful GPU's in your old Mac Pro's. How powerful? How about a GTX 980 Ti(6GB)? Or a Titan X (12GB)? Two of the most powerful single cards available. And they work just fine with the available power from the old Mac Pro's."
I wasn't aware that any of the modern cards had a power requirement low enough to be used in the 2010 Mac Pro. That's good news. Do these cards have the Mac EFI so that they work at boot time? I have a triple boot system so I need to be able to hold the Option key and boot into multiple partitions.

~jr
http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com"


Yeah both the 980Ti and Titan X will work. Both connectors (6 to 6 pin and one 8 to 6 pin
adapter) are used, plus the slot supplies 75w. You CAN get Mac EFI on the card. You must
either be a computer specialist of the highest degree to write a Mac EFI for the card, or
you can buy a Mac EFI card from MacVidCards. Or you can send a PC version of one
of those cards to MacVidCards and he will flash it to the Mac EFI
for $180.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:15:18 am

[Gabe Strong] "you can buy a Mac EFI card from MacVidCards."
Cool, I didn't know about these guys. That's something to consider. Thanks!

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:32:00 pm

[John Rofrano] "Wasted in what way? What could they have done different?"

multiple PCIe lanes and internal storage options. They could have done what HP has done, made it a no brainer for anyone with needs beyond an Imac. In the PC world, does a serious buyer consider a 2010 HP? I don't think so.

[John Rofrano] " But Apple is not in the "upgrade" business... they are in the "technology is disposable" business"

Which works for consumer items but does not work when your investing 6-8K for a workstation. In fact your statement is the problem - Apple is applying consumer based marketing and design for business users and sometimes it's a bad fit.

[John Rofrano] "Would I have liked to see a new Mac Pro that was more expandable. I'd have to say yes. Having options is always a good thing. But as I pointed out expansion needs to be balanced and at some point it's better to buy a new system."

I absolutely agree, which is why the nMP was/is such a disappointment - I would rather have bought a new system, but when faced with my options, I ended up with a 2010 because it would give me a longer life than a 2013 - and that statement is unique to the nMP.

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


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 3:22:26 pm
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Nov 25, 2015 at 6:33:28 pm

Indulge me for a second:
[Herb Sevush] "multiple PCIe lanes"
What PCIe cards would you have put in those slots? That's what I'm really trying to get at. My 2010 Mac Pro came with 4 PCIe slots. One contained the graphics card and that's built into the nMP. One contained a Apple RAID card. The other two were empty.

The new Mac Pro has 4 x USB-3 ports, 6 x Thunderbolt-2 ports, 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports, and an HDMI 1.4 UltraHD port. It can support 3 x 5K displays and up to 6 x Thunderbolt displays.

What's missing?

PCIe cards with break-out boxes don't count because most of those break-out boxes are now available as Thunderbolt boxes so an external box is an external box. If the nMP was designed like the old MP, two of the 4 slots would have had graphics cards in them so you still would have only had 2 slots free anyway.

If the nMP had PCIe slots what would you populate them with? Or is it just the comfort of knowing that you could add something if you wanted to later? (because you can add anything you want via Thunderbolt)
[Herb Sevush] "...and internal storage options."
Why does it matter where the storage is? if you don't have ANY external storage then I can see your point. It's nice to have everything in one box. But most video editors have an external RAID enclosure that all of their work is on. Once you have an external enclosure, why do you care how much storage can fit in the box? It's irrelevant at that point where the storage is.

This is an important point because in the days of FW800 and USB 2.0 it mattered where the storage was because external storage was slower unless you had Fibre Channel. Today, Thunderbolt connected storage is just as fast as internal storage. In fact, a USB 3.0 connected 7200 RPM G-Drive is faster than the internal 5200 RPM drive on my MacBook Pro. It's important not to let "rules of thumb" that were true in the past cloud our judgment of new technology where those rules no longer apply.

I'm trying to understand the essence of the objection to the new form factor. Is it a real technical limitation or is it a personal preference. That is not to dilute the importance of personal preference but it changes the debate from "the nMP is a failure because of technical limitations" to "the nMP is a failure because it didn't satisfy my personal preferences".
[Herb Sevush] "In the PC world, does a serious buyer consider a 2010 HP? I don't think so."
I agree. So in my mind that is a testament to how good the 2010 Mac Pro was but in your mind you are saying that it is a statement about how undesirable the new Mac Pro is. I guess I can see your point. I hadn't thought of it that way before.

I guess what I'm poking at here is that there really are two questions:
  • Is the "new" Mac Pro a technical failure? (i.e., it doesn't allow me to conduct my business)

  • Is the "new" Mac Pro a cultural failure? (i.e., it's too radical a change)
Of course there is always the question of whether it is a marketing failure but that would require sales figures to debate. The fact that some of us upgraded our 2008 Mac Pros to 2010 Mac Pros instead of 2013 Mac Pros is certainly something Apple should be concerned about if they cared (but I don't think they care about the Pro market at all but that's another debate). ;-)

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 3:50:11 pm

[John Rofrano] "What PCIe cards would you have put in those slots?"

Currently, my black Magic I/o card (yes i still need this on occasion) and my ATTO Raid/LTO card, and my additional SSD/pcie drive that I find helpful. In the future - an additional GPU card and/or whatever may come my way. It is true that if I never owned any older equipment I wouldn't need the raid card - but I have a perfectly usable very high speed 16 TB raid, that I can cheaply upgrade to 32 or 48 TB for the price of the drives alone, that I have no desire to throw away.

With the nMP it is my way or the highway, as is so often the case with Apple. This is fine as long as you are content with never straying from Apple's highway. I'm a wanderer myself. The old MPro, uniquely for Apple, let me wander, the nMP doesn't. This behavior is fine for consumer products but not for what I need professionally.

[John Rofrano] "Why does it matter where the storage is? if you don't have ANY external storage then I can see your point. It's nice to have everything in one box. But most video editors have an external RAID enclosure that all of their work is on."

I know editors who keep their MacPro storage internal - 4 drive Raid 0, extra SSD in the 2nd optical drive. It's not my ideal, but I love having this option - oooppppss, that a dirty word in the land of the trash can.

[John Rofrano] ""the nMP is a failure because it didn't satisfy my personal preferences"."

This. I don't think the nMP is a technical failure - if it does all you need and you don't mind re-investing every 3 years or so, then you're it's market. The old Mpro had a longer useful life over a wider variety of workflows - which is the very nature of what I'm looking for in a workstation. Basically if they offered a dual GPU Imac there would be no need for the nMP.

[John Rofrano] "I guess what I'm poking at here is that there really are two questions:

Is the "new" Mac Pro a technical failure? (i.e., it doesn't allow me to conduct my business)

Is the "new" Mac Pro a cultural failure? (i.e., it's too radical a change)"


Neither. It's a failure because it is a step backwards from what went before. This is not a radical change, this is simply a change of intended audience. My own guess is that Apple was all set to get out of the workstation market when the FCPX release fiasco broke. In order to dampen the critique that Apple had forsaken the professional market they fished out a design spec from someone's waste paper basket and said - hey will give them this - it looks modern and it should shut them up for awhile. As you have accurately stated there is nothing about the workstation market that matches with anything Apple is doing to make money - this is just a PR halfway effort. It's fine as long as that's all you want.

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


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 4:12:32 pm
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Nov 25, 2015 at 4:16:58 pm

[Herb Sevush] "but I have a perfectly usable very high speed 16 TB raid, that I can cheaply upgrade to 32 or 48 TB for the price of the drives alone, that I have no desire to throw away."
Yea, I can't argue with that. One of the things that makes the nMP more expensive than the purchase price is what to do with existing RAID storage that requires a PCIe card. I believe there is a PCIe enclosure for Thunderbolt that will work but it's an additional expense and not all PCIe cards are supported. (...you got me there). But if your RAID card is supported at least there is a technical solution. ;-)

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Dominic Deacon
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 9:04:06 pm

[Herb Sevush] " In the PC world, does a serious buyer consider a 2010 HP? I don't think so."

Oddly enough I was just doing that yesterday. Ebay does a roaring trade in refurbished z800s and there's some damned deals out there. I was put onto this by someone else on the Cow though I forget who. In the end I decided to buy my own system because you don't know exactly those z800s have been through over the years...

Slightly off topic- though it's been touched on a few times through this thread- I think we conceed the PCs aren't cheaper than Macs battle too easily. for $AUD2000 I get a PC with:
6 core i75820K
16GB of 2600 DDR4 RAM
4GB GTX 960 GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GPU
Samsung SSD and HDDs.

On the other hand $2000 buys me a mac with:

2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
8GB of onboard memory, configurable up to 16GB
1TB hard drive1
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200
1920x1080 sRGB display

Those don't seem very equivalent. Of course you get the monitor but I already use Dell Ultrasharps and wouldn't swap for a Mac monitor. Having to purchase a new monitor every time you buy a computer seems insane to me btw. Just such a waste on several levels.


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Craig Alan
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 30, 2015 at 6:55:14 pm

I'm debating these options currently - including throwing in the maxed out iMac which at close to $4000 is hardly cheap and is plenty powerful depending on your needs. Not thrilled with paying for a 5K monitor that will last only as long as the IMac. But perhaps target display mode will be supported for the 5k monitors as the next gen iMacs or Mac Pro add the ability to power it. It's frustrating even though all options will "work". The iMac and now aging nMP have basically non-updatable graphic cards and thunderbolt (which would not be an issue except that thunderbolt 3 is around the corner, not just a rumor. The old Mac Pro Tower can be updated and is very end user friendly BUT no way to add thunderbolt drives. Can't imagine investing heavily in older tech for external drives.

What do you MacPro users use for raids??? USB 3 with usb card? That's a no brainer to add anyway but do I really want to invest in usb 3 raids?

Imagine if the nMP had upgradable CPU and graphic cards and thunderbolt 3/usb-c. If Black Magic can design a camcorder that can be upgraded to a (4.6K sensor upgrade) .... come on Apple, feed the niche that made you famous.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Oliver Peters
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 30, 2015 at 7:25:42 pm

[Craig Alan] "What do you MacPro users use for raids??? USB 3 with usb card? That's a no brainer to add anyway but do I really want to invest in usb 3 raids?"

Depends on the machine. MBP or nMP with Tbolt - then get Tbolt storage. Old MP - add an eSATA or USB3 card and get matching storage. Or get a large array using a mini-SAS connector (with the matching card). There are also GigE and 10GigE options.

If you want storage that can move between both worlds, then USB3 is your best bet today. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any storage that integrates both Tbolt and USB3 interfaces.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 1, 2015 at 1:44:19 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any storage that integrates both Tbolt and USB3 interfaces."
How about the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Duo? It says it supports USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Ii's only RAID 0 or 1 though and you probably want RAID 5 for failure protection.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Craig Alan
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 1, 2015 at 5:15:13 pm

I have those units and they have been giving me trouble connecting to 2011 iMacs. It may be just be a bad batch but I have not been able to isolate the problem -- intermittent crashing. They will crash the Mac itself - rebooting itself and then the raid will be off line and it will remain off line no matter what I do - but then reappear later on a different iMac. It might be bad power supply they have those converter type power cords. But regardless they get good reviews so it might just be a bad batch or problems with this particular gen of iMacs.

All that said :

they do connect via usb 3 or thunderbolt but cannot mix and match. Meaning you can't daisy chain by thunderbolt and usb 3 in the chain. Its one or the other. They are a hard raid and it would seem a bit limiting to use raid 1 on a two drive raid. You would essentially end up with a single drive speed which is not a raid but would get auto backup.

My point in all this is that thunderbolt seems to be the new standard for investing in external storage on a Mac and that to me may be a deal killer for updating my MacPro as opposed to investing in a 5K iMac or just waiting it out to see what's next.

The GPU would be about $500, the USB 3 card would be about $150, Adding a SD system drive doesn't factor since a new Mac would mean buying from Apple which is overpriced for the SD drives. I already have a IO back magic for my broadcast monitor. My problem is I have Pegasus raids that will not work with the MacPro and I can't see investing in usb 3 drives.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 27, 2015 at 10:35:23 pm

[Herb Sevush] "... If you don't mind living in a morass of cables and external boxes
... If you don't mind having a system with absolutely zero upgrade capability
... If you never have to edit with software other than FCPX"


Ahhh... I have less cables than I used...

Why do I need upgradeability... and who says you can't?

EVERYTHING under Adobe CC is faster...

Herb, was your mother killed by a falling nMP?

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 28, 2015 at 3:13:12 pm

[Mitch Ives] "Ahhh... I have less cables than I used..."

I've not doubt that is true in your case. In my case that would not be remotely true.

[Mitch Ives] "Why do I need upgradeability... and who says you can't?"

Why do you need upgrade-ability ? -- well if that's your question then the answer is that YOU don't. Others are not in the same position and are not happy with investing 6K in a device with a 3-4 year life expectancy.

As to who says you can't - let me know how your going to add the latest Nvidia cards to maximize CC performance when your current GPU's age to the point of irrelevance.

[Mitch Ives] "EVERYTHING under Adobe CC is faster..."

Faster than what ... ?? Definitely not faster than the latest PCs with nvidia cards.

As I have said elsewhere the nMP is a wonderful machine as long as it fits your current workflow. This demographic is, by design, smaller than the one that the old MP was suited for.

[Mitch Ives] "Herb, was your mother killed by a falling nMP?"

Taking no offense, I would suggest that if you continue to flippantly use this phrase when posting you will inevitably embarrass yourself.

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


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 28, 2015 at 4:31:25 pm
Last Edited By Mitch Ives on Nov 28, 2015 at 4:32:10 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Mitch Ives] "EVERYTHING under Adobe CC is faster..."

Faster than what ... ?? Definitely not faster than the latest PCs with nvidia cards."


Faster than the old Mac Pro. That IS what the article was about, right Herb? If you want to start another thread comparing the nMP to the PC when running CC, then do so... but that is NOT what this article is about, is it Herb?


[Herb Sevush] "As I have said elsewhere the nMP is a wonderful machine as long as it fits your current workflow. This demographic is, by design, smaller than the one that the old MP was suited for."

That's a very condescending position. But, I guess you're the arbiter for determining what fits what workflow?


[Herb Sevush] "[Mitch Ives] "Herb, was your mother killed by a falling nMP?"

Taking no offense, I would suggest that if you continue to flippantly use this phrase when posting you will inevitably embarrass yourself."


Taking no offense either, Herb, every one of your posts in this thread smacks of a desperation for this article to be true. I was simply trying to ascertain where this bias against the nMP comes from, since there is no rational for it.

This post would have been lot more useful if people who actually HAVE the nMP commented, especially those that have both the new and the old... while those who don't have a nMP refrained from positing an unqualified opinion... but then that's just me I'm sure...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 28, 2015 at 10:27:59 pm

[Mitch Ives] "Faster than the old Mac Pro. That IS what the article was about, right Herb?"

You are quite right, so I'll rephrase it -- faster than a 2010 8 core 2.4 macpro with a pciSSD and an Nvidia Titan (or eqiuvalent)? And if so, by how much - a subjective guess would do.

[Mitch Ives] "That's a very condescending position. But, I guess you're the arbiter for determining what fits what workflow?"

It is a statement of fact. The Mac Pro allowed for a wider variety of workflows - want your raid storage internal? - no problem. Want your choice of GPUs? - no problem. Want dual Xeons - can do. Want to upgrade any of these elements 3 years from now when the technology changes? - no problem.

Open is always more flexible than closed which is why the old MacPro was such an unusual product for Apple. With the nMP they have reverted to form - wonderful product that has limited customization. Works great for an Iphone, not as much for a workstation, IMO.

[Mitch Ives] " every one of your posts in this thread smacks of a desperation for this article to be true. I was simply trying to ascertain where this bias against the nMP comes from, since there is no rational for it."

I would offer glee as opposed to desperation, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As for where this comes from - the demise of the Ipod classic I should think.

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


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 29, 2015 at 1:05:33 am

[Herb Sevush] "It is a statement of fact. The Mac Pro allowed for a wider variety of workflows - want your raid storage internal? - no problem. Want your choice of GPUs? - no problem. Want dual Xeons - can do. Want to upgrade any of these elements 3 years from now when the technology changes? - no problem.

Open is always more flexible than closed which is why the old MacPro was such an unusual product for Apple. With the nMP they have reverted to form - wonderful product that has limited customization. Works great for an Iphone, not as much for a workstation, IMO."


I almost never upgrade machines. In three years there are other improvements besides what you list. Faster front and backside busses... faster ram busses. PC guys never got that. Shoving a 500 horse engine into a chassis that is old never works. The transmission and brakes can't handle it. Better off to get a car designed for it.

FWIW, fastest RAID I've owned to date is the external TB2 models. Just saying. By the time the next MP shows up, I will have already made several times it's cost. Hell, I already have. I also love the quiet of both the nMP and the TB2 RAIDS. Hell, they're on the desks now, they're so quiet. Of course the rooms are cooler too. I've got machines closer together than ever before... something you can't do with the other choices.



[Herb Sevush] "I would offer glee as opposed to desperation, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As for where this comes from - the demise of the Ipod classic I should think."

LOL... and don't get me started on the iPod Classic! It's the only iPod large enough to hold my iTunes library. Glad I snapped one up at the last minute... :-)

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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James Culbertson
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 29, 2015 at 7:55:58 pm

[Mitch Ives] "This post would have been lot more useful if people who actually HAVE the nMP commented, especially those that have both the new and the old... while those who don't have a nMP refrained from positing an unqualified opinion... but then that's just me I'm sure..."

Herb, could you tell us about the nMP you own, and specifically how that nMP in practice limits your current workflows?

I'm just not seeing it here with my nMP. I can see abstractly how one could imagine a nMP would be limiting, but in practice I am as empowered as I was with any of my old towers. I can certainly see how for certain small niche workflows the nMP would be limiting, but not for the vast majority of today's workflows. But I wait to be enlightened by you.


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 29, 2015 at 9:12:02 pm

[James Culbertson] "Herb, could you tell us about the nMP you own, and specifically how that nMP in practice limits your current workflows?"

I will do that when you tell me about the 2010 Macpro 8 core you own, the one with the pciSSD Boot Drive and the Nvidia Titan GPU. Since the original post was seeking to compare that setup to a nMP then according to your logic unless you own both and can compare you shouldn't be posting. Since I was pretty much faced with the same choice as the OP, I did my research and made my choice. This isn't like a software UI, either the hardware has certain features or it doesn't. I don't need to spend 6K on a system that doesn't work for me to know that the system doesn't work for me.

[James Culbertson] " I can certainly see how for certain small niche workflows the nMP would be limiting, but not for the vast majority of today's workflows"

OK, so the nMP works for the majority, but an upgraded MP works for that same majority plus the small niche. And I'm supposed to pay more for that system that works in less workflows because ... ???

[James Culbertson] "But I wait to be enlightened by you."

Here's the enlightening part - name another computer that's actively being compared to it's 6 year old EOl'd predecessor and it's not clear cut which one a user should buy.

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


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James Culbertson
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 29, 2015 at 10:20:56 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Here's the enlightening part - name another computer that's actively being compared to it's 6 year old EOl'd predecessor and it's not clear cut which one a user should buy."

Well, you are doing the comparison. I'm not sure many others are, who actually own a nMP. Maybe you should try to get your hands on one so that you are talking from actual experience. I'd sure take you more seriously if you were to do so.

I've worked on the 8 core 2010 (but not owned). I wouldn't place it (or any other couple year old Mac) anywhere in the same ballpark in its stock configuration... does not make sense from an empirical viewpoint.


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 29, 2015 at 10:48:46 pm

[James Culbertson] "Well, you are doing the comparison. I'm not sure many others are, who actually own a nMP."

Why don't you go back and read the original post. I didn't invent this notion, the original OP posted an article by a Mac website that called the nMP "a failure." Here it is again ...

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/the-new-mac-pro-is-a-failure

[James Culbertson] "I've worked on the 8 core 2010 (but not owned). I wouldn't place it (or any other couple year old Mac) anywhere in the same ballpark in its stock configuration..."

Again, read the article. Nobody is comparing the nMP to a stock 2010, they are comparing it to an upgraded 2010 because buying an upgraded 2010 is way cheaper than a nMP and comes out as either equivalent or superior on a number of benchmark tests.

The original OP was asking which choice he should make, and while I don't own a nMP and you do, I do own an upgraded 2010 and you don't. So in terms of this comparison we are fairly equivalent in terms of our authority.

My other point is that this is a choice many editors are still making and the answer is not clear cut in either direction ... and what does that say about the nMP that this is still a subject for discussion.

[James Culbertson] " Maybe you should try to get your hands on one so that you are talking from actual experience. I'd sure take you more seriously if you were to do so."

Sure, send me the 6K and I'll be glad to do the tests. Otherwise, I guess I'll just have to live with the knowledge that you don't take me seriously.

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


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Craig Alan
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 29, 2015 at 11:35:27 pm

What would you recommend for this MP if anything to give it some more life for FCP X and other pro apps?

I assume I need a usb 3 card and maybe a different graphic card.










Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Tim Wilson
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 30, 2015 at 2:50:20 am

[Herb Sevush] "Why don't you go back and read the original post. I didn't invent this notion, the original OP posted an article by a Mac website that called the nMP "a failure." Here it is again ...

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/the-new-mac-pro-is-a-failure


I do hope that people are reading the article. It's very specific, well-reasoned, well-documented.

Although, that said, I think you stick the landing on the conclusion in an earlier post, Herb:

[Herb Sevush] "Name another computer that's actively being compared to it's 6 year old EOl'd predecessor and it's not clear cut which one a user should buy."

It. Has. Never. Happened. Before. Ever.

Yet it's happening with this computer regularly, at the author's site, ours, and others.

And yes, there are millions of people who embrace this as the best computer Apple has ever released. That's not news. That's NORMAL. That's how it SHOULD be.

But, really, other than the year Apple dropped the number of slots from 6 to 3 (1997 was it?), I can't think of a single new model that has made so many people so upset.

Other than than FCPX and pulling the plug on the clone program, I can't think of ANYTHING that Apple has done that has made as many people as upset as the "new" Mac Pro has.

The difference THAT time (halving the number of slots) is that there were so many obvious benefits to the new model that people bought in as quickly as it was feasible. Which admittedly wasn't always feasible very quickly (Apple made it harder to use outboard chassis with that new model)...but overall, barely a ripple in the industry.

The difference THIS time is that, YEARS later, the new model has failed to universally make its case for unambiguous superiority. Can we at least agree on that much?

It also has the unique distinction of actually chasing career-long Mac advocates from the platform.

The biggest irony of all is that, back a few years ago when we were wondering if Apple was ever going to update the Mac Pro -- remember? Tim Cook publicly said that they were working on something, and we were gonna love it. The first time in company history that I can recall Apple acknowledging that ANY customers exist, much less PRO customers....and THIS is what we got.


So I was a little surprised to see no comment at all when Tim Cook said that he honestly doesn't understand why anyone would buy a computer when they could buy an iPad Pro instead.

Money quote: "No, really. Why would you?"

Yes yes, this was somewhat rhetorical...and amusingly ironic in light of him saying that MSFT was clueless for offering an iPad Pro a couple of years before Apple did. LOL

We knew then that he was just funnin' us of course. Classic Apple FUD Translation Tip: that thing that Apple is pissing on today? It'll be their next major product release.

And sure, one reason not to bring Tim's quote up is because Apple is always going to give us another reason to wonder whether they care about keeping "people like me" as customers...because they don't....

...but it's irrelevant, because Apple will still find ways to delight people who have the good fortune to have the needs that Apple feels like meeting for its OWN purposes.


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Bill Davis
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 30, 2015 at 5:30:26 am

Guys you're never going to convince Herb.

Not that he can't see the arguments, he MOST certainly can. But his value system is set. Done. And it's NOT going to change. The things that have made him a success over decades - the things that have kept his client list and his bank account healthy are NOT the things that the NMP vs another Mac Pro Tower is going to provide that make a difference to him in the least.

He believes in and perfectly understands how to extract value (nice value too) from big fat arrays of heavy duty cards in a big fat chassis as close as possible to a CPU which in turn is bolted as closely as possible to one or more GPUs and Big Power Units all nestled in racks and towers in air conditioned offices with big heavy monitors that used to be CRTs but now are flat screens because THAT era ended and it didn’t make any sense to chase it. Big space, lots of plugs and power strips. Comfy client couches. Wired phones at the edit stations,

Because for decades that was the smart way to work. And it STILL is in lots of cases today. It ABSOLUTELY still is today. There is NOTHING wrong with working that way. The lions share of TV and Movies and tons of other great stuff is still made EXACTLY this way and it works. Period. End of story.

Yes, forces are swirling around that say that in the coming months and years we’ll all be working somewhat differently. The office and the desk won’t be AS necessary - as internet connected overnight everyting, laptops, tablets,watching rushes on your phone, and shooting pickups on cameras that cost less the breakfast craft services budget - continues to evolve.

But that's NOT what Herb is doing.

If he changed what would he get? More mobility? I suspect he could care less. Less power consumption? Doubt he even considers it. Slightly lower office rent? That matters to shoe string operations, not so much to established businesses.

So let it go. He’s totally right from his perspective. And the guys pushing back are also right from theirs. That’s the magic. Two differing views are both totally correct.

Wisdom is sometimes just noticing that - and stopping all the angst.

It was important in my mind to push back when people were saying a Mac based video editing solution based on FCP X and modern Apple hardware couldn’t (and never would) cut the mustard. They were utterly wrong and time has proved that. To do it all over again based on some obsessive desire to convince something that Box A is "lamer" than Box B in a spec war is silly. Fine, you can make a smarter decision, buy a spoonfull of higher performance so you can go home at at 5pm instead of 5:15 - right up until the game changes next Thursday and you're AGAIN behind the curve because the guy who used to be 15 minutes behind you is now 18 minutes ahead. The wisdom is in understanding that you ARE going to get stuck in traffic either way. Count on it.

My 2 cents.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 30, 2015 at 12:14:51 pm

That was lovely Bill. A few caveats ...

[Bill Davis] "He believes in and perfectly understands how to extract value (nice value too) from big fat arrays of heavy duty cards in a big fat chassis as close as possible to a CPU which in turn is bolted as closely as possible to one or more GPUs and Big Power Units all nestled in racks and towers in air conditioned offices with big heavy monitors that used to be CRTs but now are flat screens because THAT era ended and it didn’t make any sense to chase it. Big space, lots of plugs and power strips. Comfy client couches. Wired phones at the edit stations,"

If only I could live up to your expectations of me. The truth is not quite so sublime. It's been many years since I gave up my NYC office with it's multiple edit bays. Currently I work at home, in a lovely room with a single edit bay - the old client couch is downstairs in the living room and there isn't a wired phone to be seen.

[Bill Davis] "If he changed what would he get? More mobility? I suspect he could care less. Less power consumption? Doubt he even considers it. Slightly lower office rent? That matters to shoe string operations, not so much to established businesses."

I do consider power consumption, for moral as well as financial reasons, but with one system the differences aren't that much - the air conditioner takes more power than anything else. Office rent is no longer an issue and as for mobility you are quite correct that I don't care at all.

But while your assessment of me is pretty much correct this has little to do with this current thread. We are not comparing my system to a MacBook Pro, we are comparing it to Apple's new workstation, which is just as stationary as mine.

[Bill Davis] "forces are swirling around that say that in the coming months and years we’ll all be working somewhat differently. The office and the desk won’t be AS necessary - as internet connected overnight everything, laptops, tablets,watching rushes on your phone, and shooting pickups on cameras that cost less the breakfast craft services budget - continues to evolve.

But that's NOT what Herb is doing."


I've been working remotely since before there was a commercial internet - Fax, Fed-Ex and sneaker net. Since I'm one of the fortunate few who has almost never worked with clients in the room I've been dreaming of cloud editing before there was such a term. But one thing has never changed for me - the need for large screens (plural) both for monitoring and for the GUI. You are correct when you say I am set in my ways -- until someone comes up with a way for me to see as clearly on an Iphone as I can on a dedicated 23" monitor I will continue to need what I need, and I will not be constrained by what any one vendor thinks I need.

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


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 27, 2015 at 10:30:49 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I am just shocked to learn that everything I thought about the Trash Can when it was first announced turns out to be true. The only thing Pro about the nMP is the price. "

Wrong Herb...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:30:13 am

I wouldn't call the nMP a failure. It's a nice little machine with that challenged the market on what should come standard in a workstation.

I would call the nMP overrated. It's a limited little machine with outdated components that cannot be upgraded.

In other words, I think the nMP is another high-floor, low-ceiling design from Apple.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Michael Gissing
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 25, 2015 at 10:35:58 pm

It turned up too late for many and if people are now wondering what's next then planned upgrades would make some nervous.

Personally I prefer to make my own PCs these days so I can do rolling upgrades to graphics cards like the Titan X when they turn up. I prefer the grandpa favourite axe approach. Many handles and heads later my twelve year old rack mount boxes are still in use and I get more than a few years out of i/o interfaces like my Blackmagic 4k PCIe card.


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Jack Battiste
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:22:15 am
Last Edited By Jack Battiste on Nov 26, 2015 at 6:15:31 am

The Cinebench 15 database (cbscores link posted below) isn't a perfect fit for everybody, as we have a wide variety of creative professionals here, but it might be useful for some. Workstations are benchmarked in terms of CPU and GPU performance, then the digits are stored online for comparison.

Worth a mention that the top render score from all workstations running OSX is listed as a Xeon X5680. If I am not mistaken, dual X5680 CPUs in a Mac ... is probably from a common upgrade kit circa 2009-2012. There were (and still are) vendors offering to upgrade an 8 core "Nehalem" into a 12 Core "Westmere" at 333-3.46 GHz.


http://cbscores.com/

Jack Battiste
http://www.BattisteCreative.com
Retouching, Illustration & CGI


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 27, 2015 at 10:18:47 pm

I think they need a drug testing policy over there. I have both the machines they mention and there is no comparison. The nMP kicks the S#@t out of the old tower... everywhere. Rendering, timeline movement, export. Seriously... can anybody just post crap now?

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Eric Santiago
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Nov 27, 2015 at 10:48:54 pm

I still use both Macs as well as my older PCs.

I dont get the whole angst over the differences.

I mean I still wish I had my Onyx 2 with Alias Power Animator but life goes on :)

Use what works for you.


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Alan Okey
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 3, 2015 at 8:36:53 pm

Has your older tower been upgraded to this configuration?

http://barefeats.com/tube16.html

I think the point of the article was to show that in many ways, the older design has a much greater useful lifespan by virtue of its internal expandability/upgradability. It's impossible for the new Mac Pro to have more than a single CPU, nor is it currently possible to upgrade the GPUs.

While it may be hyperbolic to call the new Mac Pro a "failure," I do think it's acceptable to point out that it is a somewhat limited/compromised design compared to what is available at the high end of non-Apple hardware. If you need more than a single CPU, nVidia GPUs, or PCIe slots, Apple doesn't offer a system that can meet your needs.

This becomes an issue for certain applications that can make use of more powerful hardware than what Apple offers, such as Resolve or Flame. Although Autodesk recently announced their porting of Flame to OS X, the Mac version has a reduced feature set due to Apple's hardware limitations.

Thunderbolt is not a panacea. OS X doesn't support external GPUs, and Thunderbolt 2 is a bottleneck for GPU processing when compared with PCIe bandwidth. While it's true that Thunderbolt 3 will raise the bandwidth, the PCIe spec isn't standing still, and will leapfrog Thunderbolt 3.

As someone said earlier in the thread, horses for courses. I don't think it's impertinent to wish that Apple made a computer that has the same potential for power and expandability that we see from non-Apple hardware. Unfortunately, it's clear that for Apple, there's really no financial benefit to producing such hardware.


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 3, 2015 at 10:45:05 pm

[Alan Okey] "Has your older tower been upgraded to this configuration?

http://barefeats.com/tube16.html"


I upgraded the video card to the very recent, but not duals.

[Alan Okey] "Thunderbolt is not a panacea. OS X doesn't support external GPUs, and Thunderbolt 2 is a bottleneck for GPU processing when compared with PCIe bandwidth. While it's true that Thunderbolt 3 will raise the bandwidth, the PCIe spec isn't standing still, and will leapfrog Thunderbolt 3."

You'd have to prove that to me. I've been using RAIDs longer than most people have been in this business, and I've never had a RAID that matches these TB2 models...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Alan Okey
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 3, 2015 at 11:20:31 pm

[Mitch Ives] "You'd have to prove that to me. I've been using RAIDs longer than most people have been in this business, and I've never had a RAID that matches these TB2 models...
"


I was speaking specifically about available GPU bandwidth, not bandwidth available to RAIDs. RAIDs aren't generally bottlenecked by Thunderbolt, but GPU bandwidth is. Even if OS X were to support GPUs over Thunderbolt, throughput would be restricted compared to what is available via PCIe slots.

In terms of maximum available bandwidth, there is no comparison between PCIe and Thunderbolt. A PCIe 3.0 x16 slot provides 16GBps (gigaBYTES per second) in each direction. Thunderbolt 2 has two bidirectional 20Gbps (gigaBITS per second) lanes, which is only 2.5GBps in each direction. Putting it another way, a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot provides 128Gbps in either direction vs Thunderbolt 2's 20Gbps. Even a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, which provides 64Gbps in each direction, still has greater bandwidth than Thunderbolt 2.

I only mention this because some have suggested that the new Mac Pro's GPUs might be upgraded by using external GPUs over Thunderbolt.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 4, 2015 at 2:26:50 am

I don't think you can judge something to be a success or failure with stating what the barometer of success is. If Apple wanted to create an eye catching, quiet, small, desktop then I think you'd have to rate it as a success. Is it a financial success? Only the people at Apple know. Is it a success in the eyes of people that need/want a desktop with a lot of internal expandability? Probably not. But was Apple aiming the nMP at those users? Probably not.

Like pretty much all things Apple, they made what they wanted to make and customers can either take it or leave it.

With that being said, it is surprising how well the old MPs hold up which makes the ideal of coughing up top dollar for a machine that came out in 2013 even less appealing. Oddly enough waiting for the nMPs to come out is what got me to buy an '09 MP as a 'hold over' machine and waiting for the new, new MP to come out might be what drives me to just buy more up grades for my old Mac Pro (or just bite the bullet and get a PC).


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 4, 2015 at 11:19:35 am

[Mitch Ives] "You'd have to prove that to me. I've been using RAIDs longer than most people have been in this business, and I've never had a RAID that matches these TB2 models..."

Not that 1 GB/s isn't fast... but fast storage for a big finishing system today is 6 GB/s or more. You can hit about 5 GB/s in a Z840 with an internal RAID of 16 SSDs.

Of course, not everyone needs that kind of speed, but the fact remains that there is simply no way to get it on the nMP.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Mitch Ives
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 4, 2015 at 5:23:19 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Not that 1 GB/s isn't fast... but fast storage for a big finishing system today is 6 GB/s or more. You can hit about 5 GB/s in a Z840 with an internal RAID of 16 SSDs."

It could be faster... I'm only using 6 drives. Sixteen would make a huge difference. In addition, SSD's would definitely speed things up dramatically.

[Walter Soyka] "Of course, not everyone needs that kind of speed, but the fact remains that there is simply no way to get it on the nMP."

Why do they need to be internal? The external RAIDs I'm seeing are making huge numbers.

For balance, you should tell everyone what a 16 SSD RAID cost? Be prepared to pass out people...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Jim Wiseman
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 4, 2015 at 8:30:47 pm
Last Edited By Jim Wiseman on Dec 4, 2015 at 8:32:35 pm

I love mine. Also my new Retina Macbook Pro. Great with FCPX.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1, Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Pro X 10.2.2, Final Cut Studio 2 & 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.6, Premiere Pro CS 5 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4K, Blackmagic Teranex, Avid MC: Mid 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 15": 2013 Mac Pro Hexacore, 1TB SSD, 64GB RAM, 2-D500: Helios 2 w 2-960GB SSDs: 2012 Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz, 24Gb RAM, GTX-680, 960GB SSD: Macbook Pro Retina 2015, i7, 500GB, M370X 2GB: Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 16GB RAM 250GB SSD, Multiple OWC Thunderbay 4 TB2 and eSATA QX2 RAID 5 HD systems


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 6:03:35 pm

[Mitch Ives] "It could be faster... I'm only using 6 drives. Sixteen would make a huge difference. In addition, SSD's would definitely speed things up dramatically."

Thunderbolt 2 is 20 Gb/s, or 2.5 GB/s. Knock a little off for overhead, and the fastest you'll ever get a TB2 RAID running -- no matter how many spindles or SSDs you add -- will "only" be somewhere around 2 GB/s.

I'm not saying that's slow. 2 GB/s is absurdly fast for most applications. It is, however, less than half the speed of the current state of the art and barely fast enough for a single stream of uncompressed 4K at 60fps.


[Mitch Ives] "Why do they need to be internal? The external RAIDs I'm seeing are making huge numbers."

They don't need to be internal. But they can be, if you want them to be, unless you have a Mac.


[Mitch Ives] "For balance, you should tell everyone what a 16 SSD RAID cost? Be prepared to pass out people..."

Probably around $9,000 for 16 TB of raw storage and a RAID controller. But there is no solution like this for the Mac platform available at any price.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Herb Sevush
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 6:09:18 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Probably around $9,000 for 16 TB of raw storage and a RAID controller. But there is no solution like this for the Mac platform available at any price."

Considering I spent around 12K for my first Mac X-serve that probably handled around 4TB (raid 0) at around 300 Gb/s - not bad at all.

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 6:15:21 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Considering I spent around 12K for my first Mac X-serve that probably handled around 4TB (raid 0) at around 300 Gb/s - not bad at all."

Fun with fractions: you could spend half the cash from that SSD solution on a Pegasus2 R8 with twice the capacity and a quarter of the performance.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Joe Marler
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 7:37:44 pm

[Walter Soyka] "2 GB/s is absurdly fast for most applications. It is, however, less than half the speed of the current state of the art and barely fast enough for a single stream of uncompressed 4K at 60fps."

According to my calculations, the data rate for DCI 4k @ 60 fps is 759 megabytes/sec. See http://www.theblackandblue.com/2011/03/12/how-to-calculate-red-camera-data-...

The HP Z820 workstations used to edit Gone Girl "only" had 1.8 to 2.6 gigabytes/sec I/O bandwidth:
http://www.4kshooters.net/2014/08/13/david-finchers-gone-girl-1st-feature-f...

They probably shot it using 4:1 or 6:1 "Red Raw" compression which would lower the data rate (at 4:1) to about 167 megabytes/sec. If anyone knows otherwise, please correct this.

It was edited essentially using off-line proxies on a 1080p timeline, which greatly reduced the required I/O bandwidth. Of course you ultimately need to conform the footage so at some point you have to process the entire full-resolution locked cut, probably in uncompressed format. For a 2.5 hr film that would be about 6 terabytes (if 6K), however I think the final frame size was 4k.

Most people are not shooting in 6k Red Raw, but the above data rates were sufficient to handle that, and capacities were very roughly in the 2 GB/sec range.

In a more approachable scenario, the Mac Pro that Mark Spencer used on this job could move 2 terabytes within 45 min, or a sustained average rate of 741 megabytes/sec. That is simply using Pegasus RAID arrays, nothing exotic (start at 03:45):






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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 7:59:31 pm

[Joe Marler] "According to my calculations, the data rate for DCI 4k @ 60 fps is 759 megabytes/sec. See http://www.theblackandblue.com/2011/03/12/how-to-calculate-red-camera-data-....."

Your calculation as described is for RED data, not uncompressed RGB frames like a finishing system would ultimately use.

One frame = 4096 x 2160 = 8,847,360 pixels.

8,847,360 pixels * 3 channels * 10 bits per channel = 265,420,800 bits, divided by 8 bits per byte = 33,177,600 bytes, divided by 1024 = 32400 KB, divided by 1024 = 31.640625 MB per frame.

31.640625 MB per frame times 60 frames per second = 1898.4375 MB/s.

That's not a bad middle ground assumption. You could knock some data rate off with chroma subsampling, or you could pile some more back on with 16-bit half-float RGB.

BTW, these numbers, while uncommon, are actually real. VR has big needs for both large rasters and high frame rate. This matters a lot less in editorial and a lot more in compositing/finishing.


[Joe Marler] "The HP Z820 workstations used to edit Gone Girl "only" had 1.8 to 2.6 gigabytes/sec I/O bandwidth:"

Gone Girl was only 24 fps, right? So you can more than halve the bandwidth we were calculating before.

10-bit uncompressed 6K @ 24fps is about 1666 MB/s.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Oliver Peters
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 8:27:33 pm

[Walter Soyka] "[Joe Marler] "The HP Z820 workstations used to edit Gone Girl "only" had 1.8 to 2.6 gigabytes/sec I/O bandwidth:"
Gone Girl was only 24 fps, right? So you can more than halve the bandwidth we were calculating before.
10-bit uncompressed 6K @ 24fps is about 1666 MB/s."


Gone Girl was edited using ProResLT files and the edit was handled on MacPro towers with high-end Nvidia cards. The RED processing and prep before the grade was handled on HP workstations. RED files were converted to DPX for deliver to the grade. That was done at Light Iron using Quantel Pablo systems.

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/gone-girl/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Joe Marler
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 9:47:51 pm

[Walter Soyka] "You can hit about 5 GB/s in a Z840 with an internal RAID of 16 SSDs...the fact remains that there is simply no way to get it on the nMP.
"

The nMP has three TB2 buses. Even if you leave one bus for a 4k display, you could theoretically put multiple large RAID arrays on the other buses. That could potentially be six Pegasus R8s or SSD RAIDs. AnandTech achieved 1.38 GB/sec on one TB2 bus of the nMP. That was an actual real-world test, not a theoretical calculation. That would imply that around 3 GB/sec total should be achievable. I wonder has anyone ever tested that?


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Tim Wilson
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 7, 2015 at 10:09:22 pm

[Joe Marler] "[Walter Soyka] "You can hit about 5 GB/s in a Z840 with an internal RAID of 16 SSDs...the fact remains that there is simply no way to get it on the nMP.
"
The nMP has three TB2 buses.....That would imply that around 3 GB/sec total should be achievable. I wonder has anyone ever tested that?"


If they haven't, I'm sure they will.

There gets to be an interesting dynamic as we start to push against the limits though. Remember the 1999 "supercomputer" campaign? Apple had print ads touting that these computers were so powerful that Apple wasn't allowed to export them to certain nations.

And this spot.








Although the tagline is priceless ("Pentium processors? They're harmless"), this was exaggerated at best. The G4 wasn't a weapon, and while the processing power exceeded some export thresholds at manufacture date, the ceiling had already been raised, leaving only about a 4-month window where this was even vaguely true a LITTLE....

...but really, can you imagine Apple saying that they make the most powerful computer?

Even on a dollar-for-dollar basis? I know that that's part of what we're debating here -- does it do the stuff that **I** need it do -- but the "not available at any price for a Mac" state of things is a real one.

Billions of colors is one that has recently come around. During the six years that Macs couldn't do it, the general refrain was "Yeah, but I don't need that," and there have only been a handful of articles to treat Apple's catching up as an actual innovation LOL but looking at things like HP Z workstations and RAM capacity far outstripping Macs, Apple bringing up the rear on Thunderbolt 3...it seems like one conclusion that we should at least debate drawing is that Apple is out of the "most powerful" game for good.

And maybe for the VERY good. Their goal isn't to be the Tesla of computing. Apple is the Prius of computing, all the way. Anything else is a distraction that will ultimately not serve Apple's users or shareholders well at all.

And I bet that the Apple car is going to prove my point. LOL I can't wait! On-topic car analogies for everyone!


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 8, 2015 at 11:30:19 am

[Joe Marler] "The nMP has three TB2 buses. Even if you leave one bus for a 4k display, you could theoretically put multiple large RAID arrays on the other buses."

I considered proposing this up in my last post, too. A software RAID 0 of two hardware RAIDs could nearly double the performance.

But there's a huge tradeoff: even after mortgaging nearly all of the available expansion bandwidth, plus extra CPU cycles on every read and write, you've still only achieved half of the top storage speed available from a single new PCIe RAID controller.

If you really need top-line system speed, I don't see how the nMP is a consideration. Is this the architecture you would want to build a high-end finishing system on?

Tim said it best:

[Tim Wilson] "...but really, can you imagine Apple saying that they make the most powerful computer? "

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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James Culbertson
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 8, 2015 at 9:34:07 pm

[Walter Soyka] "If you really need top-line system speed, I don't see how the nMP is a consideration. Is this the architecture you would want to build a high-end finishing system on?

[Tim Wilson] "...but really, can you imagine Apple saying that they make the most powerful computer? ""


I'll just take a moment's break from happily editing on my "lower-powered" nMP to observe that Macs and PCs have been leap-frogging each other for as long as I have been buying computers. If a nMP is not high enough powered to do the "high-end finishing" you need for your niche than buy something else. Next year perhaps a n(ewer)MP will be the high-end system you need to buy because it leap-frogs PCs. Same as it ever was. Fortunately, most of us can do high-end finishing with our existing systems because even an iMac or moderately powered MacBookPro is more than fast enough for most of the finishing done today.

If only we could all be paid somehow for our time complaining.


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Shawn Miller
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 8, 2015 at 10:40:09 pm

[James Culbertson] "I'll just take a moment's break from happily editing on my "lower-powered" nMP to observe that Macs and PCs have been leap-frogging each other for as long as I have been buying computers."

When was the last time that Apple produced a machine that could outperform a souped up PC (running Windows or Linux) though... maybe not since before the Pentium 1?

Shawn



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Andrew Kimery
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 9, 2015 at 1:13:14 am

[James Culbertson] "Next year perhaps a n(ewer)MP will be the high-end system you need to buy because it leap-frogs PCs."

For MPs "next generation" might be more applicable since annual updates haven't been a thing in 5 or 6 years. ;)


[Shawn Miller] "When was the last time that Apple produced a machine that could outperform a souped up PC (running Windows or Linux) though... maybe not since before the Pentium 1?"

Off the shelf PC from a vender like HP or Dell or an overclocked, water cooled, hot rod built in someone's basement?

For less 'exotic' machines the old MPs would hold their own when they were new (though as James said PCs would update faster and the MP would get eclipsed after 6-12 months). For PCs that were packed to the gills with internal RAIDS, multiple GPUS, etc., the Mac hasn't been able to compete toe-to-toe on that level since the they started cutting back the PCI slots 10-15yrs agod.

I think the single CPU in the nMP hamstrings it as the number of applications that really leverage GPUs is still relatively limited. Though I guess that's the whole point of their Metal API.


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Shawn Miller
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 9, 2015 at 2:01:28 am

[Andrew Kimery] "[Shawn Miller] "When was the last time that Apple produced a machine that could outperform a souped up PC (running Windows or Linux) though... maybe not since before the Pentium 1?"

Off the shelf PC from a vender like HP or Dell or an overclocked, water cooled, hot rod built in someone's basement?"


Good question - off the shelf is relative to the PC vendor of choice, I think. Boxx (for instance) has been shipping OTS machines that blow the doors off OTS builds from Dell and HP for years.

[Andrew Kimery] "For less 'exotic' machines the old MPs would hold their own when they were new (though as James said PCs would update faster and the MP would get eclipsed after 6-12 months). For PCs that were packed to the gills with internal RAIDS, multiple GPUS, etc., the Mac hasn't been able to compete toe-to-toe on that level since the they started cutting back the PCI slots 10-15yrs agod."

True, however, in addition, you could always put more processors and RAM inside of a Windows or Linux box. So, I'm not sure when (pre G2 maybe?) Macs ever had any real performance advantages over high end PCs.

Shawn



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Joe Marler
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 9, 2015 at 1:37:13 pm

[James Culbertson] "[Walter Soyka] "If you really need top-line system speed, I don't see how the nMP is a consideration. Is this the architecture you would want to build a high-end finishing system on?

...Macs and PCs have been leap-frogging each other for as long as I have been buying computers. If a nMP is not high enough powered to do the "high-end finishing" you need for your niche than buy something else. Next year perhaps a n(ewer)MP will be the high-end system you need to buy because it leap-frogs PCs...
"


Bingo. While impressive, high-end finishing is a tiny market niche. Yes it's fun to see what Quantel's Pablo Rio can do. There are PC manufacturers who will build you a 48-core, overclocked, liquid-cooled Xeon workstation. The now two-year-old nMP cannot really compete with those.

However IMO the nMP was never designed to occupy the absolute highest echelon of the workstation market. It is a generalized design. Chasing rarified niche market segments for "biggest/fastest" prestige often does not yield good business results. A good example is the supercomputer market segment. It is exotic and impressive but many companies have gone bankrupt pursuing that.

The next Mac Pro update will probably bump it up the performance ladder. When that is released it will be interesting to see how it compares to its upper-end competition.


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Walter Soyka
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 9, 2015 at 4:02:24 pm

[James Culbertson] "'ll just take a moment's break from happily editing on my "lower-powered" nMP to observe that Macs and PCs have been leap-frogging each other for as long as I have been buying computers."

Well, now Macs ARE PCs, so that trend is likely to be very different going forward. Not only is Apple currently trending away from performance/expansion and toward portability/form factor -- how can Apple hardware leapfrog PC hardware when they're the same?

But Apple hardware + software, that's another story! See any of the neighboring threads on speed and FCPX.


[James Culbertson] "Fortunately, most of us can do high-end finishing with our existing systems because even an iMac or moderately powered MacBookPro is more than fast enough for most of the finishing done today."

We're probably getting hung up on the word "high-end." Of course you can do fantastic work on a Mac.

But in terms of compute performance, Apple's very best machine is only mid-tier. No big deal, though, because in terms of this forum, most folks don't really care about compute performance. But adjacent markets -- finishing, comp, 3D -- can actually make use of more grunt than any Mac can provide.

I'm not saying the nMP is a bad machine, or that you can't do good work on a Mac. Quite the contrary. My studio has four of them, and I like them. I'm just saying we shouldn't delude ourselves about what the nMP is. It is not a workstation (which some people still actually need). It is a "pro computer" just like Apple says.


[James Culbertson] "If only we could all be paid somehow for our time complaining."

Start consulting! Works for me.

In all seriousness, I hope I'm not coming across as complaining. I think that I'm one of the few posters here who regularly uses both Macs and PC workstations, so I'm just trying to give a little perspective that's otherwise lacking here.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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John Rofrano
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 26, 2015 at 5:46:28 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Well, now Macs ARE PCs, so that trend is likely to be very different going forward. Not only is Apple currently trending away from performance/expansion and toward portability/form factor -- how can Apple hardware leapfrog PC hardware when they're the same?"
Sorry but I have to comment on that one. Mac and PC hardware are definitely NOT the same. I've used a PC for 30+ years and the PC laptop trackpad is the WORST input device I have ever encountered. Every time I got a new Thinkpad I would disable the trackpad as one of my first steps. Then I got a MacBook Pro and experienced what a "real' trackpad is supposed to feel like and behave like. OMG, it was night and day! Why? Because other then the commodity CPU, GPU. memory, and HDD, Apple designs all of their own hardware. They don't use PC motherboards, they don't use PC input devices, they don't use PC BIOS (they use UEFI which PC's are now moving to) they are NOT the same as PCs... not by a long shot.
[Walter Soyka] "But Apple hardware + software, that's another story!"
That, of course, is the "secret sauce". Microsoft is dependent on other hardware manufacturers to take advantage of capabilities in their OS and it gets boiled down to the least common denominator of hardware. Apple has very tight integration with purposeful built software for the their hardware and the end user experience is considerably better because of it (take my previous trackpad experience as an example).

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Andrew Kimery
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 26, 2015 at 7:43:03 pm

[John Rofrano] "Sorry but I have to comment on that one. Mac and PC hardware are definitely NOT the same."

Same RAM, CPU, GPU, HDD/SSD, underling architecture, etc.,. With regards to motherboards, they come in many shapes and configurations. The biggest thing that sets Apple apart is that Apple doesn't use standard form factors, such as ATX or BTX, in its desktops. Conversely pretty much all laptops use custom motherboards because laptops come in such a variety of shapes and sizes where as desktop towers still pretty much fall into either 'full', 'mid' or 'small' form factors. Regardless of size and shape, the motherboards (including Apple's) still have to adhere to the same technical specs so that the all the parts 'connected' to the MoBo (from CPU and GPU to external hard drives) work as expected.

One can buy a Dell or an HP and run easily OS X on it w/a readily available hack. RISC vs CISC, x86 vs PPC... that's all in the past. Aside from maybe paying for a window of exclusivity here and there Apple uses the same chips and specs from Intel that everyone else does.


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Andre van Berlo
Re: OT - is the "new" Mac Pro a failure
on Dec 6, 2015 at 10:59:26 pm

I think failure or not depends on how you look at it. In the beginning people were also holding out on the nMP 'cause it might overheat, it might have some technical flaws because it is the first model. As it turns out the nMP is running smoothly and works great so I don't see it as a failure.

But,... I would have expected at least a yearly update to the nMP (CPU, GPU, etc). That that hasn't happened is a failure of Apple more than a failure of the machine they released in 2013.

Perhaps they need to sell all the stocked up parts for the 2013 nMP before an update comes along, I don't know. Would be nice to see upgrades but as usual there is a big silence. It might suddenly be there, it might not come at all.


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