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Nigel Thompson
Thunderbolt & New Macs
on Mar 27, 2011 at 1:25:59 pm

Hey guys !

recently heard a recent podcast, The Terrence and Philip show, where the guys expressed their opinion that Mac Pros will be dead pretty soon because of the speed gains in processors and the advent of thunderbolt and the future of it.

In my opinion I HIGHLY doubt it. I think the MAC Pros will definitely change form. there will be less need for so many slots. maybe it gonna go down to one free slot but i think we all need and will call for a 12 core machine or in the future 16 or 20 cores. To GFX guys, 3D guys, compositors and VFX artists who use mac pros want and need that horse power and there can never be enough speed. As speeds boost in CPUs software gets "heavier" because there is so much speed gains, they can ad more capabilities because of this.

I think we may see a shorter mac pro, maybe less slots. or will we see a modular computer where the slots are actually CPU slots where u can buy extra CPUs if you want them? hmmmmm (it may sound stupid but i think it will be possible soon)

What do you guys think?

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in the Caribbean

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Michael Kammes
Re: Thunderbolt & New Macs
on Mar 27, 2011 at 3:07:57 pm

Terry and Philip - even more fun in person!

I think it's a no-brainer that Thunderbolt will be in the new Mac Pros, whenever they drop.

As far as a smaller MacPro with less slots, at least in the professional film/video market, that would suck horribly. Will it happen. Someday, sure. The next Gen? I don't think so. Besides Apple already has a solution you're talking about: the iMac.

As for the MacPros, here are 2 quick points:

-We need the ability for video output. (Kona, BlackMagic). While I expect BlackMagic to have a Thunderbolt I/O announced at NAB, I'm sure it will be awhile before that's commonplace. I ballpark 2 years before there are enough SHIPPING options on the market before it becomes widely accepted. (announcing it, shipping it, and getting enough in the marketplace are all very different things. Also, how well will it be accepted? USB 3.0-what?) Once this happens - things will STILL be cutting edge, I can see Apple PCIe expansion slots being eliminated.

-Shared networking. Fibre, for example. While again, I concede Thunderbolt or similar, could be used for mass local storage, it's not currently meant as a replacement for a shared storage fibre solution or to be run long distances. It's also a no brainer that the industry is shifting to Ethernet (1GigE, bonded, or 10GiGe), so Fibre is definitely on the way out for this purpose. But currently, Thunderbolt is not a solution.

I'm sure both of these issues will be NON issues in the future, but I don't expect Apple to be THAT forward thinking and make that drastic of a reduction so soon. Thousands of companies make devices that utilize PCIe slots, and I would like to think that Apple wouldn't screw this billion dollar industry over so least give them *some* time to START to move to a new technology. Remember when floppies were phased out? There was at least some viable alternatives in the market place at that time.

Perhaps it's wishful thinking that Apple may not destroy the futures of so many companies (manufacturers AND pro users) by not allowing at least some overlap time.

Then again, it's Apple - so what the hell do I know.


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Craig Alan
Re: Thunderbolt & New Macs
on Mar 27, 2011 at 4:07:52 pm

First. Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed the quality and pace of the podcast.

I think: sooner than later, Thunderbolt/light speed products will arrive; Macbook Pros (I get the name now) and Imacs and minis will be paired with broadcast/TV monitors, second and third computer monitors, and high speed external and/or cloud storage and whatever other I/O needs media pros/consumers might have.

It would be great if cutting edge needs were met with modular systems that could grow with end user needs rather than take it or leave it towers.

I think it sucks that Thunderbolt can’t be added to (now) legacy towers as a card.

But the Mac Pro towers are beautifully designed, end user friendly, allow for a lot of internal storage, huge amounts of ram, large power supplies and support for lots of mature technology. On the other hand, Apple has a long history of cutting the cord before end users are ready for the next gen. They plan obsolescence better than anyone. If it were not for the fact that waste is killing us, I would say all power to them.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz
; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.

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Devin Crane
Re: Thunderbolt & New Macs
on Mar 27, 2011 at 8:10:05 pm

I know there's a lot of talk about how you can't add Thunderbolt, however from what I've read on Intel's site and have read from several tech sites is that it's not necessarily out of the question. From what I've read is that it more than likely would have to be run through the graphics card. Similary to the dislpay port.

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Scott Sheriff
Re: Thunderbolt & New Macs
on Mar 28, 2011 at 1:12:32 am

I think those in the business of disseminating information tend to sensationalize in order to be heard above the noise floor. They always paint a picture of either gloom and doom, or rainbows and unicorns in order to attract an audience.
One thing is they (and others) are making an assumption that the Mac Pro is exclusively used for video editing. While that is a big chuck of the buyers, there are other number crunching industries that also use the Pro, like the scientific and engineering communities. These users may even outnumber the video editors.
I would have to think that their needs are certainly on the radar at Apple and would have some amount of influence over changes or elimination of the line.
Of course we are talking about Apple, but I don't think your Mac Pro is going to turn into a pumpkin at midnight.

Scott Sheriff

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...

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