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Re: About the new Mac Pro-X

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Walter Soyka
Re: About the new Mac Pro-X
on Jun 14, 2013 at 2:09:30 pm

[Brett Sherman] "Then what do you make of all the griping that these towers are underpowered. Personally, I think Apple hit it as far as price/performance assuming these are relatively the same as existing Mac Pros. I don't see them being priced higher than existing Macs. As much as us video people like to think of ourselves as the center of the universe, these towers are also undoubtedly targeted toward high end graphic design and layout also. If they were $10-15K as many on the board seem to want them to be, they'd sell almost none of them."

I guess I'm one of those griping that the systems will be underpowered, but that's only due to my very specific requirements. It's all horses for courses, and there are some applications where the old Mac Pro could compete against its peers but the new one won't.

The Mac Pro is going to be a fantastic system for a really broad variety of creative tasks. It will fly with FCPX/M5. It will fly with Resolve, especially for an out-of-the-box system. It will fly with Photoshop and its OpenCL acceleration on things like Liquify and Warp. It will fly with GPU-based applications dealing with large datasets, like the MARI demo shows.

However, CPU-intensive applications like Ae, C4D and NUKE will all have better performance options available on PC systems. There will be a huge performance gulf between the Mac Pro tube with a single 12-core CPU and a PC workstation with dual 12-core CPUs for 3D rendering. The Mac will be literally half as fast. This hasn't happened before, at least since the Intel transition.

I didn't want ALL Mac Pros to ship with a dual-CPU configuration. I wanted a second CPU BTO option, not a second CPU standard. You are right that not everyone needs, wants, or cares to pay for that kind of CPU power. I recognize that I'm in the small minority.

I'm happy to see a serious computer coming from Apple again, and I'm really impressed with their decision to push dual GPUs into the market, but I'm sad to see Apple choosing not to compete on CPU power so they could have a smaller and cooler-looking computer.

The new Mac Pro looks like a really nice system overall, but I think there are some niches where it's far from ideal.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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