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How stupid am I ?

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Herb Sevush
How stupid am I ?
on Jun 28, 2020 at 12:59:06 am

"Never trust Apple", I've told myself, again and again. But they come out with a shiny new Mac Pro after 6 years of nothing, and there I go again, falling for the same old shiny surface, like a crow in a garbage dump pickin' up tinsel. I drop the 12K and for 6 months I'm a happy fella. Then comes the news, Apple dumping Intel, and my shiny new toy has an appointment with obsolescence.

Yes, i know it's at least a year away, and my Intel Mac will be supported for a few years after that, but basically my re-sale value has already dropped by 20%. In 3 years time I will have to pay somebody ot take it off my hands.

Why bother coming out with a nMacPro now, knowing you're going to obsolete it in a year. I'd already waited 6, I could easily have waited 7.

But oh well, (four letter word) me, I deserve it. I would say never again, but I guess I wan't really out here hunting for bears.

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


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Dom Silverio
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 28, 2020 at 1:12:47 am

IF you were planning to resell it, then that is a fair complaint. If you plan to keep it, I would not worry too much. I expect Apple to support it with every OSX release for at least five years. G4 PPC was released in 1999, and the last compatible OS version was released in late 2007.


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Tim Wilson
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 28, 2020 at 6:23:08 am

[Dom Silverio] "I expect Apple to support it with every OSX release for at least five years. G4 PPC was released in 1999, and the last compatible OS version was released in late 2007."

I'm thinking that too. In my long post on the WWDC thread taking a look at the specifics of what ARM processors are doing, and how Windows has been living on ARM for the past decade, I think it could even be closer to 10 for machines like Herb's.

The best Apple can do with an ARM processor today the same chip in the iPad Pro and Mac Mini. That's a fine place to start, but Apple put a lot of effort into reshaping the top of their computing product line. They know better than anyone that these ARM chips aren't ready for THAT.

So my vote is "not stupid", Herb. LOL

But it's certainly not unreasonable to recall that Apple has merrily EOL'd more products and partnerships than anyone else you can think of. They've never had more than a fraction of the market share they had before they EOL'd the most successful personal personal computer of all time in the Apple II to replace it with that ridiculous piece of garbage with a black and white screen in 1984.

They keep pulling the rug out from under ya, but it seems to work out fine for them in the long run, if maybe less so for some folks in specific circumstances. :-)


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Joe Marler
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 29, 2020 at 6:56:02 pm

[Tim Wilson] " Apple put a lot of effort into reshaping the top of their computing product line. They know better than anyone that these ARM chips aren't ready for THAT."

That was formerly my view, but as of this month the world's fastest supercomputer is run by ARM CPUs, the 48-core ARM A64FX by Fujitsu. It will also be used in the new Cray: https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/japans-fugaku-superc...

The single A64FX appears to be roughly 50% to 300% faster than a dual 28-core Intel Xeon Platinum 8168, and consumes less power: https://www.fujitsu.com/global/Images/supercomputer-fugaku.pdf

Whether and when Apple pursues a similar-level ARM CPU is unknown, but it appears there is no technical problem scaling ARM to that level or above.

The question then becomes why do the x86 Mac Pro? You could just as well ask why do any x86 Mac the past 12 months. The design of those machines began years ago, and the ARM transition was not ready and will itself be years long.

It's not just a hardware transition but involves system software, application software, development tools, and educating and marshalling the development community. They couldn't stop making x86 computers and wait for that to happen -- Apple customers needed updated computers.


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Bob Zelin
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 28, 2020 at 3:02:57 pm

reality check Herb -
1) you will get 5 years out of it - no question
2) how much longer are both you and I going to be doing this? Think you will need a new super computer 10 years from now ? I certainly won't. (I am amazed that people are hiring me now !).
Bob

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 28, 2020 at 4:08:16 pm

As others have said, the nMP will have longevity. It may be more than 2 years before Apple produces a chipset with as much power. Plus, the first machines likely won't have Thunderbolt or extra GPUs. My reading of RISC versus CISC architecture seems to indicate RISC chips require more RAM for a comparable system. But maybe Apple's design will be different.

A big unknown is whether the CPU in your machine can be replaced with an Apple Silicon chip when it's available.

Did your resale value drop? Maybe? But if you bought that machine with resale in mind, then I would suggest you shouldn't approach computer purchases that way. It's not a vintage car ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:54:51 pm

I feel your pain Herb, even though I have long moved on from Apple hardware & OS. I still look at the dead 2009 MacPro sitting in the corner and wonder if I really got value for money before I switched back to self made WIn boxes.

From everything I have read, Apple have been planning this switch for at least two years after having a lot of issues with Intel Skylake processors so they developed and sold the new MacPro line knowing they would switch away from Intel. However, for the big iron grunt, don't expect them to have an ARM machine to replace the MacPro soon so I don't think you have tanked resale. I'm sure you are safe for five years and may drag longer out of what you have. Unless Apple force you out by making an OS that just won't run on your machine before then and you need to keep playing the OS shuffle.

I've just ordered parts to make my next 5 year PC. Same monitors, rack boxes and power supplies. New Mobo and CPU. I already have the current NVIDIA GPU. So much cheaper and flexible.


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Steve Connor
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 29, 2020 at 10:57:30 am

Good grief, if you haven't recouped your costs, got a tax deduction for it and made a profit on it after 3 years then who cares about resale??


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Herb Sevush
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 29, 2020 at 11:24:53 am

So the consensus is that I wasn't stupid before, but I am stupid now for starting this thread.

I guess that answers my question with a resounding - "very."

OK, just checking.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jun 29, 2020 at 12:27:12 pm

LOL. Herb - it's a valid concern. While Apple's track record with PowerPC was good, it wasn't stellar. OTOH, Apple was not in control of the PowerPC supply chain. This new chip is the first time Apple has ventured forth with their own chip. So the waters are uncharted.

In the PowerPC period, Apple's Mac product line was a lot thinner than today. Now there are many more Mac models and so it may take more than two years for Apple to completely convert the line to A-series chips, once you factor in the top-of-the-line offerings.

But, you can always switch to Media Composer and and you'll likely have many more years of life on your machine ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: How stupid am I ?
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:06:54 am

[Joe Marler] "That was formerly my view, but as of this month the world's fastest supercomputer is run by ARM CPUs, the 48-core ARM A64FX by Fujitsu. "

Well there you go! Thanks for that!

You've showed me something I didn't know about what ARM can do today, but I have a feeling that both price and performance are higher than the ceiling that Apple is aiming for with their own approach.

And I do think that "their own" is key here. Apple has never liked being subject to the development cycles of its developers. I think that this move has more to do with Apple controlling its own destiny, and the release cycle of future products, without having to wait on anyone else.


[Joe Marler] "It's not just a hardware transition but involves system software, application software, development tools, and educating and marshalling the development community."

That's for sure. That's why I think that the next big turn of the crank at this end of the market is more like 5 years away than 2 or 3. Not that we have enough data to draw any conclusions about an actual "cycle", which in the past would have had dependencies that the next round may not...if indeed the next Mac Pro is the first one to be Intel-less. We don't know that either.

But as Dom pointed out, the PPC transition was 6-7 years, and the last two Mac Pros were released in 2013 and 2019. Call the cycle for platform transition AND Mac Pro redesigns 6 years, subtract a year because Apple has been working on things that we don't even know about yet, and you wind up with....five years.

Which again, I've pointed out is irrelevant because nobody knows nuthin'. LOL But even apart from the technology itself, the amount of work to spin up the developer channel has just started. Hardly anybody has the seed machines yet. Then the marketing, sales, support, etc etc. This really is going to be a gargantuan effort.


[Herb Sevush] "So the consensus is that I wasn't stupid before, but I am stupid now for starting this thread."

LOL Not at all. Like I said in my first reply, EVERY Apple user (not just Mac, but also iStuff) should be looking over their shoulders all the time, because history has shown repeatedly that Apple WILL be biting you in the ass.

That shouldn't be taken as any kind of criticism. Turns out that some people like that kind of thing. LOL


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