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Upcoming Mac Pro
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Jun 10, 2013, 01:37 PM
 
Based on WWDC and the new Mac Pro product page.

Positive changes
Updated CPU Architecture (Xeon E5)
Updated RAM speed (DDR3 1866 MHz ECC)
Updated internal bus speed (PCIe 3)
Updated Graphics Card (twin GPU standard)
(possible single GPU option CTO?)
Support for 4K video (x3)
Much smaller case.
6 Thunderbolt 2 ports
4 USB3 ports
Almost certainly quieter
HDMI 1.4 port
related: possible release of 4K displays and/or retina displays

Kept Features
Up to 12 CPU cores
Triple display support
Dual Gig Ethernet ports
Analog audio ports (possible hidden TOSlink ports?)

Negative Changes
No internal PCIe slots
Single CPU socket
Only 4 RAM sockets (but possibly upgrade 1 at a time)
Graphics cards now use non-standard slots
(We hope GPU cards are even slotted)
Only 4 USB ports (down from 5)
No FireWire ports
No optical drive bay
No 3.5" internal SATA bays
No 2.5" internal SATA bays
Only 1 mini-PCIe slot for 2.5" flash memory card
(storage slot is on outside of a GPU card. connectors for 2nd storage slot omitted on 2nd GPU card)
No eSATA ports for inexpensive external 3.5" bays
No TOSlink digital audio ports (unless hidden in audio jacks)
No release date
Power button only on back

So you need to add a very expensive TB-PCIe breakout box to regain/retain expansion cards. Or replace existing drive cages with new (expensive) TB drive cages. Having just gotten standard GPU upgrades via 10.8.3 to use off-the-shelf cards, we lose that again unless we add an even more expensive TB2-PCIe breakout box. Apple does not have a history of regular GPU upgrades, or competitive prices on replacement cards.

Much lower baseline prices could make up for most of the above. I'm expecting little price movement though.

I'll update this list as more details come out, and per reader corrections.
( Last edited by reader50; Jun 11, 2013 at 01:13 AM. Reason: further analysis of MP product page)
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 01:40 PM
 
If you need Firewire, you can get a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter.

Now that the Mac Pro has Thunderbolt, we'll probably see the external stuff get cheaper with time.

The thing can probably use a USB Superdrive, of course.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 01:55 PM
 
The announcement said 6 Firewire 2 ports! How did you miss that?

Damn, I may be wrong, the AppleInsider live feed says 6 Firewire ports and 2 Thunderbolt ports, but I think they made a mistake with the Thunderbolt ports... the picture after this definitely shows 6 Thunderbolt ports and no firewire ports...

( Last edited by Leonard; Jun 10, 2013 at 02:08 PM. )
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:03 PM
 
It has 6 Thunderbolt2 ports. Or you may be thinking of the FirePro GPUs. I didn't see Firewire mentioned in the MacNN live feed, and browser search didn't find "FW", "firewire" or "800" anywhere on the page.

     
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:16 PM
 
Apple updated the Mac Pro page with some info Apple - Mac Pro
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:19 PM
 
Phil definitely said "Firewire 2". He clearly meant Thunderbolt 2.
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
It has 6 Thunderbolt2 ports. Or you may be thinking of the FirePro GPUs. I didn't see Firewire mentioned in the MacNN live feed, and browser search didn't find "FW", "firewire" or "800" anywhere on the page.
Yeah, it was an error in the AppleInsider live feed. They said
Six FireWire 2 ports driven by three FireWire controllers
but it's an obvious error. It's on this page of their feed http://live.appleinsider.com/Event/L...DC_2013?Page=6

Obviously MacNN reported it properly.
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:38 PM
 
With all the stuff they cut from the Mac Pro (Superdrive, HD bays, PCI slots, fans, firewire ports, aluminum casing, etc...) this Mac Pro should be cheaper than past ones!
.
.
.
Yeah, who am I kidding! This is Apple.

But it is beautifully designed.
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:40 PM
 
Schiller said it wrong twice that I heard. The last time, he said "Firewire 2", which makes little sense, so it's clear he meant Thunderbolt.

By description, this a Xeon E5 Ivy Bridge, which isn't out yet. It sounded like one socket though, didn't it? Yes, the animation on Apple's site clearly shows a triangle and says "CPU and GPUs". Also, that's only 4 RAM slots, bringing the RAM ceiling way down.

The GPUs look like two big circuit boards. Certain that they're not standard GPUs? The heatsink is certainly non-standard, of course, so it's not a quick replacement - you'd need thermal paste - but it seems to be a loose circuit board.

All Apple audio out ports have been dual optical/electrical since the G5 era. I think we'll have that again this time.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:40 PM
 
I've updated the post with info from the new product page. And the analog-optical audio point. Apple doesn't mention the audio ports at all that I can see.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 02:44 PM
 
Mac Mini Pro. Meh.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 03:13 PM
 
Beautiful, but black? It 2013 FFS.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 03:15 PM
 
On a positive note, it matches my black Scandyna MicroPod speakers, they are quite the same height too.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 03:23 PM
 
Wonder if it has to stay upright to cool properly.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 04:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Wonder if it has to stay upright to cool properly.
Probably not, much more cooling from forced convection than natural convection.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 04:24 PM
 
Posted in Lounge WWDC thread but here you go...

Mac Pro, case on and case off, if any of the tech heads can spot what's what in it.
Next-generation Apple Mac Pro eyes-on at WWDC 2013 (video)
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 07:11 PM
 
Is anyone else getting déjà vu about the Cube? Central HS / cooling tunnel, multiple boards arranged around it, limited expansion, pro price tag?
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 07:47 PM
 
Yuck...one of the prime reasons people liked the MacPro was it was internally expandable. Now we have to buy a MacPro and expand it via a bunch of cables and boxes stashed someone on/under/adjacent to the desk. Non standard GPU slots = WTF? Not a fan of this thing.
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Jun 10, 2013, 07:48 PM
 
1 CPU and 2 GPU instead of 2 CPU and 1 GPU is definitely putting the focus on media (photo editing, video editing, other graphics production, audio producion) rather than software development (can't compile on a GPU) or general usage.

Also it looks like there could be another SSD slot behind the other GPU, but no connector is soldered on the pads. I'm actually surprised they're not offering 2-6 SSDs.

After all of Apple's fuss about the cabling of an iMac vs a Dell desktop, it's going to be funny to see all the Mac Pro octopuses with all those cables dangling to mismatched devices.
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 03:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Is anyone else getting déjà vu about the Cube? Central HS / cooling tunnel, multiple boards arranged around it, limited expansion, pro price tag?
There is some of that (although we don't know about the price yet, and the Cube didn't have a fan at all) but they have a better setup for it now. With UAS, USB 3.0 is fast enough for spinning discs. Few need more than 12 cores (and if they do, I'm sure Haswell-EP will increase that number again). PCIe isn't so important with Thunderbolt - don't think about expansion chassies, think about external boxes that do the job of PCIe cards.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 04:22 AM
 
The GPUs are clearly not standard PCIe cards if you look at the info page. (The Cube btw had a mostly standard AGP card, it was simply restricted on size and probably heat and also maybe power) These new ones look to connect at the bottom of the unit where there is also one of the mini PCIe slots for the SSD on ones side. Does make you wonder if they couldn't squeeze a second SSD in for an even faster RAID drive but maybe the one they ship is doing RAID already.
The question then is will Apple allow/encourage 3rd parties to ship replacement cards? Will they do it themselves? Those questions also apply to the Thunderbolt expansion options. Is Apple going to make some themselves? I think there could be a good market with the right external boxes available but so far the thunderbolt market has been slow to get their act together. I really think it would be in Apple's interest to churn out two or three useful boxes to go with this new Mac Pro but I suspect the best we'll get is a new design for the Promise Pegasus and crossed fingers that Sonnet or Belkin can make something to fill the remaining gaps. Without taking two years to do it.
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Jun 11, 2013, 07:11 AM
 
It was clear from the outset that this machine will polarize. Basically, the Mac Pro has gotten the MacBook Air treatment: only a very small portion (RAM and possibly the SSD) are upgradable, and everything else needs to be attached externally. So people who buy the Mac Pro to have a »clean« desk despite the fact that they have 4 hard drives will be upset. As are people who are currently relying on PCIe cards for one thing or another.

I reckon that over time, people will simply adapt.

The only thing that has me slightly worried is the limitation to a single-socket machine, although Apple clearly wants that developers harness the power of the (GP)GPUs to compensate. Does anyone know why Apple went for a 5-series Xeon instead of a 3-series Xeon? After all, it's a one socket machine, wouldn't the smaller brother suffice?
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Jun 11, 2013, 08:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The only thing that has me slightly worried is the limitation to a single-socket machine, although Apple clearly wants that developers harness the power of the (GP)GPUs to compensate. Does anyone know why Apple went for a 5-series Xeon instead of a 3-series Xeon? After all, it's a one socket machine, wouldn't the smaller brother suffice?
E5 is 12 cores, while E3 is still only 4 (and unlikely to grow beyond that), but I think the most important reason is PCIe. This box requires an insane amount of bandwidth between the CPU and GPUs, and then you need a few more for Thunderbolt. A Xeon E3 has 16 PCIe 3.0 channels for the CPU, plus another 4 from the PCH. An E5 has 40 channels from the CPU and still 4 from the PCH (I think). Apple is dedicating the full 16 channels to each PCIe card which leaves it 12 channels for everything else. 6 Thunderbolt ports would use all of those 12 channels, but they somehow need to use one for the SSD. Perhaps that is the reason for putting the SSD on the GPU - they're using that bandwidth?

Or maybe Ivy Bridge-EP adds a few channels
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 09:16 AM
 
does this spin on an axis so you can get to the ports on the back (that then light up)? even if it does not spin itself, how exactly is someone supposed to rotate this to get to the lighted back panel with up to 16 cables coming out the back, possibly going different directions depending on the peripheral organization? am I missing something?
( Last edited by abbaZaba; Jun 11, 2013 at 09:34 AM. )
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 01:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Is anyone else getting déjà vu about the Cube? Central HS / cooling tunnel, multiple boards arranged around it, limited expansion, pro price tag?
This exactly is the first thought that came to my mind when i saw it for the first time today. No optical bay is a bit distracting though...maybe a bit too small for a "Pro" Mac.


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Jun 11, 2013, 02:30 PM
 
Now that Apple has doubled down with Thunderbolt, it is time for manufacturers to dramatically expand their Thunderbolt products. (drives, audio board thingys, monitors etc.)

Without a whole bunch of Thunderbolt options these computers are going to move really slowly.

The form factor, lack of expandability, and I/O setup just might be a few years ahead of its time.
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Jun 11, 2013, 03:08 PM
 
The new Mac Pro is designed "for the next ten years" - not to please everybody yesterday. The current Mac Pro marks the last piece of Apple hardware that wasn't designed by Apple with their purposeful and proprietary vision. I've used one for years and all the drive bays are full with TB's of storage and I've put in a faster video card.

This is not a Mac Mini Pro by any stretch. It is a re-imagined central computing device that expects, using Thunderbolt, to talk anything and to do so with some speed and torque. This pushes some additional expenses downhill (external drives, optical drive, TB break out boxes for legacy peripherals and others) but, except for a couple of extra cables (and I have plenty) this is a Mac that will do Video, Audio and Photography at speeds that will make the current line seem silly slow. To GPU's and 12 cores speak for themselves.

Because there are costs pushed onto the desktop (the real, wooden one), there are justifiable concerns about what the new Mac Pro will cost. But this design gives a huge amount of flexibility thanks to Thunderbolt. The price will make or break it for me not the shape or if I have an extra cable or two to run.
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 04:03 PM
 
My recommendation if I was at Apple would be that they also keep the existing Mac Pros, but at lowered prices like they do with older generation iPhones. The existing MP case design is both solid and elegant, and works great for folks at the high-middle range of performance needs (say 5-10 TB internal mass storage and 50-100 GB RAM, 3 video cards). A small amount of modernizing could make the old case the MP for the rest of us.
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
E5 is 12 cores, while E3 is still only 4 (and unlikely to grow beyond that), but I think the most important reason is PCIe. This box requires an insane amount of bandwidth between the CPU and GPUs, and then you need a few more for Thunderbolt. A Xeon E3 has 16 PCIe 3.0 channels for the CPU, plus another 4 from the PCH. An E5 has 40 channels from the CPU and still 4 from the PCH (I think). Apple is dedicating the full 16 channels to each PCIe card which leaves it 12 channels for everything else. 6 Thunderbolt ports would use all of those 12 channels, but they somehow need to use one for the SSD. Perhaps that is the reason for putting the SSD on the GPU - they're using that bandwidth?

Or maybe Ivy Bridge-EP adds a few channels
Since they're using the same Socket 2011, they don't have any pins to use for more PCIe. Also IVB-E works with the old SNB-E chipsets (both X79 and C600), so I don't think they can change the pinout.

So we have x40 3.0 lanes on the CPU and x8 2.0 on the PCH:
- x16 3.0 off the CPU for each of the GPUs.
- x4 2.0 off the CPU for each of two of the Thunderbolt 2 "Falcon Ridge" controllers
- x4 2.0 off the PCH for the other third Thunderbolt 2 controller
- x1 2.0 off the PCH for each Ethernet PHY
- x1 2.0 off the PCH for the USB3 controller driving both ports
- x1 2.0 off the PCH for the SSD

That burns all 48 lanes available.

Note since they don't have enough PCIe lanes for 6 Thunderbolt controllers, they'll use 3 controllers with 2 ports each (DSL4510 supports this). This makes all the pairs of Thunderbolt 2 ports 2x oversubscribed on the back end for PCIe lanes, so if you have data intensive peripherals you want put them on different Thunderbolt controllers. That's also why they can only support 3 monitors despite the FirePro cards being able to support 6 each; each Thunderbolt controller only supports 1 DisplayPort channel among its two ports.

edit: This can't be right, the SSD is supposed to do 1-1.2GBps and x1 2.0 is only 0.5GBps. Maybe they're using PLX chips to split PCIe lanes.
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
My recommendation if I was at Apple would be that they also keep the existing Mac Pros, but at lowered prices like they do with older generation iPhones. The existing MP case design is both solid and elegant, and works great for folks at the high-middle range of performance needs (say 5-10 TB internal mass storage and 50-100 GB RAM, 3 video cards). A small amount of modernizing could make the old case the MP for the rest of us.
I like this idea. But Apple would never do it. So basically, if you like the current form factor, maybe it is best to carefully watch the prices and snag one when the time is right.

This is how I felt with the 2011 27" iMacs. They were really reduced especially the refurbs.

Back to the topic. I can imagine the lowest config of the new machines costing $2500 easy.

Really pro-level pricing.

no?
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Jun 11, 2013, 07:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
The existing MP case design is both solid and elegant, and works great for folks [...] and 50-100 GB RAM [...]
You don't need the old Mac Pro for that. The new Mac Pro tops out at 64 GB with 16 GB DIMMS and 128 GB with 32 GB DIMMs that will be available in the future. Even the 27" iMac supports up to 32 GB RAM.
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Jun 11, 2013, 11:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Since they're using the same Socket 2011, they don't have any pins to use for more PCIe. Also IVB-E works with the old SNB-E chipsets (both X79 and C600), so I don't think they can change the pinout.

So we have x40 3.0 lanes on the CPU and x8 2.0 on the PCH:
- x16 3.0 off the CPU for each of the GPUs.
- x4 2.0 off the CPU for each of two of the Thunderbolt 2 "Falcon Ridge" controllers
- x4 2.0 off the PCH for the other third Thunderbolt 2 controller
- x1 2.0 off the PCH for each Ethernet PHY
- x1 2.0 off the PCH for the USB3 controller driving both ports
- x1 2.0 off the PCH for the SSD

That burns all 48 lanes available.

Note since they don't have enough PCIe lanes for 6 Thunderbolt controllers, they'll use 3 controllers with 2 ports each (DSL4510 supports this). This makes all the pairs of Thunderbolt 2 ports 2x oversubscribed on the back end for PCIe lanes, so if you have data intensive peripherals you want put them on different Thunderbolt controllers. That's also why they can only support 3 monitors despite the FirePro cards being able to support 6 each; each Thunderbolt controller only supports 1 DisplayPort channel among its two ports.

edit: This can't be right, the SSD is supposed to do 1-1.2GBps and x1 2.0 is only 0.5GBps. Maybe they're using PLX chips to split PCIe lanes.
You're forgetting the HDMI port, and the optical links we suspect in the audio jacks. I'm guessing the SSD (potentially) on each GPU shares bandwidth on the GPU lanes, and that the Ethernet controller uses one lane to support both jacks.

About the monitor support:
Originally Posted by Apple
... and still have enough power to connect up to three high-resolution 4K displays.
Nothing there says it can only support 3 displays. The wording may allow 3x 4K displays, along with one or more lower-res monitors. And still more displays at entirely lower resolutions. Note they said nothing concerning low-resolution 4K displays.
     
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Jun 11, 2013, 11:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
Mac Mini Pro. Meh.
Uhm, isn't that what many wanted ?

A more powerful Mac mini ?

Apple is cursed. There's no way they can make everyone happy with the Mac Pro.

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Jun 12, 2013, 04:23 AM
 
Regaring the PCIe lanes: Forgot about the EP chipset still not having USB 3.0. Any chance of a revision coming up? Ethernet is integrated in the PCH, though. I get that they need that bandwidth to not be oversubscribed, but you can simply have USB, Ethernet and SSD all hanging off the remaining x4 2.0 lanes.

reader50: The HDMI port is included in the x16 bandwidth to the GPUs, and the optical port goes to the integrated audio in the PCH. The bandwidth on that thing is tiny anyway.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 10:31 AM
 
But what IS the height, width and depth? I can't seem to find that anywhere. And weight? Somewhere I saw weight being reported as that of a MacBook. Bottom line - can I put this Mac Pro on my desk without it being the focus of my desk?
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 10:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by OS2Guy View Post
But what IS the height, width and depth? I can't seem to find that anywhere. And weight? Somewhere I saw weight being reported as that of a MacBook. Bottom line - can I put this Mac Pro on my desk without it being the focus of my desk?
Some googling tells us that it is 9.9" high and 6.6" diameter, but I can't find the source for that. We can do math, though.

From the presentation we know that it is "less than half as high as the current MP" and that it is less than 1/8 of the volume (as if that were a relevant measurement...). The current MP is 20.1", so 10" is an upper bound for height. Given what we know about the old MP and the power of math, that puts the upper bound for the diameter of a 10" cylinder at 6.96". Close enough?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 11:59 AM
 
Its a little over twice the height of the SSD which looks to be the same height as the MBA SSD I have sat on my desk. 10" seems about right to me.
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Jun 12, 2013, 12:03 PM
 
I have to say, this Mac Pro is almost exactly what I was hoping for with two exceptions:
Dual CPU would have been nice;
Cylinders of any size are somewhat impractical to rack mount. Don't see why they couldn't have factored racks into their thinking;

I'm still hoping there will be some assurances (or Apple accessories) to make the TB ports useful and thus compelling.
I expect price to be similar to the last model. Apple have traded one monster-priced CPU for a monster-priced GPU so I expect little change one way or the other.
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Jun 12, 2013, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Cylinders of any size are somewhat impractical to rack mount. Don't see why they couldn't have factored racks into their thinking;
They also won't fit well. Racks are 19" wide, and 3*6.6" is 20". You can only fit two MPs next to each other - same as the old MP, despite this being much smaller. You could probably stack them closer if they're placed on a shelf in a rack - two in the front row, one in a half row between/behind them, etc - but I wouldn't want to run the cabling for that. Half an inch smaller diameter and you could have racked them lying down like wine bottles, three wide. I'm sure someone will make a stacked arrangement to make that work now as well, but still.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
You're forgetting the HDMI port, and the optical links we suspect in the audio jacks. I'm guessing the SSD (potentially) on each GPU shares bandwidth on the GPU lanes, and that the Ethernet controller uses one lane to support both jacks.

About the monitor support:

Nothing there says it can only support 3 displays. The wording may allow 3x 4K displays, along with one or more lower-res monitors. And still more displays at entirely lower resolutions. Note they said nothing concerning low-resolution 4K displays.
The HDMI port provides the 4th display. You're not going to be able to do 1 display per TB port due to the Falcon Ridge chipset.

WTF is a "low-resolution 4K display"?

Originally Posted by P View Post
Regaring the PCIe lanes: Forgot about the EP chipset still not having USB 3.0. Any chance of a revision coming up? Ethernet is integrated in the PCH, though. I get that they need that bandwidth to not be oversubscribed, but you can simply have USB, Ethernet and SSD all hanging off the remaining x4 2.0 lanes.
No, there's no chipset revision. HSW's 8x series chipsets have USB3 (some with a sleep bug), but X79 and C600 are it for IVB-E.

You're right, the PCH gives you 1 GigE, so you only need x1 PCIe for the other. The SSD alone would need 3 PCIe 2.0 lanes if it's really going to push 1.2GBps.

The SSD might be on a PLX PCIe switch to share the x16 3.0 with a graphics card since it's mounted on the back side. On 3.0 it only needs 2 lanes for 1.2GBps (~1.95GBps available on 2 3.0 lanes).
     
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Jun 13, 2013, 04:02 AM
 
I just realized:

So we have x40 3.0 lanes on the CPU and x8 2.0 on the PCH:
- x16 3.0 off the CPU for each of the GPUs.
- x4 2.0 off the CPU for each of two of the Thunderbolt 2 "Falcon Ridge" controllers
The lanes from the CPU are all 3.0, but you're only using the 2.0 speed in the math. Given the release timing, Falcon Ridge will likely support PCIe 3.0. If you give 4x of these to each TB controller, they're fully hooked up. Alternatively, you give 2x 3.0 lanes to each TB chip and spend the remaining lanes on SSD, USB and Ethernet.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 13, 2013, 09:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Some googling tells us that it is 9.9" high and 6.6" diameter, but I can't find the source for that. We can do math, though.
The height and diameter are on Apple's website. Close to the bottom of the page (2nd or 3rd paragraph from the bottom).
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Jun 13, 2013, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The lanes from the CPU are all 3.0, but you're only using the 2.0 speed in the math. Given the release timing, Falcon Ridge will likely support PCIe 3.0. If you give 4x of these to each TB controller, they're fully hooked up. Alternatively, you give 2x 3.0 lanes to each TB chip and spend the remaining lanes on SSD, USB and Ethernet.
Both the standard (Thunderbolt 2) and the implementation (Falcon Ridge) are only PCIe 2.0. There's no way to avoid oversubscribing Falcon Ridge DSL4510 if you put 2 TB ports on it.

That said, you could stick the 8 extra 3.0 lanes from the CPU into a PLX switch that produces 16-96 lanes, then run some of them at 2.0 for the Falcon Ridge chips. Or do the same with a PLX on the PCH lanes if you don't care about bandwidth as much.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 07:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
About the monitor support:
Originally Posted by Apple
... and still have enough power to connect up to three high-resolution 4K displays.
... Note they said nothing concerning low-resolution 4K displays.
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
WTF is a "low-resolution 4K display"?
WTF is a "high-resolution 4K display"? Perhaps related to those "high-resolution 640x480 monitors" sold in the 1980s, which vanished later on.

Or Apple may be distinguishing their display support from those common 4,096x100 monitors everyone has. Department of Redundancy Department.
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 04:50 AM
 
Oh my god - things have changed - the sky has fallen in....

Lets compare my current Mac Pro (early 2008) with the current. I have a Mac Pro with all the slots and drive bays full.

- 2 ATI 5770 Graphics controllers take up all but one slot - and connects 4 monitors.
- 1 eSATA controller hooks up external HD drives.
(total of 5 cables).

New Mac Pro I will have the same configuration with 5 cables (no more cables unless I extend it further)
- 4 monitors hooked up through HDMI and Thunderbolt cables
- 1 external hard drive enclosure using a Thunderbolt cable.

While my current Mac Pro is maxed out, I could add another 31 more devices to the new Mac Pro. (for me - lots and lots of external hard drives). People arguing about loosing a slower internal bus for a faster external one.... are probably the same people that complained about the loss of their floppy drive, parallel port and serial port. Why are people arguing that they want to be more limited by the existing configuration?
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 05:27 PM
 
Would "low resolution 4k" be something like "backward compatible," perhaps? Before the movie we saw this afternoon, there was an ad for a Sony (or was it Samsung?) 4k television. My wife and I discussed 4k and both agreed that "when there's sufficient content to justify it" we'd start looking into 4k screens. So even my wife, who is non-techy, knows that ultra, super-duper high res displays are canvases waiting for someone to create a paint for them... But the early 1080P displays had issues with interpolating standard (and lower) resolution images, which resulted in really sharp, crystal-clear aliasing and artifacting. I would hope that Apple has sort of seen that as an issue and dodged it, but that seems to remain to be seen. Literally.

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Jun 16, 2013, 02:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post
The announcement said 6 Firewire 2 ports! How did you miss that?

Damn, I may be wrong, the AppleInsider live feed says 6 Firewire ports and 2 Thunderbolt ports, but I think they made a mistake with the Thunderbolt ports... the picture after this definitely shows 6 Thunderbolt ports and no firewire ports...

Ya you'd definitely need to use some Thunderbolt to Firewire adapters. Considering Thunderbolt's throughput and the potential cost of this machine, I can't blame them for not including Firewire ports I suppose. Front facing ports would have been nice, however. Form over function?
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Jun 16, 2013, 07:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris24x View Post
Front facing ports would have been nice, however. Form over function?
What are you talking about ?

The new Mac Pro's case is round. Just turn it to have the ports face wherever you want. It's not like a DVD drive suddenly becomes inaccessible.

-t
     
   
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