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Salty Jun 2, 2013 02:26 AM
New Mac Pro?
Mac Pro inventory appears low as WWDC approaches | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog

So TUAW is reporting that inventory for the Mac Pro is low. I'm guessing this means that we'll see a new line of Mac Pros or whatever continues on after it. I'm guessing this means that we'll be seeing some Haswell chips in the Mac Pro? It'd be nice if Apple made a model that included some of the high end i7s. Personally my Mac Book Pro meets my needs but if Apple released a mini tower with some decent expansion I'd probably pick one up to keep my Thunderbolt display company. Heck I think I'd buy one regardless of whether or not I need it just because I'd feel a little silly asking for it all these years and then not buying it.
 
Mike Wuerthele Jun 2, 2013 07:09 PM
We got this rumor too, did a little more legwork on it, and found low stocks all over the place. Note, that this doesn't mean NO stock. We've been down this road before, though.

We'll all see during WWDC, I guess.
 
Waragainstsleep Jun 5, 2013 06:16 PM
Apple Planning 'Something Really Different' for New Mac Pro - Mac Rumors

Sounds promising, could still be 6 months away for all we know though.
 
Spheric Harlot Jun 5, 2013 07:24 PM
I'm almost willing to bet that we'll see the next Mac Pro when Thunderbolt 2.0 becomes available late this year.
 
mduell Jun 5, 2013 07:40 PM
SNB-E is nearly a year old now, and IVB-E isn't out until Q3... Q3 seems more likely than WWDC.
 
Waragainstsleep Jun 6, 2013 08:00 PM
There seems to be more and more "evidence" pointing to a modular thunderbolt system for the Mac Pro. I'm excited to see whats coming.
 
P Jun 7, 2013 06:13 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by mduell (Post 4233526)
SNB-E is nearly a year old now, and IVB-E isn't out until Q3... Q3 seems more likely than WWDC.
Q3 is only weeks away. If Intel launches in the beginning of the quarter (which is uncommon, granted), Apple could show a new MP now and even start taking orders for it for delivery after the IVB-E launch. Remember how the last iMac launch worked.

Or they switch to Haswell Xeon E3, which have to be right around the corner if they didn't already launch and I didn't notice.
 
mduell Jun 7, 2013 08:40 PM
Haswell Xeon E3 did launch, but it's single socket and only 4 cores. A non-starter for the Mac Pro.
 
Salty Jun 8, 2013 02:32 AM
If the rumours of a modular Mac Pro are true though we might see more configurations. Not everyone who needs an expandable desktop needs a Xenon. WE might see them come out with an entry level based around an i7.
 
P Jun 8, 2013 06:21 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by mduell (Post 4233927)
Haswell Xeon E3 did launch, but it's single socket and only 4 cores. A non-starter for the Mac Pro.
I know it's only a single socket quad, but for one thing it might be used in a low end model (like today) with a dual socket model launching later (like the iMac), and for another that might be the future of the MP - desktop GPU and internal bays, but only a regular CPU.

Salty: the E3 and the quad i7 chips use the same die. Only difference is that intel disables some features, like support for ECC RAM, on the i7.
 
Waragainstsleep Jun 8, 2013 12:44 PM
Presumably there are some bigger badder chips in on the way soonish though. No doubt Apple has samples to work up prototypes with. This is assuming we'll even get an announcement at WWDC, they don't have to ship them yet.
 
mduell Jun 8, 2013 05:18 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4233981)
Presumably there are some bigger badder chips in on the way soonish though. No doubt Apple has samples to work up prototypes with. This is assuming we'll even get an announcement at WWDC, they don't have to ship them yet.
Yes, Ivy Bridge-E:

Quote, Originally Posted by mduell (Post 4233526)
SNB-E is nearly a year old now, and IVB-E isn't out until Q3... Q3 seems more likely than WWDC.
 
P Jun 8, 2013 05:51 PM
I had to check why I hadn't noticed the Haswell Xeon E3 launch. It turns out that intel in all their cleverness has decided to replace the existing Ivy and Sandy Xeon chips with identically named and numbered Haswell chips - so a chip called E3-1280 is replaced with a chip called E3-1280. Seriously? You have four digit model numbers and you're reusing them already? No wonder everyone's using the code names.

Anyway, for those not up on Intel's terminology: Xeon E3 is single socket, two memory channels, four cores max and priced semi-reasonably. E5 is two or four sockets, four memory channels, eight and soon (rumored) ten or twelve cores and priced to cause internal bleeding. Apple has historically used both levels but priced them as if they were all E5.

Edit: to be clear, there are E5 single socket models out there as well. Intel never misses a chance to make a new segment.
 
P Jun 10, 2013 03:28 PM
Well, I guess we know now. From the data Schiller presented, we're talking about Ivy Bridge Xeon E5. The only thing that is internal is the CPU (one socket only, it seems?), RAM, GPUs (two of them, the pro version of the Radeon 7970) and flash storage over PCIe/SATA Express. Everything else is USB and Thunderbolt 2.
 
osiris24x Jun 21, 2013 10:49 PM
I can only imagine what kind of floating point boost a Haswell Xeon would have brought to the picture. Apple? What gives?
 
OreoCookie Jun 21, 2013 11:30 PM
The Xeons are a generation behind, Apple is still waiting for the Ivybridge Xeons to be released (scheduled for a Q3 2013 release by Intel)!
 
shifuimam Jun 25, 2013 02:01 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Salty (Post 4233953)
If the rumours of a modular Mac Pro are true though we might see more configurations. Not everyone who needs an expandable desktop needs a Xenon. WE might see them come out with an entry level based around an i7.
I never did quite understand why Apple insisted on only offering Xeon CPUs in the entire Mac Pro line. There are plenty of people who want the expandability and don't need a $5,000 desktop computer by any stretch.
 
Spheric Harlot Jun 25, 2013 04:19 PM
Internal expandability is growing increasingly irrelevant. Thunderbolt 2 makes it all but obsolete.
 
BLAZE_MkIV Jun 25, 2013 05:35 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236301)
I never did quite understand why Apple insisted on only offering Xeon CPUs in the entire Mac Pro line. There are plenty of people who want the expandability and don't need a $5,000 desktop computer by any stretch.
And they all play their games on windows. And until the games run as fast or faster on the Mac they won't switch.
 
P Jun 26, 2013 05:49 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236301)
I never did quite understand why Apple insisted on only offering Xeon CPUs in the entire Mac Pro line. There are plenty of people who want the expandability and don't need a $5,000 desktop computer by any stretch.
This is a debate that comes up every now and then, but...

Back in the PPC era, Apple several times had cheaper towers with performance comparable with the top iMac. They were all unceremoniously dumped - presumably they didn't sell, because there was zero other reason to dump them. In the time since the Intel shift, the answers have varied. The first generation MP was designed around massive RAM ceilings, which required FB-DIMMs, which required Xeon. This one was in all likelihood an Intel design (Intel helped with the first x86 generation of Mac motherboard designs to get apple started) and its not surprising that Intel wanted to sell expensive Xeons. The second generation used regular desktop chips in the single socket model - Xeon 3500 chips were the same as Core i7 900 series, "Bloomfield" - but overcharged for them.
 
cgc Jun 26, 2013 10:33 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 4236336)
Internal expandability is growing increasingly irrelevant. Thunderbolt 2 makes it all but obsolete.
Unless you desire a clean desktop where you don't have wires running all over the place...or you want to rack mount a computer, in which cases internal expansion is preferred.
 
shifuimam Jun 26, 2013 10:39 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by cgc (Post 4236458)
Unless you desire a clean desktop where you don't have wires running all over the place...or you want to rack mount a computer, in which cases internal expansion is preferred.
THIS THIS THIS.

Claiming that internal expandability is irrelevant is an opinion, not a fact. There are plenty of environments and users where a machine with eight different external boxes plugged in simply for expansion capability is a non-option.

It is not universal that people want computers downsized into tiny enclosures with no internal expandability. Apple has removed the last machine from their lineup that had internal expandability. It's likely that there weren't enough people buying the Mac Pro for its expandability that Apple figured it didn't matter, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a decent-sized chunk of the consumer user base out there who still wants the option.

You just can't equate "the entire consumer technology market" to "the Apple technology market". They are not one and the same.
 
OreoCookie Jun 26, 2013 01:35 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by cgc (Post 4236458)
Unless you desire a clean desktop where you don't have wires running all over the place...or you want to rack mount a computer, in which cases internal expansion is preferred.
People will adapt.
A lot of »pros«* are complaining about the new Mac Pro and spread all the angst around the net. As long is it's not a barrier to what you can do with the machine, I don't see the point. There are a few who could do with the old Mac Pro something they can't with the new one (mostly the smaller RAM ceiling and the smaller number of cores), but for most, it's a well-specced machine.

* I dislike how these people misuse the word »pro« in that context. Anyone who uses a computer in a crucial capacity to make a living is a pro user.
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236459)
THIS THIS THIS.

Claiming that internal expandability is irrelevant is an opinion, not a fact. There are plenty of environments and users where a machine with eight different external boxes plugged in simply for expansion capability is a non-option.
The new Mac Pro is expandable, it is no longer internally expandable, but that's not the same as saying it is not expandable.
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236459)
You just can't equate "the entire consumer technology market" to "the Apple technology market". They are not one and the same.
I've read (don't remember where) that 80 % of the Mac Pro owners were not using any PCIe slots (save the one for the graphics card, of course).
 
Waragainstsleep Jun 26, 2013 02:45 PM
Its true. During 5 years of Apple retail, we didn't sell all that many Mac Pros (or G5s before them) but very few of those we did sell had any PCI/e cards put in them.

Only the Protools rigs, one video capture system and a few servers that needed legacy(ish) SCSI or Fibre connection to a RAID or maybe an extra network port or two.
 
reader50 Jun 26, 2013 03:03 PM
Every desktop Mac I've owned has gotten a drive expansion card, since Apple never gives as many drive ports as I'd like. SCSI card initially, then IDE, now eSATA with port multiplier. The cards have been consistently inexpensive ways to add storage. I've also added 2nd (and rarely 3rd) graphics cards. The multi-monitor support today takes care of that, but requires expensive new TB adapters. Or expensive new monitors.

If Apple had added a couple eSATA ports with Port Multiplier, I'd be fine. But it requires expensive new TB -> eSATA adapters, or even-more expensive TB drive enclosures. So we've gone from simple, standardized expansion to substantially more expensive external solutions. Same result for a higher price.

I'll be OK with it if Apple knocks a grand off the new Mac Pro prices to compensate. Deliver less, charge less. That's fair.
 
shifuimam Jun 26, 2013 04:09 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4236480)
The new Mac Pro is expandable, it is no longer internally expandable, but that's not the same as saying it is not expandable.
I know. That's why I was referring to internal expansion and the fact that the alternative (external expansion) requires lots of little bits to be hanging off the machine, stacked on your desk, or mounted on a wall.

Quote
I've read (don't remember where) that 80 % of the Mac Pro owners were not using any PCIe slots (save the one for the graphics card, of course).
Which is still the Apple market - my point was just that the idea of internal expandability may be moot for Mac users, but it's not moot for everyone. I'm noticing that a few certain folks around here seem to think that the way that Apple is doing is must be the only feasible way of improving technology, regardless of what millions of non-Mac users want or need. It's just a rather short-sighted view of the market.
 
P Jun 26, 2013 04:13 PM
I'm betting that there are several third parties right now working on a TB breakout box with a few drive bays, styled to match the new MP.
 
reader50 Jun 26, 2013 04:15 PM
All (well most) of these arguments would go away if Apple provided an alternative for those who want internal expansion. A cut-down MacPro with two slots (GPU + free slot), or an updated version of the current Mac Pro. But they're forcing a single solution. Perhaps the Cube would have sold better if it were the only PowerMac available.
 
P Jun 26, 2013 04:38 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236508)
Which is still the Apple market - my point was just that the idea of internal expandability may be moot for Mac users, but it's not moot for everyone. I'm noticing that a few certain folks around here seem to think that the way that Apple is doing is must be the only feasible way of improving technology, regardless of what millions of non-Mac users want or need. It's just a rather short-sighted view of the market.
Apple has information that you and I don't have - they know the sales numbers, and they probably have a pretty good idea what the people that actually buy from them want. Consider this: Sandy Bridge-EP launched more than a year ago. It would have been much easier for Apple to simply buy that one and make a motherboard to fit in the current case and start selling it the day Intel did. That is what we all expected, that is what users were clamoring for on the Internet. They didn't do that - they did something completely different. They took a short-term hit both in sales and customer satisfaction to deliver something new ~18 months later. Why would they do that? Just being stuck behind the curve for 18 months is expensive...if you're actually selling enough to bother.

I think their ideas go something like this:

* We're not selling enough MPs to bother right now, so we need to change something
* Almost no-one puts PCIe cards in their MPs anymore, and anyway there are few enough cards that work with Macs.
* Thunderbolt is PCIe, except outside the box, and each port has a much bandwidth as the entire computer (except GPU) did in our old MP.
* USB 3.0 with UAS is good enough for external storage, and Thunderbolt is more than good enough
* Our customers want to ship their MPs
* GPUs are getting massively powerful
* HDDs are being completely eaten by SSDs except for massive files
* Modern Intel chips have more cores than we know what to do with

So... Get rid of PCIe cards and get rid of internal 3.5" and 2.5" bays. Suddenly you can make the box much smaller and you can downsize the power supply to match. Put LOTS of TB ports on it to cover any expansion need. Move the SSD to PCIe, because that's what's happening anyway. Focus on GPU power and keeping those GPUs fed. Makes a lot of sense from that point of view.
 
reader50 Jun 26, 2013 05:39 PM
"Thunderbolt 2 is faster than the PCIe slots in the current Mac Pro"

This keeps coming up, but it's not completely true. The current Mac Pro has 2x 16-lane (for GPUs mostly) and 2x 4-lane PCIe 2.0 slots.

According to Wikipedia:
Thunderbolt 2: 20 Gb/s (2.5 GB/s)
PCIe 2.0: 500 MB/s per lane. That gives 2 GB/s (4-lane slot) and 8 GB/s (16-lane slot).
PCIe 3.0: 985 MB/s per lane. What we would have had if internal slots continued.

So TB 2.0 is 125% the speed of a basic slot, but only 31% the speed of a fast slot. It will be an OK replacement* for 1x, 2x, and 4x cards. But a big downgrade for an 8x card, and a huge downgrade for a 16x card.

The speed loss will hit:
8x high-performance storage interface cards.
8x/16x high-performance video capture cards.
16x Graphics cards upgrades.

* latency changes ignored, might be an issue for GPUs
 
Waragainstsleep Jun 26, 2013 07:12 PM
I think Apple is probably using this Mac Pro to drive development of Thunderbolt as a technology. Its been too slow to this point. Its great tech and if it were to become as ubiquitous as USB it will obviously become much cheaper. At the moment these external PCIe boxes are stupidly expensive, as are the docking stations which break out to various ports.

Ultimately the Mac Pro could have gone the way of the Xserve which died because it offered no advantage over a Dell or HP box with the same (or more often better and more recent) hardware in it. As a server, the customers didn't really need Mac OS because server admins are geeks who can deal with other OS' and the clients on their servers mostly never know or care what server OS they are talking to as long as it works.

The jobs being done by the Mac Pros with the top horsepower and RAM, can mostly be done by workstations from Dell and HP, again with newer chips and therefore more horsepower and RAM. Apple has no interest updating any Mac line every three months or so.

Thunderbolt allows Apple and others to follow a logical progression with technology. Consumers will eventually need only their smartphone. Once their phone is capable of doing enough, it will just be a case of having a choice of docks and screens and peripherals to use with it. No laptop, no iMac, not even Apple TV. Just an iPhone.
Many office workers could probably do this already, swapping their 500W metal box for an iPhone and a big screen, but the software isn't really built for this. Yet.
 
Spheric Harlot Jun 26, 2013 09:49 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by cgc (Post 4236458)
Unless you desire a clean desktop where you don't have wires running all over the place...or you want to rack mount a computer, in which cases internal expansion is preferred.
Look, either you're a professional who doesn't give a shit about cables and boxes as long as the damn thing is the best possible solution to get your job done, or you're most likely just whining about some bullshit box you're probably never going to buy anyway.

ALL the people I know who are in the market for one of these machines have DOZENS of cables and boxes sitting in racks, shelves, and on desks. I have about three hundred cables in my studio, and most of the boxes that are connected to the computer are sitting nice and tidy in a 19" rack, anyway.

Professionals deal with whatever drawbacks their necessary equipment comes with. And frankly, I think that having a completely modular system that can be broken down into a series of small pelican cases for touring, while leaving unnecessary gear behind, is probably a MUCH larger benefit for a rather large portion of the existing Mac Pro market than having an extra cable or two running from the desk to the siderack.

My perspective is from the audio world, but I'm pretty sure that applies to video production equally.
 
OreoCookie Jun 27, 2013 12:52 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236508)
I know. That's why I was referring to internal expansion and the fact that the alternative (external expansion) requires lots of little bits to be hanging off the machine, stacked on your desk, or mounted on a wall.
Yes, but a lot of the whining (I'm not including you here, shif) from »pro users« is that the new Mac Pro lacks expandability. With a PCIe box, you have the exact same expandability as before, just not in as neat a package.

And aesthetics aside, if you use computers as a tool, you do whatever works. Notebook users have had to deal with tangly wires for ages, and they manage. If anything, the prospect of being able to expand a notebook with a PCIe card is exciting to me.
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236508)
Which is still the Apple market - my point was just that the idea of internal expandability may be moot for Mac users, but it's not moot for everyone.
The workstation market is very profitable, but tiny. I think you're thinking of a different market -- which is also dying. For instance, the successor to Haswell, Broadwell, will only come soldered onto the motherboard. This kills the upgrade market for Broadwell cpus, you have to get a cpu + cooler + motherboard combo when you buy it. Developments in RAM technology, e. g. the use of low-power RAM in notebooks and GDDR5 in the Playstation 4, also foreshadow that for the majority of users, RAM will no longer be upgradable.
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4236508)
I'm noticing that a few certain folks around here seem to think that the way that Apple is doing is must be the only feasible way of improving technology, regardless of what millions of non-Mac users want or need. It's just a rather short-sighted view of the market.
No, Apple's way is not necessarily the way things are going. But Apple has a great track record: Most notebook manufacturers aspire to copy many aspects of Apple's notebook line-up, e. g. all those MacBook Air-look-alike ultrabooks (there are only few with a very distinct, own design), the fact that many of them are not expandable or that the options for expandability are very limited, the use of SSDs as sole storage medium, high-res Retina-class screens, etc.

I think the use of low-power RAM in the Airs and PCIe-SSD storage (Air and new Mac Pro) will also become standard. And if we look at the Mac Pro, Apple isn't exactly doing something completely crazy with the Mac Pro: (GP)GPU computing has long been established in various fields (high performance and supercomputing), and AMD and nVidia will give you an earful about harnessing the computational prowess of modern GPUs. Also the fact that for serious storage, people usually use external solutions anyway is reflected in the lack of 2.5" or 3.5" drive bays. The direction Apple has chosen for its new Mac Pro isn't all that crazy if you think about it. And yes, I do think this is where the industry is heading.
 
OreoCookie Jun 27, 2013 02:01 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 4236500)
I'll be OK with it if Apple knocks a grand off the new Mac Pro prices to compensate. Deliver less, charge less. That's fair.
That's really something where Apple could do something revolutionary: if they could price the new Mac Pro to make it a lot cheaper than a similarly equipped workstation because of its design, then that'd be huge.
 
P Jun 27, 2013 05:27 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 4236530)
"Thunderbolt 2 is faster than the PCIe slots in the current Mac Pro"

This keeps coming up, but it's not completely true. The current Mac Pro has 2x 16-lane (for GPUs mostly) and 2x 4-lane PCIe 2.0 slots.

According to Wikipedia:
Thunderbolt 2: 20 Gb/s (2.5 GB/s)
PCIe 2.0: 500 MB/s per lane. That gives 2 GB/s (4-lane slot) and 8 GB/s (16-lane slot).
PCIe 3.0: 985 MB/s per lane. What we would have had if internal slots continued.

So TB 2.0 is 125% the speed of a basic slot, but only 31% the speed of a fast slot. It will be an OK replacement* for 1x, 2x, and 4x cards. But a big downgrade for an 8x card, and a huge downgrade for a 16x card.

The speed loss will hit:
8x high-performance storage interface cards.
8x/16x high-performance video capture cards.
16x Graphics cards upgrades.

* latency changes ignored, might be an issue for GPUs
While you're correct that there are two x4 slots in the current MP, they're both connected to the same Southbridge. That chip has a total bandwidth to the CPU (and thus to memory) of 10 Gbit/s - ie, a single TB2 port has more bandwidth than the entire current MP excluding the GPUs. Are there any cards that use the GPU slot(s) of the current MP for video capture or storage protocols? I can't seem to find any - x4 PCIe is a lot for either of those purposes, and TB delivers that.

Exactly how Apple keeps the TB ports fed is not clear, but there are 8 PCIe 3.0 lanes left over on the CPU itself (after dedicating x16 3.0 to each GPU) to feed at least some of the ports, and the interface to the Southbridge (now called PCH, but it's the same chip) has twice the bandwidth as well.

And of course you could have used that same bandwidth for PCIe 3.0 slots internally, but that doesn't gain you anything except a tighter power limit as you're limited by power supply and cooling. For all intents and purposes, Thunderbolt is PCIe over an external cable.
 
P Jun 27, 2013 05:33 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4236593)
That's really something where Apple could do something revolutionary: if they could price the new Mac Pro to make it a lot cheaper than a similarly equipped workstation because of its design, then that'd be huge.
The problem with that is that the CPU they picked isn't exactly cheap. The fastest two-socket Xeon E5 costs over $2000 just for the CPU.
 
OreoCookie Jun 27, 2013 05:59 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by P (Post 4236606)
The problem with that is that the CPU they picked isn't exactly cheap. The fastest two-socket Xeon E5 costs over $2000 just for the CPU.
Sure, you're right. I also don't think 12 GB of video RAM will be cheap either. But I was thinking of prices for the entry-level model: if you pick a cheaper Xeon E5s and limit the video RAM to, say, 2x2 GB, I am wondering whether the resulting machine will be cheaper than a comparable configuration which includes these pro graphics cards.
 
mduell Jun 27, 2013 06:45 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 4236530)
"Thunderbolt 2 is faster than the PCIe slots in the current Mac Pro"

This keeps coming up, but it's not completely true. The current Mac Pro has 2x 16-lane (for GPUs mostly) and 2x 4-lane PCIe 2.0 slots.

According to Wikipedia:
Thunderbolt 2: 20 Gb/s (2.5 GB/s)
PCIe 2.0: 500 MB/s per lane. That gives 2 GB/s (4-lane slot) and 8 GB/s (16-lane slot).
PCIe 3.0: 985 MB/s per lane. What we would have had if internal slots continued.

So TB 2.0 is 125% the speed of a basic slot, but only 31% the speed of a fast slot. It will be an OK replacement* for 1x, 2x, and 4x cards. But a big downgrade for an 8x card, and a huge downgrade for a 16x card.

The speed loss will hit:
8x high-performance storage interface cards.
8x/16x high-performance video capture cards.
16x Graphics cards upgrades.

* latency changes ignored, might be an issue for GPUs
Thunderbolt 2 uses 8b/10b encoding, so 20 Gb/s is only 2.0 GB/s not 2.5 GB/s.
 
ghporter Jun 28, 2013 06:43 PM
mduell, I [i]think[/[] I know what you mean by 10b/8b encoding... Is it an error correction scheme using 10 bits to encode 8, so the redundancy in the 10 bits allows the hardware/software to correct bit losses (kind of like Reed-Solomon encoding)?

(I'm probably showing my age by mentioning R-S, but it's certainly robust...)
 
mduell Jun 28, 2013 08:03 PM
8b/10b is mostly to eliminate DC bias - the difference between the count of 1s and 0s in a string of at least 20 bits is no more than 2, and that there are not more than five 1s or 0s in a row.

I think it also lets you detect but not correct errors.
 
Spheric Harlot Jun 28, 2013 09:16 PM
Isn't that the same as FireWire 800 signaling?
 
reader50 Jun 28, 2013 09:19 PM
mduell, do you have a link for the 8b/10b encoding? The TB article on Wikipedia didn't mention it, nor did their source links.
 
P Jun 29, 2013 01:42 PM
It is mentioned if you click around a bit, although it's not obvious. In the right box on the Thunderbolt page, it says "Protocol: PCIe 2.0 x4" (under Data). Click on that, and you see the reference to the 8b/10b encoding. Thunderbolt 2 then doubles the bandwidth (through channel aggregation - ie, you if you daisychain two TB units, they both get the full 10 Gbit bandwidth that TB provides, but with TB 2, you can give one unit 20 Gbit or two daisychained units 10 Gbit each).

Note that PCI 3.0 does not use 10b/8b encoding.
 
leekohler2 Jun 29, 2013 01:48 PM
I will never buy another Mac desktop. There is simply no reason to. This new Mac Mini Pro makes it obvious that Apple wants to kill the desktop dead. This is going to be like the G4 Cube- dead on arrival. No business in their right mind is going to buy these things. Why would they when they can get MacBook Pros or iMacs that can do most jobs just as well and they get more for their money? And if they want to use these things as servers, how is that going to work? The shape alone is not practical.
 
mduell Jun 29, 2013 02:01 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 4236840)
Isn't that the same as FireWire 800 signaling?
Yes, it's quite popular. Used by PCIe 1.0-2.0, SATA/SAS 1.5-6Gb/s, FW800 (beta mode), USB3, DVI/HDMI, etc.

Quote, Originally Posted by reader50 (Post 4236841)
mduell, do you have a link for the 8b/10b encoding? The TB article on Wikipedia didn't mention it, nor did their source links.
Slide 6 here mentions it.
 
Spheric Harlot Jun 29, 2013 03:27 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by leekohler2 (Post 4236915)
I will never buy another Mac desktop. There is simply no reason to. This new Mac Mini Pro makes it obvious that Apple wants to kill the desktop dead. This is going to be like the G4 Cube- dead on arrival. No business in their right mind is going to buy these things. Why would they when they can get MacBook Pros or iMacs that can do most jobs just as well and they get more for their money? And if they want to use these things as servers, how is that going to work? The shape alone is not practical.
This machine is not built for businesses. Apple does not make business computers, and hasn't since the 90s, regardless of whether you personally misunderstood their aim and bought them for corporate use.

It is built for creative professionals. And it will saturate those markets.

The G4 cube offered nothing over the concurrently available towers except near-silent operation and pretty design, and at a higher price.
The situation with the iBin Pro is NOTHING like that.

If it does not offer anything for your needs that a MacBook Pro doesn't, then Apple will be extremely happy to sell you a laptop.
 
leekohler2 Jun 29, 2013 04:28 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 4236937)
This machine is not built for businesses. Apple does not make business computers, and hasn't since the 90s, regardless of whether you personally misunderstood their aim and bought them for corporate use.

It is built for creative professionals. And it will saturate those markets.

The G4 cube offered nothing over the concurrently available towers except near-silent operation and pretty design, and at a higher price.
The situation with the iBin Pro is NOTHING like that.

If it does not offer anything for your needs that a MacBook Pro doesn't, then Apple will be extremely happy to sell you a laptop.
Oh really? Macs aren't made for businesses? Hmm. That's funny, seeing as I work in a 20 story ad agency in Chicago and all we use are Macs. Mac Pros are used as servers too. Are you saying that advertising agencies are not businesses? I can tell you right now- the company I work for will not touch those things.
 
Spheric Harlot Jun 29, 2013 05:36 PM
That is correct. They're not made for businesses. They're made for creative professionals. That they're being used for the office side of your company is purely incidental to Apple's business.

I'm making assumptions here based on my experience, but:
Your company probably would not be using Macs for the office if the creative professionals working for you weren't Mac-based, and the management structure weren't recruited from those ranks.

Of course that's a "business". I'm a creative professional, and I run a (one-man) "business", as well.

"Business" WRT computing generally refers to corporate/Office use, and those IT departments tend to require long-term road maps and service contracts, both of which run contrary to how Apple operates.

They're happy to sell to businesses, but whatever sales they garner there are purely incidental, and have been for a long time. Once they realized that this would not change, they terminated Xserve and Xsan.
 
besson3c Jun 29, 2013 11:28 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 4236956)
"Business" WRT computing generally refers to corporate/Office use, and those IT departments tend to require long-term road maps and service contracts, both of which run contrary to how Apple operates.
Also:

- a real server OS that can be virtualized in a server VM environment (historically on non-Apple hardware)
- lower machine costs attract management, small minded of them or not
- managers like having more staffing options
- there is still software that is Windows only or else runs better there

I agree with everything you've said, just adding this...
 
leekohler2 Jun 30, 2013 01:17 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 4236956)
That is correct. They're not made for businesses. They're made for creative professionals. That they're being used for the office side of your company is purely incidental to Apple's business.

I'm making assumptions here based on my experience, but:
Your company probably would not be using Macs for the office if the creative professionals working for you weren't Mac-based, and the management structure weren't recruited from those ranks.

Of course that's a "business". I'm a creative professional, and I run a (one-man) "business", as well.

"Business" WRT computing generally refers to corporate/Office use, and those IT departments tend to require long-term road maps and service contracts, both of which run contrary to how Apple operates.

They're happy to sell to businesses, but whatever sales they garner there are purely incidental, and have been for a long time. Once they realized that this would not change, they terminated Xserve and Xsan.
I am also a creative professional. The last tower I bought form Apple was the last gen PM G5. When the MPs came out, it became an issue of price for me. Not that I couldn't afford one, but the $2499 price tag just for the base model turned me off. I limped along with the G5 as long as I could, hoping something would change with the MP price-wise. Not only did that not change, but the MP got ignored by Apple as far as updates went. Since I am starting to get into video, it got to the point with the G5 that I was gonna have to make a move. Then the rMBP came out.

I waited for a while to see what would happen with it and the reviews stayed positive. I went to the store to try one out vs a quad core MP with the same amount of RAM. I tried them out using the same video file. The rMBP beat the pants off the MP. The decision was easy- no more Mac desktops for me. Plus, the rMBP had a great screen too and now with it, I have dual monitors. I hook it up to my 24" monitor and use the rMBP's screen as my secondary. Now, since the trash can has come out, I'm glad I did what I did. The rMBP has been a dream to work on. Plus, if I want to, I can take the rMBP anywhere and get my work done, no matter how intense it might be. I now use the G5 as a server, and it is great in that capacity.

Trust me, I am a longtime Apple user since the days of the Apple IIe. The machines have always been top-notch, until they started ignoring the tower. This is one creative professional that Apple has lost as a desktop customer forever. I am sure I'm not alone. One thing they could have done that would have impressed me is put a Bluray drive in the new MP, as I see that tech sticking around for quite a while. Then again, this is my opinion- you have yours.
 
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