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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > New Mac Pro at WWDC?

New Mac Pro at WWDC?
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olePigeon
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May 5, 2011, 11:47 AM
 
With the new iMacs, the Mac Pro looks pretty ridiculous. Also, having killed off the XServe, I wonder if they're going to revamp the case as well. Maybe shorter and thinner so you can rackmount it.

I'm hoping for a lower priced minitower.
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May 5, 2011, 12:43 PM
 
There isn't much to update the MP with, except a clockspeed bump and new GPUs. Sandy Bridge-EP - which I think will be called the Xeon E5 series - aren't due until the end of the year. At that point they will have to redesign for the new chips.
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.
     
Eden Aurora
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May 8, 2011, 11:14 PM
 
Not only should apple release a new Mac Pro with Thunderbolt technology, but they should also throw in a blu-ray burner. Then i would upgrade!
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Lateralus
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May 9, 2011, 01:24 AM
 
Apple is not adopting Blu-ray. I don't think there's much doubt about that at this point.
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Waragainstsleep
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May 9, 2011, 04:28 AM
 
They ought to at least consider blu-ray for data burning purposes but I guess they won't do that because then if they listed it as a spec people would bitch about it not playing movies.
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Eden Aurora
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May 9, 2011, 07:57 AM
 
It is kinda sad that Apple can't implement a blu-ray burner in its computer. Blu-ray is well accept and established around the world. Very sad indeed.
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Waragainstsleep
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May 9, 2011, 08:38 AM
 
Its not a matter of can't. They simply don't want to. They want you to get your HD movies via iTunes. They don't make any money from Blu-Ray movies.
Of course they could do it if they wanted to. Apple is part of the consortium that specified/ratified the standard.
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Leonard
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May 9, 2011, 02:21 PM
 
It's hilarious how they part of the consortium, but yet won't implement blu-ray in their computers. Then again, Steve thinks it's just a fad, and that eventually everyone is going to downloading movies. But what about removable storage?
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olePigeon  (op)
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May 9, 2011, 02:36 PM
 
Can't you just buy a Blu-Ray player for the computer?
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May 9, 2011, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Can't you just buy a Blu-Ray player for the computer?
That's sorta like saying "can't you buy a graphics card?", "can't you buy a HD?".

Yeah you can, but considering that Apple gives so many options on their BTO site, why can't they make a Blu-ray player an option.
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Eden Aurora
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May 11, 2011, 03:02 PM
 
i don't want blu-ray to watch movies from major labels.
i want blu-ray to watch home movies and to share them with others who have blu-ray players.

why must i be locked in on internet sharing. it's slow and not hooked up to everyones main TV!
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olePigeon  (op)
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May 11, 2011, 03:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post
...why can't they make a Blu-ray player an option.
They don't want to pay the ridiculous licensing fees.
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Leonard
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May 11, 2011, 03:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
They don't want to pay the ridiculous licensing fees.
I was going to say that, until I took a look at the DELL site. If DELL can pay the licensing fee, why can't Apple.

How is this licencing fee handled really? If an OEM makes a blu-ray recorder, do they pay the fee? Or is it only when that blu-ray recorder goes in a computer that a fee is paid? I wouldn't expect both the OEM and computer manufacturer to pay a blu-ray fee.
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Leonard
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May 11, 2011, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eden Aurora View Post
...and not hooked up to everyones main TV!
That's going to be resolved soon. The newer TVs seem to have internet on them now. But you'll still be right, not everyone will have a new TV.
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May 11, 2011, 04:53 PM
 
Whatever the license issues, you have to figure Apple can afford it if the likes of Dell and others can. Apple has much higher margins, they just don't want to cut into them. And they want you getting your movies from iTunes.

The minitower Mac is not going to happen. Probably not ever.
I would like to see a thinner, rack mountable Mac Pro but I also think bumping the Mac Mini to a quad core and if possible throwing an SSD in with the pair of server drives would make a really good product.
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May 12, 2011, 01:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Can't you just buy a Blu-Ray player for the computer?
Who wants to buy a Blu-ray drive for a Mac when it's so poorly supported by the OS? Are Blu-ray drives even properly supported for data-only purposes?

Licensing fees for Blu-ray Apple can clearly handle. It's one of the most successful corporations in the world with some of the highest profit margins, so it can't be a licensing cost issue. The other excuse that's been given is that they don't want to lock OS X down to support Blu-ray DRM. I don't know if I find that explanation credible, but it's possible. The best explanation at this point is that Apple prefers people buy content from iTMS, and they have no compelling reason to support a competing format. It's not like people are refusing to buy Macs because of the lack of Blu-ray, what with record sales and such.

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May 12, 2011, 02:23 AM
 
I think it's quite easy: Apple didn't really want to implement the Protected Audio/Video Path as required by the Bluray spec and so decided to wait to see if it was requested by customers. Since then, sales of Macs in general and the MBP in particular have exploded, so apparently the lack of Bluray is not a big deal. (DVDs arrived first on Powerbooks, to let people watch movies on them on long flights etc, and Bluray is much more common on Wintel laptops than on desktop models for much the same reason. The MBP, not the MP, is where the lack of Bluray would be felt.) If customers had requested it, Apple would likely have added Bluray support - like they added CD-RW once upon a 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.
     
wei
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May 12, 2011, 10:29 AM
 
Well, there's a reason for the second empty optical bay in the MacPro. If you want BD so badly, what stopping you putting a BD drive in? If you are talking about software support, its not only a MacPro problem.

Personally I don't mind waiting till year end for Sandy Bridge Xeon E5 especially the 2600 series with Quad Channel 1600Mhz memory up to 96GB per proc. 40 PCIe Gen3 lanes.

I do hope Apple will add more PCIe slot or at lease additional double wide slot.

I do hope it will come sooner, since its nothing new if Apple get new chips from Intel sooner than they hit selves.
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May 12, 2011, 01:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by wei View Post
Personally I don't mind waiting till year end for Sandy Bridge Xeon E5 especially the 2600 series with Quad Channel 1600Mhz memory up to 96GB per proc. 40 PCIe Gen3 lanes.
That is going to be powerful, but read my lips. They Will Be Expensive. Assuming 4 GB per slot as usual, the 96 GB version will need 24 slots times 240 leads equals a very expensive motherboard. Besides, I'm not sure that 1600 MHz is supported with 3 slots per channel.
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.
     
wei
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May 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
 
Maxing up a new MacPro is just insane. Well, at lease for me. But knowing your Mac could last more mileage down the road with more RAM to grow won't hurt. But knowing Apple, they might limit that. And we still need "yet-to-come" 16GB (or larger) modules to filled up 6 slots to get 96GB. Anyway, this is just plain talk on paper. Only time will tell. I'm still waiting....
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May 13, 2011, 07:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
That is going to be powerful, but read my lips. They Will Be Expensive. Assuming 4 GB per slot as usual, the 96 GB version will need 24 slots times 240 leads equals a very expensive motherboard. Besides, I'm not sure that 1600 MHz is supported with 3 slots per channel.
Wha? No one is talking 24 slots in dual socket Intels. And you don't need to with 16GB DIMMs.
     
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May 14, 2011, 07:40 AM
 
I haven't been following the Sandy Bridge-EP rumors recently, but they will be quadchannel memory, and the current models support 3 DIMM slots per channel, so it's not too terrible a guess that the successor will support the same. 2 sockets times 4 channels times 3 DIMMs per channel mean 24.
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.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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May 14, 2011, 02:20 PM
 
You guys are assuming the end of the year. In the past, Apple has gotten the top of the line Intel chipset months before the competition. Not sure why, maybe some sort of exclusivity deal, but they do. I could still see a new Mac Pro at WWDC.
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May 14, 2011, 09:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
You guys are assuming the end of the year. In the past, Apple has gotten the top of the line Intel chipset months before the competition. Not sure why, maybe some sort of exclusivity deal, but they do. I could still see a new Mac Pro at WWDC.
That wasn't the case with Nehalem as I recall. They were late to the party with quad core chips in the first gens too.
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May 15, 2011, 01:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I haven't been following the Sandy Bridge-EP rumors recently, but they will be quadchannel memory, and the current models support 3 DIMM slots per channel, so it's not too terrible a guess that the successor will support the same. 2 sockets times 4 channels times 3 DIMMs per channel mean 24.
Given that Apple only offers 1.3 DIMMs per channel in the current Mac Pros, I really don't see them going to 24 slots next time.
     
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May 16, 2011, 01:25 AM
 
I would to see them go to 6/12 slots. 6 for the entry level and 12 for the mid/high end.
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May 16, 2011, 02:53 AM
 
The reason for no blu-ray is that they would rather remove the optical drive completely. Mac Pro isn't in danger but I don't think apple would go through the extra work for only one computer line.
     
anthology123
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May 19, 2011, 11:36 PM
 
Realistically, if Apple made a Mac Pro with 24 memory slots, how much would the base retail price of such a unit be? start at $5,000? $6,000?
     
reader50
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May 20, 2011, 12:15 AM
 
Some historical Macs have come with a lot of slots. Extrapolating from their slot counts and prices:

• The Quadra 900 and 950 had 16 RAM slots. Cost: $7,200 in 1992.

$7,200 x 1.5 gives 24 RAM slots for $10,800. Correcting for inflation makes that $17,312.

• The PowerMac 9500 and 9600 had 12 RAM slots. Cost: $3,700 in 1997.

$3,700 x 2 gives 24 RAM slots for $7,400. Inflation makes that $10,369 today.

So a 24-slot Mac will cost somewhere between $7K and $11K.
     
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May 20, 2011, 12:25 AM
 
Reader50,
I am glad you were being realistic about the pricing. I'm sure there were some here that would expect a 24-RAM slot Mac Pro to be no more than $1,800.00
     
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May 20, 2011, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eden Aurora View Post
i don't want blu-ray to watch movies from major labels.
i want blu-ray to watch home movies and to share them with others who have blu-ray players.

why must i be locked in on internet sharing. it's slow and not hooked up to everyones main TV!
I just bought this Blu-ray burner, but don't intend to use it to burn HD video. Wouldn't Toast let you achieve that?
     
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May 24, 2011, 08:36 PM
 
It's come to the point where I need to replace my current Mac Pro. I really wish Apple would hurry up and announce an update so I could buy with peace of mind. Otherwise I'm gonna be stuck buying a machine which'll be updated a week later.
     
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May 24, 2011, 09:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
It's come to the point where I need to replace my current Mac Pro. I really wish Apple would hurry up and announce an update so I could buy with peace of mind. Otherwise I'm gonna be stuck buying a machine which'll be updated a week later.
Exactly, I am in the same boat.
     
Lateralus
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May 24, 2011, 09:21 PM
 
I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro gets discontinued entirely sometime in the next year or so. I honestly don't think Apple gives a shit about prosumers anymore. The machine sees updates more irregularly and infrequently than the Power Mac ever did, and that's in spite of the fact that Apple has had better CPU selection through Intel since the thing launched.
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May 24, 2011, 09:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro gets discontinued entirely sometime in the next year or so. I honestly don't think Apple gives a shit about prosumers anymore. The machine sees updates more irregularly and infrequently than the Power Mac ever did, and that's in spite of the fact that Apple has had better CPU selection through Intel since the thing launched.
I would be very surprised, considering they just announced the new version of FCP. Not everyone shoots on camcorders, some people need to be able to connect to Fiber, or have PCIe capture cards. Unless they let me connect a PCIe card to a thunderbolt cable somehow, then I could live with an iMac.
     
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May 25, 2011, 03:32 AM
 
Connecting a PCIe card to Thunderbolt is, in fact, trivial. Magma has been building external expansion chassis for years, so I assume they're a given, while Sonnet has announced similar boxes, available in summer.

However, I do agree that Apple needs to/will keep offering at least one line of high-performance audio/video studio machine.

Thunderbolt on the iMac probably obviates the need for the low-end machine, but I really don't see them killing the flagship.
     
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May 26, 2011, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro gets discontinued entirely sometime in the next year or so. I honestly don't think Apple gives a shit about prosumers anymore. The machine sees updates more irregularly and infrequently than the Power Mac ever did, and that's in spite of the fact that Apple has had better CPU selection through Intel since the thing launched.
Apple's reputation is high end in everything. So I don't expect them to drop their high end model.

I'd rather expect them to drop the mini.

I wouldn't be surprised if Apple dropped the lame duck version of the Mac Pro, the 4-core, and only offers high end boxes from a certain point on.

Also, the fact that FCP gets an update is a good sign.

There has been a lot of concern about Apple's success with consumers in the hard core Apple fan bracket. But Apple shows it's not so much the "consumer" vs "professional" distinction it follows, but the "high quality" vs "mass market quality".

Anything with high quality has a good chance with Apple to be supported as long as there are people who buy it. And people are buying Mac Pros. For many, the screen of the iMac is not a viable choice for their kind of work - so they have to buy a Mac Pro.
     
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May 26, 2011, 02:16 AM
 
Many like to think the iMacs' screen is a problem. For the tiny handful for whom it is actually more of a nuisance than displays have been for twenty-five years, there's the external monitor option.
     
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May 26, 2011, 09:23 AM
 
I get headaches and sore eyes from glossy displays. This is a fact. I don't use my Unibody MacBook Pro anymore, my iPhone 3GS has got an anti-reflective coating. In no way would I ever try to justify my particular condition as the rule of thumb but for some people this is actually a serious issue.

I don't think the iMac + external display setup might be an option at all. You better get the Mac Mini or a MacBook Pro with the antiglare screen. Either that or the finest computer ever made, which is still the Mac Pro.
     
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May 26, 2011, 09:24 AM
 
I love the Mac Pro but I think they are way too expensive. The hardware updates seem infrequent but they do tend to update for each new batch of Intel chips eventually. They just don't adjust the prices in between updates so they start to look overpriced especially at the low end for what is essentially 3 or 4 year old hardware.
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olePigeon  (op)
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May 26, 2011, 11:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Magma has been building external expansion chassis for years, so I assume they're a given, while Sonnet has announced similar boxes, available in summer.
Yeah, but Magma's are $2000+ for a relatively simple device. They have (had) a niche market, and unless they drop their prices by 80%, they're going to sink.
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May 26, 2011, 12:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Who wants to buy a Blu-ray drive for a Mac when it's so poorly supported by the OS? Are Blu-ray drives even properly supported for data-only purposes?
DVD Studio Pro supports Blu-Ray for burning, but that's about it.

Considering Apple adds about $15b per quarter in the bank, I think they could afford to hand out Mac Pros for free and still be a profitable company. It's not an issue of cost.
     
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May 26, 2011, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Yeah, but Magma's are $2000+ for a relatively simple device. They have (had) a niche market, and unless they drop their prices by 80%, they're going to sink.
The reason they're priced that way is *because* they supply to a niche market. They couldn't afford to make them cheaper.

Also, their stuff is priced to work - no consumer-level crapshoot.

If similar solutions for Thunderbolt start flooding the market, they will have to adjust pricing accordingly.

But I'd think that they won't have to. New peripherals will have direct Thunderbolt support or run via legacy protocol adapters; the need to continue using legacy PCI cards is likely to remain extremely niche.
     
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May 26, 2011, 01:36 PM
 
Oh, Apple's margins for the Mac Pro are good bit higher than even their traditional 30% margins. They could afford to price the machines significantly cheaper than they have been - they've chosen not to.

There's nothing about the Mac Pro, aside from the case, that is any higher in quality than a batch of components you could piece together yourself with a bit of discrimination on a site like NewEgg. Apple manufactures nothing at this point, and the companies who do it for them are the same ones who manufacture the parts you'll find in a decently built retail PC.
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Jun 4, 2011, 08:54 PM
 
Apple should drop the 4-core. They are just the excuse to offer some kind of an entry level model, but are almost a rip-off.

The real entry level into Mac Pro territory is $3500 for the 8-core - which is ridiculous.

The iMac has the glossy display which makes it a no-buy for a photographer.

Only option at this time is a MacBook Pro and an external screen (of course a non-Apple screen. The "cinema" displays are no better than the iMac displays).

I wish Apple would give us more options.

I wish there was a cinema display one could actually buy. When I upgrade, I will go for a NEC display. That's the kind of display I'd want to buy with Apple's design around it.
     
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Jun 5, 2011, 05:17 AM
 
Go refurbished, both for the 8-core Mac Pro and the display. You still can get a 30" Cinema Display, otherwise get a NEC SpectraView PA271, which is twice the money.
     
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Jun 5, 2011, 05:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
The iMac has the glossy display which makes it a no-buy for a photographer.
You can either get a matte film (from e. g. radtech) and/or connect up to 2 external displays. The new iMacs are plenty fast and I think a very, very good buy.
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Jun 7, 2011, 02:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You can either get a matte film (from e. g. radtech) and/or connect up to 2 external displays. The new iMacs are plenty fast and I think a very, very good buy.
I know. I'd buy one if the screen was matte.

I don't want to put another layer on it with a foil, and I don't want to use an external display - which would mean to buy another one.

For now (after Lion comes out) I'll go with a notebook and an external monitor. Slower than the iMac, but I get the notebook mobility.
     
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Jun 10, 2011, 02:35 AM
 
Finally some news... hopefully it's for real:
Apple server lineup refresh looming | Electronista
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olePigeon  (op)
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Jun 10, 2011, 11:41 AM
 
Maybe they'll do a "One more thing..." in the coming months like they've done in the past.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
 
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