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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? (Page 2)
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Eden Aurora
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Jun 12, 2011, 11:32 PM
 
Look like the MacBook Air is going to be updated this week.
So now that only computer Apple sells without Thunderbolt technology is the flagship computer, the MacPro.
That's ridiculous. The goodies should go into the MacPro 1st, then trickle down to the weaklings.

Common Apple!
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turtle777
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Jun 12, 2011, 11:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eden Aurora View Post
Look like the MacBook Air is going to be updated this week.
No.

New MacBook Air Due This Wednesday? [Updatedx4 - Nope] - Mac Rumors

-t
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 13, 2011, 05:01 AM
 
I understand that Apple wants to concentrate on high margins they can get from consumer hardware but I thought they were well positioned to make a push into the enterprise markets these days with iPhone and iPad. The only thing missing is a simple, solid, scalable server setup to go with them. Something with features not offered by Exchange or its competitors.

Instead they seem to be withdrawing completely from not only the enterprise markets but the now the entire pro markets. The Mac Pros are just servicing the few remaining people using things like Protools which need PCI-e slots. I understand they are restricted by what CPUs are available from Intel but they really ought to drop the ancient looking entry level model and reduce prices on the rest since we are now well past mid cycle on these units.

I read recently that the logic boards on the Mac Pros haven't really changed in the last 2 years. You can flash a 2009 board to make it into a 2010. Makes you wonder why the Xserve didn't go another iteration since they only had to drop new chips into it.
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Spheric Harlot
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Jun 13, 2011, 05:20 AM
 
Because, if they went forward, it wouldn't change the situation.

- They still wouldn't sell enough to warrant maintaining the entire product line.
- They could quit building it after one more revision, and you'd be wondering why the Xserve didn't go through another iteration since "they only had to drop new chips into it" (I'm sure it's just that simple).
- The enterprise server market runs completely, 180° opposite to how Apple works - they require long-term investment strategy, clear planning, and absolute backwards compatibility with prior investment.

Apple is actually making pretty big inroads in the corporate market, but those are largely incidental - employees and management want to use the same devices they have at home - rather than strategic.

The pro market is different - Thunderbolt will obviate the need for the internal expansion (to a large degree), but the sheer horsepower of the big iron is needed.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 13, 2011, 05:50 AM
 
It is that simple:
Hardmac.com : Le "Macbidouille" in English - Turn your 2009 Mac Pro into a 2010 Mac Pro: it works very well

Unless the newer, more power efficient chips run hotter than their predecessors.
Which would mean no R&D, no retooling of the line, and potentially higher volume of the various components reducing costs in other areas.
If horsepower is more useful than expandability then shifting to Xserves from Mac Pros would have been a way to go, not the other way around. That way all your noisy horsepower can go in a nice sound dampened rack in another room.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 13, 2011, 06:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
It is that simple:
Hardmac.com : Le "Macbidouille" in English - Turn your 2009 Mac Pro into a 2010 Mac Pro: it works very well

Unless the newer, more power efficient chips run hotter than their predecessors.
Which would mean no R&D, no retooling of the line, and potentially higher volume of the various components reducing costs in other areas.
I very much doubt that this would be the case.

For one, the reason this works with the older Mac Pros is that Apple actually builds for and supports the newer chips and firmware. They'd still have to make and test such upgrades for the Xserve.

For another, that still doesn't make the line a better seller (or less unprofitable).

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If horsepower is more useful than expandability then shifting to Xserves from Mac Pros would have been a way to go, not the other way around. That way all your noisy horsepower can go in a nice sound dampened rack in another room.
Have you ever stood next to an XServe? I wouldn't put that thing *near* a studio…
     
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Jun 13, 2011, 08:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
It is that simple:
Hardmac.com : Le "Macbidouille" in English - Turn your 2009 Mac Pro into a 2010 Mac Pro: it works very well

Unless the newer, more power efficient chips run hotter than their predecessors.
Which would mean no R&D, no retooling of the line, and potentially higher volume of the various components reducing costs in other areas.
You have to install new firmware to enable the Westmere-EP chips. If there is no R and D, where did that firmware come from? A million monkeys and a room of typewriters? Even if it does work without development, how would you know? You'd have to do lost of testing.
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.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 13, 2011, 04:01 PM
 
Well the firmware came from whatever team Apple gets to write its firmware or it came from Intel.

You might well have to test (but not make) the upgrades in the Xserves but this is not exactly much hard work in comparison to an entirely new machine with a new logic board (like you get several of in every MacBook/Air/Pro iteration). If there were a new logic board it would have to be thoroughly tested with standard equipment like the SATA/SAS backplane and the Apple RAID cards and various PCI-e devices like fibre channel and ethernet cards too.

More than likely any issues discovered operating the old hardware with only a new CPU could be ironed out with firmware tweaks if there were any in the first place. Compared to redesigning the machine, the R&D cost of dropping a new CPU in and testing a few dozen units for a fortnight is practically nothing. They wouldn't hire people in specially, these guys are already on the payroll, and most of the work described could be performed by low level engineers. Only faults would need to be escalated to the real hardware experts.

Take into account that the Xserve architecture is pretty much the same as the Mac Pro which you are already testing anyway and you can probably reduce your R&D time/bill even further.

Yes I have stood next to an Xserve. I own a couple. Thats why I said you would put them in another room in a rack.

I really do think that at the very least a Mac Pro/Xserve hybrid that could sit on a desk or go in a rack would be a no brainer.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Eden Aurora
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Jun 19, 2011, 10:39 PM
 
New MacPro's in August according to a few sources.
I welcome Thunderbolt.
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wei
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Jun 19, 2011, 10:52 PM
 
Yeah, and it's killing to wait
New Mac Pros and Mac Minis Launching in August - Mac Rumors

I hope they'll pack more than just Lion and Thunderbolt
MacPro, MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacMini, iPad, iPhone, and much more...
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 20, 2011, 04:19 AM
 
My understanding is that there is no new Xeons to use in Mac Pros yet. Do we think Apple will put Core i5s and/or i7s in them? It would seem to make sense given that the iMacs are faster than most of the current units.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 20, 2011, 06:50 AM
 
True. More specifically, there are no new two-socket Xeons (codename Sandy Bridge-EP, will be called Xeon E5, used to be called Xeon 5x00 series - yes, this is confusing) as those launch in Q4. I haven't even seen the proposed clockspeeds yet. There are engineering samples floating around, but an August launch is a little soon for one of those early releases from Intel. Call it possible but unlikely.

The single socket Xeon E3 has been released, but it's really just the same CPU as in the iMac except with ECC support. What we are waiting for is the Xeon E5, which replaces both the 3500/3600 series and the 5500/5600 series.
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.
     
Veltliner
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Jun 21, 2011, 05:05 AM
 
The rumors talk of a custom design of the CPU.

I just wonder what that would be...

By the way: curious what will make the new Mac Pro much faster than the fastest iMac.
     
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Jun 21, 2011, 05:35 AM
 
Could be special packaging, I guess. I REALLY doubt that Intel would spin special silicon for Apple unless it's something like this.
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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Jun 21, 2011, 12:34 PM
 
Didn't Intel do a special chip just for the MacBook Air?
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Jun 21, 2011, 04:52 PM
 
That was only special package of an existing die - and anyway it came out that Intel had been shopping such a chip around to OEMs, but noone but Apple was interested.
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.
     
angelmb
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Jun 28, 2011, 05:23 PM
 
Regarding the lack of Blu-ray, I just watched the Black Swan Blu-ray on my Mac Pro. Sure, this is a bit misleading as I had to rely on a dirty trick: Boot Camp › Windows › PowerDVD. Plus the required Blu-ray drive.

Not sure how HDCP requirements are dealt but those were absent. Mac Pro is the slowest model ever, albeit with an upgraded ATI Radeon HD 5770.

If you want to do this from scratch, I think it is not worth the effort. I am not discouraging anyone from doing it but I became not impressed by Blu-ray's quality and letterbox mattes were huge.

It seems to me that watching Blu-ray in your computer screen, no matter its size, makes for a poor experience cause ''the experience'' is just not there.

Anyhow, take this as what this is: questionable (at best) feedback.
     
 
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