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Apple's Redesigned Mac Pro is Unlike Any Computer You've Ever Seen

06.10.13 @ 8:02PM Tags : ,

New Mac Pro - Top - at WWDC 2013Radically different, but powerful. Even though many video professionals would probably have preferred seeing NVIDIA GPUs, the new Mac Pro is the first professional computer from Apple to support workstation-class graphics cards (dual internal AMD GPUs to be exact). Many were expecting a smaller device with limited expandability, and Apple delivered — and then some. They are definitely going to be reliant on Thunderbolt 2 (which should be twice as fast as Thunderbolt 1) for any PCI-E devices, and the only part of the system that is definitely expandable internally is RAM. If that sounds appealing, click through for an introduction to the fancy new system.

Courtesty of CNET (if you haven’t seen it yet), here’s the actual unveiling at the WWDC:


Apple is showing off a pretty nifty click-through animation detailing the benefits of the Mac Pro’s design as well as the hardware inside its tiny body (which is the first Apple computer to be assembled in the US). The biggest feature, besides the size, is the fact that they are building in two GPUs. Choosing AMD means that we lose out on some of the performance benefits of Adobe’s CUDA technology (which is NVIDIA only right now). It is possible to use OpenCL with Adobe products to achieve some speed improvements, but the fastest CUDA cards will still be faster than anything else when using specific Adobe products. Otherwise, it won’t necessarily affect your workflow all that much, as these should be very powerful:

New Apple Mac Pro - Processor - WWDC 2013

Mac Pro Clickthrough - GPU Performance

It looks like we’ll have four replaceable RAM slots:

Mac Pro Clickthrough - Memory

We’re getting six Thunderbolt 2 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI 1.4 port (which is 4K compatible), and two Ethernet ports. With that many Thunderbolt 2 ports, you’ll be able to daisy-chain a mind-numbing amount of devices (36 actually), not to mention the fact that the tech can support up to three 4K displays running simultaneously:

Mac Pro Clickthrough - Ports

So will storage be expandable? It seems like a possibility, though it’s unclear right now how that process will work, but if it is simply slotted in and not soldered in any way, it stands to reason it could be upgraded at a future date. If anyone has clarification from a good source on that, feel free to share it.

Mac Pro Clickthrough - Storage

So why the small cylinder design? It’s about minimizing the size and improving heat dissipation. Apple has achieved what is practically impossible any other way. They’ve taken the guts of a much larger computer and squished it down into this design, but have improved cooling efficiency. That’s because the entire core acts like a heatsink, cooling all of the hardware inside all at once, rather than needing individual heatsinks with fans. The new Mac Pro utilizes just one fan at the top, so the system is operating as efficiently as possible — using the case itself as a giant heatsink and pulling out the heat through the top (which makes the most sense as heat normally rises).

Mac Pro Clickthrough - Unified Thermal Core

Apple isn’t going to satisfy everyone. Not even close. There are going to be many PCI-E cards that will have to be tossed into external enclosures connected to Thunderbolt. This is going to be a deal-breaker for some. If you’ve got multiple expansion cards, plus a host of external hard drives, it’s going to get pretty ridiculous not only keeping track of where everything is plugged into, but also the extra unnecessary cost of having to purchase enclosures for each of these cards (I’m sure we will see a tower-like PCI-E external module with multiple slots for those who want something less unwieldy). For example, those working with RED in post will likely have a RED Rocket card. The new RED Rocket X card, introduced at NAB 2013, might see slower speeds with Thunderbolt than connected internally, and in the world of high-end video, even a few minutes can make a huge difference. We don’t know the benchmarks for the new machine yet, but it will be interesting to see how much of an impact Thunderbolt 2 vs. standard PCI-E would have on a system like this.

There will be a fine line between people who really need the expansion, and those who would rather have it as a convenience. More than a few have moved to iMacs for much of their work, and the newest ones are even less customizable. Will it be worth it for you to spring for this machine? I think it will definitely depend on the price, which they haven’t discussed yet. Forget this thing being anywhere below $2,000. Judging by their current lineup, and the way they’ve historically priced things, I’m sure we’re looking at $3,000 to $4,000 or more, especially as purchasing two of the FirePro AMD GPUs and a Xeon processor alone would be expensive — and that’s before Apple adds any sort of markup.

New Mac Pro - Top - at WWDC 2013

Thunderbolt 2 can do a lot, but for some it’s just going to be too cumbersome for the amount of custom cards they’ll need to put in enclosures outside of their machine. I don’t see it being used as the only machine at the highest end for that reason. They’re going to stick to custom Linux or Windows boxes, where they can build the highest-spec computer they want, and know that they can upgrade and replace parts at will, limiting downtime. The new Mac Pro will be great to augment certain setups, and its size will make it attractive for situations that are already tight on space, but if you enjoy the convenience of tossing a couple large and cheap spinning drives into your machine at will, or even upgrading major internal parts, you’re going to feel limited by this.

We already know it should be coming out by the end of the year, so the next major step will be finding how much it will set us back should we choose to head down this brave and uncharted path.

What do you think? Does this fit into your current workflow? If you’re already running an iMac or Mac Mini in your setup, does this one interest you?

Link: Mac Pro System Walkthrough — Apple

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 163 COMMENTS

  • One thing is for certain: it’s shiny.

  • Its nice, you could use it as a computer and a bin once it gets outdated.

  • Seems that AMD over Nvidia won’t be too much of a problem BTW: http://www.philiphodgetts.com/?p=14159

    • Yeah, the OpenCL support is definitely getting better, but at the moment CUDA is still faster with Adobe – which, again – may or may not be an issue.

      • Yeah, after you factor in the crazy speed of the built in flash storage, Thunderbolt 2.0, 7 Teraflops of GPU computing power, the quad channel 1866MHz RAM with 60GB/second memory bandwidth, 40GB/second PCIe bandwidth…I think the AMD vs. nVidia debate becomes a moot point.

    • Very interesting link, thanks for sharing!

  • I know the old Mac Pro wasn’t support customizable or upgradable but the odd shape that anything you want to put inside the new model will need to be a proprietary Apple part. No third Party support.

    • Will it though?

      I mean, it seems that everything is just arranged in a cylinder shape so that everything is close to the fan/”thermal core” construction… but those components are probably that way in a standardized fashion. The outer layer comes off, too – so it seems pretty reasonable to expect that you can exchange parts.

  • Well Koo, good luck updating the hackintosh guide for this thing :D

    “First, you’ll want to go to Target and get yourself a nice black trash can. Then…”

  • I’ve got a macbook. Go it about 3 years ago. I use it as an alarm clock now that I have a windows desktop.

    • If you’re using windoze, you probably need an alarm clock.

    • lol Yeah I use to own a mac, until I found out that it was outdated technology by the time it hits the sales shelf.
      Could you imagine waiting these last 2 years for something like this? when we have been editing 4k footage with our PCs with no problem.

  • Oh yay, a black vaccuum cleaner, I bet is sux real good, like everything else apple makes.

  • This would work for me. I’m using more ‘entry level’ broadcast formats and when I had to buy some new bits last year I went with external I/O and raid thinking that, worse case, I could edit on a thunderbolt imac or macbook pro, but also presuming this was where Apple was heading. I could see where it wouldn’t appeal to others though.
    The price and Adobe uptake on openCL will be my concerns when I replace my old MacPro later this year as I’m thinking an Adobe switch is on the cards.

  • I’m pretty ignorant about these matters, but is there any chance that two (or more) thunderbolt cables out of the same peripheral device (say, a Red Rocket X or other high-end video card) might bring more throughput, putting Thunderbolt on more level ground with an internal PCE-I connection? With TB2 ports to spare, that would be nice…

    • Thyl Engelhardt on 06.11.13 @ 1:59AM

      Given the fact that PCIe is modular and TB is a variant of PCIe, I would say yes, it should be possible to combine two or more TB channels for higher throughput. It is a software matter.

  • Matt Groves on 06.10.13 @ 8:53PM

    As much as it seems like an inovation, they only seemed to niche a niche market. We are looking to expand our 4K workflow, and we don’t really need the extra expense when it comes to housing our RED cards, and rehousing our RAIDs. It will be an ugly mess of cables that used to be hidden inside the machine. It is almost like one step forward two steps back…Cables alone are $50!!

  • Anthony Marino on 06.10.13 @ 9:26PM

    Thank God. Now I can say my next unit might be a Mac. I just better make some serious cash with my PC. Ha. Good news today…I think. At least the’re addressing 4k acquisition…expensive yes, but it looks like it’s gonna work just fine. Anxious to see what becomes of FCP now with all this power.

  • It´s somehow strange to me – it feels as if we´re getting more and more “locked up” in “solutions”, which are not made with the professional user in mind, but rather with his/her wallet. As a professional you need a proper, expandable Workstation, which supports certain standards. This new MacPro is not doing that. I mean, if I look also at that what Adobe´s doing with their “cloud”-service (you can´t own the software-version higher than CS7 anymore, you can use it only, if you´re paying a monthly fee). It´s strange – here we have companies, which are affecting our job-practice massively and we can´t do much about it (and that´s our toolsets!). At least you can buy a PC instead of a Mac, but in general I don´t like the direction in which we´re going (Companies seem to not listen to their users needs or they don´t care much about it – they worry more about making as much as possible money, than to satisfy their customers)… It would be really nice, if we could implement some laws (e.g. against monopoly -> Adobe or to keep some industry-standard -> Apple with Cuda-Cards) and/or develop our own tools (e.g. Fairphone / Open-Source).

    • If someone gets it so wrong that they leave a group of people out, there will surely be someone else coming along behind to pick up the stragglers.. as was the case with FCPX v.s Adobe.
      worst case scenario someone could ‘kick-start’ an alternative solution.

    • Companies are only going to listen to customers to a point. Can you listen to every suggestion your client makes and still deliver high quality? It’s not always the case. On the other hand they will always look for ways to make more money.

  • The new Mac Pro looks like it’s going to be AMAZING!!! Why is the article and all the comments below full of nothing but complaints about how it’s not perfect. What is happening to us that a company can put out such a powerful machine in such an elegant design and all we do is moan about how it could be better. We are lucky to live in a time where such innovations are being made. Some of you are really not seeing the forest through the trees. It’s a little tiny box that will can handle images that are basically the equivalent of 35mm Motion Picture film. Any since filmmaker since the dawn of cinema would drool at the prospect of having access to something like this. Seriously folks, we’re getting spoiled.

    • Vincent Bruce on 06.10.13 @ 11:34PM

      and the elegant design will surely lend itself to catching the drool…….

    • I don’t know, people love to hate or make claims without understanding anything about the company. While I’m sure revenue plays a role in this, one of the main reasons there is no internal expandability is because if apple can completely control the hardware software relationship, the experience/performance of the computer will really benefit. Apple designed FCPX to specifically run on OSX which was designed to specifically run on their hardware. If you go in there and fuck around with those components, it’s not going to make things more stable, pro users want reliable performance, not something hacked together, that’s what prosumers do. Real pro users don’t want to mess around with the hardware, they just want a computer that works consistently and fast. Pro users aren’t concerned about the price, it’s in their budget to buy these computers.

      This computer will blow users away when they run the updated version of FCPX on a maxed out pro with 12GB of VRAM. people only complain because they know they won’t be able to justify purchasing it, so instead of feeling bad about it they talk shit. Just like kids.

      • “Real pro users don’t want to mess around with the hardware, they just want a computer that works consistently and fast. Pro users aren’t concerned about the price, it’s in their budget to buy these computers.” – This is just ridiculous. I don’t know what world you come from but every “pro” (since you seem to love that title) I know, with myself included: a) Cares about hardware because it leads to better, faster delivery and b) has a budget with limitations. Seriously, drop the elitist attitude. People have budgetary and hardware needs – “pros” included. Not all of us want to blindly trust that Apple will support this machine and not just ignore it for multiple years like the last Mac Pro, and not all of us really think that this… thing is worth the surely incredible price tag that will be placed on it.

        • It seems to me that this appeals to certain “pro” segments, myself potentially being one of them. Right now its pointless as everything is speculation. We don’t know what it will cost, we don’t know what the expansion bays will cost. Will it be expensive, yes, but I charge for my services and have built in things like amortization, maintenance and upgrades into my rates, because that is what “Pros” actually do when we run business.

          I will study this box and do a cost benefit analysis and a pros and cons when all of that information becomes available. If it makes sense financially then it will be sitting on my desktop and in my DMT stations. If it doesn’t then I switch.

          One thing is for sure though, Apple has made a statement that they haven’t abandoned the ‘Pro’ market as they see it and have invested heavily in tooling up manufacturing. Will this be the right machine for all pros? No, but for those who can work with this, I think it bodes well.

    • I think the story with this computer will be a little like FCPX. Bash it. Actually try it. Realize it’s a daring and improved piece of software. (I confess I was one of those who dismissed FCPX … until I tried it.)

  • It looks like your autocorrect changed FirePro to FireProof, which is kinda funny.

  • Vincent Bruce on 06.10.13 @ 10:56PM

    Well they certainly have the hype down pat, don’t they? Way overpriced, I built a PC just as fast, including a 3GB CUDA card for half the bucks. And probably last longer too. Good thing they have their koolaid drinking followers, eh?

  • NO FLOPPY DRIVE?! Apple will never get any of my money NEVER EVER!!!!!

  • Not that switching to a Mac ever crossed my mind, but hey, ATI? Seriously? It seems that they’ll like to stay behind in the 3d area, as usual after all.

  • I work on the road shooting for television and there are a ton of people in the industry that work like this. We all need to download media, do quick edits, and make stringouts in the field. This is the first solution I have seen that I can fit in my carry-on with the kind of power needed to support high fps and high res footage in the field. I am super excited and would expect the price point to start around mid 3k. Red is great for film and big narrative TV, but the majority of broadcast still using ex3s, c300s, fs700s, and 2/3rd inch cameras, and with this box (pilon) plus an external hd and monitor will be the most powerful and portable solution out there.

  • Harry Pray IV on 06.10.13 @ 11:55PM

    CUDA is to OpenCL as Flash is to HTML5

    So, I’m glad they picked AMD. Rip that CUDA band-aid right off…. pull that tick out before it burrows.

    I would like to see a Thunderbolt 2 reach PCI3.0′s 32TB/s speeds for me to give those ports up, though.

    Let’s try and force the industry into OpenCL/OpenEXR/CinemaDNG/etc. because life’s so much less buggy when there’s less proprietary technology (RedRocket/CUDA) that companies can keep a mystery.

    Nuke, Houdini, Blender, and HOPEFULLY Resolve 10 will be fully OpenCL soon enough. Good time to buy stock in AMD?

    • Despite I like to push OS as much as I can, I don’t think you can compare Cuda vs OpenCl in terms of performance yet.

    • You do know that OpenCL is proprietary, right? Apple owns it. They currently do not charge a licensing fee for it’s usage, but that doesn’t mean they won’t, or that it is in any way open source. I think it’s a good framework, and I trust that it will remain without licensing fees, but it is not open source.

      • Thyl Engelhardt on 06.11.13 @ 2:04AM

        Iirc, this is not correct. From Wikipedia:
        “OpenCL is an open standard maintained by the non-profit technology consortium Khronos Group. It has been adopted by Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Nvidia, Altera, Samsung, Vivante and ARM Holdings.”

      • The first sentence under history on wikipedia:
        “OpenCL was initially developed by Apple Inc., which holds trademark rights, and refined into an initial proposal in collaboration with technical teams at AMD, IBM, Intel, and Nvidia.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL

        Which is why NVIDIA has to include this disclaimer:
        “OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc., used under license by Khronos.”
        https://developer.nvidia.com/opencl

        It is owned by Apple. Good thing? Bad thing? It’s hard to say. In general I trust the way they’ve gone about developing the framework and think it’s inclusive, but that doesn’t mean it’s open source.

        • Thyl Engelhardt on 06.11.13 @ 4:21AM

          There is a difference between a technology and a trade mark. Have a look at the trademark legislation for your country.

        • Sounds like the name is trademarked and being used “under license”. The tech itself is open as far as I’m aware.

        • It’s not just trademark – there is a licensing agreement involved to use their framework. I don’t know the specifics of that licensing framework (those are generally confidential agreements), but I know it exists.

          They present all of their frameworks available royalty free, but if you want to implement an API or claim that your product works with OpenCL you pay a fee to have them test it:
          “Khronos does not charge royalties to or require licensing by developers using any of its APIs in their own software products. However, implementers of Khronos APIs are strongly encouraged to become Khronos Adopters so that their API implementations may access Khronos’ API conformance tests, use Khronos’ trademarks, and be covered by the Khronos IP umbrella agreement. ”
          http://www.khronos.org/developers

          More here:
          http://www.khronos.org/conformance/

          I don’t think that’s unreasonable or sneaky legaleze or anything sinister (although what the “Khronos IP umbrella agreement” is is unclear). There’s a good quality control argument to be made for their approach, theoretically guaranteeing that this framework will be implemented to spec and hack-free. But it is a licensed product, and licenses can be revoked or even not granted, which is fundamentally different from open-source or most GNU software.

          It’s worth noting that Flash has an even less restrictive usage agreement, which a lot of Apple people got into a lather over.

      • Thanks Colin,

        I didn’t know that.

      • Harry Pray IV on 06.11.13 @ 8:35PM

        It may have been created by Apple but it’s OPEN SOURCE.

  • Another niche within a niche. Why does anyone think this will have the bandwidth of a modern day pc? Thunderbolt 2 can get to a Theoretical Max equivalent of a x4 PCIe 2.0 bus; reality check please – modern pcs have Dual Channel x16 PCIe 3.0. You don’t have to understand the specs or know the relative bandwidths to realize these Macs are underpowered. Thunderbolt 2 – really should be called version 1.1 – enables two 20Gbps bi-direction channels instead of two sets of 10Gbps channels. There’s no overall increase in bandwidth. Why invest in something that from the jump is closed and is not expandable, and not to mention is never going to be as powerful as a modern day pc. As an interface for a RAID I would definitely chose it but, an entire system built around it? No. Also remember that USB 3.0 was revised upwards and Intel has a new revision out for motherboards which include Dual Channel x16 PCIe 3.0, Tbolt 2, and USB 3.0 revised – think on it and consider why would you waste money on something that gives you just part of that. 4K Graphics x 2, Red Rocket Card, RAID that gets 1500MBs – all in one PC with no compromises. Comparison, running only Tbolt 2 a system that drives 2 4K Graphics Displays and a RAID only gets max 1100MBs if you use SSDs. Read the literature, Intel has documented the performance of Tbolt 2 very well.

    • Seriously most needs for PCIe is to use propriety cards. No reason to have a Red Rocket Card in 2013. It should be debayered in GPU like everything else. Red is forcing their users into what they want.

  • So Apple had a capable workhorse that was ignored for multiple years, then suddenly replaced with a completely different option with a new way of thinking about the product itself. The aluminum skin has been replaced with a black, shiny one. Many users just wanted an upgraded and more powerful version of the old one, but instead Apple decided that we needed something completely different.

    Sound familiar to anyone? I’m all but done with this company. It’s insulting how they try to dictate to professionals what they do and don’t need, and how they expect everyone to be thrilled about how they have “rethought” our livelihoods.

    • I agree with you. This new computer is a neat idea and would have been an interesting offering in their line up but it is not a replacement to the Mac Pro. Just Like FCPX is an interesting new spin on editing and under a different name would have been a great offering in their software line-up. I also feel it is insulting to have this offered up as if its a revolution for high end users. when it doesn’t come close to competing with the offerings on the high end PC side. Which to me this product totally undervalues what OSX is capable of.

      This Computer turns your desk in to a logistical nightmare. because you have to have a billian cables all over your desk connecting all the cards and tools that used to just go in your tower. Plus you have to power all these now peripherals and if something isn’t working there is now a million and one new points of failure to trouble shoot.

      Meh.

      • Have you been to a post house?? Worried about a few cables on your desk is nothing.

        You must be new to this game, because there has always been peripherals attached, and people figured out how to turn them on and off without having to think too hard.

    • Actually many companies dictate what professionals need or don’t need. That’s part of being innovative and competitive in a free market. It doesn’t mean they are always going to work out, but that’s how you figure out what works and doesn’t.

      You should reevaluate the structure of your livelihood if it’s dependent on a piece of hardware.

  • guys… guys….

    it lights up.

    • @Alex: Great comment!

      Apple has always been about compromise, convenience, and leading edge design. For some, this will be a wonderful powerhouse that “gets the job done.” For others, the lack of internal expandability will be enough to stick with a PC. I personally think it’s great to have this as an option even if it does not appeal to everyone.

  • Initially I was not very keen on this, but looking into it, its not THAT BAD.
    Its still not perfect for Pros, just like FCPX is not perfect for Pros, but its pretty close.
    Very disappointing it is not based on open technologies that one could upgrade with third party parts. This is a completely proprietary box, and Apple will make you PAY to touch it..

    But it all comes down to price.. And what they do with it..

    Still, gives windows an opening, and Linux some room to grow.

    But it seems powerful enough to deal with most of the pros needs but the 1/10 of one percent needing the real grunt. (Ie those working on true mega film workflows.. like used on 100milion budgets films, 4K deep composting blar blar.)

    But I cannot see this being very cheap at all.. not with the Solid state storage config. And you pretty much will always need a external storage. Should have made room for at least 1x 3.5, 3TB HD.

    Or for F-sake, Apple….White box OSX ..
    It there was ever a time to destroy M$ its not with the Windows 8 disaster.

    • Apple will probably license OS X while the current team is in charge. They aren’t interested in that game after they almost went away.

    • Thyl Engelhardt on 06.11.13 @ 6:30AM

      While I believe that you are right, there is not yet enough information to know for sure, regarding upgradeability. The CPU will be socketed, so that should be replaceable. The graphics boards are somehow attached to the back plane (or buttom plane?). How remains to be seen. At least, there _is_ a Mobile PCIe standard. I am however very sceptical.

    • Thyl Engelhardt on 06.11.13 @ 6:52AM

      Don’t know either. I assume that there will be different versions, one with only a single TahitaXT GPU, and one with two. the comparable Radeon 7990 with two Tahita XT is about USD1000, but the 7970 is only about 500.

      The mainboard might be around 150, CPU depends on the power again. A Sandy Bridge EP Xeon with 6 cores at 3.2 GHz will be about USD550. An 8 core at 2.9 GHz (for two socket systems) however is close to 2000.

      The SSD is not the fastest on the market. There are PCIe based SSD with more than 2 GB/sec transfer speeds. One the free market, a 500 GB SSD for PCIe with the stated speed might cost around 700.

  • Gigabit internet ready. :-)

    Tired of your ‘fast’ Comcast internet? Didn’t know that there’s at least 10 other countries that have internet faster than the US? Didn’t know that Tokyo and environs can get 2 gigabit internet download/1 gigabit upload? America is behind the times in internet speed. Hopefully soon you won’t have to move to Kansas City, Omaha, Houston, or Vermont to get internet as fast as Latvia and Romania

    • It is hilarious how expensive and slow the internet is here in the US. Phones in japan have faster speeds.

      • In Tokyo they pay $50.00 a month for that 2 gigabit internet. There’s a $500.00 installation fee because they have to run fiber optic lines for it. But So-Net waives the fee if you order online. Google promotes Google Fiber like they’re bringing an awesome, unheard of thing to the world with their 1 gigabit speed. Google is calling the Google Fiber sales reps “ambassadors”. I agree, it is funny how far behind America is with internet speed. Not even the Silicon Valley has 2 gigabit internet. I’d move there for it if they did—even though I don’t like how congested that area feels. (I can’t believe how many great looking girls are in that area.)

        (BTW, I should have said Austin and not Houston in my previous comment)

  • Another thread in one day on this thing that still has no release date and no pricing? Are we SURE its not a camera?
    Its the first Apple product in some time that hasn’t excited me one iota. Not even a twinge. We debated it today, and attempted to guess a price. We agreed that it would have to be under $2500 to be of real interest.
    Its not going to be under $2500. It is the FCPX of desktops, which means in 3 years we may well have found a use for it, or a different, improved, superseded version of it.

    The next iMac iteration will also probably support 4K displays via T2. The next MBPs too. If you need more displays on those you can use one of the many peripheral boxes that will now be available to run more GPUs.
    You need pure render grunt just buy a few extra Mac Minis.

    Nope, baffled.

  • anyone priced out a similar Windows based work station?

  • I think for the home-based/casual editor this might be a nice little package. But if anyone does any real workstation work he/she is going to need a lot of extra options and it seems like this “simple” tube won’t look as simple when it has drives, monitors, and all other forms of cables branching off of it.

    I would prefer to use a bigger case with parts that are easily replaced in case of failure. I’ve never been able to go a full year with a computer without something going bad and needing to be replaced – it’s just the way computers are.

  • So CUDA support for Adobe products won’t function, huh? Gee, what a coincidence. That just happens to affect everyone who dumped Final Cut X in favor of Premiere… Who’d a thunk it?

  • Thyl Engelhardt on 06.11.13 @ 4:35AM

    Some quick notes: 12 core Haswells have not been announced yet. Nor have Haswell Xeons for 2-socket systems with 6 cores. I wonder when this variant will actually be available. Incidently, what speed increase can we expect here over the present MacPro 12 cores? Like 50% overall? Apparently, the thing has two Tahiti XT GPUs. Will this deliver any more performance than a Radeon 7990 that is available today? (though maybe not for the Mac Pro). The super fast SSD is a good thing.

    What we might see here is the end of the vast performance improvements we have enjoyed for the last two decades. I read somewhere that also the GPU performance did not improve as much recently as it used to. It may well be a statement on Apple’s side declaring “well folks, we don’t expect much faster components in the next couple of years anyway, so we decided to put in the best that is presently there, and ommit upgradeability, since there will be nothing to upgrade to anyway.” I hope I am wrong.

    • Guido Gautsch on 06.15.13 @ 1:06PM

      Actually, I think you’re on the money here, Thyl.
      According to the keynote/hyperbole, everything is ~2x in terms of speed (except FW-Tb).

      Things are slowing down performance wise. Mobile Haswell brings only 5-10% more speed (yes, it’s tock, but still..). Resolve and FCPX are getting super optimised for OpenCL and even Adobe is joining in with CC.

      The FirePros perform really well in benchmarks too. For the time being, this thing will be a very powerful option and should last 4-5 years, especially once TB2 hits the market.

  • I’m sorry guys. It’s not a mac. Try again :(

  • Dan Herrick on 06.11.13 @ 6:17AM

    Don’t we all just need a fast internet connection to load all of our files to the Adobe Creative Cloud? Then we will all will be able to edit on our 1980′s IBM laptops we found in the garage! Just saved you all $4000! Just sayin…..

  • They still using AMD but no nvidia card :-( I am not sure if this is will work well for 4K video using adobe premier or aftereffects…

    • Switch from Adobe ASAP! The company just ruins everything they touch.
      It was so since they bought After Effects from Cosa (inventor) and happens so for two decades!
      Try Nuke & FCP or just anything other than Adobe!

    • It’s almost a guarantee that Adobe will release a version of CC (whether via Open CL, or whatever) that will allow the MP to run at full speed with the apps. There’s no way they will stick with that proprietary CUDA nonsense at the cost of more end users.

  • The size is amazingly small. Can be placed in some of the small lens bags and tied to your belt like a waist pouch. And editing 4K natively is simply amazing. Hello to the world of mobile fully loaded 4K workstation.

    • iamjohnsname on 06.11.13 @ 7:44AM

      Mobile 4K? With what? All your drives hanging off of it? This size and shape is a bit of a gimmick. 2.5″ drives are small enough that they should/could have found a way to integrate at least a couple of slots for internal storage.

  • The new mac-tampon-pro! It is tiny but less absorbent. DId he say firewire 2? Whoops!

    • Remember when the iPad was announced and some people laughed and said that no one would buy something that sounded like a feminine hygiene product?

      Trolls are great at predicting the next flop!

      • it will sells millions just because it’s an apple product. That’s it.

      • I’m a troll because I made a joke? And where in my post did I say it wouldn’t sell? Calm down man, or is it just that time of the month? Hahaha – zing, pow! Ok, now I’m trolling, sorry.

  • For a price guess on their top of the line:
    GPU: 1k x 2
    CPU: 1k x 2
    Ssd: 1k
    Ram: 120 x 4

    Almost $6,000 just in hardware.not counting the mother board, tower, cooling, or apples ridicules assembly/mark up fee. I’d say at least $7,000 when apple is done ringing up the price.

    For cutting corners on CPU, ssd and ram could reduce the cost of the hard ware by 2k maybe 3k but at that point, its not very useful to us, since it is so un customizable.

    • Add to that the “assembled in the USA” cost…

    • Add to that the “assembled in the USA” cost… 1k?

      • but maybe for endcostumers that’s the price but if you buy a huge lot then it costs less…and for Apple I’m sure it will cost very cheap….I think this machine will cost 2200$. Less than the actual mac pro and more than the iMac.

      • They’ll likely eat it to keep prices on par with the most recent series of Mac workstations. The whole “made in the USA” thing is both a PR move and a way to appease regulators. These are the items they sell the least of, and are likely producing them out of loyalty to the customer segment who helped them build such a huge company while retaining relevance in the professional market segment that helped give them the cachet that makes others so desirous of the rest of the product line that is profitable.

  • Christopher on 06.11.13 @ 8:59AM

    Why don’t the trolls on here clue us in on how exactly they make a living as a “Pro”. Name some projects and workflows. This bashing of an extraordinary piece of equipment is unbelievable even for the most whiney little trolls. I’ve edited on everything from CMX, Symphony, DS, Fire, Premiere and FCP (7 & X) on National accounts. Just cut a doc and a feature on site with a MBP and Promise Thunderbolt Raid. No issues. Worked like butter. If you can’t make today’s technology work for you, you are not a “Pro”. The forthcoming Mac Pro should be welcomed with excitement, not hater BS. This “forum” has become some sort of bitchy TMZ.com goo spewing wasteland.

    • People just like to complain, man. Don’t let them get under your skin.

    • why if people complain are trolls??? I still don’t get it. People has the right to say how much they love it or how much they hate it. That’s it. Get over it and be a man!!! Working or not on Apple computers doesn’t define you as a pro or an amateur. And the most people I know who own an Apple computer are everything but a pro. And I also kwno lots of pros working on windows platform.

      • Space Captain on 06.11.13 @ 12:48PM

        If the criticisms are based on reason or some knowledge of product development I would agree, instead we have mindless wanking. Nothing worse than people talking about things they know nothing about. I know many here are not “pros” but they should learn that it’s better to keep your mouth shut and learn before putting your foot in your mouth.

      • Christian Anderson on 06.11.13 @ 4:02PM

        Bitching on an Internet forum is your definition of “being a man”? Thanks for the laughs.

    • I don’t think the people who are saying negative things about the new Mac Pro are trolls. It is definitely not a tool for everyone, if for no other reason than for its upgradability, choice of video cards and external chassis PCI needs. It will also obviously not work too well for people who were putting their old Mac Pro’s in racks with other equipment. I think the new Mac Pro will be very successful, but not in all cases. I can imagine that it will work very well for freelancers that have only one computer and one desk and that upgrade once every two years. A small and hugely powerful machine that’s looks cool sitting beside their desk – awesome. But I can’t imagine big post-production houses building all of their architecture and workflows around something like this, for previously stated reasons. DIT’s and people that travel with gear will also not like having to carry around and re-install so much external stuff every time that they move around. The form factor makes it also really hard to build into a case, especially since the airflow seems to move through the top. Yes it is small and light. But for many, one big heavy case is better that 4 small ones with cables. I have opened a small post-production studio recently and am looking to expand and grow. I would love to buy one of these things if it were just for me, but building an entire company (and buying all the software licenses!!) around hardware made by one company that has been recently so unpredictable with the pro user base (whether you like what they’re doing or not), scares me. How do I know what they are going to come out with (or not come out with) next year or in 5 years. This Mac Pro and the most recent Final Cut shows us that Apple likes to innovate. But it also shows that they like to change how we do things. Whether you like it or not (and I’m not saying it’s good or bad), as a business owner trying to build up something great (and stable), this is scary. I could invest in tens of thousands of dollars/euros of software today and then find myself forced to rethink everything a few years from now. This could be devastating to me and others in my situation. Let’s get one thing clear. I love the mac platform. I’ve got many macs, and a few hackintoshes. The idea of going over to Windows really is not appealing to me. But this is the way that I will be going – at least for the workstations. And I think big companies will be doing similar things. Freelancers will be maybe taking less risks, especially if their software licensing needs are more modest. My humble prediction is that we will see this split in the very near future. Other people that are disappointed by the recent news may not state it eloquently, but their frustration is probably real. I wouldn’t call it “trolling” and you have stated. I think people just write small quick gut reactions (often with some sarcasm) to the things that they see that are important to them. You must admit that something like a black-mirrored, cylindrical, hard to upgrade computer, although innovative and great for many is definitely not for everyone and could cause some head scratching.

      • spot on, steve. this little fire hydrant is going to be $7k if it’s a dime.

      • If you have your own post studio, and you want to grow bigger, then you need to diversify. That’s the current reality. Not everything runs on one platform, and you can’t do it all with one software brand.

        Big post houses use everything. Its about speed and interactivity with clients. Besides with workflows the way they are right now, disruption is part of the game. So rethinking how and what you do is going to be your constant.

        The new Mac Pro is smaller than the old one, so if a DIT is actually carrying around the old one, then this will definitely take up less space. I don’t get what the big deal is about attaching external hardware. DIT setups are either laptop based in a case or tower based in a cart. I don’t think it’s going to be that much of a concern.

        There will be companies that will come up with racking and expansion solutions. I can think of one idea of a cage style setup, so there will be no air restrictions.

      • Christian Anderson on 06.11.13 @ 4:09PM

        I think Apple sees the future (and present, for all intents and purposes) – a time when you don’t need “big post-production houses” to create stunning visual productions. There’s no need to throw this thing in a rack…because you don’t need a rack any longer.

        One last thing: “Pro” isn’t defined by the gear you own. That’s foolish thinking.

    • It’s easy to understand the complaining. This is a time of real and heavy disruption.

      This disruption has been great for lower costs and powerful tools, but it’s also unsettling for those who are finding it’s too unpredictable and making their investments obsolete faster.

      Nothing that was shown yesterday should have come as a surprise.

      The pros who will rush out to get the new Mac Pro already are aligned to that sort of workflow. They are working on iMacs, MBPs or Minis, with TB storage. Look at how Apple designed those computers. They are all small and compact. The iMac has become powerful enough where pros have been using them.

      Other developers know Apple is designing streamlined hardware. Autodesk redesigned Smoke for Mac to run well on a current iMac. This used to be a very expensive hardware/software solution, that they redesigned for a desktop.

      Looking at Apple’s Mac Pro website, it looks logical. Flash storage that takes up less space. Redesigned GPU that is smaller.

      I’m always wondered why we’re still mounting cards like we’ve done since the 80s.

      The pros with the legacy hardware and workflows should have seen this coming. Apple may seem unpredictable, but they do have patterns in how they do things.

      • Ultimately, it comes down to one thing: fear of change.

        What I see here is a device with the equivalent processing power an entire warehouse of mainframes just 20 years ago…and it fits in a small backpack. And built with a bit of style, to boot. Kudos to Apple for not just building another big box – I’m perfectly fine with my Dobro setup anyway.

      • john jeffries on 06.11.13 @ 6:33PM

        Pretty much. Honestly, when they showed a photo of a guy using FCP X on 3 thunderbolt screens, with the mac pro hooked up to it at WWDC, I realized that Apple is trying to reinvent post and push it forward and it seriously looks like something out of a “How movies will be edited in the year 2020″ article from the 1940′s. Haters gonna hate. The conservatives/dinosaurs that call themselves “pros” will always bitch and moan- but they dont understand that “pro” is not what you have, but your TALENT and your CRAFT- and apple is trying to make it so everybody can discover their own

  • The top of the thermal chimney can act as a fine coffee mug holder and warmer as well!

  • Yea all this for the low, low, apple price of 5 million dollars.

  • Hackintosh or just plain Wintel box – here I come.

  • I’m not a Mac fanboy by any means, and I almost certainly will never use one of these. But this is honestly an engineering masterpiece.

  • I say bring it on. Computer case manufacturers will be forced to design way cooler products now. Easily the coolest looking computer I have ever seen outside of the new HP towers. Not expandable? Pffttt. With x6 TB2 ports it is infinitely more expandable than any desktop on the market. Things just fit outside the case instead of inside, but you can now power an unheard of amount of peripherals! Is it really that hard to see the benefits? Dual 6GB graphics cards…. standard! That’s pretty nuts for Apple. Historically they have been pretty half assed with graphics power compared to PC.

    Price has to start around $2499. Always has. Made in the USA/small form factor should save on shipping and it’s great for the country (go USA!).

    I don’t need a new desktop but when I do, I will definitely consider one of these.

    Sidenote:
    Been building hackintoshes for 2-3 years, and will continue to do so. I am also a former Apple employee :)

  • This is perfect, I have never wanted or needed tons of internal storage. There is no point when you have the availability of keeping your projects or archives on external raids you can store or transport to a location. Really if this is the only hangup people have, maybe they should reconsider what makes a great workstation. It’s the person. Regardless of any features or ‘lack’ there of, your videos can still look like crap and your work follow can still be inefficient. In my opinion this is a great change and I welcome it! #Clamdown

  • I think the mug holder on the top is actually a black hole that sucks in over-stuffed wallets.

  • It looks like a great machine but how are we suposed to rack-mount those things?

  • Even if I had a standard tower, such as the last Mac Pro, I would still end up using external Thunderbolt storage. So the built in flash storage is better for me, and if they can keep the price just shortly above the high end 27in iMac (which is possible due to the higher specs but no built in 2560×1440 display), I will buy one of these babies with a big smile on my face.

  • I tried to price a similarly featured Dell just now, with the drives included internally … kind of fumbling with the keys in the dark while inebriated here but it came out to ~ $7.5K or so … I got a bunch of errors along the way, as in “this won’t work with that” but tried to keep with the Dual 6-core Xeon and 2 (nVidia) video cards meme … of course, Dell’s workstation was just a box, not a cigar shaped manhood replacement …

    ps. fact checking is welcome, especially by those who know the specs and can infer the required package …eh, hardware bundle …

  • Not a Mac fan, but the specs are great and so is the design. If the price matched the hardware costs, I would consider buying it in the future.

  • This thing reminds me of HAL! Just short a glowing red eye..

    It’s a beautiful thing and would make a nice replacement for my 2008 Mac Pro.. Though it would deffo grind a little to have to stump up the cash for this and external storage and pcie chassis.. Nice work apple genius dudes.

  • Here is a sober view of the the new hardware from a VFX standpoint. http://www.fxguide.com/quicktakes/the-new-mac-pro-the-cube-comes-of-age/

  • Casey Orion on 06.11.13 @ 6:35PM

    It’s quite possible this Mac will go the way of the C300 rather than the red epic. It is not the modular beast for the ultra high end and people will complain about the price like they did when canon made its announcement. But to put it in camera terms there was a point where people stood back and said about the c300 ‘hey, I don’t need a separate monitor, I don’t need an external recorder, this thing covers its bases and is built to go out of the box.’ I have a feeling this computer is focused on that sort of market.

  • Just think. One day this computer will be too slow and outdated for your needs.

  • Here we are, the Apple faithful, once again just feeling a bit let down by Apple.
    Really this is one cool machine and if they could have just made it 12 inches high not 10, made it 1/5th the volume of the that cool old tower and given us even some internal super high speed drive connections we’d all be raving. Better still, gone with all the grunt, and given us loads of expansion possibilities at one half the current form factor size. We’d be forgiving them the long long wait. Do you think they ever listen?

    Any way I still want one. Want One. WANT ONE. Go on, you know you do too.
    And will probably get one too because, as Marc B points out, this will be a loss leader for apple and probably come in about the same or less than the current offering.
    Question is; who will make the shiny black TB2 drive enclosure? Apple or Belkin?

    • Thyl Engelhardt on 06.13.13 @ 9:30AM

      Heard one rumor that Apple has not shown us everything. For example, a possibility to install 2.5 inch hard disks. I’ assume that this would be ion front of the other graphics card, i.e. the one without the SSD mounted.

      And there are more mysteries. For example, where is the power supply? 1000 Watts? And what are these clamps for that are visibly attached to the boards’ backsides, opposed to the CPU und GPU chips? Coolers? Or modules for changing CPU and/or GPU? I mean, eight Torx screws for the CPU clamp? What is this?

  • Hank Carter on 06.12.13 @ 4:24AM

    Anyone want to bet that one of the first accessories to market will be a TB2 RAID array in the shape of a base that seamlessly sits under the machine and maybe even bolts in to the base?

    I have mixed feelings about the form factor. External drives are a big PIA for anyone who has to operate a workstation on the go. One advantage of the old style case was that you just loaded it up with however many drives you needed and it was all self contained in a nice, clean package. Rack mounting was a not a big deal either. How to you mount a giant coffee can in to a rack, without wasting a ton of space? We went through this with the old Octane and O2 boxes.

    It’s a nice machine. Very innovative in many ways, but sometimes you simply need something more utilitarian or industrial. Personally I was kind of hoping for a revival of the NeXT cube. It would have been cool if you could have stacked them and they connected to form a single machine. Talk about innovation.

  • Einar Johnson on 06.12.13 @ 5:19AM

    It may seem superficial, but I was surprised that this new Mac Pro doesn’t seem to have an Apple logo on it. It might not be the finished product, but it has to be close for them to show it, so why is there no branding on it? To my memory this is the first product they have made that doesn’t have their logo on it. Would be interesting if the Apple logo lit up somehow when it was powered on.

    The Cube was an amazing piece of engineering, but having to turn it on it’s side to connect devices was a pain. Looking at the layout of the connections on this one, I wish they would move the power button to the top by the audio ports, and maybe add a second HDMI port where the power button is. I think it would make it much easier to power it on without having to reach under the Thunderbolt and Ethernet cables that are likely going to be attached to these machines.

    • Guido Gautsch on 06.15.13 @ 1:46PM

      It’s there. Watch the keynote, it’s shown when they rotate the case, above the inputs

  • I love this thing… the fact that its a computer wrapped around a wind tunnel heat sink is brillant, instead of wrapping a computer up in fans and other coolers..

    The most important components as far as speed goes are internal and sharing info over faster connections, and anything external will be optional and tailored to the needs at the time.. we might see an increase in rental thunderbolt external capture cards.. e.c.t.

    someone is going to get smart, see the need and build a PCIe thunderbolt box that lets you connect anything you want.. Or some hackers could be nice and show us how to build our own out of an oldschool CPU case that can be stashed under a desk with all the ‘ugly stuff’.

    I think the positive is that this will push 3rd party manufacturers to think “outside the box” and build some more adaptable external devices. 20GB/s should be more than enough for now.

    That’s my $0.02

  • SGI all over again.

  • I can understand that they use thunderbolt for their display and connection between external hardrives.

    But for the PCIe, why didn’t they use External PCIe?
    There are solution out that use the PCIe 3.0 x16 interface so 128Gbps over a single cable…

  • The Design is terrible!!!!

  • Artemis Jaen on 06.13.13 @ 4:32PM

    Actually, the thermal management approach is used elsewhere. This is basically how it’s done in spacecraft. No air cooling, obviously, but having all the components bolt to a chunk of metal that conducts the heat away is basically how it’s usually done.

  • It can’t be any good… there aren’t any glowing neon lights or alien faces on the case. :D

    However, cleaning staff will have to be vigilant, or dust bunnies will migrate to it…

    • Will George Lucas’s version have a giant light saber coming out of the top of it (a bug killer)?

      It looks like a giant suppository.

      Problems, no pcie gpu card slot, no upgradable CPU, and memory systems are up to 1000GB/s for a few years (not that it matters, you need a/way for the CPU to take advantage of it). People might get a big PC case like thunderbolt case (ironic) to store their cards, drives, and control panels. Originally there was supposed to be a little server blade case, that could be ventilated very well, and in the vertical position. With this system, you simply buy a case for your drives and cards and put it on or under or vertically beside the blade. You could stack them, or buy a frame to insert them. Upgrading can be incredibly easy, and a pci-e card lay down horizontally in the blade case. Remember the Mac Cube, I liked it, but apparently not too many people did.

  • Looks like a little power house but like the new imac you Are no longer able to upgrade your self. It appears Mac is trying to lock people out from DIY upgrades. This is likly going to come back to bite apple in the but as pro users need to be able to service their workstations in the field without the hold ups of getting it to an apple store.

    • You are absolutely right about that (self -Service / etc. ).

    • You’re right, this machine is not intended for amateurs who like to call themselves pros. I assume that’s what you meant, because no actual professional would be moronic enough to bring a Mac Pro “into the field” ( the old form factor sure was great for that) without a backup. Only an amateur would even consider risking a project based entirely on their ability to fix whatever problem might occur on site. Furthermore, I’m assuming you’re referring to the GPU, as nothing else is known to be any less or any more serviceable on the new MP.

      • By “in the field”, I’m almost certain Dave meant “in an office” or similar (because it was contrasted against “in an apple store”). So you’ve based most of your reply on a false assumption.

      • Down time from PC’s have cost the clients I’ve worked with many many thousands because of short 1/2 hour to 6 hour down times. To keep them running reliably you need an experienced and dedicated professional just to keep them going… Mac’s… not so much.

    • So if you’re motherboard or CPU is fried you will replace it on set?
      Or do you bring a backup machine.

  • Beautiful, design, nice features (well for the price you will pay it it’s quite normal) and definitively ….closed.

    A very beautiful jail indeed… ;0)

  • I have been wondering and looking at one of these for years, what i will never understand about Mac and OSx why when every time they bring in new software, Its missing those user friendly buttons that make life so much better, Snow leopard fantastic, then I up graded new MBP cannot expand desk top. With my eye site and sage , That vital. Now you got to zoom and thats crap quality. you could also Enlarge other windows too. and browsers , just with your finger, I went to look at getting an I mac. What? The mountain lion is worse. No slider to enlarge icons ot thumb nails, When doing work flow on photos or searching for files or books. And as for the DVD player recorder, (optical drive) SO CALLED SUPER DRIVE! ha ha ha , still cannot burn multi layer dvds 8gb. All that money spent, In 6 years i must have spend over $500 And gained nothing.

  • Considering that it can drive three 4K displays and as Adobe showed in their Premiere Pro CC demo, even the rMB Pro can perform realtime color correction, compositing, rendering and display of a complex timeline which includes RAW 5K from RED. For less than the price of a Red Rocket Card you can have a new Mac Pro that should blow the doors off of the highest speed rMB Pro!!!

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