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At last: new Mac Pro!
Old 11th June 2019
  #931
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~ufo~'s Avatar
It’s funny. Pretty much everyone wanted the new Mac Pro to be a tower again and now that they got one it turns out a lot of them would rather have had a modular system with choice of PCIe/how many lanes. Funny that... because that’s what I’d expected they’d do.
Old 11th June 2019
  #932
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezoneight View Post
What do you mean by slower?
SSD Speed. I'm wondering if all SSDs in (or connected to) the Mac Pro can have the same speed or if the system drive will be unparalleled speed-wise. It's not an important question really. I'm just curious.
Old 11th June 2019
  #933
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~ufo~ View Post
It’s funny. Pretty much everyone wanted the new Mac Pro to be a tower again and now that they got one it turns out alit if then would rather have had a modular system with choice of PCIe/how many lanes. Funny that... because that’s what I’d expected they’d do.
Yep!
Old 11th June 2019
  #934
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
What I don't understand is the need for that last sentence. Why wouldn't I care? Of course I do. I just think your line of argumentation is irrelevant and weak on this point. Which is highly unusual in your case. I am expecting good arguments from you. Usually we get that, which is why I read your posts with interest.

Back to the discussion: It does not matter one wit if laptops are statistically stolen more often compared to desktops, so it's a non-argument. It still makes sense for many companies with sensitive information to encrypt drives in many cases. Developing immaterial products for instance or keeping personal databases, that the company could be under law to protect. This is more than obvious to me, a non-lawyer, so I'm surprised you don't' see your fallacy here.
There is no fallacy. I never said that nobody benefits from encrypting data. I also never said that Apple products are seldom stolen. Nor was the "broader perspective" what you interpreted it to be.

I'm saying that for the average pro that gets one of these machines it's statistically very unlikely to get stolen. Obviously if you're in the business of storing sensitive information protecting it is key. If that's the business it's a key feature of your business to keep data safe. But that's not what I think is relevant here though. We - I presume - are talking about our industry, about content creators etc. and we are talking about the benefits and drawbacks of this computer to us.

If someone is weighing pros and cons with a machine like this, and if there are cons to having this chip encrypt data, then it's absolutely relevant whether or not it's likely that someone will steal it (if that's the proposed attack-vector). If only 10% of stolen computers are desktops, and the vast majority of desktops are non-Apple, what are the odds? And then add what you're actually storing on the computer. At that point it's not clear to me that it's a net positive to use this processor for all users, or even most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
For a studio machine this could also be a benefit, protecting your work from prying ears. At least some artists or labels will care about that.
Ok, but that then assumes that whatever drive you're actually using as a work drive is also encrypted by this hardware. I'm not sure that's how the device works, but maybe it is. So let's assume for a second that it is...

Let's say you're doing work professionally for a production company and your TV show airs so soon you deliver to the network tomorrow. What's the preferred option if your computer fails:

a) deal with hardware encrypted data that needs to be retrieved
b) just unplug the drive and plop it into another computer

?

Two sides to this coin.....

Then in order for us to be worried about the actual theft it we'd have to assume that whomever is after this audio would literally get access to the physical space the computer is in (!) and then either haul the whole thing out of the studio or open the case and take the drive(s) out and leave. My guess is that most cases of stolen music has involved copying data rather than stealing drives. Stealing a drive is "immediately" apparent. Copying data is not.

Again, the actual "broader perspective" I was talking about was users in our industry in general, not "some artists" or "some engineers". To the extent that anyone has any problem with anything with this computer we can always answer that some people will make use of whatever is in it. If that line of reasoning makes it invalid to question one component then it makes it invalid to question any component.
Old 11th June 2019
  #935
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~ufo~ View Post
It’s funny. Pretty much everyone wanted the new Mac Pro to be a tower again and now that they got one it turns out a lot of them would rather have had a modular system with choice of PCIe/how many lanes. Funny that... because that’s what I’d expected they’d do.
Who wants a modular PCIe system? Those slots sit on a motherboard.

All I've seen is some people saying that the base system is priced higher than they wanted, and that it would have been great to have a system with less features and/or less expandability for less money.

That's the context I was seeing the talk about fewer slots in. Instead of 8, how about we get 5 or 6? To cut down costs. And get rid of that special connector or use it on one instead of two slots. Drop the capacity of the PSU. And so on.
Old 11th June 2019
  #936
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~ufo~ View Post
... choice of PCIe/how many lanes. Funny that...
Not so funny once you understand that there is no choice. The CPU series in question has 64 PCIe lanes, no matter which model. And the CPU series in question doesn't support dual or quad CPU motherboard designs either.
Actually 64 lanes isn't bad at all, the total number of PCIe slots in the Mac Pro is funny and the fully loaded Mac Pro model is even funnier.
Old 11th June 2019
  #937
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
SSD Speed. I'm wondering if all SSDs in (or connected to) the Mac Pro can have the same speed or if the system drive will be unparalleled speed-wise. It's not an important question really. I'm just curious.
Many answers seem to be found in this Appleinsider article "Apple is using a custom connector for the SSD in the new Mac Pro. Someone posted it. Unfortunately I forgot who, but thank you.
Old 11th June 2019
  #938
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
... the talk about fewer lanes in. Instead of 8, how about we get 5 or 6?
Don't mix up PCIe slots and PCIe lanes. The first one is motherboard layout, the latter one is CPU spec & limitation.
Old 11th June 2019
  #939
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops Martin View Post
Don't mix up PCIe slots and PCIe lanes. The first one is motherboard layout, the latter one is CPU spec & limitation.
Yes, of course. Thanks for the correction. Post corrected.
Old 11th June 2019
  #940
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
If someone is weighing pros and cons with a machine like this, and if there are cons to having this chip encrypt data, then it's absolutely relevant whether or not it's likely that someone will steal it (if that's the proposed attack-vector). If only 10% of stolen computers are desktops, and the vast majority of desktops are non-Apple, what are the odds? And then add what you're actually storing on the computer. At that point it's not clear to me that it's a net positive to use this processor for all users, or even most.…

What's the preferred option if your computer fails:

a) deal with hardware encrypted data that needs to be retrieved
b) just unplug the drive and plop it into another computer

?


Again, the actual "broader perspective" I was talking about was users in our industry in general, not "some artists" or "some engineers". To the extent that anyone has any problem with anything with this computer we can always answer that some people will make use of whatever is in it. If that line of reasoning makes it invalid to question one component then it makes it invalid to question any component.
Some very good points. Thanks for clarifying your arguments.
Old 11th June 2019
  #941
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Some very good points. Thanks for clarifying your arguments.
Sorry if I came off as harsh.
Old 11th June 2019
  #942
Gear Nut
 
Wattsy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Then in order for us to be worried about the actual theft it we'd have to assume that whomever is after this audio would literally get access to the physical space the computer is in (!) and then either haul the whole thing out of the studio or open the case and take the drive(s) out and leave. My guess is that most cases of stolen music has involved copying data rather than stealing drives. Stealing a drive is "immediately" apparent. Copying data is not.
As an aside we have lack of encrypted storage to thank for newly release material from Radiohead

From Jonny Greenwood:

“We got hacked last week - someone stole Thom’s minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer, and reportedly demanded $150,000 on threat of releasing it. So instead of complaining - much - or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion. Just for the next 18 days. So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.

Never intended for public consumption (though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue) it’s only tangentially interesting. And very, very long. Not a phone download. Rainy out, isn’t it though?”

No idea of the finer details or how it was stored, but an interesting approach to dealing with the ransom nonetheless.
Old 11th June 2019
  #943
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amroth View Post
What about comparing it to the base price and feature set of previous Mac Pro iterations? Is that not more-or-less fair?
While being kinda fair, I don't think it'd be of much interest.
To me, it seems as if the paradigm regarding what this MP should mainly be used for has somewhat shifted.

And while I have zero problems with people adoring what Apple has done with this very computer (which, I'm sure, is a kickass machine - apart from the uber-lousy 256GB drive, and no, nobody will be able to tell me this is in any way customer-friendly...), for me as someone not even remotely into video, the entire event, especially along with other recent Apple events, is a complete disaster, no less.
I am now using a machine that I thought could be kept up to date for a whole while to come - but it'll be rendered obsolete pretty soon. Yeah, I know, not a big drama, but as I like to be up to date here and there, I will have to look for a follow up computer in a not too long while. And apart from the new MP, there's exactly nothing in Apples portfolio coming even remotely close to the comfort and configurability of my current machine. In addition, at least regarding all things multithreading, my 2010 cheesegrater still wins over more than 50% of the computers Apple has on offer (and it's not even that bad for single threaded tasks, especially as I could still upgrade my CPUs from 2.66 to 3.46).

Now, I wouldn't even be able to afford a MP if it came in at 3k (well, I would, but likely couldn't justify the expense), but at that price point, it would be possible to look out for a good 2nd hand model at one point in time. This option all of a sudden vanished from earth. I'd expect the first decently spec'ed MPs to be available on the 2nd hand market for ok-ish prices in around 10 years or so.

In a nutshell, if I want to keep up with Apple (and mainly Logic) in around 2 years, I am forced to either shell out *way* too much money (which I could never really justify) or deal with a whole lot of compromises.
And while this is not exactly because of the new MP, it's what seals things.
I could be wrong, but I doubt Apple will release anything more suitable for audio folks below the MP in the next few years. Sure, there might be new Minis and iMacs, but I'd take a bet that the changes will be rather cosmetic instead of truly improving the situation.

All that at a moment when I kinda tried to make my peace with Apple...
Old 11th June 2019
  #944
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Sorry if I came off as harsh.
No worries.
Old 11th June 2019
  #945
Gear Addict
 
basehead617's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
Just listing your own specific needs as if it should be the base spec for everyone is just
How about you just buy what YOU need? It’s not like Apple is going to bundle them all up for free
For many, especially those in high end video, a 2TB data drive is piss all.
Fine, but 256 GB is smaller than some SINGLE orchestral libraries that professionals use.

It's peanuts in 2019.
Old 11th June 2019
  #946
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by juiseman View Post
https://www.anandtech.com/show/14513...-pcie-30-lanes

This has some info about Intel's W-3200 series CPU's
used in the mac pro. Looks like another rebadged older chip


Skylake-SP based.....
Kind of , but not really a re-badge, just a filter down of the expanded package and socket.

The current Xeon W's are based on Skylake SP on a smaller scaled back socket 2066 package , the new Xeon W is based on Cascade Lake , but on the larger package and socket 3647.

This article explains the initial confusion re what the actual chips were being used in the new MP, as Intel hadn't really officially announced them at launch, they had sneaked a few details quietly into Ark , but had not made any formal announcement.

So yes, the new Xeon W's are essentially Xeon Scalable CPU's filtered down for a single socket platform, with expanded PCIe lanes available via the additional pins, which required the shift to the new socket.

All other major vendors will have these before or around the same time of the official MP launch.

This throws a few other questions into the mix, Intel announced an X-Series refresh in Q3 , but have given no details , and seeing the current X-Series is essentially the current Xeon W minus ECC , we could be in for a socket shift and the same family of CPU's filtering to the top tier X* platform.

The product line could also diverge and we have socket 2066/3647 at that tier.

The other question is whether the iMac Pro will get the new socket 3647 Xeon W's ? If I had to guess, I'd say no.

Re all the storage /expandability debate, its like they have given a starving man a cracker. I don't see any conventional storage expandability on the system, which for the intended market might not be an issue, but seriously, only 2 available M2 PCie slots with very limited standard configurations , i.e, 1TB is 2 x 512GB NVMe's, why not a single 1TB, oh the 1TB are reserved for the 2TB ( 2x 1TB ) configuration, etc.

No regular drive bays, so the standard SATA ports provided on that header are a bit of a mystery, but all can be sorted by using external or PCIe storage options. Kind of defeats some of the purpose and intention of a modular tower, but.., again, I am coming from a conventional perspective of PC workstations.


Last edited by TAFKAT; 11th June 2019 at 10:54 PM.. Reason: Amended for clarity
Old 11th June 2019
  #947
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~ufo~ View Post
It’s funny. Pretty much everyone wanted the new Mac Pro to be a tower again and now that they got one it turns out a lot of them would rather have had a modular system with choice of PCIe/how many lanes. Funny that... because that’s what I’d expected they’d do.
Every other pc manufacturer gets the need for a workstation tower with PCI slots in the $1-2k range... this ain't rocket science, although it feels like it trying to get people to see the point. If they had come out with a tower for $3k it would be defensible I suppose. $6k? nope.
Old 11th June 2019
  #948
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lowkey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by basehead617 View Post
Fine, but 256 GB is smaller than some SINGLE orchestral libraries that professionals use.

It's peanuts in 2019.
One of the options that can slot into the MPX slot of the Mac Pro is a 32TB raid5 array. That should more than handle the biggest libraries available.

The 256GB SSD is basically bare minimum for OS and apps, which can of course be upgraded if you wish to put your sample library on the startup disk.
Old 11th June 2019
  #949
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
No regular drive bays, so the standard SATA ports provided on that header are a bit of a mystery, but all can be sorted by using external or PCIe storage options. Kind of defeats some of the purpose and intention of a modular tower, but.., again, I am coming from a conventional perspective of PC workstations.

Not just conventional... "sane"...

(+1)
Old 11th June 2019
  #950
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lowkey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
Every other pc manufacturer gets the need for a workstation tower with PCI slots in the $1-2k range... this ain't rocket science, although it feels like it trying to get people to see the point. If they had come out with a tower for $3k it would be defensible I suppose. $6k? nope.
But then over at videosluts everyone would be complaining they still weren’t pro enough! Apple have filled a gap at the top of the line. Now as you point out there’s a gap lower down.

Until it’s filled it’s possible to use a $200 external TB3 to PCI chassis to solve the issue of the smaller computers not having internal PCI slots b
Old 11th June 2019
  #951
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
But then over at videosluts everyone would be complaining they still weren’t pro enough!
I call BS !

Not sure how many video professionals you have dealt with in your day to day, but I have dealt with enough to get a decent perspective.

I have managed to provide solutions for top end Video/3D/VR, etc, using socket 2066 systems, and not at any time did I have any complaint about them not being Pro enough ? !

Apple could have easily provided a tower solution using the iMac Pro inards, with the number and combination of PCIe slots afforded by the respective CPU's/Chipsets, and it would be regarded Pro in every aspect.
Old 11th June 2019
  #952
Deleted 4adc64a
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
I call BS !

Not sure how many video professionals you have dealt with in your day to day, but I have dealt with enough to get a decent perspective.
Just because everyone you work with wants to use a PC doesn't mean all video pros do. Your perspective is pretty limited in that respect.
Old 11th June 2019
  #953
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~ufo~'s Avatar
My point being of course that any one tower will not suit everyone’s needs, certainly when it’s priced at the higher end. But a truly modular system could be specced as needed, so you pay just for the **** you need/want, albeit at a premium too.
My point was not that one or two of youse complainers would be happy with it.
My point was that even-though many thought they wanted a tower, what that tower should’ve been, according to them, varied greatly.

Apple made the tower they thought would be the most viable. It’s perfectly possible that means it’s not ideal for most of us on GS.
Old 11th June 2019
  #954
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lowkey's Avatar
 

As I said. Apple filled the gap they had at the top of the market. Now there’s a gap under that. The new Mac Pro is too Pro for some. Perhaps I’m better to say “the High end forum at Videoslutz” will be pretty happy now that Apple has filled that gap.

It’s also no bull that Mac users needing a PCI card can use a $200 PCI adapter to TB3 with an iMac, iMac Pro or Mac Mini.

I’d like to see some stats on how many mac users need PCI nowadays. I’d say it’s a shrinking market and a niche inside a niche. That’s probably why the gap is being filled by smaller third parties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
I call BS !

Not sure how many video professionals you have dealt with in your day to day, but I have dealt with enough to get a decent perspective.

I have managed to provide solutions for top end Video/3D/VR, etc, using socket 2066 systems, and not at any time did I have any complaint about them not being Pro enough ? !

Apple could have easily provided a tower solution using the iMac Pro inards, with the number and combination of PCIe slots afforded by the respective CPU's/Chipsets, and it would be regarded Pro in every aspect.
Old 11th June 2019
  #955
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 4adc64a View Post
Just because everyone you work with wants to use a PC doesn't mean all video pros do. Your perspective is pretty limited in that respect.
You completely missed the point !

Point being the socket 2066 platform is regarded as a top tier Professional platform for video, not your assumption of where I have only drawn my perspective from.
Old 12th June 2019
  #957
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
One of the options that can slot into the MPX slot of the Mac Pro is a 32TB raid5 array. That should more than handle the biggest libraries available.

The 256GB SSD is basically bare minimum for OS and apps, which can of course be upgraded if you wish to put your sample library on the startup disk.
How much space do you think macOS actually takes? I just installed a second copy of Mojave on my startup drive to update to Catalina beta. My startup drive is 256gb. Still have plenty of space even with a lot of dev tools and other apps installed on the main Mojave volume.

Not saying they shouldn’t have made the default bigger but the intent for that drive is for the OS, apps, and user folder.
Old 12th June 2019
  #958
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post

Now, I wouldn't even be able to afford a MP if it came in at 3k (well, I would, but likely couldn't justify the expense), but at that price point, it would be possible to look out for a good 2nd hand model at one point in time. This option all of a sudden vanished from earth. I'd expect the first decently spec'ed MPs to be available on the 2nd hand market for ok-ish prices in around 10 years or so.

In a nutshell, if I want to keep up with Apple (and mainly Logic) in around 2 years, I am forced to either shell out *way* too much money (which I could never really justify) or deal with a whole lot of compromises.
And while this is not exactly because of the new MP, it's what seals things.
I could be wrong, but I doubt Apple will release anything more suitable for audio folks below the MP in the next few years. Sure, there might be new Minis and iMacs, but I'd take a bet that the changes will be rather cosmetic instead of truly improving the situation.

All that at a moment when I kinda tried to make my peace with Apple...
10 years is a long time in terms of computer development.

Not to mention proper software support from Apple for those computers in the future.

Apple had a good run since I used their transparent blue plastic Mac Pro purchased by some guys I fell out with when Steve Jobs start steering the ship again before 911 (had Mac's way before that).

2 decades later Apple obviously is providing its luxury goods to people paying top dollar while facing stiff competition on what made them rich; the iPhone; while maintaining and signaling their exclusivity with a product offering like this.

In a decade the technology race between China and the US (sorry Europe) will be in full effect the way things look right now.

Nobody can accurately predict the future but I would be extremely disappointed if nobody competed with Apple on the computer front; don't care if the competition comes from either China or internally from the US by then.

From my perspective Apple has no competition outside of the hackentosh community here (sorry windows people).

On the science end of things; there are A LOT of innovations and knowledge on the technical side that has not been materialized and packaged to consumers yet.

Those innovations will be old considering the exponential growth within academia and the private sector; coupled with whatever future General Artificial Intelligence inovations will hatch out of this competitive and not always so collaborative landscape and whatever dynamics within it; it creates.
Old 12th June 2019
  #959
Deleted 4adc64a
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
You completely missed the point !
Whooooosh. The point I was making was that you're extrapolating from a sample size that hasn't complained that the entire population would not. Hasty generalization fallacy, if you're interested in learning more about it. Nothing to do with sockets.
Old 12th June 2019
  #960
Gear Nut
 
Wattsy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Usgggg View Post
2 decades later Apple obviously is providing its luxury goods to people paying top dollar while facing stiff competition on what made them rich; the iPhone; while maintaining and signaling their exclusivity with a product offering like this.

In a decade the technology race between China and the US (sorry Europe) will be in full effect the way things look right now.

Nobody can accurately predict the future but I would be extremely disappointed if nobody competed with Apple on the computer front; don't care if the competition comes from either China or internally from the US by then.
Yeah, I don't see this machine as Apple searching for profits, I see it as wanting to show that they produce some of the highest-end computers available (before people light their torches I'm not saying these ARE the highest-end computers available). Bringing down the price and hence the features wouldn't achieve that (as Linus said, they likely have gross profit per dollar targets set throughout the line to make back R&D which would have been substantial for a machine that accounts for such a small amount of their revenue.)

I'd also love to see someone competing with Apple at their own game, I'm just not sure where it's going to come from. They'd need to similarly control the software and hardware, and getting a new OS off the ground in the consumer markets is a monumental task. Microsoft have obviously been attempting to move further into the hardware space.
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