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alcimedes
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2017-06-05, 13:01

Is that the final death knell of the Mac Pro line then? Looks like it.

Will that meet the expectations of the pro market?

I'd say yes for Apple's remaining pro market, but I don't see the iMac Pro regaining any lost ground either. The types who'd go for the AIO form factor are not the ones Apple has been bleeding the last 4 years.

I can't imagine an AIO form factor would bring any one back.

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Elysium
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2017-06-05, 13:07

I'm pretty sure they said they were releasing a Pro iMac in addition to redesigning the Mac Pro.
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Capella
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2017-06-05, 13:08

I was pretty sure they were doing that as well. Imagine the MacPro getting the same internals as the iMac Pro just with different screen options or more expandability?
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Dave
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2017-06-05, 13:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
Is that the final death knell of the Mac Pro line then? Looks like it.

Will that meet the expectations of the pro market?

I'd say yes for Apple's remaining pro market, but I don't see the iMac Pro regaining any lost ground either. The types who'd go for the AIO form factor are not the ones Apple has been bleeding the last 4 years.

I can't imagine an AIO form factor would bring any one back.
They said they were doing it as a bit of a stop-gap (or words to that effect) back when they were talking about the Mac Pro redesign. (Speaking of which, I was hoping for a sneak peak or something on that... unless it's the "one more thing" at the end, though, they've moved on to iOS.)

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Dave
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2017-06-05, 13:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capella View Post
I was pretty sure they were doing that as well. Imagine the MacPro getting the same internals as the iMac Pro just with different screen options or more expandability?
As long as they're delaying into 2018, I'd hope they'll offer optane storage... IIRC, it should be out by then.

And unless Intel decides to give Apple an *amazing* deal, I'd rather have them go with AMD for CPUs as well. Threadripper/Epyc looks like it's going offer very nearly the performance of Xeons for probably half the cost. Dunno if that'll work with whatever deal Apple made with Intel, though.

When I was a kid, people who did wrong were punished, restricted, and forbidden. Now, when someone does wrong, all of the rest of us are punished, restricted, and forbidden... and the one who did the wrong is counselled and "understood" and fed ice cream.
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chucker
 
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2017-06-05, 14:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
Is that the final death knell of the Mac Pro line then? Looks like it.
No.
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alcimedes
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2017-06-05, 14:51

Granted they've said they're going to still release a Mac Pro, but if they're introducing a $5k price tag iMac with 16 cores, I don't see them ever actually releasing a true tower again.

It's way too small of a market to bother targeting, and I'd think that pro iMac is going to cannibalize the bulk of potential pro sales for the foreseeable future.

What would a Mac Pro bring to the table 6 months down the line to pitch people on when compared to the pro iMac.

(expandable GPU and Storage doesn't strike me as moving enough to motivate anyone in the pro market at this point.)

Haven't a bunch of you guys been saying the iMac has been replacing the Mac Pro for a while now? What could the Mac Pro be to even begin to take back any of that lost ground?

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kscherer
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2017-06-05, 15:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
What would a Mac Pro bring to the table 6 months down the line to pitch people on when compared to the pro iMac.
One thing: Your choice of displays.

I don't think Apple made the statements that A) we are working on a new Mac Pro and display that will not ship this year; B) it will have to be re-architected; and C) we are working on a new pro-level iMac—unless those statements were all true. That "C" has been answered does not mean in any way that "A" and "B" are not also true. In fact, "C" being answered so soon tells us that Apple is being true to their word.



I was just taking a look at the internals, and here is something worth taking note of: The iMac Pro has 4 DIMM slots, and all 4 are upgradeable, but not by you. It appears the screen will have to come off.

Hard to tell from very early drawings, but the DIMMs look like they are packed in behind the logic board and placed in such a way that a rear trapdoor will not be feasible.

Also, don't expect to see these things until March 2018. If I know one thing about Apple, "December" is synonymous with "March the following year". The 2013 Mac Pro is proof of this.

Edit: Oh, yeah, and the return of the wireless Pro Keyboard with 10-key = WOOT! In space gray = Double WOOT!

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Robo
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2017-06-05, 16:09

It's more expensive than I thought it would be. I was thinking it would start at $2999, with Apple leaning heavily on the "it's the same price as the Mac Pro, but you get this gorgeous display!" thing and the modular tower Mac being the one that goes into crazy high-end (dual-socket?) territory.

I'm not at all saying it's overpriced, and once they started going through the specs I wasn't surprised by the price. But if you told me yesterday that Apple was going to release an iMac Pro in the same 27-inch form factor, my guess would have been it would start at $2999.

It really is a legit pro machine, through and through. They're not really playing the "go for pro users but also any well-heeled users who just like the sound of a fancy better Mac" with this one, not at that price.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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kscherer
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2017-06-05, 21:01

Found this on Daring Fireball.

Quote:
In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display.
https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/...ives-december/

So, to answer the thread's original question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
Is that the final death knell of the Mac Pro line then?
No, no it is not.

And, on top of that, when one takes a look at the internals, the keyboard, etc.—and that it is shipping in December—it should be very clear that Apple has been working on this system for at least a year, and maybe two. In other words, they realized their mistake with the current Mac Pro long before their press release back in March or April, whenever it was.

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PB PM
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2017-06-05, 22:11

The iMac Pro is just more proof that Intel's new X299 platform (which this machine is based on) is kind of a joke. At least Apple is not trying to sell it with the overpriced i5x and i7x chips and going right for the i9s.

Apple, I don't get the point of the iMac Pro, sorry. Is this machine for Mac Pro users who just want an AIO, or for rich kids who want it for the bling factor ("My iMac has 18 Cores and Vega!!! YOLO!!!). Most of the people I know who would put that kind of money down on a machine (video/high end photo editors) want to pick their own primary monitor, for colour accuracy purposes. The CPU's will be right for that kind of stuff, and I suppose it would be okay with an external monitor and some high end thunderbolt 3 drive racks.

The one area where I could see these iMac Pros being popular in a lab type environment, where you want to maximize space, but still need the compute power of all those cores, and the workstation class GPU for running simulations.
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Dr. Bobsky
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2017-06-06, 01:16

The academic side of this isn't so apparent. We don't tend to use single gpu machines for our computational projects, and we don't often need a monitor of this resolution etc. in other words, I think this is more for the creative semi-pros who don't want or care about the investment in accessory hardware...
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Robo
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2017-06-06, 01:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
The iMac Pro is just more proof that Intel's new X299 platform (which this machine is based on) is kind of a joke. At least Apple is not trying to sell it with the overpriced i5x and i7x chips and going right for the i9s.
FWIW, it uses Xeons.
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Eugene
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2017-06-06, 02:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
FWIW, it uses Xeons.
Xeon in an AIO design is such an odd decision, as is only putting two ThunderBolt 3 controllers onboard. I simply don't get it. Also unleashing this much power in a Mac without yet touching the Mac Pro? Why? Same reason they ignored the Mac mini and don't sell their own separate displays anymore.

Last edited by Eugene : 2017-06-06 at 04:37.
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Robo
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2017-06-06, 03:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Xeon in an AIO design is such an odd decision, as is only putting only two ThunderBolt 3 controllers onboard. I simply don't get it. Also unleashing this much power in a Mac without yet touching the Mac Pro? Why? Same reason they ignored the Mac mini and don't sell their own separate displays anymore.
It's pretty clear that Apple didn't plan on the Mac Pro going so long without an update.

My best guess is this: Apple thought they had a killer design with the R2D2 trashcan Pro but designed themselves into a corner and made some wrong bets as to where the future was headed. Then in say, late 2015, after two years of not being able to update the Pro and realizing they would have to invest in a full-scale redesign, they lacked faith that such a large investment in an all-new modular desktop would be worth it and, seeing the success of the new 5K iMac among pros, they decided to instead start making an iMac Pro that would be able to absorb many of the trashcan Pro's use cases.

But then late 2016 rolls around and Apple is surprised by the decidedly mixed and even negative reaction to the new MacBook Pro. This, coupled with the lack of updates to the 2013 Mac Pro, and the fact that the 2013 Mac Pro was controversial for neglecting some pro use cases even when new, causes the narrative that Apple has abandoned the pro market to reach a fever pitch, or at least enough for Apple to take notice and do something they rarely do: they change course. They simply couldn't just axe the Mac Pro and replace it with an iMac Pro now; if nothing else, the optics would be horrible. But I believe the powers that be actually did change their minds, and the people who were fighting the modular pro desktop fight inside Apple won. The problem is, whatever they start building now ("now" being late 2016 or very early 2017) isn't going to be ready for well over a year, and that's pushing it.

So, in the spring they have a weird press roundtable where they talk about how much they love their pro users and pre-announce an all-new modular pro Mac*, with the caveat that it's still quite far off and we can't even see it or know any specifics yet. This isn't really the Apple Way, but they have to do this because they're still releasing the iMac Pro and they know if they announce the iMac Pro without also assuring pro users that a "real" pro desktop is coming people will lose their shit. (They even remind everyone a modular pro system is coming in the iMac Pro's press release, just so nobody gets the wrong idea.)

Personally, I love the idea of an iMac Pro. All-in-one-ness has been a part of Mac DNA from day one, and it's nice to see Apple take that constraint and push the performance envelope and make a pro Mac that is very pro while still being very Mac. If anything, I'm a little disappointed that the rest of the design plays it so safe; it's just a 27-inch iMac with a darker finish and (much) faster guts. I would have liked to see some crazy 34-inch curved 21:9 display or something wild.

But still, how often does Apple introduce a new product line? Especially a new Mac? The last one was, what, the MacBook Air, in 2008?

*) I'm careful to call the future "true" Mac Pro successor a modular pro Mac, and not a Mac Pro, because I'm not sure they'll call their new headless pro desktop a Mac Pro. I wouldn't be surprised if they call it something else. Not just because iMac Pro and Mac Pro are only one letter apart, but because using the Mac Pro name for a modular pro Mac has always been sort of weird. By Apple naming logic, a Mac Pro should be the high-performance version of a similar computer called "Mac," but no such computer exists. If we are to take the MacBook's example, than the form factor should be indicated by a suffix, and a workstation Mac would be a MacStation, or something along those lines.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they drop the "i" from iMac and iMac Pro in a few years.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Eugene
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2017-06-06, 04:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they drop the "i" from iMac and iMac Pro in a few years.[/size]
Yeah, I mean this is something I mentioned controversially in a separate thread. People seemed 50/50 on it.

I simply don't buy the argument that Apple designed themselves into a corner with the trashcan enclosure. They had several opportunities to throw pro customers a bone with modular updates (CPU and GPU) as well as updating the I/O. Ironically they did that yesterday with the MacBook Air...a 100MHz speedbump...no price change. What? Why didn't they just find a way to trim $200-300 from the MacBook instead?

Last edited by Eugene : 2017-06-06 at 13:27.
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Kraetos
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2017-06-06, 09:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Most of the people I know who would put that kind of money down on a machine (video/high end photo editors) want to pick their own primary monitor, for colour accuracy purposes.
Apple believes that software developers are one of their largest "pro" user demographics. Color accuracy doesn't mean much to them. They just need fast RAM and lots of cores, which this iMac delivers.

As for more "traditional" pro users, such as photo and video editors? Well they're waiting for the Mac Pro next year. (Hopefully.) But creative pros are no longer Apple's bread-and-butter "pro" users. Software developers are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
I simply don't buy the argument that Apple designed themselves into a corner with the trashcan enclosure.
So you believe that Apple didn't upgrade the Mac Pro for 1100 days out of... spite, I guess?

The whole problem with the Mac Pro is that it expects relatively even temperatures from all three sides of the cylinder. "Modular" upgrades would result in a hotter GPU and a cooler GPU, and in a traditional design these would balance each other out, but in the Mac Pro it doesn't matter if one components gets cooler while others get hotter: each side has a limit that can't be raised by budgeting it for it elsewhere.

It's not a lego set. You can't just drop in different components and hope for the best. The current Mac Pro with the relatively modest FirePros already has a high thermal failure rate. Updating the I/O would mean updating the chipset as well, and Apple's clearly not willing to do that on a dead-end design.

There's nothing particularly outlandish about Apple's stated reasoning for not updating the Mac Pro. The cooling system they designed was just too limited for hardware of that caliber. This severely limited their ability to perform even "modular" upgrades.

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chucker
 
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2017-06-06, 09:22

I think they vastly overestimated how much people care to have a two-GPU, one-CPU setup. It's too specific a use case.
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Matsu
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2017-06-06, 13:17

They should have upped the screen size to an 8K horizontal resolution and a taller 16:10 or even 3:2 ratio on a 30-32" screen.

It's got what will probably be a pretty good display - 5K, LED, DCI-P3, further reduced reflectivity and now 10 bit colour reproduction - still have to see how the controller actually achieves it, but a screen with those specs may be worth upgrading my iMac - luckily the regular 27" retina will be plenty fabulous and comes with the same screen without all the extra cores or $$$$
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Eugene
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2017-06-06, 13:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
Apple believes that software developers are one of their largest "pro" user demographics. Color accuracy doesn't mean much to them. They just need fast RAM and lots of cores, which this iMac delivers.

As for more "traditional" pro users, such as photo and video editors? Well they're waiting for the Mac Pro next year. (Hopefully.) But creative pros are no longer Apple's bread-and-butter "pro" users. Software developers are.



So you believe that Apple didn't upgrade the Mac Pro for 1100 days out of... spite, I guess?

The whole problem with the Mac Pro is that it expects relatively even temperatures from all three sides of the cylinder. "Modular" upgrades would result in a hotter GPU and a cooler GPU, and in a traditional design these would balance each other out, but in the Mac Pro it doesn't matter if one components gets cooler while others get hotter: each side has a limit that can't be raised by budgeting it for it elsewhere.

It's not a lego set. You can't just drop in different components and hope for the best. The current Mac Pro with the relatively modest FirePros already has a high thermal failure rate. Updating the I/O would mean updating the chipset as well, and Apple's clearly not willing to do that on a dead-end design.

There's nothing particularly outlandish about Apple's stated reasoning for not updating the Mac Pro. The cooling system they designed was just too limited for hardware of that caliber. This severely limited their ability to perform even "modular" upgrades.
LOL as someone who uses custom liquid cooling, please tell me how 3 independent heatsinks in a tower design differs greatly from three different heatsinks in a Trashcan Pro. :allears:

I'm also talking about in-place upgrades to new SKUs, not upgrading older Mac Pros with Apple branded retail kits. Also the Mac Pros used some of the hottest GPUs (more or less 7970s,) updating them to ANYTHING else would have drastically lowered the overall system TDP. The same goes for the Ivy Bridge E Xeons they used.

ThunderBolt 3 can be added to pretty much any platform, including AMD.
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chucker
 
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2017-06-06, 14:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
They should have upped the screen size to an 8K horizontal resolution and a taller 16:10 or even 3:2 ratio on a 30-32" screen.

It's got what will probably be a pretty good display - 5K, LED, DCI-P3, further reduced reflectivity and now 10 bit colour reproduction - still have to see how the controller actually achieves it, but a screen with those specs may be worth upgrading my iMac - luckily the regular 27" retina will be plenty fabulous and comes with the same screen without all the extra cores or $$$$
Maybe once the price tag goes down a little in a year or two, they'll add an 8K option. Though, really, at the same 218 ppi, that'd be 43 inches. At your given 32 inches, that'd bring us to 294 ppi. Given the typical viewing distance of a desktop monitor, that seems quite excessive.

A 6K display at 32 inches, OTOH, would roughly be the same ppi.
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Matsu
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2017-06-06, 15:13

Approx 300ppi/dpi would be just about perfect for soft proofing photos (I get confused about which one relates to screens these days). Most printers set their machines for 300dpi. It's also probably enough for true resolution independence as well.


I like what Microsoft did with their 3:2 ratio screen on the Surface studio. I always thought 16:10 screen were a little more useful than 16:9, but the latter are just easier to get and afford these days.

I think it's a good candidate machine for an even bigger screen than the regular iMac. 16:10, 30" would be just fine.

.........................................
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alcimedes
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2017-06-06, 15:50

The entire aftermarket of parts is essentially missing from the Apple world now.

What does a modular Mac even get you unless Apple makes a boat load of potential parts (totally against everything they've ever done.)

You can pick your own display, but you could just get a 2nd monitor for your iMac pro, which is uber quality and use that when needed, the iMac Pro screen will likely be a pretty high end one as well.

Or somehow we hope 3rd party support materializes?

I'm still missing what the selling point of this modular mac would be, other than "pick your own display" but no one waits three years for that, and it doesn't bring anyone back into the fold.

There must be more, or in my mind the iMac Pro becomes the defacto Pro desktop of Apple's future. (guess even if they make a modular Mac Pro, I don't see any significant potential selling points over this offering. The iMac Pro is going to be good enough for the vast majority of people looking for a high end machine.)

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kscherer
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2017-06-06, 16:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
LOL as someone who uses custom liquid cooling, please tell me how 3 independent heatsinks in a tower design differs greatly from three different heatsinks in a Trashcan Pro. :allears:
The Mac Pro has one heatsink, not three. All the major components (CPU and two GPU) are attached to one side of said 3-sided (triangular) heatsink called the Unified Thermal Core.

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chucker
 
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2017-06-06, 16:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
It's also probably enough for true resolution independence as well.
macOS doesn't have a scalable UI and likely never will. And as a Windows developer who has to actually implement that stuff: thank goodness.

At 300 ppi, they might do what they did on the iPhone Plus and go 3x instead of 2x. But given that it'll be an extremely niche product, who's going to provide those assets? Unless, that is, they also make a more mass-market 3x device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
I like what Microsoft did with their 3:2 ratio screen on the Surface studio. I always thought 16:10 screen were a little more useful than 16:9, but the latter are just easier to get and afford these days.
It's funny, cause the PowerBook G4 was 3:2 for quite a while.
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Eugene
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2017-06-06, 17:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
The Mac Pro has one heatsink, not three. All the major components (CPU and two GPU) are attached to one side of said 3-sided (triangular) heatsink called the Unified Thermal Core.
Which completely nullifies any argument Kraetos had. Sorta. It's really all about the volume of air moving out of the system. Even in water cooling, the water is just there for heat capacity. A faster, louder fan profile fixes the heat issue in the Mac Pro as long as its users can accept a hum rather than virtual silence.
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Robo
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2017-06-06, 17:45

I think Kraetos and chucker are right in that the 2013 Mac Pro design required the thermal load to be evenly balanced among a CPU and two GPUs in a way that just wasn't where the market ended up going. I don't think it was just a "they should have just spun the fans faster" thing; they made a fundamental misjudgment on where the future was going for high-performance computing. They bet on (and spent a ton of money to build a bespoke saddle for) the wrong horse.

This isn't really speculation; Apple basically said as much, and I think we can actually take Apple at their word when they're talking about embarrassing design miscalculations for their flagship high-performance product.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong

Last edited by Robo : 2017-06-06 at 18:15.
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Matsu
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2017-06-06, 18:05

I'm stupid when it comes to certain software techy things - what are the assets that need to be provided?

I think a 16:9 8K (7680x4320) at 300ppi would get us about 29.3" diagonal, a 16:10 8K (7680x4800) would almost right on 30" (30.2) at 300ppi

I suppose you could do 325ppi and end up with a 27" and the 3X UI scaling would work just fine - 108ppi (standard 2560 screen); 217ppi (5120 retina screen), and 325ppi (8K retina screen), or you could have a larger screen (32") and relax the density to around 300ppi

We'll see 8K soon enough: Dell's already selling an 8K 32" 16:9 for $4999

.........................................
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PB PM
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2017-06-06, 19:22

I don't think there are any GPUs in a Mac that could push 8k yet, maybe the Vega Pro? The RX 580 technically maxes out at 4K (according to AMD), so Apple must have some magic sauce for it to push 5k in the new iMac. The models shipping with the 550 and 560 will really be pushing it. Even the most of the high end cards out now, including the Titian Xp and GTX 1080ti, max out at 7680x4320@60Hz. That would push those cards hard for any real work.
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Eugene
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2017-06-06, 21:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
I think Kraetos and chucker are right in that the 2013 Mac Pro design required the thermal load to be evenly balanced among a CPU and two GPUs in a way that just wasn't where the market ended up going. I don't think it was just a "they should have just spun the fans faster" thing; they made a fundamental misjudgment on where the future was going for high-performance computing. They bet on (and spent a ton of money to build a bespoke saddle for) the wrong horse.
Phil Schiller is literally making shit up. Heat radiates REALLY quickly from the cores to the heatsink fins. Air ablates the heat from the fins and out of the enclosure. This is true regardless of heatsink design. If the heatsink is one piece, all the better. That distributes idle and low loads and allows the fan to stay at lower RPM longer. Hell, if thermal designs were dependent on faster radiation, then methods like liquid cooling wouldn't even be feasible.

Besides like I already said, pin compatible solutions with lower TDPs existed. Haswell E was more efficient than Ivy Bridge E, FirePro S9150 more efficient than FirePro D700. Apple chose not to use them.

Last edited by Eugene : 2017-06-06 at 23:21.
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