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#368582 - 06/04/2017 06:03 Mac Pro lives
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7853
Loc: Seattle, WA
With the announcement, I'm going to try and keep my 2008 Mac Pro running till it can be replaced with either a 2018 Mac Pro or iMac Pro now. It, and the trusty mini DisplayPort Apple monitor live on today, will be nice to replace it with a gorgeous 5k display in another year.

http://daringfireball.net/2017/04/the_mac_pro_lives

Going to also try and get a 2013 Mac Pro at some point to sit on the shelf next to the G4 Cube. Both really cool designs, and both fundamentally a miss by Apple. When the G4 Cube was "iced", Apple still had other models of Pro computers to sell. Interesting this time that they had to pre announce two new Pro computers at least a year out.
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#368585 - 06/04/2017 14:45 Re: Mac Pro lives [Re: drakino]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3653
I bought a 2013 Mac Pro when it came out, and it's done everything I've asked of it. I deliberately bought it with more resources than I needed, since I figured upgradability would be limited. That was indeed how that worked out.

For better or for worse, very little I do counts on having a decent GPU, but I see real benefits from the 6-core Xeon, and I deeply appreciate how quiet the machine is. Even cranking the CPU for a while, you never hear the fan.

Also, of note, these computers seem to be doing an excellent job of retaining their value. I dug around on eBay and found a machine similar to mine. Mine has 1TB and this auction is for 512GB, but close enough. My machine cost $4319 (academic price, January 2014), and this auction closed at $3451 -- for a three year old machine with lesser specs than mine.

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#368634 - 16/04/2017 01:02 Re: Mac Pro lives [Re: drakino]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7853
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'm overall excited since the news shows Apple is paying attention to the computer market still, and realized they lost focus a bit over the past few years.

The 2013 Mac Pro is an impressive machine. They just bet a little to heavily on OpenCL becoming big, and multi GPUs becoming commonplace. That design couldn't be adapted for anything else. And NVidia has been pushing hard on single GPU growth and CUDA.

The other good news buried in the discussion is that the Mini still has a place on Apple's roadmap, somewhere.
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#368653 - 17/04/2017 13:58 Re: Mac Pro lives [Re: drakino]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3653
Speaking of buried things of interest in that article:
Quote:
Federighi: ďI think if you use Xcode downloads as a metric, itís possible software developers are actually our largest pro audience. Itís growing very quickly, itís been fantastic.Ē

So yeah, everybody who's writing apps for iOS and whatnot needs to have a reasonably beefy Mac to do the job, and that means buying a Mac Pro. They only need enough GPU power to be able to run the iOS virtual machine emulator's graphics at something approximating full speed, but it's sure helpful to have lots of memory and lots of CPU resources.

Not sure what this says about the high-end video/audio/media producers. Not enough of them to matter? Are laptops now "good enough" for 4K video production? There's a story that's missing here.

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#368655 - 17/04/2017 15:58 Re: Mac Pro lives [Re: DWallach]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7853
Loc: Seattle, WA
Overall Apple is still paying attention to most of the pro markets they did in the past. I think the only gap is the photography market where Apple doesn't have the full stack solution anymore after Aperture went away. Lightroom ate their lunch, though it still benefits from all the work at the OS level for RAW support and such. Video wise, Final Cut X is still seeing a healthy development cycle. I've gotten 2 or maybe 3 major revisions for free since buying it back in 2012. Logic Pro X is also continuing to see support and updates.

And yeah, at this point the Macbook Pros can handle 4k video production decently for at least field work, and the current 2013 Mac Pros can be where the big thunderbolt storage is at for in office work and more CPU threads. Odds are the next Mac Pro will be aiming for 8k as that begins to enter the scene. H.265 is appearing more and more to succeed H.264.

Marco had a good writeup this weekend summarizing hours of talks on his podcast, and it breaks the needs of each pro market down a bit, by linking to various pros that have written up there needs recently.
https://marco.org/2017/04/15/mac-pro-audacity-of-yes

Techcrunch also posted the full transcript of the meeting here:
https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/06/transc...pples-pro-macs/

Apple has said a lot of the right things here. Their first chance to show actions back these words is later this year with the launch of the iMac Pro, and the Mac Pro a bit after that.

I for my home use would likely be served fine with an iMac Pro, assuming macOS adds Thunderbolt GPU support officially. My 2008 Mac Pro is still going strong mostly due to NVidia continuing to write drivers for newer video cards that I've slotted in over the years. If I were to add a USB 3 card as well, my system would be VR ready. Though single threaded performance is a bit of a hinderance too, and it's amusing to see the iPhone 7 beat my Xeons in some benchmarks there.
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#368657 - 18/04/2017 03:15 Re: Mac Pro lives [Re: drakino]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11866
Loc: Sterling, VA
Did many pros switch back to Final Cut after that whole debacle a while back? They sure were pissed about it, and from what I've seen they lost a ton of folks to Adobe's suite of products. It seems most of those folks still use Apple hardware but have abandoned Final Cut.
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#368658 - 18/04/2017 03:45 Re: Mac Pro lives [Re: Dignan]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7853
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yes.

Pros were grumbly about change for about 6 months. It became fuel for the anti-Apple crowd and was blown way out of proportion as usual.

The initial release was rough as well for some shops due to missing features, but pretty much all of what the needed came back within the first 6-12 months. And being that there was never a forced upgrade, the older version continued to work fine in the meantime. I think many threatened to leave, but never did, while only a handful really did make the jump to Adobe. Apple also admitted their hardline approach with the release of Final Cut X was a bit rough. But people wanting to bash them ignored it and clung to the "they are smug assholes" line as usual.

Adobe on the other hand has pissed off a lot of smaller shops with the whole creative cloud situation, and requiring a $600 a year investment per person for the video side. Apple still has the advantage of not needing to move to such a service since they have revenue from both the hardware and software. And less work on the software is needed due to the technologies built into macOS. Adobe has to put in a lot more work to bring their products to both Macs and Windows, necessitating such a subscription model.

Pros were getting very nervous over the hardware situation though. The recent announcements seem to have given the community a lot of optimism. I know in particular one Mac hardware hacker in Hollywood has been keeping a lot of pre 2013 Mac Pros going with newer GPUs, with a fair amount of his business going to Final Cut houses. Never got around to sending him my NVidia 970 to be modded for boot screen support, and now not going to bother with the good Apple news.

https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/82256 is a good thread from 2015 from someone wondering why curmudgeons were still clinging to anger over change instead of getting over it. Browse around there and you'll see folks excited about where Apple is going again heading into NAB Show later this month.

Apple continues to showcase examples of Final Cut X usage here: https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/in-action/ and at their yearly WWDC conference.
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Tom

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