Thought I'd start a thread for all MacPro news and rumours. I'll definitely be buying one, as I've been working without a MacPro for almost 4 years- 2 laptops and now an iMac; waiting for the big refresh. So my peripherals are already outbound- so this machine makes great sense for me.
Two interesting articles I've ran into over the last week-
Marco Arment's thoughts on the expense of the FirePro GPUs
I'd like one but it definitely has a bigger footprint than the current MacPro. With my current MacPro I can put 4 internal drives and a bunch of PCIe stuff inside the unit. Can't do that with the new thing. Now it needs to be tethered to lots of external things. I'll need a hard drive array or two. I'll need some kind of thing to put my PCIe cards in (that I still use and are very important to what I do). Those have to sit somewhere, I can't just stack them on top of the new Mac Pro because then where am I going to throw my used tissues? So all of this stuff will likely take up more room than my current Mac Pro.
And all of this tethered stuff will probably require their own power supplies as well. I remember when Firewire promised to power things through the cable. I never used a firewire device that got its power over the cable. So my fears are similar with Thunderbolt stuff. Is it powerful enough to power a hard dirve array or two and a PCIe cage of some sort? Probably not. So a whole bunch more stuff to plug in for me. More cables everywhere! I like how in Apple's promo material they show you simply turning the unit around on a swivel to access everything. Yeah except that the tons of cables that are connected will swivel with it, making everything fall of the precariously balanced platforms I was forced to put them on and killing my cat.
Botton line: If you value your cat's life, don't get the new Mac Pro.
If you have a heavy investment in PCIe slot based cards, the new MacPro is definitely going to cause some frustration- though I'm pretty confident we'll see some good consolidated storage/expansion boxes coming out; with multiple TB cables feeding bandwidth to a box which essentially takes the place of all the internal storage/expansion the new MP design has dropped.
The only thing that can't be outbound effectively is GPUs, and those are provided in the case- so the lack of 16x slots is no loss to me.
I think the "nest of cables" problem is being frankly overstated. With that image that came out a while ago representing the neatest 2012 MacPro on one side, and the most disorganized person ever with the 2013 on the other.
If you were able to contain everything you needed in a MacPro tower before, then you need 2 expansion boxes to for the same thing now. I mocked up this image as a response a while ago
Again, I'm not saying that there aren't some problems for people who thought the current "all in one" was the perfect solution. But I think this new design presents a better compromise for the entire potential user spectrum. The new MacPro is essentially the "Brain"- and you can add on as few or as many components as you wish.
As someone who works with tones of client drives, the days of a single storage solution are long gone for me.
I also think the whole cable mess is being way over stated. I think we clearly see a pattern here to Apple's thinking. Make the core really good and let users expand it to their specific workflows. It's the same theory of design that's used in RED Cinema cameras and you don't hear those fanboys complaining
For me, I've already been using an iMac setup. I've got my BMD Ultrastudio for monitoring and a Pegasus R4 Thunderbolt raid. I bet a large percentage of users will never use anything other than an external HD and still be able to deliver a professional product. Not saying that it won't be a pain for some workflows at the moment, but as the world moves towards a new paradigm, so must we all.
The real question is price. A lot of power to be sure, but I think if they come in any more than the current Mac Pros pricing lineup, it's going to be more of an "on the fence" product rather than a home run - despite the power they pack because of the interior storage and expandable options you give up.
As sort of noted above by Ben in reply to the same link... Anyone who thinks Apple will pay anything close to retail, or even published wholesale prices for *any* components in this computer is smoking crack.
Is there a precedent for MacPro GPUs being substantially cheaper than MSRP? It's probably hard to tell right now because the ones available in the current MP are fairly ancient and are probably hilariously overpriced.
While that does technically still give them a wide margin for error, I'm still figuring we'll see it, Mavericks, and the new FCPX launch as part of an iPad Event sometime late October. Like they did with their Mac refreshes as part of the iPad Mini launch last year.
I need to finish paying off my taxes before I order this thing or my wife will kill me... and I'm terrified if you don't get your order in right way, you'll be waiting for months like with the iMacs last year!
That said, I'm willing to wager there's no way a powerful config of this isn't going to cost you $5,000-$7,000. And that's without the supposed 4K displays that they may launch with it!
HDMI 2.0 significantly increases bandwidth to 18Gbps and includes the following advanced features:
Resolutions up to 4K@50/60 (2160p), which is 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60 video resolution, for the ultimate video experience
Up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience
Up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity
Simultaneous delivery of dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen
Simultaneous delivery of multi-stream audio to multiple users (Up to 4)
Support for the wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratio
Dynamic synchronization of video and audio streams
CEC extensions provide more expanded command and control of consumer electronics devices through a single control point
Alex4D gives the rundown on the improvements and makes a good case for it's inclusion into the upcoming MacPro-
As follow up, Alex also discovered that the just-announced Sony Z100 4K camera will see a HDMI 2.0 firmware upgrade after launch. I think this bodes well for a similar either pre or post launch upgrade for the MacPro as well.