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jayfaker

New Mac Pros... here we go.

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I hear that. Faster proc speed has always trumped core count. But core count is not what interests me with the E7 series. Its the distributed processing that I want.

 

 

edit: Not nay-saying this thing. Its a solid edit box tube. Its obviously designed and built for FCP and will last in editorial land for a long time, but in the rapid, ever-changing world of graphics / vfx, the shelf life won't be so great.

Edited by AromaKat

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That change you are talking about has been slowing down dramatically. That's why the core stacking is so in fashion and even there the current architecture is showing it's age.

 

Apple are doing an 'educated guess'/strategy of putting money in the future effectiveness of GPU computing, that's probably why they put in dual Radeons Fire Pro's instead of Dual socket CPU's. This is very impressive hardware which will not be obsolete within a year. Combined with all the Mavericks stuff (OpenGL 4, OpenCL etc) and the fact that apparently Crossfire will be a possibility makes for computing power that sits there waiting to be tapped by smart developers.

 

Basically they put in hardware that is powerfull now but will only get utilized better with developers jumping on the bandwagon. Why replace hardware when you can replace software? I think that's a smart move.

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Does anyone know if those Xeon Phi Co-processors are capable of working with AE/C4D and plugging into a normal pipeline by just adding it to your computer or is there coding and a butt ton more involved with that? Would love to have that dropped into our PC render nodes on the farm.

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1) There is no software yet that can use it (as in: creative software). The card costs in the $2500-$3000 range and as there is no reason for it not fitting a PCIe Thunderbolt enclosure they will be available to both Windows & mac users.

 

2) The difference between the new Mac Pro and competing workstations will be a matter of computing/$$ on the actual desktop. The more sockets you put in, the more expensive the whole setup will be with diminishing returns. People going mental about the 1-socket deal are not taking price into consideration. A dual socket solution will double the price of the computer while still offering only 1 actual productive seat. People actually needing that amount of power are rare and are increasingly offloading computing to external solutions in which case we are back at point 1: why put something in a box if you can share resources externally?

 

If the argument is: "but i need those cores for rendering" then most people are better off building render nodes instead building a $10.000 workstation that has to do everything. That's just poor economics & it's mega non-redundant.

 

You can build 10 rendernodes for the price of 1 dual-socket 12-core professional workstation by Dell/HP/Boxxtech and still have money to spare for a single-socket workstation. You must be out of your skull to pay 10K for 12 cores over 5-6k for 40 cores if all you do is rendering.

 

This is the most logical thing to do. Offer high performance usability, offload the rest to a scalable solution.

Edited by parallax

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Having multiple CPUs are helpful when you're doing test frames/rendering viewport stuff as I'm assuming all your CPUs get taxed for that. If you're doing a full on render then yea price/performance is usually better with a render farm. I'll be curious to see how the Ivy Bridge Extreme i7 that's coming out (in September?) will compare both price and performance-wise. Seems like it will only be 6-core though.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-E-CPU-i7-4960X,22372.html

 

I've been trying to find the Pixar/Mac Pro presentation they talked about, no video yet but hopefully they will post it soon. Seems like Foundry's Mari is coming to OS X as well.

http://www.pixarpost.com/2013/06/pixar-to-conduct-special-lunchtime.html

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The more I'm looking into this, the less terrible it is...Apple is just once again forcing their direction on the industry, regardless of the cost or inconvenience to their users. I'm seeing plenty of "adapters" to make our various devices work with thunderbolt (in theory at least). Ignoring the CUDA GPU issue for now, which is a deal breaker, the biggest issue becomes performance per $.

 

Since Apple never competes on price, we can expect this tube will cost 10-15% than the same hardware PC...but then when you have to add a thunderbolt external PCIe box (or new capture/playout device that is already thunderbolt), additional adapters (from displayport, eSATA, FW800, etc.) and other parts, it becomes hundreds more than the same PC for those of us who have existing hardware to consider. If you're just starting out, and buying all new external devices, it isn't so complicated...just slightly more expensive than before (example: a basic raid on the last mac pro involved adding 2-3 bare internal hard drives vs now having to buy the thunderbolt enclosure + drives).

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jan -- that is exactly what I am doing, but I use AE all day everyday to run my business and create work for clients. What else should I be using for motion work? If I only did compositing I would switch to Nuke, but alas I dont.

 

parallax -- I totally agree. Thats why in Jan when we needed new workstations, we ditched Mac Pros and went to PC's. Originally was looking at dual xeon PC, but yes the cost of the second socket was prohibitive for the return in what we needed -- which is a responsive workstation. For the price, we were able to get two workstations out performing the last gen 12 core for half the price. And take the extra money and build great render nodes for actual 3D pipeline at $800 each. For that exact reason I was asking about the co-processor.. as in is it viable and what the cost/Ghz would be for it.

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Since Apple never competes on price, we can expect this tube will cost 10-15% than the same hardware PC...

 

That's only the case if you build it yourself. On the branded workstation front, they are very competitive. I run a 'workstation' next to my Mac that would cost 2x at Dell, Boxxtech or HP.

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Agreed-- you look at HP or especially BOXX and you are spending almost the same or more in some cases. I was working with an artist on a project who had an 8K BOXX machine that we modelled our workstations after. It blew the 12 MP out of the water but also was about 3K more and 2years newer so apples and oranges.

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I completely agree with the nodes thing, it's the route i took. But you have to realize that more than 4 pc working at full speed make a lot of heat. So you need space maybe a dedicated room and probably some serious thermal control it you want more, like eight nodes.

 

And for the nuke/ae thing a lot of people probably still grade their videos using some crappy "cinematic looks" in AE.

and yes it's not the same price range.

Edited by jan

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Regarding the AE stuff maybe Todd could shed some light on Open CL support.

 

The fact that The Foundry finally announced Mari for mac speaks volumes about their intentions (hopefully).

 

About all the new GPU renderers, I don't know how locked into CUDA they are or if the future will also include this little black tube.

 

In light of all the recent 'we are slaves to Adobe' discussions, it kind of amuses me how willing everyone is to shut out everything that doesn't have NVidia - they are now the overlords of our livelihoods after all or what?

 

I'm sure this will all become clearer over the next few months, I can't see this as all bad news compared to what most of us expected as another half-assed update to the dinosaur aluminium box. Exciting times ahead? maybe not. Happy that Apple has stopped pretending they forgot about us? I think so, giving up OSX would be a hard pill to swallow

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About all the new GPU renderers, I don't know how locked into CUDA they are or if the future will also include this little black tube.

 

In light of all the recent 'we are slaves to Adobe' discussions, it kind of amuses me how willing everyone is to shut out everything that doesn't have NVidia - they are now the overlords of our livelihoods after all or what?

 

Once the apps support OPENCL we wouldn't be locked to Nvidia/CUDA. OPENCL should just run on whichever card you have including the new Macs.

 

I've owned more Nvidias card than I can remember. I've had very few problems with them. On the other hand I've owned one ATI card and it was a TOTAL FUCKING NIGHTMARE! I suspect the quality control has been fixed since then but I still see Nvidias GTX cards as a safe bet.

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having this next to your desk, and wanting to show something with the left hand, that will coincidentally will intersect with the fresh cup of tea/coffee. Imagine those blades eating all that coffee/tea :)))

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Adobe will support Open CL, MARI is coming to mac, everything is good, go back to your holes now geeks.

 

Agreed. I think in 3 mos we'll forget about this whole CUDA problem. I think companies are tripping over themselves to implement OpenCL as fast as possible if they aren't already (ala Black Magic and Resolve 10). They would be on dope to ignore it.

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I am guessing the whole reason for Apple releasing specs (uncharacteristically) months ahead of time, is so Software companies can get their act together in time for release.

Such is the pent up demand for MacPros, there will be a lot of early adopters, and if they also have to buy software upgrades, or an Adobe subscription, to get things working properly, then it is party time for everyone (apart from us cash strapped consumers)

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I am guessing the whole reason for Apple releasing specs (uncharacteristically) months ahead of time, is so Software companies can get their act together in time for release.

 

This, and the fact that the Mac Pro would have been proclaimed by many to be officially dead, leading to a wholesale exodus from the platform had they not thrown us a bone. ;)

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I hope that is the case indeed that what will happen is software will adapt to the emerging tech. Would love to see something other than OpenGL and would love C4D to start using multiple GPUs as well. I am just thinking of the switch to intel macs and 64bit that was quite frustrating with the ripple effect on software and plugins. I am sure it will all work out eventually since no decent company wants their product obsolete but wondering how bumpy the road will be. Only time will tell

 

Thinking this morning about cool options for a Thunderbolt server mac though. Having one of these puppies as a workstation that also has thunderbolt to other workstations and having a connection faster than 10gig E?

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Let's hope this is available in time for the launch

 

Although the Apple TB monitors do most of that already. Except the Optical. But considering I threw away every last optical disk I own short of PS3 games last year, I don't want one near me :D

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