Monday, June 10th 2013

Apple Unveils New Mac Pro

During the Worldwide Developer Convention (WWDC) this Monday, Apple presented its radically redesigned Mac Pro which represents a complete and long overdue departure from the shapes, sizes and general design language of its workstations. Personally I can not decide which is the most striking visual aspect of the new Mac Pro, the truly tiny size of this multi-GPU powerhouse, or its curiously cylindrical shape. Alas, my true curiosity lies with the cooling solutions employed by the designers to address the inevitable heat issues associated with densely packing such potent hardware. The monolithic appearance of the Mac Pro is interrupted only by a cutout in the cover that allows access to the back panel, where the entire I/O interface is located. Apart from the usual suspects (USB, RJ45, etc), the user is presented with no less than six Thunderbolt 2 ports, which some might find problematic considering they constitute the entire expansion potential of the new Mac Pro.

The Mac Pro will be launched in Q3 and will make use of the new 12 core Ivy Bridge-EP processors launching in Q3 as well. Two AMD workstation GPUs will be accompanying the Ivy Bridge Xeon E5 processor. Storage will be Flash based and will employ the PCIe bus, doing away with the usual storage bottlenecks. The device comes with 4K display support and also Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity. Pricing for the new workstation was not mentioned, however it was pointed out that it will be built in the US.

Source: The Verge
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101 Comments on Apple Unveils New Mac Pro

#1
D4S4
why are people touting the design as brilliant? if you had their budget and hands completely free (no need for any hardware compatibility) you could go pretty wild easily
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#2
The Von Matrices
There isn't a good picture of it here but from pictures on other websites the heatsink in the middle has only a few very widely spaced fins. I just can't see how that can dissipate >500W of heat without an insanely powerful and loud fan.

Also, will this have single or dual CPUs? This looks like a single CPU model and I don't know how they would fit another CPU in there without a taller tower.
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#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
See the second pic on the top row. It is dual CPU capable. That picture is a studio pic though so maybe the dual CPU model wasn't at WWDC. The WWDC pic only shows one CPU backplate--the second could have been around the left side of it though.
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#4
erixx
maybe there will be a small cone and a bigger tower-like cone... This small item can't be a high-end solution (heat+room issues)
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#5
craigo
by: FordGT90Concept
1980 just called. It was IBM on the line. They would like to point out that businesses aren't going to like a computer that is extremely expensive and virtually unserviceable.

1997 just called. It was Apple's broken self on the line. They would like to remind Apple about the last time they didn't compete with their business-friendly brethren.

2005 just called. It was Apple whom just had an epiphany. They discovered using business-friendly parts (namely, the change to Intel x86) was a boon for sales. Past Apple would just like to remind present Apple of that.


I just called and I want to fax you an image:
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11/111254/2891002-triple_facepalm_by_spottedheart98464-d3kuyp3.png
another person on TPU who knows some history!
recognized the cray - 2 reference!
I will probably purchase one of these, i have entertained the thought of a real life cray in the shed.. but not practical. i also see more than a little bang & Olufsen when i look at a PS3
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#6
Jacez
by: The Von Matrices
There isn't a good picture of it here but from pictures on other websites the heatsink in the middle has only a few very widely spaced fins. I just can't see how that can dissipate >500W of heat without an insanely powerful and loud fan.

Also, will this have single or dual CPUs? This looks like a single CPU model and I don't know how they would fit another CPU in there without a taller tower.
Yeah, that's exactly what I'm wondering.

I mean, the mechanics of how to put this together.. to engineer separate motherboard portions and then hook them together, is one thing.

But to cool all of that with, assumingly, a heatsink in the middle and a fan that draws air in from the top and pushes it out the bottom (or vice-versa), seems absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention.. if you place anything on that device and block the fan.. it's literally toast.
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#7
sanadanosa
I just read this from Gsmarena. they said this thing feature new dual GPUs built by AMD, and there is a comment saying that it has 4096 stream processors and 384-bit memory. Is that even true? And what about power and heat? I mean fitting dual 7970 or a 7990 on such a small case is just crazy. and i still can't believe it.
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#9
The Von Matrices
by: sanadanosa
I just read this from Gsmarena. they said this thing feature new dual GPUs built by AMD, and there is a comment saying that it has 4096 stream processors and 384-bit memory. Is that even true? And what about power and heat? I mean fitting dual 7970 or a 7990 on such a small case is just crazy. and i still can't believe it.
There definitely are two GPUs in the chassis, and they quote a 7 TFLOPS performance number. That is in line with what two 7970s can do, not to mention that two 7970s have 4096 SPs, so I wouldn't expect anything new on the GPU side.

by: FordGT90Concept
See the second pic on the top row. It is dual CPU capable. That picture is a studio pic though so maybe the dual CPU model wasn't at WWDC. The WWDC pic only shows one CPU backplate--the second could have been around the left side of it though.
Those are the GPUs. Socket 2011 CPUs don't have backplates - the heatsinks just screw into the CPU retention mechanism on the front of the board. The innards are triangular - two GPU boards and and one CPU board. Maybe a dual CPU board won't be available. They did only quote 12 cores, which according to previous posts in this thread would be what fits into one socket. Then again, Apple has been known to make different models of Mac Pro with one or two sockets depending on spec level. Maybe what was shown is just the lower price single CPU model.
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#10
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: sanadanosa
I just read this from Gsmarena. they said this thing feature new dual GPUs built by AMD, and there is a comment saying that it has 4096 stream processors and 384-bit memory. Is that even true? And what about power and heat? I mean fitting dual 7970 or a 7990 on such a small case is just crazy. and i still can't believe it.
If you put all your heat in the center and push it out, I think it's feasible from the cooling perspective. What concerns me the most is the PSU. None of the pictures really show it and high quality PSUs are almost as big as that whole thing. Withstanding further evidence, I think they really skimped in that department. Oh yeah, and the HDDs.

Back to heat, just imagine if you took all the hot components in your case and arranged them in a circular pattern using large heatsinks. Then stick a large (at least 140mm) fan at the bottom to drive air up and out through that column (heat naturally rises so no sense of going against nature). Even ridiculous GPU(s) and CPU(s) could be adequately cooled in that space so long as the air pressure is high enough through it. However, under 100% CPU and GPU load, I think it would have to be loud in order to produce enough airflow to drive out 500+ watts of heat. Of course, they could counter that by using lower clockspeeds than the parts found in PC-compatible workstation computers.


by: The Von Matrices
Those are the GPUs. Socket 2011 CPUs don't have backplates - the heatsinks just screw into the CPU retention mechanism on the front of the board. The innards are triangular - two GPU boards and and one CPU board. Maybe a dual CPU board won't be available. They did only quote 12 cores, which according to previous posts in this thread would be what fits into one socket. Then again, Apple has been known to make different models of Mac Pro with one or two sockets depending on spec level. Maybe what was shown is just the lower price single CPU model.
LGA 2011 do have backplates (pic).They can be removed (you can faintly see the four posts) giving you rectangular holes to mount a third-party HSF.

It could be the GPUs too. It's impossible to be certain because this is all built-to-order stuff. One thing for sure is that, by the layout of the VRMs and other circuits, the same thing is pictured in both.
Posted on Reply
#11
The Von Matrices
by: FordGT90Concept;29200312012-Asus-Challenges-EVGA-with-a-Dual-Socket-LGA-2011-Board-of-Its-Own-3.jpg
pic[/url]).They can be removed (you can faintly see the four posts) giving you rectangular holes to mount a third-party HSF.

It could be the GPUs too. It's impossible to be certain because this is all built-to-order stuff. One thing for sure is that, by the layout of the VRMs and other circuits, the same thing is pictured in both.
Putting all the facts together I do not think there will be a dual CPU model. I base this on the facts presented at the press conference:

1) Apple said that there are two GPUs in every model at their press conference. The innards are triangular, so it would be reasonable to expect two GPU boards and one CPU board.
2) There are 4 upgradable DIMM slots shown in one of the pictures rather than the 8 needed for dual CPU usage. The other 4 could be hidden inside but that would make no sense from a design perspective to have only half of the slots easily accessible.
3) Apple stated that the device has 12 cores and 60GB/s of memory bandwidth. This can all work with one CPU with quad channel DDR3-1600. Don't you think that if they had a dual CPU model they would tout 24 cores and 120GB/s at the press conference instead?

Maybe a dual CPU model will come in the future. But due to the lack of any information about it at the press conference I think that it will be single CPU at launch.
Posted on Reply
#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
If it is only available in single-CPU, it begs the question why did they use LGA 2011 instead of LGA 1150? The obvious answer is 12-cores versus 4 but that hardly justifies the massive jump in price. Keep in mind that the only reason why Intel doesn't bring 12-core processors to LGA 1150 is because they want to force people to the premium-priced LGA 2011. The Mac Pro of yore at least had some value to it (dual socket systems are never cheap--even if they only come with one processor); the more I learn about this, the more repulsed I get.
Posted on Reply
#13
The Von Matrices
by: FordGT90Concept
If it is only available in single-CPU, it begs the question why did they use LGA 2011 instead of LGA 1150? The obvious answer is 12-cores versus 4 but that hardly justifies the massive jump in price.
I'm assuming that the workstation is heavily targeted toward video editing and content creation. Video editors can certainly make use of 12 cores.

The dual GPUs are what I wonder about though. I don't know of many applications other than games that can make use of two GPUs, and Macs certainly aren't known for games. Modern video editors can use GPUs to apply filters, but with the way they are currently implemented the GPU is ancillary and and the bottleneck is still the CPU. I bet that before this is released Apple announces a new version of Final Cut with a huge emphasis on GPU encoding to make use of the two GPUs.
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#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Video editors can make use of 24, in a Dell/HP workstation, and not have to worry about HDDs in a separate enclosure. XD

I'm very certain Crossfire and SLI can increase render speed. When I was looking at Quadros, that was one of the things that was advertised.
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#15
carloz
Will it blend?

Will it blend? :)
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#16
tigger
I'm the only one
Stick your head out of your window.......Hear that, it's the sound of a million Apple fans fapping.

Well it's certainly a radical design, but is it built by Apple or for 1yen a day in a sweat shop?
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#17
NC37
So basically its a server laptop in a tube with even less expandability than ever.

Sigh...Mac users must be getting dumber and dumber if they're willing to buy crap like this.:banghead:
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#18
Prima.Vera
Why the hell in the world does it need dual GPU this cylinder, when you can count with 1 hand the hardcore games that are for MAC ???
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#19
lemonadesoda
Nice design. I like it. "Chimney" approach to cooling is nothing new, and is very effective. Top marks to Apple for a nice design, TOP SPEC machine, and 4K output. Like. Now, does it run bootcamp? :pimp
Posted on Reply
#20
tigger
I'm the only one
by: NC37
So basically its a server laptop in a tube with even less expandability than ever.

Sigh...Mac users must be getting dumber and dumber if they're willing to buy crap like this.:banghead:
And using proprietary parts that Apple will happily sell you for over inflated prices.
Posted on Reply
#21
sanadanosa
by: FordGT90Concept
Back to heat, just imagine if you took all the hot components in your case and arranged them in a circular pattern using large heatsinks. Then stick a large (at least 140mm) fan at the bottom to drive air up and out through that column (heat naturally rises so no sense of going against nature). Even ridiculous GPU(s) and CPU(s) could be adequately cooled in that space so long as the air pressure is high enough through it. However, under 100% CPU and GPU load, I think it would have to be loud in order to produce enough airflow to drive out 500 watts of heat. Of course, they could counter that by using lower clockspeeds than the parts found in PC-compatible workstation computers.
ah, that make a lot of sense. Still the question is what kind of PSU inside that small case.
Posted on Reply
#22
tigger
I'm the only one
by: sanadanosa
ah, that make a lot of sense. Still the question is what kind of PSU inside that small case.
We worked out it's using an external PSU.
Posted on Reply
#23
Solidstate89
Something tells me having only one thermal plate will cause some hilarious overheating. They usually do that shit in cheap, shitty laptops where they have a single copper pipe running from the CPU, to the GPU and then to the single fan..and you know what? Those are the worst overheating laptops in existence.

The proper laptops are the ones that have a dedicated cooler and thermal plate for the CPU and the GPU. This just has fire written all over it.
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#24
sanadanosa
by: tigger
We worked out it's using an external PSU.


it's AC power port, I believe the psu is internal.
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#25
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Once again Apple leads the way!
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