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Apple Businesses

Apple Ships 8-Core MacPro 628

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the way-more-cores-than-the-earth dept.
ivan1024 writes "The Apple website is announcing the availability of an 8-core Mac Pro. The machine will ship with two 3.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 processors. Older models with the Dual-Core chips remain available. Base model with two 3.0 GHz Quad-Core Xeon processors start at $3997, (albeit with unacceptably minimal RAM or HD space; fully spec'd with dual 30" monitors and tons o' RAM/HD still over $10K... bummer)"
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Apple Ships 8-Core MacPro

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  • Re:Advantage? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:56AM (#18604111) Homepage
    Um video editing, composting effects, CGI, 3d rendering, etc....

    that is what hose computers are designed for. Apple pretty much owns video and TV production now.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:58AM (#18604163) Journal
    Even w/ the G5 series, I was able to spec' out and buy my own RAM (2GB of PC 3200) for a lot less than Apple charges per GB of their 'blessed' stuff. 2-1/2 years later, everything is chugging along just fine (I'm typing this missive on the very same machine). I'm not sure if the vidcard's BIOS has changed since the Intel switch, but I suspect that someone has already figured out if one can simply get a std. PC vidcard or not and simply go with that (you could in the G5's, but it required a BIOS flash first).

    While most Mac folks would think it anathema to do it, I've always had no probs with getting a Mac w/ only the CPU strength I want, then buffing out the hardware specs everywhere else once I got it home - saves tons of cash that way.

    /P

  • by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:18AM (#18604513)
    This isn't really a gaming machine. It's a Mac, after all. The Quadro FX 4500 is pretty near top of the line for a 3D workstation. I'm surprised they don't offer a Quadro FX 5600 though.
  • by MidKnight (19766) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:42AM (#18604931)

    I just interviewed with a small growing company. Every single desktop they had were Apple..... Considering they could have had *just as good* for cheaper that did the same thing ... I think it was a very dumb and wasteful thing to do....

    I wonder, since they are a small company, how big was their IT department? I run a small S/W consulting company (me, a few subcontractors, support folks for large projects), and we use Apple for pretty much everything except when a client requires something else. We have no IT guy. We have no virus scares. We have no FAQ for how to connect to the shared NAS box.

    Sure, we could buy cheaper hardware, but then we'd have to worry about it and waste billable time dealing with the associated pain points. I can say that, for a small company, an Apple/OS X infrastructure is definitely cheaper in the long run.

  • by Danma (546476) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:43AM (#18604949)
    The first thing I did this morning was price a machine versus an equivalent machine from Dell and found the Mac Pro, despite having slightly faster processors (since Dell only offers 2.66GHz quad-cores) was actually a few hundred dollars cheaper. I believe that you have made the assumption that Apple is automatically more expensive, always, than their competitors when that is not always the case. In the case of the Intel-based Mac Pro machines, they have often been competitively priced against Dell etc. You should stay open minded about these things. Otherwise, you're just as guilty as Apple zealots of making blanket statements.
  • by Kupek (75469) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:56AM (#18605209)
    Because a Mac Pro is a workstation. Sun's machine is a server.
  • Re:Advantage? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:02AM (#18605367) Homepage Journal
    Playing World of WarCraft of course!

    Did you ever see how amazing WoW looks on a 30" display?

    angel'o'sphere
  • by CatOne (655161) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:05AM (#18605429)
    Well it takes advantage.

    Macs have been shipping with dual CPUs since 1999. Nearly every piece of Mac software is multi-threaded in some way. And it would be pretty crappy coding practice to assume 2 CPUs when making an application "thread hot," because typically you'll just spawn as many threads as you need and let the OS deal with it.

    So I would expect many applications would use mulitple cores. The OS itself can also leverage mutiple CPUs... and given that it's typical that 75-200 applications are running at once, more CPUs will be better.

    This isn't like Windows where 99% of all desktop machines had a single CPU until last year. Nearly all games were written single-threaded until this past year... I know because in 2000 I bought a dual 733 MHz PIII machine, and it was slower for games than a single 800 MHz P3. And it cost me a LOT more :-(
  • by porcupine8 (816071) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:07AM (#18605491) Journal
    If you couldn't fix it yourself, you wouldn't be there.

    Well, maybe they don't want their employees wasting company time "fixing it themselves" - they'd rather just not have it break in the first place.

  • Re:awesome machine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MouseR (3264) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:10AM (#18605547) Homepage
    The OS itself is heavily multi-threaded itself. Cocoa also makes it easy to multi-thread an application (and quite frankly, even using pthreads is simple).

    The OpenGL drivers are also multi-threaded. A game I play went from ~300 FPS to 500~ FPS when they turned on OpenGL multithreading on the Intel Mac builds.
  • by fearx (19408) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:19AM (#18605759)
    Maybe a certain company has a new release of its video software coming out that takes better advantage of the 8 core machine.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:29AM (#18605985) Homepage
    This isn't really a gaming machine. It's a Mac, after all.

    So all this about how you can install Windows on it and dual-boot is what? Marketing? Because if I were to list the reasons I'd want to boot to Windows, which I wouldn't want to do regularly, then gaming would be it. That is the only time I turn off everything else that's running to free up both CPU time and bandwidth to turn it into a single-task machine. Any other "must-have" application I'd do my damndest to replace, emulate, virtualize or minimize use.

    If there's one thing left I feel suck with a Mac, is that I can't decide I need better framerates and drop in a stock graphics card. If I were to get a Mac, it'd have to replace my top Windows machine fully. It doesn't really have anything to do with Mac pricing but that I just can't keep two top of the line rigs, one for gaming and one for everything else. Let me stick a high-end GPU in a Mac Pro and you got it.
  • by ceeam (39911) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:31AM (#18606037)
    I said it before and I'll say it again: the one safe way to do multi-threaded programming is forking and IPC.
  • You have it backwards.

    Intel would *love* to see an end to the Microsoft monopoly. MS has had Intel by the short and curlies for some time; MS is the reason that Intel cannot work with non-x86 CPUs, and what killed the (somewhat) competitive Itanium 2.

    Apple has demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to change architectures, buy the latest and greatest, and do not shirk at launching big expensive products at premium prices.

    You can bet that Apple pays more than Dell does on a per-cpu basis, and guess what; they can afford to, because Apple has a significantly greater margin than Dell.

    Why do you think that Intel has such excellent linux drivers cross the board? You can bet that Intel, although a MS ally, is tired of living under the Wintel shadow.
  • Re:a good chunk... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @11:00AM (#18606635)
    Yes, plastic is cheaper than aluminum. And a work station like this is purchased by companies or people with disposable income not poor students. I find it odd that people have no grips with quality and price scales with stereos, cars or any other product. But for some reason, if your computer isn't dirt-cheap (with cheapest components) you got ripped?
  • Re:a good chunk... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @11:23AM (#18607029) Homepage
    Most productions studios I deal with (5 in michigan and chicago) all have transitioned away from AVID to apple/Final Cut. Production speed and quality went way up, Costs went way down.

    Avid is great but they are way behind because they are not moving fast enough. If you are still shooting on antique Betacam or digiBeta I can see using Avid or a Sony Digi suite. but most are over on DV as you get damn near same as digibeta off of a good DV camera and lenses. And once you hit that DV world all that special hardware that makes avid king becomes irrelevant.

    I can replace a single Avid suite with 3 FCP suites for the same price. Kids are coming out of college with FCP experience and preference and only minimal Avid exposure and typically older avid exposure.

    I have seen guys whip out a 30 second spot from encode to final in 1/4th the time it takes on an Avid using FCP.

    don't get me wrong, I love avid, I cut my teeth on it. But it's becoming more and more a FCP world every day.
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @11:36AM (#18607259)

    If there's one thing left I feel suck with a Mac, is that I can't decide I need better framerates and drop in a stock graphics card. If I were to get a Mac, it'd have to replace my top Windows machine fully. It doesn't really have anything to do with Mac pricing but that I just can't keep two top of the line rigs, one for gaming and one for everything else. Let me stick a high-end GPU in a Mac Pro and you got it.


    It seems you are under the mistaken impression that you can't drop any old modern nVidia PCI-E video card in a Mac.

    This box isn't marketed for you to install windows and game on. It's a 3D workstation, and thus ships with a workstation video card at they high end. If you want to do that on this machine, then by all meanse, install your own video card.
  • Re:awesome machine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimstapleton (999106) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @11:46AM (#18607427) Journal
    There are still "average" and "general" Apple users too (otherwise there probably wouldn't be a market for Mac Minis, iMacs and eMacs). These users will /not/ be the users to buy such a machine, and these users are /not/ part of a niche market, but rather part of a market that Apple has either drawn away from, or kept away from, the non-Apple market segments.

    And there are non-Apple users who will drop 4 grand on a PC for some tasks. Not all non-Apple users are MS Office drones.
  • Re:a good chunk... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lebannen (626462) <slash@irow[ ]com ['an.' in gap]> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @11:52AM (#18607529) Homepage
    I'd love to know how you did that, especially as I can't even find the quad-3.0 Xeons on NewEgg. The closest I can find are the quad-2.66s, which are $1,189 [newegg.com] each. And at two of those, you're already at over your stated $2000...

    Or did you mean to compare to the "base" Mac Pro? Which isn't $4000, but is $2499 (seeing as it only has two dual 2.66s)?
  • Re:Correction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clanky (871867) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @11:59AM (#18607623) Homepage
    >>The de facto video editing app for professionals these days is Adobe Premiere. This is absolutely true -- if by "professionals" you mean "wedding videographers"
  • Re:a good chunk... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by p7 (245321) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @01:24PM (#18609199)
    Both items I mentioned have a superior warranty to Apple Care. I wouldn't expect the manufacturer to take much longer to replace the items than Apple would. Plus you still have your overpriced 1GB RAM and 250GB HD to use while you wait. If you are really worried spend the money you saved on the 16GB of memory and a couple 750GB HDs to buy another bare bones Mac Pro just in case. It is crazy that Apple is selling that RAM 88% over what I can buy it myself. At that rate I can buy 6 more sticks of RAM that I can replace immediately and still have a few bucks left over. For the price of 2 750GB HDs at Apple, I can buy 3 retail and still have $100 left over. Don't get me wrong, I think the Mac Pro is a great design, and would love to have one. I just feel that Apple is gouging you on the price of addons.
  • by reidconti (219106) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @01:48PM (#18609687)
    Because you're a troll, I won't bother trying to post a full comparison.

    Just be aware that adding a second 2.66ghz Quad-core chip (not even the 3.0ghz that Apple is selling) to your Precision 690 adds $1600 to the price. So a base 2.66ghz 8-core workstation from Dell is $5000. I'm sure you can get the slower Dell closer to the Apple price if you dump the RAM below 1GB, ditch the OS, and so on.
  • Re:awesome machine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MouseR (3264) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @02:59PM (#18610749) Homepage
    It matters because it means that when the scene gets more complicated and the FPS drops down, you still get smooth animations.

    It'd rather see my 500FPS drop down to 200FPS than see my 70FPS drop down to 35.
  • Re:a good chunk... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by peterpressure (940132) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @05:08PM (#18612755)
    My wife and a few friends work in television. Avid is on the way out, everyone in the field is now switching to Final Cut Pro. For one thing, it's much more stable. But it's sooo much cheaper.

    first off, what "Avid" are you refering 2?
    Avid Media Composer? Symphony Nitris? DS-Nitris? Digidesign? M-Audio? XSI SoftImage? Pinnacle? Sibelius?

    When you say its cheaper? Are you comparing it to Avid Express? Avid Liquid? Or are you comparing it to a Symphony Nitris system, which surely costs more than FCP since it comes with Video Hardware.

    Does Final Cut Pro come with any Video Hardware with the price? Does it support Real Time multi-cam, something I am sure most broadcasters and prime-time TV production folks appreciate. Does it support Multiple Streams in Real Time w/o any additional Hardware? Or does it use a Digital Proxy like FCP does and need to render for additional streams of video? Does Software Only Media Composer use a Digital proxy? Does FCP run on anything except the Apple OS?

    2 put it plainly, Avid, like Apple, is more than an Editing company. It is the Sum of all its Parts, something which you and perhaps pro-sumers and consumers tend to lose sight of.

    How about don't trust me, Lets just look at the 2007 Academy Awards. ALL of the nominated and award winning films in the Best Motion Picture, Directing, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Documentary Feature, and Animated Feature categories were created with at least one Avid, Digidesign, or Softimage system. Nearly two-thirds of these nominees employed workflows consisting of multiple Avid systems, and for the seventh-consecutive year, every nominee for a Sound Editing Oscar used the Digidesign Pro Tools system. http://www.avid.com/community/hollywood/AWARD_2007 list.pdf [avid.com]

    Do I agree FCP is cheaper, yes I do, but does that mean it is a better product or solution?

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