Well let's not go overboard here. One machine does not a lineup make. Just because I have problems with the upcoming MP doesn't mean I've soured on the Mac OS and will run into the arms of PCs and Windows. I already have Windows on my MacPro partition. I open it a couple of times a year and pat it on the head.
We still have the Mac Pro tower. Unless you have the best MP in the world, you can still upgrade your current MP to a better tower. Depending on price, the Darth Pro might be a nice addition.
It just seems arrogant, though, that with this newest machine Apple has declared the CD/DVD dead in its entire lineup. Because no one burns audio/video, right? Cough.
I already have Windows on my MacPro partition. I open it a couple of times a year and pat it on the head.
Wow. Must love those 3 hour windows upgrades, eh? I open mine once a month and spend an hour patching and upgrading virus databases before I can do anything.
And I groused more than anyone else about no blu-ray support, but probably have to blame Sony greed for that more than Apple. And once you've put in the BD drive yourself (or an external), there it is. And I get that everyone doesn't need it.
Personally I'm coming to appreciate the modular approach. More options. For everybody.
They haven't really declared the DVD drive dead. They have more declared it "not built in". (Which is sort of what happened when they walked away from the floppy drive in the iMacs, and everyone who wanted that compatibility bought a USB floppy drive.)
They offer a USB powered external DVD drive for certain models. and its a cinch to buy one in a powered external enclosure. I bought an empty enclosure and moved a drive from a MacPro 4,1 into the external box. It seems to boot Mac Pro and MacBook without issue.
Well, Grant, I see that you have an older MP like me, and have stuck with OS 10.6.8 too. The advantages of these setups are lost with the new MP. As it is, I don't want to upgrade because I'd lose the ability to run WinXP (not that I use it much), for instance. And now I'd lose the essential optical drive. I would think that Apple's high end desktop would have it all, including expansion capabilities for things like an extra storage drive. One optical drive would have been nice.
So for all the things Apple has left out of the Darth Pro, it would have been nice if they provided extra ports for the peripherals. I'd want one each for the external backup and CD/DVD. How many ports do I have left? How about the GPU? What happens when the internal one becomes outdated? Can I swap it out?
I have no doubt the new MP is awesome as it looks. But like you, I hang on to my expensive equipment for a long time. Prior to my MP1,1, I had a maxed-out Cube. Before that a maxed-out MacPlus, and my first was Apple's 1984 bombshell, the Macintosh, and you wanted an extra disk drive with that thing. But at least it had an internal drive to begin with.
Well I wonder if the real issue here is that apple is making a play to force software solutions away from CUDA and into Open CL and perhaps another front in what seems to be on-going friction with Adobe. But here's an article I thought was pretty good explaining the issues and possibilities and looking at the new MP in a very positive light but presenting some of the issues that some are raising here.
Times change, and what has the most headroom going forward changes as well. I have boxes of SCSI controller cards and cables, and crates of the fastest drives available... ten years ago.
DVD reader/Writers are pretty slow. They live happily on a USB bus in an external enclosure.
If you need Firewire, the adapter from ThunderBolt costs US$35.
I do expect the graphics cards to be limited to two inside the box, but I also expect there will be a way to change them. [For example now there is a way to upgrade your Processor in a Mac Pro 5,1 -- you ship the processor shelf to OWC and they send you a different one.] Some ATI cards are supporting three displays directly now, and up to 6 per card if you stay with Mini DisplayPort. There is not enough Power inside today's Mac Pro to run two Hot cards, let alone think of adding more without adding an additional Power supply. So two hot cards inside the box IS an improvement over today's model.
I will miss the drives inside the cabinet, but what number of bays is the right number? and if SSDs keep dropping in price, It would be dumb to have some 3.5" SATA bays when folks would want PCIe-connected SSD bays like the one just introduced in the MacBook Air? Is one SATA bay enough? Do I need two to have a Mirrored RAID? Three for a RAID 5? Four for a Mirrored striped RAID? What about the Backup drives?
I can see the designers saying, "Oh, why not just throw out everything except the Boot Drive and let the Users decide what drives configuration they want." For familiarity, I wish there were a small default enclosure with a bay or two, even though I don't use that on most Macs at home -- my User files are all on a home Server. Perhaps when we get closer to release there will be an obvious choice for that.
With no optical drive in my rMBP, I had to get the USB Superdrive -- it works great, and just as quicly if not quicker than the one in my MP. While the Finder in ML on this MBP can see the optical drive on the MP, Share to DVD in FCPX running on the MBP cannot. So the easy solution to add the USB Superdrive.
I stayed with Snow Leopard as long as possible on my MP, but need to use the rMBP running ML, and the further need to use the lastest version of Aperture, which will only run on Lion or ML took me to installing Lion on the MP.
There is little I see required to buy for this new MP that I have not already needed to buy in order to integrat the MBP into my workflow (Thunderbolt and USB3 drives). Full integration will only come with the newer interfaces on the new MP.
I don't think Apple gives a hoot who wins the CUDA Vs other GPU accelerator wars. They like to support standard interfaces, and let the User or the Market decide what Hardware is doing the actual work for them.
also, this just in:
Premiere Pro CC supports GPU acceleration on both AMD and NVIDIA hardware on both Mac and Windows.
Now that this thread has calmed down, it might be safe to dip my toe in the water without being swept away by a storm of rebuttals. After all at this point, it's just my opinion.
As some have said, to come to personal conclusions about the new Mac Pro (late 2013), we may need to wait to see what is released and what real world benchmarks will tell us and what real world users will report. I think many people making quick judgments about the efficacy of the new machine for their needs may still be open to seeing what it can really do and what it can't do in their installations.
It is not a design that suits everyone's needs. It certainly gets our attention, even if it is our derision. No doubt Apple is listening to us, and that is what they are doing in re-imagining the Mac Pro. If they had made another version of the tower box that has essentially existed since their 2003 PowerMac G5 (mine still sits in my family room), it may have pleased more people because it would have been both familiar and obviously functional in the way they are currently working. But I think the redesign is forward thinking in some ways that initially catches us off guard. The Mac Pro is a logical extension of things that we have seen happening in their other desktops and laptops.
For example: We have been looking at RAID systems to squeeze more performance out of SATA, but Apple is saying that it is no longer a good enough interface for a product design that will last another ten years. Just as SATA replaced earlier interfaces, its days may be numbered. Just as SATA SSDs are currently supplanting spinning hard disks, PCIe3 flash drives are replacing SATA SSDs where performance matters the most. Our beloved, functional and popular FireWire is dead on the host workstation. It will live on for a while as a peripheral but Apple has abandoned their own interface. Because it was never good enough even at FireWire 3200, to compete with Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt has a very long future ahead of it as it moves from 10Gbps, to 20Gbps, through 100Gbps... Perhaps fast enough to support PCIe 3 devices that I understand can run at 128Gbps. And they are not the cards and drives you have today that you may feel are inadequately supported by the new design. But how many more years will you be using those? Not ten. It seems Apple is trying to design a computer that will move today to where you will be in a year or two or three.
I don't know if you'll agree with me, but my biggest disappointment over several years has been Apple's apparent disinterest in providing cutting edge graphics performance. They always seem to be a step or two behind where they should be. My iMac (late 2009) was a case in point with what proved to be woefully anemic graphics and a poor implementation of OpenCL and outdated in a few months by the next iMac with a better graphics and OpenCL implementation. Well I think we shall see that Tim Cook's Apple is going to do better than that. Putting two very capable GPUs with a generous amount of video memory in the base configuration is a message that resonates with me and was a great relief. And it may well be that those GPUs are upgradable. I look at the pictures and nothing there says it can't be upgraded, unlike that miserable GPU in my iMac. At least let us wait to see the whole picture and the real world usage in Resolve X and other products. Yes, not all products fully support the latest new release of OpenCL, but they may move in that direction if they are able in the next year.
I don't want to bore you to death so mercifully I shall cut this short but you get the gist of what I feel. Now I am anxious to see who will be releasing updated peripherals to attach to those TB2 ports. Thanks for your time reading this post and I wish you well in whatever directions you ultimately take.
Personally, I see this as a vehicle for Apple to force the market to develop and support Thunderbolt products. Just as they did with USB by dropping antique serial and SCSI ports.
With Apple's current computers its like FireWire, kind of a "nice" thing to have when you occasionally use it. Because USB3 is so fast and cheap there isn't anything the consumer needs to connect to thunderbolt since it will cost twice as much and not be measurably faster.
Pros on the other hand COULD use it but the Mac Pro (current) does not support it so there is no market growth. At least Apple offers a Firewire 800 adaptor for only $30 so pros can continue to use the professional boards without Apple having to supply an onboard Firewire connection.
Thanks for a very thoughtful and well written addition to this thread. I am in agreement with all of your points and I share your feelings about the evr increasing importance of the GPU in professional applications. For once, Apple really seems to be giving us an outstanding video card performance on the new Mac Pro, and it will be interesting to see the configuaration options that Apple offers on the new Mac Pro when it ships.
I have an ealry 2008 Mac Pro 8-core 2.8 GHz with an Apple 30 in. cinema Display that is still working beautifully. Last summer I purchased the Macbook Pro 2.7 GHz quad core lap top and love it. The latter runs circles around my trusty old Mac Pro and has been completely trouble free, but I prefer the larger screen real estate on the 30 in. Apple Cinema Display.
I like the forward looking design of the new Mac Pro. I have a number of Thunderbolt peripherals attached to my MBPR and all work flawlessly and with blazing speed including a couple of raid arrays connected via Thunderbolt. i don't miss firewire or USB 2 at all.
I have every intention of purchasig thebnew Mac Pro the day it comes out, and I suspect that it will meet my needs for quute a few years just as my current Mac Pro has done.
Buy this expansion chassis and get back the interfaces you crave, including DVD reader, one SATA drive and lots of ports:
I sometimes see people in airplanes with optical drives duct taped to the bottom of their MacBooks and Mac Airs. Perhaps one solution is to take this device and duct tape it to the bottom of the Mac Cylinder.
Also, the optical drive is not just a "reader" it can also burn DVDs and Blu-Ray's as well.