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[yahoo] The iMac Pro is fast, but who is it for? - Page 2

post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalUnicorn View Post

Let's break it down. $5000 entry-level. What's it have?

  • 8-core Xeon W, 3.2GHz base/4.2GHz turbo. The only such 8-core Xeon now is the W-2145 with a price tag of a bit over $1100
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56. Radeon Pro costs about 2.5x as much as the consumer equivalents, and I think Vega Frontier Edition is an appropriate comparison here. $1000 gets you a Vega 64 clone, while Vega 56 had an MSRP of $400. Let's call it $700 then, the middle value, though you will be spending more in a custom system for the full functionality.
  • 32GB of DDR4-2666. Not particularly fast or fancy, but it is ECC. PC Part Picker shows the cheapest such memory costing $10 per gigabyte, so call that $300 after rounding down for convenience.
  • 1TB NVMe SSD. There's a chance this is crap, but Apple isn't known to cheap out on their storage. A Samsung 960 PRO is currently available for $620 and is not an improbable choice.
  • 10GbE is the new hotness in networking. A Black Friday sale put one such NIC at $60 for a single-port controller, but typically they're around $150 and worth every penny for some users.
  • Not one, not two, but four Thunderbolt 3 ports. Hard to tell what this would cost aftermarket, but I'm going to call it $200. That might not be right though, and if Apple is using separate PCIe x4 links per Tbolt port that will drive the cost up.
  • 5K monitor. Here's a big one. Cheap examples I've found are $1000. Apple does not cheap out on the display.
  • Now, if you're making a custom system, you'll need other parts too: SFF case, SFF motherboard, and power supply. $400 for good quality components.

Tally that up. A custom build that might emulate an iMac Pro's specs would set you back almost $4500, and you don't get to use OS X on it nor do you get the AIO form-factor.

So the Apple tax is a mere 10%, and that covers labor, quality control, OS installation, and the ability to use real UNIX. Seems like a fair price to me. thumb.gif

The price is fair for what your getting but the style over substance is what hurts it.

The AIO form factor is a hindrence for a true workstation. The lack of upgradability and the small enclosure space negatively impacts performance. In house servicing is going to be a hassle as well.

The Vega 56 pro here is even more nerfed than the consumer part. This card has a peak performance of 8.9tflops which is barely any more than fury x. A big step down from 13.1 tflop peak of the FE edition. Add in the 8gb of memory which is only rated at 400gb/s vs the 480gb/s and 16gb, and I think this card is worth 500 dollars at best. If the Vega frontier is 1000 dollars this is worth less than half of that if we look how much performance cost upgrade cost in this segment.

Having Vega in this thing which will continue for the next two years is another big issue since during that time, Nvidia will have rolled out Volta and it's successors. Volta makes vega look like garbage in professional applications.

https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/NVIDIA-TITAN-V-Review-Part-2-Compute-Performance/Workstation-Applications-and

https://hothardware.com/reviews/nvidia-titan-v-volta-gv100-gpu-review?page=5

Garbage is a strong word but when you look at the massive delta in performance, the word seems approriate. We are talking about a 8x speeds up in some tasks and generally and average above 200%. Considering the 5k base price that goes up to 13k for this imac, Volta would have been a good fit for this. Heck even titan xp looks more versatile because of it's often comparable openCL performance and the addition of Cuda compatibility. Considering the premium nature of these products, they should offer the best which in the professional space has been Nvidia for the last decade.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWulfe View Post

Sure, additional hardware acceleration cards aren't anywhere near as popular as they used to be ten years ago for a lot of applications, but even now that Red Rocket-X from Red Digital Cinema will encode twice as fast as a Titan XP can, assuming you're using Red's codecs and blah blah blah... Not to mention the simple fact that a lot of companies that bought those devices want to keep them as long as possible, because they definitely aren't cheap to purchase but they can pay out in the long run if used in the correct applications.

Upgrading this rig also means having to buy a totally new one too, which the professional market is leery about - why should they have to replace the entire thing if just a video card dies?

The GPU being soldered to the motherboard is crap, definitely.

PCIe cards, as you said, are a lot less popular now. That allows smaller workstations to be feasible, such as this or 2013's trashcan. However, thanks to the magic of Thunderbolt, external cards are possible and can fill that niche, though eGPU enclosures are ludicrously expensive for what amount to USB hubs, SFX power supplies, and PCIe risers. I do wonder how the PCIe x4 limit will impact typical workstation add in card though. It'll either be significant or marginal, likely not in the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tajoh111 View Post

The price is fair for what your getting but the style over substance is what hurts it.

The AIO form factor is a hindrence for a true workstation. The lack of upgradability and the small enclosure space negatively impacts performance. In house servicing is going to be a hassle as well.

Yeah, for sure, I'll take a tower over an AIO any day - unless the AIO is actually a case bolted to a VESA mount. thumb.gif

Quote:
The Vega 56 pro here is even more nerfed than the consumer part. This card has a peak performance of 8.9tflops which is barely any more than fury x. A big step down from 13.1 tflop peak of the FE edition. Add in the 8gb of memory which is only rated at 400gb/s vs the 480gb/s and 16gb, and I think this card is worth 500 dollars at best. If the Vega frontier is 1000 dollars this is worth less than half of that if we look how much performance cost upgrade cost in this segment.

To be fair this is Vega 56, so comparing it to the fully enabled Vega die in the Frontier Edition is inaccurate. A Vega 56 card that clocks the same as the FE will hit a peak of 11.5TFLOPS; it has 7/8 the cores, remember. That puts the iMac Pro GPU short of 80% as good.

Which isn't particularly good but it isn't unusably bad either. Cutting down the HBM's clockrate is also not as big a deal in this case, since the memory bandwidth to FLOPS ratio increases. Kind of a silly metric, but it does imply that this version of Vega should not be hindered by its memory more than Vega 56 now and in fact is somewhat better.
Quote:
Having Vega in this thing which will continue for the next two years is another big issue since during that time, Nvidia will have rolled out Volta and it's successors. Volta makes vega look like garbage in professional applications.

https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/NVIDIA-TITAN-V-Review-Part-2-Compute-Performance/Workstation-Applications-and

https://hothardware.com/reviews/nvidia-titan-v-volta-gv100-gpu-review?page=5

Garbage is a strong word but when you look at the massive delta in performance, the word seems approriate. We are talking about a 8x speeds up in some tasks and generally and average above 200%. Considering the 5k base price that goes up to 13k for this imac, Volta would have been a good fit for this. Heck even titan xp looks more versatile because of it's often comparable openCL performance and the addition of Cuda compatibility. Considering the premium nature of these products, they should offer the best which in the professional space has been Nvidia for the last decade.

Yeah, GCN is on its last legs, I think. To compare, TeraScale was launched in 2007 and continued until 2011, for four years of releases. GCN launched in 2012 and we have no details on a replacement in almost-2018. TeraScale at least got a huge overhaul at the end in the form of VLIW4 for the 6900 series and a few APUs, but Polaris and later Vega's packed math are all we got with GCN. In fact, AMD's Hawaii from 2013 is their best FP64 option. Contrast with Nvidia offering FP64, packed math, and HBM in GP100 last year, ignoring GV100 this year.

Apple should have used an MXM module or similar. The GPU is a bit too important and expensive to have soldered.
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post #13 of 58
According to Apple, the BASE starting price is $6,299 Canadian.
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post #14 of 58
Man this is OG Macintosh all over again doh.gif they didnt learn from past mistake ?!
post #15 of 58
Thread Starter 
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWulfe View Post

My biggest issue are these... This is aimed at creative professionals, but....

- For the video guys, how do you fit a Red Rocket-X or equivalent in there? For those that read that wrong the first time, I'm specifically referring to Red Digital Cinema's "Red Rocket" line of accelerator cards.
- For the audio guys using larger, high powered systems that they've already put thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars into, where do the ProTools HD|X cards plug in? Or Universal Audio UAD-2 cards (yes, I know there are Thunderbolt products from both Avid and UA, but that requires buying into them if you don't already own them)
- For the small time operator, how do you EASILY add in more locally available graphics power without having to take up more space on the desk and/or a shelf for a breakout PCIe box? I say locally because you can rent render farms if absolutely necessary.
- How do you ensure colours will be accurate on the monitor with all the heat producing components right behind the panel?
- Will that dual blower design REALLY be able to handle a good workload, or will it wind up having to throttle to avoid melting down? iMac's have been known to throttle when put to the test.
- No CUDA love? I know a lot of the world is moving towards OpenCL (about time!) but on the flipside a LOT of thing still like CUDA cores.
- Since it's aimed at creative professionals, how do you get a decent amount of hard drives in there without having to use a NAS as a primary storage device? Up to 4TB of space can be quickly chewed up by anyone working in 4k or 5k timelines.
- How long will a professional be unable to use their rig if the screen acts up? We are talking a rig that's their livelihood here.


...My personal opinion is for the people they're targeting, they really should have stuck with the G5 and/or 2013 Mac Pro design, as the changes that came after have chased so many professionals away from Apple's ecosystem. It also isolated the hot components from the display, kept other bits cool, was expandable, and most importantly... If you wanted to, you could easily stuff the case in another room (or equipment closet) and run wires to your monitor, mouse, and keyboard - something that's important for recording studios, where you want as low of a noise floor as possible when recording.

 

Its market will be the same as previous iMacs.

 

Photographers that can afford it, and videographers that don't use anything outboard and just chuck video/audio tracks into FCX/Premiere and do everything from there.

 

But neither of those will got for the higher end offerings, they're just way too expensive.

   
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post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWulfe View Post

My biggest issue are these... This is aimed at creative professionals, but....

- For the video guys, how do you fit a Red Rocket-X or equivalent in there? For those that read that wrong the first time, I'm specifically referring to Red Digital Cinema's "Red Rocket" line of accelerator cards.
- For the audio guys using larger, high powered systems that they've already put thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars into, where do the ProTools HD|X cards plug in? Or Universal Audio UAD-2 cards (yes, I know there are Thunderbolt products from both Avid and UA, but that requires buying into them if you don't already own them)
- For the small time operator, how do you EASILY add in more locally available graphics power without having to take up more space on the desk and/or a shelf for a breakout PCIe box? I say locally because you can rent render farms if absolutely necessary.
- How do you ensure colours will be accurate on the monitor with all the heat producing components right behind the panel?
- Will that dual blower design REALLY be able to handle a good workload, or will it wind up having to throttle to avoid melting down? iMac's have been known to throttle when put to the test.
- No CUDA love? I know a lot of the world is moving towards OpenCL (about time!) but on the flipside a LOT of thing still like CUDA cores.
- Since it's aimed at creative professionals, how do you get a decent amount of hard drives in there without having to use a NAS as a primary storage device? Up to 4TB of space can be quickly chewed up by anyone working in 4k or 5k timelines.
- How long will a professional be unable to use their rig if the screen acts up? We are talking a rig that's their livelihood here.


...My personal opinion is for the people they're targeting, they really should have stuck with the G5 and/or 2013 Mac Pro design, as the changes that came after have chased so many professionals away from Apple's ecosystem. It also isolated the hot components from the display, kept other bits cool, was expandable, and most importantly... If you wanted to, you could easily stuff the case in another room (or equipment closet) and run wires to your monitor, mouse, and keyboard - something that's important for recording studios, where you want as low of a noise floor as possible when recording.

Because at the end of the day macs aren't aimed at those users. Macs are aimed at the creative professional who needs less than what is offered, but also want some style and class along with top notch customer service and a system that is pretty much ready to go after you type in your user name...
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWulfe View Post

2013 Mac Pro design

I own the 2013 mac can. It is not really upgradeable just like this new puppy is, since everything is specifically designed for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWulfe View Post

They're also referred to as breakout boxes. I was referring to stuff like the Magma ExpressBox 7 or Magma 6 slot, but using Thunderbolt as the transfer interface.

There are plenty of passthru PCIE cases that will give you the needed support for all of those extension cards.



This computer is an all-in-one solution for professionals who either don't need specialised video cards or can manage just fine with the new intel+vega for that to real time rendering.
Considering I can do real time 4K non HDR on my 2013 mac, I believe this should be more than enough for most work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredgunner View Post

In other words it is completely useless, once again.

Same was called on the previous mac can. But it was a stellar computer for professional work.
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post #19 of 58
This is stupidly overpriced to the point I find it offensive. +800$ to add 1TB?! +1600$ to add 64GB?!?!?!?!
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post #20 of 58

Apple really ruins their Macs with their graphics solutions (either Intel or AMD graphics). I forsee that Microsoft's Surface lineup will replace them if this trend continues.

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