New Mac Pro Slated for 2019; May Be Modular

(@lbutlr) #21

But even among pro users, those who need (or care) about CUDA and OpenGL are a small fraction.

(Simon) #22

Perhaps, but with Apple neglecting such pro users, that fraction can only become even smaller, until finally there are no such pros left using a Mac at all. Looks like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.

(13Parsecs) #23

Kreme and I have different definitions of Pro. In my practice its the opposite: CUDA and OpenGL are the majority. (Even if the end user does not know it). Put a ‘modest’ gtx 1060 in your rig and watch Premiere Pro and After Effects fly. Ditto ALL the Pro sectors I’ve linked above.

Although, I do empathise with that point of view. because, well, I used to be that, er, “passionate” too - for the first 25 years of my Mac support career.

Things changed about 3 years ago, when I had to “roll my own” for a client that the 2013 Mac Pro was not suited for (and they were adamant about staying on the Mac, call us crazy!). Getting to grips with “chipsets”, ACPI specs, instruction sets, hexadecimal notation, “strings” “arrays”, kexts etc…

You could say I took the red pill. Not an instant epiphany, more like the slow burn of an expat who went to SE Asia, met the Girl Of His Dreams, only to find out 20 years later she’s been squirreling away ALL the money and now she’s bought a house and dumped you.

But. We. Had. A. Connection. :slight_smile:

(Adam Engst) #24

I think this is one of the key points to understand about this entire discussion. Lots of people have different definitions, and they’re all right. That’s part of the problem, since Apple has to (a) realize this and (b) decide if they’re going to do anything about it.

(@lbutlr) #25

The majority of Pros are iOS developers. After that, it fractures into many people in many types of jobs.

People tend to think of “Pro” users along the lines of “well, I think I am a pro user and I do this, so obvs that is most pro users.”

I used to be a pro user, but that stopped for me quite a while back. It’s not that I changed, but that the consumer machines became more than enough to cover my needs. My primary computers are a 2012 iMac and a somewhat broken 2015 MBP that sits behind a monitor and is definitely no longer mobile.

As for what is a pro user? I’d say it is a user who produces content of any sort on their computer for money or to reduce costs. Not simply something that can be done equally well on any computer (email, reports, books. etc) but one where the performance of the computer makes enough of a difference in the work to justify the cost.

Jason Snell has an iMac Pro because in the course of editing podcasts, he runs a de-noise filter that takes a long time to run. AFAIK, this is the only thing he does on his iMac Pro that is significantly faster for him than his previous iMac (You can fact check me over at where he wrote up quite a bit of this), but that is enough to make him a pro user because that one task saves him multiple hours a week, which means he has time for more podcasting!

(13Parsecs) #26

Precisely. No gpu architecture should be mutually exclusive to any other.

Metal/CUDA/OpenCL/OpenGL should all be optimised, updated, enhanced, OOB, to take advantage of the products current underlying ‘performant’ (sorry) preference.

Once sales pick up, (lets say Autocad as example) then there is budget for the Autodesk dev team to perfect Metal support… down the road.

Metal/OpenCL is great, hope to see a bigger take up, sooner, just not the expense of deeply developed infrastructure around other toolsets.

… We’re in the same boat at home, mix of Ivy Bridge and Haswell iMacs (a little ‘tweaked’, SSD’s, i7s etc) they serve our personal/prosumer needs extremely well.

The bit in the ‘tour’ that jumped out at me was:
“but we have found an issue where that window was taking like 6 to 10 seconds to open and they’re doing that 100 times a day, right? Like ‘I can’t work on a machine like this, it’s too slow”

I see this daily too, particularly in “ArchVIS”: Architectural Visualisation - Operator is taking 3d data from, say, Sketchup, Vectorworks, Autocad et al, then passing that through a standalone render program like VRay.
Its the “mini renders” that the designer does multiple times to get light, shade and perspective right, before commiting to the much longer Final Render - that are the real bottlenecks. Mini renders are relatively low res, but take 3, 5, 10 to 15 minutes a piece. Do those 10 times a day and you have a “pain point”.

Take the same 3d data, pass it along to OTOY’s Octane with a GTX 1080ti, and it will output the same mini render in 30 seconds. Add a second 1080ti, and it drops to 15 seconds. Perfect scaling, works with ALL the major 3d packages. But. Its CUDA optimized.

For the curious, this is “mini” rendering: Relevant bit starts at 5:33, if timestamp broken?

This one package has shifted the toolset for a lot of the “ArchVIS” market.

Octane is locked out from a current off the shelf Mac. Its a Big Deal in ArchVis/Games/3d/Hollywood.

If you could put one, modern, Mac Pro equipped with just one 1080ti in, say, an architectural office with 20 PC workstations, it’ll ‘prove’ its a good corporate citizen - files being passed back and forth with ease.
That’s the beginning of convincing The Powers That Be that the Mac is, perhaps a little pricey, but its OK to get some to placate the Apple cognoscenti. In two or three product refresh cycles, (for this theoretical firm) they may pick up a few more Macs, while cascading down those from previous chipset, establishing Mac Pro’s as viable again.

If Apple have conviction, diligence. Courage?

I’m railing on here not to start a war with any one else’s insights. There are many valid ways to view the world. I have loved the community spirit here on TidBits for over 20 years.

Just hoping that someone at Apple hears the plea. The wider SME (Small Medium Enterprise) Pro community needs CUDA back.

If Apple’s budget for 2019 Pro is say, $1 Billion, then 5% of that for some solid CUDA/GL drivers would be nothing compared to the 10 fold increase in sales.

It would be the cheapest (line item) way to get the biggest result. Its ‘just’ software.

Signing off.