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Atomic Wanderer Chicken

Heat concerns about the new Mac Pro's design

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I think it was innovation that changed the ATX design to have the PSU on the bottom for similar heat dissipation reasons. How is this any different? They're cramming a ton of super powerful hardware in a really small area which requires at least some new design ideas that have never been used before. I draw the line for use of the word "innovation" when they start going on about diamond cut nonsense but the thermal design I would have to admit it at least a tad innovative.

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I just thought of another potential problem. a drunk friend could mistake it for something else and take a dump in it. imagine the smell of hot apple doodoo...oh wait.

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Well... it's inovative because noone else has come up with this kind of cooling solution/PC design. It minimizes the space needed to hold all the PC hardware while maximizing on the air cooling efficiency.

When you come up with something like that, you can use the "invovative" word yourself....

 

Seriously How is that innovative coming up with a cylindrical container to hold everything and everything is bolted to the board making any repair I wouldn't call a nightmare but youd have to wait a while, check these out : -

 

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-030-AE&groupid=2362&catid=2276

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-033-IW&groupid=2362&catid=2277

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-016-IW&groupid=2362&catid=2277

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-115-TT&groupid=2362&catid=2276

 

Cus these cases are different from the norm does that make these innovative to? not really its just a different way of holding stuff and because apples stuff isn't modular in design, i.e. designed to plug whatever you want in they can chop it up and put it in anyway they want cus its designed to be non upgradeable.

 

For the subject of heat concerns I wouldn't be to worried about it cus my case blows out from the sides, back and top had it for 3 years and not spilled anything in it yet plus it sits lower than my table

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Seriously How is that innovative coming up with a cylindrical container to hold everything and everything is bolted to the board making any repair I wouldn't call a nightmare but youd have to wait a while, check these out : -

 

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-030-AE&groupid=2362&catid=2276

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-033-IW&groupid=2362&catid=2277

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-016-IW&groupid=2362&catid=2277

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-115-TT&groupid=2362&catid=2276

 

Cus these cases are different from the norm does that make these innovative to? not really its just a different way of holding stuff and because apples stuff isn't modular in design, i.e. designed to plug whatever you want in they can chop it up and put it in anyway they want cus its designed to be non upgradeable.

 

For the subject of heat concerns I wouldn't be to worried about it cus my case blows out from the sides, back and top had it for 3 years and not spilled anything in it yet plus it sits lower than my table

 

Those cases are all complete garbage, not to mention they're not in any way different than a standard PC case, they're just full of holes. Also they're all not nearly as good as cooling as they'd like them to be. Anyone can mount a mATX board to a sheet of metal and call it a case.

 

And sure, someone could make a case like the Mac Pro and make it modular (it wouldn't be hard, if you could manufacture the boards for it), but the reality is that there are very few single companies in the tech space who have the manufacturing resources to do it.

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Those cases are all complete garbage, not to mention they're not in any way different than a standard PC case, they're just full of holes. Also they're all not nearly as good as cooling as they'd like them to be. Anyone can mount a mATX board to a sheet of metal and call it a case.

 

And sure, someone could make a case like the Mac Pro and make it modular (it wouldn't be hard, if you could manufacture the boards for it), but the reality is that there are very few single companies in the tech space who have the manufacturing resources to do it.

 

They prolly are all garbage I wouldn't buy one but the point stands just cus its different doesn't make it innovative and anyone could make a cylindrical case for a PC but the way PC components are designed youd have massive airflow problems unless the cylinder was perforated so the gfx card and CPU fan could pull air in and ejected out which it would need to have to remain modular which would be stupid, with intels broadwell think there soldered to the board and could work if you just use integrated gfx or bought a soldered gfx card board (which don't exist) or a pcie on its side to plug a gpu in but still have the problem of different gfx card sizes and use  heatpipes/water cooling and/or have dyson cyclone style airflow to cool it all but does remain that all apples kit is custom built so they can design it and put it in anyway they want, they could prolly put it in a triangle shape next time who knows.

 

Its not so much the manufacturing resources as such it would just be a complete waste of time trying get people to buy it.... apples like heres your mac pro that's the only design you've got like or lump it. you have no choice, rammed down your throat and yu have to like it or just don't buy it

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They prolly are all garbage I wouldn't buy one but the point stands just cus its different doesn't make it innovative and anyone could make a cylindrical case for a PC but the way PC components are designed youd have massive airflow problems unless the cylinder was perforated so the gfx card and CPU fan could pull air in and ejected out which it would need to have to remain modular which would be stupid, with intels broadwell think there soldered to the board and could work if you just use integrated gfx or bought a soldered gfx card board (which don't exist) or a pcie on its side to plug a gpu in but still have the problem of different gfx card sizes and use  heatpipes/water cooling and/or have dyson cyclone style airflow to cool it all but does remain that all apples kit is custom built so they can design it and put it in anyway they want, they could prolly put it in a triangle shape next time who knows.

 

Its not so much the manufacturing resources as such it would just be a complete waste of time trying get people to buy it.... apples like heres your mac pro that's the only design you've got like or lump it. you have no choice, rammed down your throat and yu have to like it or just don't buy it

 

Well... not quite. I think the cylindrical design here is pretty clever, as it pulls air in from the bottom (like nearly every PC case), blows it straight out the top, and uses the fact that most PC components are naturally fins (GPUs, Memory, hard drives, at least) and runs them all through the same heat stack. I think it's a great idea, and as I said, Apple is one of the few companies in a position to build a PC like this.

 

But yes, you're correct that for the vast majority of components, it makes sense to just keep it the way it is, because standard boards and box shapes are cheaper and easier to make. I don't think anyone will copy this, much like few people have tried to copy the Mac Mini or keep up with the thinness of the iMacs, not because they wouldn't if they could, but because it's not relevant to their business model. 

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Well... not quite. I think the cylindrical design here is pretty clever, as it pulls air in from the bottom (like nearly every PC case), blows it straight out the top, and uses the fact that most PC components are naturally fins (GPUs, Memory, hard drives, at least) and runs them all through the same heat stack. I think it's a great idea, and as I said, Apple is one of the few companies in a position to build a PC like this.

 

But yes, you're correct that for the vast majority of components, it makes sense to just keep it the way it is, because standard boards and box shapes are cheaper and easier to make. I don't think anyone will copy this, much like few people have tried to copy the Mac Mini or keep up with the thinness of the iMacs, not because they wouldn't if they could, but because it's not relevant to their business model. 

 

Additionally, Apple likes to sue if you copy their clever designs to closely. :D

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Innovative to me suggests progress to better a product.  I'm far from an Apple fanboy - I hate their BS marketing, but the design is innovative - It has an astoundingly good cooling system, an instantly recognisable design, and not at the trade-off of specs.

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Innovative to me suggests progress to better a product.  I'm far from an Apple fanboy - I hate their BS marketing, but the design is innovative - It has an astoundingly good cooling system, an instantly recognisable design, and not at the trade-off of specs.

 

At the end of the day Apple stuff always divides opinion, and especially when you get to their top end products like this. I do honestly struggle to understand how some technical folks on here simply can't appreciate the design at all - it's an extremely fast machine in a distinctive and different enclosure. If Microsoft had knocked this out in their continuing efforts to make their own hardware, I think the response would have been somewhat different - but the fact that it's Apple and it's on Neowin means it'll take a roasting. 

 

There does seem to be an assumption that everyone wants to be able to swap out components on their computers but as I've found going from a home built tower PC to the MacBook Air, it's great just knowing it's covered by warranty for three years and Apple are always pretty decent about fixing / replacing things that break - I can just forget about it and let someone else fix it if it fails. 

 

Personally I think it's stunning, but I don't have the money to buy one. And to be honest it'd be overkill for my requirements - my MacBook Air is more than meaty enough for all I do at home. But if I did have the money, as someone who prefers OSX to Windows, I'd have that system in a heartbeat. Fast, quiet, sleek and well designed, and doesn't take up a tonne of desk space - I love it. 

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The top GPU model available for the Mac Pro is quite reasonably priced if performance is comparable to a W9000 (arstechnica even suspects it is in fact vastly underpriced) for a workstation graphics class/certified GPU. A $1000 upgrade for 2 GPUs is peanuts. Professional Discrete add-in GPUs, with application certified drivers cost a friggin' lot (often in excess of 3K each). That's why I said, if you need it, go for the biggest GPU, it's a bargain.

 

All this of course, if you really need that kind of horsepower on a mac, I'm not talking about playing WoW/whatever on a pretty machine.

 

This form factor, for a fully fledged workstation IS an innovation, just like the Mac Mini was, when it was introduced. A workstation, be it a PC or a Mac, is still a computer, and so far there's been nothing new since SSDs were introduced. Apple isn't a developper of new solutions in this domain. We'll see really great stuff when HP (ever) introduces Memristor and Photonics.

Ummm. It's a workstation, you need all the horsepower you can get, far more than WoW when doing 3d CAD, modeling or animation and such.

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You should really read a review on it. You'll see their thermal design is second to none.

And like I said, that's not innovation, it's just design and construction, industrial design on a scale you can do when you don't consider standards but make your own standard that will last for maybe as little as one generation of hardware.

It's at best evolution, but it's not innovation.

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And like I said, that's not innovation, it's just design and construction, industrial design on a scale you can do when you don't consider standards but make your own standard that will last for maybe as little as one generation of hardware.

It's at best evolution, but it's not innovation.

 

I think you're confusing "innovation" with "revolution". 

 

Also, the phrase "that's not innovation, it's just design and construction" simply doesn't make sense. Of course it's design and construction - that's how you design and construct things. 

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I think it was innovation that changed the ATX design to have the PSU on the bottom for similar heat dissipation reasons. How is this any different? They're cramming a ton of super powerful hardware in a really small area which requires at least some new design ideas that have never been used before. I draw the line for use of the word "innovation" when they start going on about diamond cut nonsense but the thermal design I would have to admit it at least a tad innovative.

Except regular midi and maxi towers have been using chimney effect in square towers for a long time, ever since air vents at the top became standard, overclockers and water coolers have ever since made sure the air inside moves from bottom in takes to venting at the top. Apple just took this to an extreme, again, not innovative, just something you can do when you custom design the hardware from the ground up and don't worry about supporting standards and standard plug in cards, and you don't worry about your design even beating feasible for the next generation. Possibly resulting in the next generation of this being a completely new construction that's not even compatible with the old stuff.

Basically is is the workstation version of a console.

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I think you're confusing "innovation" with "revolution". 

 

Also, the phrase "that's not innovation, it's just design and construction" simply doesn't make sense. Of course it's design and construction - that's how you design and construct things.

I'm not confusing innovation with revolution.

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I'm not confusing innovation with revolution.

Did they create something new with their case design and cooling system?

 

If so, then it is innovative.

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I just thought of another potential problem. a drunk friend could mistake it for something else and take a dump in it. imagine the smell of hot apple doodoo...oh wait.

 

there's probably higher probability of your drunken friend mistaking a girl for a cow. or worse. vice versa.

 

pretty sure apple's reliability and environmental tests engineers thought of all the possible scenarios within reason. and within warranty.

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I'm not confusing innovation with revolution.

 

As for the argument that it can't be innovative without working with existing PCI cards, I counter with this: with that logic, we'd all still be plugging our printers into Parallel ports and configuring COM ports for our modems. The iMac was the first computer to completely ditch legacy connectors for USB, and at the time the fanboys screamed blue murder. Nowadays, USB is the most standard connector that's ever existed for desktop machines. 

 

I understand that not working with PCI cards is a pain in the ass, but so was the lack of legacy ports when the iMac was released. However, that doesn't exclude it from being innovative. In fact, it's hard to be innovative when you're hanging on to the past. 

 

So... what, in your opinion, would be an innovation in the workstation field? A slightly smaller box that still accepted internal PCI cards?

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Yeah, I think it's an absolutely horrible design allowing pretty much only external expandability for a "Pro" workstation, however I don't see why heat dissipation would be an issue. It's probably a far better design for heat dissipation than nearly any other design.

As for the argument that it can't be innovative without working with existing PCI cards, I counter with this: with that logic, we'd all still be plugging our printers into Parallel ports and configuring COM ports for our modems. The iMac was the first computer to completely ditch legacy connectors for USB, and at the time the fanboys screamed blue murder. Nowadays, USB is the most standard connector that's ever existed for desktop machines. 

 

I understand that not working with PCI cards is a pain in the ass, but so was the lack of legacy ports when the iMac was released. However, that doesn't exclude it from being innovative. In fact, it's hard to be innovative when you're hanging on to the past. 

 

So... what, in your opinion, would be an innovation in the workstation field? A slightly smaller box that still accepted internal PCI cards?

In my opinion professional workstations need no innovation. They are machines that are purpose built to do heavy work. They need as much expandability as possible including room for a number of SDDs/HDDs and PCI cards, as well as easily upgraded CPU and RAM. Had this been a design for a new desktop, I would have no complaints at all. This design is ridiculous for an expensive workstation though. It's like having Windows 8 on a pro workstation.

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In my opinion professional workstations need no innovation. They are machines that are purpose built to do heavy work. They need as much expandability as possible including room for a number of SDDs/HDDs and PCI cards, as well as easily upgraded CPU and RAM. Had this been a design for a new desktop, I would have no complaints at all. This design is ridiculous for an expensive workstation though. It's like having Windows 8 on a pro workstation.

 

I'd be interested to see a study into how many machines used for "Pro" work (by which, I mean machine that are placed in a professional setting and are used by video editors/photographers who would hand the machine back to the IT department if their machine wasn't good enough) are actually upgraded beyond their initial configuration. As much as people like to argue, Apple is a company, and their primary existence is to make money. I doubt they'll have released this if they didn't have some serious data backing up their design.

 

For example, for video editing, four bays in a workstation won't get you far at all in these times of HD and 4K footage. If internal storage isn't ever going to be enough, why waste the space? Sure, there's always going to be the guy that wants to upgrade components and get the best bang-for-buck long-term. However, if you're a movie studio, it's not worth the time to muck around with machines - when they're end-of-lifed, they get replaced. 

 

To be honest, this argument about whether the new Mac Pro is innovative or not is pretty pointless at the moment - nobody knows if it'll be successful or not. Take Tesla - everyone (mostly) agrees that the Model S is an innovative car and may well lead a revolution into electric vehicles. However, if it'd flopped, it wouldn't have been innovative - it'd have been a quirky mistake.

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One thing about apple, you rarely have to worry about a loud machine (pretend g5's didn't exist).

 

Lol they were terrible, especially the last ones that were basically overclocked.

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I'd be interested to see a study into how many machines used for "Pro" work (by which, I mean machine that are placed in a professional setting and are used by video editors/photographers who would hand the machine back to the IT department if their machine wasn't good enough) are actually upgraded beyond their initial configuration. As much as people like to argue, Apple is a company, and their primary existence is to make money. I doubt they'll have released this if they didn't have some serious data backing up their design.

 

For example, for video editing, four bays in a workstation won't get you far at all in these times of HD and 4K footage. If internal storage isn't ever going to be enough, why waste the space? Sure, there's always going to be the guy that wants to upgrade components and get the best bang-for-buck long-term. However, if you're a movie studio, it's not worth the time to muck around with machines - when they're end-of-lifed, they get replaced. 

 

To be honest, this argument about whether the new Mac Pro is innovative or not is pretty pointless at the moment - nobody knows if it'll be successful or not. Take Tesla - everyone (mostly) agrees that the Model S is an innovative car and may well lead a revolution into electric vehicles. However, if it'd flopped, it wouldn't have been innovative - it'd have been a quirky mistake.

Well, I think Apple's point is that they are trying to force everything external. They are also trying to force the adoption of Thunderbolt, which I think they will continue to have a tough time doing. They expect that the Mac Pro is endlessly expandable through it's plethora of ports in the back, but I for one cannot STAND wires and external crap, and I consider using stuff like that a step back. If I had the choice between a system with everything internal, or a system with everything external, you can guess what my pick would be.

 

I think Apple is trying to bet on the performance plateau. We've reached a point where even our low end processors are able to handle most general computing pretty rapidly, and our high end systems are future proofed for quite a ways in the future. I think Apple is hoping that this system will be fast enough for a time to come and not need that expandability and upgradability, and if it does, it'll be available from rear ports. While I like the thought, that's the kind of thing I'd be willing to consider on a home desktop, and not so much on a workstation.

 

But again, this is all personal opinion, and I may like the upgradability and expandability because I'm a power user. I'm sure there are a lot of systems that aren't upgraded in the field. I don't think most high end workstations just have 4 HDD bays though. Hell, even in my home computer I have 4 HDDs and 3 SSDs, with room for at least 2 more HDDs. Fill it with 3 TB+ drives and you'll have a good bit of storage. But there is the argument for something like a drobo instead for pros, I can see that. I dunno, I just think they put their efforts in the wrong place. Apple used to make some of the most incredible high end hardware I've ever seen. The old Mac Pros were like a work of art to me. This, I honestly can't get over how it looks like a trash can, and I'm not just saying that to be a hater.

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And like I said, that's not innovation, it's just design and construction, industrial design on a scale you can do when you don't consider standards but make your own standard that will last for maybe as little as one generation of hardware.

It's at best evolution, but it's not innovation.

 

So the only people that can innovate is Intel/AMD, NVIDIA/AMD, Crucial, Samsung, Kingston, ...?

 

What else do you expect Apple, Dell, HP, ... to do?  They do not have Dell processors.  They do not have their own standard like SATA.  They have Intel or AMD processors.  They use SATA and PCI/PCIe.  They do all they can do, innovate the casing and design.

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So the only people that can innovate is Intel/AMD, NVIDIA/AMD, Crucial, Samsung, Kingston, ...?

 

What else do you expect Apple, Dell, HP, ... to do?  They do not have Dell processors.  They do not have their own standard like SATA.  They have Intel or AMD processors.  They use SATA and PCI/PCIe.  They do all they can do, innovate the casing and design.

 

Well all of top companies you mentioned do hardware design, no? For the most part apple is a product company that reuses existing IP designs and puts them into nice form factors. It does take a good engineer to make a product fit into a nice form factor (and this IS critically important for making a usable product), but it is just engineering work at the end of the day*. Innovation is taking the components and putting them into novel usage and apple doesn't really do that. Most of the products they have come up with are iterations on existing products marketed well and at the right time. And that's why their products should be aptly called evolutionary instead of revolutionary.

 

* This isn't strictly true though given that they've foray'd into architectural design with their A6 and A7 processors.

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Yeah, I think it's an absolutely horrible design allowing pretty much only external expandability for a "Pro" workstation, however I don't see why heat dissipation would be an issue. It's probably a far better design for heat dissipation than nearly any other design.

In my opinion professional workstations need no innovation. They are machines that are purpose built to do heavy work. They need as much expandability as possible including room for a number of SDDs/HDDs and PCI cards, as well as easily upgraded CPU and RAM. Had this been a design for a new desktop, I would have no complaints at all. This design is ridiculous for an expensive workstation though. It's like having Windows 8 on a pro workstation.

 

Why would you upgrade a workstation. Most likely any place using this is going to have the majority of its data on a network, not on the machine itself, and they're in a position where if they actually need a faster CPU or more RAM, they're just going to buy a new machine.

 

Sure, the design of this machine would have been terrible 10 years ago, but today? Places that need a Mac workstation are going to buy it, and I doubt any of your concerns are going to be high on their list. 

 

I agree that all of these concerns are totally valid for the iMac, by the way, but not this machine.

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Ummm. It's a workstation, you need all the horsepower you can get, far more than WoW when doing 3d CAD, modeling or animation and such.

Not every workstation owner is a 4K video editor, CAD/3D modeler or Academics researcher using Open-CL compatible applications. Many clients even don't give a ###### about GPU horsepower, developpers for example.

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