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Apple Hardware

Apple's New Mac Pro Gets High Repairability Score 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the less-filling-tastes-great dept.
iFixit has posted a teardown of Apple's new soda-can-shaped Mac Pro. Despite the unusual form factor, it earned a relatively high repairability score: 8/10. iFixit said, "For being so compact, the design is surprisingly modular and easy to disassemble. Non-proprietary Torx screws are used throughout, and several components can be replaced independently." They say it's easy to access the fan and the RAM slots, and while the CPU is buried a bit more deeply, it's still user-replaceable. The Mac Pro doesn't get higher than an 8 because its uses some proprietary connectors and the cable routing is cramped. They add, "There is no room, or available port, for adding your own internal storage. Apple has addressed this with heaps of Thunderbolt, but we'd personally rather use the more widely compatible SATA if we could."
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Apple's New Mac Pro Gets High Repairability Score

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  • Thunderbolt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThorGod (456163) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:06PM (#45831397) Journal

    Methinks if you can afford the new Mac Pro that you're not at all concerned about Thunderbolt vs SATA.

    • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:15PM (#45831493)

      Still like to have more then 1 port in side the system and 1TB max is not really that much and the 256 GB base is a joke for an pro system.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:19PM (#45831529)

        Actually, 256GB base makes perfect sense for a pro system –most of these guys are editing huge videos stored on SANs, there's no hope of storing them locally. All they need locally is their OS, and some very fast scratch space.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Holi (250190)

          And no chance of adding a 10gbe card so Video editing off a SAN is ridiculous.

          • You can add anything from 10gbe to fiber channel via Thunderbolt already.

          • by Imagix (695350)
            Eh, Sure there is. Less than 5 seconds searching on Google turned up multiple Thunderbolt to 10GbE interfaces.
      • by sribe (304414) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:23PM (#45831559)

        Still like to have more then 1 port in side the system and 1TB max is not really that much and the 256 GB base is a joke for an pro system.

        I'm pretty sure the assumption is that everyone in the target market for this machine will want external RAID, so the internal is really only for the OS & swap & apps and small files.

        As for 1TB being "not really that much", please point me to a source of SSDs larger than 1TB. Uh, yeah, I thought so ;-)

        • 1TB is not really that much with HDD's and there are 2TB and 4TB Hybrid SDD's

          The Mac mini offers upto to 2 1TB hdd's and the Imac offers upto 3TB with an Hybrid SDD's option and an HDD at 3TB.

          Why does the mac pro not have 2 SDD ports? so they can at least offer dual 1TB?

          • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:08PM (#45831941)
            The same reason why rack servers don't have a lot of USB ports. The Mac Pro is not a desktop. It is not a Mac mini. People who are using a Mac Pro will be working on large files stored on a SAN or TB enclosures because 1TB will not be enough. So Apple decided not to bother with make the Mac Pro larger to accommodate a feature that few of the intended market will use. If you need a small network file server, Apple makes the Mac mini server. This machine is intended for pros to edit 4K video, not a file server.
        • Well, I just bought a RAID of 24 SSDs with 5 TB usable. All for only $50k.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:47PM (#45831763)
        It seems that every one of your complaints about the Mac Pro is that it doesn't make a good desktop. Let me repeat for you again: A Mac Pro is not a desktop. It is a workstation for professionals. People who are buying this will need TBs of storage (and this will grow quickly). Now if it was a conventional desktop, that would mean that they would have to buy disks all the time and their cases would be fill up quickly. However most people who are using this system are building (or have) SANs with a backup strategy. Often a SAN is required as their work is collaborative. Think a Pixar animator not a Crysis II gamer.
        • it's apple only real non AIO desktop other then the mini.

          the mini lags in hardware and does not offer any better video then laptop based Intel on board chips.

          The imacs are ok but for stuff but for gameing other then maybe the top of line imac with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB upgrade are poor for there screen size.

          and for the price of then top imac you can build an high system for about a $1000 less giving you a lot of room to add your own screen as well full desktop CPU's, HDD's, Video cards and more.

          • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:17PM (#45832015)

            it's apple only real non AIO desktop other then the mini.

            Again, it's not a desktop. It's a workstation. It was not designed for consumers to play games or surf the web. It is intended for professionals for work. As such it was designed with this in mind. Please stop confusing the two.

            the mini lags in hardware and does not offer any better video then laptop based Intel on board chips.

            Then don't buy a mini.

            The imacs are ok but for stuff but for gameing other then maybe the top of line imac with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB upgrade are poor for there screen size.

            Then don't buy an iMac.

            and for the price of then top imac you can build an high system for about a $1000 less giving you a lot of room to add your own screen as well full desktop CPU's, HDD's, Video cards and more.

            Then don't buy an iMac. The crux of your complaint is that Apple doesn't make the system you want them to make. Get over it. Don't buy Apple then. But complaining that Apple hasn't designed a system for you is just complaining to complaining. A Mac Pro was never intended for you. They are intended for professionals. That's like complaining that Mack Trucks doesn't make an 18-wheeler semi truck doesn't that seats 6 comfortably. That's not what it was intended to do.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by berj (754323)

        Why is it a joke? The 256GB is perfect for my needs. We only put the OS and applications and various caches on the local drive of any of our machines (Linux or Mac OS). The rest (about 200-ish terabytes) is network attached.

        I think your definition of "pro" is different from mine.

        • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:00PM (#45831865) Homepage

          Except that I have a 512 GB SSD on my current MacPro - which is about 3/4 full of programs and support files. The scratch disk is a 128 GB SSD. Everything else is enormous gobs of spinning glass. I'd consider the trash can (after Rev 2 of course, never buy Rev 1 hardware from anyone, much less Apple), but I'd probably spring for the 1 TB SSD since you have to have the option to have a separate scratch disk. And yes, theoretically, if you have enough RAM you don't need a scratch disk, but various Adobe products haven't quite figured that out.

    • by AC-x (735297)

      I don't know why they don't have 2 of their PCIe storage ports tho, there's space for it and compared to the cost of the system I doubt they needed to cut such a minor corner (It might even be cheaper because they wouldn't need 2 separate production lines for gfx daughterboards with and without the PCIe connector)

      • by berj (754323)

        I agree with you completely. This is the thing about these machines that I'm just not getting. Why are the graphics cards different? Nevermind the lack of a second PCIe port (which is bad enough).. they're also mirrored so the two cards are *completely* different.

        Strange decision.

    • by raddan (519638) *
      Not to mention, you can still have SATA if you really want it [amazon.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:10PM (#45831437)

    you fucking retards.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      SATA is a ubiquitous and cheap. Now before you reply people using Mac Pro's should not care consider all the multimedia production people that are still sneakerneting assets around to each other and back and forth with clients.

      Cheap external SATA disks are great for that, and its not as much to cry about when something terrible happens to one.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        SATA also maxes out at 600MB/s transfer rate, while thunderbolt maxes at 2.5GB/s, 5GB/s if you use dual channel, 10GB/s if you use two parallel connectors (which the standard supports trivially). The kind of work people who buy MacPros are doing pretty typically needs enormous bandwidth to stream uncompressed video files. Thus Thunderbolt is in fact a much more sane choice than SATA for this machine.

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          Sure, but the requirements storage I use while I am actively working on the content vs the storage I use to drop in a FedEx envelope and send to the customer are very different.

          Incidently the customer likely works in a PC only shop and does not even have a thunderbolt connector.

        • and the disk in side of that thunderbolt system is likely sata anyways?

          So why not just an have E-sata port and save the over head cost an TB to sata cable (that likely does not chain) and or case? while it slows down other stuff on the same bus VS sata that is free with the chipset?

          and before you say online upload / download speeds are not as fast moving big chunks of data in the say 25GB+ range.

    • sata is free with chipset TB2 uses up pci-e lanes and we don't know how meany TB2 buses there are. Also the TB HDD's are SATA anyways or some kind of SAS raid card with the added cost of an case + TB chips.

      • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:44PM (#45831735)

        From the presence of a PLX chip, it seems they're having to split PCIe lanes.

        The Xeon E5-1620 has forty PCIe lanes. Give sixteen to each FirePro card, and you're left with only eight for Thunderbolt and the flash memory. Each Thunderbolt channel uses at least two lanes (they provide four lanes of PCIe 2.0, which is the bandwidth of two lanes of 3.0), so if we assume each port is on its own channel, that's at least twelve lanes. And the SSD is probably using either four or eight lanes as well.

        So now not only do we have to figure out how many Thunderbolt buses there are, but we have to figure out how the PCIe lanes are being switched. It could be that heavy Thunderbolt traffic will slow traffic to the graphics cards and/or flash drive, which is a very, very weird symptom. From the positioning I think it more likely that all the TB controllers are being switched, maybe with whatever other PCIe devices are on the I/O board, but I can't say for sure.

        • Does some have a block map for the mac pro??

          also there are pci-e 2.0 lanes form the chipset? maybe the SDD and other stuff like networking , sound, ect are running off of that?

    • Perhaps true, but I'm not sure it matters that much: eSATA or Thunderbolt, unless you're connecting to a rather large RAID 0 array or some very, very high-end flash hardware the drives themselves will be the bottleneck. The latest eSATA can do well over one giga*byte* per second. Not many drives will hit that.

      • Correction: I misread something. The fastest eSATA is actually only 600MB/s. Still doesn't matter: You'd need multiple SSDs in parallel to hit that.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Only because SSDs are designed with the limitations of SATA in mind. The fastest SATA SSDs by themselves are only as fast as SATA because it makes little sense to make them faster. PCIe based SSD drives (cards?) are often faster than the SATA standard allows simply because the limitation isn't there.
  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:48PM (#45831779)

    "Soda-can shaped"? Really?

  • what even happen to firewire 1600, 3200 it would been better then TB in ways like

    be able to Daisy chain more a lot more then TB is only 6 firewire 63.

    backwards compatible

    able to add to any system with out the need for it to be build into the system board and need on board video chips.

    works on more then just INTEL systems

    more easily be able to have more then 1 bus.

    cheaper cables

    • by raddan (519638) *
      As far as I can tell, there are no FW S1600/S3200 controllers available commercially. But if you want to connect a FW800 network to any Mac, problem solved [amazon.com].
      • That and TB superseded it as you can run USB, Ethernet, video, etc. over TB. Firewire was going to be a file transfer protocol mainly.
    • by fermion (181285)
      When I bought my Powermac G4, it had no SCSI which left me in a pickle. Neither did it have floppy. Fortunate because it had Firewire it did not matter. A simple adapter meant that I could run all my SCSI stuff and a floppy. At the time USB was a toy. Fortunately such a thing exists for Thunderbolt, either as a cheap cable or a full docking station for Ethernet, monitor, firewire, USB, etc.

      One advantage that the external expansion model has over the everything-stuck-inside PC model is migration is ea

  • Do the new Mac Pros have an impressive design? Yes.
    Do power users need a tiny machine? No.
    Do power users want external thunderbolt devices for everything not crammed into the case? I doubt it; I certainly wouldn't.

    The old Mac Pro case (and the G5 case it's based on) are nice designs. The new Mac Pro design is cool, but unnecessary at best. I'd rather have a tower with space for internal drives, PCI Express slots, etc. All Apple had to do was upgrade the damn processor and motherboard in the old Mac Pro, and

    • Agreed. It's a WORKSTATION. It doesn't need to be a tiny little 11 pound can. A few weeks ago a drive was going out in my old Mac Pro. I slid out the drive carriage and slid in a spare sata drive I had laying around on a shelf.

    • Do power users need a tiny machine? No.

      Says you. People are working in smaller spaces now, or moving spaces more often than they used to. A smaller system is really valuable.

      Also great for if you have to work at a location but still want a lot of compute for editing.

      • by csumpi (2258986)
        Wow. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

        First, you need to show some numbers proving that "people are.. moving spaces more often than they used to". Nowadays it's much easier to work from one location and connect through the internet. Saves cost and time wasted on moving around.

        Do you even know what an editor does? Because if you did, you would have a better idea of what equipment an editor uses. Like a couple huge ass monitors. Studio speakers. Mixers. For more important things, in
  • For a score of 8 out of 10, you would think that I could easily get a replacement motherboard, graphics card, or SSD and drop it in. But based on the shape of these components, it looks like you would have to order the parts from Apple directly. Any Mac sys admins care to chime in on this? I don't even see the ability to order spare parts from Apple's web site - is it possible to get spare parts upfront so that users aren't dead in the water if one of the components shits the bed?

    Aside from that, you
  • Nine out of ten Slashdot editors say the new Mac Pro (www.apple.com) is eleventy times better than any other computer in the world, and it's only half the calories and none of the fat!

    So what are you waiting for? Buy a Mac Pro today!

    [* This has been a paid endorsement from the National Society of Internet Tech Website Editors, a division of Apple, Inc (AAPL)]

  • This is not a home computer to tinker on. Whoever has the application and $$$ for it, will not buy equipment like this without extended warranty and most likely on site service.

    I suspect this is just some stupid click bait, or /vertisement for ifixit or apple.
  • iFixit has posted a teardown of Apple's new trash-can-shaped Mac Pro.

    There, FTFY.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @08:33PM (#45833811)

    Perhaps the most surprising thing to me when reading the iFixit article was that their Mac Pro's PSU was only 450 watts. Granted, most enthusiast PSUs are way over-specced (a hangover from the days when even major manufacturers blatantly lied about their wattage ratings), but that still sounds much smaller than I'd expect for a dual-GPU system. The FirePro D300 is basically a professional version of the well-known Radeon HD 7870 gaming card, and that card has a TDP of 175 watts. This one may be clocked lower, as is the case with the FirePro W7000 based on the same silicon, so let's say 150 watts maximum. Take 300W for both GPUs, and another ~125W for the Xeon CPU, and you're pretty close to the limit.

    This also implies that upgraded Mac Pros must have a different, larger PSU. No matter how good Apple's engineering is, there's no way they managed to fit a 12-core Xeon and two power-hungry Tahiti GPUs within a 450W envelope. So if someone is thinking about saving ~$1000 by buying the cheapest Mac Pro and adding the Xeon 12-core themselves, it might not be such a good idea.

    Overall this is a very clever and efficient design. Hopefully it will get some PC manufacturers thinking about alternatives to the absurdly outdated ATX form factor. There is no reason aside from inertia (and patents?) why DIY PC parts could not be oriented around a unified thermal core design. You'd have to come up with a new standard for motherboards, graphics cards, interconnects, and PSUs... but it could be done.

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