On June 10, it will have been five years since Apple first showed off the iteration of the Mac Pro that has come to be known as The Trashcan. It was a push back against critics who were saying Apple had gotten lazy and its products stale. A single look at this computer proved them wrong. By being so large, Apple could spin it more slowly than the smaller fans found in other Macs, helping keep the machine quiet, even under load.
The big story was on the graphics front. The Mac Pro could deliver seven teraflops of computing power thanks to those graphic cards and could push 4K external displays.
All of this technology was packed into a tiny chassis that was just an eighth the volume of the previous design. All of the ports were around the back, with labels that illuminated when the machine was turned around.
Aiming for the sky!
In October , Apple gave additional details about the Mac Pro. Apple was very proud of the fact that the machine was put together in the United States:. We published our first benchmarks of our review model, and the results were in some ways surprising: The eight-core Mac Pro was only 8 percent faster in our Speedmark 9 benchmark suite than a CTO iMac maxed out with a quad-core 3. These results came down to the massive multi-threading the Mac Pro was capable of, something that makes the iMac Pro stand out today.
I had to turn off my quiet Lacie 2big external RAID just to get an idea of what kind of noise it makes, and the drives are sitting much farther away.
Anand Lal Shimpi wrote more about how that was possible:. By having all three players share one large heatsink Apple can optimize for the most likely usage scenarios where at most one processor is running at close to max TDP.
Unfortunately, that thermal balance is what would ultimately do this design in, but more on that in a minute. How do you upgrade the graphics card s? Do these models use standard PC graphics cards?
Specifically, the original entry-level Mac Pro "Quad Core" 3. Photo Credit: Apple, Inc.onperlighdisu.tk
Bringing the TITAN X to the Mac Pro 6,1: Create Pro Blog
Apple does not state whether or not the graphics processors can be upgraded. However, as first confirmed in a teardown by site sponsor Other World Computing , both graphics cards are removable. Both the physical dimensions of the card and the connector are specific to the Cylinder Mac Pro. Mari doesn't currently do this automatically. In testing, GL-based displacement tessellation worked as advertised. High-res painting was very good with no lags.
Ambient occlusion calculation saturated all cores. CPU-based bake speeds looked fast at first, but the CPU usage is not well-multithreaded, so I don't expect this to be much better than non-Xeon hardware unless that can be offloaded to the second GPU in the future. Tumbling speed with high res meshes with lots of layered texture and GL-based data was good.
I did eventually hit a snag where the performance fell due to a complex bump map that was filled with a mix of active adjustments and layered texture data, but this seemed to be a driver issue. Keep in mind, we are basically seeing a 1. It's not unexpected to hit a snag this early on. The Foundry is looking into it, and it would be hard to find a company with more aggressive support, so it should be resolved soon.
The Mac Pro Review (Late 2013)
To test the professional D OpenGL, I tried Houdini playback of a high-poly L-systems scene—it was really good and quite close in speed to the same scene on Windows 8. It will take developers a while to move their large 3D apps to the forward context GL core, and hopefully AMD and Apple can address the speed issues by the time they do. This would seem to be a pretty grim showing for the D, especially for the core machine with lower clock rate relative to the iMac with mobile Geforce GPU. All you have to do is test a newer version of Cinebench to get less painful results.