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The Future of Apple's Pro Desktop Line

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the where-to-walk dept.

266

SB_SamuraiSam writes "WWDC is drawing nearer and ArsTechnica has a thorough look at what they think Apple's plans are for their future Pro desktop line. It's a decent read. As always Ars has a competent pulse on Apple and is more reasonable than purely speculative. From the article:

I think Apple's CPU choice is clear cut. Strange as it sounds, the Xeon 5100 series is the best fit for the Mac. If Apple wants to keep the Quad name alive, it's the only option. Dual CPU configurations are not possible with anything else in Intel land, so if Apple wants to offer two CPUs and four cores, Xeon is the only game in town. With the benchmarks we have seen, the Core 2 Duo is a clear winner for Intel, outperforming anything AMD has to offer. The Xeon? With its faster FSB and different memory, it's even faster than the Core 2 Duo."

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Windows faster on a Mac (5, Insightful)

brucmack (572780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15730921)

It's pretty interesting how things have developed for Apple... It looks like Windows will be faster on an Apple machine than on any other factory-built desktops.

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (2, Insightful)

blacknblu (988181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731100)

Although Apple has introduced Boot camp, I find it difficult to believe that they intended the primary OS to be Windows.

I tend to be optimistic, and believe that Apple is trying to woo third party vendors to take advantage of the new architecture, and introduce more applications.

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15731237)

so, who suggested that was the "primary OS"???

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (4, Interesting)

mrxak (727974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731296)

I don't think anybody believes Apple intends windows to be the primary OS on their hardware. However, it does make for an interesting comparison when windows and windows apps run faster on a Mac than a PC.

What will be most interesting is what Leopard has in store in the way of windows compatiblity. Some think Bootcamp functionality will no longer require a reboot.

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731421)

Some think Bootcamp functionality will no longer require a reboot.

I wonder, would that mean running Windows in a Window (like Parallels), or having a hypervisor and a hotkey to switch between OSes?

Of course, I'd still rather see a complete and 100% compatible DarWINE instead of any kind of virtualization... perhaps Apple ought to put some funding and developer manpower into that!

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (3, Interesting)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731628)

I'm pretty sure Parallels runs using a hypervisor too, IIRC. It's not Mac virtualizing a Windows platform, it's Parallels virtualizing both Mac and Windows. The Mac acts as a host operating system, and Windows as a guest but only in appearance, because Apple won't allow OS X to boot on anything else besides TPM. If Apple would allow booting OS X outside of TPM in some circumstances(which is probably never going to happen) you could conceivably do it the other way around - run Mac as a guest OS to Windows. Is there a Virtual Machine that makes the guest OS think it's running inside a trusted platform? I'm not sure about the specifics.

I could definitely see Mac supporting Windows inside a built-in "Classic"-type virtualization environment and integrating with the OS, so that double-clicking on an exe file in the Mac would launch it in Windows. I could even see them doing that in "rootless" mode like they did with Classic when they first made the transition to OS X - run Windows applications as though they were running on OS X directly - they draw regular Aqua windows instead of Windows Windows, can be switched to from the Dock, and have the same background as other OS X applications (although Classic still head a lot of the appearance of Mac OS 9).

Some people have suggested reproducing the Windows API inside of Mac OS X, since Apple has been given access to the entire Windows API but I think that would run counter to Apple's commitment to comparmentalizing different APIs inside of different protected memory stacks, so that a crash inside a Windows application doesn't take down the whole host OS with it. While reproducing the Windows API doesn't preclude the possibility of running it on top of OS X, instead of parallel to it, it's not worth the effort when an instance of Windows itself can already run on top of OS X. I also don't think that would be better than virtualizing Windows, since a hack could easily make Windows run applications in rootless mode inside the OS X graphical environment . Then they could advertise that Mac OS X now runs Windows programs just as well as it runs Mac programs - even though really it would be Windows running Windows programs on top of Mac programs.

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731368)

At a price that is way to much

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (0, Troll)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731545)

Any price seems high when you can't afford the second "O" in the word too, doesn't it?

Nope (2, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731555)

It looks like Windows will be faster on an Apple machine than on any other factory-built desktops.

There's no evidence for this. You can buy a Dell or HP that has the exact same components as a Mac Pro.

Re:Nope (1, Insightful)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731610)

Here. Have a sip of this kool aide, then tell me what you think. No? You're not feeling it? Step over here, then. Over here, next to this portable reality distortion field. It runs off of Steve Job's urine. Pretty amazing, huh? Now. Are you ready to admit that an Apple computer, with the exact same specs and components as another brand machine, is faster? Way faster? Just nod your head.

Re:Windows faster on a Mac (1)

axelator (940595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731614)

FTA: "Reading the entrails of the sacrificial dogcow is a bit easier these days" -What??

Newt Gingrich: War Monger +1 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15730923)

Some of my colleagues recommended that I write a letter about how Newt Gingrich's favorite activities include cheating, lying, and tricking people into believing that bad things "just happen" (i.e., they're not caused by Gingrich himself). This is that letter. Before I get moving here, let me point out that it's astounding that Gingrich has somehow found a way to work the words "histomorphologically" and "heterochromatization" into his agendas. However, you may find it even more astounding that I, speaking as someone who is not an obscene stirrer, am convinced that there will be a strong effort on his part to make me the target of a constant, consistent, systematic, sustained campaign of attacks eventually. This effort will be disguised, of course. It will be cloaked in deceit, as such efforts always are. That's why I'm informing you that in public, Gingrich vehemently inveighs against corruption and sin. But when nobody's looking, Gingrich never fails to sidetrack us, so we can't reinforce what is best in people. So don't tell me that according to the dictionary, "Gingrich-ism" is "any of a set of perorations that force onto us the degradation and ignominy that Gingrich is known to revel in" just because his analects will cause more harm than good. No matter what he thinks, we must speak neither of the past nor of the far future but rather focus on the here and now, specifically on the daunting matter of his bookish witticisms. The mere mention of that fact guarantees that this letter will never get published in any mass-circulation periodical that Gingrich has any control over. But that's inconsequential, because when I say that Gingrich's smear tactics are uncompanionable, I mean it. I don't mean that they remind me of something uncompanionable or that they have one or two uncompanionable characteristics. I mean that they are uncompanionable. In fact, the most uncompanionable thing about them is the way that they prevent people from seeing that I've known some sad sacks who were impressively frowzy. However, Gingrich is militant, and that trumps frowzy every time.

Gingrich insists that children should belong to the state. This fraud, this lie, is just one among the thousands he perpetrates. When I say that he should stop playing verbal games and tell us what he really means, I don't just mean that he wants to blend together commercialism and exclusionism in a train wreck of monumental proportions, that he wants to make us dependent on the worst kinds of execrable doofuses there are for political representation, economic support, social position, and psychological approval, or that he wants to justify, palliate, or excuse the evils of his heart. Sure, Gingrich indubitably wants all that, but he also wants much more. He wants to work hand-in-glove with the worst classes of mudslinging rabble-rousers I've ever seen. It's really not bloody-mindedness that compels me to combat the censorious ideology of Comstockism that has infected the minds of so many hate-filled schemers. It's my sense of responsibility to you, the reader.

If I had to choose between chopping onions and helping Gingrich require religious services around the world to begin with "Gingrich is great; Gingrich is good; we thank Gingrich for our daily food", I'd be in the kitchen in an instant. Although both alternatives make me cry, the deciding factor for me is that vigilantism doesn't work. So why does Gingrich cling to it? Whatever the answer, Gingrich can't attack my ideas, so he attacks me. It could be worse, I suppose. He could operate in the gray area between legitimate activity and lethargic, disgusting parasitism. Although the historical battle between good and evil is exemplified in the philosophical division between Platonic order and Aristotelian chaos, Gingrich thinks we want him to attack my character. Excuse me, but maybe he spews words like "pseudointernationalistic", "chromatographic", and "hydrometallurgically" and insidiously twists them into catch phrases designed to make interventionism socially acceptable. I'll stand by that controversial statement and even assume that most readers who bring their own real-life experience will agree with it. At a bare minimum, I am deliberately using colorful language in this letter. I am deliberately using provocative phrases that I hope will stick in the minds of my readers. I do ensure, however, that my words are always appropriate and accurate and clearly explain how Gingrich seems to have recently added the word "disproportionateness" to his otherwise simplistic vocabulary. I suppose he intends to use big words like that to obscure the fact that I should note that if we take a strong position on his belief systems, which, after all, perpetuate inaccurate and dangerous beliefs about male-female relationships, then the sea of jujuism, on which he so heavily relies, will begin to dry up.

Is it just me, or do other people also think that I undeniably insist that basic principles, painfully and gradually drawn from the wisdom, the suffering, the aspirations, and the prophetic religious teachings of countless centuries before us are far more trustworthy than Gingrich's benighted musings? I ask, because Gingrich says that dour know-nothings aren't ever incorrigible. That's his unvarying story, and it's a lie: an extremely lackadaisical and oppressive lie. Unfortunately, it's a lie that is accepted unquestioningly, uncritically, by Gingrich's lieutenants. My only goal in writing this letter and others concerning Newt Gingrich is to suggest the kind of politics and policies that are needed to restore good sense to this important debate. But what, you may ask, does any of that have to do with the theme of this letter, viz., that I indisputably seek nothing but justice? This isn't such an easy question to answer, but let me take a stab at it: It's a pity that two thousand years after Christ, the voices of misinformed devotees of conspiracy theories like him can still be heard, worse still that they're listened to, and worst of all that anyone believes them. What he does in private is none of my business. But when Gingrich tries to devise appalling scams to get money for nothing, I object.

Gingrich wants to shift our society from a culture of conscience to a culture of consensus. You know what groups have historically wanted to do the same thing? Fascists and Nazis.

Gingrich periodically puts up a facade of reform. However, underneath the pretty surface, it's always business as usual. What I find frightening is that some academics actually believe his line that the sky is falling. In this case, "academics" refers to a stratum of the residual intelligentsia surviving the recession of its demotic base, not to those seekers of truth who understand that you'll never hear Gingrich admit he made a mistake. And here, I suspect, lies a clue to the intellectual vacuum so gapingly apparent in Gingrich's press releases. If I withheld my feelings on this matter, I'd be no less judgmental than Gingrich. Now, I am all for freedom of speech, but I am a law-and-order kind of person. I hate to see crimes go unpunished. That's why I obviously hope that Gingrich serves a long prison term for his illegal attempts to condone illegal activities. Despite what he says, if Gingrich had lived the short, sickly, miserable life of a chattel serf in the ages "before technocracy" he wouldn't be so keen to bar people from partaking in activities that cannot be monitored and controlled. Maybe he'd even begin to realize that his vengeful, self-righteous refrains paralyze any serious or firm decision and thereby become responsible for the weak and half-hearted execution of even the most necessary measures. News of this deviousness must spread like wildfire if we are ever to appeal not to the contented and satisfied, but embrace those tormented by suffering, those without peace, the unhappy and the discontented.

Gingrich's exploitative editorials can be quite educational. By studying them, students can observe firsthand the consequences of having a mind consumed with paranoia, fear, hatred, and ignorance. Let's understand one fundamental fact: Gingrich finds reality too difficult to swallow. Or maybe it just gets lost between the sports and entertainment pages. In either case, Gingrich has vowed that faster than you can say "orbiculatoelliptical" he'll hurt others physically or emotionally. This is hardly news; Gingrich has been vowing that for months with the regularity of a metronome. What is news is that I suppose it's predictable, though terribly sad, that mingy drunks with stronger voices than minds would revert to demented behavior. But we must treat the disease, not the symptoms. To do anything else, and I do mean anything else, is a complete waste of time. Gingrich has values that are antagonistic to a traditional, moral society. Sadly, lack of space prevents me from elaborating further. Just the other day, some of his detestable flunkies forced a prospectus into my hands as I walked past. The prospectus described Gingrich's blueprint for a world in which quixotic cretins are free to agitate for indoctrination programs in local schools. As I dropped the prospectus onto an overflowing wastebasket, I reflected upon the way that if the past is any indication of the future, Gingrich will once again attempt to take a condescending cheap shot at a person that most ghastly twerps will never be in a position to condescend to.

If Gingrich's diatribes get any more lazy, I expect they'll grow legs and attack me in my sleep. Aside from the fact that Gingrich's viewpoints are propaganda to the point of comedy and are so easily refuted as to render them useless even as such, if Gingrich truly believes that people prefer "cultural integrity" and "multicultural sensitivity" to health, food, safety, and the opportunity to choose their own course through life, then maybe he should enroll in Introduction to Reality 101. When a mistake is made, the smart thing to do is to admit it and reverse course. That takes real courage. The way that Gingrich stubbornly refuses to own up to his mistakes serves only to convince me that he is like a parrot that makes noises for attention without any kind of clue as to what it is saying. Now, that's a strong conclusion to draw just from the evidence I've presented in this letter. So let me corroborate it by saying that Gingrich writes a lot of long statements that mean practically nothing. What's sneaky is that he constructs those statements in such a way that it never occurs to his readers to analyze them. Analysis would almost certainly indicate that Gingrich doesn't care about freedom, as he can neither eat it nor put it in the bank. It's just a word to him.

It may seem to many people, maybe even the majority, that Gingrich has never gotten ahead because of his hard work or innovative ideas. Rather, all of Gingrich's successes are due to kickbacks, bribes, black market double-dealing, outright thuggery, and unsavory political intrigue. Each rung on the ladder of classism is a crisis of some kind. Each crisis supplies an excuse for Gingrich to make serious dialogue difficult or impossible. That is the standard process by which the most treasonous dorks I've ever seen conspire with evil.

Although we can occasionally tie the retailers of invidious new claims to older fabrications, there is unfortunately no shortage of new rumor. With friends like Gingrich, who needs enemies? I mean, his politics are not our only concern. To state the matter in a few words, only through education can individuals gain the independent tools they need to carry out the famous French admonition, écrasez l'infâme!, against his announcements. But the first step is to acknowledge that Gingrich should get a life and stay out of mine. Excuse me; that's not entirely correct. What I meant to say is that if Gingrich's habitués had even an ounce of integrity, they would serve on the side of Truth. The extent of collaboration between Gingrich and scummy pickpockets is unknown, but presumably significant. There's nothing controversial about that view. It's a fact, pure and simple. It was a fact long before anyone realized that even if one isn't completely conversant with current events, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that Gingrich is unequivocally up to something. I don't know exactly what, but his effusions are destructive. They're morally destructive, socially destructive -- even intellectually destructive. And, as if that weren't enough, the point at which you discover that we must fix our sights on the distant future, when we will have finally cleared away the spiritual and physical debris of the Newt Gingrich era, is not only a moment of disenchantment. It is a moment of resolve, a determination that many people are incredulous when I tell them that he intends to confiscate other people's rightful earnings. "How could Gingrich be so garrulous?", they ask me. "It doesn't seem possible." Well, it is sincerely possible, and now I'll explain exactly how Gingrich plans to do it. But first, you need to realize that time cannot change his behavior. Time merely enlarges the field in which Gingrich can, with ever-increasing intensity and thoroughness, perpetuate what we all know is a corrupt system. Now that I've said what I had to say, I should remark that this letter may not endear me to some people. Indeed, it may even cost me a friend or two. However, friends do not let friends get trampled by fastidious humanity-haters like Newt Gingrich. The truth is the truth and we pay a steep price whenever we ignore it.

Patriotically,
Kilgore Trout

First post! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15730931)

Yeah!

The Switch? (2, Informative)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15730936)

It seems to me that Apple might as well hold off on releasing the Pro line until CS3... I've talked to a few designers, and they are all holding out for CS3 to make the upgrade, since they work so frequently in these applications, and they take a big performance hit on the new hardware.

Re:The Switch? (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15730963)

If you spend all your time working in a few select apps, it clearly makes more sense to wait until those apps work well on the hardware. Doing otherwise is just foolishness. OTOH, Adobe won't get their shit together until there are machines out there for the CS apps to run on, so telling Apple to hold off releasing the pro machines until Adobe is ready doesn't make sense. Chicken-egg thing...

Re:The Switch? (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731188)

OTOH, if Adobe waits around too long, they leave a gap that their competitors can use to sneak in and gobble up their market share.

Assuming, of course, that Adobe has any competitors.

Re:The Switch? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731250)

You severely underestimate the stubbornness of artist types... : p

Re:The Switch? (1)

Old Thrashbarg (963675) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731353)

Nah, they bought the only one a while back. Resistance is futile.

Re:The Switch? (2)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731495)

Adobe cares about their professional customers and those people are having Quad or Dual G5 workstations with massive SCSI arrays etc right now.

I am speaking about Photoshop CS type of applications.

Professionals does not throw out $20k mission critical workstations because Steve Jobs became Intel fanboy recently. :)

Adobe listens to their professional consumers and I seriously suspect if they will rush a "mactel binary" because couple of Macbook "Pro" users wanted it.

Re:The Switch? (4, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731371)

We already went through this just a few years ago with OS X. Apple would be STUPID to wait until CS3 comes out. Yes, designers squirmed for a year or two while they waited for all their apps to come out, but Apple managed to stay in business in the meantime, and by the time the apps came out, the OS was quite nice. Hell, the FINDER in OS X 10.0 sucked ass performance-wise; I can't imagine trying to run any real APPS with it. (I used 10.0 to play around with the UNIX side of OS X while I waited 9 months for 10.1 to appear. While 10.1 was out, all the apps were released, and then Apple came out with 10.2 and the whole package was finally very nice.)

Same thing this time: Apple will have new hardware out, and one day when the apps appear, users will be able to buy them and use them that day. Apple will continue to sell G5s, and designers will hoard them, just like they did with the last of the OS-9-booting MDD G4s. The switch to Intel is really no different. Doesn't matter if it's the OS or hardware changing, the effect on the applications is the same: the apps won't run in an ideal manner, so people will either wait to change, or get by with non-optimal systems, untill the apps match the system.

Besides, plenty of people buy nice Macs and don't use CS. Final Cut is already shipping for Intel and Apple's other pro apps will all be universal soon--maybe even coincident with the release of the hardware. I'd expect to see an announcement regarding that at the WWDC as well: "We at Apple have just finished our transition to Intel, and we've also transitioned all of our apps. Yay us!"

The biggest difference this time, actually, is with Adobe: since OS 9 came out, they purchased Macromedia, and Quark almost dead, so Adobe can drag their feet all they want for the Intel transition.* That's another big reason that Apple would be stupid to wait for Adobe to get a product out the door. (Besides, how would it look for Apple to be waiting on Adobe before releasing new hardware? Very weak, that's how.)

* Plus, the switch to Intel ain't exactly easy. [adobe.com] Same situation at Microsoft. [msdn.com]

Re:The Switch? (2, Insightful)

thelost (808451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731544)

chicken and egg or not, the amount of time it took for quark to update quark express to work with mac os x meant alot of designers I knew who needed to use it stayed with mac os 9, as balmy as that sounds, it's sometimes a case.

Re:The Switch? (4, Insightful)

ratbag (65209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731029)

I think the video and coding communities might have a bit to say about that. Not all Apple Pros depend of Photoshop, you know?

Re:The Switch? (2, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731050)

In February, Steve Jobs promised a complete transition by year's end. And as the transition was announced at WWDC, it'd be fitting to end it there.

And don't forget Pros using Apple apps - they're UB already.

Re:The Switch? (4, Insightful)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731069)

And don't forget Pros using Apple apps - they're UB already.


I don't have any numbers of any kind to back this up, so take this with several large dollops of salt, but: I suspect that the number of creative pros who rely on Adobe tools is much, much higher than the number of those who rely on the Apple in-house tools.

And don't underestimate the capacity of design pros to drag their feet. For years, I knew graphic artists who refused to upgrade to OS X because Quark wouldn't run natively in it. Of course, when the new version of Quark finally was release, Adobe's answer was arguably much better.

Let's rescue the term "creative pro" (5, Insightful)

Mies van der Robot (989357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731231)

Here's a heaping pile of salt for you:

Your suspicion is based on the erroneous assumption that all "creative pros" are people who work in graphic design, publishing, web design, etc.

Let's not forget that filmmakers are "creative pros" and a lot of them are using Final Cut Pro Studio and Shake. Musicians are "creative pros" and a lot of them are aready using UB versions of Garageband or Logic. Ableton Live is also already Universal Binary, and very widely used by laptop musicians and DJs.

In fact, a lot of musicians are even using Final Cut Pro Studio, because they loved Soundtrack Pro and their only option to upgrade was an attractively priced crossgrade offer to FCP Studio.

There are many professional creatives already working on Intel Macs to earn their daily bread.

So let's stop acting as if design pros are the only pros who are "creative". They didn't invent creativity, and judging by the current state of the majority of the web, they're not the final word in it either.

Re:The Switch? (5, Insightful)

eltonito (910528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731316)

On the other hand Quark lost market share by not moving to OS X in a timely manner. My wife's firm moved to InDesign when they upgraded to new OS X native machines back in the day. For every person who held out, another switched applications. Quark really dragged their feet on the conversion and I don't think Adobe will hold out as long on the move to UB, particularly if the hardware is selling well. People want the new hotness.

To stay on topic, I've always felt that Apple releases hardware and then developers create software to take full advantage of it. In short, hardware drives software development. It seems to differ slightly from the WinTel universe where hardware upgrades are often invoked by mew software. Admittedly, I have this perception because I always upgrade when new software runs dog slow on my PC. I don't seem to do that on my Mac as much, though the Intel move will probably hasten an upgrade from suddenly ancient G4.

Re:The Switch? (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731503)

On the other hand Quark lost market share by not moving to OS X in a timely manner. My wife's firm moved to InDesign when they upgraded to new OS X native machines back in the day. For every person who held out, another switched applications. Quark really dragged their feet on the conversion and I don't think Adobe will hold out as long on the move to UB, particularly if the hardware is selling well. People want the new hotness.

Wrong, Quark is/was too expensive, had too many problems and too many bad releases. People were almost afraid to upgrade from 4.1. OSX factor ment zilch here.

And InDesign? Not perfect, but still the only other viable solution in that time.

To stay on topic, I've always felt that Apple releases hardware and then developers create software to take full advantage of it. In short, hardware drives software development. It seems to differ slightly from the WinTel universe where hardware upgrades are often invoked by mew software. Admittedly, I have this perception because I always upgrade when new software runs dog slow on my PC. I don't seem to do that on my Mac as much, though the Intel move will probably hasten an upgrade from suddenly ancient G4.

Both are the same. There is no better/worster here. Except that Apple forces you to update much more when you upgrae OS for example.

Re:The Switch? (2)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731377)


I don't have any numbers of any kind to back this up, so take this with several large dollops of salt, but: I suspect that the number of creative pros who rely on Adobe tools is much, much higher than the number of those who rely on the Apple in-house tools.


Apple and Adobe seem to have had a 'falling out' of sorts in the past few years, namely that Adobe's been relucatant to support Apple's latest and greatest technologies for the sake of preserving platform-compatibility with Windows. Adobe's becoming less and less relevant for mac users every year.

Video editing on the mac is pretty much entirely occupied by users of apple's pro stuff. In its price-range, Final Cut is easily the best video-editing solution out there. Adobe doesn't even support Premiere on the mac anymore.

Graphic artists have been predicting the death of photoshop (or at least photoshop as we know it) for some time now. It's a great app that does many things, but probably isn't the best at doing most of them. For layout (for which Photoshop is used sinfuly often), Quark and InDesign both are remarkably better. For graphic design, Illustrator, or any of the many SVG editing apps coming out would do better... For photo editing, many of the RAW conversion tools beat Photoshop hands down at a wide array of tasks, simply given the nature of RAW editing. Adobe has thankfully (finally) jumped on this bandwagon, and their LightRoom app shows great promise in the areas of RAW conversion and non-destructive editing. Still, there are a good many non-adobe products out there that are just as good. Photoshop's definitely losing its edge as a photographic adjustment tool

I think that future incarnations of Photoshop will be geared more toward retouching photos that have already been post-processed elsewhere. This is the one area where Photoshop has no competition, and it genuine excels in. Hopefully the rest of the 'cruft' will be taken out, and in the place of one giagantic monolithic application, we'll have several small applications tweaked and tuned for doing more specific tasks. By virtue of the fact that it will be easier for competetiors to compete with adobe on these small applications, I have a feeling that we're going to see some very polished software being released for the graphic arts industry in the next few years, as adobe becomes less and less relevant.

Re:The Switch? (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731522)

I think that future incarnations of Photoshop will be geared more toward retouching photos that have already been post-processed elsewhere. This is the one area where Photoshop has no competition, and it genuine excels in. Hopefully the rest of the 'cruft' will be taken out, and in the place of one giagantic monolithic application, we'll have several small applications tweaked and tuned for doing more specific tasks. By virtue of the fact that it will be easier for competetiors to compete with adobe on these small applications, I have a feeling that we're going to see some very polished software being released for the graphic arts industry in the next few years, as adobe becomes less and less relevant.


I use Photoshop for all of my post-process stuff except for organization. (Adobe Bridge is crap. I haven't tried Lightroom yet. I paid money for iView Media Pro [iviewmultimedia.com] a few months before they got bought by Microsoft. Aperture is a rip-off. Woe is me.)

I agree that Photoshop has gotten way too unwieldy. My wife, who is an illustrator [relentlesstoil.com] , often complains about this: Illustrator doesn't offer all the functionality she needs by itself, but trying to work in Illustrator and Photoshop simultaneously is a trying experience. But I don't know how Adobe could start to pull Photoshop apart without seriously alienating some sizeable portion of their customers.

Anyway, if Aperture continues to improve, I may have to make the switch to it eventually. But I'm with you - I can't see the coming features/usability war between the graphics software vendors as anything other than a good thing.

Re:The Switch? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731577)

I hear you...

If you've got a PC around, you might give RawShooter [pixmantec.com] a try. Although it lacks much of the advanced retouching features of Photoshop, it's a great RAW Converter/Organization tool that works great for about 90% of the images I process (the other 10% requiring some sort of adjustment in Photoshop, because as you've said.... it does everything).

And unlike Adobe's products, RawShooter's multithreaded, which makes it fast and responsive on just about any hardware.

As an interesting development, Adobe recently purchased the company behind RawShooter, so it's going to be interesting to see how the products get integrated into each other. It would be very unfortunate if the product just gets killed off.

My prediction is that the future of Aperture is uncertain. It's got a lot of promise, but also a slew of bugs. At least apple made the good-faith effort of providing refunds to the people who purchased it.

Re:The Switch? (1)

SilentTristero (99253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731540)

Apple and Adobe seem to have had a 'falling out' of sorts in the past few years, namely that Adobe's been relucatant to support Apple's latest and greatest technologies for the sake of preserving platform-compatibility with Windows. Adobe's becoming less and less relevant for mac users every year.

Quite true.

Video editing on the mac is pretty much entirely occupied by users of apple's pro stuff. In its price-range, Final Cut is easily the best video-editing solution out there. Adobe doesn't even support Premiere on the mac anymore.

But what about After Effects? Apple just discontinued Shake (as if it mattered -- the user base for Shake was maybe 1% of AE's), so AE is the only serious effects platform on the Mac for the forseeable future. The other effects products (Fusion, Nuke, Quantel, Discreet, etc.) are Windows-only or Win/Lin.

So effects work on Macs is still quite closely tied to Adobe, like it or not.

--ST

Re:The Switch? (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731279)

Well, you can look forward to new XServes in January then.

Re:The Switch? (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731366)

It seems to me that Apple might as well hold off on releasing the Pro line until CS3... I've talked to a few designers, and they are all holding out for CS3 to make the upgrade, since they work so frequently in these applications, and they take a big performance hit on the new hardware.

Whatever Apple or designers will be holding, I hope it won't be their breath. CS3 for Intel Mac is said to be out next years fall if they will feel lucky.

Meta discussion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15730962)

Slashdot has spawned an evil looking box marked "show control" that when clicked brings up a bizarre panel of obscure options like "Relatives of focal comments replies -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 N".

The evil looking box chases the window contents as I scroll down, which is distracting, instead of staying fixed to the page like a well behaved widget.

Does anyone know:

1. WTF?
2. How do I get rid of the evil looking box?

Thanks

Re:Meta discussion (-1, Troll)

dduardo (592868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15730984)

Yeah, this is BS. It is slowing down my browser when I scroll up and down because it needs to reposition itself at the top of the screen. The solution is to adblock "socialcomputingsearch.net"

Re:Meta discussion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15730994)

try http://digg.com/ [digg.com]

Re:Meta discussion (-1, Offtopic)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731080)

That's obviously struck a raw nerve with someone. Does anyone actually know anything about the "show controls" thing? I'm assuming it's a very early alpha test that wasn't supposed to go live yet and will be disabled again round about now. Right?

Re:Meta discussion (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15731325)

It's the U of Michigan?'s study on different ways of displaying content. It works quite well in firefox and terribly in IE (which they tell you at the onset. It's kinda slick as you can set different moderation thresholds for how you view posts. So you can read all of the 5s (and their replies) or just see the first line of the 1s (which you can then click to expand). I'd like to see the controls just be embedded in preferences rather than floating on the page, but beggars can't be choosers.

Re:Meta discussion (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731463)

You can disable it by clicking on "preferences" then "comments" and then checking "normal" instead of "U of M testing".

You're only supposed to get it if you agreed to be a part of the survey and then went through a little tutorial on it. At least, that's how I got it. I guess slashdot just changed it for everyone now?

I've found the interface to be fairly buggy. It has some great potential, but sometimes the scripts freeze up and the sometimes show controls is there, sometimes it's not. I hope they work it out, because it could make slashdot a lot better if they do it right.

As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15730987)

Having owned Macs going all the way back to the beginning this is the first time I have ever been faced with Apple coming out with weaker machines than they already are shipping. This whole Intel mess with Apple is enough to make me sick enough to my stomach that I am faced with the first in my life feeling of moving beyond Apple.

Apple this mess didn't need to happen! Your bungling of the IBM relationship was your own fault!

After the years of work with OS X preparing for the use of Cell type CPUs to have lost all of that for the games you played with IBM over order sizes for new chips and all the other games you tried to play have now come back to bite you in the ass.

Apple pro users could be looking at dual and quad Cell based workstations right now - or dual and quad 970 systems with multi-Cell daughter cards, instead we are looking at these joke Intel systems.

At least current quad-970 owners don't have to worry about that usual feeling of obsolescence when new hardware comes out from Apple...

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (0, Troll)

TheSalzar (945163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731044)

Long Live The PowerPC, Back when Apple made Intel "Killers". The apple race has been greatly weakend by the lost of its heritage.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (1)

instantkamera (919463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731175)

" I dont like apple using intels so im going to buy an Intel PC "

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15731213)

What a fucking moron. Was that supposed to be your biting sarcasm?

Yes dipshit, the only option for high performance workstations is a fucking 'Intel PC'

Fucking kill yourself idiot.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15731350)

YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (5, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731240)

Having owned Macs going all the way back to the beginning this is the first time I have ever been faced with Apple coming out with weaker machines than they already are shipping. This whole Intel mess with Apple is enough to make me sick enough to my stomach that I am faced with the first in my life feeling of moving beyond Apple.

People like you - the PowerPC devotee - make me embarrassed to be a 20+year Mac user.

Wasn't your Quad worth the money you paid for it when you bought it? You do realize Apple has to keep revving it's product line, don't you?

Face it - Intel's latest offerings are a better than the 970FX, which is a several-year-old design. The Core 2 has longer legs than the G5 in any form.

Apple's done it's users a favor by moving to a faster, less expensive, more readily available microprocessor part. They've also done users a favor by producing an easily-portable OS and gracious backwards compatibility.

You may pine for the days when you could argue the vagaries of microarchitectures you don't understand on Slashdot, but some of us actually have work to do and look forward to faster, more productive machines - and don't mind paying a few extra dollars for Apple design and the Mac OS. We like the relative simplicity Apple has brought to the x86 platform and we'll enjoy using our faster machines while you moan about your "Four by four monster style" PowerPC.

Go complain up a rope.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (2, Interesting)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731361)

As a 20 year Mac user myself, I want to agree with you except for one thing.

I bought a Mac Mini specifically for FrontRow and specifically so I could stream my video collection from iTunes, and I have never been more embarrassed or dissatisfied with a piece of Apple hardware in a very very long time.

The *only* thing this machine is doing is running iTunes & FrontRow.

More often than not iTunes is pegged at 100% CPU that the entire machine becomes so unstable that I have to pull out the power cord because I can't even shut the machine down gracefully!

2x faster my ass. My older 800MHz iMac G4 was more stable and faster than this Intel crap.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (3, Informative)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731443)

I'd highly suggest returning the machine to Apple for repairs, there is clearly something wrong. Right this moment, I am encoding a 4 GB .MOV (MPEG-4 and AAC) to DVD Format with FFMpegX, have iTunes running on Shuffle playing my music, typing this from inside Camino, talking to friends on Adium and using X-Chat Aqua,Coreduotemp monitoring my CPU temp, and it is still running comfortably. Are you using the Core Solo or Duo? How much RAM is in it? I have the Core Duo Mini w/ 1 Gig of RAM. My Mom's 20" iMac Core Duo w/ 2 GB of RAM knocks the socks off of my old Powermac G4 1.4 GHz (upgraded with Mercury Extreme processor). Have you tried re-installing OS X? Trust me, it is not normal for your Mini to be acting like that. Yesterday, I had FFMpegX encoding another file and was using FrontRow to watch videos at the same time and it worked fine.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (1)

hlimethe3rd (879459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731460)

This might be nitpicky, but it seems like your problem is software, not hardware. Maybe iTunes is just crap: you wouldn't be the first person to think so. iTunes likes to catalog your whole library, this often means it goes really slowly, and for some reason takes lots of CPU power. iTunes is a CPU- and RAM-hungry beast, there's no question about that. One hardware problem you may be having is a network issue, rather than a CPU issue. I've had huge problems running iTunes over any kind of network, and I've give up because of it. Now, some people will jump all over this and say that they've had great success, etc, but clearly not everyone shares that. The Intel-based mini has had (wireless) network problems from day one. Couple that with iTunes trying to catalog your library over a network, and you've got a recipe for trouble.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731417)

I am getting sick of pure mac zealots praising Intel since WWDC announcement.

I also see you pay $100 yearly to .Mac service and you claim the parent being "devotee".

Apple does not announce professional workstation line because there is NOTHING from x86 (Intel) to have Quad G5 specs right now.

People becoming Intel fanatic after WWDC calling concerned Quad G5 owners make me sick indeed.

You call a 64 bit, RISC processor having vector processing unit several year old design... When will Intel reach Altivec specs? SSE3?

Please don't comment about professional workstations, they have nothing to do with your consumer grade shareware applications or games.

Did you watch World Cup Excerpts? Quad G5 is designed for such usage and those people using them does not come to slashdot to comment.

Apple kinda gave up the computer business, they offer stylish Intel whiteboxes with some stylish OS to keep the "computer company" image. You really want the truth? Quad G5 is the LAST true Macintosh coming from Apple.

Rest are locked down, DRM chip having Intel white box crap. You use x86 generic computer and you can't even decide what brand of x86 to use.

Want more truth? I bet you bought a "macbook" pro (!), there is a multiplatform game in hand "World Of Warcraft" which is coded by Blizzard. Use bootcamp , run game on both OS'es and compare fps.

Also read some sites like http://www.power.org/about/faq/ [power.org] before claiming PowerPC is old arch.

Oh check this too: http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype= userpage&username=Ilgaz [stanford.edu]

As there are no Mactel folding@home right now, I wonder how Team Mac OS X is number 11 with these "old" CPUs
http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype= teamstats [stanford.edu]

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (5, Insightful)

wulfhound (614369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731298)

.. except that Cell is completely unsuitable for use as a desktop CPU.

For games consoles with dedicated software? Perhaps.

For scientific computing and HPC? Sure.

As an off-board number cruncher and accelerator chip? Yup.

As a desktop? Heck no, a multi-core x86 or indeed PPC knocks it in to a cocked hat.

BTW, I own both a dual 2GHz G5 and a dual-1.8 iMacIntel. The intel box smokes the G5 by a long distance.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731411)

".. except that Cell is completely unsuitable for use as a desktop CPU.

For games consoles with dedicated software? Perhaps.

For scientific computing and HPC? Sure."

Yes but that is only with the current core that IBM is using.
The SPE could be tired to a full PPC core with out of order execution.
To be honest unless you have programed the Cell I am not so sure that even those first three statements are facts. Until we see some machines that use the Cell it really is just one big maybe. Maybe IBM can work compiler magic that will make programing the Cell not a complete and total nightmare. Maybe the PPC core they are using is fast enough that the lack of out of order execution isn't as big of an issue as you and I think it is.
I am not a Mac user but I am sad to see Apple jump on the the X86 bandwagon. I had high hopes for PPC and now the PPC is only going to live in Workstations, servers, and the embedded space.

Hell when I heard that Microsoft was going to use the PPC in the new X-Box I actually imagined that WindowsXP was going to be available for the PPC and that we where finally going to see a migration away from Intel.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (4, Informative)

4iedBandit (133211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731310)

Apple this mess didn't need to happen! Your bungling of the IBM relationship was your own fault!
Um, I've worked for IBM. I think I can safely say that the bungling wasn't on Apple's part.

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731561)

It doesn't need to be a professional analyst to figure why IBM wouldn't , won't bother with Apple Inc.

IBM sold their desktop/laptop business to China. They don't want to bother with end users one by one anymore.

IBM is not "hurt" by Apple giving up PowerPC, PowerPC is not "dead" because Apple gave it up. PowerPC 970 (G5) is only a single, feature cut model of PowerPC line.

As you guys worked at IBM and working at IBM does not care to tell these simple facts, we feel urge to say it. See there are people who think PowerPC was "Apple" CPU and it "died" after Steve Jobs became Mhz comparing Intel fanboy. :)

Re:As A Quad-970 Owner I'm Sick To My Stomach (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731483)

IIRC, the "Cell" CPU is based on the PPC 4xx/5xx-series core.

No Mac has ever used a PPC chip that primitive. The original PPC Macs used 6xx-series chips.

The cell is approximately equivalent to 8 Gamecube processors all strapped into a single die and pumped to a faster clock rate. You don't want a desktop based on that.

I'm still not fully convinced. (4, Insightful)

A Dafa Disciple (876967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731026)

I think Ars made wonderful points and a well informed prediction. However, though this article [frameworkx.com] is a few months old, I think that the principles behind it will still be in effect for Intel's upcoming lines, namely that a motherboard setup with a multi-core chip is in general cheaper than a roughly equivalently configured multi-chip one, and still for most applications the multi-core configuration will result in greater performance.

Re:I'm still not fully convinced. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731186)

I don't recall anyone ever suggesting that Apple would use multiple single-core chips; Ars is only predicting that Apple will use the Xeon because it wants multiple dual-core chips (and single dual-core chips, to get better economies of scale).

Re:I'm still not fully convinced. (2, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731227)

I think Ars made wonderful points and a well informed prediction. However, though this article is a few months old, I think that the principles behind it will still be in effect for Intel's upcoming lines, namely that a motherboard setup with a multi-core chip is in general cheaper than a roughly equivalently configured multi-chip one, and still for most applications the multi-core configuration will result in greater performance.

Yes, but here, I don't think there are any single-core chips in play. The debate seems be be among dual-core chips, Xeon and Conroe, and further whether to use one or two dual core chips. The days of using multiple, single-core chips are gone. The article contends they'll go with Xeon because it's the only one of the dual-core chips that can be used in a multi-chip configuration, which is the only way Apple could hang on to the whole "Quad" thing. It would make a helluva flagship desktop PC. I tend to agree, because they need to maintain some kind of niche for their towers. It needs to be more than just slightly more powerful than the iMac.

Missing the point (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731416)

The parent's post had nothing to do with single core chips. What he was getting at is that intel is likely to release a quad-core chip to fill the role that the dual Xeons have filled. Therefore, as far as the apple linup goes, dual 2-core processors will be a very short lived technology depending on how long they wait to release thier pro line.

Re:I'm still not fully convinced. (3, Insightful)

spicyjeff (6305) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731428)

I don't understand your arguement. Apple currently ships a dual-processor workstation and each CPU has dual cores, referred to as the Quad G5. The article points out the obvious that the only way to duplicate this is with the Woodcrest Xeon parts since the Conroe is dual core, however it does not support more than a one CPU configuration. If Apple is to at least match and hopefully succeed the perceived and true power of their current offerings, they need a Quad core workstation as they offer now with the Quad G5. Two Woodcrest Xeon CPUs is the only way to achieve this goal with Intel's lineup. And the cheaper version will most likely mirror the G5 version as well, only sporting one Woodcrest Xeon with dual cores.

Apple is doing what is possible whith the chips that are available. And of course its a no brainer that as soon as a CPU with four cores or more is available from Intel, Apple will be looking for ways to get it in a Mac.

Re:I'm still not fully convinced. (1)

wateriestfire (962915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731554)

Don't worry when Windows becomes the only OS to run on Macs there will be NO DIFFERENCE between Macs and regular PCs. That way everything will be uniform and Macs will be cheaper just like Dell, HP and Gateway. How is running a Mac box running windows on Intel processors different than a HP running windows on processors? It totally kills their whole marketing ideal of creativity.

pure speculation (2, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731070)

Pure speculation here, but what's preventing Apple from using an Opteron in their Pro lines? Last I heard, AMD had the competitive edge in the high-end/server market...

Personally, I'm waiting on an Intel XServe.....

Re:pure speculation (1, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731087)

But its no server.
Its a workstation.

Abd sadly, AMDs advantage rather violently evaporated the last 2 weeks.

Re:pure speculation (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731442)

AMD advantage will come back with quad-core CPU as the Intel ones are the hack jobs of there first duel cores and with the Intel chip set NO SLI, NO Cross Fire apple will loss some of the high market on just that.

Amd Also has plans for Hyper Transport based cards and Co-processors that sound like the next thing to have in the high end market and people in it who are not into games may want to go for it.

Re:pure speculation (3, Interesting)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731127)

I'd have to guess being uniform. It's pretty obvious that they're going with the Intel route for everything else as the Core Duo is a decent chip (and the Core 2 chips are supposedly quite nice). Having their pro line be the black sheep might cause more headaches than they'd want: different motherboard, different chipset, different CPU, different drivers, etc. Might as well "go with what's working" for them.

That being said, considering their already buying bulk from Intel, adding another line of chips to their order is probably fairly cost efficient. So now instead of buying x chips from Intel at a bulk-order discount of y, they'd be buying 1.2x for perhaps an even larger discount-per-chip (0.98y). After all, you can get lower than a standard OEM price if you buy large-enough bulks.

Re:pure speculation (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731535)

Well, not quite.

Apple's "Pro" stuff has always been quite a bit different.

For one, it took *forever* for the G5 to make its way from the PowerMac to the iMac (at which point, it stopped completely). The G5 was a radically different architecture from the G4, not to mention that Apple's been flip-flopping between IBM and Moterola for years. Apple, of all people, should have learned the lesson not to put all of its eggs in one basket after their falling out with IBM subsequent to Motorola exiting the market.

Likewise, G4 and G3 were simply brand names for a whole series of PowerPC chips, many of which differed greatly in terms of architecture. The chips used in the final incarnations of the G3 iBook were *completely* different (not just in terms of clock speed) from the chips used in the blue and white desktop G3s.

Apple's no stranger to branding several significantly different products as the same thing.

Re:pure speculation (3, Interesting)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731352)

An "Exclusive for X years" deal with Intel is the reason Apple can't use Opteron; the reason Apple won't use Opteron is because Intel provides the complete package of processor and chipsets, optimized for stability and performance. In order to use AMD processors, Apple would have to sign deals not just with AMD but also with ATI, or NVidia, or VIA, or another chipset maker.

And you're wrong, AMD no longer has the high-end edge. They won't regain it until 2008 at the earliest.

Re:pure speculation (1)

Patented (987523) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731386)

Let's play pure speculation... In a perfect world... 1. Apple would release a Macintel box with Core 2 chips in a G5-styled case with room for expansion and upgradability (Optical drives and PCIX video especially). 2. The use of Intel processors would spur on game developers to push [b]native[/b] MacOS support. 3. Prices of Macintosh PC's would become comparable to their PC counterparts, as well as components. As it currently stands, you are paying high prices for systems that are well built and designed, yet not bleeding edge as far as hardware is concerned... you could take the same amount of cash, put it into a beigebox that would be years ahead of the same system, with software and aesthetics being the main differences. Will these things happen? I know if they do, a new Mac would be on my desk rather quickly.

Re:pure speculation (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731513)

Apple? AMD?

You miss the fact that Apple locked itself to Intel brand.

Those Intel guys speaking in conference, cheesy games like not supporting Firewire 800 because people still see USB2 as a joke...

If you want AMD from Apple, I don't think it will happen.

Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (3, Insightful)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731108)

I'm guessing that apple will make their new lineup similar to their current one. A single dual-core for the low end(conroe), a faster single dual core for the midrange (conroe) and dual dual-core or the high end (woodcrest).

Apple desperately needs to update their powermac line; its embarassing when compared to any current PCs.

Apple:
Dual-core 2.3GHz PowerPC G5 processor
512MB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-4200)
250GB Serial ATA hard drive
16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with 256MB GDDR SDRAM
$2,499.00

Dell XPS 700:
Dual-core 3.0ghz Pentium D
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs
320GB Serial ATA Harddrive
16x DVD-ROM
16x Dual-Layer DVD+/-R/RW Dvd burner
Dual 256MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GS in SLI
20 inch UltraSharp(TM) 2007FPW Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
$2503

For $4 more, you get a faster processor, 4 times the memory, more harddrive space, dual optical drives, SLI, and a 20" LCD. Apple has done a good job of making sure that they add a lot of mac only accessories (or gimmicks depending on your point of view) that make direct comparisons to a PC harder. Stuff like backlit keyboards with light sensors, integrated webcam, frontrow, firewire, small formfactor, etc.

On a tower, things like expandibility, quiet operation, and size are pretty important and apples last workstation was fairly poor by that standard. The powermac looks nice, but 2 harddrive bays and 1 optical bay aren't going to cut it in such a large case.

Apple's brand is strong enough to command some premium, but they certainly are immune to market pressure and may need to realign their pricepoints. Mac minis need to start at $500, imacs at $1000, and Mac pros at $1500. Notebooks should start at $800 and $1500 respectively.

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731206)

I agree with your comment on the whole, but as far as expandability, the PowerMac does have one thing going for it. 8 RAM slots for a total potential of 16GB of RAM. That's pretty expandable.

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731235)

The G5 will still kill the Pentium D in just about anything, and by a good margin. Most people underestimate just how damn good that processor is(and altivec). Hop into any Apple store and run benchmarks yourself if you so desire.
Regards,
Steve

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731259)

Depends on the benchmark used, as has been amply demonstrated, and I'll guess which way the ones in Apple stores will be slanted...bottom line is, every day the Intel competitors are getting faster and the G5s aren't, so it's about time they were retired.

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (2, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731322)

The XPS is a gaming rig. It looks great on specs but few companies will buy it. Companies who buy DELL for the sort of work done on macs typically buy the "Precision" line.

However, it doesn't change much to your conclusion. A decent dual-core, dual cpu rig powermac G5 from Apple with 2GB of RAM, the Nvidia 7800 graphics card and a 20-inch monitor costs about 5k, whereas the similarly specced Dell Precision costs 3.5k. The difference is substantial.

However the Powermacs are nice, well made and powerful enough, at these prices only relatively rich companies buy them, but evidently Apple wants to be in that market.

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731618)

Ironicly enough our company has quite a few XPS's around... (I think one even came in today)

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (5, Insightful)

larkost (79011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731497)

While you do mention that Apple generally includes things that other manufactures do, I think you brush that off a bit too quickly. In the Apple computer that you mention here are a few of the things you forgot to mention:

Capacity of 16GB of memory. (the Dell maxes out at 8)
The video card has a Dual-Link DVI capable of driving 30" displays. (not on the standard Dell, probably an option)
Apple has two 4x PCI-Express slots and one 8x slot open. (the dell has one 1x and one 8x open.. but in fairness does have the space for SLI)
The Apple has FireWire 800, which if you are doing video is a god-send. (not an option on the Dell... you just can't pump that data over the busses if it is not connected to the NorthBridge and expect to have decent performance)
Optical audio in and out (probably an add-in option on the Dell... possibly third-party)

Go look at Dell's site for things that have those sorts of specs and you will be in the "Workstation" class products, and you will be looking at a large price jump.

And your summary judgement that the G5 is not as good as the Pentium D is very arguable. The two processors are in the same class as each other, to the point where saying either one of them is "faster" is misleading at best. You have to be very specific about what "faster" means in order to have an honest comparison. Anything else is simply a lie.

And as to the prices you say that Apple "has to" have. I think that Apple's continued existence over the last few decades means that they have a good idea what they "have to" do. And if you look at products that are comparable (and I challenge you to find a product that is comparable to the Mac mini... remember size is a real feature) I think that your illusions of Mac's being significantly more expensive disappear.

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731564)

For $4 more, you get a faster processor, 4 times the memory, more harddrive space, dual optical drives, SLI, and a 20" LCD. Apple has done a good job of making sure that they add a lot of mac only accessories (or gimmicks depending on your point of view) that make direct comparisons to a PC harder. Stuff like backlit keyboards with light sensors, integrated webcam, frontrow, firewire, small formfactor, etc.

For $4 more you don't get a Mac.

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

prichardson (603676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731583)

While I agree that high end Apples are very expensive, you say that they are noisy. The G5 is one of the quietest towers I've ever seen. At my university we have a lab about half filled with G5s and half filled with some flavor of dell thing. The G5s are very quiet. I think the G4s were the last tower to be really loud, but I just replaced mine with a new iMac, and I've never heard so much as a peep out of it, even while playing some pretty beefy games or doing video encoding.

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

mrcdeckard (810717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731599)

This is a fair comparison, but everyone on /. should know by now -- YOU GET OS X WITH A MAC! forgetting the arguement whether it's better/worse than windows/linux, there are a lot of features/apps that many pros will require, meaning the dell is plain out of the question -- they need a machine that will run os X at (almost) any price.

mr c

Re:Woodcrest for the high end, Conroe for others (1)

vistic (556838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731606)

I agree, those price points would be perfect.

I wonder how much it actually costs to manufacture these things, and how much is profit.

I bet my intel core solo mac mini cost less than $300 to make.

Xeon are for the XServe! (1)

shadow_x99 (724165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731128)

IMHO, the author is wrong about Xeon going into Pro Macs... Core 2 Duos for the Low/Mid Range Pro Macs with Core 2 Extremes for the High-End Pro mac is much more likely... My 2 Cents

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (2, Insightful)

doh123 (951318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731149)

they will have Xeon 5100s in the high end ones. The core 2 extreme can not run in a dual socket for 4 core configuration. Apple at this point cant afford to skip on a 4 core workstation.

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15731222)

And if there are two Xeons in the high-end, they'll want one Xeon in each of the low end machines for uniformity (simplifies things for them).

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731481)

I don't think they'll use Xeons in the "Power Mac", but that's where all of the speculation is running, and I don't have the energy to argue with people about it (especially the retards who inhabit most forums- I'm looking at you, MacRumors).

Whatever processor they go with, Apple will use the same motherboard for all models- which means either Xeons on the low end or no quad. I think Apple will go with Core 2 Duo and skip the four core model until January, which is when Intel's roadmap shows quad-core processors available.

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (0)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731233)

The author is silly talking about current Xeon's vs new Duo anyhow. Conroe (Duo-tech) based Xeon chips will be coming out in September. Those will likely blow away any thoughts of using current Xeons just as the new Duo's will disuade anyone from wanting an old Pentium D series chip in their machine.

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (5, Informative)

frankie (91710) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731381)

Conroe (Duo-tech) based Xeon chips will be coming out in September

Umm... you apparently haven't been paying attention since 2005. Intel rearranged their ship dates months ago. Xeon 5100 series [slashdot.org] (aka Woodcrest, aka Core 2 Server) is already shipping and available [google.com] .

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731465)

Yep. You are right. I'm out of date. I didnt' realize any vendors had 5100's availabe. And since I hadn't seen any of those chips on Pricewatch, I thought they were still shipping later.



In my defense, The Register had this article [reghardware.co.uk] today about "Intel 'Tulsa' 65nm Xeon MPs to ship 27 August?". I thought those were the 5100's, and didn't realize they were 7100's.

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (2, Informative)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731393)

Core 2 Xeons (Xeon 5100 series) are available now. You can go online and buy them. Er, well, most e-tailers are out of stock, but OEM's always get first pick. Go to this page and click auto-notify: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16819117100 [newegg.com]

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731405)

Yep. Apparently some of the new articles I just read on the Duo had the old info, plus I hadn't seen them on pricewatch yet.

Incorrect: Core 2 based Xeons are out now. (1)

Bishop (4500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731543)

Conroe (Duo-tech) based Xeon chips will be coming out in September.

The Xeon 5100 series chips are Core 2 (Conroe) based. These chips are code named Woodcrest and started shipping in June. See the page 2 of the article [arstechnica.com] . You must be thinking of the older Intel roadmap.

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (1)

Ollierose (202763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731624)

Woodcrest Xeons are the chips being talked about - the Xeon 5100 series, which has been released in the last couple of weeks (and suprisingly seems to have been overlooked by everyone drooling over Conroe).

http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2793 [anandtech.com] has an Anandtech benchmark/review of this chip, which might give you an insight into their speculation.

Re:Xeon are for the XServe! (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731514)

The Core 2 Duo Extreme is more expensive than the Xeon line ($999 versus $800), so this is reason enough not to use Core Extreme

well, the link i went to... (1, Interesting)

kesuki (321456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731205)

was kinda screwed up :) i mean it looked like 7 different editors had gone through it and tried to put in their own views of what the new mac pro should be. and wound up stuck in an infinite loop of just rehashing the same issues.

there are better articles out there on the new mac pro. i just haven't had a chance to read them yet.

Quad CPU is expensive software wise too (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15731252)

I use Quad G5 desktop.

The problem is Applications. I keep monitoring Applications CPU usage, I see many of them use single CPU, mencoder like open source stuff uses single CPU while iDVD happily uses all 4 CPUs (360% CPU usage)

Legendary mac shareware uses single CPU while saving TIFF files. To use all CPUs you need professional applications and they are expensive.

Photoshop CS, AVID comes to mind.

Games are just beginning to use SMP and can't expect 4 CPU.

There is advantage of Quad CPUs but don't expect too much.

Also as a person used Xeon systems, Xeon is not a top of the line game/ordinary application performer. It is optimised for corparate/server usage from the start.

Re:Quad CPU is expensive software wise too (1)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731505)

Also as a person used Xeon systems, Xeon is not a top of the line game/ordinary application performer. It is optimised for corparate/server usage from the start.

Yes, I hear that Intel removed the x86 instructions responsible for accelerating games and ordinary applications from the Xeon.

That's what I like about Apple's move to x86 - all of the Mac owners who were previously confined to being ignorant about the PPC architecture on public forums can now be ignorant about x86 as well. It's truly a brave new world.

Re:Quad CPU is expensive software wise too (3, Insightful)

larkost (79011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731519)

So your argument is that non-pro software is not optimized to use expensive pro-level hardware? How is that news or important?

If your needs justify the expense of a Quad-core computer, then your needs also justify the expense of the professional software needed to drive it properly. After all, "professional" means that you are making money doing that.

Not buying a Mac? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15731347)

Anyone not buying a Mac because it contains an Intel?

I'm curious because I have several friends that will not buy one now because it contains a Intel.

Some point out that the real reason Mac picked Intel over AMD was for the simple fact of marketing.

It was sighted that one of there reasons for picking Intel was the heating issue of the CPU. They thought Intel was better at controlling heating issues. What I hear on the news now and from one friend this has happened to is the new Macs are reporting over heating issues, even exploding and catching fire.

What I remember from talking to other friends and colleague is that it was Intel that had the notorious reputation for over heating issues and that AMD was better.

Some friends wish Mac would have offered choices instead.

The Intel fan could have a Mac with Intel or the AMD fan an AMD CPU inside the Mac.

One friend pointed out they thought this was just another blunder Mac is famous for making. They shot themselves in the foot ... again.

By not offering choices they have alienated a huge section of potential buyers.

???

Re:Not buying a Mac? (1)

LocutusMIT (10726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731541)

Anyone not buying a Mac because it contains an Intel?

I'll admit that I'm waiting on it, and buying used PowerPC Macs. Once there's good emulation support for my Classic apps, I'll switch over.

Opteron (1)

jwilhelm (238084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731369)

It's too bad they aren't willing to look at the new AMD Opteron 4x4 and 8x8, mentioned recently. That would allow the system to keep the quad (and beyond) name and run cool and efficiently (compared to the Xeon).

Re:Opteron (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731593)

A Woodcrest system should have very similar power consumption to a 4x4 system. For example, check out AnandTech's comparison [anandtech.com] .

Prediction on the Outer Case (4, Interesting)

Hootenanny (966459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15731429)

I'm willing to hazard a guess on the nature of the redesigned enclosure.

Have you noticed how Apple likes a certain symmetry between applications (iTunes brushed aluminum, Safari brushed aluminum) and the Pro enclosure (G5 brushed aluminum)? Apple seems to be experimenting with a lighter, smooth metal theme as seen in the current Mail.app. I hereby conjecture that the new Pro Mac enclosure will likewise be a very light-colored, smooth metal with a similar look.
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