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View Full Version : Mac Pro with Mavericks -- what's in it for me?



aostling
10-20-2013, 12:09 AM
My favorite app on my Macbook is Lightroom 4. I want to upgrade to Lightroom 5 but this won't run on my OS X Snow Leopard machine. It's time for a new computer with more capacity, more memory, and flash drives instead of spinning hard discs. On 23 October there is an Apple media event which might announce the pricing for the new Mac Pro, running Mavericks.

The 1984 Mac cost $2495, equivalent to $5600 in 2013 dollars. I assume the new Mac Pro will be less expensive than that. It looks pretty nifty -- a small black cooling tower with a circular fan drawing air up the chimney.

Will this new machine tempt any Windows guys to make the switch? If so, how much should it cost. http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/mac-pro/

Tor
10-20-2013, 12:56 AM
Nah, no switch likely here - but then I'm not a windows guy. I look at that and see a proprietary monstrosity that may look kind of pretty, but woe betide you trying to replace anything on failure - or at least that's my first response interpretation. Also, I find OSX to have one of the most unpleasant GUIs to work with. Others may like it, but to me there are some rather important ways of working with windows in a GUI that are impossible (or at least require obscure third party utilities to accomplish). As for the polish argument? If you happen to agree with apple's choices, perhaps so. If not, the system fights every attempt to get something done. At least its BSD base lets it play nice on our network, so I'll take it over windows for other peoples systems on the network that I have to deal with and keep running.

dp
10-20-2013, 02:48 PM
I haven't seen anything in it that is compelling. My greater concern is backward compatibility with existing app investments. With Lion I have a stable OS and application suite (it is predictable). I'd hate to have to start over especially if I have to shell out a lot of money or have to get sucked into a cloud paradigm. There are now too many clouds and there are more clouds on the horizon.

madwilliamflint
10-20-2013, 03:14 PM
There's nothing interesting enough to compel me to switch over. I REALLY like Windows 8, the Office 365 suite and the Visual Studio 2013 development toolchain. I've got a couple recent macs and ...they're fine.... I guess. My unix needs are satisfied by a Red Hat development machine and a pair of servers. I don't have any real complaints about OS X in its most recent incarnations. But the price they charge for equivalent hardware is offensive.

mickeyf
10-20-2013, 09:04 PM
You are the first person who I have heard to say that they like Windows 8. I'd be interested to know where you find the improvements/advantages/appeal.

Leadfootin
10-20-2013, 09:22 PM
How many years did you have that Mac? How many Windows machines would you have needed for the same time period? How much would you have spent on anti-virus and upgrade software?

Now you know why I switched to Apple products.

I expect one more complete product cycle before general obsolescence replaces the PC as we know it.

Peter

macona
10-20-2013, 09:40 PM
The new MacPros looks pretty incredible. Tiny machine for a 12 core xeon unit. I could fit 6 of them in the space of my 12 core xeon machine. Kind of the G4 Cube grown up.

Proprietary hardware. Big deal. Dell sells tons of machines and they dont use generic parts, almost everything in there is custom and no one complains. Even the mac pros use no standard major components other than drives and memory.

I am kind of curious how much the PCIe expansion chassis are going to cost. But with the IO included most people wont ever need one.

aostling
10-20-2013, 09:57 PM
I don't want to give up my 20" Apple Cinema Display (1680x1050) for the simple reason that it is the last of Apple's matte monitors. Switching to glossy screens has been described as Apple's worst blunder. My monitor is connected to the 13" Macbook under my desk, which sits there permanently with the lid shut now that I use an iPad Mini while traveling.

My upgrade choices are logically either (a) Mac Mini, or (b) Mac Pro, neither of which have monitors. I'd consider an iMac if they ever offer one with a matte screen, but there are no rumors of that happening.

Zero_Divide
10-20-2013, 10:16 PM
How many years did you have that Mac? How many Windows machines would you have needed for the same time period? How much would you have spent on anti-virus and upgrade software?

Now you know why I switched to Apple products.

I expect one more complete product cycle before general obsolescence replaces the PC as we know it.

Peter

Over tbe last 10 years i have built 2 pcs.
And i am still using wimdows xp.
It satisfies my needs and i have not seen a program that does not run on xp.
I assume i can have it for another 10 years.

The curse and the blessing of microsoft software is backwards compatibility.

madwilliamflint
10-20-2013, 10:35 PM
How many years did you have that Mac? How many Windows machines would you have needed for the same time period? How much would you have spent on anti-virus and upgrade software?

Now you know why I switched to Apple products.

I expect one more complete product cycle before general obsolescence replaces the PC as we know it.

Peter

*facepalm*

madwilliamflint
10-20-2013, 10:45 PM
You are the first person who I have heard to say that they like Windows 8. I'd be interested to know where you find the improvements/advantages/appeal.

Roughly and incompletely:

- The complaints about the start menu going away are just silly. You can still get to everything just fine. I had some trepidations about what appeared to be a mouse-gesture system of moving the mouse to a corner of the screen to get to things (the start screen, search and system shutdown functionality, etc.) But it's the same damn thing I did when clicking on the start button.
- The metro interface is very slick, but not at all required. You're not boxed in to that start page (or whatevertheheck they call it.) One click and you have your old desktop back, including the taskbar with pinned icons if you want 'em, etc.)
- 8 SEEMS to me to make better use of hardware. It boots fast and runs fast. (I put it on a 2 year old mid-range machine via an 'upgrade' rather than a fresh install. I lost nothing in the move.)
- System management applications (control panel applets, task manager, etc.) are a bit cleaner. It's easier to maintain and tougher to break (admittedly anecdotal.)

The new metro layout of the office applications does take some getting used to, but I do like them. There is a little lag apparent in the Excel interface. They seem to have added subtle animations here and there that annoy me a bit. I hope I can turn them off. But it's not even so noticeable as to be inconvenient, much less a deal breaker.

I've been writing software since the mid 70s, and spend upwards of 60-80 hours a week in front of a computer. I just can't find anything to complain about with Windows 8. I wasn't an early adopter and I'm definitely not a rah rah Microsoft guy.

Complaining about Windows 8 is the same complaining people were infected with when Windows 95 came out, and when XP, Vista and 7 came out. (Though Vista was pretty wonky.) Different is apparently scary.

gcude
10-21-2013, 12:01 AM
Roughly and incompletely:

- The complaints about the start menu going away are just silly. You can still get to everything just fine. I had some trepidations about what appeared to be a mouse-gesture system of moving the mouse to a corner of the screen to get to things (the start screen, search and system shutdown functionality, etc.) But it's the same damn thing I did when clicking on the start button.
- The metro interface is very slick, but not at all required. You're not boxed in to that start page (or whatevertheheck they call it.) One click and you have your old desktop back, including the taskbar with pinned icons if you want 'em, etc.)
- 8 SEEMS to me to make better use of hardware. It boots fast and runs fast. (I put it on a 2 year old mid-range machine via an 'upgrade' rather than a fresh install. I lost nothing in the move.)
- System management applications (control panel applets, task manager, etc.) are a bit cleaner. It's easier to maintain and tougher to break (admittedly anecdotal.)

The new metro layout of the office applications does take some getting used to, but I do like them. There is a little lag apparent in the Excel interface. They seem to have added subtle animations here and there that annoy me a bit. I hope I can turn them off. But it's not even so noticeable as to be inconvenient, much less a deal breaker.

I've been writing software since the mid 70s, and spend upwards of 60-80 hours a week in front of a computer. I just can't find anything to complain about with Windows 8. I wasn't an early adopter and I'm definitely not a rah rah Microsoft guy.

Complaining about Windows 8 is the same complaining people were infected with when Windows 95 came out, and when XP, Vista and 7 came out. (Though Vista was pretty wonky.) Different is apparently scary.

My wife got a new laptop with Windows 8 on it a couple weeks ago and did nothing but complain about Windows 8. I downloaded the 8.1 service pack Friday night and did the little tweaks to the UI and now she is happy as a clam. The 8.1 service pack doesn't make it Win7 but it goes a long way toward making it palatable to people that are comfortable and good friends with Win7.

Back to the Mac, I have an older powerpc Mac that is also not supported by newer software. So far, I haven't had the urge to upgrade, but I do stay tuned in to what's new with iOS and some day may update to newer hardware.

aostling
10-22-2013, 07:00 PM
Mavericks is free. I was even more surprised to learn that it is compatible with my late 2008 13" aluminum Macbook, running Snow Leopard. I can leapfrog right over Lion and Mountain Lion and see what Mavericks is all about.

The new cylindrical Mac Pro http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/mac-pro is likely to be more powerful than I will need. I should probably get a new Macbook Pro with flash storage, which costs much less.

Mike Amick
10-22-2013, 09:01 PM
Complaining about Windows 8 is the same complaining people were infected with when Windows 95 came out, and when XP, Vista and 7 came out. (Though Vista was pretty wonky.) Different is apparently scary.

Sorry Mad .. I dissagree

I'll spare you my PC credentials .. but .. lets just say I have done development since you had
to use debug to format a hard drive.

I have loved every progression of Windows that has come about .. with the exception of
Vista. I was a little slow to try 8 but .. pretty much had to when the people I consult with
started showing up with it. I told them to cowboy up and just learn it (actually before I
even tried it out.) Then I installed it (still have it dual boot) and tried for a week to get
comfortable with it. I hate it .. Its the most un-intuitive OS I have ever used. I applaud you
for becoming comfortable with it.

Doozer
10-22-2013, 09:52 PM
This thread has nothing to do with machining.

-D

lazlo
10-22-2013, 09:59 PM
Ivy Bridge E Xeon processors with up to 12 cores
Dual AMD FirePro GPUs standard


It's basically a very expensive x86 workstation in a proprietary chassis. Shrug.

If the size is your thing, buy an entry-level Moonshot server. It'll be a lot less expensive.

macona
10-23-2013, 12:20 AM
I installed Mavericks a few hours ago. Cant really see much of a difference. Some multi monitor tweaks, a couple new apps. A few UI tweaks (When you have too many icons on your desktop they no longer pile up in the corner.). But hey, its free so who cares.

I wouldn't mind having one but my Mac Mini is still good enough with core2duo. And there is nothing I have ran that has taken advantage of my PC which is 12 cores. I need to try getting mac os installed on that...

The one interesting thing is the Mac Pro is made in the USA.

aostling
10-23-2013, 02:17 AM
The one interesting thing is the Mac Pro is made in the USA.

There is a new Intel fab facility which I can almost see from my balcony. Perhaps the new Xeon E5 processors are made there. Any idea where the Mac Pro is assembled?

macona
10-23-2013, 02:21 AM
Not sure. There are several fabs by my work. Ronler Acres is/has been getting a huge expansion, D1X. But that is mostly research fabs from what I have seen. Then there is Jones Farm, Hawthorne Farm and the Aloha Campus.

dp
10-23-2013, 02:34 AM
I installed Mavericks a few hours ago. Cant really see much of a difference. Some multi monitor tweaks, a couple new apps. A few UI tweaks (When you have too many icons on your desktop they no longer pile up in the corner.). But hey, its free so who cares.

If for any reason you want to go back to Lion, can you?

macona
10-23-2013, 03:49 AM
If for any reason you want to go back to Lion, can you?

Probably just reinstall. It is not that big of an update, really. Pretty much about as different as going from 10.7 to 10.8. Little things here and there.

lazlo
10-23-2013, 11:04 AM
A US-made Mac Pro is a token gesture (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57608792-37/a-us-made-mac-pro-is-a-token-gesture/)

A Mac Pro manufactured in the US? Color me unimpressed.

Apple CEO Tim Cook made some waves in December when he said the company would pour $100 million into a manufacturing facility in the US to manufacture some Macs. It was unclear until yesterday just which Mac would get the "Made In USA" treatment.

"It will happen in 2013," he said in an interview with Bloomberg back in December. "We're really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it's broader because we wanted to do something more substantial."

I'm not sure if the Mac Pro would fall under the definition of substantial. As the announcement was largely seen as a move to counter the criticism it leaned too heavily on outsourced production (which is actually true of virtually all tech companies), the cynic in me can't help but to think that having the Mac Pro made in the US is largely a token gesture with little impact on the larger company.

"Given the limited production volumes of the Mac Pro, and the overall cost, the 'Made in the USA' label gives them a good marketing piece, while making good business sense," said Andrew Rassweiler for research firm IHS who covers supply chains.

Apple doesn't break out the sales of individual products within the Mac family, but the ultra high-end Mac Pro -- made more for video editors and other industry professionals -- has always been a niche product. Just look at the overall Mac sales, which in the last quarter fell to 3.8 million, down 200,000 from a year ago.

While not specifically disclosed, it's clear a vast majority of those sales were made up of its more popular MacBook line, whether it's the slimmer MacBook Air or the higher end MacBook Pro laptops. Another large chunk is made up from its iMac desktop model, as well as the Mac Mini.

Somewhere in there is a teeny, tiny slice that is the Mac Pro.

So it's not exactly jaw-dropping that Apple is assembling the $3,000 Mac Pro in the US, no matter how cool the promotional video looks.

A majority of the increase in cost would come from the higher pay Apple must dole out to US workers, according to Rassweiler. He noted that it would only contribute to a minor bump in the cost of the device, partly because the assembly work largely consists of putting together semi-finished assemblies into an enclosure, which doesn't require a lot of "human cycle time." A lot of the most labor-intensive parts would go through an automated line, he added.

wierdscience
10-23-2013, 07:41 PM
I would be more impressed if the built in cup holder they put in the middle could chill a Beer.

dp
10-23-2013, 08:57 PM
More likely it keeps the Darjeeling warm.

aostling
10-23-2013, 10:26 PM
More likely it keeps the Darjeeling warm.

Hot stuff in there, no doubt.

What's your take on the new PCIe-based flash storage? Is that likely to make much difference for power users (not) like me?

dp
10-23-2013, 10:55 PM
I have a 2 terabyte RAID array running on PCIe that has suffered a few power outages and my own tripping over cords without corruption. The disks are conventional. At the time I built the system they were the only affordable drives. In my work we were entirely wrapped around SAS even for solid state devices. There's still some life left in the SCSI language.

For all my Mac systems I've installed hybrid disks which give a good compromise of performance and capacity at a reasonable price point. A lot of people get twitchy about boot up time and app loading time, neither of which I care about, but the hybrids do boot fast which is about 5 times/year. The hybrids work really well when I'm fiddling with video editing and mixing audio. Some of the files are huge and page out quite a bit on my laptop as I have only 8G of RAM. I'm ordering 16G next week so that problem should go away. Anyway, the hybrids handle it nicely when the OS pages out as it is all written to memory in the device.

dp
10-25-2013, 09:57 PM
I'm upgrading one of my laptops as I type this. Pretty slow download rate and the install package is 5.9G in size. I've also already upgraded all the apps that are compatible with the older version. I would have preferred to download the package overnight and have all the time spent on the upgrade not include waiting for the transfer. They kind of leave you dangling, waiting for the first interactive session to start.

The new version of Pixelmator has some nice new features. They're jumping on the market opened up when Adobe put Photoshop in their Creative Cloud program. The latest iBooks Author program is still limited to publishing via the Apple book store which is sucky. It would be better for the writer to be able to publish in a non-proprietary format rather than being locked into Apple's clutches.

Update: Nearly four hours later... Yikes - well, everything I hate about the cloud is coming true. Don't be in a hurry - you can't hurry the cloud! The upgrade finished - nothing looks different, but there were 11 upgrades needed. One of them is another 4 hour download. This is turning into a 10-hour upgrade.

Finally went to bed at 1:30am with updates still running. One should have completed overnight but failed and needed restarting in the morning. Then the challenge of updating applications - that took another 4 hours, but everything except QuickBooks for Mac 2011 works. That will require a trip to the loan office.

I researched compatibility with Adobe CS6 and it worked for one person but didn't work for another. There's a $2500 dollar crapshoot for ya!

dp
10-28-2013, 02:28 AM
I've upgraded all my Mac systems to Mavericks and nothing so far is broken. The process was ridden with stalled App Store sessions, download failures, and App Store quirks where a download was taking place but not shown in the appropriate window. Not as bad as our delightful new health insurance process but still not smooth.

A lot of software was affected and required upgrades. Only Quickbooks for Mac requires an upgrade that needs a credit card. And the problem there is it isn't guaranteed to work (v2010, btw). My tests didn't reveal any failures with it. The Arduino compiler and a few other apps needed a different version of Java than what is found in Mavericks, but the autoupdater handled that after several retries.

If you use the text to voice application there are a number of new voices that are very natural sounding - far better than the stutterers in earlier versions. These are excellent for making tutorial videos, for example, where your own speaking voice is not up to the job.

I've yet to see any benefit of the upgrade. I don't care about any of them: iBooks, social computing, etc. That all seems as unimportant as biorhythm tracking and trendy as pet rocks in their time. My greatest pleasure is that nothing broke. Not much of a recommendation.

aostling
10-28-2013, 10:12 PM
I have just installed Mavericks.

I cannot access iPhoto without upgrading from 9.3 to 9.5, but like a lot of others I am unable to effect this upgrade. [edit, I think I've sorted this out].

I'm happy to have the new OS X 10.9 running on the oldest Macbook on which this is possible. Now I can upgrade to Lightroom 5, a task for tomorrow.

aostling
11-09-2013, 12:31 PM
I am generally pleased with the performance of Mavericks. Time Machine backups which used to take ten minutes now take 60 seconds.

I tried printing a photo on my Canon iP-4200, and nothing I could do would make it print in color. Evidently it needs a new driver for compatibility with Mavericks, but Canon no longer updates drivers for this old model. It seems a shame to scrap a printer for this reason, but I have not found a solution.

dp
11-09-2013, 01:00 PM
I upgraded Lightroom to 5 yesterday after seeing some of the new features and it's working great. Adobe has released several updates for CS6 the last couple weeks. Mavericks has been working fine here but I really don't see any real difference over Mountain Lion. It's working with my HP printer just fine - it is now old enough that it will be dropping off the supported machines at any time. It's a 7700 3-in-1 printer/scanner/fax and works great, so I'm not looking forward to planned obsolescence for it. I still need to upgrade my MacBook Pro laptop to 16G of RAM as it starts to bog down when running some of these Adobe products with raw images.

macona
11-09-2013, 02:02 PM
You might try the GIMP drivers for your printer, they are open source alternatives.

I ran into a similar issue when OSX stopped supporting PPC code, my dell installer for my color laser stopped working. The driver itself was intel based. Luckily someone made a patch so you could install it.

There is one big thing that bugs me in Mavericks is that when you open a folder in a window it opens it in the same window and not in another window lilt it has since 1984. Very annoying and so far no way to go back. I have been using macs since the Mac Plus and am pretty much trained to work that way. I even set up my PC boxes to work that way. There is a pretty big thread about this on the apple forums.

Evan
11-09-2013, 02:24 PM
This has everything to do with machining. How would we "talk" to each other and communicate all sorts of machining questions, answers and tips without a decent computer?


Switching to glossy screens has been described as Apple's worst blunder.

That depends on what glossy screen you have. My new 2560 x 1440 has a glossy screen but it also has a very hard to scratch plasma coating that reduces reflection by around 85%. Even with the sun in front it is very easy to look at.

dp
11-09-2013, 02:37 PM
The new tabbed Finder window panes are where they want you to go. You have to turn off the Tabs option in preferences, and splat + double click to get a new window. You can also go into the subdir then click the parent folder (or any of the listed folders in the tree) at the bottom of the window while holding the splat key. It's still one more step, but it works.

I think they're prepping us to accept IOS for Mac which is what I think they're going to ram our way soon. The emphasis is away from individual creativity so there's no future for general purpose computers - they're becoming portals to online fare for consumers as has happened with mobile devices.

aostling
11-09-2013, 04:01 PM
My new 2560 x 1440 has a glossy screen but it also has a very hard to scratch plasma coating that reduces reflection by around 85%. Even with the sun in front it is very easy to look at.

I'm impressed, which monitor is this?

I decided to take the demise of driver support for my old Canon iP-4200 printer as a sign. I've ordered an Epson XP-610, which has good user reviews.

macona
11-09-2013, 06:48 PM
I like glossy displays too. I picked up a dell core duo laptop at goodwill with a glossy display and I love it. It has more vibrant color than a matte screen. Unfortunately it is only 1280x720.

dp, I know about holding down the command key and double clicking. That is a workaround, not a fix.

dp
11-09-2013, 09:30 PM
dp, I know about holding down the command key and double clicking. That is a workaround, not a fix.

I don't think it's a fix either - I'm just filling in the blanks for people who're following along. I don't think Apple believes they broke this so probably they don't think it needs a fix. They do that with automator all the time. Very annoying. The Finder tool is one of the more irritating parts of OS X for me - probably why I almost always use a command line for most file ops. Typing "open ." gives me what I want every time. The command line screenshot tool is another - it needs a WindowID but there's not tools to give you the Window ID of the window you want to screen shoot. What used to work doesn't anymore.