excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

A Collection of Thoughts on the New Mac Pro

If you read too much of the internet you'll start to think there is nothing good about the newly revealed Mac Pro. While it's certainly different, and doesn't cater to all aspects of the "pro" market it may be a really good machine for a large segment of users.

Jon Chappell writing on Digital Rebellion about the recently previewed Mac Pro: 

The cons are not cons for everyone and it seemed like my Twitter feed was split down the middle. It looks like Apple has focused on FCPX as the target application but not really paid much heed to other pro apps people might want to use. I think this is a sign that people at the very high end of the industry may want to look elsewhere for their pro computers, whether that is a Hackintosh or a Windows box.

I think he's correct about this box for Day 1, when it ships. Once it gets into professionals hands I'm sure a plethora of add-ons will spring up in order to address the "pro" shortcomings. I anticipate 12-18 months after it's released the 3rd-party market will surround it with peripherals and make it a viable editing/color grading/compositing option.

Further the worry about OpenCL vs. CUDA is not as big a gap as people are making it out to be. According to David McGavran, Senior Engineering Manager for Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe's CC version of Premiere Pro will support OpenCL and take advantage of dual GPU:

Premiere Pro supports OpenCL for these cards. We also support Dual GPU rendering in CC.

Or another post by David:

...we don't need to wait until the 17th... We support OpenCL on AMD cards with CC. We also support Dual GPU for rendering. Premiere will max out these systems when the ship.

Additionally, Grant Petty posted this on the Blackmagic forums hours after Apple unveiled the new Mac Pro:

We have been testing with DaVinci Resolve 10 builds and this screams. Its amazing and those GPUs are incredible powerful. I am not sure what I can say as I am only going off what Apple has talked about publicly here in the keynote for what I can say right now, however there is a whole new OpenCL and DaVinci Resolve 10 has had a lot of performance work done to integrate it and its really really fast. Those GPUs are very powerful and have lots of GPU memory so this is the Mac we have been waiting for! We have lots of Thunderbolt products too so video in and out is taken care of. 
Overall we could not be happier!

John Montgomery from fxguide

It’s not for everyone, but upon closer examination, the hardware is nowhere near as bad as the initial (over)reactions from the online world convey. In fact, I’ll go further: it’s definitely not bad. In fact,  it’s great for what I need to do. Get beyond the misguided/misinformed information posted by many on the net, and you’ll likely find it is actually a positive move forward for a majority of creative artists who are currently using OS X. And you don’t have to take my word for it, you already read what some of the software manufacturers have to say about it.

Scott Simmons writing on Pro Video Coalition

Love it or hate it the new Mac Pro does show that Apple hasn’t forgotten about us “pro” users entirely. Pros aren’t just video pros and while this new Mac Pro might be best suited to the graphics pro or pro photographer a lot of editors will get good use out of the thing, me included. And Apple will, of course, optimize Final Cut Pro X for this new machine and they said so. Whenever I use a new iMac or a new Macbook Pro I can feel the speed advantages they have over my old Mac Pro. While we have no idea of this new Mac Pro’s price I know I’ll also have to spend money on things like new Thunderbolt RAID storage, some video I/O gear, most likely a portable Thunderbolt or USB3 drive or two and a smattering of adapters. Whatever that cost is it’s going to cost most of us old Mac Pro stragglers a good bit more than the list price. I better start saving now.
My $.02: This product doesn't fit into my workflow on Day 1. Software will need to be updated, expansion chassis purchased, cards moved over to expansion chassis, and drivers written to support said chassis in order to support this new machine and its architecture. I'm sure the computer will be successful for Apple. It just doesn't scratch the itch of my particular workflow....yet.