CAD/3D industry responds to Apple’s revolutionary Mac Pro

“We were curious what one of the world’s leading BIM software makers would think of the new Mac Pro introduced at WWDC,” Anthony Frausto-Robledo reports for Architosh.

“So we spoke to Akos Pfemeter, Director of Global Marketing, at GRAPHISOFT, Hungary,” Frausto-Robledo reports. “When asked whether a system as powerful as a 12-core Mac Pro (2013) would be taken advantage of by their pioneering BIM package ArchiCAD, the company replied emphatically, yes!”

Frausto-Robledo reports, “The new Mac Pro 2013 may actually be better positioned for the CAD and 3D markets than people may actually realize. ‘This was not the Mac Pro I was looking for,’ said Greg Conyngham, whose large metro Boston client base includes hundreds of architects, landscape architects and other design and 3D professionals, ‘but after seeing how the thermal core and single fan work in such a simple design the genius of Apple’s industrial design has grown on me again.'”

Much more in the full article here.

24 Comments

  1. Apple ahead of the pack on design and pushing the future of the computer industry forward while others stagnate and find ways to cut costs and find cheaper fasteners and even cheaper forms of plastic?

    I’m certainly shocked.

  2. I’ll be getting one no matter what. I have seen enough already about its ability. Plus, don’t forget Schiller said he was giving us “just a peek”, so I expect quite a few more surprises on launch day.

    My present iMac has thunderbolt port. So I am expecting to use this iMac as my monitor (or second monitor) as well as have two computers driving it and have ability to switch back and forth.

    1. 12 cores. PCIe. The most advanced CPU. The seventh most powerful computer in the WORLD in 1990…….. and is not powerful enough for you? What are you? NSA?

        1. Thanks for correcting me on that. Couldn’t remember the exact year so I thought I’d be conservative. 13 years too conservative!

          Wow, can you imagine 7th most powerful in 2003.

      1. News flash: today is 2013.

        Nobody cares if you can miniaturize last decades’ supercomputer into a cylinder if the competition has equal or greater (2013-level) computing power in a big box at a lower price. They will buy the machine that offers the best bang for the buck.

        Let me guess, you guys don’t drive the 7th fastest car from 2003 either. Why not? Probably $$$, right?

        1. Wow, people only buy the things which offer the best bang for the buck? It’s all about price/performance. Nobody spends more for something that’s smaller, quieter, has better materials, better construction, or just plain better-engineered?

          Speaking of cars, somebody should tell BMW and Mercedes they’ll no longer be able to sell cars since Ford and GM sells cars that offer better bang for the buck.

          Please.

          1. Dan, you provide a good example of how to take objective concerns (from professionals interviewed in the article, not me), then blow it completely out of proportion and twist the honest concerns into some kind of attack on the Mac religion.

            Of course Apple is going to sell a lot of cylindrical Mac Pros, there is pent-up demand. The point is that Apple might not win many new converts without more diversity in the Pro lineup, and certainly not without competitive pricing.

            You might notice that your favorite high-end automakers diversify and — yes — offer reduced-price models, unlike Apple which has not indicated a very broad product portfolio and inexplicably seems uninterested in doing so. How many models and options does Mercedes manufacture? How many will Apple offer? Pro users would like to know, as the article clearly shows.

            1. I’m not Dan, but I’ll respond since I think you were addressing me. Your critique makes it sound is though Apple has already announced the model lineup with specs and pricing. Apple has made no such announcements.

              What lack of diversity in the Pro lineup? There is no “lineup”; only a preview of the overall design and some shallow marketing and tech specs!

              Mercedes offers a range a range of automobiles, but if you want a high-powered SUV, there are only a couple of choices, and they’re all expensive. Apple offers a range of desktop and notebook computers, but if you want a high-powered desktop, it’s likely going to be expensive. If you want a cheaper desktop, there’s an iMac or a Mac mini, just like there’s a M-Class or GLK if you don’t want to drop the coin on GL-class. I’ll just point out that there are much, much cheaper SUVs than Mercedes’ entry-level.

              To compare further, there is a stark contrast in price from Mercedes’ entry level to their high-end just like Apple’s products. Also just like Apple, most of Mercedes’ products are more expensive than similar “value-oriented” competitive products (that is, where “value” competitors even exist).

              Personally, I see no point in commenting on pricing and model diversity when there are no real products on which to base those comments.

            2. Sorry, I mixed up you with Dan the pink devil below.

              My point is simple: Apple does not offer enough options nor user-upgradeability now, nor do their announced products offer hope for more. Embarrassingly, Dell continues to offer the pro more choice, including workstations with more raw horsepower and options for future user-upgrading.

              Replacing the current Mac Pro with a tiny cylinder introduced more questions than answers. Prosumers are wondering whether dual GPUs and Thunderbolt peripherals are worth the cost, and true Pros are already shopping around to figure out how to functionally make the leap — some unsuccessfully.

              Apple can, and should, have a true supercomputer the size of the old Mac Pro in the lineup at the >$10k level. It should also have a mini-tower somewhere between the Mac Mini and the new cylindrical Mac Pro. The leap between the mobile components in the iMac, the entry-level bits in the Mac Mini, and the new Mac Pro are simply too many kilometers apart.

              You illustrate it yourself: Mercedes offers much more diversity.

        2. omg Mike, i think you are right to a degree educated buyers will come to the conclusion best for them… however you are talking about Windows right, being a better bang for the buck right… when a pro level user with earnings in the pro level space the better bang is the machine more reliable and if it comes in style smaller foot print – you will just have to eat your words later.

          1. Where did I use the word “Windows”?

            However, since you brought it up, there actually are a lot of professional shops that do use Windows 7 on their workstations very profitably. If Apple could show better performance per dollar, I am sure these companies would consider switching. But Apple hasn’t shown this yet. Not with the current Mac Pro, and not yet with the cylindrical Mac Pro.

            As a Mac Pro user, I am disappointed that Apple isn’t being MUCH more aggressive in supporting these users. Pro users could be a very profitable market, especially with exciting new technologies like 3D printing/prototyping/manufacturing and 4K video technologies on the horizon. People who MAKE stuff really don’t care one bit whether the case is cylindrical or rectangular.

      2. I said I would buy one for home and my freelance projects, and I will buy a fully optioned out one. It has plenty of power for that.

        I work in a VERY specialized industry, in a nutshell we create and run very very sophisticated simulations of whatever a client, be it government or private. These things eat up a TON of space and use a TON of number crunching power.

        Pretty recently we could start using high end work stations for some of the smaller stuff. My current workstation has 32 Cores via 4 processors, 512gb of ram, 4 GPUs, and about 30 TB of hard drive and solid state local storage built into an custom made chassis, and its all dead silent and liquid cooled. And even a small project can use all that power and memory and local storage, once the project is done, it gets sent off to the network and I start the next. One project can take a few people months to complete/

        A machine like the one I use at my job run about 22-25,000 dollars. Run either a highly modified Windows 7, or MUCH more often we run an in house Linux.

        Yeah, even our small projects need all that much power. And when its all in the local side, you can run and edit in real time.

        The medium and large projects are created on the same workstations, then sent off to our rack servers for the big number crunching to occur. These typically don’t run in real time.

        Its not a diss against the Mac Pro. There’s no way in hell a 3K Mac Pro can compete with a 25,000 dollar custom made Linux workstation.

        However, for my small small freelance projects, gaming, and everything else I need in my house? The new Mac Pro will be PERFECT. And I’ll fully option one out.

        I’m happy because it means I can finally get a good GPU with a Mac from the factory, and I can bootcamp Windows on it, so I’ll have my badass OSX Mac Pro, that can also run Windows.

        Which means I can retire my PC gaming rig for good.

        1. Where to start….? Let see now…how about “proper perspective”……

          If I am a pro user using some super computer to do weather simulations or some kind of number crunching job reserved for custom built Big Blue or liquid cooled Cray beast I am sure as hell not going to talk as if a $3000 computer is expected to be a good replacement candidate. You talk as if you expected the Apple pro to be a replacement for a 25k dollar computer.

  3. MDN, you seem to have missed some of the more salient points of the article:

    “…many veterans are justifiably questioning how Apple plans to provide for future upgrade paths and flexibility for long-term ownership and even initial purchase.”

    “‘The device [new Mac Pro] tries to capture all of its pro level users, the prosumer, and pro user, into one category’, he [Laroye] said, ‘but I believe that these are different users.’”

    “The major concerns folks we spoke to about the new Mac Pro have centered around flexibility, future expandability, and cost flexibility.”

    “… for this machine to be a large-scaled deployed workhorse within AEC and engineering CAD companies, it will need to beat all rivals in performance-price ratios, and scale down as far as it can on price to tempt those who are today currently very happy with i7-based iMacs.”

    I actually do hope that Apple is able to pull it off, but I am not impressed that Apple is choosing to push more prosumers to less-profitable, less-versatile, and less-upgradeable iMacs, all while struggling to get enough Thunderbolt peripherals to market to support the true pros who have already migrated, sadly, to 24-core Wintel workstations. In attempting to bridge a broad market with one piece of hardware, Apple may be making the same strategic mistake that MS made with its Surface tablet-PCs.

    1. the good, the bad and the ugly

      24 core Wintel… i give up there

      how many pro level users are using this?
      secondly its windows what metro or 7?

      price points,
      two Mac pro Jet Engines will be cheaper

      performance,
      a cluster of 12 core Jet Engines will demolish the Wintel cluster,
      Metro doesnt access all cores properly

      if the pros fled they might reconsider returning – the other point with pro level users is that they have the cash to switch – happily or not they have the cash to reinvest

      1. On the 24 core wintel thing, Mike is just blowing smoke…
        The 12 core opteron’s can’t even beat the 6 core Xeon’s in real world benchmarks (you need to create thread filling synthetic benchmarks and run 64 bit linux as windows sucks on thread management and can’t keep the cores busy.)

        So, yes you can build a 24 core AMD workstations, however you would need to run linux as windows would idle most of the cores much of the time AND it would not be any faster (slower at many tasks) than the existing dual Xeon workstations available now and significantly slower then Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro.

        1. http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/top

          Geekbench shows that Apple offers nowhere near the most powerful workstation. Both Linux and Windows processing score higher — up to twice as fast.

          Adding more CPU cores isn’t the only way, either: the top score of 83226 is achieved with a 10-core Linux Xeon E7-8837 (compared to 40100 for a Mac Pro 5,1 with 12-core Xeon X5680).

          We know that all other desktop OS are inferior for usability, but Mac developers aren’t inherently better at writing multithreaded programs.

          Moreover, since Apple has such a narrow hardware offering, competing computer hardware isn’t necessarily inferior by any objective measure. If cost is no object, then why limit oneself with what Apple tells you is enough horsepower?

          Apple needs to work harder to retain this market. If Apple really is greater than all the competition, then it should have no problem replacing HP, IBM, and Sun workstations.

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