AmberV wrote:Right, theoretically this is true, and Thunderbolt is an exciting technology. We've yet to see it really take hold in the pro hardware scene. Perhaps something like this could help push it, if enough of the right kind of people get behind the device and if Apple does as well as they did with vendors and Firewire, back in the day. They've kind of boxed themselves into a corner with Thunderbolt so far---because the Mac Pro couldn't natively support it. Is it too late? Has eSATA and other interfaces become the good-enough solution in the years they've been sitting in the twilight zone on it? The bigger problem in my mind is the limited expandability of the core components themselves. Some fields need to stay on top of the best 3d cards available, and with the cards (good as they are right now) being soldered on, that's going to make this a hard pill to swallow. Part of the appeal of a heavy duty workstation is that nearly everything about it can be easily repaired and upgraded on-site. When you've got a whole office of these things working overtime (often 24 hours a day in rendering pools at load capacity), breakdowns are frequent and you can't afford to be shipping units out or taking them to repair centres for costly specialist treatment. Of course I'm speaking of the many small shops all over the world that get by with just enough. Hollywood is another matter. The issue is less what this thing can do now, or what it can do when it is released, but what it can do in two years. Right now it has some great specs, will those specs be top of the line in 2015? If not, it's either buy a new unit to replace one part, or never get it in the first place and stick with hardware that can be incrementally repaired and upgraded.
We'll have to see once it is more than a few pictures and an enthusiastic keynote segment, but it really seems to me they've cut out a product line by making a new one here. A welcome new one, for sure, and personally I think it's a beautiful machine; it is one for the MoMA for sure. It is heartening to see any technology vendor putting so much effort into a static workstation these days, with all of the "PC is dead" talk. I don't mean to come down on it, I'm just concerned that the word "Pro" seems to be more and more out of touch with reality as time goes by.
I think you are missing the bigger picture with the pro market. Large scale storage has been outside of desktop for some time now. Imagine having your project data confined to a 3+ disk array inside your Mac Pro. You have a MacBook Pro and you're need to take that data with you. You're not going to yank the hard drives out of your Mac Pro and Frankenstein them to your MacBook Pro while you're away. A thunderbolt array is a godsend. How about being able to use hardware acceleration cards on your Mac Pro and MacBook Pro? No need to buy two hardware acceleration cards. There's much more flexibility this way.