A New Version of FCPX, Mavericks and the New MacPro

So, I wonder how many of you remembered that FCPX turned 2 years old on June 21st.

Yup, That’s right 2 years with a number of updates and the soon to be arriving “NewMacPro” people are wondering when the updates will happen, even though  Apple has confirmed that there is an official update to FCPX arriving at approximately the same time as the new desktop. Phil said it on stage, Apple focus on it in their PR messaging but now people are taking pictures of MacPro Screens on Apple.com and spreading them across social media.

Even Apple.com is telling us there will be a new version of FCPX this year.

Even Apple.com is telling us there will be a new version of FCPX this year.

Metadata is the new black
I am guessing most of these people did not watch the WWDC Keynote, or more specifically, the part where Craig Federighi showed the same Metadata Tagging like FCPX has had for almost 2 years at the FINDER level of OSX Mavericks. I think it is funny how that same type of info tagging was belittled and berated when FCPX  first came out 2 yrs. ago in June 2011?

Yet Apple’s engineers sought to bring it full bore into the mainstream of OSX directly, wisely so I might add, so that now the power that I referred to in the first releases of FCPX have moved forward to the point that we will be using that power invisibly while you are working. Isn’t this what we all want, instead of blindly looking around the plethora of available drives with failed searches because we have all turned off journaling for external drives.

What does this mean? 

We all watched as Apple took nothing short of a “ass-whoppin” in the media and on the internet about the changes to FCP when FCPX came to market. It took Apple months to add back some really basic functionality like outputting split audio tracks or using professional level monitoring and output for the Pro User. My Macworld.com review of FCPX was one of the more civil diatribes, while my comments on CreativeCow.net were something else altogether.

Move forward 2 years and that same Phil Schiller is talking live onstage talking at WWDC about a new MacPro and in the same breath is talking about FCPX being updated. The Metadata tagging originally featured in FCPX,  is shown in a fully operational manner at the Finder Level in demonstrations of the next generation of the OSX.

I think that this means Apple may have something else in mind, for I see a workstation that functionally remembers where all my content is, keeps track of all of my projects, media and the assorted files that traverse my desk as a working pro. No more lost images or captions, client logo’s stay organized on the server and available instantly, content pre-identified by the associated metadata. { I wonder will Adobe meta-tags from Photoshop and Lightroom might be seen by OSX at some point }

Hmmm.

WWDC and The New MacPro

OK,

Now that everyone you know has chimed in on the New MacPro, lets take a breath and look at reality, if you have been following Apple for any time at all, you know that they rarely if ever do what people think they will do.

Apple hardware has consistently gotten more unified, compact, and more refined. The iPhone has become a standard for all handsets, the Macbook Air stole the netbook market right out from underneath the PC world, then Apple finished it’s assault on the low end PC market by releasing the iPad, and even more than with the iPhone changed how we interface with devices, for the tablet was born and my computing was changed forever.

mac_pro_new

Apple’s sleek design
once more alienates.

Yes this is a radical departure from the existing product design, however some of the most Iconic of Apple’s hardware designs, The Cube, LUXO, the Candy Colored IMacs as well as the 20th Anniversary model all gave users iconic design, why does this Tube scare everyone so?

Because its different? Is that not what Apple has been about for a very long time?  Get over it.

The New MacPro offers some stunning specs, albeit in a new way. Look Apple once again defined how users will interact with hardware, if you did not seem it wise to start embracing Thunderbolt, with this new MacPro, it is abundantly clear that it is and will be the future of device connectivity, with PC companies like HP fully behind Thunderbolt, the TB2 specs on this box ( Ok TUBE) blow me out the of the water.

The 6 fully independent 20Gbps Thunderbolt v2 ports can maintain an aggregate data rate of 15 Gigabytes per second.  PERIOD!!! 

Those TB2 ports can handle up to 36 peripheral devices, that can include storage,  I/O to Firewire, Fibre or 10gE or SAS externally and the “3-4K Displays” Apple has been touting in the marketing

inline storage module on the new MacPro

Inline storage module
on the new MacPro

Memory Questions: The internal storage is defined as PCIe Flash, now for the unknowing, this is by a wide margin the fastest possible. This is accessing  your main storage at the speed of a RAM disk. One interesting thing to note in the Apple approved photos is that they are only showing 1 storage module.

The funny thing I see is that both of those fixed AMD graphics cards appear to have a place to allow for a second PCIe Flash module. I am wondering about the price and volumes for that storage, today it’s very expensive. Current PCIe Flash storage is available from companies like Fusion Io and even online retailers like Other World Computing and it’s fairly expensive for all but power users. My guess is that since Apple is changing the marketplace once again, the cost for PCIe Flash modules will reduce as the demand increases.

Note the inline PCIeFlash module in the middle of the right side Graphics card and space for the same type of module on the left is mysteriously open. When did Apple ever leave wasted space in a machine this compact

Note the place for the inline PCIeFlash module in the middle of the right side Graphics card and space for the same type of module on the left is mysteriously open. When did Apple ever leave wasted space in a machine this compact

What’s Possible 

One other thing to note is the mysteriously missing PCIe memory module that could / should be in the same location on the left side graphics card in all of the Apple PR images.

From personal experience there is never a lot of free space to waste internally on an Apple device I have opened in the last few years, so I am wondering if that “open space” might be useable as part of the yet unannounced “Build-To-Order possibilities?

The Form Factor Matters

  I am stunned by the small size, because at roughly 10″x 7″ this thing small, geez 8 of them fit in the same space as the previous tower form factor, I am just not comfortable with a rolly-poly,  tube shaped computer when a good deal of my workstation level projects happen onset or on the road and that cylindrical shape is fraught with desperation for anyone needed to physically mount the machine for portability. Rack mounted computers have become the norm for DIT’s and Loaders, yet the new form factor does nothing to solve issues for that specific market.

Cuda vs OpenCL

The Open CL vs Cuda debate is a separate issue to me completely. Adobe’s backbone  based in the Nvidia’s “Cuda” processes  is only a minor advantage over the current OpenCL code being utilized for Apple processors, now if we can add Nvidia back into the mix as part of the BTO options, this might actually keep many of those power users from finally jumping off the MacPro wagon and onto an HP workstation.

I for one am keeping my HP Z800 right where it’s at, it’s the most powerful workhorse in my office and offers me power and performance unrivaled. That does not mean I am giving up my Mac’s. It means I have to live in a performance based world and much like with my retina laptop, it may take a little time to get the New MacPro and all of the associated peripherals to make it out to be the workstation it wants to be.

Processor

Finally.

This machine can’t possible be anything more for most user, It will have the fastest internal architecture possible, the fastest external connectivity and a lot of it, while the user configurable options  will be more limited that in the past, the future upgradability is undeniable. Lost in the design debate so far is that most “power” users never add or remove parts from their MacPro’s once they are configured, the only difference with the new Apple is they want to control that at the manufacturing stage for the highest quality possible.

Apple has once again broken new ground, even if I don’t initially like what it looks like. I am thinking I will start a new biz doing skins for the New MacPro.

CreativeCloudUser.com

OK,

I have been offline working and traveling on a new project for the last couple of weeks, I apologize for the lack of connecting with you.

Myself, along with Rod Harlan, Rich Harrington and Robbie Carmen have launched a new tech and training resource designed specifically for people working with or migrating to the Adobe Video platform.

http://CreativeCloudUser.com launched in May at the AdobeMax Conference.

CCU

CreativeCloudUser.com has been designed for the way information is acquired and disseminated. Our content is served up to you in segments that you will be able to understand and enjoy within your fast paced, mobile lifestyle, with content tailored to fit into small, but extremely efficient bite-sized segments. We have planned to offer a wide variety of content and information about all things Creative Cloud and also cover hardware and item’s of interest to the Production and Post Production artist.

It’s just starting now, but take a look and let us know how you feel about the content and website.

gary