What Apple hardware do we have?

Apple hardware/software and related topics.
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guardian452
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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am

Irinikus wrote:Let's face it, Apple never produced "workstations", so to compare a Mac Pro to a fully fledged workstation with terabytes of RAM and many multi-core Xeon processors is a little bit unfair.
They did until 2013...

Irinikus wrote:I will have to do my research in the coming months then, as I won't waste my time on an intel machine in 2019, if they're only going to migrate to something else in 2020!(I'm not in desperate need of a new machine.)
Surprised CHC and hamei haven't chimed in on this one yet but the G5s (and even those ancient Octanes) are still running en masse.

Irinikus wrote:Me being the audiophile that I am, I will always opt for cables over a wi-fi or bluetooth connection (In hi-fi terms, cables definitely make a difference.)
I replaced my dinosaur Focal tower speakers with a bose soundbar a few months back. Apart from the obvious improvement in sound quality and getting rid of the imposing monsters from my living room, and of course bluetooth; the optical connection to the TV had an immediate improvement in getting rid of the ground loop from the CATV jack. Not going back to a transformer. Or the hot and heavy boat-anchor amplifiers necessary to run them.

Irinikus wrote:You can get a headphone output from a USB-C port by using a dongle, so it would make sense for them to drop the headphone jack in place of an extra USB-C port, as it's more versatile.(My only concern here would be as to whether this would degrade the audio quality for those who might want to make use of high quality headphones with such a machine?)
You're... seriously asking whether a standalone DAC and amp can sound as good as whatever is crammed onto the logic board of an ultrabook or smartphone?

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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby Irinikus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:49 am

guardian452 wrote:
Irinikus wrote:I will have to do my research in the coming months then, as I won't waste my time on an intel machine in 2019, if they're only going to migrate to something else in 2020!(I'm not in desperate need of a new machine.)
Surprised CHC and hamei haven't chimed in on this one yet but the G5s (and even those ancient Octanes) are still running en masse.


I'm not arguing the point as to whether or not there are still older Power PC-based PowerMacs or SGI Octane's still being used in industry to carry out specialised tasks or operate large very expensive machines such as MRI machines.

I just think that its a very stupid move for Apple to release an intel-based machine only a year before they move on to something else. (Especially being their flagship line.)

guardian452 wrote:I replaced my dinosaur Focal tower speakers with a bose soundbar a few months back. Apart from the obvious improvement in sound quality and getting rid of the imposing monsters from my living room, and of course bluetooth; the optical connection to the TV had an immediate improvement in getting rid of the ground loop from the CATV jack. Not going back to a transformer. Or the hot and heavy boat-anchor amplifiers necessary to run them.


I am very happy to have the large scale hi-fi equipment I use at home.

Here are some pics of my current hi-fi setup: (Anything less than this is a compromise, as this system represents the absolute minimum that you need for "good" sound in my opinion.)

IMG_2805.jpg


IMG_0651.jpg


And there are two of these little monsters in the system, which take the frequency response of the system down to 10Hz and make the B&W 802 D2's sound enormous:

IMG_1460.JPG


IMG_1466.JPG


Irinikus wrote:You can get a headphone output from a USB-C port by using a dongle, so it would make sense for them to drop the headphone jack in place of an extra USB-C port, as it's more versatile.(My only concern here would be as to whether this would degrade the audio quality for those who might want to make use of high quality headphones with such a machine?)
guardian452 wrote:You're... seriously asking whether a standalone DAC and amp can sound as good as whatever is crammed onto the logic board of an ultrabook or smartphone?


I make use of a Meridian 808 Signature reference CD Player as the source component in my hi-fi, so it should therefore be obvious that I take source components rather seriously.

I am therefore well aware that a stand alone DAC will sound much better than whatever's crammed into an ultrabook or smartphone, however even though I hate laptops with a passion, I do understand their relevance to some, and I also realise that not everyone wants to lug a USB DAC around with their laptop, its just not that practical when you're on the move.
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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:52 am

Irinikus wrote:I just think that its a very stupid move for Apple to release an intel-based machine only a year before they move on to something else. (Especially being their flagship line.)
The last G5 Powermacs introduced 2005, Intel Macs introduced early 2006.


Irinikus wrote:Here are some pics of my current hi-fi setup
I don’t want my living room to look like that. I like having a system that sounds good at all volumes and no matter where I’m standing in the room or even another room. I don’t want to sit in a “sweet spot”. Even in the drum room I don’t like having too much gear taking up space.

However that doesn’t change the fact that getting rid of cables and going to optical or wireless solves all sorts of grounding issues.

Irinikus wrote:I also realise that not everyone wants to lug a USB DAC around with their laptop, its just not that practical when you're on the move.


Lug? :?
https://www.razer.com/mobile/razer-phone-audio-adapter
https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMX6 ... ck-adapter

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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby Irinikus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:42 am

Irinikus wrote:I just think that its a very stupid move for Apple to release an intel-based machine only a year before they move on to something else.(Especially being their flagship line.)
guardian452 wrote:The last G5 Powermacs introduced 2005, Intel Macs introduced early 2006.


If I had bought a G5 in 2005, I would have been rather unhappy when they announced the change to intel in 2006. (Thats my personal opinion)

The comparisons between the G4 and G5 CPU's vs the intel chips of the day was very subjective, as there was only a vast performance difference when programs could make use of the altivec (or Velocity engine) and Apple were very careful to only make use of such programs in their demonstrations.


Irinikus wrote:Here are some pics of my current hi-fi setup
guardian452 wrote:I don’t want my living room to look like that. I like having a system that sounds good at all volumes and no matter where I’m standing in the room or even another room. I don’t want to sit in a “sweet spot”. Even in the drum room I don’t like having too much gear taking up space.


I will agree with you that such a setup isn't for everybody, as it takes up a large amount of space and literally weighs half a ton (it actually weighs in the region of 500Kg), but if you want "accurate" sound, this the kind of system that you need unfortunately.

I personally never sit when I listen to music, I like to walk around with a cup of coffee in hand.

You will notice that I have no acoustic panelling in place, as I personally like to have the system interacting with its environment acoustically speaking. (So it sounds different wherever I happen to be standing, but that's the way I like it.)

guardian452 wrote:However that doesn’t change the fact that getting rid of cables and going to optical or wireless solves all sorts of grounding issues.


The system is a completely balanced topology except the valve amp (an Ayon Spirit III) which drives my mids and trebles which is a single ended Class-A running in triode mode.

I've used good Van Den Hul cabling throughout: All of the interconnects are "The Orchid XLR" except those going to the valve amp, which are single ended.

The two Wilson Benesch Torus infrasonic generators are connected to their amp with Van Den Hul "The inspiration".

The midranges and the tweeters in the 802's are connected to the valve amp (an Ayon Spirit III) via Van Den Hul "The Nova" and the Woofers in the 802's Are connected to the Classe CA-M600's via Van Den Hul CS - 122 Hybrid cables.

The Heart of the system is a Jeff Rowland Coherence II preamplifier.(An extremely good pre amplifier)

As a result, there are absolutely no grounding issues in this system.

Irinikus wrote:I also realise that not everyone wants to lug a USB DAC around with their laptop, its just not that practical when you're on the move.




Thats an adaptor, not a DAC.
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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:00 pm

Irinikus wrote:Thats an adaptor, not a DAC.


Correct, it contains a USB interface and some extra logic, DAC, ADC for the mike, headphone amp, and connectors. The assembly could be called an "adaptor". :roll:

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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby Irinikus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:04 pm

Thats interesting, as this is what I understand a USB DAC to be, and this is a very small one:

cambridge_audio_dacmagicxsv2_lifestyle_8.jpg


Edit: I see that it does have a DAC chipset embedded in it.

Here's a picture of an audiophile quality USB DAC from Naim and you can see that it certainly isn't that small.

naim-dac-v1-usb-dac-front-corner-panel_2.jpg
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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:12 pm

Well I'm probably not going to drag around my Focusrite just to plug headphones into a macbook, either.


Irinikus wrote:Here's a picture of an audiophile quality

Ahhhh, see, whenever I hear that word... I demand a photo of the innards. Does it also come with magic beans you're supposed to eat first?

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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby Irinikus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:52 pm

I agree with you in that there is often allot of garbage when it comes to so-called audiophile equipment. (As every manufacturer will tell you all the reasons in the world as to why their equipment is the best, but when you listen, you are met with nothing but disappointment.)

The selection equipment that I've put together has been carefully thought out and it represents what I would consider to be "The Line".

What I mean by "The Line" is: spend less on any one of your components and the sound quality reduces radically, however from this price point the concept of diminishing returns applies. I've personally listened to systems costing hundreds of thousands of dollars that are no more revealing than what I currently have.(That's extremely disappointing.)

Here it is:

50A57D99-11D1-4C08-BFE4-317017743DCF.jpeg



If you want to run a headset like the Sennheiser HD800, for example, then you are going to need a USB DAC that includes a headphone amp, and the Naim DAC-V1 is an example of this.

I have sampled the Sennheiser HD800 and a standard headphone jack in a normal stereo amplifier doesn’t have sufficient output to drive them properly.

That being said, I wasn’t that impressed by them though and wouldn’t consider buying a pair.(They're good as far as headphones go, but it's still headphone sound though.)
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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:51 am

Irinikus wrote:If I had bought a G5 in 2005, I would have been rather unhappy when they announced the change to intel in 2006. (Thats my personal opinion)

I want to call this out specifically, as I had a 2006 mac pro (INTEL) that was unsupported in 2012 with the final release of 10.7. Whereas the G5's were unsupported in 2009. The 2008 models lost their support not long after IIRC (it was possible to fake your '06 into an '08 to install newer OSX versions for a while...)

Just spitballing but I bet the ARM macs will come first to the Macbook and maybe the cheap option of imac/mbp. I don't think they will be releasing an ARM workstation or big-boy box right off the bat. I think the dev tools are good enough now that they can support two architectures without much headache (so long as the dev's play by Apple's rules). The current Mac Pro will be killed off by the lack of a secure enclave, ARM co-processor, widi, BT 5, or some other pointless (for a workstation) feature that they don't want to have to worry about supporting the lack of it's existence.

There is also the current arrangement with the T1 chip. They could keep growing off of that and make the co-processor capable of more and more. (at least being able to run the iOS simulator full speed, as I still believe apple is primarily concerned with making the Mac into an iOS devtool first and foremost).

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Re: What Apple hardware do we have?

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:55 am

I agree with what you've said.

All I expect form Apple is that they have full support for a system like the Mac Pro for at least 5 years.

By the time they release the next machine, I will have got 5 years of good service from this one, so I'm happy in this regard.

I just hope that the next machine will be fully supported for the same length of time.
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