Apple plots new Mac Pro, eyes desktop innovation

Apple plots new Mac Pro, eyes desktop innovation

Summary: Mac Pro looked a bit like something Darth Vader would use to operate the Death Star and is an eighth the size of the previous version.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, PCs
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Apple said that it will keep the Mac Pro alive---even though it hasn't been updated forever. In a sneak peak, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said it rethought what a desktop should be.

The Mac Pro, which caters to video editors and folks that need more horse power, was outlined in a sneak peak from Schiller. The desktop is a black cylinder looking thing. "Can't innovate anymore my ass," said Schiller.

Mac Pro looked a bit like something Darth Vader would use to operate the Death Star and is an eighth the size of the previous version. The latest Pro will have the latest Xeon cores, ECC memory and Flash internal storage with PCIe controller. Expansion is external for RAID and other additions with Thunderbolt 2.

Meanwhile, there are dual workstation GPUs. The Mac Pro more than doubles the performance of the previous model and supports 4K displays. Final Cut Pro 10 will updated for the new Mac Pro.

Schiller said that Mac Pro will appear later this year. Pricing is to be determined. "This is without a doubt the future of the pro desktop."

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Topics: Apple, Hardware, PCs

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35 comments
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  • BUT!! BUT!! BUT!! It doesn't have blu-ray!! /s

    Looks good...damn good!! Can't wait to see and "touch" it when it's released.
    Arm A. Geddon
  • The Desktop isn't going away.

    Because you cannot put the sort of computing power video requires in a tablet. And because of heat issues, you never will be able to.
    Ben Burch
    • Ever?

      Ever and ever?
      danthemason
    • I had an aunt

      That used to say "Never say Never"
      calfee20
      • Ya, so did I....

        ...you might have heard her when she said we will never need more than a couple of mb of ram, than she said, well maybe 64 will do the tick, eventually, she seemed to feel that 256 was the magic number, follwed quickly by 512 then she was into the 1,2 and on GB's of ram and she has finally smartly given up guessing what will be needed in a few years.

        Now its happening again. People are saying that just because we have such great hardware today that we now dont have to buy a new PC every 2 -3 years just to keep up that thats now finishjed forever, that we are done and PC's are done because all we need is what you can jam into an iPad basil.

        I thought those in the IT world decided a very long long time ago that that old idea had become a joke because things will always advance and even today where we now get some improved breathing room of more than 3 years max between hardware upgrades it dosnt change the fact that when it comes to your computer that one day will eventually come where what you have just isnt as much as you need, even if it takes longer than ever now for that day to arrive.

        Lets not be declaring the PC dead simply because it dosnt have to be replaced nearly as often as before!!

        Ha! Thats just plain screwed in the head thinking.

        Please dont tell me thats the NEW thought process.

        "WE HAVE FINALY REACHED SUCH A PINNICLE OF COMPUTATION THAT A PC IS NOW SO POWERFUL ITS MORE THAN WE WILL EVER USE AND AS SUCH, ITS TIME HAS DRAWN TO A CLOSE!"

        Its so good, we dont need it any more! Is that it?

        Good lord. I hope nobody sticks to that argument for too long, I thought we laid that one to rest about 10-15 years ago.
        Cayble
  • No thanks

    This is, in essence, a souped up Mac Mini (faster processors and presumably faster bus(es), high performance video) but no internal expansion except memory. Storage will have to be external so to get the equivalent of the internal storage in my old Mac Pro I will need at least two and more likely 4 external boxes (at 2-3 times the cost). This does not feel like an improvement to me, at least for my uses and needs.
    codougd
    • You can always remove the original HDD

      and replace it with the size you want. It's not that hard.
      Never Use Microsoft Warez
      • Yes, but

        with the current tower Mac Pro I can have 4 hard drives. Adding 16 GB or more of hard drives to the new Pro means one or two enclosures (expensive enclosures, Thunderbolt is not cheap) with the attendant clutter, wires and wall-warts or additional power cords.

        Also, it is not clear how hard or difficult it will be to modify the internal storage on the new Pro. All that was released was that it has "flash internal storage" which implies SSD. It may be that this will follow recent Apple practice and be non-replaceable.
        codougd
    • Well...

      I can see where you're coming from, but this little bomb has some serious compute firepower. I agree the old Mac Pro stuffed with spinning disks has more storage, and while heavy is pretty easy to move, this thing can take a heck of a lot external devices.

      I'm still in two minds about it, but I think this does represent a decisive direction for Apple's "Pro" desktop. Also, being able to edit 4K content - that's significant.
      jeremychappell
    • Storage

      It says it has dual workstation GPU's, clearing up space in the PCIe slots for some of those nifty SSD storage cards....meaning you WILL be able to easily upgrade your storage sans ugly external enclosures.
      spiceyweasel
    • Misinformed much?

      On what basis do you claim no internal expansion? From Apple themselves, they claim up to 40 GB/s PCIe bandwidth. So again, on what basis do you make this assumption. In addition, what advantage are you attributing to expansion being internal? TB is more than fast enough to make external expansions equivalent.
      As for storage, why would you need four boxes? You don't even need that now, as any number of multi-drive external enclosures exist, many that will house in a single enclosure more drives than the old Mac Pro could accommodate.
      Claiming this is a souped up Mac mini is simply ignorant, no matter if it meets your needs or not.
      .DeusExMachina.
      • Thanks for the measured, polite comments...

        I was born ignorant but each day hope to improve upon that. Part of that effort involves being polite, even to those who are not.

        Regarding your specific comments:
        - TB is theoretically able to match the throughput of internal hard drives but, so far, most do not and are obscenely expensive.
        - I was not specific in my comments about multiple external boxes. I am not just talking about hard drive enclosures. If you want to expand video, the only option will be via TB. For working pros with significant investment in eSata or FW, again the only option will be via a TB adapter. The lack of expansion slots puts everything at the end of a TB cable. (And the currently available FW and eSata adapters are very pricey.)
        - The inability to change or upgrade the video is an issue, especially for video professionals. The announced video components are fast but there are issues. See this arstechnica review for details: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/06...e-new-mac-pro/
        - The latest info implies that the flash storage may be upgradeable since it appears to be on a daughtercard. So, the internal components that can be upgraded are memory and the flash storage.
        - The limited number of USB 3 ports is a head-scratcher. (See arstechnica link above).

        I stand by my characterization of the new Mac Pro as a souped up Mini. It will likely be a very high performance box but it shares the Mini's lack of internal expandability. And with the Mini at least you can stack expansion boxes on it. The new Mac Pro is an interesting engineering feat but has some real drawbacks, in my opinion and in the opinion of at least one working pro (again, refer to the link).
        codougd
        • One more thing...

          Add to the potential rat's nest of data cables, the possible proliferation of wall-warts and power cables for some of those external add-ons.
          codougd
          • Rats nest? All of this is doable with a single cable.

            .DeusExMachina.
        • If you want politeness, try not posting misinformation as if it were fact.

          To wit:
          "TB is theoretically able to match the throughput of internal hard drives but, so far, most do not and are obscenely expensive."
          And we are discussing TB2 here, which is PCIe2, which far exceeds internal drive data transfer rate.

          "I was not specific in my comments about multiple external boxes. I am not just talking about hard drive enclosures. If you want to expand video, the only option will be via TB. "

          So? First, you have NO information to indicate that this is so. You certainly have no information about the lack of swap-ability of the internal video cards. You are simply assuming with zero factual basis.

          "The limited number of USB 3 ports is a head-scratcher."
          Um, why? What "pro" level thing are you doing that requires more USB 3.0 ports than you can get either on the unit, via a hub, or via an external TB adaptor, say, an adaptor with six drive bays, five USB 3.0 ports, a daisy-shainable TB port, and three internal PCIe2 card slots?
          .DeusExMachina.
  • You guys have all missed an important Mac Pro point

    The Mac Pro drives 4K monitors.

    That implies a 4K Apple TV on the near horizon.
    kenosha77a
    • That's a rather wild leap in logic...

      Mac Pro is a professional product, an "Apple TV" would be a VERY consumer product. It's far more likely Apple will be introducing a 4k Cinema Display instead, which given the sudden and recent influx of 4k monitors that just popped up from Asus and such, makes sense.
      Playdrv4me
      • Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...

        a 4k Cinema Display. Awesome dude!!
        Arm A. Geddon
      • Except for the prices involved, the hardware & software are now in place

        The new Mac Pro demonstrated Apple's ability to drive video content to multiple 4K monitors. The new OS X Mavericks has shown support for multiple monitors that includes 4K and HDTV screens.

        Picture a 4k Apple TV that can also act as a large screen iMac - a central family room multi-media center device.

        If Apple can bring down the price, this hybrid computer/HDTV device would find a ready market.
        kenosha77a
      • I think he is implying...

        that the Mac Pro is being released to allow for content creation for future 4k streams. Still a stretch, though.
        .DeusExMachina.