A new Mac Pro debut at WWDC?

Summary:The tea leaves get a sharp look-see every year around the time of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. Many see signs of a new Mac Pro.

The wish for a refresh of the Mac Pro line is a constant refrain from content-creation professionals and sci-tech consultants. Last summer, rumors circulated of a major new model and then fizzled. The speed-bump introduced almost a year ago was considered a non-grade. Some saw signs in Apple's pledge to make machines in the U.S., but the latest word is that this isn't the Mac Pro. Then again, until a new Mac Pro is announced, there's no certainty.

With WWDC arriving in a week, there are new signs. Or to be more accurate, new signs discerned.

MacTrast Managing Editor, J. Glenn Künzler, took a look at the diminishing stock of Mac Pros in advance of WWDC. He called it a "remarkable shortage."

Stock-outs and diminishing retail supplies are a key sign that Apple may be preparing to release new models of a product – something which Mac Pro users have been awaiting for a very long time. It’s also worth noting, however, that other models of the Mac Pro aren’t facing as significant of stock limitations – although all models are out of stock at at several major resellers.

A good sign.

MacNN reports that the forthcoming OS X 10.8.4 update adds support for the NVIDIA Geforce GTX Titan graphics card, which the company is pitching to gamers but which will also appeal to the professional 2D/3D and 4K video content market. According to reviews, a three-way Scalable Link Interface (SLI) setup (costing $3,000), the cards can support 5,760-by-1,080-pixel resolution across three monitors.  

The update is also said to have a number of improved NVIDIA graphics card drivers to correct display flaws, and the current beta -- version12E55 -- also includes drivers for the Geforce GTX Titan, though it is possible some of these changes will not appear in the final release and are simply being "test bed" deployed before formal inclusion in a future build.

Mac professionals want a powerful, integrated machine. The question continues whether Apple is committed to it, despite the promises by CEO Tim Cook that "something really great" is coming in 2013.

Some are concerned that Apple now sees Thunderbolt as a way to avoid manufacturing a replacement for the Mac Pro. Instead of an integrated, powerful tower desktop with super-fast bandwidth and internal bays for expansion, users would be asked to make do with an iMac, and Thunderbolt for external expansion, even for video cards. PCIe card cages with this capability have arrived with support from several vendors.

This question may, or may not, be answered next week.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Storage

About

David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

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