Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Apr 2017 00:02 UTC

As we learned this week, the 2013 trash can Mac Pro is going to... Well... The trash can. Apple has promised a new "modular" Mac Pro for sometime after 2017.

In the light of this news, I thought it would be interesting to look back a model, to the "cheese grater" Mac Pros Apple sold from 2006 until 2013.

The cheesegrater is a truly iconic Mac. I love it.

On a related note, here's some interesting tidbits and nuggets I've picked up regarding the new Mac Pro from people and sources who know their stuff. The Mac Pro was in limbo inside Apple. The decision to go ahead and develop a modular Mac Pro replacement seems to have been made only in recent months, with development starting only a few weeks ago, which makes it clear why Apple said it won't ship this year. I have no idea how long it takes to develop a new computer like a Mac Pro, but I think we can expect the new Mac Pro late 2018 at the earliest, but most likely it won't be until early 2019 before it ships.

What made Apple do a 180? Well, after the announcement of the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, orders for refurbished "old" MacBook Pros supposedly went through the roof, and after the initial batch of reviews came out, they shot up even higher. This response to the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar took Apple completely by surprise. Combined with the problems surrounding the LG UltraFine 5K display and the constant negativity from professional Apple users, the company decided to double down on professional users.

As Apple announced, we'll be getting a new Mac Pro and an iMac Pro as a result. In addition, Apple is said to be exploring additional Retina MacBook Pro models without the Touch Bar, and other pro-oriented features, such as hooking an iPad Pro up to a Mac to use it as a Cintiq-like device.

All in all, there is definitely excitement in the air regarding professional Mac use, and to be honest - that's been a while. Personally, I'm still very cautious, because in the end, all we got yesterday was a more official version of Tim Cook's endless "we've got great stuff in the pipeline, trust us!" meme that's been going on for a few years now.

Until we get it - and that may still be 2 years away - the new Mac Pro is vapourware.

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RE[2]: the future "modular"
by osvil on Thu 6th Apr 2017 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: the future "modular""
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You don't have to imagine that, this already exists and you can buy it today....just not from Apple (hint, razor core)
You also don't have to imagine it only for high-end-pro machines. "turn your phone into the compute engine of a lapdock/deskdock" devices are starting to become available as well

Which is actually my point. That was not so common when the mac pro was released. The connectors/protocols are still evolving (and may not cease to do so) and at the point of the trashcan were not ready for the task. Having the GPUs in the main system shows that.

Remember that the trashcan is limited to thunderbolt 2. Thunderbolt 3 has double the bandwidth (and it is still limited compared to PCIe x16) so you are making some sacrifices in there. So it is still not an option to base a "pro desktop" system on... unless you pick a solution that aggregates several thunderbolts to feed a single unit.

I *think* the capacity of connectors like thunderbolt is going to increase *faster* than their internal counterparts. Or, in any case, they will advance to the point of "don't care" for many users. But we are not there yet, at least for the "pro" market.

I wonder if Apple is going to take that direction or not. IMO to pull it out in a good way a faster thunderbolt would be needed. The "pro" machine would be one with many of those faster thunderbolts. In a sense, a "pro" iMac would be one with many thunderbolts. Ability to aggregate the bandwidth of several thunderbolt to achieve at least PCIe x8, ideally PCIx16 on an external GPU. In the case of an iMac add also the bandwidth to output the display to the native screen.

And no, the razer core is not that. It is a nice toy, but the bandwidth is not there.

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