RUMOR: Next Mac Pro to be smaller, narrower, rackmountable

“Nearly eight years after the Mac Pro’s current design debuted, Apple is toying with a re-designed version of the product,” Seth Weintraub reports for 9 to 5 Mac.

“The new design is said to be narrower at just over 5-inches and a few inches shorter at around 19-inches,” Weintraub reports. “One of the reasons that Apple might be making this particular Mac Pro prototype smaller is because it is able to fit on to a standard server rack.”

Weintraub reports, “The new machine is said to carry ‘stacked’ drives with two drives per sled which will allow a higher drive density than what’s already out there.  These stacks are not only built for conventional hard drives, but faster, more reliable SSDs in different configurations. The width of this system configuration is said to be 3U (U = 1.75 inches).”

Read more in the full article here.

44 Comments

  1. A little follow-up to that post…

    Previously, the only ways to rack mount a full-sized Mac were to spend almost as much as a Mac costs for specialized hardware, or use a 30″ deep Xserve. 30 inches is W-A-Y too big for a small, on-stage music rack; even a large synth module is only about 1/2 as deep.

    So if this rumoured prototype becomes a production model with optional rack-mounting hardware it’s going to be VERY useful for some musicians.

  2. I just gained ownership of a dual-core G5 PowerMac and the machine runs great with a fresh install of Leopard.

    But when this new one comes out, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be getting one. Sounds sweet!

  3. Make a shorter version too, and it’ll remind me of my Mac IIci (and Quadra 700), in the vertical orientation. “Just over 5-inches” wide probably means the optical drive will be vertically oriented (like in an iMac). Of course, this is just a rumor; there have been other such rumors, and the external case design from the first Power Mac G5 eight years (wow!) ago is still with us.

      1. If consensus includes Apple’s own job postings on their website for engineers experienced in damn near every bit of server farm hardware and software without a single mention of any Apple product whatsoever… Then yes. Consensus.

        1. Oracle bought Sun. They are definitely in the hardware business. They have been very successful at promoting and selling Sun hardware as the optimal platform for their software.

  4. Seth Weintraub is a two faced weasel. For Fortune, he is the biggest Fandroid. I take everything he says with a bit of salt – like the big block salt licks for livestock.

    A rack is 19″ wide. Have been for many decades, since before computers.

    “Around 19 inches”? NO! They will be 19 inches. Exactly.

  5. The current Mac Pro case design is all about meeting the cooling requirements of the G5 processors. I’m surprised Apple took this long to revise it.

    -jcr

  6. I worked with standard racks for years. A 17″ wide chassis fit into a 19″ wide front panel rack. Less common are 24″ and 30″ racks. Those chassis are also 2″ narrower. I have used 30″ deep models.

  7. As someone who actually owns a Mac Pro & uses it daily, I say to Apple- don’t eff it up. Smaller would be nice, but not form over function at the price of losing configurability.

  8. Just looked at the 10K filing for this quarter. Apple sold 1M desktops which includes the Mac Pro, Mac Mini and iMac. How many MacPros do you think Apple sold? My guess is less than 100K.
    I understand the need for a high end machine but the percentage of users who need those has gone way down now that the laptops and cheaper desktop macs can provide the power for most users.
    For Apple to invest much R&D into a MacPro does not make much sense. They are not going to drive many new users into that segment. Rack mount could make sense for many specialized applications. I just wonder if it is good use of resources for a product that will yield less than 0.5M units per year. At an ASP of ~2500 that would bring in ~1B per year in revenue or about 1% of their yearly revenue.

    1. Apple needs the Mac Pro to be the top of the line no matter how few they sell. Psychologically, Mac users want to know there’s a “super duper” Mac available if they ever want to take that step up. Not to even have it available is to make Apple just another “Consumer electronics company” that is just pushing product.

      1. I agree. The MAc Pro is about what the best is.

        Way back in my younger days met a Nikon rep who had just sold a multi thousand $ lens to QANTAS to check the things that move on their jet engines.

        The lenses I use on my Nikon hang off the back of that development.

        That’s why the top end should always be about the ‘top’ end.

        No Mac pro no iPhone 5 etc etc..

  9. This would go handily enough with the fact that they are going to offer OSX server as part of all OSX installation disks for free with lion.

    You buy a mac pro for a server or a workstation; simplifies they’re hardware offerings yet also allows them to offer a pro workability and server all-in-one that’s even rack-mountable.

    I would call that just plane smart.

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