Up close and personal with Apple’s new ‘jet engine’ Mac Pro

“Apple’s new Mac Pro is a radical departure from previous versions, and a redesign that in many ways has to be seen to believed,” Darrell Etherington reports for TechCrunch. “Which is why we’ve put together this gallery of the new pro desktop for power users, which is clad in black aluminum and houses not one but two workstation graphics cards along with PCI Express flash storage, Thunderbolt 2, Xeon processors and 4k video output for up to three monitors at 4K resolution.”

“The most impressive part of the Mac Pro might be how much Apple’s engineers managed to cram into such a small package. There are not one, not two, but six Thunderbolt 2 outputs, which adds tons of external expandability, as well as two FireWire 800 ports, audio in and out, HDMI and Ethernet,” Etherington reports. “The top of the device is designed to double as a handle, and the whole external casing slides off when unlocked to give access to internal components for swapping parts out. It doesn’t have the same kind of internal drive bays for traditional platter-based HDDs as the old silver aluminum behemoth it replaces, but this little powerhouse is sure to find a place in the hearts of many video and graphics pros.”

Check out TechCrunch’s full gallery here.

Apple's next generation Mac Pro
Apple’s next generation Mac Pro

 

Apple's next generation Mac Pro
Apple’s next generation Mac Pro

 
The next generation Mac Pro will be available later this year. To learn more, visit www.apple.com/mac-pro.

Related article:
With new Mac Pro, Apple gives sneak peek into the future of the pro desktop – June 10, 2013

97 Comments

      1. You’d be surprised the times I think about that when picking up a new gadget or buying a new car. Just think someday I’ll be thinking “Wow, can’t believe we thought that was so cool.” Like when I got a 20MB external HD and thought it was so awesome and I’d NEVER fill that thing up!

        Though I’d still like a nice 1968 or 1970 GTO. THAT has remained “Wow.” : )

          1. I recall paying almost $700 for a 40 MB full -height Seagate drive, $600 for a 2 MB memory card. Paid about $800 for UNIX software. Everything since then has come down in price with one glaring exception: Windows software.

      2. My thoughts exactly. Every time I gaze at my Picaso Macintosh display or Cube (think square and squat mac-pro) I can’t help but smile. Makes my Apple II seem primitive.

    1. Here’s hoping for a compelling middle of the competition price. By the way, I like it, my precious. I think this is a good direction – it will just take some thinking different for some folks.

      I also would like to see Apple put some code into Mavericks that would allow TB daisy chaining any of their TB computers to each other and creating a automatic, no hassle, cluster computer. That would allow old machines to continue to be used for extra computing power. This would at least be advantageous for the Mac Pro’s. Would work well with the new design also.

      1. They usually don’t introduce a new one costing more than the old, so I think they’ll try to come in on or close to a base price that’s about the same as the current Mac Pro which is $2,499 at the bottom end.

    2. Comparing the price/performance ratio of this to my 1987 Macintosh Plus, I’d venture about $1,000,000.

      Given its power, and what that means in workflow increases, and the type of work the Pro can take on, a price of $6,000 is be easily justified on a cost/benefit basis. That said I see it being priced at ~$4,000.

            1. What an idiot. Assuming your studio bills out at $30/hour (gotta be low), and this machine (with the potential to double productivity) only increases productivity by 25%, that’s an increase in revenue of $15,000 per year. That you don’t even think in those terms tells me you’re an Indian, and not the Chief.

            2. First, the cost estimates are only speculation. A base model Mac Pro might only be $2500 to $3000. A maxed out version is likely to be two or three times as much. Regardless, the value offered by this machine in terms of price/performance would appear to be better than any previous generation of the Mac Pro.

              Second, a price of $6K would only be “high” for a high-performance pro machine if you employ cheap designers that are not worth supplying with top-notch hardware.

              In my experience, the cost of labor and the cost of pro software far outweigh the cost of a machine like the Mac Pro. As greggthurman points out so well, even a modest increase in efficiency will pay for the device in a short period of time. In addition, current tax law enables a rapid tax write-off for businesses.

              Think before you post, buttvinik.

    3. Above the base “top-level” 27″ iMac.
      So that if you max-out an iMac, it will be cheaper to go for the entry-level MacPro.
      But a maxed-out MacPro could scratch the five-figures I’m afraid.
      And that doesn’t take into consideration the 4k displays.
      Did Phil really have to mention those in the presentation?
      😉

  1. This thing is incredible. No doubt, some third party will create a clear external case, so that you can see the inside, which looks even more amazing than the outside.

        1. I think Apple is taking build cues from Henry Ford’s Model T, which a buyer could get “in any color… as long as it was black.”

          In the case of the new Mac Pro, a buyer can have any amount of expansion… as long as it’s external.

          Which I know is going to be a really big issue with a number of pro users of all kinds, and I can’t deny they’ll be justified.

          Not this one though. If all goes well, by the end of this year or beginning of 2014, I’ll be looking at significant hardware upgrades all across the board. New Mac Pro, monitor, drives, etc., etc. Can’t wait. And unlike Lion and Mountain Lion, I’m really looking forward to Mavericks.

    1. > as well as two FireWire 800 ports…

      I don’t think it does… I don’t see any FireWire ports. There are 4 USB, six ThunderBolt, two Ethernet, one HDMI, and audio ports.

      Since it has SIX Thunderbolt ports, you can put a FireWire adapter on one of them, if you need it.

      1. Somebody misreported Firewire and it keeps being re-quoted. During the presentation, Schiller accidentally said Firewire instead of Thunderbolt at one point. He was so excited, as were the rest of us, I can see why that would happen. It’s a thing of beauty.

  2. My very first thought was, cut the top off, set it in some greenery and you have what looks like the Apple Mothership. It would be interesting to know if Steve had his hand in this before his passing.

  3. Am I right in thinking that there were no rumours concerning the incredible new design of this new Pro? Could that have something to do with it being made in the US?
    Do people think that this means that as they move more into manufacture in the US that we’re likely to see secrecy/Apple’s ability to hide upcoming products and actually surprise us at Keynotes once more as an actually achieveable goal?

      1. Exactly right. Leaked info = lost strategic advantage = lost revenue. Enough of an advantage, perhaps, to offset the cost of relocating operations to a higher-wage U.S., I’d wager. If Asian firms suffer, I’m indifferent, strange as it may seem :/

  4. Phil Schiller said the new Mac Pro could turn 7 teraflops. Now cast your minds back ten years to when the G5 came out and Virginia Tech bought 1100 of them and built a supercomputer, one that was at the time the third most powerful machine on the planet. That original cluster was benchmarked by Top500 at a tad over 10 teraflops.

    Just think about that for a moment…

    =:~)

  5. 18TB Pegasus R6 Direct Attached Storage RAID Array and others tacked mega storage solutions have been picking up use everywhere in the past few years with many Mac Pro users. It’s a perfect removable storage solution without the need to drag out the big old horse and easier to deal with…they cost about $2700 at the high end and would work well with the small footprint of this new handsome design that packs some serious horsepower. That would probably be priced somewhere in the 3-4 k range IMO. The proof will be in the final pudding though and till then think different, it will grow on you if you’re stuck in the mold.

    Now that Apple has at long last rid itself of the old form factor that everyone bitched about when it remained unchanged last year’s updated versions, there’ll still be the those, obviously who need to whine and complain, just like always.

    Portable rigs consisting of ‘spindles’ stacking two or three of these with latching hard cover cases and center placed handles beat monster towers in huge fridge size road cases for those who need portability any day.

    1. The Whiners never lack for employment, as they are in the popular business of delaying change and suppressing engagement across all theaters, so as to aggrandize their unnamed friends whilst portraying themselves as besieged benefactors of society

    2. Not everyone bitched about the old form factor. Many, many of us loved it — especially the ones that lost skin (literally) upgrading the RAM on their 9100 machines back in the day. The old form factor was perfect for a truly professional workstation/compute station.

      When the current Mac Pro shipped the fastest GPU you could put into it was the 5870. Today, if you wanted to, in order to radically increase the OCL capabilities, you could stick in one or more Titans. You could thus increase the compute capability by a factor of five by just upgrading the graphics cards.

      Unless Apple allows people to swap out the graphics cards in this new machine by using third party cards I don’t see this happening. Such an increase will require buying a new Mac Pro.

      Also something tells me that you won’t be able to put anywhere near 128 GB of RAM into this enclosure. Sure the new RAM architecture will be fast, but there is something to be said for having the vast majority of you program and data in RAM — which can happen for those of us who write our own software. Even super fast SSD equivalents won’t be as fast as having everything in RAM.

      Finally, it is going to require — at least for the first several months — an Apple only storage system. Yes, it will be equivalent to a SSD on the most extreme steroids you can imagine, but it still will be Apple only. Plus, there is no guarantee that Apple will publish the interface and physical requirements of that drive — meaning the first few months that third parties are making drives for it will be a “customer beware” period as the third party vendors figure out the nuances of the new interface and physical/thermal requirements.

      This machine seems like the perfect “uber headless iMac” that many, many people have been wanting. However, a true PROFESSIONAL WORKSTATION Mac Pro. No, it is not.

      1. A. There’s still a lot of missing info and specs. The proof will be in the pudding, so why the rush to judgement???

        B. The times they are a changing….If you looked at the Mac Pro user, industrial and corporate market practical everyday uses and trends, you’d verify that removable media Raid arrays are everywhere the past few years and that it’s a fast growing market.

        Apple usually is way ahead of everyone in trends and market research, don’t you think they did their homework and know something that backs their reasoning for removing the storage bays and with that all the engineering and resources they cold put towards better performance?

        That puck’s going elsewhere.

        1. It isn’t that simple. I’m not sure that we can even get a dual CPU model. While Apple talks about 12 “cores”, they also talk about the “the processor”. No mention of an upgrade to dual Xeon’s. And without that, what’s the point to a Xeon other than for four lanes of memory? Remember that a 6 core Xeon has 12 virtual cores.

          I very much want to upgrade from my 2009 model, but I need more information than what Apple released yesterday, and pricing wouldn’t hurt, considering I’ll need at least one thunderbolt external multiple drive case to make up for the five drives I have in my present machine, along with the external SATA backups.

      1. They were going to do it in Transparent Aluminum, but it hasn’t ben invented yet. Well, actually it was invented in 1984 in San Francisco, but has not yet been released to the market.

        1. And now that we know that, we can strike before the Market wakes up and realizes it’s betrayed itself.

          Wait—that argument holds only when dealing with a rational entity…

      1. And, of course, CNN’s front page report on WWDC said:”… for an Apple keynote, it lacked surprises or blockbuster launches.”
        So there you go. If it didn’t have a gigantic screen shift with blah blah blah (things which sell Androids to early teens) then it’s not really a surprise or “blockbuster” launch.

        1. One can hardly be surprised. If journalists could do things that MADE news, they’d be doing that instead of attempting to report on (and mostly spin) things that others do.

  6. well, I am not impressed at all. is it what apple developed so hard? the most important thing is price. it should be cheaper or similar with previous one. enclosure is plastic? are you kidding me? why don’t you just apply it for all damn mac line if you so? apple just lost the innovation idea. iOS 7 looks like the combination of Adroid and windows phone OS. they call it simplicity? it actually sucks hell. there was a reason apple stock fell yesterday. sorry but apple lost touch.

    1. Thanks for the reality check, edward. I was in danger of being caught up by the fanboi excitement and the expectation of something new and different, something Messiah-class. Instead it was incremental, dull and unimaginative, copycat, derivative, boring, lifeless, uncompetitive, disappointing. I’m switching over to the knitting forums now, as technology has ground to a bloody halt.

    2. Edvard – too funny for words! You are da man with your well researched, succinct and pithy summary. Logical as always and with a commanding use of the English language. You lift this forum to new heights!

    3. Is Apple giving up?
      Can’t beat them so join them?
      Oh yeah, great artists copy…

      Goes to show you, an Industrial Designer just doesn’t have the same sensitivity or skills to handle graphic design and User Interface design. Though the disciplines and though processes are similar – typographical, shapes, tonnes, lines, and silhouettes are far from consistent in the direction iOS7 is looking. The iCloud services uses a key line where Messages is a knockout shape, the Camera, then should be handled the same – should be reversed on a coloured background.

      Jony Ives far from an original thinker. He far too influenced – a cookie cut, stamped from the mould, replica of his mentor, Thoughts and design aesthetics all derive from something done before him – Rams’s ten principles of “good design” forever to follow. Ah, but that’s what makes good design – right. And fair to prove Ives only makes his mark by following rules not a leader to promote his own. Rams is a God, Ives is a mortal.
      Helvetizing or sterilizing elements to the lowest common denominator – really lacks difference from the many Beauty Products we see in drug stores or even and Apples competitors. Apple now, shall be seen as cooing Blackberry, Samsung and Windows. Jony let things influence his decisions too far. The blame does not go to Ives – it goes to Cook for his lack of leadership and for accepting this change. And while court cases still are being fought, this change comes at a bad time for Apple. Wishing more 3D icons,; even Augmented Reality icons, something to express the power of the OS and its graphical abilities opposed to dumbing it down to clean and uninteresting and no difference. An opportunity taken in the wrong direction. Blame Cook.. If not will Cook fired him for this?

      At first glance, it looks Apple took a page from Metro titles, slimmer and similar font. iOS7 also is too heavily relaying on words rather than icons. It lacks lustre. Flattening will be seen as coping in deed. Until we try it, and put OS to use – can’t see these changes enhancing users understandability nor improve functionality to use Apple.

      Its not different.
      I am not happy Apple.
      This is not responsible design.

      1. Have you ever noticed how the Samsung trolls think they’re so clever to choose an American-sounding name, but they still can’t speak English to save their lives? Or their credibility?

        “Debbie Travis” not only follows the rules of most Asian languages when it comes to forms of the verb “to be” (and the omission thereof), but also capitalizes the wrong things and spells things with a BritCan “u” (for “unnecessary letter”).

        It’s really pathetic. But, for Samsung, that’s par for the course. (Oh, excuse me – “that par for the course.”)

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