Apple’s forlorn trashcan Mac Pro is a product mistake of the ’20th Anniversary Macintosh’ caliber

“I’ve come to the belief that the trash can Mac Pro, the ‘Can’t Innovate my Ass’ machine, is a product mistake of the ’20th Century Anniversary Macintosh’ [sic] caliber,” Chuq Von Rospach writes for Chuqui.com. “It was a technological marvel, it was a stunning design, and it was a terrible piece of hardware for it’s primary audiences because of limited upgradability and component flexibility — and then Apple compounded that by not having good upgrade plans in place to refresh it since the design it created wouldn’t let its users do it for themselves.”

“I’m convinced we’ll see not just an updated Mac Pro, but a new design, one that I hope backs away from some of the issues this design has,” Von Rospach writes. “What I’m hoping for is in fact a new desktop product line which merges the Mini and the Mac Pro where, like the MacBooks, you have the options of 2-3 models each with 2-3 configuration upgrades which cover the pricing and processing needs from a basic Mac Mini to today’s Mac Pro supercomputer capabilities.”

Tons more in the full article – highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: What we wrote over three years ago certainly never came to fruition:

Who’s to say Apple or third parties won’t have stackable 6.6-inch diameter “expansion discs” that offer external drives, etc. that match and fit right underneath your Mac Pro and provide neat cord management solutions as well?

Think outside the box.MacDailyNews, July 17, 2013

35 Comments

    1. If you don’t believe the Trashcan Mac Pro was a dud, then welcome to earth because you’re obviously from another planet.

      Everything Cook touches turns into a steaming pile of sh*t. He’s actually more incompetent than Steve Ballmer and that, in and of itself, is an incredibly difficult feat.

  1. This is a good article despite the click bait dis of the MacPro. I have the 2013 MacPro and the 2009 MacPro, both running jobs right now as I type. And you know what? Both have dongles attached and both have several external drives attached. The 2009 MacPro has a couple of PCI cards to enable USB3 and eSATA (where is that going these days?) and an updated video card to run FCPX and other video programs. It takes up a large amount of room. The 2013 MacPro has a dock extender and an eSATA adapter. It takes up a lot less room and gives me the ability to arrange the workspace.

    I ‘ve been hearing a lot of griping about expandability with the 2013 MacPro but never substantial evidence that a person couldn’t do the expansion. Will it cost money? Yes, but if that’s the problem, Apple can’t help you with that. Build your own Windows box and live with it if you are serious about the work done. Just with the temporary 16gb MacBookPro RAM limit. How many people are actually going to hit that limit especially with the SSDs being used as virtual RAM?

    1. How about adding a modern video card running fast (i.e., not through a PCI cage to thunderbolt bandwidth chokepoint). You’re welcome for the evidence.

      It’s a great machine, and super pretty, but it’s a terrible design for professionals. You cannot even do any VR work with the thing because those graphic cards are anchors with no upgrade path.

      The reality is, pros need flexibility that the trashcan does not do as well. They need some in between design. Something that will still let you put in different video cards, at lest 2 slots for SSD drives. While I’m wishing, I’d love room for at least one or 2 mass rotational 3.5″ drives (you can get 20TB mass storage that way). Now such a device could be substantially smaller than the old cheese grater mac pros, and doesn’t have to be that much bigger than the trashcan mac… and it would address most of the problems/issues the pros have with the trashcan

      1. Very good points. Apple long ago seceded the very high end market to Windows and Linux builds. Why? Because the resource to profit ratio was and is very low. The 2013 Pro is a great computer. Would I like video card options in the 2013 Pro? Yes, I would. Do I need a higher spec video card to do my work at this point or the foreseeable future? No I don’t. If I did and I didn’t have the monetary resources to purchase or rent the proper system (Mac or PC) then I am making a mistake somewhere. If you are working VR and can make it smooth in a Pro Tower, great. I am curious why two Thunderbolt ports wouldn’t give you the bandwidth needed. Is it because nobody has made a chassis to do this? Technical or economic reasons?

    2. like I posted before for SOME pros, especially those that need power GPUs the cylinder is a problem.

      Barefeats.com test on GPU intensive app :
      Six year old cheese with upgraded card (mid range) : about 200 fps
      Cylinder: about 73 fps
      (all other macs like the retina iMac and the NEW MBP are Cylinder range or lower )

      the gap is significant.
      as monitors get more high res and bigger and projects get more complicated (look at 3D games today and few years ago) GPU power becomes important.
      some people use Mac Pros do encoding or something (where the multiprocessor counts more than GPU — if I’m not mistaken as I don’t stuff like that) so fine but people like me doing graphics … the Cylinder was OK in 2013 but lagging now: i’m typing this on an upgraded cheese grater connected to a large Cintiq and another big monitor.

      as I showed in the pix two days ago : Jony Ive’s lab — pix from end of 2015 — has Cheese Graters under the tables.

  2. Chuq Von Rospach: “. . . a terrible piece of hardware for it’s primary audiences . . . .”

    Yeah, and the above snippet from a supposedly PROFESSIONAL analyst/writer. Wow. It’s not rocket surgery, Chuqie: “it’s” = “it is”!
    Learn it. Internalize it. Go back to elementary school if you must–but do not ask anyone to lend credence to your opinion if you cannot master this one simple concept!

    1. If you write three paragraphs attacking a single fscking apostrophe in a PERSONAL BLOG, and that’s your best defence you have against his criticisms of the Mac Pro, you’ve admitted he has extremely valid points and you can’t argue them at all.

  3. Uh yeah, the 2013 Mac Pro was always a non-starter for me and a totally unnecessary design designed to hamper professionals unintentionally (I think). But now I am definitely in need of an upgrade – to say the least!

    I hear something is coming later this month but getting the above (and not just a bumped model) sounds too good to be true.

    1. I don’t think anything is coming later this month. Apple has already announced every product that will be on its shelves for the holiday season. They don’t make new product announcements in November or December. We’re not getting a new Mac Pro, Mac Mini or iMac until March at the earliest.

      1. That’s what I thought so when people starting saying November I too was dubious about that likelihood. Really it’ll probably be WWDC in June 2017 probably where several Mac Pro iterations were announced before. All we seem to do is wait, wait and wait some more.

        1. Same boat about needing new Mac. I’m going to wait to end of Nov.

          then spring for a 980 T card (or a newer 1080 if the drivers are out) for my second Cheese Grater.

          DO NOT WANT to do this really but buy a new Mac Pro (somebody at Apple are you listening to us? ) but paying high price for 2013 tech (the D700 at around $4600 base with 256 GB drive 16GB RAM and one third the GPU speed of a $600 PC card) is simply a non starter .

          1. And Apple must know by Mac Pro falling sales just how much of a non-starter it is. They shouldn’t have veered off the design path so haphazardly as they did in 2013. What they did overnight should’ve probably take a decade to get there, if ever. I don’t see pro needs changing much for some time to come. They’re pretty basic. Flaunt them on a design whim and risk losing customers to the dark side who at least understand pro’s need machines they can upgrade and do more with.

  4. I have to agree that Apple “screwed the pooch” with the last Mac Pro… No one can deny it was an engineering marvel, but it lacked in practicality not only in design, but also in assembly. Apple touted that it was made in the U.S.A. That was probably the biggest problem facing this machine. It was a very unique design that required a very unique method of manufacturing and assembly. After they started cranking them out, they probably realized this was not the most efficient machine to assemble – especially after they attempted to upgrade certain components.

    I’m guessing they scrapped the whole thing and have redesigned the entire process. Which would explain why it is taking so long for a new model. Given that the mini hasn’t been updated either, it makes me wonder if they’re not reconfiguring them both so that they share the same overall design and can both be manufactured and assembled on the same lines.

    However, I wouldn’t compare the Mac Pro to the TAM, I would say it suffers the same flaws as the Cube did, which was also a stunning computer.

    Having said all of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple decided to abandon headless computers altogether. Maybe we’ll see an iMac Pro?

      1. “Design” just doesn’t apply to what it looks like… The engineering involved in the design of the internals is what I was referring to. If you’ve ever opened a Mac and then a “PC” you can clearly see Apple’s design and engineering teams are a cut above everyone else in the industry – and always have been.

        Both the Cube and last Mac Pro are very unique looking computers, but to create that look – it took a lot more effort to design the internals to fit in it.

        Furthermore, I didn’t say how or were it is made is crap. I said it probably was not cost effective when it came time to make changes (update it).

  5. A new Mac Pro (assuming there is one) doesn’t need to have some off the wall design like the 2013 Mac Pro, nor as bland as the previous generation, but ultimately its still going to wind up being a box of some sort that contains the necessities for a Pro computer.. This is my wish list.. probably like many others..

    Multi-Core Processors, replaceable or upgrade-able
    Enough memory slots for 64-128B of Ram
    Multiple Slots for FAST SSD Drives up to 2TB or better..
    4-6 USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports with 2-3 (minimum) included adapters
    Allow for off the shelf video cards. GTX 1080 or better if available.
    Multiple PCI Slots for other peripherals.

    There could be other things to add to the list, but I think that’s a reasonable start.

  6. I wonder how many of you who judge and put down the MacPro actually use one. I do video professionally and your idea that you need internal storage bays, etc. is a totally outdated paradigm.

    My MacPro sits in absolute silence behind my monitor while the connected ELEVEN 4 TB drives, 3 thunderbolt connected and the rest USB serve as video masters, clones and backups.

    The 256 Gigs internal storage is only used for system and apps and has more than half that room to spare.

    It rips through Final Cut Pro X and Compressor projects with ease. It seems as fast as the day I bought it and It has NEVER crashed. And it does it’s magic in pristine silence which I greatly appreciate.

    1. I am game developer working with graphics and I had to buy an iMac in 2013 and also a PC. 2 machines instead of one because Apple did not use Nvidia cards and also because the Trash can had none upgradable GPUs. Even if Apple comes back to Nvidia I fear I will be stuck, so I need Apple to produce a machine with upgradable GPUs. And also upgradable HD, I don’t want to have a need and buy a new machine every time.

  7. Big reason for the delay: the 12 ports it needs to drop (6 TB2, 4 USB, 1 HDMI, possibly power) and all the compatible parts that would drive the thing to support double what’s in the MacBook Pro and then some. They could have done an incremental update, but it makes more sense to have a longer wait before radical change, so that a larger number of users will be upgrading right away and will have all those new tools to drive its mass adoption.

  8. I had always loved the pro computers. Owned the bindi blue tower and a Mac Pro. Loved the expand ability. Could add hard drives, ram, graphics cards. The new Mac Pro not so much. Bought a 5k iMac instead – loaded it up. Bought a side car from OWC for my other hard drives. Without expand ability it’s not a Mac Pro

  9. “while the connected ELEVEN 4 TB drives, ”

    friend you are describing a real rats nest of wires.

    If Apple had built a TOWER it could have the SAME performance, internal bays AND external USB, thunderbolt connectors for external peripherals if you so desire (for portability etc).

    PLUS if they made it like the old MP you could UPGRADE it i.e you could have much more current machine now with new processors, GPU etc. (you could have a machine that ran the CURRENT latest GPUs as long as drivers are available)
    In the old MP the drives just slid in on sled. and the ram was easy to install. If you were handy you could take out the processor and install newer or more core processors.

    you could ALSO add extra GPUs, PCI devices etc (here I’m describing the old MP , if they had made a cutting edge tower in 2013 they could have included stuff I can’t even think off.. )

    AND for al that THE PRICE for the old tower was i believe LOWER than the cylinder.

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