Apple’s cheese grater Mac Pro was flexible, expandable, and powerful – imagine that

“As we learned this week, the 2013 trash can Mac Pro is going to … well … the trash can,” Stephen Hackett writes for 512 pixels. “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. It was a flexible, expandable, powerful desktop computer,” Hackett writes. “Imagine that.”

“The Mac Pro was introduced at the tail-end of the Mac’s transition to Intel chips back in 2006. It was designed to replace the Power Mac G5, which had been serving pros for several years,” Hackett writes. “The Mac Pro used the same external case, complete with the cheese grater look on the front and back, but the inside was all new…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Did Apple lose the plans for the cheese grater? Is that why they can’t rev production back up, insert recent vintage processors, etc. and get something this year for the long-sufferring Mac-using professionals who remain on the platform instead of dangling the nebulous “not this year” for the all-new “modular” Mac Pro?

We bet Dell, HP, Lenovo, or virtually any other non-lazy computer maker would not take a year or more to GTF to work on a solution.

Six months. Max. Thats what this should take. That’s what this would take were Steve still here (of course we wouldn’t be in this situation, 3+ years down the road, if Steve were here).

All of the grief that Apple’s getting over this FUBAR Mac Pro debacle is well deserved.

More about Apple’s Mac Pro – April 6, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Who has taken over at Apple? – April 5, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
Why Apple’s new Mac Pro might never arrive – March 10, 2017
Dare we hold out hope for the Mac Pro? – March 1, 2017
Apple CEO Cook pledges support to pro users, says ‘we don’t like politics’ at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting – February 28, 2017
Yes, I just bought a ‘new’ Mac Pro (released on December 19, 2013 and never updated) – January 4, 2017
Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
No, Apple, do not simplify, get better – December 23, 2016
Rare video shows Steve Jobs warning Apple to focus less on profits and more on great products – December 23, 2016
Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’ – December 20, 2016
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Rush Limbaugh: Is Apple losing their edge? – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


  1. You know Apple done messed up when their faithful disciples at mac daily news is raking them over the coals.

    I put the blame at the top of the chain with Tim. He’s the CEO, and he better be able to spot major issues like this coming without having to rely on any of the other vp’s input at Apple. Tim wake up.

    1. This week we’re learning that Apple did wake up. But wiping the deeply rooted crust out of their sleepy eyes has done them damage. Dear oh dear. This goes down as a classic Apple <a href="TITLE” target=”_new”>SNAFU. That’s a bad thing.

      And yes newbies, Apple has had plenty of SNAFUs both with and without Steve Jobs. At least this one didn’t wreck their bottom line… Just their bottom. *ouch!* <–That's the sound of a corporation after the application of a cattle prod. ⚡⚡

    2. Absolutely correct.

      As an Apple computer owner since my Lisa they have certainly dropped the ball regarding the pro crowd. Mea culpa Apple, OK.

      Fine, and fingers crossed they blow us away …

  2. The more I ponder the term “modular” the more I worry.

    Normally you refer to adding components within a tower to be “expansion”, as in “expansion cards”, like graphics cards or other PCIe cards.

    The term “modular”, even though “expansion” can be in its definition, evokes an entirely different image: assembling mostly self-contained pieces together.

    I fear that the word “modular” was very carefully chosen, and the implications are NOT good for those wanting a standard, expansion-capable solution.

    1. I think you’re over-thinking it.

      The “cheese grater” G5 and Mac Pros were modular inside. The power supply, drives, and cooling systems were all modular.

      1. I do have the same suspicion about the specific “modularity” term employed there because of the expected time frame (Allow us some skepticism until we have the new product! so we may be a bit paranoid now). I would like to think it may not take so long for Apple to produce a more traditional tower considering they produced the 2012 MP for so many years. But on the other hand Apple may want to ensure they have a very solid product by 2018.

        mossman I am with you. Modularity implies you may not have, say a GPU, but a separate chassis or sub chassis, electronics and finally the Apple modified GPU. And what I don’t want to deal with proprietary connectors, or modules from Apple to complicate a more simple or traditional expansion or upgrade process. With the 2012 MP we even expected some PC parts could be “hacked a bit” and do much of the work we needed. That has been a valid workaround provided from some advanced users and even from some e-tailers when Apple did not had available all the options we needed. I want to have Mac versions parts as soon as PC parts are available so we could plan our upgrades and our projects with big CPU, GPU and other important product cycles.

    2. “Modular” is working pretty well for upgradability these days with external graphics card enclosures, although I don’t know how useful that is on the Mac side with the typical poor driver availability for the bleeding edge / newest cards.

      1. If Apple is intent on designing their own GPUs then they’d better have some team of programmers who can write GPU drivers. I’ve never understood why Apple wasn’t able to write decent drivers for various GPUs. Is it some sort of mad science that can only work with Windows PCs? Why couldn’t they have paid the companies building those specific GPUs to write drivers for OSX? Would that have exceeded Apple’s budget or something?

        A new GPU comes out for Windows PCs and BOOM, they’ve got drivers for them. For OSX, they have to use specially flashed BIOS firmware to make them useable. It’s just crazy.

  3. Apple could scale down the Cheesegrater design for a Quad Core i7’s thermal requirements and laptop/SSD sized HD bays and make an amazing headless Mac at a reasonable size and price. A lot of want and need the expanability and internal storage but not necessarily the Xeon CPU set.

    Apple could also price the damn thing more reasonably. 3-4 Thousand Dollars is a bit much for a throwaway device, which is exactly what an iMac or MacBook Pro or Not is these days.

    Not everybody is going to or can put all their stuff in the cloud and we need significant storage and backup capability. We also do not want a Promise Box that costs as much as the damn computer. Some of us live or have second homes that do not have Gigabit Internet with unlimited data plans and backing up and writing 100s of GB of data is just not practical or financially justifiable.

    My home media collection alone fills up the bulk of the capacity of 4 large HD drives and it serves every device in the house. You think I’m backing that up online? That is before any other files or a backup HD.

    It us not just developers and creatives that need and use workstation grade computers. Scientists, Researchers, Architechts, Engineers, Radiologists and others use heavy duty CPUs and GPUs- many times requiring something way beyond any laptop or iMac.

  4. Jobs was enamored with the ridiculous Cube in the ’90s, what a mess that was. This trash can piece of trash can…what genius though of that? This is really not rocket science, even Dell has this figured out, except for the OS part…

        1. Only in your mind does one mistake invalidate all points offered. That’s serious laziness on the part of the reader.

          You don’t have to dwell on minute details to agree on a general trend, or an approximate relationship.

          Playing the game of truth absolutism and data perfection is self defeating. All things are relative and all measures have tolerances.

      1. Speaking of getting history correct, the G4 cube was released in *2000* and discontinued less than a year later.

        So orenokoto is still absolutely right saying Jobs was obsessed with cube-shaped hardware in the 90s, since he was running NeXT when they sold the NeXTcube from 1990-93, which was considered a marketplace failure. Jobs thought he had a second chance at a cube-shaped computer at Apple, and obviously initiated the G4 cube design no later than 1999 in order to make a July 2000 release date.

    1. It was just fine for the target market. Executives or sales people that wanted a small, cool looking Mac on their desk or anyone else for that matter that didn’t want a big tower. The mold lines/cracks was all absolute FUD.

      It was the same speed as the tower version and the same ram, it just did not have the expansion for multiple drives and cards. If you wanted that, then you bought the tower.

      We still have one in our server room because we don’t want to get rid of it. Still runs.

      1. I think it is a mistake to kill the 2013 MP, not for me either. It is just that Apple needs to add a true high end machine.

        We should stop thinking “only ONE line of products for everybody” way, like the Apple these days.

  5. Ok, haven’t posted in a while but here’s one of the first one’s from the great white north. We were very happy with the trash can pro’s, they were a big upgrade over our 2008, 2009, and 2010 systems. We also had a great number of MacBook Pro’s and imac’s. The teash can pros we’re overbuilt to begin with, and they have only become “outdated” within the last 6 months since Intel finally came out with a new Xeon architecture. The only place they’ve fallen down is the gpu, where they seemed to be very forthcoming in the interview. (This is also something I mentioned many times, as the thermal design was the issue). I think you’ll see a Mac Pro that is an “ITX” size, with swappable boards like the 2006-2012 cheesgrater pros. Apple was just a couple years ahead of the technology with the trash can, and if it was thunderbolt 3, they wouldn’t have had the same issues. Thunderbolt 2 wasn’t ready to handle what they were envisioning, very similar to the cube when Steve got 10 years ahead of the industry….

    1. I’ve been bashing Apple a lot over the MP situation but I agree with some of your points. The big weakness of the Cylinder was the GPU and Thunderbolt 3 would have solved that partly as you can use ext. GPU boxes.

      I too am in Canada , on an island one and half hours by ferry from Seattle and Vancouver.

        1. I guess the Syria strike ordered by President Trump, widely applauded by world leaders, finally put you over the edge?

          Don’t blame others for your decision to move. Just do it.

          “Well, I hope Neil Young will remember a southern man don’t need him around anyhow”.

          — Lynyrd Skynyrd

  6. “That’s what this would take were Steve still here (of course we wouldn’t be in this situation, 3+ years down the road, if Steve were here).”

    Steve WOULD still be here if he just had the operation. Instead he tried for a year to cure his pancreatic cancer with “alternative medicine” – and by then the cancer had spread and it was too late.

    I’ll never understand how somebody so smart could have been so dumb.

    1. It could have been the denial of being ill. Also, fear and mistrust of doctors can do things like that to the smartest people. It’s not a matter of intelligence that keeps people from going to doctors. We can be smart in some ways and ignorant in other ways. Intelligence doesn’t stop people from doing drugs or taking risks. Jobs’ hesitancy to see an oncologist was likely the biggest mistake he ever made. It’s surely human to make mistakes.

    1. No, it wasn’t. The 2013 trash can was a design exercise that tried to answer the needs that nobody was asking for. It proved how out of touch Apple leaders have become.

      Now, 4 years after its intro, Apple execs have finally gotten a clue that they fucked up big time. 4 f’ing years. That’s 2 product cycles in the rest of the computer world. That is mismanagement and grounds for dismissal if you ask me.

      Fire the fashionistas and hire Mac hardware engineers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Your response to me earlier comes back to haunt you: “Playing the game of truth absolutism and data perfection is self defeating. All things are relative and all measures have tolerances.”

        Got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        And BTW, your total misunderstanding of Derek’s post spawned a most clueless response. But what the heck, no truth exists in your world — just relativism, so you’re good …

  7. “We bet Dell, HP, Lenovo, or virtually any other non-lazy computer maker would not take a year or more to GTF to work on a solution.”

    Very bad, MDN.

    Taking their time to do things just right is why Apple is Apple.

    They screwed the trashcan Pro, this does not mean they must screw the new stuff like in a domino game just to hurry up.

  8. Apple jumped the shark a long time ago … Now they are “experts” at taking away features and functions you want and giving you features and functions that “they” have decided you want and need.

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