Predicting Apple’s ‘modular’ Mac Pro: Look to the new Mac mini with Thunderbolt 3

“Here’s a guarantee for you. When Apple launches the new Mac Pro some time in 2019, it will be later in the year than you’d hope —and people will be disappointed,” William Gallagher writes for AppleInsider. “Specifically, if you’re waiting for the return of the old Mac Pro cheese grater, you can start drafting your angry tweets right now. As much as we loved that old Mac too, it’s gone and it isn’t coming back.”

“The 2019 Mac Pro will be like the current model and the new Mac mini. One system to which you can add what you need,” Gallagher writes. “To be clear, this isn’t what we’re looking for in the new Mac Pro. While we do agree that Thunderbolt 3 is a fantastic choice for the machine insofar as connecting high-speed storage and devices, we’d like to see m.2 slots, a pair of x16 PCI-E slots, and slotted RAM in an enclosure about the size of the eGPUs that we’ve reviewed. We think we’re just going to get the RAM, though, as the wider professional market that doesn’t upgrade their machines probably speaks louder that we do.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s new “Mac Pro” will be a box containing three Mac minis.

We joking (we hope).

Apple’s new Mac mini creates concern about upcoming Mac Pro – November 1, 2018


  1. Mac mini double stack or triple stack:

    Swappable HDs (at least 2, perhaps 4?, remember that you used to be able to put 2 HDs in a Mac mini.)
    Discrete GPU(s), swappable
    8 RAM Slots
    MegaGiga Ethernet standard
    At least as many TB3/USB ports as the mini.
    SD slot? (one can dream)

  2. If it was like a giant Mac Mini why is taking so long ? It has be significantly different right for them to need all this time ?

    Seriously hope they have fast PCI slots. TB3 is good but not comparable.

    Typing this on a upgraded Cheese Grater MP. Holding on until I see the new MP (or middle next year, which ever comes first).

    If they just upgraded the internals of the Cheese Grater (maybe with new manufacturing make it a bit smaller and lighter) they could have had a winner years ago.

    1. Double Mini
      Demi-Cheese grater

      Doesn’t matter to me, but it shouldn’t have taken them this long to figure out. One really has the impression that they are over-thinking and/or under-prioritizing a simple desktop Mac.

    2. Apple waited for next generation Xeon cpus, which Intel just announced.

      It boggles the mind why a company like Apple with infinite resources and supposedly respect for its customers would choose to skip several generations of chips and make no other improvements between major product generations.

      The Mac Pro had better be significantly better than a pile of minis requiring breakout boxes for storage and real gpus. Relying on external Thunderbolt cables for any expansion is bad design, period. Has Apple listened to customers at all?

      It might be toonlate. Millions of pros have switched back to Windows. Apple would rather sell watch bands than do the hard work of supporting pro level computing customers. I remember the trashcan rollout. My bet is that Schiller won’t be so arrogant this time around, if he even has the balls to do the presentation himself.

      1. “respect for its customers”
        Steve Jobs started the trend of disrespecting Pros with FCPX. They pulled all the Final Cut professionals together and basically said, “Yeah, what you want? We’re not doing.”

      2. Oh, so then it was new Xeons we were waiting for …

        …. and Apple didn’t announce the shipping of a companion Mac Pro as soon as Intel’s embargo lifted?

        Hmm. Yeah, Apple’s really been working hard.

        1. there will always things we are waiting for

          next it will be TB4
          or new PCI standard or faster RAM or faster SSDs or Faster GPUs or….

          so basically never build.

          I first heard the faster Xeons thing in 2014.

          1. I’m joking about the Xeons in 2014 but seriously they’ve done basically nothing with the MPs since 2013. If you have a 2010 MP Cheese Grater some kids using Macs today weren’t even born when that Mac was designed (Actually first iteration of the Cheese Grater was few years even before that) .

  3. I don’t know how Apple is solving this but I think some stackability and some connectivity should be required for an Apple “modular” design. I imagine a core CPU box that could work on its own, and I wish, on top of the CPU box, Apple could implement some efficient PCI bridge connector for 2 double-wide or 4 PCI cards. This way you could get only the CPU, some storage, 4 – 8 memory slots and a full set of modern connectors in one main box. And if you need a powerful GPU or two, or some PCI cards you could add the second PCI box on top. A possible 3er module could be designed for additional storage and connectivity.

    The Mini Pro, in general, meets the main CPU box design but it needs to accommodate much more powerful CPU and memory options.

  4. This article is lame and cynical. I know that there is cause for cynicism, but I doubt that the new Mac Pro will have much in common with the Mac mini. And it will be sized to accept multiple standard size GPU. Seriously, if this article is supposed to be anything but a rancid tongue in cheek, it’s quite an indictment on the quality of analysis at AppleInsider.

    1. I agree. AppleInsider has gone downhill. Their articles ping ping between rank speculation and blind fanboyism. Objective reviews and comparisons have practically evaporated in the world of electronics….

    2. “And it will be sized to accept multiple standard size GPU.”

      While I’d love that to be the case, the realist in me wants to ask if you heard all the laughing as you typed that?

  5. Apple had a modular design that worked well in 2012. One could add hard drive modules, pci card modules, graphics card modules, …. all inside a well cooled rugged case.

    In 2013 Apple removed all that flexibility in order to hang its futures on Thunderbolt 2.

    When the next Mac Pro is revealed, I hope Apple learns that spaghetti messes of cables is not an acceptable solution. Neither is stacking lego bricks especially with yet another proprietary connection. Just refresh the large workstation so it isn’t instantly obsolete when Thunderbolt 4 becomes the new hot thing.

  6. Between the iMac Pro and the Mac Mini, 99% of the “pro” whiner’s needs are satisfied. The two aforementioned devices are meant to shave off most of the legitimate pros who spend their time working and creating instead of bitching. The new Mac Pro will be too expensive for the last few remoaners.

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