|Apple Shows Off The Future of The Pro Desktop|
|Apple® today showed a sneak peek into the future of the pro desktop with a first look at the next generation Mac Pro®. Designed around a revolutionary unified thermal core, the Mac Pro introduces a completely new pro desktop architecture and design that is optimized for performance inside and out. With next generation Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, Thunderbolt 2, PCIe-based flash storage, and ultra-fast ECC memory, the new 9.9-inch tall Mac Pro packs an amazing amount of power into an incredibly small package. |
“With the latest Xeon processors, dual FirePro GPUs, ECC memory, PCIe-based flash and Thunderbolt 2, all built around a revolutionary thermal core, the next generation Mac Pro is the most radical Mac yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “All this performance and expandability is packed into a dramatic new design that’s one-eighth the volume, and best of all, it will be assembled here in the USA.”Apple Shows Off The Future of The Pro Desktop [apple.com]
Let's tell it like it is:
|"With all that power, the new Mac Pro lets you seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background. But, more importantly for Apple, the new Mac Pro perfectly targets that segment of the market that lusts after autos such as the BMW M6 or the Mercedes-Benz SLK55." |
A critical look at the new Mac Pro
A graphics pro breaks down Apple's new machine.
ArsTechnica - June 11 2013
|You get the feeling that the designers sat around coming up with ideas for the new Mac Pro and said, "If Darth Vader edited video, what would his computer look like?" |
The article provides what appears to be a balanced view of design considerations. The computer is a radically new design, built around a central thermal core, with motherboard elements facing out for accessibility. I find the idea appealing, with some reservations because of limitations the design imposes.
While Apple touts the Mac Pro's expandability, the article describes it in more ambiguous terms...
|A truly epic lack of expandability |
The article considers trade-offs with regard to possible hard-drive setups, eg, and likely costs of various options. Depends, it seems, on what kinds of work you do, what your legacy hardware is, and what your legacy media is on.
Other limitations discussed include small number of USB ports, no optical drives, and GPU limitations.
Your view of some of these considerations may depend on your view of the future, on your business model, and again on legacy issues. I see many graphics companies (software and hardware) betting on the cloud, and I've got to confess that that makes me uneasy. I'd relate some of Apple's design decisions to analogous decisions Apple made with FCPX.
And some of the design decisions may be prioritizing form over function... There are only so many considerations you can satisfy and keep it sleek.
Aside from that, it looks like a beautiful machine that's likely to influence future designs and perhaps to prompt some alternatives.
The article starts from the viewpoint that the peripheral market will remain the same. I'm pretty convinced that if those that buy the Mac Pro (remember these are expensive machines) are in need of something that there will be vendors offering it on the other end of a thunderbolt(2) cable. Cost is hardly the main hurdle, and thunderbolt2 ... the machine supports 6 chains ...
Moreover, I somehow doubt Apple has shown it all already.
E.g.: the future mac pro supports (up to 3) 4K screens ... maybe time for an apple 4K screen in the fall too.
The main added benefit will come to the rest of us who buy e.g. a Macbook Pro: think of all the hardware coming out to hook up to our thunderbolt ports.
Despite al the nay sayers: there's a ton of things we've not yet seen in effect, but e.g. the much faster interface to the flash disks could very well be a killer feature of this machine. Well that's if you can call them disks, it's jsut mass storage, no disk involved, not even a disk interface anymore. And such technology is the kind that will find a place in our future (higher end) laptops just as well.
It's now just too easy to be negative, let's at least wait till the machine is being used by the reviewers before giving them too much credibility.
swa66 - Thanks for those insights.
While I didn't mean to be negative... (it clearly is a visionary design)... in professional film and video production area, eg, those legacy issues loom large. This includes workflow patterns built into niche industries, as well as legacy media and what kinds of devices it's stored on.