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MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!

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Marcus Moore
MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:46:33 pm

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/31/3937442/apple-discontinuing-mac-pro-in-eu...

While this will likely be widely reported as further proof that Apple is ending the MacPro line- to me this reads as, "We're not going to bother updating to be complaint cause the new one isn't far away."


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:48:19 pm

Marcus, I agree with you, but I hope they find a way to really differentiate it from the other items in the lineup. iMacs are faster than current MacPros and Mac minis are very nice for the price. Just having some internal slots for expansion doesn't justify the added cost. Hopefully, they won't continue to lock down the other products (as far as user upgrades) to make the MacPro "different".

Tech-T Productions
http://www.tech-t.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:01:04 pm

I'm not sure why anybody would expect anything less than Dual Proc Xeon (still Sandy Bridge... they are one generation behind). They have no business reason to come out with another variation on an Ivy Bridge Quad i7.



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Marcus Moore
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Jan 31, 2013 at 8:20:28 pm

Agreed. The more time that goes on, and the more that I think about it- the less I think Apple has any radical new concept in mind, but rather that the delay was simply a matter of timing and proper components for a useful update.

Larry Jordan's blog post on the MacPro from a few days ago included some info I think most people had forgotten about- that Apple PR had clarified and confirmed the content of Tim Cook's email with NYT reporter David Pogue. Apple PR basically told Pogue - a new MacPro in 2013.

I expect the form factor will change a bit- but I'm no longer expecting earth-shattering- it will still be a tower of some description. And it will still be called the MacPro. Because that name makes sense with the rest of the lineup. MacBookAir/MacBookPro. iMac/MacMini/MacPro.



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Andrew Kimery
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Jan 31, 2013 at 10:43:42 pm

"Our Pro customers like you are really important to us," reads part of Cook's e-mail. "Although we didn’t have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year."

"Something really great..." might be a tower with revamped internals or it might be Apple's take on what they think pro customers need (or more importantly don't need). I mean, after FCP Legend languished for a few years Steve Jobs tried to placate the rumbling masses that the next FCP was going to be "awesome". For some people it is, for some people it isn't but I'm pretty sure it caught everyone off guard.

There will always be a need for speed but Apple doesn't want to play that game anymore (if they did the MacPros wouldn't be so pitiful, IMO). Off-the-shelf desktops are the new 'big iron' rigs, laptops are the new desktop and tablets are the new laptops. I mean, 10yrs ago or so if you wanted to run Smoke, for example, you needed a beefy SGI rig to go with it. Now Smoke will run on laptops. It will run faster on towers (and even faster on tricked out towers) but a beefy tower is no longer a requirement. Users have more freedom to pick hardware that suits there needs and the majority of users don't need/can't afford monster towers.




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Gary Huff
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 1:13:44 am

[Andrew Kimery] ""Something really great..." might be a tower with revamped internals or it might be Apple's take on what they think pro customers need (or more importantly don't need)."

It's MacBook Pro Retina 2.0!


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Don Scioli
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:07:27 pm

What about something radical, like Quantum computing?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:08:20 pm

[Gary Huff] "It's MacBook Pro Retina 2.0!"

It will compete with HP's $6,400 workstation lappie:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/01/hands-on-with-6400-of-workstation-cl...


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 6:05:47 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "It will compete with HP's $6,400 workstation lappie:"

And people complain about the "Apple Tax."
Major GPU beast for sure though.

It does make me wonder if putting that on the motherboard of the Mac Pro replacement might be their Thunderbolt answer.



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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:22:23 pm

[Marcus Moore] "I expect the form factor will change a bit- but I'm no longer expecting earth-shattering"

I guess it depends on how one defines earth shattering. Given the potential simple fix for compliance one of the reasons Apple may not want to bother is because the change in case design is significant enough to dissuade them from dealing with even minor supply chain changes.

In other words if the case were similar there'd be no big deal making a change they'd have to make anyway. If the case were significantly different there's no reason to make a change when the parts supply chain is about to change in a major way.

Even if all Apple does is add Thunderbolt and USB3 (which would be significant changes by using Xeon motherboard and GPU integration) and drop optical drive slots and maybe the 4x PCIe slots (replaced by Thunderbolt) that's going to be a very significant case design change and probably some changes in the internal cooling.



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Marcus Moore
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 6:50:27 pm

There will be a case change, of that I'm pretty darn sure.

I think by "major" I mean a change in the philosophy of the design. I still see a box of given dimensions with PCIe card slots, internal storage options, and upgradable RAM. The box could be smaller, shorter, oriented differently... but it won't be a radical new configuration.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 7:42:47 pm

[Marcus Moore] "but it won't be a radical new configuration."

I was hoping for a pterodactyl.

Bummer.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 1, 2013 at 8:55:03 pm

Pull out the optical bays and the 4x PCIe slots and you're pretty close to my "pizza box" (obviously a little bit thicker) depending on how they handle cooling. It would get more radical if they removed most of the internal HDD bays as well.

My thinking has been the box could be horizontal for rack mount or vertical on a removable stand. This could allow a more convenient server like use.



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Marcus Moore
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 2, 2013 at 1:44:03 am

I know we've covered this ground before, but how do you see them pulling PCIe from this machine? Thunderbolt expansion isn't ready for the heavier lifting yet.



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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 2, 2013 at 7:05:09 am

They're not pulling PCIe. I suspect there will be 16x PCIe slots. At least one if not two. That's needed for GPUs and a few other cards that are 8 or 16 lance cards.

The current MacPro
http://www.apple.com/macpro/specs.html
Three open full-length PCI Express expansion slots6
One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots


The two PCIe 4x slots will be gone. I think they may ADD a 16x slot, which would be a very good improvement for power users. I certainly don't think they'll take away the 16x slot.

It's possible that the config might be something like
2 16x slots
4 Thunderbolt ports each is 4x and can be daisy chained and one can add a chassis for addition slots.
This would make for a smaller case but actually more expandable.

The unknown is how they handle the GPU. Currently it's on a 16x slot. I think there's some possibility they can put a GPU on the motherboard especially given what HP managed to do in their $6500 beast laptop noted in another thread. There could be a design with GPU on mobo for Thunderbolt to drive external monitor and additional 16x slots for GPU available for other tasks.

Everything is debatable but here's some things to ponder.
There hasn't been a Xeon proc motherboard with Thunderbolt.
To date all Thunderbolt computers have had GPUs on the motherboard.



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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 2, 2013 at 7:49:51 am

Sorry but just an ultra quick and dirty so there's a bit of slop.
Left is current MacPro
Center and Right MacPro Replacement
Optical drives gone, Handles gone. 4x PCIe slots removed so it's a bit shorter and thinner. Can be horizontal for rack mount or vertical as a smaller tower.

Not meant to be that graphically accurate but just a general idea.






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Gary Huff
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 2, 2013 at 2:13:11 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Not meant to be that graphically accurate but just a general idea."

I'm torn about the lack of bays for optical disk drives in your mockup. On the one hand, I rarely use them, on the other hand I just made 15 DVD discs for a client who has a documentary trying to get distribution, so I'd hate to have to go through all those on external devices.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 2, 2013 at 3:11:38 pm

[Gary Huff] "'d hate to have to go through all those on external devices."

I'm curious why. As it is I have an external Blu-ray burner and I move it to whatever computer needs it at the moment.

It's pretty clear Apple is dumping internal optical drives though.



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Gary Huff
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 2, 2013 at 4:08:58 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I'm curious why. As it is I have an external Blu-ray burner and I move it to whatever computer needs it at the moment."

Because I have three drives in my workstation now and can burn three copies at once.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro Discontinued in Europe on Mar 1st - Beating the pessimists to the punch!
on Feb 2, 2013 at 4:18:28 pm

[Gary Huff] "Because I have three drives in my workstation now and can burn three copies at once."

If one does this frequently there are inexpensive multi disk duplicators.
As the use of optical disk declines that wouldn't be a factor in my decision to purchase a workstation.
External burners are cheap and can be moved from computer to computer.



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