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the future of the current mac pro

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Craig Alan
the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 24, 2013 at 5:34:44 pm

Before its release, there was a lot of talk about how or how not upgradable the graphics cards and cpu in the new mac pro would be. Even if you needed to take it in to your go-to-mac-repair-shop and have it done, it would keep the beast alive for many years to come. So now that it is out … what's the verdict?

PS I did a google search and all the articles were from pre-release.
I called my go-to-shop and they did not know yet. They didn't even get one to play with.
Same with OWC.

I'm just thinking that a well equipped Mac Pro would run about $4000 and a nice large monitor would run another $1000. The external storage is not relevant since you'd need that with any current Mac.

The monitor would last at least two generations of Macs. It would be nice if and when better faster cpu and graphic cards come out the beast could be upgraded.

My guess it it could be by a repair shop only because it might need to be if a graphic card or cpu went south while still under apple care. There must be someway to replace it.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Chris Kenny
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 24, 2013 at 10:46:12 pm

[Craig Alan] "Before its release, there was a lot of talk about how or how not upgradable the graphics cards and cpu in the new mac pro would be. Even if you needed to take it in to your go-to-mac-repair-shop and have it done, it would keep the beast alive for many years to come. So now that it is out … what's the verdict? "

We knew RAM was upgradable. Since the machine's release Apple has posted a document with instructions for replacing the flash storage, which some feared wouldn't be a user-servicible part, but apparently is. (Although it's an Apple-specific form factor. OWC will probably make them, though.)

There's no new word on graphics cards or CPUs, but we already knew a lot there before release. The graphics cards are independent boards (i.e. the GPUs aren't soldered to the motherboard or anything) but they not standard PCIe cards. Also, because of the unified thermal design of this machine, they don't have their own heat sinks. This means replacing them will require removing and correctly reapplying thermal paste. That's not rocket science, but I can guarantee Apple will not consider this an end-user operation. The possibility of Apple selling GPU upgrades that you get installed at your local Apple Store remains, but I wouldn't put the odds very high.

As far as CPU, unless there's something very unexpected here (like Intel doing custom packages for Apple), the CPU will be socketed. This means the CPU will be theoretically replaceable, as was the case in earlier Mac Pros. Apple has never officially acknowledged the possibility of such CPU upgrades, and if you damage a machine while attempting it they're certainly not going to cover it under warranty, but it should be possible. The design of this case may make the CPU a little harder to get at, but I doubt anything is glued in there like with an iMac. However, as always, CPU upgrade options will be limited by what socket types Intel users for future processors.

--
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Craig Alan
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 25, 2013 at 2:50:23 am

Thanks. I figure that while applecare lasts you stay with the config you bought aide from maybe a bigger SD HD and more ram. But when applecare expires - by then a trip to the repair shop could bring new life to the then aging Pro. No doubt OWC will have something sooner or later. Too bad all the parts must be specific to this machine. If it doesn't sell well it would not be worth it to third parties to make product for it. Its a difficult choice. In the past there was a real performance hit to going with a consumer product. Hopefully Apple will offer updated graphic cards as they become more powerful or work with a third party on their development. I wonder if we will ever reach a place where a faster more powerful computer is not a key variable. Personally I would like to see archival quality storage become affordable, massive, and reliable. I'm using an early 2009 mac pro with plenty of ram and quadro 4000. The background tasks could be faster but generally I'm happy with FC. But I'm not editing professionally and my lab at school is yet to be up where I'm overwhelmed with projects - though I expect to be soon. I think my next step will be a SD HD for my system drive. I can always swap out my hard drives on this machine to make room for more media. But my son's iMac is faster so it is aging.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Rick Lang
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 25, 2013 at 7:03:02 am

If you haven’t listened to it, you might be interested in the latest MacWorld Podcast on the Mac Pro. Toward the end of the podcast they talk to (I think it was) the founder of OWC. He has lots of interesting things to say. He maintains the RAM, PCIe flash memory , and the GPUs are upgradeable. OWC has the RAM and will likely provide the PCIe flash memory, but he is doubtful anyone other than Apple will be able to provide upgrade GPU daughter cards due to the secret sauce Apple uses to communicate to the cards. These are not standard GPUs as you know. He was very complimentary towards Apple and what they have achieved in the new Mac Pro.

MacNN also has an interesting article about a DIY PC website that attempted to match the low-end and high-end Mac Pros in terms of specs and price for a do-it-yourself Hackintosh or a DIY PC. They admitted it can’t be done currently and took their hats off to Apple for what they have done and the value they have created with the lower than expected Mac Pro prices. It seems to signify the end of the conventional “Apple tax” that had been an accepted criticism, but not now.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Bernard Newnham
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 25, 2013 at 9:37:34 am

A huge amount of comment on Slashdot -
http://apple.slashdot.org/story/13/12/24/184208/a-flood-of-fawning-reviews-...

Bernard Newnham


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Steve Connor
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 25, 2013 at 10:42:24 am

Yes, most. of it written in crayon.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Bernard Newnham
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 25, 2013 at 11:09:52 am

An interesting, and, as ever, illuminating comment. There are always trolls on every comment page, but I thought that the Slashdot stuff had a certain balance for and against, which is why I drew attention.

Bernie


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Steve Connor
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 25, 2013 at 12:40:40 pm

[Bernard Newnham] "An interesting, and, as ever, illuminating comment. "

Thanks, I always look forward to your posts too - Happy Xmas

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Marcus Moore
Re: the future of the current mac pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 2:08:44 pm

We've know for sure since October that the SSD and RAM would be user replaceable. Anything beyond that would be a bonus.

"User Replaceable" is of course a very specific term. Perhaps CPUs and GPUs will be replaceable, as a service from Apple stores. It's certainly not anything they've done before (outside of in-store repairs)- but who knows.

As I said in another thread- the thing most likely to outmode this new MacPro will be the next iteration of Thunderbolt. But we're likely 2-3 years away from that.



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