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Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3

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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 5:23:04 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Not to be pedantic but from 2006-2010 we got a new Mac Pro about every 12-15 months (and the Power Macs before that were on about a 6 month cycle). The stretch between the 2010 model and the speed bump in 2012 was, at the time, the longest drought between releases. That gap has been obliterated by the nMP. According to Macrumors the 2010-2012 gap was 685 days, the overall average time between MacPros is 449 days, and the nMP came to to market 885 days ago. Personally I would love it if Apple went back to releasing speed bumps between major revisions so there was always something new every 12-18 months."

In general, the MacPros were 2006, 2008, 20012. Full disclosure, I'd forgotten the 4,1 released in 2009. Remembering the conversations from back then, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who'd call the 2012 chip swap an "update", as evidenced that they're both 5,1. So I think you'd have to call the whole 2010-2013 a single upgrade cycle.

Anyway, I think the challenge with the nMP is that it's tied not only to CPU and GPU upgrades, which theoretically could be made more often if they chose. But that there's the extra element of I/O that's so integral to this machine, and specifically bandwidth (for storage and for displays) that was never really an issue with the old towers. They all came with USB and Firewire 800 thru that whole lifespan. But I/O has been evolving fast in recent years, and I wouldn't be surprised if much of Apple's decision to go with this new form factor was built on the early Promise of Thunderbolt/Lightpeak's original 100Gb/s optical goal. I don't think they wanted to ship the nMP without 4K display support, which is why they had to wait for Thunderbolt2 to be released in late 2013. Now, with everyone screaming about how you can get a better display on the 27" 5K iMac- I don't see how they could have released an updated MacPro anytime after that without 5K display support and not taken an ENORMOUS amount of flack for it. At least that's my theory.

And so here we are- Thunderbolt3 chips are shipping, USB-C is ready. And there's some very healthy upgrades on both the CPU and GPU side. So I think we're set. Both for a new nMP, as well as refreshed 5K Cinema Displays.

Just today I had my Apple rep call me to say that WWDC dates were for June- and did I want to be called if there was a new MacPro announcement.

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