New Mac Pros Are Here - Disappointing

Flagship desktop slightly updated   11-Jun-12

New Mac Pros Are Here - Disappointing

After more than two years, Apple have finally upgraded their top-o-the-range Mac Pro desktops. I must admit I was getting a little worried that desktops were a thing of the past, not something content creators were feeling all that comfortable about. The extra PCI slots, memory and disk bays are just not available in any other form factor. Though having said that its not the most overwhelming of updates, in fact I would call it distinctly underwhelming.

No USB 3.0, and no Thunderbolt? What are they thinking? I guess we'll be able to buy some sort of PCI based Thunderbolt IO, but its not really all that satisfactory. One would hope for the latest connectivity on the top of the range desktop surely?

Processors continue to be the Intel XEON, with a speed bump up to a maximum of 3.2gHz. Graphics get a little bit of love with the ATI Radeon 5770 and 5780 cards available which will allow connection of up to three monitors simultaneously - previously this has been difficult and costly to achieve.

Audio IO has been retained with both analog and TOSlink ports, separately addressable - we run digital IO into our studio system via some cost effective TOS link to SPDIF convertors, keeping the path all digital.

So if you have been delaying updating your desktop system, your options are listed above.

Not wanting to start a whole Mac/PC/Linux flame war, but what do you think?


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13 Comments... Comments are closed while we transition to Disqus

Caixa    Said...

Surely it's just an intermezzo, timed to quell the choirs singing the "Mac Pro lament". The next act comes before the year end I predict.

In the meantime, at least it still has PCI slots. I for one fear that they may go in order to create bandwidth for Thunderblolt (which is just PCI out of the box anyway). As for the lack of USB3, is that really an issue? Am I the only one who feels USB is in fact just an interface for keyboards, printers and scanners?

11-Jun-12 07:07 PM

marton    Said...

yeah right. us, video professionals have been waiting for these connections like the saviour, for faster transfer speeds with the massive files we use. its not an issue at all, i'm just not buying one :D

11-Jun-12 07:34 PM

SteveBoker    Said...


If they wanted to kill sales so they could justify ridding themselves of the MP, this is a great way to do it.

Between that and killing off the MBP 17", they haven't brought any love into my life. I have 1.5TB in my MBP and my older eyes need the size more than the pixel density.

11-Jun-12 07:41 PM

Rob Keith    Said...

Gee it's good to see that they have kept the prices low? NOT! I mean come on Apple, isn't it time that you really started competing with the mainstream, or is it that you really don't care? I'm not sure, but love my old G5, and resales of older models that have good features are a plenty, so can't see much hope for increased sales of the new machines, which really aren't much different anyway

11-Jun-12 07:49 PM

Derek    Said...

I don't have anything new to contribute to anything that's been said, but David Pogue reportedly spoke to an Apple exec who had this to say:


Many Apple observers also wonder if Apple thinks that desktop computers are dead, since not a word was said about the iMac and Mac Pro. An executive did assure me, however, that new models and new designs are under way, probably for release in 2013.



Guess my wallet is shut until December 31st, 2013.

11-Jun-12 08:33 PM

Derek    Said...

... so it's not dead yet!

11-Jun-12 08:58 PM

And even more    Said...

A MacRumors reader writes in to share an email he received from Apple CEO Tim Cook after he asked about the future of the Mac Pro:

"Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year."


11-Jun-12 09:12 PM

Nick B    Said...

Marton, its not like I cant work with the 'old' 8 core I do have, but there is no real advantage to me considering one of these machines - it has nothing I dont already have in a 2009 model. Apart from the three head display card of course.

If there are plans to seriously upgrade these ranges later in the year, then why would anyone buy one of these? It doesn't make sense. With Thunderbolt present on imacs and laptops why not put it on the Mac Pro? Certainly from a video point of view, there are some interesting capture devices available, as indeed there are for USB 3.0.

i just don't understand the reasoning behind this news, there is no real reason to buy one if you can wait.

12-Jun-12 04:36 AM

Woo    Said...

If they wanted to kill sales they could have just discontinued it like they just did the 17" Macbook Pro. Apple isn't afraid to kill products.

Over the course of the last day it appears that this was a forced update from Intel, as the chips Apple was using are no longer available from Intel. Also, it was reported by David Pogue in the NYTimes that an executive at Apple said that a real Mac Pro overhaul would come "later next year" which to my ears sounds like more than 12 months away.

So I don't think they're killing the product. Sounds more like they're looking to jumpstart the thing with new case and features (upgrade to optical Thunderbolt, anyone?). Disappointing for sure to anyone waiting for 1+ year for new gear but let's not cry about Apple 'killing' the Mac Pro. They're just letting the current version limp along at a too-high price.

12-Jun-12 08:46 AM

mattsynth    Said...

I have a Mac Pro dual processor that is over 4 years old and works perfect for my studio audio needs. I am looking to buy one of these new Mac's just so I don't have to worry about a computer for 4 more years. There will be a big changes in computers in the next few years and it will cost consumers a ton to keep up with the software and peripheral changes. If I buy one today it will work with my existing hardware and keep me going for another 4 years. I hate trying to keep up with the newest trends. For one thing it cost way too much and the main reason I purchased this computer is to make music not buy new technology every year. These new Mac Pro's will work with all my existing hardware, and that is a big deal to me.

12-Jun-12 08:50 AM

Hidden Driveways    Said...

It is wild that with all of Apple's success that they let such an important product like this stagnate. But thank goodness the Mac Pro still exists! There would be some serious panic in the streets if they killed it. There would be a dark movement in art as creatives would be forced into Bill Gate's wonky OS. Depression and anger would taint everyone's work. ;)

It makes me think of Final Cut Pro X. Apple had been at war with the other NLE companies, and then finally, just as they're claiming the majority of the marketshare BOOM! They take a huge risk, and lose (in the short term, anyhow).

Here is the neglected Mac Pro, looking nearly identical to 2003's G5 tower. Not a huge market of people want to buy an new, up-to-date machine, but there certainly is a market there. It's the same market that kept Apple alive so they could make their iPod.

It's surprising that such a successful company is missing such a blatant opportunity, no matter how trivial it is in the grand scheme of things. One gets the feeling that Ive has been busy designing TV's that all get scraped.

12-Jun-12 10:24 AM

robbiemacman    Said...

I've had one of those 5770 3 head cards in my 1.1 2007 8 core MacPro for 18 months. Nothing new!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12-Jun-12 03:24 PM

Derek    Said...

More promises from Apple, this time via Forbes:

It's going to be a long year.

12-Jun-12 07:25 PM

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