Apple power-users have long considered the Mac Pro desktop
computer as the “go-to” machine for processor-intensive music and graphics
programs such as Final-Cut Pro and Pro-Tools. But for the past couple of years
the MacPro line of computers has lagged behind other models in Apple’s line-up
when it came to the latest processors, USB 3 and Thunderbolt interfaces, and
overall processing speed and graphics.
On Monday June 10, 2013 with great fanfare (and a nifty video)
Apple unveiled the next generation MacPro and simultaneously announced the
death knell for desktop computers as we know them.
Instead of the traditional desktop paradigm, which is basically
a large box that holds a bunch of components including hard drives, video
boards, and other component parts, Apple has gone with a modular approach via
the new Thunderbolt 2 interface. Instead of having sleds inside with switchable
hard drives as on the current Mac Pros, Apple has opted to move all the hard
drives (except one internal SS drive) and other peripherals (except for the
graphics board) outside of the computer and into smaller external boxes that
can be daisy-chained via Thunderbolt 2 USB 3, or Firewire.
Instead of a new MacPro desktop machine, what we have in
essence, is a Mac Mini on steroids. Computer tweakers will find this new
direction disturbing as it further limits the degree of internal customization
possible by third-parties. But for most users the new form factor will be a
welcome change from the big, heavy, and sometimes loud MacPro tower.
As to the price for the new Mac Pro desktop, that’s still
something only Apple knows, but we do know it will be manufactured in the US at
Apple’s Texas facility.
The final question is whether current MacPro users will flock
to or away from the new MacPro paradigm. At the current time I’m on the fence…