So Tim Cook, (Apple CEO) promised so called “pro” users something to look forward to later in 2013. I’ve been thinking about why that might be and my guess is that it won’t be the box pro users are thinking of. The old Mac Pro is a throwback to the past when you needed a big box with expansion ports, memory slots, giant fans, monstrous and monstrous power supplies.
Those days are over.
To get an idea what the new Mac Pro might be like you don’t have to look any further than the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
I believe that rather than create something that is just the opposite of their direction everywhere else, Apple will stick with their new modus operandi. A new Mac Pro will be a box, but a much, much smaller one. It will come in configurations of 32, 64, or 128GB of RAM. That RAM will be soldered to the system board. It will have an option of one, maybe two internal SSD drives for a little over 1.5 Terabytes of internal storage. No SATA. It will have the most current graphics card available. The graphics card on the new iMac is already better than anything in the existing MacPro line. It will have the fastest multicore Intel Xeon processors available. It will also have lots of ThunderBolt ports probably 4 and at least one FireWire 800, one Gigabit Ethernet Port. There won’t be any PCI slots internal to the machine, the clear message being Thunderbolt, ThunderBolt, Thunderbolt.
I expect this all to fit in something the size of an XBOX 360. Or better year, I like it to be in a glistening black cube, with a hologram of Steve Jobs on the side.
The Pro “community” will react poorly, creating petitions, and whining, etc., instead of thinking about how to use the new machines. ( Just as they have this time. )
They will whine about storage:
Answer – 12Terabytes of RAID storage as fast and faster than their existing RAID systems can be had for around $1500.
They will whine about memory being soldered on the system board.
Answer – The amount of RAM on my imaginary Mac Pro in increments of 32, 64 and 128GB is more than enough. All they have now is 64GB.
They will whine about what to do with their existing RAID systems.
Answer – If you don’t want to go to Thunderbolt, you can get a Magma ExpressBox 3T allowing you to connect your PCI cards to an external chassis, and then to Thunderbolt of course.
Some will ask about being in an Xsan.
Answer – Both ATTO and Promise make Fibrechannel to Thunderbolt devices allowing you to connect not just my imaginary Mac Pro to fibrechannel sans, but current iMacs and yes, MacBook Pros.
So be prepared for a REALLY all new Mac Pro. One that is as closed as the new MacBook Pro Retina. Expect the most whining to come from the “pros” who need the big box mostly to feel like pros.