Apple’s Just A Twitch Away From Killing The Mac Pro Line Forever

Apple’s Just A Twitch Away From Killing The Mac Pro Line Forever

Last week’s three-month minimum delay to their Xeon-class Sandy Bridge processors may be the final nail in the Mac Pro coffin, inside sources are now reporting.

It’s obvious Apple’s heart isn’t exactly in the Mac Pro these days. There hasn’t been an update to the line since 2010, which is significantly longer than most Apple product upgrade cycles.

According to Apple Insider, though, Apple’s pretty close to killing the line off once and for all.

Apparently, the consensus amongst Apple sales executives is that the Mac Pro is a dying product, with sales of the Pro having dropped so significantly that it is no longer even profitable for Apple to make them.

In addition, Thunderbolt obviates a lot of the need for an expandable Mac to begin with, because Thunderbolt provides the same signals as PCI Express slots, just through a cable. Why bother with a Mac Pro when your laptop’s Thunderbolt can handle the same thing?

Seems like a no-brainer to me: the Mac Pro is toast. There are no sales to support the product, and the niche the Mac Pro fills is now something regular Macs can handle. And if what is needed is simply raw CPU speed, AppleInsider speculates that future iMacs will be sold with new high-end options to appease upgrading Mac Pro owners.

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  • Tombo

    I love my 2009 Mac Pro 8 way. I have 32g in it and just put a 512g SSD. It’s got 1 30″ and 2 24″ monitors on it. I love the design of the case. I hope they don’t go away.

  • Pbn

    Let’s hope the Chinese do a decent knock off.

  • John Neumann

    The writing has been on the wall for a while now. Earlier this year I was speccing out Macs for my next graphic design workstation and after considering the large footprint and price of the pro, the cost of a new MacBook Pro + a suitable screen, I decided on a 1 yr. old iMac (Thunderbolt not necessary for me) from a quality reseller for under $1,300. 

    With an iPad for a carry-around, I’m pretty much set. 

  • LiamN

    I Doubt It, The Mac Pro Is Apples Only Top Spec Server Since They Killed The XServe.

  • GregsTechBlog

    This would be a seriously bad move. The iMac and MacBook Pro are decent, but for professionals looking for amazing processing and graphics power, along with raid storage, the Mac Pro is the only option. 
    Apple loses the Mac Pro, they’ll lose professionals. It would be an incredibly bad move. 

  • ThrashMan

    If you’re a traveling programmer, and you can’t have a MacBook Pro, what’s the alternative? AFAIK, the MacBook Air isn’t up to the task, or is it? Coders: What do you say?

  • weltraumpirat

    100% signed!!!
    If they cut the Mac Pro line, they will 100% loose a lot of pro users!

  • weltraumpirat

    100% signed!!!
    If they cut the Mac Pro line, they will 100% loose a lot of pro users!

  • Adam Rosen

    The Mac Pro is one of the best, least-problematic Macs Apple ever made.  Easy to service, easy to expand, and very powerful.  If they kill out the line I will buy the top end model from the last iteration, and it will last me another five years.  Frankly, I like being able to easily change a hard drive!

    And as others have said, this will probably truly kill the Mac as an option for creative professionals.  Too bad, but they made this decision years ago.  Look for fewer Apple products to appear in films and TV cameos as a form of silent protest by the creative community!

  • Brammers

    If the thunderbolt can do the same a PCIe port, then maybe we’ll see thunderbolt powered expansions for iMacs and MacBooks. Maybe with an extra hard drive and a proper desktop GPU.

  • Eric

    Maybe apple is not concerned about the “professional” base. According to this write up, it costs too much to sustain. When that usually happens, the line either gets killed off, or becomes very expensive. Might be good news for Avid.

  • MacGoo

    As a creative, I’m saddened. But as a realist, I’m sure this is true. The reality is that while Apple used to be the choice for creative professionals for valid reasons (like Adobe product exclusivity or hardware capabilities) the primary reason that designers choose Macs is the emphasis on quality design that pervades Apple products.

    Open the side of a Mac Pro. Even the mechanism to open it is simple and elegant. Inside, it’s designed like it was supposed to be on display – just as immaculate as the outside.

    Open almost any comparably-powered PC, and it’s just a jumble of boards, cards and fans.

    And while design sucks creatives in and fascinates them endlessly, the majority of users aren’t going to pay such a premium for it. It’s time to start convincing my IT department to look at upgrading my 2008, so I have a Pro to last me for a few more years.

  • Bezoetdebie

    Can i then get an 12-core (or 16-core) iMac????

  • heeloliver

    I hope they don’t do this. But, even if they do, it won’t be so bad since you can upgrade it for the next 6 years,

  • Robert kidner

    I love my mac pro! I saved and saves for ages to buy one! I am so glad I made the switch I would never go back to Microsoft again! I think the MacBook pro does still have a niche market point becuase you can buy a iMac for the same price, but that is a desktop and not a laptop!

    So you might say well why not have the mac air? Well for me that mac air is to thin (if that makes sense) I prefer something that is a bit more sturdy, and you can have a bigger screen size! Plus the mac air has 1 USB port! Just one, which I think is pretty appalling!

  • SupaMac

    This coming from the “reporter” that said that the iPod Classic line was killed off several weeks ago.

  • curtis jackson

    Theres a simple solution, yes it’s the (be very quiet) FrankenMac/Hacintosh. 
    Build it to your own specs, so its not an absolute lost. 

  • SupaMac

    i have the same computer but haven’t upped the RAM all the way yet… beautiful machine inside and out. performs amazingly. 2 years older than my MBP, which i got with full specs earlier this summer, and the macpro still crushes it… would be sad to see this line go away.

  • Guest81

    You should use more exclamation points!

  • heeloliver

    Most people cannot depend on the sometimes weak reliability Hackintosh’s. So we will still buy Apple products.

  • Tombo

    I’m working on my latest iPhone/iPad app on the new Air and it’s faster than my 2009 17″. Once I got used to the size of the screen, it’s a dream. It’s not hot, it rarely has the fan on, it’s super easy to lug around.

    BTW they’re killing the Mac Pro not MacBook Pro.

  • m_el

    erm. They’re talking about the Mac pro, not the Macbook Pro. Sorry if I have mistaken you but it seems like you’ve got confused

  • freedotz

    even if you could, it would fry.  iMacs are notoriously bad at staying cool, and hackintoshes are not always reliable.  sad to see a great thing go — definitely not for the average consumer, but an absolute must for most of the high-end stuff.

  • Howie Isaacks

    Weren’t the rumor mongers saying the same thing about the Mac mini just a couple of years ago? I think that Apple is developing a new version of the Mac Pro since there really is no need for such a big box anymore.

  • freedotz

    slightly, the cpus are already fairly outdated… even the new ones coming out seem to be fairly weak upgrades, considering their price tag

  • Len Williams

    If Apple kills off the Mac Pro, they should replace it with what many users have been asking for for years: A Mac Midi. This would be a small format pro model in size not unlike the old G4 Cube with room for possibly one expansion card but plenty of RAM, one or two internal drives and a Superdrive. It could be done up in an aluminum case and look a bit like a large Mac mini stood on its side. Made with Apple’s machining methods, it could be a much more affordable version of a headless Mac, and much less expensive to build. This would fill the need for a fast processor, plenty of RAM and a Superdrive without all of the extra and normally unused slots. It would work for most high-end professionals who do rendering, upscale graphic design and Photoshop work. The Mac Pro has been an unnecessarily large piece of equipment for many years, so the new smaller format would get a lot of interest and attention. 

    I’m currently using an old 2006 Mac Pro that is still snappy and very responsive running Snow Leopard (haven’t upgraded to Lion yet as I’m still using some legacy apps that are universal binary). One of the factors in slow Mac Pro sales by professionals is that these computers have a very long life. I could continue using my current Mac Pro conceivably for another 2-3 years without the need to upgrade, and this means fewer sales of high-end units for Apple. However, I would be tempted to get the latest and greatest if the Mac midi I’ve described above was created.

  • freedotz

    seriously, setting up a hackintosh can be a nightmare if you don’t buy exactly the right parts — and even if you get it set up correctly, the whole system is likely to crash every time you perform system updates

  • Alan Christensen

    How many monitors can you drive with any of the lesser Macs? Because I running three and sometimes I wish I had four.

  • Munas

    It is sad to see Mac Pro go. It might be very uncomfortable to keep iMac under the table to save desk space as iMac’s screen is absolutely not suitable for design works… unless one likes to work staring at the mirror…

  • Len Williams

    Not likely. I’d never depend on a hacked-together Windows box with OS X crammed in. One of the biggest benefits to buying from Apple is that their hardware “just works”. I NEVER want to be in the build-it-yourself camp because my production time is too valuable. If there’s a problem, I take it to the local Apple Store for repair and use one of my spares. There are too many potential problems with a hackintosh that are total deal-breakers for me.

  • heeloliver

    Like I said, you can upgrade them.

  • RoundaboutNow

    Well, if a high-performance Mac mini or iMac shows up (or even a higher-spec MacbookPro), we could think about adding cards with something like one of these: http://www.magma.com/thunderbo

    However, I would MUCH rather see a high-performance multi-core 1RU form factor (a real rack-mount) with at least one internal PCIe x16 slot along with Thunderbolt. With just a few configuration options, this could take over both higher-end server applications as well as other pro media applications.

  • RoundaboutNow

    I would much rather see a 1RU (or even 2RU) rack-mount form factor. As you say, with Apple’s current manufacturing techniques and logistics skills, it should be possible to make it affordable. Couple the above with a no-frills, simple and uncluttered design, and it should be all the more possible.

  • mlahero

    Hmm I cant see that happening. At work we have 4 high end Mac Pros and they mince the iMacs in terms of performance, the guys with the iMacs constantly complain about poor performance.

  • Phil

    MacPro, you had me, but I never had you…. Sooooooooooo I……. I just want to tell you…… good bye—————— good bye————————–

  • Getem

    iMac not known for staying cool? Please stop talking out of your Arse as that is 100% false

  • Phil

    Welcome to the Mac family Robert Kinder, a rebel at heart, you chose the right computer.

  • John Lehmkuhl

    My work as a professional musician depends on the multi-PCI expansion ports and raw power of the Mac Pro. If they kill it they will risk losing a pretty large base of professional people that make their living with these products. If it’s gone, then we probably won’t have another option but to go PC and I would rather sell body parts before doing that…. so I hope this rumor is just stinky air.

  • cadsii

    if they kill the mac pro a lot more people will build hackintosh computers,like myself i require the power of 4 SSD in raid + 3 Video cards, how am i going to get that in an iMac ?

  • cadsii

    its actually very simple these days google tony mac, they have preconfigured setups, my mackintosh will smoke a Mac Pro, running 4 Agility 3 in raid 0, getting close to 1000MB/s read/write, great for video editing, and everything works, network, sound, raid, 3 video cards together, and my beauty 27″ ACD, isight works great as does the speakers, no complaints, i went from a 27″ iMac because it just didn’t have enough power to compare to this system

  • cadsii

    when you put a 12 core cpu in there with a 6870, i bet you could fry eggs on that baby, i had an i7 i know how hot it got during gaming, never had any problems, but that was only 4 cores and a 4870. 

  • freedotz

    both of my iMacs have had issues, same with my friends… only repeating what apple repair techs told me — but many iMacs have had this issue, which usually shows up after a year or so in the form of yellow splotches on the screen.

  • MarioWario

    The Mac Pro is still the best workstation design (no wires on the motherboard) – I think it stays for a while like it is. 

    The form factor is kind of dated - like SONY’s Notebook-Thunderbold-Graphics/Drive-Extension it would make sense to keep the VGA separate. Make Dual-Thunderbold-Designs on the devices (NAS/SAN – VGA – CPU-Units-Clusters (for SCI-like MPP). Give the CPU-Units just onMainBoard-Flash-Drives & onMainBoard-ECC-RAM (8-Core-CPU with 32 GB RAM on the motherboard & PowerSupply).

  • freedotz

    not sure how you plan to upgrade a computer with 45nm nahalem chipset with modern 32nm chips, unless you plan on replacing the whole motherboard… better off just building a hackintosh at that point  

  • Getem

    I have to laugh at all of these comments…. The current line of imac and top of the line MBP will be able to do anything these Mac Pros could do all while consuming less power. Thunderbolt will be able to add graphics cards, raid storage and so many other possibilities I have no idea why everyone is crying here.

  • CharliK

    Apple made it pretty clear back when they killed Shake that the pro users are not their primary focus. 95% of users are consumers and prosumers and that was who they are designing for. And everything since then has backed this up.

  • CharliK

    Please don’t presume to speak for anyone but yourself, it’s rude and tacky.

    And even then, assuming you are correct, how many folks is that really. Maybe a tenth of a percent of their users. It’s possible they won’t lose that much in the end cause of all the money from their gadgets. Especially iPads that schools are making kids have. My three grade school siblings and four nieces and nephews all had to have iPads for school along with about $100 in apps and ebooks per term. That decision was 500 guaranteed sales for Apple. And theirs is not the only school. The high schools and the other four grade schools are the same way. So that’s like another 2000 or so. And all 7 schools just added a 30 iMac computer lab in each library. And this is just the private schools. Who know what is going on at th public district

  • cadsii

    sure lets compare the performance of 

    12 core Westmere = 25265 geekbench
    4 core i7 = 10800 geekbench

    do you see the difference ?

    maybe this won’t concern a user like yourself who uses iPhoto to sort their photos or iMovie to edit a 5 min clip.

    but if you start considering people who work in the media industry and have to import, re-encod 1080p content, and not minutes but hours of it, then you will actually see advantages of this kinds of system

    this combined with a raid SSD setup, 1GB/s read/write, you can now import your 2 hour video within 20 minutes vs 5-6 hours

  • Figurative

    Great.  So high-end CAD and graphics users will have to move to Windows.

  • Barton

    Uninformed ignorant speculative articles like this is why I keep Cult of Mac in my “Bullshit Apple Sites” folder of my Bookmarks… Sometimes I cannot tell between this site and Perez Hilton’s.

    Thunderbolt, in its current form, is barely capable of matching a single PCie 1x lane slot, a video card like current high-end models the Mac Pro can handle requires a 16x lane slot, and PCIe 3.0 is around the corner promising much wider bandwidth the Pro market covets and needs.

  • freedotz

    nice, what kind of video cards are you using? fully enabling graphics can be a real pain with a lot of cards

  • cadsii

    6870 & 2×5770

  • prof_peabody

    You can hack together a machine that will beat a Mac Pro, but 8 or 10 years later, the Mac Pro will still be running fine when your machine is on the scrapheap.  

    It’s not just the power, it’s the quality and the durability.  Even the G4 towers they had previously have a similar life cycle.  You can’t buy a better desktop tower computer than the Mac Pro.  

  • ncus

    Put it this way. Mac Pro is like racing car. iMac is like ordinary sedan. MacBook pro is like a city car. All have the same purpose, but when comes to serious bad ass works, Mac Pro is the ultimate machine.

  • jasonbarone

    But did you read the article? The reasoning for this speculation is that Thunderbolt may be able to offer the computing power you need, using the Thunderbolt port in your Macbook or iMac. They’ve already developed monster hard drive units for Thunderbolt. We’re not far off from innovative power-expanding external units.

  • GregsTechBlog

    Yeah because a port will make your iMac have 12 processor cores
    and 64 gb of ram…

  • jasonbarone

    Well, for extreme cases it won’t work, but with iMac being expandable to 32GB and Thunderbolt supporting GPU and hard drive expansions, that covers a wide spectrum of the already-small Mac Pro market anyways.

    iMacs are turning into monster machines and they’ll only get faster.

  • applejack

    How did COM hire this amateur John Brownlee?  Lame-o.

  • TechTeich

    Thunderbolt is still not as expandable as a PCI cards. Thunderbolt is being marketed as PCI for consumers Anyways I would like to see the day when an iMac has 12-cores Westmere instead of consumer i7, RAID cards, and a fibre channel. Sure the iMacs are monsters, but the Mac Pro is insane. 

  • cadsii

    exactly,  running a 27″ with 2 22″ and 1 40″, everything runs like butter, i could be downloading, encoding, streaming and working at the same time, not a hiccup

  • Dustin

    OSX is a horrible platform for CAD and 3D Graphics work… At least right now.  PC hardware is still cheaper and more up to date than what Apple has offered for some time now.

  • Steven Chaffer

    Wow, I hope this turns out to be BS but if not, anyone know how to flash a 6970 or 6990 to my current 6 core? I’ve been waiting for a Mac version sense I bought this beast last year with my 5870 in here. Its still a VERY powerful card but if I can add even more power and speed, hay…why not. 

  • Steven Chaffer

    The graphic cards in the iMacs all use moble chips. Chips made for laptops. Did you know this? There is a BIG difference in preformance.

  • Unis Zuurmond

    Apple is moving towards becoming a consumer products company. They’re also moving towards the post PC world. If they’re able to produce a top end iMac (maybe the iMac should be renamed altogether), they would be able to get away without the Mac Pro, and it would match their strategy. I saw this coming when they streamlined their Mac lineup, first dropping the XServe, then dropping the plastic MacBook. They’re going to end up with 4 products: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini (server) and the new line of iMacs, sitting between the current ones and the Mac Pro. As mentioned, they may even call these the new Mac Pros.

  • Jeremie Calvin

    It doesn’t really matter what they “kill off” Apple will just come out with something even better. Always do.

  • HotGG

    Well then they need to mac a 30+ inch-iMac with a MATTE screen option and also offer a huge monitor only with the same matte option. We also need 7200 RPM and above hard drives and options SS Hard Drives at 2TB and above. AND work on the overheating issues that plague the iMacs.
    But realistically, we need a matte-screen huge monitor only at least, shouldn’t be a big drain on the bottom dollar to at least offer that. An if iMacs are the pro future, beautiful, but we really need cooler running internals, not interested too much in SuperDrives or Solid States.Thats all I ask.

  • HotGG

    For high end pro work, the iMac’s flat screen-like design is an issue for overheating parts especially the hard drives which can and will fail when they reach extreme temperatures.

  • HotGG

    Forgot – double ram to 8GB on the iMacs. Actually, now that I think about it, they need to make an “iMac Pro”. Thats what I want! An iMac Pro!

  • Fridaherbst

    Do not no, Apple killed the Xserve and up till now there is no better server.

  • Moctavian

    Thunderbolt still has a limited bandwidth (20 Gb/s currently). When you daisy chain two or more displays, a raid5 box, couple graphics cards, and a video capture device, it will choke like a baby on a plastic toy. Not to mention, that all this stuff will utterly clutter your workspace.

  • Moctavian

    They will definitely kill the Mac Pro line. Just a matter of time. I wouldn’t be surprised if iMacs will follow shortly. Pros and desktops in general are not the future Apple sees for PC’s.

  • Gerry

    Like VW make supercars like the bugati varon and don’t make much
    money, Apple should keep making at least one sports model. Would have thought
    surely it’s worth it in prestige and keeping macs in high end use alone. Not exactly
    short of cash these days. My two pennies worth anyway.

  • Alex

    I’ve been asking myself that question for quite some time.
    I’m sure he’s good at something, although I’m still trying to figure what that might be….

  • Guest

    Hey, Adam, I couldn’t agree with you more about the virtues of the Mac Pro.  Mine just keeps quietly humming along.  It was maybe overkill to buy it a couple of years ago instead of an iMac, but I’m thinking that it will probably take anything I throw at it for many years to come.  And, I can use the monitor of my choice with it rather than be limited to the one that Apple sticks on the iMac.  Hope Apple keeps it around, but it’s hard to know what their plans for the future are, not just for the Mac Pro, but for Macintosh in general. Fortunately, this machine will run Windows or Linux just as well as Macintosh.

  • Mike Rathjen

    It’s clearly not simple. I hang out on those forums too, and for every success story there are a hundred people with complaints and problems.

    Secondly, a lot of people define “working” differently than I do. “Working” often means without sleep mode, hibernation, wi-fi, QE/CI, Steam games, DVD player, or some other feature. “Working” often means you don’t dare do a simple OS update for fear of not working.

    I believe you can have success with it, but I’m annoyed at people who claim it is simple. All appearances seem to indicate the vast majority of people have problems with it.

    Keeping my computer working should not be a hobby unto itself.

  • CharliK

    Not everyone needs 8GB of RAM, 4 is fine. But those that do or feel they do can go up to 16GB. So your problem is solved. 

  • CharliK

    Apple would argue that everyone has been buying Mac Minis in Server Mode rather than Xserves so clearly that is the better server and it really isn’t an issue that they dumped the Xserve. 

    Not saying they are right 100% but I bet for 90% of folks the Mac Mini is more than fine. 

  • CharliK

    Catch there is that many high end pro shops use render farms running off Linux anyway. So it doesn’t really matter if the workstation is a Mac Pro on a monitor or an iMac since the heavy lifting is offloaded to the farm. 

  • CharliK

    That’s a tad off. It’s more like for every success story there are a hundred people with complaints and a thousand folks that don’t hang on the forums who might all be having trouble or might not. 

  • cadsii

    My DVD player works, i have full QE/CI with screensaver pushing ken/burns effects across all my screens super smooth. I don’t use hibernation as my system is always working, My App Store works great, my raid works, my 2 cameras work, i don’t have anything that doesn’t work actually. 

    You know what the problem is, people don’t read they just try to put it on without educating themselves. This is when you run into problems. Or they just take any old pc and try to install Mac OS on and and then complain when their hardware is non compliant.

    If you read before you build you will have no problems, i’m running an i7 with a Gigabyte MB, 16GB Ram, 4 OCZ Agility 3 in a raid 0, and 3 X 2TB as data, boot partition, also 6870 & 2 x 5770, running OSX Lion not 10.6.x, Again i read before i update, don’t just click and hope for the best

  • Mike Rathjen

    I did not say that your particular system does not work. There are many successes and if you say yours works 100% I believe you.

    My *one and only point* is that it isn’t simple. My definition of simple
    is that I run out and buy any PC I like (or use the one I already have), download some pirated disc, install it,
    and everything works.

    This is roughly what you have to do:
    Go to forums, hang out and do tons of reading. Develop a list of PC parts that are you likely to succeed with, or (find a pre-built PC that people are having success with and hope it is still for sale or nothing has changed in that model). Buy those parts, assemble them without zapping anything with static. Install various things from various sources in exactly the right order from exactly the right steps, despite a lot of contradictory information. Hopefully it worked the first time, but maybe try a few tries, slightly changing things each time, trouble-shooting along the way.  Learn about what injectors are, and flashing, and ATY-INIT, and KEXTs are. Update… but don’t update too far.

    It’s simple for you because you are knowledgeable, smart, and experienced with computers. The very fact that you’re running a hack system with RAID, special partition schemes, and three video cards proves this.

    But if you were to take an average person, I’d submit that it would be challenging, not simple. That’s my only point.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Wow I’m sure glad that I bought mine before that then. I’ve always wanted a Mac Pro and it would suck if I never got one. Also makes me glad I sprung for the 12 core. Having said that I wish the releases one last redesign and new spec.

  • techgeek01

    Okay.Apple just lost some future Mac Pro users.Apple just lost some future (repeating) costumers.Apple just lost some (would be) life long customers.Apple can do that. But, they /will/ lose some customers.  Some customers have to have a computer like that. And they invest (heavily) in that OS. Killing that computer is going to make them (essentially) toss everything Apple into the trash and go the Windows route, because it’s hell a lot easier to work in one OS.  And since they invested heavily (into windows OS), they won’t be switching back for a long time.

  • artoo

    I saw this coming a long time ago. With iMacs large screens there is plenty of real estate to put power behind those displays. A tower is no longer needed. I have a 3-year old iMac and it runs Photoshop, Illustrator, Imovie, Flash, etc, etc. like a charm. I can only imagine how the new i7 quad will perform. It was just a matter of time.
    Maybe we will simply have an “iMac Pro” if anything.

  • Eric Gossler

    I don’t care if Apple essentially wants to end the pro line and offer something with simular horsepower, but it would be a mistake to limit drive expandability and force people to purchase an attached monitor — as in the case of the iMacs.

    I say bring back the cube with some new and improved options.

  • Jim Schram

    Difficult-to-impossible to connect three monitors to any of the non-pro-line equipment. Limited RAM expansion, limited or no third-party PCI-whatever card support. I could go on, but anyone who thinks the lower-end units will in any way “cover” for the lack of high-end units is… well… pissing in the wind.

  • Silver Bullet

    MBAs can have only 1 external monitor, MBPs can connect to 2 of them, for MacPros it says:
    “two Mini DisplayPort outputs, and one dual-link DVI port”

    So if you want more monitors, MacPro is the only answer and  I’m sure Apple will want it to stay that way.

    Only thing they can add is more horsepower, not by putting extreme CPUs in it, but by enabling MacPro to communicate with other Macs and Macbooks… Revolutionize cluster computing…

    I imagine something like this:
    If you have two MBPs, their performance is standalone. But if you buy a MacPro, it will have access to other MBPs-MBAs-iMacs and maybe iPads CPUs and GPUs… It will be like a performance unifier… Once you have one, every new Apple computer will have the ability to share its performance with the MacPro (over the network maybe, or through physical contact, NFC-like). So you don’t have to upgrade it. If there is enough redundant Macs around, MacPro will unify their performance for its own good… OSX 10.8 might do it…

    I call it: iGrid

  • Elik

    Obviously you don’t do high end content development otherwise you wouldn’t be writing these comments. I predict there will be a simliar back lash like when Final Cut Pro X if Apple kills the line without offering anything to replace it for professional content creators. iMacs and laptops won’t do, there are no expansion slots and on the high end there is never enough memory. I cannot imagine PC coming out with 16 core Ivy Bridge workstations and no Apple equivalent. It is like the Joh Scully days all over.

  • Mike

    Why did Apple drop ‘Computer’ from its name? It’s clear that they are heading in a very different direction with its mobile igadgets.
     
    Let’s not forget that before the iPod, Apple was in a downward spiral. Apple knows where its bread and butter is coming from, and it’s not from their MacBooks, iMacs, MacMinis, or their Mac Pros. They already killed off their XServe line and the Mac Pro is next on the chopping block.
     
    Jobs always tried to convince consumers that ‘it’s not about the money’ that makes Apple do what they do. Most of us, however, can see though that smoke screen.  When the numbers just don’t jibe, Apple will kill off a product that does not turn a profit in a heartbeat.
     
    The Mac Pros days are indeed numbered…

  • Mike

    Why did Apple drop ‘Computer’ from its name? It’s clear that they are heading in a very different direction with its mobile igadgets.
     
    Let’s not forget that before the iPod, Apple was in a downward spiral. Apple knows where its bread and butter is coming from, and it’s not from their MacBooks, iMacs, MacMinis, or their Mac Pros. They already killed off their XServe line and the Mac Pro is next on the chopping block.
     
    Jobs always tried to convince consumers that ‘it’s not about the money’ that makes Apple do what they do. Most of us, however, can see though that smoke screen.  When the numbers just don’t jibe, Apple will kill off a product that does not turn a profit in a heartbeat.
     
    The Mac Pros days are indeed numbered…

  • Mike

    Jobs himself kept repeating the ‘Post PC’ mantra up until his recent demise. If Jobs did indeed leave a 5 year plan with Tim Cook (most of which is centered around their idevices), I also have a feeling that Apple’s desktop days will be coming to an end.

  • Mike

    Apple has been losing money on their Mac Pro line for some time now… there are dozens of articles related to this topic. At one time many speculated as to whether or not the XServe’s days were numbered. We all know how that story ended.

  • Mike

    Microsoft (Windows) does not make PC hardware – so using the term ‘Windows box’ is kind of ignorant. Did you know that the hardware that Apple uses is almost identical to that of a typical PC? An Intel chipset is an Intel chipset – NVidia/ATI imbedded graphics are the same. The only difference is that Apple designs their boards to fit in to their proprietary cases. The boards themselves are manufactured by the same Chinese firms that HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc use.
     
    Apple has truly brainwashed the masses in to thinking that an Apple computer is unique and different, when in reality the insides are generic parts with a shiny exterior which Apple charges a premium for.
     
    In the end it only really comes down to which OS you prefer to use.

  • Mike

    That is pretty laughable – maybe you didn’t realize what you just said… that a 10 year old Mac Pro with a single core 500MHz processor with 256 MB RAM will be better than an upgraded PC with a multi-core 3.4GHz processor and 32GB of DDR3 RAM? Come on dude brand loyalty only goes so far…

    If you’re not buying a Mac Pro for the power, then what’s the point? If having a dog-slow desktop with antiquated hardware in a shiny case is better for you, then so be it. There truly is a sucker born every minute…

  • Mike

    You can’t – Oliver M is mistaken.

  • heeloliver

    My mistake is apparent, but don’t you agree that a 8-core mac pro would be a very good machine down the line? Once we get past the logic board, almost everything is upgradable. And accessible, unlike the iMacs. And maybe that guy who was talking about external processing power may be right. Just buy one of those and plug it in? Maybe. We will all wait and see.

  • Roger Thornhill

    I once predicted the mid pro mac as being an “octopus”, with high speed interconnects linking the CPU-Mem to devices, with no need to be limited by a fixed size tower. Thunderbolt is now that interconnect. To replace the MacPro, one would need multiple Thunderbolt ports. 

    I still think GPU would be best connected directly on the motherboard, though.

  • Wackintosh

    This has been one very long twitch, Mr. Brownlee.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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