Mac Pro Refresh: 2018. New iMacs in 2017 tho!

Sam Posten

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http://daringfireball.net/2017/04/the_mac_pro_lives
https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/04/apple-pushes-the-reset-button-on-the-mac-pro/
https://www.buzzfeed.com/johnpaczko...ater-this-year?utm_term=.ljjVdpRpp#.ulOVB2J22

Actually, they are being spec bumped today but a whole new Mac Pro doesnt hit till 2018. New Cinema Displays with them at that time. New PRO LEVEL iMacs later this year. Get your piggy banks ready.

Let’s not beat around the bush. I have great news to share:

Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.

I also have not-so-great news:

These next-gen Mac Pros and pro displays “will not ship this year”. (I hope that means “next year”, but all Apple said was “not this year”.) In the meantime, Apple is today releasing meager speed-bump updates to the existing Mac Pros. The $2999 model goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6, and from dual AMD G300 GPUs to dual G500 GPUs. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs. Nothing else is changing, including the ports. No USB-C, no Thunderbolt 3 (and so no support for the LG UltraFine 5K display).

But more good news, too:

Apple has “great” new iMacs in the pipeline, slated for release “this year”, including configurations specifically targeted at large segments of the pro market.
 

DaveF

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I read DF first and then followed his link to Panazarino's. I prefer Gruber's style, but it's heavy on the editorial. The TechCrunch article is more journalistic, less opinion. So either or both are good.
 
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DaveF

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But here's what matters: new iMacs are definitely coming this year! Rumors seemed solid, but we've got confirmation. The release date still has fog of war, but I can continue to wait knowing I'll be paid back. :)
 
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Ted Todorov

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I'm still a heavy user of my 2009 Mac Pro, and would love to get the new one when it is finally released. The bad news is that even though it will be less like the trash can and more like the cheese grater, I doubt it will have any non- SSD disk space. If they do have multiple SSD spaces will be good fit the future - but still a big gap for now. HDs can be 10TB each, SSDs 2TB each and cost way, way more.
 

DaveF

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I'm still a heavy user of my 2009 Mac Pro, and would love to get the new one when it is finally released. The bad news is that even though it will be less like the trash can and more like the cheese grater, I doubt it will have any non- SSD disk space. If they do have multiple SSD spaces will be good fit the future - but still a big gap for now. HDs can be 10TB each, SSDs 2TB each and cost way, way more.
The iMac has the Fusion drive. It seems realistic to expect a "Pro" machine to support the need for massive storage and multiple drives. Perhaps it will require SSD boot drive and allow spinning drives for secondary drives.

We'll see in 2018.
 

Ted Todorov

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The iMac has the Fusion drive. It seems realistic to expect a "Pro" machine to support the need for massive storage and multiple drives. Perhaps it will require SSD boot drive and allow spinning drives for secondary drives.
We'll see in 2018.
Sure - I don't want to predict the future - but if the new Mac Pro has all the existing components of the old cheese grater, than why not just add Thunderbolt 3/USB C & a SSD boot drive to it, new CPU/GPU, and (re)release it in a couple of months instead of a year and a half or longer? (And I honestly don't remember anyone complaining about the missing HDs in the trash can).

Also I wouldn't be surprised if the new Mac Pro no longer supports TOSlink audio out -- it will be one more potential problem. Even if I do get the new one immediately- I may end up continuing to run the old one for massive data storage & audio out to my by now mighty old Denon receiver
 

DaveF

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I think it's inconceivable that a 2018 Mac Pro supports TOSlink. It will have been obsolete for about a decade?

This we can be sure of: 2018 Mac Pro won't be a trivial refresh of the 2012 Mac Pro.

TBD if it's an amazingly user-upgradeable system making even the Cheese Grater look barbaric, or if it's upgradable but only in an Apple Store.
 

Ted Todorov

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I think it's inconceivable that a 2018 Mac Pro supports TOSlink. It will have been obsolete for about a decade?
Well, in fairness, it hasn't been obsolete for a decade: the very first Mac not to have TOSlink is the late 2016 MacBookPro
http://appleinsider.com/articles/16...rops-optical-audio-out-through-headphone-jack

"AppleInsider contacted Apple about the matter, and was told that the feature was removed due to a lack of customers using the functionality. Additionally, we were told that "plenty of USB-C zero-latency professional peripherals are available now, or coming very soon" featuring optical audio out connectivity.".

I'd love an example of one of those "professional peripherals"
 

Nelson Au

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This is interesting news. I mulled the cylindrical 2013 Mac Pro for a millisecond and decided while a very cool design internally and externally, I really wanted multiple bays for drives and the full sized GPU options. So I got a loaded 2012 Mac Pro's used. Hopefully it will last till the 2018's are out. I'll be curious how Apple rethinks the design. It won't be like the 2013 or the 2012.
 

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Count me as one of those that think there won't be a 2018 Mac Pro, it will be 2019. At best, it might be announced in 2018, possibly with very limited availability at the end of 2018.

Regarding the iMac update, I don't think it will be much different than the current design. I think people are really making some large leaps based on what Apple said during the briefing.

It will get USB-C/TB3 and of course CPU and GPU bumps. I am also guessing it will get an external keyboard with a touch bar. Other than that, it won't be much different. One surprise feature might be "official" support in macOS for external GPUs.

-Keith
 

DaveF

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Regarding the iMac update, I don't think it will be much different than the current design. I think people are really making some large leaps based on what Apple said during the briefing.

It will get USB-C/TB3 and of course CPU and GPU bumps. I am also guessing it will get an external keyboard with a touch bar. Other than that, it won't be much different.
That's all I need and want :)

Actually, I'm kinda hoping they don't bring the touchbar keyboard, because I worry it would be a standard build on 27" models and we'll see a $500 price jump like with the Touchbar MBP.
 

Thomas Newton

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Sure - I don't want to predict the future - but if the new Mac Pro has all the existing components of the old cheese grater, than why not just add Thunderbolt 3/USB C & a SSD boot drive to it, new CPU/GPU, and (re)release it in a couple of months instead of a year and a half or longer? (And I honestly don't remember anyone complaining about the missing HDs in the trash can).
It may not be that simple. Remember that Thunderbolt (any flavor) ports normally carry DisplayPort. USB-C can also carry side car DisplayPort signals. So users would probably expect that they could plug monitors into any TB3 (USB-C) ports on a new version of the Mac Pro. Now consider that on the aluminum Mac Pro, discrete graphics were on PCI-e cards. The output went directly to ports on the back of the video card, not to the motherboard where it could be integrated with Thunderbolt. There must be ways to work around this, but I could see that holding Apple up a while.
 

Ted Todorov

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It may not be that simple. Remember that Thunderbolt (any flavor) ports normally carry DisplayPort. USB-C can also carry side car DisplayPort signals. So users would probably expect that they could plug monitors into any TB3 (USB-C) ports on a new version of the Mac Pro. Now consider that on the aluminum Mac Pro, discrete graphics were on PCI-e cards. The output went directly to ports on the back of the video card, not to the motherboard where it could be integrated with Thunderbolt. There must be ways to work around this, but I could see that holding Apple up a while.
All correct, which is why if I wanted to badly enough, I could get a new GPU video card for my 2009 MacPro and have it support 5K video monitors right now. And yes, Apple would need to change it a cheese grater internally to properly support Thunderbolt. That still is not a 18 month long project.

What is, and I presume Apple is doing, is to create a brand new, radically different from either the cheese grater or the trash can body, and that would indeed take longer than a couple of months. It is also why I am betting it is going to be SSD only: I have a hard time believing that they will create a brand new, for the next decade Mac Pro box with a bunch of 3.5" HD slots in it (like the cheese grater...). I am don't have a time machine - just my most logical guess.
 

DaveF

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Count me as one of those that think there won't be a 2018 Mac Pro, it will be 2019. At best, it might be announced in 2018, possibly with very limited availability at the end of 2018.
From the reporting, I'd simply assumed that Apple was late to this revelation, had just started the computer, and would have it ready to go early 2018.

The prospect that they're going to "Apple" themselves to death on this, and take 18+ months to design a new Pro to release in 2019 is an interesting prospect. If it doesn't appear until April 2019, the cruel-joke of a Mac Pro will be five years old with only trivial updates before the real Mac Pro appears.

Meantime, all the Apple Pros are wishing Apple would simply buy from say velocitymicro.com, put an Apple Sticker on the box, and ship it.
 

Clinton McClure

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I agree, Sam. I'm lucky I bought my MacBook Pro before Apple decided I didn't need 16GB of RAM, multiple USB ports, a separate DisplayPort, an Ethernet port, an SD card reader, and a mag-safe power connector on a professional-grade laptop. I completely understand the desire to go lighter and slimmer with laptops, but the Pro market wasn't the place to do it. Isn't that why they designed the Air and later the regular MacBook? I understand the article is mainly aimed at desktop Pro users but it certainly applies to laptop Pro users to a certain extent. Even though I don't have the need for a massively powerful desktop Mac Pro, I have plenty of friends in the recording, photo, and graphic arts industries who do.
 
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Thomas Newton

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I agree, Sam. I'm lucky I bought my MacBook Pro before Apple decided I didn't need 16GB of RAM, multiple USB ports, a separate DisplayPort, an Ethernet port, an SD card reader, and a mag-safe power connector on a professional-grade laptop. I completely understand the desire to go lighter and slimmer with laptops, but the Pro market wasn't the place to do it. Isn't that why they designed the Air and later the regular MacBook? I understand the article is mainly aimed at desktop Pro users but it certainly applies to laptop Pro users to a certain extent. Even though I don't have the need for a massively powerful desktop Mac Pro, I have plenty of friends in the recording, photo, and graphic arts industries who do.
There's nothing keeping you from getting 16 GB of RAM on the 2016 rMBPs … which is as much as you could get on the 2015 ones. The usual complaint about RAM on the 2016 models is that you can't get 32 GB of it. Seems that some Wintel laptops support that.

The new ports have faster TB speeds, and better power handling than USB 3. All of the 2016 rMBPs can drive a 5K monitor. Only 15" 2015 rMBPs with a discrete GPU option (no longer offered) could do that. Ethernet ports have been gone from rMBPs for years; you won't find them on the 2015 rMBPs, either.

I believe you can also still get integrated graphics versions of the 2015 rMBPs (the ones with the old port array).
 

Ted Todorov

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There's nothing keeping you from getting 16 GB of RAM on the 2016 rMBPs … which is as much as you could get on the 2015 ones. The usual complaint about RAM on the 2016 models is that you can't get 32 GB of it. Seems that some Wintel laptops support that.

The new ports have faster TB speeds, and better power handling than USB 3. All of the 2016 rMBPs can drive a 5K monitor. Only 15" 2015 rMBPs with a discrete GPU option (no longer offered) could do that. Ethernet ports have been gone from rMBPs for years; you won't find them on the 2015 rMBPs, either.

I believe you can also still get integrated graphics versions of the 2015 rMBPs (the ones with the old port array).
Really, the only semi-legitimate complaint about the 2016 MBP is that they got rid of the MagSafe 2 power port.
 

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