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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Apple 'Questioning' the Future of its Mac Pro Line?






Late last week, we noted that with pricing information on Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge E Xeon processors surfacing, Apple's options for a potential "Early 2012" Mac Pro have begun to clear up. The Mac Pro has not been updated since mid-2010, and delays in Intel's new chips have pushed their availability out from late this year to early next year.

But despite the new processors now being in sight, AppleInsider reports that Apple is reportedly "questioning" the future of the Mac Pro line and whether it will even release updated models.
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Although the Mac maker has reportedly developed a revision to the existing Mac Pro that may or may not see the light of day, people familiar with the matter said management as far back as May of 2011 were in limbo over whether to pour any additional resources into the product line.

According to these people, the consensus among sales executives for the Cupertino-based company was that the Mac Pro's days -- at least in its current form -- were inevitably numbered. In particular, internal discussions were said to focus around the fact that sales of the high-end workstations to both consumers and enterprises have dropped off so considerably that the Mac Pro is no longer a particularly profitable operation for Apple.
The report's source indicates that with Intel's new Thunderbolt connectivity standard making its way across all of Apple's Mac products, those products now have enhanced flexibility to assume some of the tasks that have historically been handled the Mac Pro. Combined with a continuing shift towards notebooks that has seen the desktop share of Apple's Mac business fall from 70% ten years ago to under 30% today, the increasing power of Apple's other Macs has resulted in the Mac Pro becoming only a minor portion of Apple's product lineup.




Speculation in the report suggests that Apple could elect to offer higher-end versions of its iMac or Mac mini models in an attempt to appease those buyers looking for the power of a Mac Pro. Those smaller form factor machines are, however, unable to match a number of the Mac Pro's other features, although Apple apparently believes that Thunderbolt could serve as a means to bring some of that expandability from the Mac Pro to other Macs.

Article Link: Apple 'Questioning' the Future of its Mac Pro Line?
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:23 PM   #2
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This isn't a rumor. It's pure speculation that has been beaten to death and beyond on the Mac Pro forum.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Hopefully Apple Insider are wrong
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:23 PM   #4
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Would hate to see them discontinue the Mac Pro.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:24 PM   #5
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:(

No! Don't drop the Mac Pro line. I will be forced to buy a Windows Based machine if I want a tower that I can upgrade. For the sake of the small consumer base, upgrade parts, keep the design. Shouldn't cost you much.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:24 PM   #6
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They are making things smaller. Don't want to see this go though.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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Possibly the worst news after Steve's death.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:27 PM   #8
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Back in the day the main benefits to the MacPro were the expansion slots, dual processor, extra hard drives, and dual processors.

Now days with iMacs coming with quad cores, 16 GB of ram, and terrabytes of hard drive space, and thunderbolts ability to add external storage, and an expansion slot chassis; I think this is an obvious move. Add a duel processor option to the iMac and there you go. The only people this will hurt is the people that use Mac OSX Server as the MacPro and MacMini is the only server hardware they currently offer.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gglockner View Post
This isn't a rumor. It's pure speculation that has been beaten to death and beyond on the Mac Pro forum.
It's not pure speculation if they have sources…
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:28 PM   #10
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:28 PM   #11
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Uh oh, here we go. Let the tooth-gnashing and hand-wringing commence!
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:28 PM   #12
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The only thing Apple needs to reconsider is having this being a dual socket system. The new Xeon socket 2011 systems will have up to 8 cores on a single CPU and 4 channels of RAM. If they can put two DIMM slots per channel like they do now, thats 8 RAM slots and 8 cores, 16 threads.

If they only have a single socket version that will do. Apple could make the system cheaper and reduce engineering costs.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post
It's not pure speculation if they have sources…
Exactly.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:29 PM   #14
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wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro died though I'd expect to see some kind of expandable type to come and replace it.. Could just be a redesign in the works
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:29 PM   #15
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This was suppose to be my Apple products of Apple products. They better not end it here, where I now actually have the money to purchase one.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:30 PM   #16
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I need a Mac Pro upgrade and a true update of Final Cut Studio, this FCPX is killing me.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:30 PM   #17
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Every drive bay in my MacPro is used, and I do not want to have to house them all externally.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:30 PM   #18
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This could be the unlikely and unforseen path to an upgradable mini (midi) form factor device. There has been clamoring for a replacement to the cube (Steve's fav) in the form of an upgradable mid-priced unit with exceptional graphics capabilities.

The PC is not entirely dead yet and an Intel chip is over $500 itself in a world where an A5 is about $25 bucks.

Apple can release a product in the PowerMac arena but cannot make demand out of nothing.

What they can do is increase the expandability features with "device boxes" that attach via Thunderbolt and accept graphics cards, pci cards, drives, and even add value such as GPU ganging as coprocessors. Perhaps even a blade server scheme. All BTO and all set to safety stocks among the lowest at Apple.

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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:30 PM   #19
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Well, that's a shame. Although I would never require a beast such as Mac Pro, I see them a lot at universities for rendering and stuff. Would be a shame to see them disappear from that image.

I was afraid this would happen since the iPad launched. Apple is persueing iOS, not the Mac.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:31 PM   #20
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Apple stopped licensing Mac OS out to prevent these vendors from taking all the high profit high-end sales. If high-end sales are no longer interesting or profitable for Apple, maybe it's time for them to reconsider licensing Mac OS X to select high-end system vendors. Maybe IBM for blades or racks? What other potential licensee makes systems that wouldn't degrade the Mac OS experience?
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:31 PM   #21
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Offer a cheaper version with a single Core i7, it will sell like crazy... But still offer an 8-/12-core for the professionals who need one.

I own a 2009 8-core now, but it's overkill for me. A Core i7 version would be perfect.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:32 PM   #22
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Say it ain't so.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:32 PM   #23
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It's gonna be expensive to add two thunderbolt graphics cards, 4 hard drives and 16 CPU's to a Mini.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:32 PM   #24
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If they can come up with an iMac where we can add external processor cores or GPU's or RAM through Thunderbolt, I wouldn't mind.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 03:32 PM   #25
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I have a 30" DVI Cinema Display and a 23" DVI Cinema Display...how am I supposed to hook these up to an iMac?

Also, my 2006 Pro which I've been waiting patiently to replace has 5 internal HDs. I don't want to move them to some JBOD external box.

The iMac also now has the annoying feature of the hard drive temp sensor built in to the drive of the computer making it impossible to replace.

Apple needs to have Pro Level hardware for customers who require Pro features.
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