Any chance for a smaller Mac Pro this year?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Radiating, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    What are the chances that Apple will release a smaller Mac Pro this year, which is a better alternative to the Mac Mini?

    I've seen a modular case design concept and it would be really nice if the Mac Pro would be smaller for those of us wanting a home workstation.
  2. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    This has been the eternal wish never fulfilled by Apple, who knows...
    I wish they do something, but with the current all glued components and lack of customization choices it seems very distant and unlikely.
  3. LuxoJunior macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2013
    I'd be surprised if there were ANY Mac Pro this year.
  4. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    I really don't understand what peoples obsession with this modular system. Its a horrible idea. There have been several threads about it.

    Smaller Mac Pro? I don't see the point, expandability is the name of the game. The Mac Pro is tiny compared to the 4U workstations offered by Supermicro et al.
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    If they go smaller than the current size that means no dual-processor model, only low-end processors or a noisier dual-processor model. There won't be two different enclosures. Are you really struggling for space where 1-2" in each dimension will help?

    I get the desire for smaller footprints in hardware, I really do, but this is a high-end workstation that caters to a niche market and has to meet many different user configuration demands. Anything smaller won't be much more powerful or expandable than what is already available.
  6. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    Apple could make a single zeon 8 core/16 thread Mac Pro in a slimmer configuration. With apple pushing thunderbolt, a 2 disk 8 core would work provided it has a high ghz processor. Anyone's guess though.
  7. Jake0604 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2011
    A smaller Mac Pro is a terrible idea. If anything they should make it bigger and add more expandability.
  8. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    I am fine with the current case size of the Mac Pro. Was thinking of adequate interior space for air and heat circulation. The components and chips are not too close to each other for ample breathing space.
  9. damir00 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2011
    My guess is the only way the Mac Pro survives is in a down-sized form.

    Nope, nothing tangible to base that on. :) Just a hunch.
  10. echoout macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Whatever size makes it significantly faster works for me.
  11. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    I couldn't agree more there is no need to change the size of the Mac Pro very much. If you need a smaller computer then maybe you don't really need a Mac Pro?

    How do you figure that. The Mac Pro is a work station and if you compromise its expandability and or storage capacity then how will it compete with other PC workstations? And why would the Pro user base want to buy a compromised workstation? I think its just the opposite they can make it a little bit smaller to be 3U rack mountable as long as they don't compromise its expandability. It would make the Pro user base happy and give an IT manager a more usable/appealing Mac server solution.
  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    At this point I don't even care what the Mac Pro looks like as long as they release a real update.
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Yeah, stability of such a modular design would be a problem IMO too. But, I totally see the point. I guess less that 10% of mac pro users add anything to their MP systems besides drives and RAM. So a smaller box with just one PCIe slot and all external drives on a TB connection or two would be appealing to a great number of users. We could go for cheap-o 4 to 7-bay drive enclosures and skip the PCIe extension box all together. ;)

    Hopefully that would place a fast dual (many cores) down at reasonable prices.
  14. Radiating thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Yeah I'm pretty sure there are scenarios where you need the horsepower of a Mac Pro and small size. Say for example oh I don't know, editing movies and need to travel with equipment. Putting a MacPro in a pelican flight case is very annoying. You need a flight case which weighs 50 POUNDS for just the case itself which makes the whole arrangement just about the size of a dishwasher.


    People think you're carrying military ordenance with something that big and it's a lot of trouble to lug around.

    Apple could easily make a system that is much smaller, there is so much wasted space on the Mac Pro. With computational fluid dynamics they could easily make the air flow work flawlessly too so don't tell me that would be an issue.

    A modular design would also be awesome with seperate PCI Express, CD/DVD/Blu Ray Drives and seperate HDD bays.

    Even better make it a 1u rack sized, and 4u with all the expansion bays installed.


    Imagine this, except as a Mac Pro.
  15. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    i would be ok with it going back to the size and weight of a g4. Although i still heavily use optical media for archiving and backup, if they need to take the drives out i am ok with using an external. Traveling with that sucker is an experience, thank god man invented the wheel.
  16. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011

    I REALLY like that case..I always have
  17. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    It's stylish for sure. Have you seen one in person? What a total waste of space! Those things are monstrous! And mostly just inconvenient in every way. Component access is inconvenient compared to conventional standards and arrangement/placement within the typical desktop arrangement is also very inconvenient. And additionally when you see one in person they look like they're made out of cheap injection molded plastic. The one is the pic is nicer looking but is that real or CG? Anyway, I admire pictures of these cases but after seeing one in person I'd never consider having one.
  18. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    I don't think in the very rare occasion that someone humps a 50 pound Mac Pro through an airport is enough of a reason to justify making it smaller for those purposes. When I have to travel for work I either bring a loaded macbook pro or I arrange to have a Mac Pro at my destination. I think that works a little better Then asking apple to handicap the expandability and flexibility of the form factor so it can fit in your carry on?

    I also believe most people would be more then happy keeping the current form factor and Apple just updating it with ivy bridge Xeon's, USB3, TB, SATA6G and better GPU options. I would even take sandy bridge if I could get 'em.

    I agree with Tesselator on this one. I think this design would look good if we lived in the world of TRON®
  19. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    They sold out silly fast then started going for silly money after that..
  20. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    As awesome as "modular" systems seem, as wonderful as a tiny MacPro base would be, as awesome as all expectations tend to become...

    This is Apple.

    You can expect a 25% reduction in volume, a similar design, and better processors/USB3/FW/etc. Don't go for much more: it probably won't arrive.

    They could easily crop down the space in these monsters and compress a lot of hardware inside. They might even cut off the digital bays completely. If Apple goes with some design which is super-futuristic-wonder-crazy, I'd be shocked. On one hand it would boost sales through fashion geekiness, on the other hand it probably costs too much to redesign a fading computer platform (the Pro tower).
  21. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Now talk about a niche market.

    Films are rarely edited on location. Any editing that needs to be done on location is likely perfectly suitable for a Macbook Pro (or other high end laptop).

    And in the rare instance of needing the horsepower of a full workstation, then you're probably better off just shipping it to your destination.

    Simply put, these occurrences aren't numerous enough for Apple to warrant shrinking the Mac Pro
  22. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    That's the dumbest thing I've ever seen. The types of people who use Mac Pros don't care how big/small the case is and how 'shiny' it is. All they care about is that it's big enough to hold all the stuff they need to put inside it. IMO, the current Mac Pro case could be considered too small.

    This whole modular case idea is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist..
  23. Tesselator, Mar 25, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    ^^ I use MacPro (and other workstations) and I care how big/small the case is and how 'shiny' it is. Styling is actually a fairly large client draw for many kinds of companies.

    I wouldn't be. Apple has a record of doing just that every 4 to 8 years or so. While that's not consistent or frequent enough to make predictions it wouldn't shock me.

    Just look at the history. While everyone was making desktop PC XT boxes or all-in-one computer under keyboards Apple released the Mac Classic. Then there were the egg shaped candy plastic iMac models. And wasn't Apple the first to commercialize the all-in-one computer in an LCD profile? The MacPro design itself was pretty wild when it first released.

    So no, it wouldn't shock me or anything. I'm actually half expecting it. :p

    With some trepidation naturally... They don't always get theses things right of course:

  24. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    The Mac Pro's "mount"/"rackable" problem is not the "U" height ( width in vertical orientation). The issue is the "mount"/"rack" width ( height in normal orientation. ). The gratuitous additional height added by the handles are the primary blocking issue to mounting.

    3-5U isn't that big of a deal in the context of mounting vertically in a rack in largely wasting 7U worth of space or going to wider ( limited telecom) rack widths.

    Apple could adjust the design to keep the same volume, but be deeper to offset taking a little over a couple of inches off the height.

    For a device that normal orientation is vertical going thin, but still primarily focused on accepting a broad variety of PCI-e cards, doesn't really buy much.
  25. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    I don't understand why anyone would be asking for a smaller Mac Pro. Have you opened one up and tried to work on the insides. Everything is arranged for reasonably easy access, so it designed with that access in mind. So why would you want to cram in everything in a tighter space, to make it harder to replace components yourself, to limit airflow the drives, PCIe cards, processors and memory all burn out faster? The whole point of Mac to me is that it works. For me, the Mac Pro works and I want it to stay that way.

    Not to say that changing things up is a bad idea, but let's be sure that it is a design improvement and not just change for change sake.

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