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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001


Inside Apple's current Mac Pro
According to 9 to 5 Mac, Apple is "toying with" a redesigned prototype for its Mac Pro line, narrowing the design from its current 8.1-inch width to something slightly over 5 inches wide. Combined with a slight reduction in height to around 19 inches, the redesign would apparently allow the Mac Pro to be rackmountable in server cabinets as a 3U component.
Nearly eight years after the Mac Pro's current design debuted, Apple is toying with a re-designed version of the product. The new design is said to be narrower at just over 5-inches and a few inches shorter at around 19-inches. One of the reasons that Apple might be making this particular Mac Pro prototype smaller is because it is able to fit on to a standard server rack.
Apple of course used to offer its dedicated Xserve product line offering a thinner 1U component for rackmountable use, but the company discontinued the line as of January 31st of this year. The company has since introduced a new "server" configuration of the Mac Pro, but a redesign to accommodate both standard upright orientation and a sideways rackmounted one would likely be a welcome move for server fans despite the significant increase in rack space required.

The report claims that Apple has developed a "stacked" drive configuration utilizing sleds capable of handling two conventional or solid state hard drives apiece, increasing the density of drives in an attempt to squeeze all of the existing components into the smaller form factor while still preserving space for expandability.

Apple's Mac Pro was last updated in late July, meaning that the line could be due for an update, although the company has been stretching out its Mac Pro product cycles over the past few years.

Article Link: Apple Developing Narrower, Rackmountable Mac Pro Prototypes?


macrumors 68020
Mar 13, 2008
London, UK
Redesign to a rackmountable? Yes please, even if it isn't as convenient as 1U.

Smaller for desktop use too? Bonus!


Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
Just don't make it obsolete by removing any features. SP version could easily be smaller but the DP version is already small compared to others.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2004
Bellevue, WA
I want to believe! (X-files reference). The death of the xServe made me a little sad. Glad to see that Apple is trying to work out alternatives. I realize that MacPro isn't a "proper" server but it does have more expansion capablities than the xServe. Perhaps the MacPro Serve 2011/2012 will give us faith in Apple.


macrumors 68020
Jan 30, 2006
This does sound logical to me, its a combination of the lines and i am sure would make it convenient for sound and media pro's whom also have other rack equipment like massive disk arrays and audio equipment(them hings with blinkie lights in sound studios :p ).

Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
Having dug around in my Mac liberally over 4 years, I was surprised they didn't crunch down the design yet. It's got a lot of room in there. Though the sleds and space aren't unwelcome, there are ways to compact all that and still have a great machine which is easy to access.


macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2007
Makes sense

With Thunderbolt I/O and so much stuff coming standard on the motherboard, you no longer need so much room for internal expansion. So it makes sense that Apple would take this opportunity to shrink the Mac Pro form factor. Those few who need a slew of high speed drives will be able to connect to some external RAID box, and a smaller case should still be able to house all of the expansion cards required by 99% of Mac users. (With Thunderbolt, you could use an external cage to house expansion cards as well, if you needed a slew of 'em for some reason.)

I hope this is true because I'd like to replace my going-on 4 year-old PC with a Mac Pro at some point, but the current case just won't fit in the IKEA wardrobe I'm using as a workstation. It sounds like this new Mac Pro would be smaller than my existing PC. Yea Apple!


macrumors 68000
Jan 11, 2010
Good idea to make it dual purpose as standalone computer or rack mounted server. If the server option takes off, that's good for business but while waiting for that to happen, the product has another purpose.

Now get rid of macbooks and have two lines: macbook pro and air.

Full of Win

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2007
Ask Apple
I've got cash money if they get around to upgrading this.

Personally I'd like for them to keep the same manly size they have now and add a smaller "headless iMac" (or whatever you want to call it) to the line. However, market direction of Apple means we will be lucky if they keep the MacPro line.


macrumors member
Aug 12, 2010
I hope this is true because I'd like to replace my going-on 4 year-old PC with a Mac Pro at some point, but the current case just won't fit in the IKEA wardrobe I'm using as a workstation. It sounds like this new Mac Pro would be smaller than my existing PC. Yea Apple!

Funny to see you are basing a $4000 computer purchase on a $79 piece of crap-KEA furniture - LOL. I'm with you on Yea Apple!
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macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2010
Making the width & height those dimensions, might make the length a lot longer. I could see space requirement problems & how would placement be effected without it being rack mounted?
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