MAC pro - Approaching the end of a cycle

artivideo.nl

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 10, 2008
340
4
The Netherlands
We are at day 212 since the last update (average cycle is 236 days before a new update arrives). So can we expect something new already this year? What is the most logical update of the Mac pro we can expect (SSD, higher clock speed, 6 core/12 core, USB 3.0, .............). Always i read on this forum "buy when you need it". Although I really need it I am not going to spend 10k on a Mac pro just before an update is due, sorry guys I can only spend my money once and want to do it right (the life cycle of my computers is always about 8 - 10 years so I need one which is future proof).
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
Depends on Intel. Apple will use Gulftown in next gen Mac Pros, so if Intel is ready with them in early 2010, then we may see an update in early 2010 but if not, then we wait. Seriously, nobody knows
 

Pressure

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2006
3,905
228
Denmark
One thing that have kept Intel Solid State Drives out of Apple's line of computers are chemicals Intel have removed with the newest line of their Solid State Drives, so they have become an option.

Otherwise they will follow Intel's roadmap.

It all depends whether or not you can wait several months for it to arrive though.
 

yanquis

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2009
101
0
there may be a price cut, as the price on the quad model is ludicrous. that doesn't mean however the octal will be reduced as it's priced pretty well.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,929
54
England
Ignore the average cycle. It includes PowerMacs dates so is useless for this purpose.

The new Mac Pro releases so far have been 520 days and 420 days apart. The April 2007 addition of quad core processors came 242 days after the original launch. The only thing that you can guess Mac Pro updates on is Intel's Xeon 5000 series schedule.

Even that isn't entirely accurate as they came 6 weeks and 8 weeks after launch in 2006 and 2008, a month before in 2009 and the April 2007 update is hard to gauge and nothing to really base launch times on anyway.

Going on history and current information available it would be unwise to expect any changes to the current Mac Pros before April 2010.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Appel doesn't do price cuts...
This statement is false. There were price cuts this summer to the Macbooks and recently to the AppleTV.

However, I would say a price cut on the Mac Pro is very unlikely as it serves a market which is largely uninfluenced by price.

As for update cycles... for the Mac Pro, as others have pointed out, it's governed by Intel's Xeon roadmap and the next generation of Xeon processors (Gulftown) are not likely to appear before Q2 of next year.
 

gugucom

macrumors 68020
May 21, 2009
2,136
0
Munich, Germany
Intel are ahead of schedule with Westmere and that could apply to Gulftown as well. It is also not unprecedented that Apple gets a big piece of the startup and before public release. So even January is conceivable, but under normal circumstances they will take a year.
 

Silencio

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,355
226
NYC
There are theoretically some faster 3500 and 5500-series Xeons Apple could use in the current Mac Pros now. The question is of pricing, product overlap (how to keep the 3500-based Mac Pro from overlapping the slower 5500-based Mac Pro model too much), and, in the case of the higher-end 5500s, thermal and power consumption issues, since the 3+GHz models use up more power than the 2.93GHz units Apple currently uses as the top end.

I still think the current low-end 3500-based Mac Pro is an awful bang for the buck system. $2,499 for a machine that can only take 16GB of RAM? Pathetic.

Yes, the Mac Pro market is not a very price-sensitive one, but Apple really would do a lot better if the low-end model was back down to $1,999. Not sure that component pricing or market demand has dropped far enough to justify such a cut.
 

Macinposh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
700
0
Kreplakistan
Intel are ahead of schedule with Westmere and that could apply to Gulftown as well. It is also not unprecedented that Apple gets a big piece of the startup and before public release.


I would be tempted to say no. This time is very bad to launch new machines as the apps are lagging so much behind. CS5 is estimated in april/may(?) and fcp...well...maybe after a year... :)

I mean marketing wise it would be damn difficult to push the products. Maybe they could use some synthetic benchmarks or whatnot but otherwise..
"New 2010 MacPro! A bit faster in photoshop than the 2006 model!!! Whoo!".
Intresting to see what angle they take. But I bet marketing scratching their heads on this one.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Intel are ahead of schedule with Westmere and that could apply to Gulftown as well. It is also not unprecedented that Apple gets a big piece of the startup and before public release. So even January is conceivable, but under normal circumstances they will take a year.
Intel's listed the Gulftown for a Q2 2010 release. I wouldn't expect it earlier than that, as there's things that can eat time (problems to be solved), and if they didn't make the sales with the Gainestowns that they'd hoped, they could intentionally delay it to move the existing parts still in warehousing first.

I would be tempted to say no. This time is very bad to launch new machines as the apps are lagging so much behind. CS5 is estimated in april/may(?) and fcp...well...maybe after a year... :)

I mean marketing wise it would be damn difficult to push the products. Maybe they could use some synthetic benchmarks or whatnot but otherwise..
"New 2010 MacPro! A bit faster in photoshop than the 2006 model!!! Whoo!".
Intresting to see what angle they take. But I bet marketing scratching their heads on this one.
Intel has to make new chips though, as that's their primary focus. But I seriously doubt it will be as soon as some hope. Figure June 2010 at the earliest, given the release information Intel's already released.

They plan this afterall, so they have some idea as to when to release new parts. :p

But the current parts sales could move it too, as well as developmental/manufacturing issues that took longer to solve than expected.
 

ungraphic

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2007
596
0
Toronto, Canada
I would hope they update OS X for proper SSD support. OS X's builtin auto defragmentation will only hinder the total life expectancy of any SSD drive. That said, SSD drive makers also need to update their firmware for garbage collection and TRIM. A true SSD right now for the mac pro is one step forward, two steps backwards. I've been putting off my SSD purchase for a while now.

As for Mac Pros and an update, I would just wait until a refresh, its been a long time since one, you may as well wait a short while longer and then make ur decision. Could be soon too, who knows.
 

handsome pete

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2008
1,719
254
Although I really need it I am not going to spend 10k on a Mac pro just before an update is due, sorry guys I can only spend my money once and want to do it right (the life cycle of my computers is always about 8 - 10 years so I need one which is future proof).
If you really need it, then get it. Whatever is out now will be just as future proof as the next update.

Also, if you're planning on spending 10K, buy your memory, spare drives, etc. from sources other than Apple.
 

goodcow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2007
620
298
I would honestly wait two weeks or so.

With the refreshed iMacs due out soon, if they get quad core options that puts extreme price pressure on the MacPro line.
 

Plutonius

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2003
7,839
5,896
New Hampshire, USA
I would honestly wait two weeks or so.

With the refreshed iMacs due out soon, if they get quad core options that puts extreme price pressure on the MacPro line.
Different market. You will not see Mac Pro price drops (i.e. anyone who is getting a Mac Pro would not get an iMac even if it had quad cores).
 

ungraphic

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2007
596
0
Toronto, Canada
Different market. You will not see Mac Pro price drops (i.e. anyone who is getting a Mac Pro would not get an iMac even if it had quad cores).
Not anyone. There are some people who debate and rationalize paying a lot extra for being 'futureproof' the imacs are pretty useless a few years down the road, though some people prefer to pay a lot less and get somewhat close to the performance of a mac pro.
 

goodcow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2007
620
298
Different market. You will not see Mac Pro price drops (i.e. anyone who is getting a Mac Pro would not get an iMac even if it had quad cores).
For what it's worth, where I work (Edu market) there was an old MacPro quote that fell through the cracks at Purchasing and I was asked to re-validate it and my Apple rep told me the pricing was only good until tomorrow and that they may not be able to provide such discounts in the future. Could mean absolutely nothing, could mean a MacPro pricing shakeup once the new, cheaper iMacs are released very soon.
 

gugucom

macrumors 68020
May 21, 2009
2,136
0
Munich, Germany
With Apple's recent firmware policy I would not plan to use a desktop machine for more than four years. It may be Apple's botched transition to 64 bit but they have deserted the 2005 Power Mac now and the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pros will be simillarly outdated in two years time when kernel 64 will be regular.

The W5580 and W5590 with 130 W TDP are absolutely no problem btw. The MP was always designed for that power and heat.
 

thermodynamic

Suspended
May 3, 2009
1,336
1,175
USA
I would honestly wait two weeks or so.

With the refreshed iMacs due out soon, if they get quad core options that puts extreme price pressure on the MacPro line.
Not as much. Current iMacs only go up to 8GB, using notebook RAM - you know, what costs $700 to get up to 8GB with? I might be wrong, but I think Apple will keep dual cores for the iMac line. Dell, et al, still use dual cores for the low~mid-range models.

Or the video card; the GT120s are mediocre; an iMac with a GTX260? Not likely...

I can fathom the existing models dropping in price, certainly. They are very fast machines for the money (esp. the 2.93GHz model w/4GB RAM), unless I'm behind the times on processor technology (i7 in an iMac?)
 

thermodynamic

Suspended
May 3, 2009
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USA
Different market. You will not see Mac Pro price drops (i.e. anyone who is getting a Mac Pro would not get an iMac even if it had quad cores).
Quite. iMacs are more consumer-end where as Mac Pros are for a more demanding, speed-demanding audience. I know my new 2.66GHz Mac Pro will cremate my current (early 09) iMac and for RAM upgrades alone, the single quad Pro is by far the champion for both quantity and cost... Anyhoo, I really doubt iMacs will go quad core until late-2010. Like I know anything of what Apple does, of course... :D
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
With Apple's recent firmware policy I would not plan to use a desktop machine for more than four years. It may be Apple's botched transition to 64 bit but they have deserted the 2005 Power Mac now and the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pros will be simillarly outdated in two years time when kernel 64 will be regular.
It's alrady there with graphics cards (unless the card vendor includes the ablity for it to work in EFI32, such as ATI has done on the HD3870 & HD4870). Hopefully, this will be the case with the HD5870, but no way to know yet.

But as you say, it's when Apple goes to K64 exclusively that the they'll have dropped all support for the EFI32 based systems. :(
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
This statement is false. There were price cuts this summer to the Macbooks and recently to the AppleTV.
There was an UPDATE on the laptops, that's different. Silent price cuts are very rare and Apple TV is not very well selling and also outdated.