Modular Mac Pro

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,394
Functionality, performance and expandability need to come miles ahead of anything else for design requirements. Price is a consideration as it probably needs to start low-ish to capture the enthusiast market, but at the top end it needs to do a job and price isn't too much of concern. As for looking cool, who cares. It needs to be a 'big box to contain all the bits', be easy to maintain and remain cool and quiet under load.
 

Gazember

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2017
51
19
It's Apple. They are going to spend 2 months designing the computer and 1.5 years figuring out how to make it pretty. :D
You may have meant it as a joke, but that is exactly what will happen. The entire Intel/AMD ecosystem is already modular. What the heck do they have to design? Nothing, it all exists already. They just have to start supporting vendors to provide drivers for macOS. Is that too much hassle for these birds sitting in the glass cages in Cupertino?
 
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smallwonder

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2013
13
4
Agree about not caring much at how it looks. Don't even want to see or hear it, hiding under the desk. And if it's loud, it's going in a sound-proof enclosure.
Performance, super-quiet, and easily user-upgradeable is what I'm hoping for.
 

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,577
2,654
newyorkcity
What the heck do they have to design?
fans, buttons, access latch (or maybe something different this time around.. a door or motorized panel instead of removing the casing), manufacturing line /tooling, circuit boards, andonandon.
then internal test all of that.. then some user testing.. then hopefully no major setback occurs during tests.

idk, designing and building a new computer for mass production isn't something to be done overnight.. i doubt very few, if any, new worthwhile computers have gone from concept to out-the-door in under a year.. it's unrealistic.
 

BB8

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2016
205
680
I think people expecting a huge box like the cMP are fooling themselves. I think it will continue to be all SSD storage and room for one massive GPU... maybe two if Apple is feeling generous.
 
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Gazember

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2017
51
19
fans, buttons, access latch (or maybe something different this time around.. a door or motorized panel instead of removing the casing), manufacturing line /tooling, circuit boards, andonandon.
then internal test all of that.. then some user testing.. then hopefully no major setback occurs during tests.

idk, designing and building a new computer for mass production isn't something to be done overnight.. i doubt very few, if any, new worthwhile computers have gone from concept to out-the-door in under a year.. it's unrealistic.
My point is that they do not have to reinvent the wheel like they tried with the trash cans. All they have to do is provide driver support for peripherals for macOS. Everything else exists already, right off the shelf. That is what professional users need, not a marvel of industrial design stuffed into a thimble that can only be upgraded to the tune of $5000 at a time.

It is very likely Apple will botch this simple task again in an attempt to out do themselves.
So I am only buying components now that can be used in a Window/Linux workstation also.
 

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,577
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newyorkcity
My point is that they do not have to reinvent the wheel like they tried with the trash cans. All they have to do is provide driver support for peripherals for macOS. Everything else exists already, right off the shelf. That is what professional users need, not a marvel of industrial design stuffed into a thimble that can only be upgraded to the tune of $5000 at a time.

It is very likely Apple will botch this simple task again in an attempt to out do themselves.
So I am only buying components now that can be used in a Window/Linux workstation also.
so, pretty much, you think Apple should build a hackintosh?
 

draculr

macrumors member
Aug 31, 2013
46
8
so, pretty much, you think Apple should build a hackintosh?
Yes, a legit hackintosh in a nice apple made case. That's what professional users NEED.

Make a case, get Asus to make an itx motherboard, allow full support for off the shelf nvidia and amd gpus and have a few hard drive slots.

It's not rocket science. It shouldn't be a crazy designed consumer product. Just a platform to support professional users that is supported by Apple.
 

fokmik

macrumors 601
Oct 28, 2016
4,592
4,065
USA
I like a design that you can shut down your mac pro, and press a button and a Ram door exit to exchange it,same with the SSD or GPU. So it will be very nice to have 3 automatic doors that ejects for you the ssd gpu and ram to exchange or add
 
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fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
593
371
Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
That is what professional users need, not a marvel of industrial design stuffed into a thimble that can only be upgraded to the tune of $5000 at a time.
Bwahahahahaha!!! Thanks for that visual and laugh! :D

It is very likely Apple will botch this simple task again in an attempt to out do themselves.
Sad, but very likely, IMHO. Apple always has to be sooooo cute; they love to pat themselves on the back w/ how cutesy each design is, as well as their Single. Word. Revelations. for marketing...

For a Pro machine, stop worrying about how thin the thing is and focus on what matters! BTW, I'm not using the edge of my 27" Retina iMac as a butter knife...it CAN have depth to it (especially if that means not having to purchase a stupid USB SuperDrive for $79 more!).
 

bkkcanuck8

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2015
387
277
It's Apple. They are going to spend 2 months designing the computer and 1.5 years figuring out how to make it pretty. :D
They are going to have to spend a significant amount of time designing and retooling the factories that build the computers.... the Cheesegrater Mac is long gone and so are all the factory lines that manufacture them. Also if they are going to continue manufacturing the high end in the US.... it will also slow down the process.... since the labour is too expensive just to add labour to fill in the gaps of the manufacturing process.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,670
3,505
Yes, a legit hackintosh in a nice apple made case. That's what professional users NEED.
Its what pros need, its what "power users", hobbyists, tinkerers and gamers need.
Its what developers probably don't need but would quite like.
It's what customers who are probably going to supplement it with a MacBook and an iPhone need.
Its what the sort of people who recommend Macs to their friends, family and colleagues, or act as unofficial "Mac Support" staff in their PC-centric workplace want.
Its probably not what Apple are going to do, because if you actually read the press conference transcript, all they appear to mean by "modular" is "no built-in screen or keyboard".

10-15 years ago an affordable "xMac" tower might have bankrupted Apple by cannibalising mass-market sales of iMacs and MacBook Pros. Now is not then - most consumers now <i>want</i> an ultra book or an all-in-one. The new reality is that there are probably not enough "Mac Pro" customers to justify the R&D and tooling up costs of something like the nMP (or even the original Cheesegrater with it's bespoke internal layout and cooling) whereas an "official hackintosh" would be pretty straight forward.

I'm not so totally naive as to think Apple could just follow a "how-to Hackintosh" guide and sell the result - but the existence of Hackintoshes proves that an ATX/ITX Mac with off-the-peg components* would be a relatively simple process of writing and/or testing boot loaders and drivers c.f. building a bespoke motherboard, bespoke GPU cards and fancy miniature cooling system.

(* if they don't already have one sitting alongside the ARM-based Mac, the XCode-for-Linux machine and the MacOS Subsystem for Windows box in Room 101 in Cupertino).
 

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,577
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newyorkcity
It's not rocket science. It shouldn't be a crazy designed consumer product. Just a platform to support professional users that is supported by Apple.
is the general consensus that it's not possible to have a 'crazy designed' product that's suitable for the demanding pro user?
 

Gazember

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2017
51
19
so, pretty much, you think Apple should build a hackintosh?
No, currently they do and will continue the control of the motherboard to make it difficult hacking a Mac Pro.
I don't want Apple to lose profits just do something very simple that works for us, like the cMP did.
 
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Joe The Dragon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2006
708
165
No, currently they do and will continue the control of the motherboard to make it difficult hacking a Mac Pro.
I don't want Apple to lose profits just do something very simple that works for us, like the cMP did.
apple needs some kind of pro workstation and they are not going to build an fat high end laptop.

apple does not need to over do a good system but they do need to have EXT pci-e links (NOT TB3) but X16 or X8 ones if they really to do an Modular system. Also will be very hard to have an Modular system that let's you add an CPU.
 

Coyote2006

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2006
503
230
I'd like to see the following modular MacPro:

CPU-Unit, basic MacPro unit with:
- sockets for up to 2 CPUs
- sockets for RAM
- Flash drive
- Basic internal GPU
- IO-stuff, etc.

-> Basic MacPro that runs at speed of the iMac

Modular extensions:

Drive-Unit, box with:
- SSD/DH/DVD bays

PCIe-Unit, box with:
- 4 high speed PCI-slots for up to 4 GPUs

All plug and play.
 

Theophany

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2008
633
186
NW London.
Without wishing to be the harbinger of doom it's more than likely will overthink it and end up trying to solve a problem nobody has.

ATX is a standard for a reason and the sooner they embrace this rather than trying to be too clever the better. The best way to appeal to an incredibly diverse user base (video editors, 3D designers, photographers, gamers, programmers, etc) is to create a machine that covers as many bases as possible.
 
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JMacHack

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2017
431
500
Yes, a legit hackintosh in a nice apple made case. That's what professional users NEED.

Make a case, get Asus to make an itx motherboard, allow full support for off the shelf nvidia and amd gpus and have a few hard drive slots.

It's not rocket science. It shouldn't be a crazy designed consumer product. Just a platform to support professional users that is supported by Apple.
"get ____ to make a _______"
You do realize that for mass production they not only need to design a product, but to set up factories and make sure they have a steady supply line of parts right?

There is no "get hackintosh parts, and throw it together", there's a lot more to consider going in to making a decent product and slapping parts together. (though a lot of people on this forum seem that delusional)
I don't care if it takes Apple a year to get this product out, they need to get it right. That means not only designing a new motherboard and case, but making sure that they can re-tool factories to pump out the machines at a steady pace while making sure they have a steady stream of components coming in to manufacture with.

And on top of that they have to write, test, re-write drivers to absolutely make sure they "just work", which means at least months of testing.

Apple simply "throwing parts together" means a shoddy product.
 
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bkkcanuck8

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2015
387
277
Without wishing to be the harbinger of doom it's more than likely will overthink it and end up trying to solve a problem nobody has.

ATX is a standard for a reason and the sooner they embrace this rather than trying to be too clever the better. The best way to appeal to an incredibly diverse user base (video editors, 3D designers, photographers, gamers, programmers, etc) is to create a machine that covers as many bases as possible.
ATX is a PC sized motherboard.... which might be good for a gaming machine or a single processor non-Xeon processor, but it would not be a good choice for workstation form factor with dual XEONs more than 4 slots for memory. Hopefully Apple is a little more intelligent than people who are trying to design their computer for them.
 

Hank Carter

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
337
742
MODULAR = PCI slots, M.2 slot, drive bays, sockets for both RAM and dual CPU, room for 2-4 dual width PCI GPU cards (see HP z640/z840)

Stick it in a well ventilated box with a huge power supply and be done with it.

 

bkkcanuck8

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2015
387
277
MODULAR = PCI slots, M.2 slot, drive bays, sockets for both RAM and dual CPU, room for 2-4 dual width PCI GPU cards (see HP z640/z840)

Stick it in a well ventilated box with a huge power supply and be done with it.

I am partial to the cheesegrater design - very solid well designed box.

If they can shorten it by maybe 1.5 inches (to make it easy to build a "conversion kit" to allow 19" rack mounted) - take out the hard drive slots for the 3.5" hard drives (the hard drives can go in a separate chassis - which could be rack mounted), the take away space for the DVD drives -- add in small slots for M.2 drives (probably needs a little re-arranging) -- keep the memory daughter boards with up to 8 slots -- and hopefully allow for 2 dual width PCIe slots for Graphics cards, and 2 full PCIe slots (one for a (useable when dual CPUs are installed).... with a nice solid case to keep the noise down (like the current case).... then it would be great. It would allow for full dual Xeon, dual graphics cards very powerful, a co-processor board and a SAS controller or other equivalent link.
 
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