new Mac Pro: why a standard power plug?

booyahbooyah

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2011
128
9
At the bottom of the input/output panel on the new Mac Pro, there's the giant 3 - prong standard power plug. The type one sees on monitors and printers.

It seems huge compared to the other genteel input/output ports.

Any thoughts on why Apple decided to go with the standard plug? It could have made a tiny custom plug after all.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
146
I thought my MP from 2008 had a 3 prong power cord. They use what they have to use, it needs power, I presume. Do you really think they should be redesigning plugs now?
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
Why wouldn't you use a standard plug? Who cares what it looks like? There is no benefit to a proprietary plug, the space savings are trivial, and it would be a great inconvenience if you needed to replace it. This is a professional workstation. 99% of people who use this won't have time to deal with nonsense and couldn't care less what the rear end of their computer looks like.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
It's an IEC - one plug to rule them all. Makes no sense to use a proprietary design and with household ac not a good idea to miniaturise them!
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,275
2,701
Delaware
An AC power plug (house power) will be a standard connector, because the power cord is subject to standards in every country.
In North America, those cords and connectors are standardized by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
You appear to referring to a smaller connector that would be used for DC. That would require more than just a simple power cord, and the power would be provided by an external "brick" of some kind.
As the new Mac Pro is rated at a max of 450 W, that would mean a huge external brick (which also has to comply with standards)
 

booyahbooyah

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2011
128
9
An AC power plug (house power) will be a standard connector, because the power cord is subject to standards in every country.
In North America, those cords and connectors are standardized by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
You appear to referring to a smaller connector that would be used for DC. That would require more than just a simple power cord, and the power would be provided by an external "brick" of some kind.
As the new Mac Pro is rated at a max of 450 W, that would mean a huge external brick (which also has to comply with standards)
They could have miniaturized those 3 prongs, and had a custom cord that led to whatever male plug was needed for a specific country.

But I see the point that all the other input/output ports are standard, so they probably decided to leave this standard too.

By the way, I'm sure it still has a brick, it's just internal now.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
They could have miniaturized those 3 prongs, and had a custom cord that led to whatever male plug was needed for a specific country.

But I see the point that all the other input/output ports are standard, so they probably decided to leave this standard too.

By the way, I'm sure it still has a brick, it's just internal now.
It's not a good idea miniaturising mains AC plugs, despite the fuses in the plug wherever you are in the world there's a lot of current in an electrical ring main supplying it.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,275
2,701
Delaware
"Brick" refers to an external power supply, usually with an input cord, and an output to connect to the device.
An external will often be much larger than an internal power supply, because it also has to comply with a distinct set of standards. It has nothing to do with other connectors, which might be standard, or more-or-less proprietary. An AC connector, that supplies "house" AC power, has to comply with conventional standards. ALL manufacturers, if they want to sell their product to the public, must have connectors that comply with those standards.
An external brick (450w or more) would likely be nearly as large as the new Mac Pro to supply the power needed. Who would want that?
 

Phrygian

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2011
196
0
yes. Lets get apple to redesign plugs. That way the entire world will have to convert to the new system.

Apple, keep the world moving forward.
 

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,577
2,654
newyorkcity
At the bottom of the input/output panel on the new Mac Pro, there's the giant 3 - prong standard power plug. The type one sees on monitors and printers.

It seems huge compared to the other genteel input/output ports.

Any thoughts on why Apple decided to go with the standard plug? It could have made a tiny custom plug after all.
its giantness is camo'd pretty good.. looks like the thunderbolt cable.



dunno, probably a good idea to have a cord which plugs directly into a wall outlet to have bigger & more insulated ends for safety reasons alone.

not sure if there's any sort of benefit, at this point, to make smaller power plugs.


[edit] upon further reading, gav mack already pointed out the size/safety thing..
 
Last edited:

DeSnousa

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2005
1,616
0
Brisbane, Australia
Why wouldn't you use a standard plug? Who cares what it looks like? There is no benefit to a proprietary plug, the space savings are trivial, and it would be a great inconvenience if you needed to replace it. This is a professional workstation. 99% of people who use this won't have time to deal with nonsense and couldn't care less what the rear end of their computer looks like.
Customers like that would not be buying the Mac Pro as they would also want upgrade paths. The Mac Pro is designed to be elegant and does it not spin around so you can access the rear?
 

paulsdenton

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2010
474
38
Barton, Vermont USA
Why not use the industry standard?

I have about fifty of them hanging around. Some people would be surprised that they used the standard instead of a proprietary design they could hit us for $79.95!!
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
Customers like that would not be buying the Mac Pro as they would also want upgrade paths. The Mac Pro is designed to be elegant and does it not spin around so you can access the rear?
Sigh, I don't want to get into this discussion again here. Do you consider yourself a professional? Do you need and use a workstation at work? If not, you have no standing to describe what "consumers like that" (or more accurately, their IT staff) want or would buy. I and can tell you that 99% of Mac Pro customers work in large enterprise settings where they will likely never even open their machines ever. If you have a problem or want an upgrade, call your IT department. You might hear more about 'prosumers' such as amateur photographers who fancy themselves needing a Mac Pro, but they are a minority and these computers are really not geared towards them.

It doesn't mean these customers don't know how or don't want to tinker, but they don't because their computers are provided by and used entirely for work. The same holds true regardless of where you got your workstation, be it Apple, Dell, HP or IBM. I will bold this: workstation computers are not meant to be worked on by the end user, no matter how competent that user is -- professional grade does not mean enthusiast grade.

On the other hand, there are tangible benefits to having space savings and a lower noise profile. When my nMP no longer cuts it and I want a new one, I'm going to email the manager of my lab and he'll have one delivered to my bench. That's how it's done in professional settings.
 
Last edited:

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,783
2,074
They could have miniaturized those 3 prongs, and had a custom cord that led to whatever male plug was needed for a specific country.

But I see the point that all the other input/output ports are standard, so they probably decided to leave this standard too.

By the way, I'm sure it still has a brick, it's just internal now.
There is a point of over-engineering with no tangible benefit. Plugs should provide a secure connection. A 3 prong plug has an extra grounding prong. You will see that in all plugs. Making a smaller cord for something stationary is a bad idea, as you will probably just make a weaker cord.
 

DeSnousa

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2005
1,616
0
Brisbane, Australia
Sigh, I don't want to get into this discussion again here. Do you consider yourself a professional? Do you need and use a workstation at work? If not, you have no standing to describe what "consumers like that" (or more accurately, their IT staff) want or would buy. I and can tell you that 99% of Mac Pro customers work in large enterprise settings where they will likely never even open their machines ever. If you have a problem or want an upgrade, call your IT department. You might hear more about 'prosumers' such as amateur photographers who fancy themselves needing a Mac Pro, but they are a minority and these computers are really not geared towards them.

It doesn't mean these customers don't know how or don't want to tinker, but they don't because their computers are provided by and used entirely for work. The same holds true regardless of where you got your workstation, be it Apple, Dell, HP or IBM. I will bold this: workstation computers are not meant to be worked on by the end user, no matter how competent that user is -- professional grade does not mean enthusiast grade.

On the other hand, there are tangible benefits to having space savings and a lower noise profile. When my nMP no longer cuts it and I want a new one, I'm going to email the manager of my lab and he'll have one delivered to my bench. That's how it's done in professional settings.
I was thinking along the lines of, if a customer was not going to buy the Pro because of a propriety power plug, I doubted they would want to be limited by not being able to open the box for upgrades and stuff.

I never really thought of it this way though, makes sense. Must be a kick arse job if all you need to do is phone up and have it sitting on your desk.
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
I was thinking along the lines of, if a customer was not going to buy the Pro because of a propriety power plug, I doubted they would want to be limited by not being able to open the box for upgrades and stuff.

I never really thought of it this way though, makes sense. Must be a kick arse job if all you need to do is phone up and have it sitting on your desk.
My comprehension mistake, I misread the intention of your post. :D Been seeing way too many posts along the lines of "rawr, I can't upgrade this so it's not a pro machine!" when people really mean it's not an enthusiast machine, which it's not meant to be.
 
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