No Optical Drive in Next Mac Pro Refresh

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
5,296
1,545
Even if there is no optical drive in the next Mac pro, you will still be able to plug in a BR drive - it might have to be an external one though.
Do you try to explain to me how computers work? If so, thank you. But I quoted and bolded ActionableMango's 'A slim slot drive would be fine. Or even an empty bay would be fine. I'm willing to roll my own.' not just for fun. I ment I'd like to plug my BR drive into said empty bay if that's better.
I don't understand the logic behind an external drive connected to a desktop on a more or less daily basis, unless one prefers having cables laying around - and who does?
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
Do you try to explain to me how computers work? If so, thank you. But I quoted and bolded ActionableMango's 'A slim slot drive would be fine. Or even an empty bay would be fine. I'm willing to roll my own.' not just for fun. I ment I'd like to plug my BR drive into said empty bay if that's better.
I don't understand the logic behind an external drive connected to a desktop on a more or less daily basis, unless one prefers having cables laying around - and who does?
I thought you meant that you hope that the next refresh will bring in "official" BR support. No, extra cables are horrible and the whole obsession that Apple has with slimming everything down is not needed nor wanted when it comes to desktops.
 

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
5,296
1,545
I thought you meant that you hope that the next refresh will bring in "official" BR support. No, extra cables are horrible and the whole obsession that Apple has with slimming everything down is not needed nor wanted when it comes to desktops.
Fair enough. I was wondering what you were heading at. BluRay support..I stopped dreaming very early.
 

YosemiteSam

macrumors member
Aug 26, 2010
42
1
Southern California
But how many times do you actually install that software?
Often enough that I 100% still want the optical drive. Let's just leave it at that, as it's clear you probably don't ever need discs beyond initial install.

And besides, it was just an example- software is certainly not my only use of the drive. I'm in audio for crying out loud- I burn/use/read bajillions of discs. I highlight it because the optical disc is still how tons of "pro" software gets loaded onto a "pro" workstation.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,054
1,074
Do you try to explain to me how computers work? If so, thank you. But I quoted and bolded ActionableMango's 'A slim slot drive would be fine. Or even an empty bay would be fine. I'm willing to roll my own.' not just for fun. I ment I'd like to plug my BR drive into said empty bay if that's better.
I don't understand the logic behind an external drive connected to a desktop on a more or less daily basis, unless one prefers having cables laying around - and who does?
Back in the day I had an external burner (when computers only came with CD or DVD drives.)

Made perfect sense. It was only a sometimes drive. I could unplug it and put it away or use it with my laptop as needed.

They make network Bluray burners. That could even be a better solution for you.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,555
1,508
So it has been speculated that there will be no optical drive(s) in the next refresh of the Mac Pro.
The speculation driven by the BootCamp additions is rather weak. Being able to boot USB devices from BIOS should be there anyway. It is a rather crippled version of BIOS these days that doesn't have the feature.

Look at the new Ultrabooks being driven by Intel and the Microsoft Surface Pro . Many of the Ultrabooks and certainly the Surface do not have ODDs. So Windows and the vast array of Application vendors out there need to be able to deal with the non internal ODD configurations.

It isn't just Apple that is backing away from DVD. Whether Blu-Ray is a stop-gap is a more significant difference across the respective line ups.

That said, the question whether Apple removes a ODD from the Mac Pro is likely moot. They are extremely unlikely to include two. So at least one is very likely to go. The Mac Pro as DVD duplication machine is extremely dubious value proposition. The number of use cases driving concurrent dual use are very small corner cases.


I presume the Mac Pro will be entirely redesigned, or shrunken down to about the size of a PowerMac G4.
The primary "shrink down" the Mac Pro needs is only to fit into standard rack horizontally.

Other than that there are more significant uses for the space. Of the candidates:

1. Dual power supplies. (expand the power supply components forward into the ODD bays to squeeze two into roughtly the same size box without cutting power). Or expand the power range.


2. A set of internal 2.5" drive sleds. Or move the 3.5" sleds to the 5.25" space. This either expands internal storage options or opens up more room PCI-e card thermal zone.

3. Move the forward socket array to one of the old 5.25" zones so that don't loose some sockets. [ e.g., if Thunderbolt comes to the back, there is a good chance some other sockets will be bumped from the backs line up. ]

4. A variant on #2 is perhaps locking front facing 2.5" drive slides like what used to be the XServe. Either as USM modules ( http://www.sata-io.org/technology/usm.asp ) aligned with what Seagate is doing with GoFlex or classic lock+sled configurations.


It is pretty hard to use up both 5.25" bays but it pretty easy to find some significant value adds for the at least one.
 

Davy.Shalom

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 23, 2008
465
1
The speculation driven by the BootCamp additions is rather weak. Being able to boot USB devices from BIOS should be there anyway. It is a rather crippled version of BIOS these days that doesn't have the feature.

Look at the new Ultrabooks being driven by Intel and the Microsoft Surface Pro . Many of the Ultrabooks and certainly the Surface do not have ODDs. So Windows and the vast array of Application vendors out there need to be able to deal with the non internal ODD configurations.

It isn't just Apple that is backing away from DVD. Whether Blu-Ray is a stop-gap is a more significant difference across the respective line ups.

That said, the question whether Apple removes a ODD from the Mac Pro is likely moot. They are extremely unlikely to include two. So at least one is very likely to go. The Mac Pro as DVD duplication machine is extremely dubious value proposition. The number of use cases driving concurrent dual use are very small corner cases.




The primary "shrink down" the Mac Pro needs is only to fit into standard rack horizontally.

Other than that there are more significant uses for the space. Of the candidates:

1. Dual power supplies. (expand the power supply components forward into the ODD bays to squeeze two into roughtly the same size box without cutting power). Or expand the power range.


2. A set of internal 2.5" drive sleds. Or move the 3.5" sleds to the 5.25" space. This either expands internal storage options or opens up more room PCI-e card thermal zone.

3. Move the forward socket array to one of the old 5.25" zones so that don't loose some sockets. [ e.g., if Thunderbolt comes to the back, there is a good chance some other sockets will be bumped from the backs line up. ]

4. A variant on #2 is perhaps locking front facing 2.5" drive slides like what used to be the XServe. Either as USM modules ( http://www.sata-io.org/technology/usm.asp ) aligned with what Seagate is doing with GoFlex or classic lock+sled configurations.


It is pretty hard to use up both 5.25" bays but it pretty easy to find some significant value adds for the at least one.
They're not going to put in dual power supplies. However, I can see Apple ditching both optical drives in the Mac Pro in favor of at least two more HDD bays, or a redesigned motherboard with more PCI-E expandability.

I really, really, really, hope Apple doesn't solder on the RAM for the next iMac and Mac Pro.

Anyhow, I like the idea of putting in a slot-loading drive. Putting in a low-profile, relatively low performance drive would be a smart move on Apple's part because then they would be able to cater the Mac Pro to the majority of people (who don't use optical drives..so it seems), as well as the minority who still use the DVD/DVD-DL format.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,555
1,508
Didn't Apple specifically say in a PR statement that the Mac Pro would be completely refreshed by the end of next year?
No. They said a new Mac Pro is coming in 2013. "Completely refreshed" no. There is no commitment to change everything. People have spun the connotation that it will be a "great new model" that there is some radical metamorphosis that took 2-3 years to conjure up. That likely highly miss set expectations. It isn't likely to be revolutionary. It is far more likely the typical hyperbole that Apple slaps on all their products (e.g. "the iPad is magical". "This is the most insanely great Mac ever" , blah, blah , blah. ). Just P.T. Barnum razzle dazzle.
 

Davy.Shalom

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 23, 2008
465
1
No. They said a new Mac Pro is coming in 2013. "Completely refreshed" no. There is no commitment to change everything. People have spun the connotation that it will be a "great new model" that there is some radical metamorphosis that took 2-3 years to conjure up. That likely highly miss set expectations. It isn't likely to be revolutionary. It is far more likely the typical hyperbole that Apple slaps on all their products (e.g. "the iPad is magical". "This is the most insanely great Mac ever" , blah, blah , blah. ). Just P.T. Barnum razzle dazzle.
True, but in Apple language I think "completely refreshed" could mean no optical drive and a smaller footprint. It isn't revolutionary and it isn't anything new, but it is Apple, so you can expect some great marketing. :)

----------

Back in the day I had an external burner (when computers only came with CD or DVD drives.)

Made perfect sense. It was only a sometimes drive. I could unplug it and put it away or use it with my laptop as needed.

They make network Bluray burners. That could even be a better solution for you.
I do like the aesthetic appeal of the Apple external superdrive. However, I think it would be nice if they would add blu-ray support and faster DVD burn speeds. Yes, I know these technologies are "dying," but it would be nice to have some legacy support from the company we pay premiums.
 

dkersten

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2010
589
2
No. They said a new Mac Pro is coming in 2013. "Completely refreshed" no. There is no commitment to change everything. People have spun the connotation that it will be a "great new model" that there is some radical metamorphosis that took 2-3 years to conjure up. That likely highly miss set expectations. It isn't likely to be revolutionary. It is far more likely the typical hyperbole that Apple slaps on all their products (e.g. "the iPad is magical". "This is the most insanely great Mac ever" , blah, blah , blah. ). Just P.T. Barnum razzle dazzle.
Ah ok. I'm not in the market for a Mac Pro so I was really paying attention to the press conference or whatever they said. I guess I also had a poor choice of words in my description of the update. I probably should have said "significant" or something similar.
 

wallysb01

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2011
1,573
772
I really, really, really, hope Apple doesn't solder on the RAM for the next iMac and Mac Pro.
I can't imagine anyone doing that on a workstation. On the iMac, I could see it Apple doing that, but it would be silly. The only reason is to save some space. And its not like making the imac 2mm thinner in only one part of the case would matter...
 

Davy.Shalom

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 23, 2008
465
1
I can't imagine anyone doing that on a workstation. On the iMac, I could see it Apple doing that, but it would be silly. The only reason is to save some space. And its not like making the imac 2mm thinner in only one part of the case would matter...
It's Apple. They do what they do, and I can sadly see them doing something of the sort. However, I don't think the Mac Pro will have soldered on RAM in the next refresh. If the iMac does, though, the Mac Pro may follow..
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,555
1,508
However, I think it would be nice if they would add blu-ray support and faster DVD burn speeds.
There has been Blu-ray as a data ODD support in Mac OS X for years. They don't talk about it much because it will get construed by most folks as being Blu-ray movie playback support. Playing Blu-Ray movies using a Mac Pro is rather perverse use of resources.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,555
1,508
They're not going to put in dual power supplies. However, I can see Apple ditching both optical drives in the Mac Pro in favor of at least two more HDD bays, or a redesigned motherboard with more PCI-E expandability.
Two HDD bays (even 3.5 ) doesn't have to take up more than they have allocated to the 5.25. If the sleds face out in the same direction as the other 3.5" internal sleds it isn't more than just one bay.

More PCI-e slots is highly unlikely. Frankly, the 4 slots now are oversubscribed. If Apple adds Thunderbolt that is effectively yet another consumer of lanes. You could see the single package version drop to 3 slots if Apple uses an embedded GPU (which seems likely if aligning the design to TB. ).

Apple could add some more power so that the 4 slots that are there can take more powerful cards. Expanding the bandwidth and power for four is a more likely course than building a container than primarily just warehouses more cards.

I really, really, really, hope Apple doesn't solder on the RAM for the next iMac and Mac Pro.
That is a looney idea that Apple won't pursue. It is doubtful that any of the desktop models will go down that road. If trying to squeeze into a 0.7" tall enclosure it is perhaps a reasonable trade off. But in anything that is 0.9" and up that has far more downsides than upsides. It is a horrible waste of horizontal space. It puts a highly constraining cap on the maximum amount of memory.

If there was RAM that Apple might solder to the mainboard it would be VRAM along with a GPU. (likely to be on another daughter card similar to how implemented on iMac).


Anyhow, I like the idea of putting in a slot-loading drive. Putting in a low-profile, relatively low performance drive would be a smart move on Apple's part
Not really. If going to leave a 5.25" space behind it might as well be a standard 5.25" space. It would be inline with Apple's tactics in the past where perhaps the iMac and Mac Pro would share ODDs components. But given the relative differences in sales it really won't be a reasonable cost savings.

If Apple gets rid of (or repurposes ) one of the 5.25" bays that is enough to prune off an inch or two if they are looking for some height reductions. Slimline just to save height in a Mac Pro is dubious if really looking for a height reduction.

As other suggested, it would be a better move to just leave it empty.
It think some of the new HP or Dell workstations come without a ODD in a standard configuration (the kind of "bare bones" configuration, but more standard ones do.). They have an compartment to put in one as a BTO option.


Or perhaps design a removable dual 2.5' sled cage that folks could optionally drop to slide in a 5.25", if they don't want to ship with empty slot. However, they seem to be OK shipping an empty 5.25" bay now. That is how all the standard configurations in the current online Apple store come in.

When Apple stops buying extra slim slot load drives they are likely going to disappear. The more standard parts will take substantially longer to die off. It will much easier for Apple to buy the industry standard ODDs over the long term. If the Mac Pro is going to be the "last Macs standing" with an ODD drive it makes far more sense to select an option that will remain highly available and not expensive due to sole supplier.
 

Davy.Shalom

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 23, 2008
465
1
There has been Blu-ray as a data ODD support in Mac OS X for years. They don't talk about it much because it will get construed by most folks as being Blu-ray movie playback support. Playing Blu-Ray movies using a Mac Pro is rather perverse use of resources.
Integrated blu-ray support in the Superdrive. I guess I worded that strangely. I was talking about changing the hardware.

----------

Two HDD bays (even 3.5 ) doesn't have to take up more than they have allocated to the 5.25. If the sleds face out in the same direction as the other 3.5" internal sleds it isn't more than just one bay.

More PCI-e slots is highly unlikely. Frankly, the 4 slots now are oversubscribed. If Apple adds Thunderbolt that is effectively yet another consumer of lanes. You could see the single package version drop to 3 slots if Apple uses an embedded GPU (which seems likely if aligning the design to TB. ).

Apple could add some more power so that the 4 slots that are there can take more powerful cards. Expanding the bandwidth and power for four is a more likely course than building a container than primarily just warehouses more cards.



That is a looney idea that Apple won't pursue. It is doubtful that any of the desktop models will go down that road. If trying to squeeze into a 0.7" tall enclosure it is perhaps a reasonable trade off. But in anything that is 0.9" and up that has far more downsides than upsides. It is a horrible waste of horizontal space. It puts a highly constraining cap on the maximum amount of memory.

If there was RAM that Apple might solder to the mainboard it would be VRAM along with a GPU. (likely to be on another daughter card similar to how implemented on iMac).




Not really. If going to leave a 5.25" space behind it might as well be a standard 5.25" space. It would be inline with Apple's tactics in the past where perhaps the iMac and Mac Pro would share ODDs components. But given the relative differences in sales it really won't be a reasonable cost savings.

If Apple gets rid of (or repurposes ) one of the 5.25" bays that is enough to prune off an inch or two if they are looking for some height reductions. Slimline just to save height in a Mac Pro is dubious if really looking for a height reduction.

As other suggested, it would be a better move to just leave it empty.
It think some of the new HP or Dell workstations come without a ODD in a standard configuration (the kind of "bare bones" configuration, but more standard ones do.). They have an compartment to put in one as a BTO option.


Or perhaps design a removable dual 2.5' sled cage that folks could optionally drop to slide in a 5.25", if they don't want to ship with empty slot. However, they seem to be OK shipping an empty 5.25" bay now. That is how all the standard configurations in the current online Apple store come in.

When Apple stops buying extra slim slot load drives they are likely going to disappear. The more standard parts will take substantially longer to die off. It will much easier for Apple to buy the industry standard ODDs over the long term. If the Mac Pro is going to be the "last Macs standing" with an ODD drive it makes far more sense to select an option that will remain highly available and not expensive due to sole supplier.
It would be pretty easy for Apple to just create a place for the external drive to sit in nicely with the case, and have a usb power plug on top under a door. However, Apple hates doors. This won't happen, but this is what I would do. That way you wouldn't even have to bother opening the side door to swap out for an optical drive, and it would save money over creating a slimline internal enclosure, considering Apple already produces the external superdrive.

It would be pretty neat if Apple left just one 5.25" bay for legacy use. Even if they didn't put a drive in it. I know only two people who actually use both 5.25" spaces for optical drives.
 

dracoshafi

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2012
3
0
UK
worrying...

I have been saving for a new imac for so long and I was so geared up for the rumoured new one. But this new rumour of no optical drive is really worrying me. I can understand why some people may not use it, but I do use it all the time, for burning songs, playing movies from DVDs as well as ripping my audio CDs that I buy.

If there is an option for an attachable option via USB/TB, then thats fine, but it just requires more desk space, which I don't look forward to.
 

Lancer

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,125
87
Australia
So it has been speculated that there will be no optical drive(s) in the next refresh of the Mac Pro. I presume the Mac Pro will be entirely redesigned, or shrunken down to about the size of a PowerMac G4.

What are your thoughts on the optical drive omission?
I'm on the fence, but for Pro (desktop) users this would be no good.

Personally I don't think the 2013 redesign will be a visual one, Apple doesn't tell us much but didn't say anything about a redesign. I think the changes will be internal, it will still have 2x optical bays. Now weather these will be empty and an added cost to the user is anyones just.

JMHO

iMac - now I can see them removing the DVD in the next redesign, but I really hope they don't.
 

dracoshafi

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2012
3
0
UK
But

But surely they have to cat for the customers who make home videos on imovies and want them burned to share around, you cant sharve with others ipeven if you have apple tv and share it through itunes, youd be ae o do that just in your own home.
 

Lancer

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,125
87
Australia
But surely they have to cat for the customers who make home videos on imovies and want them burned to share around, you cant sharve with others ipeven if you have apple tv and share it through itunes, youd be ae o do that just in your own home.
Didn't Apple kill off iDVD?
 

StephenCampbell

macrumors 65816
Sep 21, 2009
1,038
52
In the BTO options they can have there be an option for an optical drive, but also have an option for a hard drive or SSD in that slot, for those that want to kill it now.
 

scottsjack

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2010
1,898
266
Arizona
As expected we've heard from some of the "Optical is dead" crowd. As a guy who uses optical a couple of times per week I think the current configuration works best. I play my Blu-ray movies as MKVs so I replaced my MP SuperDrive with an LG Blu-ray drive from OWC. The lower bay has a hard drive installed in it.

If I needed to I could install of Mac SuperDrive in the lower bay. I've even thought about moving the LG BR to an external box so I could use the SATA 2 connection in the upper bay for another hard drive. That makes pretty good sense.

That's what's so great about a Mac Pro compared to any of Apple's other current products; absolute user flexibility. Whether next year's alleged Mac Pro has optical drives standard or not there needs to be a couple of bays available for them.
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
What would actually be more Apple-esque would be to upgrade the ODD to a Lightscribe version. Make it so that you can put a disc in either way (idiot proof it) by putting in a pair of laser heads (top and bottom). You pop in a LS disc, the system detects which way is up... you burn the contents and create a cool nifty label based on designer templates all at the same time. The LS ODD would also be able to detect that a disc was not a LS disc and let you know, but since the ODD itself has two laser heads you could pop a non-LS disc in either way it would still be writeable.

Personally, I rarely use the ODD to read CDs any more, but I use the LS ODD I added on a constant basis to burn images to a discs for clients, and then to add my business branding. It looks very professional.
 

JesterJJZ

macrumors 68020
Jul 21, 2004
2,421
757
Lightscribe was DOA. It's too slow to be practical.

While I do use my DVD burner, I also have an external Bluray writer I use. I'm more interested in having at least one ODD bay so I can put in more hard drives if need be.