Thunderbolt everything, but not Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rob Holloway, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Rob Holloway macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    I am very confused

    If the Thunderbolt I/O is the high end
    If the Mac Pro is the high end

    Why do we have Thunderbolt MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac...

    but no Mac Pro

    I've been waiting to upgrade but am now wondering

    Any thoughts?
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    With all due respect, this has been discussed billions of times on these forums. Try searching next time.

    The current Mac Pros are the 2010 machines we got last year. Most predictions point to the fact that Intel will not be shipping appropriate Sandy Bridge Xeons (the only truly practical reason to refresh) until Q4 2011 at the earliest. And that means you're probably looking at a Q1 2012 release after accounting for manufacturing lead time. So unless Apple releases an interim model with speed-bumped Westmere Xeons and Thunderbolt, no dice. But an interim refresh has only been rumored by questionable sources, so it's unlikely.

    Besides, the lack of TB doesn't necessarily break the Mac Pro, since it's expandable in other ways, unlike the rest of Apple's product line. The current rendition of TB is far more useful to the all-in-one and mobile crowd, where hot-swappable external storage faster than FireWire was once impossible.
  3. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    yes, the lack of TB doesnt break the MP but Sata3 would be nice to have... :)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    If only SSD's were the norm I'd see Apple advocating for SATA3 but since the majority are using HD's that aren't saturating SATA2 it will remain as elusive as bluray.

  5. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    I know what you mean but a MP is designed to last couple of years, hence having the ability to put in a sata3 ssd down the road shouldn't be considered a luxury...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    No argument here, I just received my MP 2010 6 core and despite the tidy sum I spent on it, it doesn't have a lot of things I consider "high-end standard", eSATA, USB 3, bluray, SATA3 etc etc. Why should I have to go out and buy expansion cards when PC motherboards have these built in.

  7. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    The Mac Pro should be updated with TB sooner rather than later IMO.

    Surely they won't wait another 6 months before updating with TB, will they?

    I know they'd have to redesign the logic board for this to be possible, but the fact they'd have to leave their high-end Mac loitering about with no TB for another half-a-year is a worry, considering how much they're pushing the new technology.

    Obviously only an incremental update would be possible now, the new Xeon's complete with a new socket aren't due for another 5 months or so.

    Nevertheless, the new 27" ACD is now TB only, so I'm hoping for new Mac Pro's soon (although not counting on it).
  8. aaaaaaron macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2010
  9. Mike Biggen macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Elusive? The MBP refresh at the start of the year included SATA 3. I don't know about the iMac and the mini, but wouldn't be surprised if they did too.
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Which Q1 2012 are you referring to? Calendar or Apple Fiscal? Just wondering b/c Apple's Q1 2012 starts Oct 1, 2011.

    Regardless, Apple has been known to get early "pre release" batches of Intel chips. With Apple and Intel looking to make TB a standard I do not see either waiting until next year to get a TB MP in the wild, and I don't see Apple making a "compromise" machine just so it can feature TB. I expect a new MP between end of Sept. and end of Oct., but would not be surprised to see one anytime between next Tues and mid-Sept.
  11. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    As of now there are maybe a half dozen Thunderbolt enabled peripherals on the market, and they are all quite expensive. The technology will be awesome, but as of now it isn't doing much so there's no real reason to rush it out there.

    The Thunderbolt displays are still 6-8 weeks out, Apple's announced them, but they aren't actually available yet. Some suspect their arrival to coincide with new Mac Pros.
  12. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    This has been discussed many times on the forum, but to reiterate:

    Mac Pros will not be updated until Intel releases new processors/motherboards with which to update it.

    They do not get new features (USB 3, SATA-3) until they come natively on the motherboards Intel makes. In the past, a lot of those features came to motherboards by the way of additional chips added that tapped into the PCIe bus...the kind of hardware work around that  would never employ on their own designs.

    If these really are dealbreakers, you can buy a PCIe expansion card.

    Mac Pro does not, in fact, mean "latest and greatest." It means, "Most recent iteration of what  considers to be workstation features."
  13. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    This is important information for consumers - a matter of truth in advertizing. So why aren't these facts stated clearly in every Thunderbolt ad that Apple produces?

    Also there are still no TB to USB3 or eSATA adapters after 5 months on the market. Again, not mentioned by Apple in any ad that I've seen....
  14. skier777 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2010
    I can take a guess. Apple won't release a new mac pro until they have new processors, because there won't be much demand, but would be a fairly high cost for them. They also won't release a TB card for the old mac pros, because they want to force anyone who wants TB on a mac pro to have to buy a brand new one. Its about the refresh and looping you into buying a new computer to get a single minor feature that could easily be patched in another way.
  15. TheAnalogue macrumors member


    May 12, 2011
    Clearwater, Fl
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    But third party vendors will produce thunderbolt PCI cards. I wouldn't buy an apple card anyway as it would cost 5x more
  16. netkas macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Think about another side.

    So far thunderbolt port comes together with mini-dp port, and on all TB enabled macs this port is on mainboard.

    Now look at macpro, it will cost high to design new vga card with thunderbolt chip on board, and it will have to share vga's pcie x16 slot, eating some BW.

    or, they can try to route video signal from card back to the mainboard with thunderbolt port, like its done on mobile/imac parts, but I didnt hear about anything like this on desktop vga cards.

    so, Apple has some problems

    or they can do separate thunderbolt port without video, how to use new cinema display then, or this port will be served only by integrated video.
  17. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007

    ^ This.

    Either we get a TB enabled GPU which means issues and added cost (no custom GPUs + TB for example)

    or we get a TB port with no video.
  18. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    To me TB usefulness in any sort of economical way, is a year off. Sata 3 will be felt immediately, as will sandy bridge. I already have a usb 3 pci card, so no biggy there.
  19. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    The way Apple has been going with the consumerization of their product line I wouldn't put it past them to drop the MacPro altogether. :(

    Hopefully that's not the case but looking at their product roadmaps and the mess they made of Final Cut X I'm not sure they care about the high-end workstation market.

    It's a very tiny piece of their business these days.

  20. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    I was honestly surprised they released the 5,1 in 2010.

    They can look at it two ways; (1) ditch it because the margin on designing, manufacturing, maintaining, stocking (new and replacement bits) and supporting the Mac Pro probably trail every other Apple product when it comes to margin or (2) keep it going because they want a "flagship" to effectively advertise the awesome power of Mac OS and keep the "creative types" they like to show off in their advertising.

    Seems like they have been doing (2) for a year or two now. (1) might not happen because it is not like Apple needs to shift capital for production these days and the Mac Pro does not cannibalize production resources because very little of the design is shared with the rest of the line.

    I agree, though; Final Cut Pro X and Lion do not exactly instill confidence...
  21. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    I'm half expecting an iMac Pro to turn up at some point to put the Mac Pro to the sword. :(
  22. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    2011 MBA, iMac, MBP and the mac mini all have SATA 3.
  23. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Delivered in all by the core chipset. The current Mac Pro has a two year old motherboard ( and core chipset ) design. SATA 3 isn't there. Yet another reason why the Mac Pro needs a new board along with new CPUs ( 2011 socket) with more modern feature mix. As opposed to some speed bumped 36xx/56xx updates.

    However, if they keep same track record the Mac Pro would once again go into a 2 year cycle where the motherboard stayed the same and all get is "tock" CPU updates in year 2.

    So if it is missing an USB 3.0 add-on controller and sockets later this year. They will be missing for a long time. Even longer than some of the lower end stuff ( which is kind of silly. )
  24. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    We might already be there! I would rather have a Mac Mini Pro, as I hate the idea of buying an integrated display for my desktop.

    We are close to that, too. If they had the option for discrete graphics on the quad-core i7 Mac Mini Server and some usable/available Thunderbolt accessories, you are talking about a machine that would benchmark close to a Mac Pro and would likely fill the space a large number of current Mac Pro users.

    The problem is it is just as expensive because of the limited number of memory slots.

    Not my ideal situation, though. I would rather see a new 8-core or 12-core on Ivy Bridge Mac Pro that would really crunch.
  25. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    So how many years until Ivy Bridge Xeons are shipping :rolleyes:

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