We've seen the new mini enclosure... thoughts on potential Mac Pro redesign...?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by anim8or, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. anim8or macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    Hello fellow Mac Pro users/fans/etc....

    So we have all been waiting on the edge of our seats for months now for an update to the Mac Pro...

    ..and after all the bickering that has gone on in the forums and threads here on MacRumors i thought i would start a thread for some fun and hopefully sensible insight into a potential redesign.

    How would apple be able to pull of a unibody case?
    Will they keep or get rid of the handles?
    Will they keep or get rid of side access?

    Lets discuss...
  2. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    The Mac Mighty. 2.5'' hard drive bays, laptop RAM and GPU.
  3. telequest macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    It's a truck

    The Mac Pro is really an anomaly among Apple products. It's the only one where raw power (and expandability) is the main issue. Apple doesn't focus on (and sometimes conceals) the tech specs of the iPhone and iPad. And raw power takes a back seat for most Macs - where they talk mainly about design, the display, weight, hipness, etc.

    But the Mac Pro is a truck. At least for those of us who use its power to drive heavy loads that weaker models can't handle. What matters is what's under the hood. I really couldn't care less about external design changes unless they somehow improve function.

    If the new 2010s (and beyond) look just like my 2004 G5 Power Mac, I'll be just fine with that. I suppose others will welcome some cool new look. But for me, it's not something that I would want Apple to spend a whole lot of time delaying updates for.
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Cast out the basic shape in aluminum, then machine it to the final product (i.e. think thick sided box without one side).

    I hope they toss them, as that could actually allow for additional internal space for drives that users' have clambored for, as well as give more design choices for future boards (i.e. allow things like RAM slots to be of sufficient quantity to keep up with other board offerings).

    Keep it, as it's the most logical way to obtain entry to the system (clean too).
  5. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    One thing I'd like is a magnetically-attatching side panel, instead of pins. Apple seems to be on a magnet-trip these last few years, so I wouldn't be surprised if they do it. IMO, the handles have become a trademark of Apple workstations. They go back to....what...the blue and white G3? That was nearly 11 years ago. It's tradition. It just wouldn't be a truck-Mac without them. And besides, not only do they help with carrying it (or at least lifting it up to get your arms around the bottom), the lower ones help elevate it so it sucks up less dust.

    I kinda like the angled-out handles on the G3 and G4 machines, as opposed to the straight ones the cheesegrater. I think a new cheesegrater, with angled-out handles, more tapered corners, and a magnetic side panel would be cool. Also, switch the power LED to the behind-the-aluminum style they brought in with the MBPs (do the current iMacs and Minis use it too?) And use the new anodized aluminum power switch, rather than the shiny one. And make the new one wider so we can get the heatsinks AND 12 RAM slots in there.
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    There are a few things Apple could do, from least extreme to most extreme...

    - Change the Apple logo on the side to black, perhaps even using a plastic insert that would enable them to place the wifi and BT antennas there for better wireless performance

    - Change the optical drives to slot-loading

    - Remove the handles

    - Extend the size of the chassis in either dimension. Increasing height to accommodate more drive bays or increasing the width or depth to accommodate more RAM slots on the CPU tray

    - Change the chassis to a cube form factor. Although expensive, this could really get people excited about a Mac Pro again and reduce the "truck" like stigma of it.

    Having said all this, I would never have predicted what they were able to do with the Mini... esp. integrating the PSU into the chassis while making it half the size! So likely Apple will surprise us, IF they decide to do anything with the case.

    Also, it's worth noting that a case redesign would most likely be accompanied by an increase in price. The Mac Mini base config jumped about 15% so careful what you wish for. :)
  7. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Would be better and more consistent with approaches on other devices to just add a stainless steel strip/frame to part of the back where need to punch through anyway. (e.g. put a small stainless steel frame around the punch out for the PCI cards. )

    Similarly, they could go to a move where the handles are stainless steel. Again, like other designs, make a structural element need anyway the antenna. That way they are completely outside of the box. That probably would give them better range than anything else rather than some of middle of the road performance with hiding them behind some Apple shaped plastic do-dad.

    That doesn't do much more. They also would be tempted to make the optical drive bays closer together. Right now can "repurpose" them for regular drive slots. If anything could add more support for that (use as drive slots). [ For example the XServe has an option where can plug in a small SSD but not use up any of the drive sled slots. Mac Pro should have something like that. Using the second optical drive slot that way in a supported way would be a good thing. ]

    On the bottom makes sense to raise up off ground. Again if can get some combo functionality ( antenna ) out of the handles they can stay.

    However, adding longer sheets of aluminum to the Mac Pro is ony going to make it heavier and more expensive with relatively minimal increase in internal space gained.

    As pointed out they have 6 "drive" bays now if look at in a general sense.

    Going wider for one extra RAM slot . If that is the only real motivator change, don't see it happening. Wider can get you a slightly larger diameter fans though. Also Sun/Oracle has a design for PCI-e DIMMs like drives ( again similar to what is in the XServe). If wider may be space to raise the drive sled bay enough to get access to a DIMM-like drive socket to plug into "below" the drives.

    It is a truck!! The cube is not more effective use of internal space. A rectangle is better given going to have a flat motherboard.

    The "place on your desk an ooooh " at it form factor from apple is the mini. In terms of what the cube (both Apple one and to slightly lessors extent NeXT one ) only need to look at the mini. It is meant to be placed on the desktop.

    If anything, being hounded by folks who want a non truck is the Mac Pro's
    problem. They are usually the ones who put low value on the differentiating (across Mac lines) features the Mac Pro offers. The Mac Pro should not be a "status symbol" box.

    that is in part because it is not have the size ( I guess throwing in the power brick volume but part of the ineffeciency was having to do two power conversions. )

    The mini also removed ease of internal access to accomplish this "packing" move. The Mac Pro doesn't need packing. There is no way to increase packing and leave the "ease of access" to internal components the same. If going to have people's hands inside the case need to have room for those hands to get around.

    Right. No need for a higher price.

    The Mac Pro is to a large extent already a unibody design. Trying to mill a brick that large out of an ingot is waste of drilling cooling fluid, time, and drill bits.
  8. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    But removing the handle means the mac pro will no longer be portable. Sounds like a downgrade to have a non portable mac pro.
  9. theaero macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2008
    No handles, PLEASE, so we can start seeing some decent/real rackmount kits.
  10. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008


    I wonder if Apple could add some way to detatch the handles and replace them with rackmount ears, kinda like switching the iMac's base for a VESA mount.
  11. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Great, this reminds me of that removing Mac Pro handles thread.

    Hey J, whatever happened to your black ceramic zerconia material idea for the case? :p

    But hey, I like the idea of Magnets for the side. I think that's practical.
  12. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    Funny, I work in an edit suite everyday and the only time I look at my tower is to burn a DVD. Who gives a flying **** really? This is a machine to do work on, it doesn't have to be all blingy. And, if you are spending the kind of money on a Mac Pro just to have a Mac Pro you are an idiot and should be forced by law to not be allowed to reproduce.
  13. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Oh, I just didn't feel like dredging it back up. I still think it would be awesome. :p
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Workstations aren't meant to be portable though (they're expected to just sit on either the desk or floor).

    The MP is a workstation after all, and I don't recollect many being stated as hauled around as portable systems. Laptops have improved to the point they're acceptable for field use (i.e. data storage for camera output).
  15. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    While trucks are well, trucks. Even they go under rigorous testing and modifications for fuel efficiency and speed :p

    And slot loading drives on a Mac Pro? Pfft, no way. Doing so would screw people over who use Mini-DVD's (for whatever reason).

    The handles are cool though, it lets people do this:


    And while I don't have a Mac Pro, I have a similar set up like this - got my power boards mounted to the underside of my desk along with cables and other things like USB hubs and devices that dont need to be on my desk or on the floor.

    Sure makes cleaning the carpet easier without risk of knocking adapters out of their sockets (did that once, blew the fuse on my subwoofer - fortunately they are replaceable, naturally)
  16. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    Clean look. I like it.
  17. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008

    Only $129.99 at the Apple Store and online.
  18. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    For all it's intent and purposes, for some reason, that still looks frightening to me :(

    But I guess it's ok if you're the user and sitting down since you won't see all of that.

    Staying clean and organized can definitely take quite a lot of work and strategy.
  19. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    I think they will probably change the design just a little bit (possibly a tad smaller, the thing is huge), but what I really want to see is a cheaper desktop quad core model with 4gb of ram and perhaps just a 500gb HDD for 1799.
  20. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I bet not having to worry about dust is the coolest thing ever though.
  21. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Please keep the handles. I move my mp around quite a bit. It has traveled all over the country with me. Actually, the only change I would like is room for more drives and a blu-Ray burner
  22. JID macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    Apple should buy high spec-level (i.e., high performance gaming) Dell machines, match OS X to the components, put an apple logo sticker over the Dell name, then sell for less than half what the Pro costs. And still make a decent profit.
  23. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Only need to worry about cutting your own legs on the cable ties under the desk ;)

    I've scrapped my legs a few times initially, till i bothered to file and dull the edges of the plastic heheh. Now it's all good :p
  24. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    A Dell T7550 (capable of holding 4 hard drives without gimmicks) with 5620 and 700GB drive ..... where is half the price? Some 10-20% lower with dell discounts and etc. yes. 50% lower.... no.

    There is all kind of Dell stuff with less capable cases , smaller power supplies , and host of other chopped off features. However, if compare list prices on highly equivalent offerings then they are about the same. Sure comparing apples to oranges, the prices are different.
  25. you39 macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2010
    Yeah... and thus ruin their brand name more than a 10 years overdue Mac Pro ever could. ;)

Share This Page