Why are Mac Pros SO Heavy?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pkarl, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. pkarl macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
    Hi guys, I'm a recent PC to Mac convert. Here at work I'm now supporting iMacs, Mac Book Pro laptops and Mac Pro towers. I have what is probably an easy to answer question for a long time Mac fan. I am curious as to what Apple's mindset was when developing the Mac Pro tower computer. Why aluminum? And why is it so darn heavy? Is it simply for asthetics, or is there something else that I'm missing. I had to deploy 24 of these a few weeks ago and going up a flight or two of stairs really took it out of me by the end of the day. So, does anyone know, truthfully, why they are so heavy and why aluminum as the choice of construction material? (Yeah, I know, steel or lead would have mad them even heavier...hahaha)

    Newbie Mac Tech
  2. kaputsport macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Carlisle, PA
    Because Aluminum was the best available material that is better than the plastic and stamped crap PCs come with. I don't mind the weight. It is very solid, and very well built.
  3. JuniperMonkeys, Jul 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012

    JuniperMonkeys macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2012
    There isn't much incentive to make them light. They don't typically get moved often, and making them lighter while maintaining the quality and durability they're known for would add cost. It's just like the cliché saying goes; durable, light, cheap — pick two.

    The aluminum is thick, but moreover there's two pretty major internal structures that most tower cases don't have — the "shelf" running above the hard drives, and the isolation frame around the processors. It'd be lighter if those were plastic — at the same or less cost — but that's a durability sacrifice. As you're probably aware, internal structures in most tower cases are thin stamped steel or, mostly these days, plastic. There's a few other irregular design choices that add weight; external aluminum lids over the power supply and 5.25" bays and a processor that lives on a daughtercard (with an aluminum tray under it) are both atypical for tower computers these days, but both make the computer nicer to work on, IMHO.

    That said, I find that the bigger impediment to their convenience is the sharp-ass handles. Those of you who remember G3s and G4s will recall that, despite their not-dissimilar weight, they were pretty comfy to lug around.
  4. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008

    Everyone knows it's not the computer that's heavier- it's your data. Because the Mac Pro has up to four disk drives, you can store four times as much data on it. Thus making the computer really heavy.

    What, you didn't actually think that data doesn't weigh anything, did you?

  5. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    Well, the case started life as being massive and metal like and full of holes, because it had to act like a massive heat dissapator for those pesky G5 processors.

    It just happened to be awesome, and they kept it.
  6. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Personally, I do not trust workstations that are light.

    I would like to see a Mac Pro made of gold, gold is over 8x denser than aluminium.
  7. torana355 macrumors 68040

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Aluminum is a great conductor of heat which effectively makes the whole Mac Pro a radiator that keeps the internals cool.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Actually at the workstation level aluminum is quite common. Regardless of what they use though, if you're buying a similar hardware class to the mac pro, it isn't typically built like a consumer PC.
  10. noiceT macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    If something doesn't move, why make it lighter..?
  11. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Isn't another variable the number of bits are that 0 or 1?

    Zero bits weigh less, right?

    So I'd recommend making sure that all bits are 0 before picking the Mac Pro up. True, setting all bits to 0 can take a long time. But going up the stairs will be quicker, and easier.
  12. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    I love heavy, solid computers. The Mac Pro's and the dell and HP workstations are all very solid machines.
  13. Snowshiro macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    I'm 85 kilos and frequently use mine to stand on when I need to reach something from a high shelf. You can'd do that with many other machines.
  14. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    They are aluminum plated 24k gold. That also explains the cost increase.
  15. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    It's also because aluminum is highly recyclable.
  16. Orange Furball macrumors 65816

    Orange Furball

    May 18, 2012
    Scranton, PA, USA
    I use my old g5 case as a drum stool. Its handles perfectly fit my buttocks between them. And I would be considered "over weight" (which makes no sense because I'm smaller than the average American.) So its pretty strong.

    I do miss the b&w g3 and g4 handles. But they weren't as sleek as the sharp g5/Mac pro ones. Just be happy its not an eMac. Nothing to grab only and it weighed almost 70 pounds.

    He is talking about the Mac Pro. The desktop tower. Not the MacBook Pro the laptop.
  17. biohead macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    West Drayton, UK
    All similar workstation class machines weight about the same.

    My Dell 690 (Pretty much a Mac Pro 1,1) comes in at just over 25kg/55lbs - which is even more than the MP.
  18. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    *thumbs up*
  19. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    actually quite light compared to my Dual 600 R14K SGI Octane, with V10 Graphics.
    very light indeed.
  20. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    OP. it took you all day to move 25 mac pros up one or two flights of stairs and even then it exhausted you. What old are you? In yours teens or twenties i assume, given the average demographic here.

    I don't the weight of the MP is the problem.
  21. t0rr3s macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2010
    Snowshiro would need a damn crateful of that to stand on to reach the top shelf. :D
  22. PurpleLogix macrumors member


    Jul 2, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
  23. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
    True. In addition, the Mac Pro outclasses any other desktop workstation I have ever used since the original IBM PC in terms of form, function and durability. Basically, it is so heavy because it is built so well. If only Apple would pay as much attention to keeping the Pro up to speed with state of the art technology.
  24. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    Actually, the Octane2 and the Mac Pro are quite similar concerning their weight. But while the Mac Pro looks like a truck, the Octane2 has the looks of a hot rod. :D
  25. mkokimoto macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    But what if I use iCloud? will the mac become lighter?

Share This Page

83 July 25, 2012