Originally Posted by hmm
I presented some things that are somewhat of a given. No company actually wants to lose customers. If they decide to eol it, they will be looking at how to minimize such an effect. You mentioned engineering costs. As I mentioned, they shouldn't be too rough with a tower configuration given the generous fan space, and Foxconn does in fact design their boards.
You seem awfully sure about that. I'm not convinced that Apple would give up that much control. I'm certain they have a partnership with Foxconn but that is a bit different than saying Foxconn designs the boards.
This was a change as of the 2009 model. I'm just saying if they're attempting to buy time, that kind of refresh isn't difficult. Regarding whether or not it goes away, there hasn't been a single credible rumor, and it remains listed on the front page (usually when they EOL something it leaves the front page of their site beforehand). The only reason we're even talking about this is that too many people don't even pay attention to Intel's cpu release cycles, and now that cpus have started to ship, they've gone back to declaring an obituary for the line. In other products, sometimes cpus are out for 2-3 months before we see an update.
Well this I agree with! The almost spastic demand that Apple release a new Sandy Bridge E machine is ridiculous as Apple seldom releases hardware in lock step with Intel. The only exception here seems to be the laptops where it often appears that Apple is pulling Intel along.
Anyway, we don't really have any evidence on what will happen there.
Well the logic boards went away from intel's reference spec to one done by Foxconn. I kind of doubt they're going to put a lot of resources into this round, especially with Intel's floundering here.
Well again I'm not so convinced of this. First off the Pros board is not a reference design, it is a pretty unique design on its own.
As to resource allocation I really think they have no choice, they need to show the customer base that the desktop has not been abandoned. Apple has serious credibility problems on the desktop right now.
Sandy Bridge E just started shipping, and the Ivy equivalent is due around the same time as consumer Haswell. Given that the cpus are running quite hot and Apple tries to make a silent tower (especially for the guys who deal with audio), I think it's likely that they'll retain the current form factor given its ability to house large fans.
A large box does not really solve ones cooling problems. As to the audio guys, frankly screw them. Apple really needs to focus on a design that can service a very wide array of customer needs first. If the design is suitably quiet for the audio world afterward then fine, but the Pro really shouldn't be a niche machine.
I'm really not expecting much in the way of imagination from them. Towers are an easy way to deal with legacy baggage and really hot cpus. The way things are seated in the tower currently takes up quite a lot of space. I know they could do something new with it. I'm just not expecting it this round.
I'd have to say just the opposite. The Mac Pro isn't really known to be a cool running platform. The large internal volume actually makes even cooling more difficult.
As two doing something with it, I've expecting something for the last couple of years. Frankly they have been rolling in cash, so if they can't pull off a modern refactoring of the Pro this round when will they be able to? One reason to expect this is that the technology exists to allow for it. Compact motherboards are easy, high speed I/O is solved and high speed storage is easy to come buy.
In effect this allows Apple design flexibility. For one they can put disk arrays into a separate box, this alone dramatically reduces the Pros size. In the Pro itself local storage can be taken care of by very fast SSD technology which again takes up less space. Drop out the large optical bays and again the machine shrinks. The final step would be to shrink I/O card space leaving room for one high performance GPU card and an additional slot. With four TB ports the machine would still have access to bulk secondary storage.
The big advantage here is a far lower cost for the base machine. This means a wider audience that would find the platform usefull. More importantly for those that need the extra capability they give up nothing, except for maybe an all in one box solution.
Now maybe such a platform would shock some current Pro users, especially those that get something personal out of having a big box near buy. In the end though you either evolve or you die.