If there is no new Mac Pro at WWDC I would expect many people to be extremely pissed off, especially professionals relying upon Apple to come through with a new revision. As to Intel it wouldn't be the first time they did a special processor for Apple. Intels Haswell reveal could be most interesting here.
Any rational corporation would look for viable ways to rescue a product with such declining sales. I'm still of the opinion that Apple has damaged the Mac Pro more than the market. The reality is the workstation market itself isn't that bad off.
Hmm. I could never understand why Apple used 'server' class cpus for the Mac Pro. I guess the move to Intel allowed that distinction. But the old blue and white G3 was a great tower. Did we have 'server' class cpus back then? Just stick a hex core i7 in the new slim fast Mac Pro, space to Raid a couple of SSDs. Room for a couple of GPUs. Lop the PCI and optical drive and sundry legacy ports off. Have a more compact machine. Charge £1495 for it. Price goes up as you add 2nd SSD or 2nd GPU. Want another? Add another to your cluster. And you have a mini cluster. 12 cores. Upto 4 drives. One can stand on top or alongside the other.
It's old bones as far as the damage Apple themselves caused the Mac Pro line. The 'update' last year is proof enough. Could have offered more ram. More HD. Cheaper price. Better gpu. But no. They didn't. Last year's was a shocker. When a member of the original Mac team is calling you out in public you know you've got problems. (Hello Hubris.)
For me? It's Cube 2. It may not be as small as a Cube. But it's going slim fast. What's that mini tower format? A bit of that. Imagine not much bigger than 3 Mac Mini's stacked one on top of the other.
Let's face it. If you bought x3 Mac Minis you'd have some cluster power. Some one man band artists built Linux mini clusters or 'render farms' using old machines and dispatch 3D to them while they 'get on.'
I've often toyed with the idea of adding a Mac Pro to my iMac as I get into 3D more and render times go up. Mind you. Nothing I can't do now with an iMac in an hour or so or an overnight job.
I remember doing my MA in 3D. All those Intel dual cpu machines. I had that 800mhz Athlon PC. The iMac i7 is now light years ahead of them all this time later.
I can see Apple redefining the Mac Pro as a more compact 'workstation' for the solo graphic artist/small studio crowd. Just add IO care of Thunderbolt 2. Add another hexcore 'Cube.2' as you need more render stations.
Take off the price of the £895 display off the iMac I bought? You're looking at £1295 for a base unit. That gets them into the solo artist crowd and the odd gamer who wants to try a Mac as their next dual booting 'PC.' Very Prosumer. Like Final Cut X, goes with the prosumer tag and get more units into more hands.
Sure, it overlaps with the iMac. But I don't see that as a problem. The Mac Mini has overlapped with the 'old' ground the imac used to occupy as imac has moved in to the old G3 tower's territory.
It's just semantics to me. I like the iMac. Fine consumer/prosumer/workstation machine.
But I'd like to think the new Mini and Mac Pro Mini (it will be bigger than the old Cube I'd think...) will give people options.
If Apple could consumer/prosumer-ise 'X-Grid' style clusters and add minis to an iMac dock render cluster...or make prosumer Cubes that could add up to a weighty solution via modular approach....
Depends on which way Apple go.
As Marv' has said. In a few years time it won't matter. The coming cpu and gpu power will make the current crop look archaic. We've been 'i7' class for a while now. When we make the next big leap it the pro may well go the way of the daisies. The next update will buy it some time...
Lemon Bon Bon.