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Mac Pro teardown finds easy disassembly, great potential for repairs & upgrades

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
Another dissection of Apple's new cylindrical Mac Pro has once again discovered that despite its unique design, the parts inside the desktop can be easily accessed, repaired or upgraded if need be.

Mac Pro


iFixit took its traditional deep look at the latest Apple hardware on Tuesday, offering readers a peek inside the new Mac Pro. While the solutions experts are often critical of Apple hardware for being unrepairable, they came away with a favorable impression of the redesigned Mac Pro.

"For being so compact, the design is surprisingly modular and easy to disassemble," the said, giving the late-2013 machine a "repairability score" of 8 out of 10. "Non-proprietary Torx screws are used throughout, and several components can be replaced independently."

Among those components that can be easily accessed is the RAM, which can be quickly upgraded upon taking the exterior off the Mac Pro. The system's solid-state drive, meanwhile, can be taken from the desktop after removing just one screw.

Mac Pro


iFixit also found that the central fan on the Mac Pro, which is key to the device's cylindrical design for quiet cooling, is easy for users to access and replace.

Like a separate teardown that was published last week, iFixit also found that the new Mac pro has a socketed, removable Intel CPU. That means future upgrades of the processor could be possible, though the repair experts noted that it does require "a bit of digging" to access the CPU.

Mac Pro


The small design of the Mac Pro means there's no internal room for another hard drive, but Apple has addressed these concerns by including six high-speed Thunderbolt 2 ports on the rear of the machine.

Finally, the teardown also discovered that although the Mac Pro features dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics processors, one of the cards was made in China, while the other was manufactured in Taiwan. This is because the Taiwan-made GPU hosts the slot for the machine's solid-state drive.

Mac Pro


"This seems to us like a potential opportunity for expansion -- perhaps higher storage configurations make use of two of this variety, for doubling up on SSDs?" they speculated.

The teardown took a look at the entry-level $2,999 model, which features an Intel quad-core Xeon E5 chip running at speeds up to 3.9 gigahertz, 12 gigabytes of 1866-megahertz DDR3 ECC memory, dual AMD FirePro graphics with 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 VRAM, 256 gigabytes of PCIe-based flash storage, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.0.
post #2 of 80
It amazes how they can spend such money to tear down the computer. I understand they want to be able to have a hands on approach to their repairs and I applaud them. Just funny the contrast compared to those who will be buying the machine for professional reasons.
post #3 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

It amazes how they can spend such money to tear down the computer. I understand they want to be able to have a hands on approach to their repairs and I applaud them. Just funny the contrast compared to those who will be buying the machine for professional reasons.

They also send an employee from Califronia, where they are located, to New Zealand (usually) to buy the newest iDevices to strip them down and take pictures in a hotel room the moment they go on sale. This means that employee isn't sleeping for about 24 hours straight between waiting in a line (usually first to arrive) for a store to open to completing the teardown which is uploaded to iFixit at each stage of the process.

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post #4 of 80

iFixit also claims that you can save $1,050 by upgrading the processors yourself ;)

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post #5 of 80
Looking at the two GPU logic boards I wonder if they are interchangeable. The connectors at least look the same. If they are, I wonder if one could use two of the same ones and have dual SSDs. I (peronsally) doubt this is the case but looking only at the connectors it doesn't look like Apple made a clear distinction in the HW connectors.

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post #6 of 80
I'm not seeing any wireless technologies in their teardown. I suspect the same as a commenter on their forum, that it's likely located in the same housing of the fan assembly along with an antenna, something they didn't break down.

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post #7 of 80
An iFixtt score of 8. That is impressive. It confirms my hunch that Apple has designers smart enough to design modular, easy to repair or upgrade hardware. All they need is an incentive. If they'd do the same for the MacBook Air, I might finally upgrade--and so would many others.

It wouldn't be that hard to create a MBA whose back is held on by Torx screws. Remove them and everything likely to need repair or upgrading would be visible. Even the battery could be held in place by Velcro rather than glue. I hate glue.
post #8 of 80
After a month of tech bloggers whining, whining, whining about how closed the Pro will be, it isn't. Surprise. Cue Leo Laporte.
post #9 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

An iFixtt score of 8. That is impressive. It confirms my hunch that Apple has designers smart enough to design modular, easy to repair or upgrade hardware. All they need is an incentive. If they'd do the same for the MacBook Air, I might finally upgrade--and so would many others.

It wouldn't be that hard to create a MBA whose back is held on by Torx screws. Remove them and everything likely to need repair or upgrading would be visible. Even the battery could be held in place by Velcro rather than glue. I hate glue.

The Mac Pro can be made larger and heavier with this sort of design without affecting usability. I don't think it's possible with a notebook, especially not the MBA. On top of the customers are very different, which isn't to say that Mac Pro buyers don't use notebooks but that the reasons one would buy a Mac Pro is not the same as one would buy a notebook. I really doubt you're going to see Mac notebooks become module designs that will get anywhere near an 8/10 repair rating.

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post #10 of 80
One look at the final pic of all the parts should show why this machine is truly a work of design and packaging magic. One truly is paying for style to cram all of these beautiful, custom-designed PCBs into a tiny package. How can anyone compare it to an ugly PC box?
post #11 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

An iFixtt score of 8. That is impressive. It confirms my hunch that Apple has designers smart enough to design modular, easy to repair or upgrade hardware. All they need is an incentive. If they'd do the same for the MacBook Air, I might finally upgrade--and so would many others.

It wouldn't be that hard to create a MBA whose back is held on by Torx screws. Remove them and everything likely to need repair or upgrading would be visible. Even the battery could be held in place by Velcro rather than glue. I hate glue.

Velcro would add quite a bit of thickness.  They couldn't make an easily upgradable laptop in the same form factor as the MacBook Air.  

post #12 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


The Mac Pro can be made larger and heavier with this sort of design without affecting usability. I don't think it's possible with a notebook, especially not the MBA. On top of the customers are very different, which isn't to say that Mac Pro buyers don't use notebooks but that the reasons one would buy a Mac Pro is not the same as one would buy a notebook. I really doubt you're going to see Mac notebooks become module designs that will get anywhere near an 8/10 repair rating.

Yes, but Apple has made the Mac Pro much, much smaller  and lighter than its predecessor while also making it easy to work on. That demolishes the old argument that a high-end computer has to be large and noisy to be powerful. There's no reason the same can't be true for the feature set of the MBA. After all, I'm not advocating the removal of any features of the MBA. I'm simply saying that they could be arranged much better.

 

For instance, my aging white MacBook isn't made any larger or heavier by the fact that I can pop out the battery and change both the hard drive and RAM in ten minutes. Clever design made that possible. Making it easy to remove the MacBook Air's back cover doesn't make it any thicker or heavier. And with that much open area, you don't need to be genius to make everything that matters easily accessible. And what is there that Apple is doing with all those awful gobs of glue that can't be done better with Velcro or some other more versatile fastener? Like the MacBook, a battery change, along with a RAM and SSD upgrade, should be doable in ten minutes..

 

You might want to read Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Among John Boyd's many accomplishments was slipping the nimble F-15 and F-16 fighters through a Pentagon bureaucracy that believed that to be powerful and long-ranged, a fighter plane had to be large and expensive.

 

In fact, everyone at Apple should read the book. He's a far better illustration of how being different can change the world than a cranky artist like Picasso. Here's what Booklist said about Boyd:

 

Quote:
The late Colonel John Boyd, United States Air Force, began his career as a supremely proficient fighter pilot in the Korean War, after which he went on to develop the concept of energy maneuvering that has been the basis for fighter tactics and designs for 30 years. He proceeded militantly to advocate simpler fighter designs and attracted a group of like-minded civilian and uniformed reformers, known as the Acolytes, who were mostly as unorthodox as he.

 

Every human activity can benefit from taking the time and making the effort to think differently. In my case, it's what I learned working at one of the country's top children's hospital. Excellence simply requires effort. Apple needs to make that effort with its laptops.

 

--Michael W. Perry, author of My Nights with Leukemia: Caring for Children with Cancer

post #13 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Looking at the two GPU logic boards I wonder if they are interchangeable. The connectors at least look the same. If they are, I wonder if one could use two of the same ones and have dual SSDs. I (peronsally) doubt this is the case but looking only at the connectors it doesn't look like Apple made a clear distinction in the HW connectors.

Now we hope that Apple will provide different exchangeable cards. I wish they sold a card meant for gaming. I dream of a 2000€ Mac Pro!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

One look at the final pic of all the parts should show why this machine is truly a work of design and packaging magic. One truly is paying for style to cram all of these beautiful, custom-designed PCBs into a tiny package. How can anyone compare it to an ugly PC box?

Totally agree, I thought the same. It's truly a beauty.
post #14 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
 

iFixit also claims that you can save $1,050 by upgrading the processors yourself ;)

 

iFixit is quoting MacRumors on this, who, in turn, is hedging its bets ("if not blocked by firmware")

post #15 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Yes, but Apple has made the Mac Pro much, much smaller  and lighter than its predecessor while also making it easy to work on. That demolishes the old argument that a high-end computer has to be large and noisy to be powerful. There's no reason the same can't be true for the feature set of the MBA.

I disagree. The Mac Pro was a beast that didn't shrink in size even when it was a Power Mac G5 in 2003. 2003! When they went to Intel they were able to add two more 3.5" HDDs and an ODD but it basically still had a lot of extra space for most of those years. I think what we're seeing isn't that Apple finding some amazing new way to build Macs but finally putting in the effort to build the Mac Pro with the same focus they have been building their notebooks for the last decade. There is also a lot less room to spare in their notebooks, especially their MBAs.

It makes sense to me that a workstation starting at $3K be more repairable by the customer or their in-house techs than with notebooks. That said, I would like their notebooks to be smaller and lighter but I don't want that to come at the cost of reducing performance or battery life, or getting thicker and larger so that a socketed CPU can be used.

Finally, remember this is assembled in the US, and it looks like it's done by hand. That makes sense given this breakdown and the number of units its expected to sell compared to all of Apple's notebooks but I can't see this carrying over to the MBA. Again, I hope I'm wrong.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #16 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

Now we hope that Apple will provide different exchangeable cards. I wish they sold a card meant for gaming. I dream of a 2000€ Mac Pro!
Totally agree, I thought the same. It's truly a beauty.

Maybe that's their goal here. It's finally only hit the market and Apple is notorious for starting small with manageable chunks an then building into more options and features after they have a solid foundation. I don't think it's unreasonable to think they could expand their card options in 2014.

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post #17 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by starxd View Post
 

Velcro would add quite a bit of thickness.  They couldn't make an easily upgradable laptop in the same form factor as the MacBook Air.  

 

Velcro badly place might add thickness. Velcro positioned perhaps to the sides rather than the bottom wouldn't. Remember this isn't Velcro used to attach a wing to a plane. It's used in an already heavily confined space just to prevent a tiny bit of movement. And I did note that other fasteners might be used. Almost anything but arc welding or reinforced concrete would be better than messy, difficult to remove glue.

 

I studied electrical engineering at the same school, Auburn University, where Tim Cook majored in industrial engineering a few years later. The campus is only about a fifteen minute walk from where I live now. A part of IE is designing products so they can be quickly assembled in a factory. The downside of that is that if that easy-to-build design is done badly, it can make repair and replacement difficult. That's one of the problems with many modern cars. You have to remove ten things to replace a water pump. 

 

It's brilliant design that makes a product easy to assembly and easy to repair. With its laptops and that ticky-tacky glue, in recent years Apple has been emphasizing the first at the expense of the latter. The Mac Pro shows that they have the smarts to do both. They simply need the will.

 

--Michael W. Perry, Auburn, AL

post #18 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Velcro badly place might add thickness. Velcro positioned perhaps to the sides rather than the bottom wouldn't. Remember this isn't Velcro used to attach a wing to a plane. It's used in an already heavily confined space just to prevent a tiny bit of movement. And I did note that other fasteners might be used. Almost anything but arc welding or reinforced concrete would be better than messy, difficult to remove glue.

I studied electrical engineering at the same school, Auburn University, where Tim Cook majored in industrial engineering a few years later. The campus is only about a fifteen minute walk from where I live now. A part of IE is designing products so they can be quickly assembled in a factory. The downside of that is that if that easy-to-build design is done badly, it can make repair and replacement difficult. That's one of the problems with many modern cars. You have to remove ten things to replace a water pump. 

It's brilliant design that makes a product easy to assembly and easy to repair. With its laptops and that ticky-tacky glue, in recent years Apple has been emphasizing the first at the expense of the latter. The Mac Pro shows that they have the smarts to do both. They simply need the will.

--Michael W. Perry, Auburn, AL

I agree with your sentiment but how often are people needing to swap out batteries in Mac notebooks? Is the cost and effort of what you suggest worth it to Apple?

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post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


 I think what we're seeing isn't that Apple finding some amazing new way to build Macs but finally putting in the effort to build the Mac Pro with the same focus they have been building their notebooks for the last decade. There is also a lot less room to spare in their notebooks, especially their MBAs.

 

Ah, but I'm not advocating that Apple add more stuff to a MBA. I'm simply pointing out that stuff could be more intelligently placed and attached. And I agree that Apple's has put a lot of effort into products like the MBA. They are beautifully designed. I'm merely suggesting that they add a new item to their overall checklist: improving the upgradability and repairability. Getting a 2 or a 3 on that from iFixit ought to be as unacceptable as having a 2 or 3 hour battery life.

 

In fact, about three years ago I was suggesting (perhaps a bit too loudly) that, if Apple got their laptop battery life above about 10-12 hours, it'd essentially be a forever battery, since few people can work longer than that without enough sleep to recharge the battery. Then, there were critics who equated a long battery life with thick and clunky. Now they equate repairability with thick and clunky. 

 

Not so, I say.

 

--Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien

post #20 of 80

Is that a circular board that I see?

 

This Mac Pro looks so futuristic.

post #21 of 80
Regarding upgrading CPU/GPU - don't forget about firmware - not that I have any reason to think that the firmware is different between say 8 core and 12 core models - but I don't have any reason to think that it is all the same for all models. Just saying that the ability to swap one processor for another with the same pinout doesn't guarantee that everything will work.

Back in the day I upgraded a G3 tower a couple of times and had to move jumpers and load new firmware - in the end that system didn't live nearly as long as I would have liked to justify the additional expense and I am not 100% sure that its death was related to the CPU upgrades - but anyway - it is nice to see at least the potential for easy upgrades - especially memory which Apple has historically charge at least twice what the open market sells the same parts for. Then again I am not sure I ever had an Apple labeled memory card fail - compared to two cards sitting on my desk waiting to be send back for warranty replacement (not Apple - but 1/4 the price of Apple parts at the time so perhaps worth the trouble).
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Ah, but I'm not advocating that Apple add more stuff to a MBA. I'm simply pointing out that stuff could be more intelligently placed and attached. And I agree that Apple's has put a lot of effort into products like the MBA. They are beautifully designed. I'm merely suggesting that they add a new item to their overall checklist: improving the upgradability and repairability. Getting a 2 or a 3 on that from iFixit ought to be as unacceptable as having a 2 or 3 hour battery life.

In fact, about three years ago I was suggesting (perhaps a bit too loudly) that, if Apple got their laptop battery life above about 10-12 hours, it'd essentially be a forever battery, since few people can work longer than that without enough sleep to recharge the battery. Then, there were critics who equated a long battery life with thick and clunky. Now they equate repairability with thick and clunky. 

Not so, I say.

--Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien

I think we're going to disagree on everything today. 1biggrin.gif I think a 10-12 hour battery is only the beginning of a decent — not great — battery life. Now compared to the competition the MBA has phenomenal battery life but I won't be satisfied with power efficiency and battery density until it can last a week with regular use.

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post #23 of 80
I want them to take apart the red one...
Ask me about.... The 80's!
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post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by MessagePad2100 View Post

Is that a circular board that I see?

This Mac Pro looks so futuristic.

The Google Nexus Q looks even more futuristic in that regard.

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post #25 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by marubeni View Post
 

 

iFixit is quoting MacRumors on this, who, in turn, is hedging its bets ("if not blocked by firmware")

In that case, I wish for a resourceful someone to tests it out. Appleinsider maybe? ;)

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post #26 of 80

I'm so jealous of people for whom this is an appropriate computer. It is just totally wrong for my needs (I need lots of CPU power, not lots of GPU power), but man is it a beautiful and elegant design! 

 

I know this will probably never happen, but if I'd love it if they sold a computer with a similar design, but with, say, 64 cyclone cores each running at 2 GHz, 64 GB of RAM, and a midrange GPU. 

post #27 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


The Google Nexus Q looks even more futuristic in that regard.

Those components, are so 80's 

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post #28 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

I want them to take apart the red one...

I still want to know the specs of the RED model. Whoever bought it paid a lot but if it's a 4-core with the slower GPUs, smallest SSD and least amount or RAM it's a $10K(?) difference than the 12-core with the fastest GPUs, 1TB SSD and 64GB RAM. I'd expect to be the latter but no where did I see it mentioned so I wonder why wouldn't that be noted as I'd think it would help with the sale if its pre-auction value is much higher than what one might assume.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #29 of 80
Apple should bring these to match the Mac Pro:

- Thunderbolt 2 matte display (24-inch) 4K and 3D with USB 3 and SD card reader.
- Wired extended keyboard with USB 3 hub built-in.
post #30 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppeX View Post

Apple should bring these to match the Mac Pro:

- Thunderbolt 2 matte display (24-inch) 4K and 3D with USB 3 and SD card reader.
- Wired extended keyboard with USB 3 hub built-in.

I guess 4K 3D is possible for playback since we're talking about app roc. 30fps x2, right? How are Hollywood 3D movies made? Would a Mac Pro even be used.

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post #31 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I think we're going to disagree on everything today. 1biggrin.gif I think a 10-12 hour battery is only the beginning of a decent — not great — battery life. Now compared to the competition the MBA has phenomenal battery life but I won't be satisfied with power efficiency and battery density until it can last a week with regular use.

I am sure battery life will continue to improve but to me the hoy grail would seem to be reduction of charge time. If a battery, any battery, could be charged in a matter of seconds it would have major impact on everything from smart phones to plug-in cars. 

 

Links to articles from 2011:

http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/11/batteries-energy-kung.html

http://www.techhive.com/article/243399/new_tech_can_reduce_battery_charging_time_to_mere_seconds.html

post #32 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

An iFixtt score of 8. That is impressive. It confirms my hunch that Apple has designers smart enough to design modular, easy to repair or upgrade hardware. All they need is an incentive. If they'd do the same for the MacBook Air, I might finally upgrade--and so would many others.
This statement wouldn't have been that bad until you mentioned the MBA. The MBA is exactly what you get when you engineer a compact high performance computer.
Quote:
It wouldn't be that hard to create a MBA whose back is held on by Torx screws.
Possibly but why the obsession with screws. I remember the days when people cried like little babies over Torx screws.
Quote:
Remove them and everything likely to need repair or upgrading would be visible. Even the battery could be held in place by Velcro rather than glue. I hate glue.
Glue adds significant mechanical advantages.
post #33 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stef View Post

After a month of tech bloggers whining, whining, whining about how closed the Pro will be, it isn't. Surprise. Cue Leo Laporte.

 

Laporte has become a regular iHating troll on his MacBreak Weekly podcast. He is constantly making snide comments and taking backhanded swipes at Apple products. Rene Ritchie and Alex Lindsay regularly have to bitch slap him down.

post #34 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The Mac Pro can be made larger and heavier with this sort of design without affecting usability. I don't think it's possible with a notebook, especially not the MBA. On top of the customers are very different, which isn't to say that Mac Pro buyers don't use notebooks but that the reasons one would buy a Mac Pro is not the same as one would buy a notebook. I really doubt you're going to see Mac notebooks become module designs that will get anywhere near an 8/10 repair rating.
Totally agree here! Comparing a MBA to a Mac Pro repair wise is asinine. Beyond that Apples laptop machines have come a very very long ways repair ability wise since my early 2008 MBP. In fact I'd say they are vastly improved repairability wise.
post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Looking at the two GPU logic boards I wonder if they are interchangeable. The connectors at least look the same. If they are, I wonder if one could use two of the same ones and have dual SSDs. I (peronsally) doubt this is the case but looking only at the connectors it doesn't look like Apple made a clear distinction in the HW connectors.

I can see no reason why two of the Taiwan-made GPUs couldn't be used, both with SSDs can you? Meanwhile, after finally wresting my Mac Pro from the evil clutches of UPS who seemed determined I'd never get it, it is gorgeous!

BTW: I can now explain to all those that asked ... 'how on earth you can rotate its case with wires in, to light up the rear panel?' It seems to have a motion detector . The slightest movement of the Mac Pro lights it up. You can't put your fingers in the fan. It is silent, it is tiny, it is totally portable, expansion is a breeze, it hardly gets warm and it is wickedly fast. The overwhelming emotion it engenders is love. 1biggrin.gif
Edited by digitalclips - 12/31/13 at 10:42am
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #36 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I still want to know the specs of the RED model. Whoever bought it paid a lot but if it's a 4-core with the slower GPUs, smallest SSD and least amount or RAM it's a $10K(?) difference than the 12-core with the fastest GPUs, 1TB SSD and 64GB RAM. I'd expect to be the latter but no where did I see it mentioned so I wonder why wouldn't that be noted as I'd think it would help with the sale if its pre-auction value is much higher than what one might assume.

At that price I'd think Apple would agree to annually take off the red case and put it one whatever the latest version at the top of the line is at that time, be it 12 Core, 24 Core ... for the next decade at least!
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #37 of 80
Quote:
"Non-proprietary Torx screws"

Since when are Torx screws proprietary. I've had a full set of Torx screw drivers and 3/8" sockets since the mid 70's. Enough already with this proprietary crap.
post #38 of 80

is it just me, or does the end of the Fan Unit (correction: Heat Sink) look remarkably similar to Darth Vader's triangular breathing mask?

Just saying :P

post #39 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Maybe that's their goal here. It's finally only hit the market and Apple is notorious for starting small with manageable chunks an then building into more options and features after they have a solid foundation. I don't think it's unreasonable to think they could expand their card options in 2014.

I'm not convinced one way or the other here. I'm pretty convinced that if Apple where to offer up a machine with a desktop GPU it would be in a different form factor. As for options, from Apples standpoint they already offer three options, why would they want to offer more custom cards for this machine.

Even then I see little long term advantage to Apple offering a machine with a discrete GPU beyond the high performance Mac Pro. If you look at what AMD and Intel have coming APU wise next year, I suspect we will see a rapid death of the discrete midrange GPU card. The only thing holding both companies back is fast enough RAM. I've been a long time advocate of AMD APUs in the likes of a Mini simply due to the far better GPU support than has been available form Intel in the past. This advocacy is due directly to the GPU being far more important to the under experience than many realize. Obviously Intel has almost caught up to AMD with its integrated GPU, but we have yet to see a Haswell based Mini.

In any event I ramble. The reality is there is little compelling reason for Apple to offer other GPU cards in the Mac Pro. I could see them offering both cards with SSD support but then again I wonder if they ran out of PCI Express lanes. In other words where is the advantage for Apple.
post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
 

You might want to read Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Among John Boyd's many accomplishments was slipping the nimble F-15 and F-16 fighters through a Pentagon bureaucracy that believed that to be powerful and long-ranged, a fighter plane had to be large and expensive.

 

The F-15 is not a small aircraft, not even in comparison to the alternative designs which would have ended up looking much like the F-14.  It's not much smaller or lighter than the F-4 it replaced.  The fact is even accounting for the energy-manuerverability theory a powerful, long ranged fighter like the F-15 is always larger and far expensive in comparison to a light weight fighter like the F-16.

 

Apple had a fighter like the F-15 in the old Mac Pro.  Now it has a very svelte light weight fighter like the F-16.  It may punch above it's weight class within it's domain but it lacks capabilities that other bigger workstations have.  

 

/shrug  

 

It's a nice machine well suited for many activities and reasonably priced for what it is.  There are many markets that Apple doesn't address.  Big expandable workstations are now among them.

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