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Apple's Mac Pro to sport modified Power Mac enclosure

post #1 of 301
Thread Starter 
Contrary to published reports, Apple Computer does not plan to introduce new enclosures alongside its first Intel-based Mac Pro desktops and will instead employ only slightly modified Power Mac G5 casings, AppleInsider has learned.

The current Power Mac G5 enclosure -- first detailed by AppleInsider back in June of 2003 -- is believed to be well suited for Apple's first Intel-based professional desktops due to the similarities in size and shape between the new Mac Pro logic-board and the one presently shipping in the Power Mac G5.

People familiar with plans for the next-generation Apple desktops say there appear to be only a couple of cosmetic differences between the Mac Pro and Power Mac G5 casings, specifically the addition of a second optical disc drive slot on the face of the Mac Pro.

In a move that is somewhat reminiscent of recent Windows PC designs, Apple also appears to have relocated the computer's power supply from the base of the unit up towards the top, those same people say.

The additional optical disc drive slot and bay are likely to ship empty in the first Mac Pros, which will allow users to adopt emerging but pricey high-definition DVD drive standards, such as Blu-ray and HD-DVD, at their discretion.

Artist rendition of Apple's forthcoming Mac Pro desktops, click for larger image.

Sources previously reported that Apple has chosen Intel's relatively new dual-core Xeon 5100 (Woodcrest) series of processors to power the next-generation desktops, and that models will be available in both single and dual processor configurations.

Since AppleInsider's report on the subject, an unauthenticated Mac Pro product specifications sheet has been making the rounds, indicating that Apple may forgo inclusion of Intel's 3.0GHz Xeon 5160 chip in its three Mac Pro standard configurations.

Rumored but unconfirmed Mac Pro specs, click for larger image.

The spec sheet, which was sent to several other Mac news sites, is being posted by AppleInsider purely for speculative purposes. Of interest, it suggests that Apple will return to using graphics chips from ATI Technologies within its professional Mac desktops, similar to a move the company made with the Intel-based iMac and MacBook Pro.
post #2 of 301
Dual Optical drives are nice. Especially considering the dueling blue laser formats.

I wonder if they were able to squeeze in another drive bay. I'd love to see at least 3 (minimum for RAID-5)
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post #3 of 301
So there will there be a second eject key on the keyboard or summin? Or maybe you need to press different keyboard combinations to open the different drives, say 'Eject' for the factory installed drive and 'Eject' and 'Down' for the second drive.
post #4 of 301
Well, to start with, I really don't trust that spec chart. For starters, when the MBP gets Merom, it'll be faster than the 'Good' Mac Pro. Also, what's the point in differentiating between a 250 and 320 Gb HDs?

Finally, Apple will lose a huge amount of respect from me if they decide to have WiFi and BT as BTO. - The parts are really, really cheap now, and standard on all other models. This, for me, totally discredits these specs.

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post #5 of 301
I like the idea of the second optical drive bay for future upgrading. I wish / hope that they can find a way to increase the internal HD bays to at least 3 instead of just 2. Also I wish / hope that there are 2 FW400 ports on the back + the one on the front.

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post #6 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by iMacfan
For starters, when the MBP gets Merom, it'll be faster than the 'Good' Mac Pro.

Comparing clock rates has been a good idea since when, exactly?
post #7 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
Comparing clock rates has been a good idea since when, exactly?

But - IIRC - Merom IS Woodcrest, without dual processor ability and a bit less cache.

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post #8 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by iMacfan
But - IIRC - Merom IS Woodcrest, without dual processor ability and a bit less cache.

Less (half the) cache is very significant, as is lower FSB (667/800 MHz vs. 1333).
post #9 of 301
On the spec sheet is that one or two woodcrest processors for each configuration?
post #10 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
On the spec sheet is that one or two woodcrest processors for each configuration?

It says.

The first two are one, the third is two.
post #11 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Craigb6
So there will there be a second eject key on the keyboard or summin? Or maybe you need to press different keyboard combinations to open the different drives, say 'Eject' for the factory installed drive and 'Eject' and 'Down' for the second drive.


When you have 2+ optical drives on a Mac the optical drive status shows up in the menu bar. The button ejects whatever has media in it starting with the top drive. If they're both empty it does the top. At least this is the way it worked in my old G4.

Quote:
In a move that is somewhat reminiscent of recent Windows PC designs, Apple also appears to have relocated the computer's power supply from the base of the unit up towards the top, those same people say.

This isn't something companies are just deciding to do. This is because BTX specs from Intel require it. They rearranged the case for better airflow over the northbridge, the cpu, and the GPU. I'd assume the Mac Pro will be a BTX design.
post #12 of 301
I can't see the power supply being at the top of the machine. It's a horrid design flaw, given that the power cord will then be in the way of any PCIe cards, and all the common cables (USB, Ethernet, Audio, etc).

I also don't see a reason as to why Apple would move the power supply up, given that in G5 machines, it's entirely isolated from the rest of the computer, allowing it's own air channel and keeping it's radiated heat out of the main bay. I call bullshit, at least in regards to the power supply being moved up.

That's not elegant. That's not Apple.
post #13 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
It says.

The first two are one, the third is two.

Sorry I missed that. That's disappointing. No way will iMac get the 2.4 ghz conroe chip anytime soon. It would be faster than the Mac Pros. Hope Apple exceeds expectations. They have for the most part recently.
post #14 of 301
The prices seem out of alignment with the rest of the PC industry. Apple's going to be criticized heavily with these specs. Apple needs to step up and make room for 3 drive bays for raid 5, et al.

Apple will need to provide not just a more expensive computer, but value for the cost. It will need to perform well. 2x2 processors in the top-2 systems will get it there. Shipping systems with 320GB+320GB RAID doesn't cost much either. That'll show Apple is serious about workstation performance.

It's all about the software of course, but Apple had a good thing going with high-performance computing on the G5. The Mac Pro will need something extra to keep Apple as a leader in HPC. Otherwise, cheaper systems will be had with equal or greater performance.

The G5 is one expensive enclosure. Apple needs to pack it full of industry-leading technology to add value to the price.
post #15 of 301
Crap specs.

What exactly is the point of paying a higher price for woodcrest when you only use one. Why not use a conroe?

Conroe supports up to 4MB cache just like the specs here, and the fsb is 1066MHz, slightly slower than woodcrest's 1333, but not remotely worth the money.

I'm guessing an imminent move by Apple to using conroe in the iMac and a low end conroe based Mac Pro (a headless iMac (with elephantitis of the torso ) maybe just called "Mac"), and then three models of Mac Pro using Woodcrest, all quad.

Conroe Mac (Pro) = $1599 (ok...I know this is wishfull thinking...)
Mac Pro Quad 2.33 = $1999
MPQuad2.66 = $2599
MPQuad3.0 = $3299

built-in wireless is a no brainer, and I'm guessing they go for more internal drive-bays and PCI slots.
post #16 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
Less (half the) cache is very significant, as is lower FSB (667/800 MHz vs. 1333).

Huh? Last time I checked, the 2,0 Woodcrest and the upper versions of Merom have the same amounts of cache, 4 MB.

In any case, that low end Mac Pro is not very good value. A E6600 Conroe, the x1600pro and motherboard is about $600.* I doubt the rest of the machine is worth $1100. I call this one false.

*Comparing the Conroe instead of the Woodcrest, since Woodcrest motherboards are much more expensive, and bring no additional benefit over ordinary desktop boards.


In any case, this is pretty much no performance increase in almost a year. (I expect 10% at most.) I call bullshit.
post #17 of 301
Stupid double posting...
post #18 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Zandros
Huh? Last time I checked, the 2,0 Woodcrest and the upper versions of Merom have the same amounts of cache, 4 MB.

Yes, true. My mistake. My point regarding FSB speed stands, however: Merom will have 667 MHz for now and 800 MHz later on; low-end Woodcrests will have 1067 MHz whereas the rest will have 1333 MHz. That's quite a difference.
post #19 of 301
Apple doesnt have a history of introducing all new Pro machines in old cases, I for one will be dissappointed with another aluminum radiator. Iam expecting a brand new case with some style. I hope this article is wrong.
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post #20 of 301
Perhaps the biggest blunder in these specs / mockups is the lack of eSATA ports. If true, that's seriously disappointing.
post #21 of 301
The reason they would move the power supply to the top of the machine makes complete sense. Think about it -- the power supply generates a lot of heat. Heat rises. Having it at the bottom of the computer this whole time was contributing a lot to the high temperatures of the computer. Putting it at the top of the machine will allow the air to stay at the top and be blown out, leaving the rest of the computer cooler.

I really don't think the power cable will get in the way that much, so it shouldn't be a big deal.
post #22 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Apple doesnt have a history of introducing all new Pro machines in old cases,

Oh, really?

The G1s used virtually the same cases as the late Quadras.
The G2s used slightly modified G1 cases.
The beige G3s used the same case as the late G2s (e.g., 9600).
The original G4s used, color aside, the same case as the Yosemite G3s.

The first time a Quadra/Power Mac's generational change also immediately triggered a new case design was the G5.
post #23 of 301
edit: never mind.
post #24 of 301
Only 512MB Ram for 1799? SCREW THAT
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post #25 of 301
Will the new machines still require fluid cooling? If not, how much will that affect pricing?
post #26 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Craigb6
So there will there be a second eject key on the keyboard or summin? Or maybe you need to press different keyboard combinations to open the different drives, say 'Eject' for the factory installed drive and 'Eject' and 'Down' for the second drive.

They had this already with the G4 towers. I believe you ejected the second drive with shift-eject. Also, the eject menu lists both options (and shows key commands). Works well.

I totally agree that wifi and bluetooth should be included standard now that they're included in even the cheapest macs. Also agree that they need at least one more hd bay. And I have to say I'm still skeptical that they'll go with single xeon, seems like a big waste of money and very uncompetitive with PC's.

Thumbs down for 512 in the base model, EVERY mac should have at least a gig, and the towers could ship with more.

Quote:
Originally posted by Naraa Haras
The prices seem out of alignment with the rest of the PC industry. Apple's going to be criticized heavily with these specs. Apple needs to step up and make room for 3 drive bays for raid 5, et al.

Have you looked at PC's with these chips? For comparison, Dell's towers with these CPU configs run $2400/2600/3700. Honestly, I think these numbers are unrealistically low - this whole list looks bogus to me.
post #27 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
In a move that is somewhat reminiscent of recent Windows PC designs, Apple also appears to have relocated the computer's power supply from the base of the unit up towards the top, those same people say.

"Recent Windows PC designs?" Correct me if I'm wrong, but every tower I've seen since the early 90s has had the power supply at the top, behind the main drive bays. Even Apple's own towers up through the G4s did. It's not like this is something new for Windows PCs or Apple.

Very disappointing with the dearth of hard drive bays. These Intel processors aren't supposed to need the giant heat sinks of the G5, so what are they doing with all the empty space inside?
post #28 of 301
Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't see the advantage of using Woodcrest without using two processors. Conroe would give excellent performance, close to woodcrest in single processor configurations, with less cost. If Apple is going with single processor woodcrest machines, better crank up the clock speed, 2.0 ghz ain't cutting it IMO.


Sorry DCQ, saw that you said the same thing, only better.
post #29 of 301
i don't beleive any of this story
post #30 of 301
Dual Ethernet? Would be nice, but somehow, I think this is fake.

Hope they stick with similar cases to the Power Macs though.
post #31 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
Dual Ethernet? Would be nice, but somehow, I think this is fake.

Hope they stick with similar cases to the Power Macs though.

Erm, why wouldn't they have dual ethernet? The current G5s do...
post #32 of 301
The second optical slot is a welcome return. Apple should have been able to offer it sooner.

Hopefully their will be room for 3 HDD bays. I'm surprised no one is complaining about 4 PCI slots. How many people would really fill 6 anyway.

I seriously doubt Apple will actually limit Mac Pro choices only to ATI and completely leave out Nvidia. Even if they did why would they stay limited to the X1800 GTO at the top end?

The power plug at the top of the case seems dumb and unApplelike, lets hope that's not really what they do.

It seems they could ship a 500GB HDD with the top end model considering there are 750GB drives now.

512MB of RAM seems pretty silly at this point, I agree they should ship at least 1GB in their pro desktop.

To look at it another way though if Apple did offer a lower cost desktop model for consumer and small business, professional businesses would probably not care about the Mac Pro shipping with slim amount of HDD or RAM. They would load it up with what they need any way.
post #33 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorya
Erm, why wouldn't they have dual ethernet? The current G5s do...

Yeah, guess I forgot the newer ones have that (which I would've known if I'd looked at the new one we got today).

Still, I don't have a lot of confidence in this story.
post #34 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell

I seriously doubt Apple will actually limit Mac Pro choices only to ATI and completely leave out Nvidia. Even if they did why would they stay limited to the X1800 GTO at the top end?

Especially since the 7800 GT is better.
post #35 of 301
leaving the option open for either Hd-DVD or Blu-ray was a good choice.
post #36 of 301
This does not compute. If the specs are true, it'd be a real disappointment. If the cheese grater front stays the same, another disappointment. A Woodcrest mobo would use SATA2, for one thing. For another, the memory would be different. Apple certainly needs to offer a configuration that includes a pair of 3 GHz Woodies, even as a BTO option.

How about 4 HD slots? How about a pair of 16x PCI Express slots instead of 1? At least let gamer types put together SLI graphics. Of course, it's possible to have a twin-GPU card with single slot SLI. How about including an option like that?

Speaking of graphics cards, how about an ATI X1900 series or a GeForce 7900 series option? There should also be options for workstation graphics cards.

Come on, already! We were promised 3 GHz years ago. Now that it's finally possible, offer the damn thing.
post #37 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Rolo
Come on, already! We were promised 3 GHz years ago. Now that it's finally possible, offer the damn thing.

I'm inclined to agree with you here, Rolo. Steve wants to be able to stand up and say: "See: now I can fulfill that 3ghz promise." That said, it wouldn't surprise me if the 3ghz offering were higher-priced than $3299, given that I'm sure they'll be (among) the most expensive processors Intel offers.

And what would be the rational for not putting 3ghz in there now, if they're available? To have something for the Xserve that's higher-end?

Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
The new Mac Pro desktops will represent the last of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's personal computer systems to transition from IBM's PowerPC-based processors to Intel's chips. And sources who have crossed paths with pre-production units claim they will rival, if not exceed in speed, the most powerful personal computer systems on the market today.

I notice AppleInsider's emphasis on the word "personal," suggesting that the Xserve update might come after the Mac Pro. But I wonder, if these specs were to be true, would we see the introduction of higher-end, workstation-class mac (beyond the Mac Pro, maybe with more drive bays or slots or something?) that would include the 3ghz processors?
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post #38 of 301
WWDC is only a few weeks away. I'm eager to see what's announced. Oh yeah, we'll see the preview of Leopard too.
post #39 of 301
Four USB ports, two of which are 1.1 and on the keyboard?
Come on...I know pros use Firewire, but they also use USB 2.0.

There needs to be at least four or five free USB 2.0 ports.
Many PC's actually have seven.
post #40 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by satchmo
Four USB ports, two of which are 1.1 and on the keyboard?
Come on...I know pros use Firewire, but they also use USB 2.0.

There needs to be at least four or five free USB 2.0 ports.
Many PC's actually have seven.

Don't worry! Even the Mac Mini has 4 USB 2.0 ports ...
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