Apple's Mac Pro to sport modified Power Mac enclosure

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 300
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,429member
    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)
  • Reply 2 of 300
    craigb6craigb6 Posts: 16member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 300
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    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.



    David
  • Reply 4 of 300
    jbcarojbcaro Posts: 47member
    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.



    jbcaro
  • Reply 5 of 300
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 300
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    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.



    David
  • Reply 7 of 300
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    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).
  • Reply 8 of 300
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    On the spec sheet is that one or two woodcrest processors for each configuration?
  • Reply 9 of 300
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 300
    york2600york2600 Posts: 13member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 300
    zangzang Posts: 10member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 300
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 300
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 300
    dcqdcq Posts: 349member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 300
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 300
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Stupid double posting...
  • Reply 17 of 300
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 300
    auroraaurora Posts: 1,142member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 300
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Perhaps the biggest blunder in these specs / mockups is the lack of eSATA ports. If true, that's seriously disappointing.
  • Reply 20 of 300
    westwest Posts: 34member
    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.
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