Apple's Mac Pro 'cheese grater' is 12 years old, and is the best Mac ever made

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 57
    sandorsandor Posts: 507member
    sandor said:
    deminsd said:
    The difference between the cheese grater Mac Pro and the contemporary iMac is mainly internal vs. external expansion, not general expansion. I owned a 2009 Mac Pro and updated the RAM, drive space, boot drive, GPU, and added USB 3.0 support via a 3rd party card. However, I eventually had to move on from the Mac Pro because the old motherboard bottlenecked the GPU, and the WiFi and bluetooth standards were too old and also too problematic to try and update relative to the OS. Bottom line: the 2017 5K iMac that I bought as a replacement can expand in all the same areas as the Mac Pro, with the exception of adding a card internally for USB upgrades. Again, the main difference is whether or not the expansion is handled internally or externally, not whether it's supported at all.
    Can't upgrade the GPU in the iMac, which is one of the main reasons the old Mac Pro is still coveted today.  Drives?  Sure, external, but if you want RAID of 4 drives, not as cheap as just sliding in 4 drives.  Upgrade CPU(s) like in the Mac Pro?  Nope.  With the iMac, everything is external.  So while it's possible, it's not the same as the Mac Pro.
    The process to replace the processor in the iMac Pro is no less or more of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater.

    To be very, very clear. Apple has never endorsed CPU replacements, even if they were possible.

    Mike, that comment makes it seem like you have never removed the CPU tray from a cheese grater. Apple literally has instructions on how to do it.
    Incomparably easier than an iMac:

    (yes, Apple has never endorsed them, yes, they are completely possible. http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems.html )



    This isn't a CPU replacement. This is a tray replacement. The heat sink removal procedure with the long-handled Torx, the un-lidded processors on the 4,1, and the temperature sensor cable is a pain.

    Yeah, I know they're possible. The point of the remark was that not everything can get a processor swap. Many iMacs can't, for instance.

    Regarding the procedure, I stopped counting at 10 Mac Pro processor pair swaps and had a whole series about upgrading the 3,1 through 5,1 at another venue. And, I've done it three times on an iMac Pro, so I'm pretty sure I'm qualified to comment.

    You said that CPU replacement in the iMac Pro was no more or less of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater. 
    It is simply not true.

    Access to the CPU is the hurdle in the iMac Pro, not in the Mac Pro. *That* is why the 4 "clips" and single pull-out tray are of note.

    Yeah, i do miss the ZIF G3 233 mhz processor that i was able to drop in upgrades for, but the cheese graters arent much more difficult considering the extra heat dissipation necessary. And access to the CPU is far easier.
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 42 of 57
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    sandor said:
    sandor said:
    deminsd said:
    The difference between the cheese grater Mac Pro and the contemporary iMac is mainly internal vs. external expansion, not general expansion. I owned a 2009 Mac Pro and updated the RAM, drive space, boot drive, GPU, and added USB 3.0 support via a 3rd party card. However, I eventually had to move on from the Mac Pro because the old motherboard bottlenecked the GPU, and the WiFi and bluetooth standards were too old and also too problematic to try and update relative to the OS. Bottom line: the 2017 5K iMac that I bought as a replacement can expand in all the same areas as the Mac Pro, with the exception of adding a card internally for USB upgrades. Again, the main difference is whether or not the expansion is handled internally or externally, not whether it's supported at all.
    Can't upgrade the GPU in the iMac, which is one of the main reasons the old Mac Pro is still coveted today.  Drives?  Sure, external, but if you want RAID of 4 drives, not as cheap as just sliding in 4 drives.  Upgrade CPU(s) like in the Mac Pro?  Nope.  With the iMac, everything is external.  So while it's possible, it's not the same as the Mac Pro.
    The process to replace the processor in the iMac Pro is no less or more of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater.

    To be very, very clear. Apple has never endorsed CPU replacements, even if they were possible.

    Mike, that comment makes it seem like you have never removed the CPU tray from a cheese grater. Apple literally has instructions on how to do it.
    Incomparably easier than an iMac:

    (yes, Apple has never endorsed them, yes, they are completely possible. http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems.html )



    This isn't a CPU replacement. This is a tray replacement. The heat sink removal procedure with the long-handled Torx, the un-lidded processors on the 4,1, and the temperature sensor cable is a pain.

    Yeah, I know they're possible. The point of the remark was that not everything can get a processor swap. Many iMacs can't, for instance.

    Regarding the procedure, I stopped counting at 10 Mac Pro processor pair swaps and had a whole series about upgrading the 3,1 through 5,1 at another venue. And, I've done it three times on an iMac Pro, so I'm pretty sure I'm qualified to comment.

    You said that CPU replacement in the iMac Pro was no more or less of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater. 
    It is simply not true.

    Access to the CPU is the hurdle in the iMac Pro, not in the Mac Pro. *That* is why the 4 "clips" and single pull-out tray is about.

    Yeah, i do miss the ZIF G3 233 mhz processor that i was able to drop in upgrades for, but the cheese graters arent much more difficult considering the extra heat dissipation necessary. And access to the CPU is far easier.
    I understand where you're coming from, but I think you're glossing over lidless processors, bluloc-seized screws, and a few other factors.

    Out of curiosity, have you done an iMac Pro CPU replacement? The screen removal isn't terrible if you don't rush it.
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 43 of 57
    I've owned and integrated Macs of all shapes and sizes for years. I own a "trashcan" Mac Pro now, and it's a fantastic machine. I use it constantly for professional work. I've never understood the vitriol that it received from some "pros". I remember the benefits and the hassles of dealing with the "cheese graters". They were incredibly powerful and vastly more stable than anything available with a Windows OS. They were also huge and difficult to fit in equipment racks or even under desks in "professional" workspaces. They were upgradeable, but the list of actual available upgrade parts was pretty short. It often took months or years for vendors that would provide Mac support on "off-the-shelf" parts to actually roll it out. It was a great machine, but it was not all wine and roses as some would seem to suggest. My $0.02, as usual.
    dewme
  • Reply 44 of 57
    sandorsandor Posts: 507member
    sandor said:
    sandor said:
    deminsd said:
    The difference between the cheese grater Mac Pro and the contemporary iMac is mainly internal vs. external expansion, not general expansion. I owned a 2009 Mac Pro and updated the RAM, drive space, boot drive, GPU, and added USB 3.0 support via a 3rd party card. However, I eventually had to move on from the Mac Pro because the old motherboard bottlenecked the GPU, and the WiFi and bluetooth standards were too old and also too problematic to try and update relative to the OS. Bottom line: the 2017 5K iMac that I bought as a replacement can expand in all the same areas as the Mac Pro, with the exception of adding a card internally for USB upgrades. Again, the main difference is whether or not the expansion is handled internally or externally, not whether it's supported at all.
    Can't upgrade the GPU in the iMac, which is one of the main reasons the old Mac Pro is still coveted today.  Drives?  Sure, external, but if you want RAID of 4 drives, not as cheap as just sliding in 4 drives.  Upgrade CPU(s) like in the Mac Pro?  Nope.  With the iMac, everything is external.  So while it's possible, it's not the same as the Mac Pro.
    The process to replace the processor in the iMac Pro is no less or more of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater.

    To be very, very clear. Apple has never endorsed CPU replacements, even if they were possible.

    Mike, that comment makes it seem like you have never removed the CPU tray from a cheese grater. Apple literally has instructions on how to do it.
    Incomparably easier than an iMac:

    (yes, Apple has never endorsed them, yes, they are completely possible. http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems.html )



    This isn't a CPU replacement. This is a tray replacement. The heat sink removal procedure with the long-handled Torx, the un-lidded processors on the 4,1, and the temperature sensor cable is a pain.

    Yeah, I know they're possible. The point of the remark was that not everything can get a processor swap. Many iMacs can't, for instance.

    Regarding the procedure, I stopped counting at 10 Mac Pro processor pair swaps and had a whole series about upgrading the 3,1 through 5,1 at another venue. And, I've done it three times on an iMac Pro, so I'm pretty sure I'm qualified to comment.

    You said that CPU replacement in the iMac Pro was no more or less of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater. 
    It is simply not true.

    Access to the CPU is the hurdle in the iMac Pro, not in the Mac Pro. *That* is why the 4 "clips" and single pull-out tray is about.

    Yeah, i do miss the ZIF G3 233 mhz processor that i was able to drop in upgrades for, but the cheese graters arent much more difficult considering the extra heat dissipation necessary. And access to the CPU is far easier.
    I understand where you're coming from, but I think you're glossing over lidless processors, bluloc-seized screws, and a few other factors.

    Out of curiosity, have you done an iMac Pro CPU replacement? The screen removal isn't terrible if you don't rush it.

    No iMac Pros in the office - i have removed the screens of dozens of iMacs though, ranging from 2006 forward, with the most recent being a 5k 2017 model.

    I have upgraded the CPU on a half dozen cheese graters though.

    cornchip
  • Reply 45 of 57
    Really hope they make this thing scaleable and modular. So you can start out with something like a Mac mini, and add new pieces by clicking them on top or on the bottom. Then add modules for more CPU, PCI, I/O, GPU, RAM, Storage. And have them all connected by a super fast buss that connects through the stack as you add more. If they come out with a faster main buss in 5 years you can still make use of your old modules by moving them to the top or bottom. I think this would work well for both Apple and consumers, as you could build a super computer over 10 years that fits individual needs. Less waste by buying a new computer every 3 or 4 years because your old computer would still be part of the stack even if it does a lower percentage of the overall computing.
  • Reply 46 of 57
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 875member
    They needn't get rid of the trashcan design; just put some consumer-grade hardware in there (a core-series CPU and single decent graphics card), upgrade it to TB3/DDR4, add some extra SSD and RAM slots, and offer it as a mid-range headless Mac; maybe even a gaming-oriented Mac.  Something that could get the most out of the i9 as well because the MacBook Pro certainly can't!  Then, introduce a larger, modular, upgradeable Mac Pro with server/pro-level hardware for professionals who need workstation-class and scaleable hardware and performance.  Is it really that hard?  I doubt many pros requested the trashcan design for a professional system; it's hard to see how Apple came to that conclusion other than for planned obsolescence.

    This anniversary (of sorts) also got me thinking about the Jobs and post-Jobs eras of Apple.  I think the psychology at Apple post-Jobs is, and it may seem silly at first, lacking in confidence, at least in the Mac line, but in a stubborn kind of way.  Why do I think this?  Well products like the trashcan Mac Pro and the 2016-era MacBook Pro scream over-compensation to me.  Kind of like the cliche of a middle-aged man buying a convertible because of a mid-life crisis.  To me it's more confident to say "you know what, our product doesn't have to be the smallest, thinnest, lightest, most radical or futuristic-looking computer possible, especially if that means significant compromises for the user" which these computers undoubtedly had.  Form should always follow function, not the other way around.  You can make anything beautiful, even if function necessitates a larger design, but Apple seems to equate beauty only with being small and slim at the expense of function; and now they're addicted to thinness.  If they were a person you'd say they have anorexia nervosa.

    Also, if anyone is going through MLC, I think a restored classic car is way cooler than an expensive new one.  Maybe there are parallels with the Mac Pro, just a thought. :D
    edited August 2018 cornchip
  • Reply 47 of 57
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,436administrator
    sandor said:
    sandor said:
    sandor said:
    deminsd said:
    The difference between the cheese grater Mac Pro and the contemporary iMac is mainly internal vs. external expansion, not general expansion. I owned a 2009 Mac Pro and updated the RAM, drive space, boot drive, GPU, and added USB 3.0 support via a 3rd party card. However, I eventually had to move on from the Mac Pro because the old motherboard bottlenecked the GPU, and the WiFi and bluetooth standards were too old and also too problematic to try and update relative to the OS. Bottom line: the 2017 5K iMac that I bought as a replacement can expand in all the same areas as the Mac Pro, with the exception of adding a card internally for USB upgrades. Again, the main difference is whether or not the expansion is handled internally or externally, not whether it's supported at all.
    Can't upgrade the GPU in the iMac, which is one of the main reasons the old Mac Pro is still coveted today.  Drives?  Sure, external, but if you want RAID of 4 drives, not as cheap as just sliding in 4 drives.  Upgrade CPU(s) like in the Mac Pro?  Nope.  With the iMac, everything is external.  So while it's possible, it's not the same as the Mac Pro.
    The process to replace the processor in the iMac Pro is no less or more of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater.

    To be very, very clear. Apple has never endorsed CPU replacements, even if they were possible.

    Mike, that comment makes it seem like you have never removed the CPU tray from a cheese grater. Apple literally has instructions on how to do it.
    Incomparably easier than an iMac:

    (yes, Apple has never endorsed them, yes, they are completely possible. http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems.html )



    This isn't a CPU replacement. This is a tray replacement. The heat sink removal procedure with the long-handled Torx, the un-lidded processors on the 4,1, and the temperature sensor cable is a pain.

    Yeah, I know they're possible. The point of the remark was that not everything can get a processor swap. Many iMacs can't, for instance.

    Regarding the procedure, I stopped counting at 10 Mac Pro processor pair swaps and had a whole series about upgrading the 3,1 through 5,1 at another venue. And, I've done it three times on an iMac Pro, so I'm pretty sure I'm qualified to comment.

    You said that CPU replacement in the iMac Pro was no more or less of a pain in the ass than the Mac Pro cheese grater. 
    It is simply not true.

    Access to the CPU is the hurdle in the iMac Pro, not in the Mac Pro. *That* is why the 4 "clips" and single pull-out tray is about.

    Yeah, i do miss the ZIF G3 233 mhz processor that i was able to drop in upgrades for, but the cheese graters arent much more difficult considering the extra heat dissipation necessary. And access to the CPU is far easier.
    I understand where you're coming from, but I think you're glossing over lidless processors, bluloc-seized screws, and a few other factors.

    Out of curiosity, have you done an iMac Pro CPU replacement? The screen removal isn't terrible if you don't rush it.

    No iMac Pros in the office - i have removed the screens of dozens of iMacs though, ranging from 2006 forward, with the most recent being a 5k 2017 model.

    I have upgraded the CPU on a half dozen cheese graters though.

    You should try it when you get a chance! It's not the easiest, but it is fun.
    sandor
  • Reply 48 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Even the white iMac disassembly wasn’t a nightmare, at least, after you use a handled metal cheese slicer (instead of a credit card) to pop the front cover off.
  • Reply 49 of 57
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,010member
    Really liked my Cheese Grater Mac Pro, but the one I have the fondest memories of are my Quadra 840AV. First "high-end" computer I could afford to buy with my own money and checking on Wikipedia, I can see I spent almost $6,000 in today's money on it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_Quadra_840AV
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 50 of 57
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,414member
    The "cheese grater" Mac Pro was indeed a tough, dependable (at least in some incarnations) and workhorse Mac, but "best ever" is a very loaded term. "Not for my mother it wasn't" would be my snap reply, and not really for me, either. My nomination for the best Mac ever would be -- actually -- the highly-upgradeable and dependable computer I'm typing this on, a 2012 MacBook Pro.

    This model had USB 3.0 before that had really gone mainstream, Bluetooth 4.0 before that went mainstream, Thunderbolt (okay, v1, but still -- faster than any other connector at the time and still faster than everything but some USB-C varieties and later Thunderbolts), and the option of a retina display. Swap out the old HD for SSD and max out the ram to 16GB, and you have in 2018 a machine that isn't out-of-date for 90+ percent of the things typical users really use it for. All this and an SD card slot, booya! :)
    muthuk_vanalingamcornchip
  • Reply 51 of 57
    smalmsmalm Posts: 656member
    I own Mac Pro 2009. 
    And in 2018 the only Mac I consider to replace it with is a Mac Pro 2012...
    cornchip
  • Reply 52 of 57
    sandorsandor Posts: 507member
    chasm said:
    The "cheese grater" Mac Pro was indeed a tough, dependable (at least in some incarnations) and workhorse Mac, but "best ever" is a very loaded term. "Not for my mother it wasn't" would be my snap reply, and not really for me, either. My nomination for the best Mac ever would be -- actually -- the highly-upgradeable and dependable computer I'm typing this on, a 2012 MacBook Pro.

    This model had USB 3.0 before that had really gone mainstream, Bluetooth 4.0 before that went mainstream, Thunderbolt (okay, v1, but still -- faster than any other connector at the time and still faster than everything but some USB-C varieties and later Thunderbolts), and the option of a retina display. Swap out the old HD for SSD and max out the ram to 16GB, and you have in 2018 a machine that isn't out-of-date for 90+ percent of the things typical users really use it for. All this and an SD card slot, booya! :)

    i am close to agreeing - we just upgraded three 2012-bodied 13" MacBook Pros - for a while they were getting modest processor upgrades & being sold at $999.
    They were each 16 GB RAM/4 TB SSD - so Apple finally delivering a MacBook with 4 TB internal storage is what allowed us to get something modern.

    They were workhorses, and you could get even more storage internally by swapping out the DVD, but we easily had 4-5 replaced under Applecare for GPU failure (similar symptoms as the 15" recalled MacBooks, but there was never an official recall)
  • Reply 53 of 57
    The "cheese-greater" MacPro was, by a mile, the best computer ever made by Apple. Its expandability has kept mine going for over a decade. I've used it to carry out the most mundane tasks to competing with PC gamers.

    Apple is good ta recognising what consumers generally want but are absolutely hopeless when it comes to catering for a smaller but sizeable number of its customers. When I realised "the weapon level" MacPro was not only multitaskingly excellent at processing video and RAW images I discovered a number of gamers who had similarly realised their new MacPro was not only great for work but play too. Some of us even managed to persuade fence-sitters to join us from the dark-side. My pride in Apple design and engineering reached its zenith. The innards of that user configurable MacPro made the insides of every PC look like shanty-towns erected precariously on rain soaked mountainsides. It was a thing of beauty far deeper than its skin.

    Then Apple regressed to making their Pro products almost as difficult to configure as their consumer level computers. Every iteration of every Apple product since has become increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to upgrade or extend longevity.

    When my workaday MacMini's and iMac's kick the buckets they will sadly be the last Apple product I ever purchase. I fought tooth and nail for their reputation during the dark ages when Apple was close to collapse. I applauded and defended Steve Jobs' rise from the ashes. Apple is now the asset largest company the world has ever known which makes each and every one of us an irrelevant statistic.

    I hope Apple will again give its Pro users a computer they can mould into the machine of their choosing.
  • Reply 54 of 57
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,010member
    The "cheese-greater" MacPro was, by a mile, the best computer ever made by Apple. Its expandability has kept mine going for over a decade. I've used it to carry out the most mundane tasks to competing with PC gamers.

    Apple is good ta recognising what consumers generally want but are absolutely hopeless when it comes to catering for a smaller but sizeable number of its customers. When I realised "the weapon level" MacPro was not only multitaskingly excellent at processing video and RAW images I discovered a number of gamers who had similarly realised their new MacPro was not only great for work but play too. Some of us even managed to persuade fence-sitters to join us from the dark-side. My pride in Apple design and engineering reached its zenith. The innards of that user configurable MacPro made the insides of every PC look like shanty-towns erected precariously on rain soaked mountainsides. It was a thing of beauty far deeper than its skin.

    Then Apple regressed to making their Pro products almost as difficult to configure as their consumer level computers. Every iteration of every Apple product since has become increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to upgrade or extend longevity.

    When my workaday MacMini's and iMac's kick the buckets they will sadly be the last Apple product I ever purchase. I fought tooth and nail for their reputation during the dark ages when Apple was close to collapse. I applauded and defended Steve Jobs' rise from the ashes. Apple is now the asset largest company the world has ever known which makes each and every one of us an irrelevant statistic.

    I hope Apple will again give its Pro users a computer they can mould into the machine of their choosing.
    Based on the new MacBook Pros which just came out, I’m expecting a lot of disappointment from pros once these new Mac Pros are finally revealed. Pros want power and customizability. I don’t know if Apple has it in them to deliver what these particular customers demand anymore. There is no rational argument to support the kinds of delays they have been going through.
    edited August 2018 bloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 55 of 57
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    The "cheese-greater" MacPro was, by a mile, the best computer ever made by Apple. Its expandability has kept mine going for over a decade. I've used it to carry out the most mundane tasks to competing with PC gamers.

    Apple is good ta recognising what consumers generally want but are absolutely hopeless when it comes to catering for a smaller but sizeable number of its customers. When I realised "the weapon level" MacPro was not only multitaskingly excellent at processing video and RAW images I discovered a number of gamers who had similarly realised their new MacPro was not only great for work but play too. Some of us even managed to persuade fence-sitters to join us from the dark-side. My pride in Apple design and engineering reached its zenith. The innards of that user configurable MacPro made the insides of every PC look like shanty-towns erected precariously on rain soaked mountainsides. It was a thing of beauty far deeper than its skin.

    Then Apple regressed to making their Pro products almost as difficult to configure as their consumer level computers. Every iteration of every Apple product since has become increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to upgrade or extend longevity.

    When my workaday MacMini's and iMac's kick the buckets they will sadly be the last Apple product I ever purchase. I fought tooth and nail for their reputation during the dark ages when Apple was close to collapse. I applauded and defended Steve Jobs' rise from the ashes. Apple is now the asset largest company the world has ever known which makes each and every one of us an irrelevant statistic.

    I hope Apple will again give its Pro users a computer they can mould into the machine of their choosing.
    Based on the new MacBook Pros which just came out, I’m expecting a lot of disappointment from pros once these new Mac Pros are finally revealed. Pros want power and customizability. I don’t know if Apple has it in them to deliver what these particular customers demand anymore. There is no rational argument to support the kinds of delays they have been going through.
    Apple is claiming several things for the new Mac Pro. Modularity so that the machine can be upgraded. The hint was that upgradability would be easy and good for years to come. 

    Two is that they have been working with some well known pros in various fields to understand, so that they can deliver, what is needed for most efficient workflow. Their claim also is that the complete reworking of what a pro Mac is, will be significant, and that they’ve learned from their mistake with the 2013 model.

    my thinking is that they also don’t want to come out with a pci 3 bus, but want to go with the newly approved pci 4 bus that’s not yet in use, for the most upgradability for the future. The pci 3 bus will be on its way out beginning in 2019. In addition, we can be sure that Apple knows the state of the art in the industry far better than we pretend to know. Therefore, it’s possible that Intel will be coming out with TB 4 next year, and that Intel said that TB would eventually reach 100Gbs in a decade. That date may be off, but there’s no reason to believe that Intel isn’t still making progress there.

    ao there could be a number of very good, and logical reasons why the new Mac Pro isn’t here yet. If Apple just wanted to have another high end machine, they could have done it already.
  • Reply 56 of 57
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    I was reading about Intel’s Chips expected the end of 2018 to early-mid 2019.  Several things of interest.

    one is that those ships will enable X-Point RAM from Intel. Fir anyone following this, it’s a big step.

    the second is that these chips, well, it’s easier to just post the l8nk to anandrech on this.

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/13194/intel-shows-xeon-2018-2019-roadmap-cooper-lakesp-and-ice-lakesp-confirmed

    it occurs to me that Apple could also be waiting for these.
  • Reply 57 of 57
    chasm said:
    The "cheese grater" Mac Pro was indeed a tough, dependable (at least in some incarnations) and workhorse Mac, but "best ever" is a very loaded term. "Not for my mother it wasn't" would be my snap reply, and not really for me, either. My nomination for the best Mac ever would be -- actually -- the highly-upgradeable and dependable computer I'm typing this on, a 2012 MacBook Pro.

    This model had USB 3.0 before that had really gone mainstream, Bluetooth 4.0 before that went mainstream, Thunderbolt (okay, v1, but still -- faster than any other connector at the time and still faster than everything but some USB-C varieties and later Thunderbolts), and the option of a retina display. Swap out the old HD for SSD and max out the ram to 16GB, and you have in 2018 a machine that isn't out-of-date for 90+ percent of the things typical users really use it for. All this and an SD card slot, booya! :)
    As 'puter literate as your dear mum may be, I suspect a MacPro would be about as useful to her as taking trips to the shops using a NASA Space Shuttle.

    Apple concentrate their product functionality around making it as much of a finished consumer product as, say a TV or a toaster. People don't mess about with their white-goods products; they're purchased and used till they drop. Wintelinux PC's/Mac's are akin to family cars; contraptions many purchasers of which are itchin' to soup-up from the get-go. In Macopolis quite a few of us simply love personalising our Mac's with the best/cutting-edge tech we can squeeze in to our creations. We also had the ability to put any operating system on to any of our hot-pluggable HDD's, and best of all we could run everything in 64bit. That greater cheese could smoke many high-end PC's and came with hardware/firmware/software tech many PC users would have to wait a number of years for.

    So, I'm really looking for Apple to not drop the ball on the next MacPro. 
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