Stuart Breckenridge

New Mac Pro, Pro Display, and Pro iMacs

Apple held an on-the-record discussion with several technology journalists in which they announced that they’d be launching a completely redesigned Mac Pro, a Pro display, and Pro iMacs. What I found interesting about this discussion was that none of these products are ready to be shown. Apple doesn’t announce the release of products that are still in development.

It has to be asked, though: what choice did they have?

The Current Mac Pro

The current Mac Pro has been criminally neglected: no updates whatsoever since its release in 2013. Today, though, Apple are making minor tweaks to the configuration. Phil Schiller, transcribed at Daring Fireball:

In the meantime, we’re going to update the configs to make it faster and better for their dollar. This is not a new model, not a new design, we’re just going to update the configs. We’re doing that this week. We can give you the specifics on that.

The CPUs, we’re moving them down the line. The GPUs, down the line, to get more performance per dollar for customers who DO need to continue to buy them on the interim until we get to a newly architected system.

This is a welcome move, but it strikes me as a bit cheap. I feel as though the price should have been dropped a little as well — it’s also been the same since launch.

Apple also admitted to the shortcomings of the current Mac Pro design. John Paczkowski, at Buzzfeed:

“We designed ourselves into a bit of a corner,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering said of the current Mac Pro’s unique arrangement of pro computer innards around a triangular heat sink inside a cylindrical chassis. “We wanted to do something bold and different. What we didn’t appreciate completely at the time was how we had so tailored that design to a specific vision that in the future we would find ourselves a bit boxed in — into a circular shape.”

All the right words…

The Next Generation Mac Pro

It’ll be:

  • modular;
  • with regular upgrades; and,
  • released in 2018 (I assume)

Pro Display

Also coming with the new Mac Pro is a new Pro Display. Not much else is known it would seem.

Here’s a thought to ponder: are the LG UltraFine displays currently on sale nothing more than expensive stopgaps?

Pro iMac

The final tidbit from this discussion: the iMac will get an upgrade this year and it will be aimed at the pro customer.

My late-2013 iMac is beginning to show its age so I have a keen interest in what this upgrade will entail.


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