June 6, 2012

Apple Expected to Unveil a New Mac Pro Line at WWDC (Plus Rumored Specs for the New MacBook Pro)

First there were rumors of its demise, then there was a plea from users for information, and now according to 9to5 Mac, reliable sources say that Apple will be unveiling a new Mac Pro at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC).

From 9to5 Mac:

Our sources are currently unsure of the feature-set coming with the new Mac Pro, but these sources say that there will likely now be three configurations. Two standard versions of the Mac Pro and a third version with OS X Server capabilities. In early 2011, we reported on some of the work that Apple engineers had been prototyping up for a future version of Apple’s Pro desktop line. For that report, sources said that Apple had been experimenting with a new Mac Pro design that is rackable and stackable. These prototype machines also included space for more storage drives, an important feature now that the Xserve has been long discontinued. With a year having passed since we heard about these prototype Mac Pros and the ability of Thunderbolt to offload a lot of the expandability, the final new Mac Pro designs could be different than the current designs but we haven’t yet heard definitively either way.

With Apple adding the super-fast USB 3.0 technology to its next-generation MacBook Pro, and with Apple’s latest Macs including the even faster Thunderbolt I/O technology, Apple will likely add these faster connection ports to their latest Pro desktop. Since the Mac Pro is Apple’s most high-end machine for professional workers of all types, the most important features are the internals. Earlier this year, Intel released a series of Xeon E5 chips that would seem like a lock for a new Mac Pro. These new Mac Pros will likely also likely feature the latest graphics chips.

Unfortunately, information on Mac Pro specs are scarce, but 9to5 Mac has received unconfirmed specs on the new MacBook Pro:

  • 2.6 Ghz quad-core Intel Core i& with 8MB L3 cache (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 Ghz)
  • 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 750 GB 7200-rpm hard drive
  • 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display; 2560 by 1600 pixels
  • AMD Radeon HD 7770M graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and Intel HD Graphics 4000 with automatic switching
  • Built-in FaceTime HD camera
  • Thunderbolt port supports high-speed I/O and Mini DisplayPort devices
  • SDXC card slot, FireWire 800 port, four USB 3.0 ports
  • Optical digital audio output/analog line out; stereo speakers
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet
  • 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Backlit keyboard and ambient light sensor
  • Preinstalled Mac OSX and iLife

It's important to keep in mind that 9to5 Mac says that these specs are "unlikely". Although, a similar (though more modest) list of specs was posted at MacRumors.

So what do you think the specs for the new Mac Pro line might be? How likely do the specs look for the new MacBook Pro?

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31 Comments

i hope they add some kind of SSD boot drive for Macbook pro.

June 6, 2012

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tim

Or you just buy a 256GB SSD, open up your macbook , and replace it. Works great. Nothing new here.

June 6, 2012

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Paul

I hope the suggestions of a Rackable, Stackable Mac Pro turn out to be true. That and of course up to date hardware.

SSD for the MBP would be cool also

June 6, 2012

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finally

Wasn't everyone on here b*tching just a few days ago about how Apple has irrevocably alienated professional markets, blah blah blah?

I'm quite excited to see what the new MBP's have in store. I'd love to see them ditch the optical drive and put in an SSD + HDD combo.

June 6, 2012

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Hummer

Maybe we'll finally get Blu-ray support. It'd be great for archiving .R3D footage (I can't bear to delete unused, but usable footage).

June 6, 2012

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You can add BluRay burner to a MacPro or external BluRay. Works fine for Data burning.
But BluRay disks are just as unreliable for archiving as a DVD disk.
Get an LTO5 system.

June 6, 2012

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Paul

Blu-ray is no good for archiving source media, as it just takes too long to burn and discs are still too expensive. Costs are still greater than just buying hard drives — which, yes, you'll have to spin up every now and again, but the time you'd spend in burning and then recovering data from BD-Rs (40 per TB!) would more than eat up the difference.

You've just got to get ruthless about what you keep. :)

June 6, 2012

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I've been holding out for a new Mac Pro for a while now and am researching the best configuration. I've been painfully editing mainly DSLR footage off of a base model iMac from crappy externals using Adobe 5.5 and Final Cut. Any suggestions on a configuration based mainly editing on Adobe Suite? Would it be necessary for SSD, or thunderbolt option or will a bunch of internal suffice? I'm not doing too extensive stuff I just find myself multitasking, doing a lot of projects all at once during my work day. thanks

June 6, 2012

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Joe

SSD as a bootdrive is superb for everything. It's a 300/400 MB's read/write disk for an OS.
And get Premiere CS6, it's so much better compared to 5.5.

June 6, 2012

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Paul

+1. My Vertec 3 SSD 120GB really speeds up timeline loading and opening programs. I finally bought a MacBook pro last year after waiting until a they offered a 15" configuration with features (Thunderbolt) to use for logging video on shoots and some future proofing. I'd choose a model with the matte screen option and save a few dollars choosing a lower end i7 CPU.

June 6, 2012

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Marc B

Awesome that makes a lot of sense. So primary SSD and throw a 2tb in each of the two bays for scratch etc?
If i was going to go with the iMac the 4tb thunderbolt promise pegasus definitely caught my eye. That wouldn't be necessary with sata internals right? How much ram do you guys have?

June 6, 2012

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Joe

I'm fine with 8GB in my MacBook Pro until the price comes down on 16GB ram option. The Pegasus RAID provides enough speed for uncompressed HD and 2K if you go easy on the multiple streams, and the price is decent for what it offers. There are also several Thunderbolt network storage solutions from ATTO and Sonnet. I'd hold off on a Pegasus array until I see how some of these solutions work out price/performance wise unless you need something immediately that works right out of the box.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpresschassis.html

http://www.attotech.com/thunderbolt/

June 7, 2012

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Marc B

You probably do this already but your editing will be much smoother and faster and responsive if you convert your DSLR footage to 422 BEFORE you import it into your editing program. I edit on an ancient macbook pro 2.4ghz core 2 duo and 9600 graphics and it works fine for me.

June 6, 2012

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john jeffreys

i have a '08 13" MacBook Pro with 8gb of ram. i edit with native DSLR footage on Premiere Pro and it hangs up when i do color correcting. would converting to ProRes before importing help?

June 7, 2012

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MRGABE

Yeah I use primarily Premiere as well sometimes FCP. Converting to Pro Res is a life saver when editing in FCP. I've actually never used Pro Res in Premiere but I don't see it changing much. I get hung up on my current iMac when color correcting as well but I save color correcting until the end, after I am comfortable with the entire edit since it will play smoothly without color correction.

June 7, 2012

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Joe

June 7, 2012

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john jeffreys

MacBook Pro specs look unlikely, I doubt Apple will include 16GB of RAM with one of those suckers. Maybe 8GB. Apple is a RAM nazi - "no RAM for you!" ;P

MacPro will include various builds - advertised will be a quad, 8 core and 16 core. Custom will be a 6 core around $3499. Probably no blue-ray.

No big deal though, I bought into the frenzie of having a blu-ray on my hack. IN two years I have not burnt one disk! Back ups to HD's and HD video to thumbdrives which blu-ray players can read now. So the cost is free :)

June 6, 2012

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Blu-ray is an interesting beast. I've never once burned a video blu-ray but I sometimes send footage overseas (200-300gb at a time) and it puts my mind more at ease than thinking a hard drive is getting jostled around.

June 7, 2012

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Not to be one of "those guys" but there really no hardware specs on the unconfirmed Mac Pro that stand out to me.

I use both Mac and PC platforms, although not Mac as much recently because the hardware is so far behind the times.

Does anyone agree or disagree with me?

June 6, 2012

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Videoscaper

Considering you're basing your opinion on unconfirmed specs, I frankly don't see why it is even worth appraising your observation.

Does anyone agree or disagree with me?

June 6, 2012

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Hummer

This whole article is speculation, none of this stuff is confirm. Let the man dream.

Does anyone agree or disagree with me?

June 6, 2012

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Will Thomas

I agree, but I'm sure this isn't the whole story. While I'm a PC user, I respect Mac's ability to put together a good package, and this isn't it. There will be something more. (of course the PC I just had built will smoke it and cost me 30% of what these will go for, but still...)

June 6, 2012

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Colin

its been 2 years so any update will be good enough. prices are rumored to be very similar. they will have thunderbolt and usb 3.0 with ivy bridge processors. the graphics card will obviously be way updated if you even want to keep it in there. looks like apple is sticking with amd while i wish they would switch back to nvidia. mercury playback engine is supporting more and more cards already supports the current upgraded macbook pro card. so idk what you think stand out means when purchasing a mac pro.

June 6, 2012

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Joe

Hackintosh >>>>>>>>MacPro
Period

June 6, 2012

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Will Thomas

I've resold Mac Pros in the past after a year of use for the same price I had paid for them. They hold value as strongly as they are built - like a tank.

And, as vain as it sounds, those things are so. damn. sexy. No other personal computer has the same gravitas.

June 6, 2012

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Hummer

Rumors are all up in the air. I've also heard the new MacBooks are dumping their FireWire ports which makes it even less likely I'll buy a new MacBook until external drives catch up and offer Thunderbolt or more USB3 options.

Currently running an older MacBook Pro 15" and a 4 month old beefed up Windows PC as my main workstation on-set and off.

June 6, 2012

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CUDA? Or does the Mercury playback engine now work with other GPU's?

June 7, 2012

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If it's true it'll be nice, but out of date on release and trailing behind a good PC workstation in 6 months.
Too little, too late, but will keep the fan boys happy.

June 7, 2012

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Edit_not_Shoot

No way will there be a 15.4" 2560x1600 screen. That'd be the most useless "upgrade" - everything would be TINY. The 27" iMac is only 2560x1440. I can understand 1920x1200 though even 1680x1050 would be a big improvement over the current resolutions.

That idiotic speculation alone is enough for me to discount the rest of what they say. Weirdly, the rest of the specs are nothing special.

June 8, 2012

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Forgot about their whole "Retina Display" thing. I may end up sticking my foot in my mouth...

June 8, 2012

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I just saw yesterday's WWDC...not a damned word about a new tower.

June 12, 2012

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Daniel Mimura