The Mac Pro Gets an Update from Apple, Major Features Are Still Missing
If you were one of those vocal supporters looking for an answer from Apple regarding the Mac Pro, you're in luck (sort of). Today, along with Retina Macbook Pros, Apple updated its Mac Pro towers. Unfortunately, it seems like Apple is moving further and further from the high-end professional market. Though additional resolution can certainly benefit professionals, many pros need a machine that has easily upgradeable parts, and is able to scale to their needs. If your work requires a Mac Pro, your options with Apple will be limited compared to the competition.
Apple spent most of the WWDC 2012 going over the numerous updates to their hardware, as well as the incredible amount of new features in their mobile software. What these updates mean is clear: Apple will begin shifting its product line only to those products that are selling well. The 17" Macbook Pro was also absent from updates, and has now been removed from the Apple site altogether -- which signals a shift to smaller, faster, and higher resolutions as opposed to bigger, faster, and higher resolutions.
Here is a bit from The Verge on the new Mac Pros:
Unfortunately, it's not much of an upgrade: you can simply get a pair of six-core 3.06GHz Intel Xeon X5675 processors rather than the 2.93GHz ones we just mentioned. The base model will start at $2,499 for a single quad-core Intel Xeon W3565 processor at 3.2GHz, with an optional upgrade to a six-core chip, or you can spend $3,799 to get a dual-processor configuration with a pair of the Westmere-EP based 2.4GHz E5645 chips, and upgrade to the aforementioned X5675 for an unspecified amount.
The biggest omission in the Mac Pro updates is all of the new features that professionals actually need. While FireWire is still in heavy use, it's clear that the industry is moving to Thunderbolt and/or USB 3.0, both of which have yet to find their way into the aluminum towers. Also missing from the Mac Pro update, is an updated graphics card, as the "new" Mac Pros will still use the older AMD models. If you wanted full CUDA support for Adobe CS6, you won't be able to get it without an NVIDIA card, and it's not going to be an option should you decide to purchase a new Mac Pro.
Many speculated that Apple was waiting for the new Ivy Bridge Xeon processors, and while those have been announced by Intel, Apple chose not to wait for them in their high-end system. There is still a slight chance they might do an additional refresh of the Mac Pros with all of the missing features and hardware, but the future of the Mac Pro line is not looking good.
It's worth noting that if you still want built-in FireWire, Ethernet, and a DVD drive, and extra resolution is at the bottom of your list, you can still purchase non-Retina display Macbook Pros from the Apple store that have a DVD drive and FireWire 800, Ethernet, USB 3.o, and Thunderbolt ports. Both the non-Retina and Retina Macbook Pros, as well as the other hardware updates, are now available to order from the Apple store.
[via The Verge]