June 10, 2013

Apple Unveils New Miniature Mac Pro with Dual Integrated Workstation GPUs

Apple New Mac Pro

Today at the WWDC, Apple took the wraps off the new Mac Pro they've been working on that will be released later this year. It's certainly a departure from anything we've seen before at the professional level -- so read on for more photos and details of the new machine. [Update]: Be sure to check out the newest post detailing more of the features.

Apple is certainly trying to change the game when it comes to professional workstations. The new Mac Pro resembles a fancy desktop speaker, and it's absolutely tiny compared to the current Mac Pro:

Old Mac Pro and New Mac Pro

Some details:

  • New Intel Xeon Processor
  • Dual Integrated AMD Workstation GPUs (This means you'll need to use OpenCL with Adobe)
  • Have up to three 4K displays on built-in workstation graphics
  • Expandable through the newly announced Thunderbolt 2
  • HDMI-Out
  • Motion-sensing ports that light up when the machine is rotated (to make plugs visible)
  • Available later in 2013
  • No price announced yet

Here's the video of the presentation:

 

Inside New Mac Pro

Intel Xeon in New Mac Pro

Dual AMD FirePro GPUs Apple New Mac Pro

Mac Pro Thunderbolt 2

We'll have more reactions on this announcement and everything else they've unveiled today.

Your Comment

93 Comments

So... where are the disc drives? How many hard drives of what size can it hold (perhaps offset by Thunderbolt 2, I guess)? It's hard to form much of an opinion on this yet, as there are so few details (or even pictures).
Anyway, the power seems great, but there's more to what most wanted from a Mac Pro than just power.

June 10, 2013

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Blah

It seems like it'll be modular and using Thunderbolt 2.

June 10, 2013

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You wont need drive now that Adobe Cloud is here! And if clients want to send something we have Dropbox now days and several other online services. The only thing I will need is an external Blu-Ray burner.

June 10, 2013

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Sean

The disk drives attach to the USB/Thunderbolt ports ;-)

And looks like it will all be PCIe flash storage instead of hard drives.

June 10, 2013

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Everything links externally just a flash drive inside. It has something like 6 Thunderbolt ports and 4 USB.

June 10, 2013

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So I guess this is worthless to anybody using Adobe products since they won't be able to use the most out of the mercury engine.

June 10, 2013

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Hubert

Actually Hibert you can have Mercury engine and CUDA, if you buy an external Thunderbolt PCIe expansion box to run nVidia cards, as if you were using a laptop. It works but it's not an elegant solution in my opinion. And so many cables if you need to buy everything separately, even the optical drive! This new mac Pro could however be as a good machine for DIT/on set work (as it's so small). Wait and see

June 10, 2013

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Short Answer: No.

June 10, 2013

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Robert Task Smith

I'm sure Adobe will do something.

June 10, 2013

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Sean

June 10, 2013

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alan

As Art Bell used to say in an ominous voice, "There are no coincidences..."

June 10, 2013

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Marc B

Oh my, how great this will look on your desktop with 6 external drives attached to it... ;-)

June 10, 2013

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That's what I was thinking...

June 11, 2013

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Blah

So we have here up to three 4K displays on built-in workstation graphics and 7 Teraflops of performance and lets add FCPX that supports 4K.

I guess they could be right back on the top of the food chain.

June 10, 2013

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Tim

it does remind me of a SGI workstation.

June 10, 2013

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Tim

Yes!

June 10, 2013

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marklondon

Apple is back on top! This is will be 4K editing monster!

What about a daisy chain of 2 or 3 4K monitors, Black Magic Cinema Camera and a SSD raid on a single or two ports of the 6 available. Is anything out there coming closer?

What a monster!

Is 4k Apple Cinema Display in the pipeline with a big update for FCPX with much expanded multiple monitor and 4k rendering support?

June 10, 2013

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Giovanni

Can't wait to find out more. Somehow does not look like something Jonathan Ive designed, but looking forward to any videos of him explaining his thinking on why he went with this design.

June 10, 2013

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Rob

It looks great! Can't wait to find out more, but for now, this is really exciting stuff.

June 10, 2013

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Now since it's a third of the size can it be a third of the price? :)

June 10, 2013

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Haha. No, it'll be inversely proportional.

June 10, 2013

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Dave Mueller

i like this

June 10, 2013

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Alan

We don't know if it has an optical drive, so I won't comment on that. My main problem is with the material they chose for the outside. Glossy black plastic? That thing will collect fingerprints, show dust, and just feel cheap.

I was really hoping they would at least stick to the silver aluminum they use on everything else. Then again, maybe it's actually black metal and not plastic. I won't be able to tell until I see one in person.

June 10, 2013

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David

It isn't plastic, it's aluminum. There's now a click-through tour on Apple's site:

http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/

June 10, 2013

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Funny how Apple Releases an incredibly powerfull workhorse, just like everybody demanded and now they show it, most people are on the fences. Just wait until we have some more info and be happy that we have some imense power in such a small Shell!

June 10, 2013

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Lukas

I think what we wanted was more power without having to throw away the infrastructure of our rackmounts, or expansion bays. For example Thunderbolt 2 won't be fast enough for systems such as the Red Rocket-X cards.

June 10, 2013

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Isaac

You can add whatever you want on the back through all the ports provided. I am not that good with all that Hardware things, but if thunderbolt aint fast enough, what is? And I am absolutely sure that RED will come up with a solution. Btw, you will save space with the ne Macpro, as it is an eigth of the size of the old one, add all your expansions on the backand you have about what...? Half of the space a old Mac Pro would take up?

June 10, 2013

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Lukas

I think his point is that it feels short sighted. It's hard to consider making an investment into something new when that new thing causes other previous investments to decrease in value and/or become incompatible & troublesome. I also don't like the seemingly manipulative way of making the Adobe suite less favorable (by CUDA complications, etc), though it's forgivable for them to optimize for FCPx, I can't help but feel they purposefully handicapped it to Adobe friendly hardware. That will not win over Adobe users, it will likely turn them against Apple for the move. Even though I am curious to see more developments on the Mac Pro line in the future, it's currently lost my confidence. I will likely not be leaving my beastly Hackintosh setup behind for this thing any time soon, but this is all just my personal opinion, it might be just perfect for some people.

June 10, 2013

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Jules

This seems like this is a niche product, and I take this as a sign that they are slowly ceding the professional market to PC's. They know that TB2 will not work seamlessly with legacy RAID adapters and capture devices, and this might be their way of opting out. I suspect there just isn't enough profit in the professional market segment for them anymore compared to the consumer market.

June 10, 2013

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Marc B

TB 1.0 works fine with the current Red Rocket.

There is no bottleneck when using a Sonnet or Magma expansion chassis.

June 10, 2013

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jody

... and TB 2.0 will be plenty fast enough for the RRX as well... there should be no bottleneck when used with an external expansion chassis via TB 2.0... even if you used the RRX with TB 1.0, the bottleneck would be minimal.

June 10, 2013

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jody

Jarred says otherwise, thunderbolt 2 is not enough for Red Rocket X
http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?99014-Dragon-Update&p=121408...

June 10, 2013

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Yes, he did say that... he has contradicted himself since in his NAB post announcing the RRX, he stated that RRX is 5x faster than the current iteration.

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?97867-NAB13-RED-ROCKET-X

If true, then it should only barely bottleneck a TB 1.0 and not even close to a TB 2.0...

I work with the current RR via a TB expansion chassis on a daily basis. It does not "cripple" the current RR at all. In fact, there is no noticeable difference between the TB chassis and when I install it in my Mac Pro PCI slot...

June 10, 2013

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Jordy

I could see this getting really messy. Say you're a R3D user and you've got a Rocket. You used to be able to fit the Rocket and a lot of fast storage inside your tower. Now you've got an external enclosure for the Rocket and another enclosure for your storage.

June 10, 2013

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Matt

Can't wait for the people that have been begging for a new mac pro for the past 2 years start hating on this even though it is literally exactly what they wanted

June 10, 2013

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john jeffries

I personally love the crazy amount of expansion ports in the back. I'm planning on configuring my unit to have 2 tb or 1tb SSD and all my scratch disks/storage be external. Im already used to this workflow anyways- I work off of a maxed out 2012 Macbook Pro anyways and am used to having to plug in a couple of cables to access my G Drive and Drobo... Not a problem at all, I do this via a thunderbolt cinema display everyday or just via the inputs on the side when I'm out of the office working somewhere else.

What's more, this seems to be a great companion to BM's new 4k Camera and will really help with my multicam edits that are all shot in 1080p. On all accounts, for me this is a major win. Key word is for me though, so different strokes for different folks I guess. I've already got the peripherals so bring it on!

June 10, 2013

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I like your thinking!

June 10, 2013

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Sean

Not talking about adobe again. Kudos

June 10, 2013

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Paul

From a chunky cheese grater to tiny coffee maker. It's just sooooo cute! :p

June 10, 2013

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Razor

lol.

June 10, 2013

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The cylinder shape is a little weird looking to me, but if you check out the apple site they explain the benefit of it for airflow purposes. I imagine fcpx should work nicely on those dual graphics cards.

June 10, 2013

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Aaron

June 10, 2013

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Mike

This is fantastic and really separates itself from the market. I transitioned from the Mac Pro to a Macbook Pro (with the full specs) at the end of 2012. The system is faster and I leverage Thunderbolt for everything including 2 monitors. This new system will replace the laptop nicely and give me more power for After Effects and Avid.

I think most people on this forum are annoyed that they have to reconfigure their setups with enclosures etc, especially those with Red Rocket cards. With GPUs that can handle 4K, why couldn't it process 4K footage? If this system can avoid the need to shell out $4K for a Red Rocket card ($4K for 4K!), it's a win for the Red people and anyone hoping to towards a 4K future.

June 10, 2013

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The cleaning lady is gonna come by and throw it out thinking it's a soda can

June 10, 2013

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Joe

Wow there's no love for videopeople except if you use final cut x. I love their "subtle" using open cl which you should use(is this the graphics version of the war against flash?). They are so not in touch with what at least video professionals need. No upgradeable videocard. That is probably going to halve the usability span of the computer. I have a Mac pro from 2008 that still does Great work thanks to graphics upgrades and memory upgrades. The only thing that would make this octopus attractive would be a lower price which I very much doubt it will have. A hipster workstation that's just what the world needs. Just because you say something is revolutionary doesen't make it so. They made a fallos mac mini with a xeon processor and 6 thunderbolt ports wow they must have thought long and hard about that and the small design is going to really push their engineering team to prioritise what is important to us professionals like dissipating heat from a processor and dual graphics cards from a small box instead of giving us what most of us want which is a Mac pro with more pci-ports and fcp8 with graphicscard support, background rendering, 64bit architecture and back compability with old fcp7 projects (sometimes simplicity is not in the design but in giving people what they need and I need the above a whole lot more then I need a portable workstation. The biggest enemy of people doing great things is hubris it is time for Apple to eat some humble pie.

June 10, 2013

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T

"with graphicscard support, background rendering, 64bit architecture and back compability with old fcp7 projects"

Are you living under a rock? X does ALL of those.

June 10, 2013

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john jeffries

I dont want x. I want an updated fcp7. It is unbelivable that the difference is not obvious. I mean an RV and a Ferrari with a livingtrailer do the same thing but i wouldnt say that that they are the same. The question is who of us is under the rock. Most people that I know who have seen the light in regards to apples recent developments are the ones moving to premiere or avid and buying hp. I love OSX but I think the new Mac pro with only one processor is the r2d2 shaped nail in the coffin of my proffesional Mac usage. I will still use it privately since they still make the best laptops in the world but who knows maybe they manage to make that into a worthless box too.

June 11, 2013

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T

Who needs an optical drive anyway. If you do. Get a usb 3.0 drive.

Open GL 4.0 in new OSX

New generation thunderbolt will support external GPU CUDA cards.

Premiere and Davinci will fly even on open cl on this machine.

Nice:)

June 10, 2013

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Paul Jay

The all new Mac Pro. Not to be confused with a dehumidifier.

June 10, 2013

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Nate Martin

Apple = Alien Technology

June 10, 2013

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James

Why are people complaining about external expandability? I already have 6 external hard drives hooked up to my 2011 iMac, and I'm a one man operation. Important files go on external drives with a backup (or two). AAAAND, who is using an optical drive everyday or even every month, for that matter? Sure it's nice to have when you need it, but otherwise it is taking up space in my machine the other 360 days that I don't use it. All large applications and Operating Software are moving to download only. Apple has been there for some time, Adobe is making the switch, the rest are following. Disc burners should be external now and kept on the shelf for those few times you need it.

It's just my opinion, but I think this is a good move.

June 10, 2013

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Sean K

My cell phone from the 80's is bigger than this thing!

June 10, 2013

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David Sharp

It's like they took a rejected design of a PS4 and fruit ninja with it.

June 10, 2013

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David Sharp

No release date. No price. This almost seems like a camera release :-)
Nothing to get too excited about yet. Let's see it run.

June 10, 2013

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marklondon

Yep, with the new Apple Brewmac you just put the filter into the top hole, add your favorite Cupertino coffee, and hit the power button!

June 10, 2013

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Razor

I was really angry while watching the webcast. Hello Cuda? Adobe? Pro Tools? etc.. Grant Petty from Blackmagic Design posted this in response to the announcement;

http://t.co/N91TXdoGh6

This has calmed me down somewhat. It still appears that this thing will cost a fortune and then require additional expensive Thunderbolt PCI-e chassis' for Cuda, Red Rocket, Pro Tools DSP cards etc.

Not quite sure what to thank at the moment. Time will tell. One things for certain - Lots of scrilla required! :(

June 10, 2013

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I always knew that R2D2 would eventually help with the data managing.

June 10, 2013

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Leland

Some dude on twitter said it looked like Darth Vader's butt-plug. I had to laugh! :D

June 10, 2013

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Who gives a fuck about the design of your computer case? It sits under your desk. Pros want performance and reliability, not objet d'art.

Oh and yeah, expandability. :)

June 10, 2013

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Ant

Hum, I would say, sometimes I take my big beast on the client location, so something little versus something big it's nice. In a regular case, it's like 60% of empty space, so if apple make something more inteligent with good cooling that's cool !

June 10, 2013

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mikael_bellina

Looking at the specs it seems that the performance will be great!
With 6 thunderbolts you can expand it with a lot of I/O components (quite all the blackmagic devices uses thunderbolt) and with the USB 3.0 you can use HDD such ad Western Digital and Toshiba, not only the very expanses Lacie or Apple ones.
The designe is very important: not all the professional workers have a lot of space where to put their workstation and having something small hepls to better organize the space.

I think that apple have done something great! And I'm not an apple boy!

June 10, 2013

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andrea

As a creative person, design is also important to me. I don't know why everyone thinks that a good design isn't a big deal. Nobody says that about sports cars... "All I care about is performance, I don't care what the car looks like".

June 10, 2013

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julian

Despite my last comment I love industrial design, but this is not form following function - it's function following form. How great is your new workstation going to look when it has a mess of external drives and cards hanging off it? The case design is the very, very last factor for me.

If you don't want a case full of air look at something like the Silverstone Sugo S09. Small form factor and no need to have half your components on the outside!

June 10, 2013

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Ant

While I clearly see a form follows function approach (central cooling air channel), I still have to agree with you on the expansions. This only looks good as long as you don't work with it. With Blue-Ray drive, RAID, etc. boxes all over the place, it gets a bit pathetic. Maybe, accessory makers will adapt their design, and you could end up with three cool looking cylinders on or below your desk, but I am sceptic. It would also be pricey.

June 11, 2013

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Thyl Engelhardt

But how is this form more functional than the typical front through back air flow design? That design also allows for expandibility ... Seems to me like severely limited function for the sake of pretty form.

June 11, 2013

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Ant

Ant, since nobody answered your question, I will despite the lateness. This new form is much more functional than the typical box. With the box you have 2 or more small fans which are necessary to cool the innards. As they are focused on cooling specific areas, they use more energy and are less effective, and, due to the obvious design of a box, hot spots occur easily due to the heat not flowing naturally. As I'm sure you're aware, hot air rises. This form allows a single heat sink through the center of the tower to draw all heat equally, while a single fan operating at lower speeds is able to then draw this air out following the path of least resistance. The only way in which this form is less functional is a mental block people have about such a radical departure from the norm. Hopefully people get over that.

June 14, 2013

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Travis

Just remember not to put a book on top of your new Brewmac, as that will instantly kill the fancy cooling. :)

June 10, 2013

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Razor

I'll be interested in seeing what the cost is, somehow doubt it'll be in my price range, but I already went back to Windows, for better or worse.

June 10, 2013

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Hang on a second... AMDs???

Someone disagree with me here if I'm wrong, but is this just another big kick in the arse of professionals using Adobe products??

No I think for now, I'll continue the planning of my Hackintosh..

June 10, 2013

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Premiere supports the Mercury Playback Engine with CUDA AND OPEN CL on the MacBook Pro Retina.

No worries here. And besides. With TB 2.0 you can hook up extra GPU's.

June 10, 2013

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Paul

Looks like it's a serious beast and supports Resolve in OpenCL too!

http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8898

I want one now!

June 10, 2013

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Lance Bachelder

Wow air cooled technology..........I think I will stick to my water cooled PC. Are they ever going to catch up to PC??? they seem to care more about the artsistic shape of the box, perfect for the non professional

June 10, 2013

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stanley k.

You could have a water-cooled Pentium 4 OC to 4Ghz for all we know (less performance of the archaic duo core 2.0 Ghz). Watercooled means nothing - what are you water cooling? You forget this little coffee maker is going to house 12GB VRAM and 12 core new Xeon processors not released yet. Let's not forget they leap frogged the speed of SSD! The power is pro. Expandability? It is there, just different then how we are used to.

June 11, 2013

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I wouldn't call it miniature if this thing has A LOT more power than that old Mac Pro tower!!!

June 10, 2013

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EXPENSIVE!!! Everything they call inovation is so expensive. To put our RED card in an external enclosure is expensive. An extra $600 here and there adds up to a very expensive build, has anyone seen the expense of these thunderbolt RAID systems? They simply made super computers inaccessible to serious developers like Adobe for a failed flagship product! Foolish. I almost unbearable listening to people applaud something that nobody will be able to afford :/

June 10, 2013

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Matt Groves

They haven't released a price yet, and what would you possibly expect? Obviously workstations are expensive, apparently you're in the wrong business.

June 14, 2013

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Travis

any news on ram?

June 10, 2013

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shaun wilson

Kinda want one...

June 10, 2013

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avatar
Micah Van Hove
Writer
writer, director, dp

My guess is the final price will be x2 the price of an equal PC build.

June 10, 2013

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Razor

It will be far more than that. My build was about 1/3rd the price of the closest Mac Pro equivalent (though much better specced).

June 10, 2013

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Ant

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

(trouble breathing)

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

June 10, 2013

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FabDex

They are introducing Thunderbolt 2 before anyone I know within the industry has even gotten anything with Thunderbolt 1.

June 10, 2013

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AJ

This is FCPX disaster all over again.
This is not a PRO tool. Its a mass market prosumer tool. It will go well for graphics artists and wedding videographers. Pros.. No. (Just like FCPX)
But yes they will sell a lot as its suitable for that middle ground market.
Pros.. no.
But again, a HUGE mistake by Apple.
Everyone aspires to be real PRO, so use the tools they use so they can say they have the same tool set skills..
Bring on Windows and Adobe... This is not the answer..
All I can hope is Linux actually stabilizes with a good graphics engine. Wayland and this recent out break of graphics engine development could be good, could be bad..

But like all the big pro stuff from Discreet and Black-magic. The high end tools are Linux..
Would love for it to make it to the generic pro.. But Linux needs a lot of work for that to happen..

I'm so depressed that Windows is the best choice business wise for a Pro.

James

June 10, 2013

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James Gardiner

Psssst..."PROS" are losing ground in their own industry to people who haven't been raised with the closed-minded mentality that an editing setup needs to be enormous, expensive and archaic. These people are making money - a lot of it, and taking it directly from the hands of dinosaurs.

This new MP, like anything else, is just a tool. If you can't make it work for you, then you're doing something very wrong. Adapt, or die.

June 11, 2013

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Hummer

Pssss! Apple IS the "expensive" one As for the design of this new MP, it looks to me like an update of the Power Mac G4 Cube which Apple had to "put on ice" shortly after its introduction.

June 13, 2013

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Jim Woo

Ehh, what? FCPX is $300. That's pretty good for an NLE. If you're talking about workstations, Apple has always been cheaper than the competitors. Similar HP and Dell workstations are always more expensive due to the on-site maintenance being included. So what exactly are you talking about?

June 14, 2013

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Travis

Once all the cables are connected to the back of a tower the last you will be able to do is spin it around. Hopefully they will realize they need a button on the back to illuminate those ports when you can no longer spin the thing around because there are a ton of cable connected to it.

I would trust a PCI-e plugged in to the board on separate lanes a lot more than I would trust have everything on the same interface. What I'd like to know is how many separate Thunderbolt controllers are those six ports hooked up to on the motherboard?

Also, I can't imagine cooling a next gen processor, two advanced graphics cards and the hard drive will be an easy chore in that small of a case. I hope to god this doesn't suffer from the same overheating issues that plagued other small Apple products in the past.

It's also going to cost a lot to transition from an existing tower because to relocated PCIe cards such as RAID controllers, etc. is most probably going to require buying entirely new gear, or relocating those cards to external enclosures interfaced to the computer through Thunderbolt. Going from PCIe --> Thunderbolt 2 is opening up a potential door for problems that doesn't need to opened.

A professional workstation setup is still going to take up the same amount of space as you relocated any internal components like hard drives, PCIe interfaces, etc. to external boxes. Personally, I would prefer to be able to just pick up my tower with all that in one box than to lug around two or three separate enclosures.

I don't know how you could transition to this from an existing Mac Pro without spending a ton of cash. A bit of a let-down for anyone that isn't in the top tier of their industry.

June 11, 2013

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Vodalus

If you buy long expensive cables, you will be able to spin it. Think about it: long expensive cables. Any manufacturer crossing your mind ?

June 11, 2013

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FabDex

They're quite obviously catering for the high end pro's with the biggest budgets, not the 'bedroom' or 'attic studio' professionals. These machines, partnered with expensive external devices are going to cost big bucks. The kind of big bucks that hollywood has to spend. The way to go is Hackintosh for most of us...

June 11, 2013

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Richard Collins

Apple Design: Tower, Cube, Flat on stick with half sphere, pancake Mini, now a Tube, next is the Pyramid ... will include an All Seeing Camera near the top

June 12, 2013

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Agni Ortiz

if an unknown company like xi3 can come up with a modular design in a very small package over a year ago, that allows stacking units for increase power, and fast upgrades, I thought Apple's design would be more revolutionary than making obsolete the previous ports to sell cables. Pros need solutions that promise an upgrade path without tearing the desk apart. something like this would have been nice: http://www.xi3.com/product_videos.php

June 12, 2013

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Agni Ortiz

Very disappointed in this Mac Pro. Not sure what my upgrade path will be. I don't need the raw power this computer offers. My current 2009 Mac Pro tower hangs under my desk. An SSD runs the OS and Apps for pure speed. A 2TB drive holds all my data. A second SSD clones my main SSD every night. That still leaves two open drive bays for expansion or data shuffling and backing up.

Not interested in external hard drives attached to a Mac Mini or iMac. Am I the minority who wants this flexibility without the clutter?

June 13, 2013

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jim