Though Apple's 2013-era Mac Pro has at last received a minor speed bump, it's still more or less the same computer released in 2013. Twenty. Thirteen. And since Apple didn't make it updatable either, that means everyone who bought one — or buys one of the new, slightly updated models — is also stuck in 2013.
But hope is on the horizon! Apple is working on an entirely new Mac Pro, with a modular, upgradeable design. Though it won't be out in 2017, we can only hope that it'll grace our offices the year after; in the meantime, however, it never hurts to build your dream computer.
So, if Apple came to you and asked what the company should include in its new Mac Pro, what would you tell them?
- USB C / Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Keep a few legacy USB-A, Thunderbolt 2, HDMI, and SD card ports
- Latest-gen Intel Xeon processors
- Option for Intel CUDA graphics cards
- Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Capable of running four 5K display
Those are just a few ideas. What are yours?
Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.
Built mine. It has all of that. It cost $1500. I can change it if I want to. Can your Apple machine do that?
Does it have macOS too?
Does it? Probably not.
Could it? Yes.
Only with specific hardware. A Hackintosh requires very specific hardware to work, if you've just built a PC without consideration of what's needed for it to work with macOS, then it's probably not going to work.
I guess the real question is whether the current Mac Pro design has a future. Based on the transcript of the meeting with Apple executives last week, the answer may be no. The problem seems to be balancing the thermal core as the design doesn't allow a single, high-powered GPU, but instead relied on dual, lower power GPUs. And, as was pointed out in the meeting, the current Mac Pro meets the needs of some power users, but not all (or a majority) of them. (Whether Apple, or any company can accomplish that feat is debatable.) It seems to me that this problem is fixable if only Apple allows for external graphics cards to be supported in macOS. If somebody needs more graphics power than what the Mac Pro can give, they should be able to easily add a graphics card external to the Mac Pro and upgrade it when they need it. The external graphics card would also bypass the thermal problems of the current design. We can always ask for greater CPU power, but c'mon - up to 12 cores Xeon, up to 64 GB of RAM, and a fast, PCI-e SSD hard drive (with up to 1 TB of capacity) is a pretty powerful system. So, for me (not that this machine is in my price range, or I need this type of hardware), give me six Thunderbolt 3/USB ports and allow macOS to support eGPU easily. And if you do this, Apple, how about creating a new 5K Thunderbolt 3 monitor that can support external graphics cards and has some legacy ports. Not only would this be an ideal companion for the Mac Pro, but MacBook Pro users could benefit from this as well.
Leverage Grand Central Dispatch, Metal, eGPU and NAS/SAN to make Mac Pro a Xeon-based cluster compute node. Add or upgrade nodes to suit your pro needs. If Apple does go this route, I’m sure someone like Twelve South will devise a chassis to hide multiple such nodes behind the promised new Apple display.
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