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back to article Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Apple’s cylindrical computer, the Mac Pro, will finally go in sale tomorrow, the Cupertino giant has decided. Based on Intel Xeon chippery with up to 12 processing cores on board, up to 64GB of DDR3 ECC memory and a pair of AMD Radeon FirePro GPUs hooked up to 6GB of GDDR5 video memory in total, it’s hard not to be impressed …

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Anonymous Coward

How long before...

other PC box shifters 'copy' the idea?

Have to agree with the article, it does look different.

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Re: How long before...

Given past history - not long.

An up vote from me, since the Samsung Xerox fanbois have down voted you a couple of times.

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Re: it does look different

Vertical cylinder with single 120/140/160mm fan on top, bottom or in the middle, with filtered air intake at bottom and exhaust at top is a quite obvious design for single fan PC. I had this in mind at least as far back as 2005 -- there's nothing special about the idea, IMHO. Crucial factor is quality of implementation though, and I doubt Apple are able to pull it.

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Dustbin of the Future

A couple of days after the new Mac Pro was announced someone pointed out Amazon.jp were already selling an almost identical device at a fraction of the price. It was a small kitchen countertop wastebin of about the same dimensions, rounded corners etc. Wish I could find a link to it...

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Re: How long before...

I have to admit that I was 'wowed' when it was first announced. Looking at it now though - in light of all the hype around any Apple product - the cylindrical design is in danger of succumbing to thoughts of an empty giant BOG ROLL. I seriously doubt PC manufacturers will be chomping at the bit to reproduce this design. I'd expect they'd be halting manufacture of ANY new designs, while the PC market continues to go down - on topic - the shitter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long before...

"Have to agree with the article, it does look different."

Insightful!

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Re: it does look different

"I had this in mind at least as far back as 2005 -- there's nothing special about the idea, IMHO."

Actually, I had an idea that the best way to make money was to get your customers to do your work for you and pay you for the privilege - I had this idea as far back as 1978 while I was at university. Unfortunately the enabling technologies were not in place and I was unable to execute this seminal idea. Sadly for me, others have capitalised on my prescience (DHL and banks in general were first IIRC) and I have been left penniless and without the credit for this brilliant idea that I justly deserve.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long before...

Thought you would have said " how long before people realise that you can't slot a DVD into it?"

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Re: How long before...

Apple make a round iPad. Maybe bring back the round mouse too.

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Boffin

Re: How long before...

"I'd expect they'd be halting manufacture of ANY new designs, while the PC market continues to go down"

I suspect you may be right, but I'd hope that someone does a conservative large case designed for replacability of all parts and expansion, and continues to make parts and new motherboards that fit a common modular standard. Then we pay more up front but can keep it chugging along for (say) 15 years?

Just donated an old HP workstation box (xw6200) that you could pull open and swap a hard drive in a couple of minutes without a screw driver. Upgraded graphics card, memory. Capacitors held out since 2004. Biggish PSU. Heavy bu**er but solid.

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Re: How long before...

Didn't Silicon Graphics have a round computer? It was taller by a fair bit and it wasn't shiny black. But it was fast as stink for the time. I think Cray also had a round computer. Something about the wiring length being optimized.

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Re: it does look different

> there's nothing special about the idea, IMHO.

Which may explain why no one has thought to implement it. Or not.

>Crucial factor is quality of implementation though, and I doubt Apple are able to pull it.

Yeah, I, too, doubt they'll be able to pull it back from the clutches of the market once it's introduced. They'll probably have to content themselves with selling as many as they can shove out the factory door. While doing so, though, they might even have to weather criticisms about 'artificial shortages', accusations of 'constraining supply', and that ilk of BS...

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Joke

Re: How long before...

>Capacitors held out since 2004.

What!? You couldn't replace the caps without proprietary tools? Design fail!

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Re: it does look different

Vertical cylinder with single 120/140/160mm fan on top, bottom or in the middle, with filtered air intake at bottom and exhaust at top is a quite obvious design for single fan PC. I had this in mind at least as far back as 2005 -- there's nothing special about the idea, IMHO. Crucial factor is quality of implementation though, and I doubt Apple are able to pull it.

Hey Johnny... It's your cousin.... Ramazan.... Ramazan Ive... You know that new futuristic design you were looking for that isn't based on a Braun shaver from the sixties? Well have a listen to this!!!

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Re: How long before...

>>Capacitors held out since 2004.

>What!? You couldn't replace the caps without proprietary tools? Design fail!

OK, clumsy expression on my part. I meant that the motherboard had good quality parts including electrolytic capacitors. Capacitors will inevitably fail sooner or later but the quality range can place the 'or later' well into the decades, or as low as half a decade.

You pays...

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Re: How long before...

An up vote from me, since the Samsung Xerox fanbois have down voted you a couple of times.

Eh, you do realise that it was Apple that copied their UI from Xerox Parc, don't you? If not, you picked exactly the wrong choice of words for your put-down.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long before...

You do recognize the irony of comparing Samsung with Xerox here, don't you? Given that Apple lifted their UI paradigm from PARC...

My question is, how long until the first one of these spectacularly burns down?

I mean a Xeon and two FirePros in less volume than some cider bottles? Fuckinell

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Re: How long before...

noominy.noom is correct, Cray did use round designs.

However, the round design by Seymour Cray was for the purpose of minimizing the wiring distance between any two points inside the chassis. Apple has everything on a single board packed with SMD's, so there is no genius-of-Cray here, it's just your typical overpriced fruity design more suited to an art show than to a computer user's desk.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long before...

Given that Apple lifted their UI paradigm from PARC

GFGI !!! you lot keep on rolling out that old one, regardless of how wrong you are about it, huh?

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/10/steve-jobs-xerox-parc.html

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Re: How long before...

Sony had a circular / cylindrical PC in 2007

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long before...

"Eh, you do realise that it was Apple that copied their UI from Xerox Parc, don't you? If not, you picked exactly the wrong choice of words for your put-down"

Apple paid Xerox is stock. They didn't copy anything, they bought something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long before...

> design more suited to an art show than to a computer user's desk

Sums up (all of) Apple products beautifully!!

By computer user you are referring to Chrome zombies and MS Word gurus.....

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MCG

Re: How long before...

All-in-ones and non-expandable boxen have inexplicably never been all that proper in the PC market.

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This really is very impressive packaging.

Compare and contrast with any other offering ...

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Coat

You have missed the point. The Mac Air has impressive packaging, and so makes for a better portable.

However, this is a desktop. To get close to a normal Mac Pro, you have to add an external HDD enclose, complete with a straggly cable. For the 2nd Ethernet port you'll also need another adaptor (the Mac Pro will easily saturate a Gbit port and normally uses 2 bonded). For video or audio work, you'll also need an external PCIe enclosure for your pro capture cards. Also despite waiting years for it, it can only tke 64GB of ram? The old ones have that! A standard 16GB max is also poor showing, our laptops have that much!

The old Mac Pro is better in every way except the processors. Very, very disappointed.

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Trollface

Looks like a toilet bowl.

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Anonymous Coward

It *has* 2 ethernet ports as standard and 6 Thunderbolt 2 so assume you could hook up Thunderbolt to Gigabit adapters to this if you need more - pretty sure I saw a Thunderbolt to 10GbE adapter not long ago?

I suspect most people using these will use external RAID enclosures anyway - clearly it's going to have a few connections going in the back anyway but it's still a very small and powerful unit.

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Anonymous Coward

It either looks like an Apple Fleshlight 'entertainment' device or Darth Vaders den from Empire Strikes Back.

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It looks like something you'd fill with ice to cool a bottle of wine.

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Anonymous Coward

It looks like an Apple Fleshlight 'entertainment' device.

Right! Perfect for their target market then.

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Anonymous Coward

The thing is effectively a chimney. So it has the shape of chimney.

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Any word on UK pricing?

I am assuming £2,999 or thereabouts.

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Re: Any word on UK pricing?

Already announced. £2499 for the base model and £3299 for the hex core version (subtract VAT and it's not far from equivalent to the US price)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Any word on UK pricing?

A cluster of 4 Mac Mini servers (quad core i7) might compete with this for CPU grunt at a similar price, albeit it's a bit hard to run Photoshop distributed across them.

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Who cares what a PC box looks like?

Who cares what a PC box looks like? Most work stations will end up under a desk at which point a rectangular form factor is more useful as you can put things on top of it.

I wonder if one can make toast on it?

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Re: Who cares what a PC box looks like?

For a long time I have been... not a great fan of Apple, but this design is truly different.

With the heat vented upwards, I can rest my tea on top of the round base and it will be kept warm . If I invert it, I can probably keep beer cool. It's _genius_.

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Re: Who cares what a PC box looks like?

I stand corrected.

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Gimp

Re: Who cares what a PC box looks like? @Thecowking

Upvote for that. First thing I thought was some dork user would think "Oh a coffee mug holder" - cue fizz-bang sound effects.

Looks a bit like the Lecson power-amp from my 1977 hi-fi but that had a fluted cylindrical body in black anodised ally as it's heat sink. Prior art Apple?

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Huh - what's the fuss about?

Everyone knows the Apple can't innovate.

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Rollaway

Guess you wouldn't want to lay it on it's side, huh?

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Re: Rollaway

I think that is why they made it with a circular cross-section (as opposed to a triangle, rectangle or hexagon): It makes it clear that it is to be used only in the upright position.

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Re: Rollaway

"It makes it clear that it is to be used only in the upright position."

Tenner says some numpty tries to use it upside down. Cue sob stories in the papers 'my new Mac Pro spontaneously combusted' etc.

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Re: Rollaway

You should be OK. That rat's nest of cables connecting it to all the peripherals they left out should stop it getting too far

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Re: Rollaway

You're setting it on your desk* wrong.

* or table, or couch, or counter top, or whatever...

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On a roll

So this is how Apple gets to patent the wheel

(I wonder how long it took their marketing department to decide what colour it should be?)

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Re: On a roll

"I wonder how long it took their marketing department to decide what colour it should be?"

Probably about 2 seconds after the first "Andrex" joke was told about the white prototype

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Shame

What a fantastic design. Shame that, at best, 5% of them will be used for anything more serious than desk jewelry.

I hope a few PC folks do a similar design, maybe normal folks will be able to afford them.

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JDX
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Re: Shame

Very unlikely people will buy this just for fun, that's what the iMac is for. Pro is for people who DO actually want to use their computer to do some work.

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Re: Shame

You do realise that people that actually spend the extra for a Mac Pro tend to be people that will need the extra horsepower, don't you? If they want a pretty machine, they'll go for an iMac or Mac Mini (assuming they go for a Mac at all).

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Re: Shame

"What a fantastic design"

It would end up full of cereal boxes in my house. Cover on and it's almost an exact replica of the recyclables bin in my kitchen.

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