back to article Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

Apple came out swinging at its detractors during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote presentation in San Francisco, announcing a slew of new products including iOS 7, the next version of OS X, new MacBook Air notebooks, a "sneak peek" at the next-generation Mac Pro, and iTunes Radio - nee iRadio. "Can't innovate …


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  1. corestore

    Brilliant. RED introduce Rocket X, Apple introduce a server with no slots to put it in. Talk about joined-up development.

    All show and no go. All talk and no trousers. That's not a server or a workstation, it's an art form. I don't need an art from.

    Windows or Hackintosh here I come. #notbuyingit

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Just what you don't want - a Mac Pro with cables and shit running everywhere. I thought the whole point was they were internally upgradeable?

      1. Craig Cruden

        What's so hot about internally upgradeable Mac Pro?

        What matters is not whether it is internal or external expandable - only that it is EXPANDABLE.

        I have a fully loaded Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) and it is maxed out. I have 4 monitors, two graphics cards - which left one slot left over for a eSATA controller - no more slots left.

        The new Mac Pro (as far as I can figure out) can still handle my four monitors, and has a lot more expansion options -- up to 36 external devices at the speed faster than my current bus operates. I gather from your tone that you would still be upset at the loss of the parallel port, the serial port, the 5 1/4 and 3 1/4 floppy drive..... as long as what replaces it is the same or better - I really don't care - I don't want my floppy back :o

    2. Chris 3

      Not ideal, but:

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Just because it's a powerful workstation does not mean it needs to be any more easily upgradeable than a regular workstation.

      Most Apple using-professionals don't spend their time upgrading the thing. The old Pro might be great from a PC user's perspective but the sales figures show it simply isn't that interesting to Apple users. Cool is what Apple do...

      1. corestore

        If I can't put a Red Rocket card in it, it's as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

        And PCIe expansion via TB? Kludgey mess of cables and crap, connected by dodgy consumer-grade connectors. No thanks.

        Similar issues for other cards people rely on - Kona, high-end sound cards etc. etc.

      2. corestore

        I dare say many, perhaps most, pros don't use the expansion slots.

        But Apple just just totally killed those of us for whom they're absolutely essential. You CAN'T grade & edit 5K raw footage in real time without the Rocket accelerator card! Likewise for things like the Kona video card - although AJA have a new TB2 external Kona box on the way - but it's still a nasty kludgey solution. And even TB2 is NOT close to being the equal of PCIe 16x lanes, so external PCIe boxes aren't the solution. They've crippled the thing, all for a snazzy form factor. Unprofessional.

        This is Apple kissing goodbye to a lot of serious motion picture / post-production work. Some of the critical tools - Redcine-X and CS6 - are already available on Windows. FCPX isn't, but then Apple already screwed up FCPX so badly that it's barely relevant any more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          They must have figures that that market wasn't worth it for them. If it were, then they wouldn't have brought out this new Pro. I don't think there are enough 5k editors on the planet to make it worth Apple's while to develop a new system for them. If that means losing a few thousand people to Windows, then so be it.

          OTOH, this might just force peripheral makers to come up with some TB devices.

          1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: Well

            "OTOH, this might just force peripheral makers to come up with some TB devices."

            Or, as happened with Photoshop and Illustrator in the 1990s, it'll force the software writers to look at Windows or even Linux instead.

            Good to see Apple are looking after the niche industries that kept them in existence in the bad old days...

      3. David 138

        You have to be able to upgrade graphics cards to support new features in programs. Especially true with Video Editing.

      4. jonathanb Silver badge

        Well for example, if you are working on video, you probably need lots and lots of fast local storage. Solid state is obviously fast, but no where near big enough to store many hours of uncompressed video from which you will put together your movie. Would you rather get a load of external Thunderbolt drives and plug them into the back of your machine, or get a load of the fastest 3 or 4 TB internal drives you can find and put them inside?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          I'll wait for real-world tests before dismissing the concept

          Curiously, this article from eighteen months ago seems to predict this new Mac Pro, suggesting the concept isn't too alien to video production professionals:

          "The concept proves with enough RAM and a powerful processor, Thunderbolt could enable smaller Macs to do the work of a Mac Pro. Hard Drives, PCI cards and everything besides the processor and RAM can now be connected via Thunderbolt rather that being built into the box.

          Apple could modularize for their Pros. Think about starting with a Mac Mini with a XEON Processor and lots of RAM (OK, the cooling stuff might turn it into a cube)."

          And that was using the less flexible Thunderbolt 1, not the newer TB2. These guys also seem to find TB for RED Rocket acceptable:

          As for desk clutter, the people who are processing this much video are likely to have a rack mounted solution for storage already. Should a Mac Pro fail, it is quicker to plug a spare machine (even a Macbook Pro) into the Thunderbolt than it is to swap the drives (and exotic PCIe cards) out of the dead machine, allowing the studio to get on with chasing that deadline.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            @Dave 126 Re: I'll wait for real-world tests before dismissing the concept


        2. LPF

          You get a NAS, stop whining!

      5. Anonymous Coward

        "Cool is what Apple do..."


      6. Greg J Preece

        Cool is what Apple do...

        And work is what workstations do. The clue is in the name. The only Mac desktops I ever came close to liking were the big-ass towers, because when I'm doing work (on a workstation, of course) then I want a big ass workstation I can modify to my requirements as and when necessary. If my work changes in such a way that I need a new component, I shouldn't have to pay over the odds for a Mac-specific one and trail cables over my desk.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Let me get this straight...

    ...Windows was uncool because it ran on Intel chips.

    Unix was uncool because beardy geeks like it.

    Vista was uncool because of the interface.

    And now Apple is using all of them,

    Apple is the new old.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Straight as Freddie Mercury

      Windows was uncool because it was ubiquitous therefore an easy target (coolness is a distinguishing factor of the minority), plus it was a security nightmare. Even Steve McQueen wouldn't have been cool if he had STDs up to the eyeballs.

      Unix has never been cool or uncool - it's a professional tool and is 'cool-factor' exempt.

      Vista WAS uncool, but not because of the interface - the interface was the only remotely decent thing about it. It was uncool because everything else about it was irredeemably shit.

      I'm not sure what you mean by 'Apple is using all of them' - using all of what? Windows? Beardy geeks? Vista interface?

      Must try harder.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let me get this straight...

      Unix was uncool because beardy geeks like it.

      And they're even going to use the old BSD Unix naming - Californian landmarks.

      (Mines the one with the copy of 4.3BSD Tahoe in the pocket).

    3. g e

      Re: Let me get this straight...

      I thought that was gonna end 'Apple is the new uncool'...

      Maybe that was a torch n pitchfork moment too far in case the AC's (Apple Cultists) know where you live!

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Let me get this straight...

        >Unix has never been cool or uncool - it's a professional tool and is 'cool-factor' exempt.

        Garth in Wayne's World 2 would beg to differ.

        Garth: That's a UNIX book.

        Girl: Yeah.

        Garth: Cool.

    4. Puzzeled European

      Re: Let me get this straight...

      And dont forget you get to have the Cube again, only now its round!

  3. corestore

    Just one more thing...

    3 x 4K displays supported?

    Fine, great. Where are the 4K displays…?

    1. An0n C0w4rd

      Re: Just one more thing...

      If they're thinking of replacing the current 27" ThunderBolt display with a 4k version, they're really pricing themselves out of the market.... The 27" TB displays are bad enough as it is.

      1. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: Just one more thing...

        @An0n C0w4rd

        If you really can't afford $7/week to keep the Thunderbolt display in your depreciation schedule, you aren't the demographic that it is aimed at. Alternatively join the race to the bottom of the market, or enjoy your new career in the fast food industry.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Just one more thing...

      A handful of 3840x2160 displays were announced at Computex. I don't know when they'll hit the market but nobody knows when the Mac Pro will either, given it contains unannounced Intel Ivy Bridge-E CPUs.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Just one more thing...

      I'm sure around the time Apple starts selling these new Mac Pros they'll offer a 4K monitor. I'm willing to bet it replaces the current 30" Cinema display at the same price.

      If Apple's is too high priced for you, or you think 30" is too small, buy 3 50" 4K Seiki TVs for a TOTAL of $4500...

    4. envmod

      Re: Just one more thing...

      sorry, are you trying to claim it's apple's fault that 4K displays are not readily available? or that it's somehow wrong to include support for 4K displays?

      sorry, what's your point mate?

      1. corestore

        Re: Just one more thing...

        I'm saying it's inevitable Apple will have some 4K displays to launch with this thing; it would be really dumb to release this saying 'it supports multiple 4K displays - but we don't have any'. So what's the story? Where are they? Will they be the 'one more thing'?

    5. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Just one more thing...

      There are 4k monitors out in the wild. You won't find them at Fry's or on sale at NewEgg. They're expensive and way overkill for everybody that isn't creating cinema quality content. By expensive, I mean that the monitors cost more than the computer they are connected to. It's interesting that the new MacPro will support such monitors, but it's not that useful for most of us. Without the expansion possibilities of the old (ancient) MacPro, it makes a kind of sense that it's built in.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Just one more thing...

        Sure it is interesting for the rest of us. Anything that increases sales of 4K monitors causes them to be made in larger quantities, which brings down the price for those of us who might be willing to pay a few hundred dollars extra for one, but not willing to pay a few thousand extra.

        The idea that Apple may start selling the first mass market 4K monitor excites me, even though I will not be buying one, because it will spur a long overdo increase in resolutions for monitors. Say what you will about Apple and Retina, but they pushed things in the small device market to the point where even a $100 Android phone now ships with a resolution better than any phone anywhere had before the iPhone 4 shipped.

        Apple didn't "invent" high resolution screens, but they purchased enough of them that they spurred the industry into providing them at cheap price points more quickly than they otherwise would have. I'm eager for them to do the same with desktop monitors, which have been stuck at 1920x1080 (with a big jump higher for 2560x1600) forever, even as freaking PHONES get that same 1920x1080 resolution in a 5" screen!

  4. An0n C0w4rd

    Mac Pro is now Mac Pro minus

    minus capabilities to expand internally. Probably won't have any way to update the graphics chips or storage at all. It's the worst features from the iMac stuffed into something for the pro market.

    They'll try and pawn people off that the 6 ThunderBolt 2 connections will give you all the expandability you need. Sure, in an external form factor using incredibly expensive cables and needing tons of standalone power supplies that probably decrease the power efficiency.

    I liked the old Mac Pro and was considering getting one. If the direction that Apple is going is "you can have any colour you want as long as it's black" then they've lost the plot. (and yes, I know Ford never said that). For the price that thing is going to cost (given it's high throughput SSDs, probably hanging straight of the PCI bus rather than off a SAS or SATA controller, which probably means Boot Camp is out), the lack of internal expansion options is criminal.

    1. tempemeaty

      Re: Mac Pro is now Mac Pro minus

      If it lacks graphics chip/card upgrade-ability then it's not any kind of Pro machine. To be a machine for any kind of professional use it must have at least that flexibility in it's components. Oh and if they say take it to a Mac store, no, a studio can't do that.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Mac Pro is now Mac Pro minus


        "Oh and if they say take it to a Mac store, no, a studio can't do that."

        Just curious - why not?

        1. g e

          Re: Mac Pro is now Mac Pro minus

          Because of the mearest Mac store is (say) 20 miles away from your trendy rural-setting studio, then you're gonna be 10 mins disconnecting and packing then thing, 5 mins getting it to the car, 40 mins driving it into town unless you're really lucky with the traffic, at least an hour in the store while they muck about about then reverse all that back again to get back into the office. Which is the best part of three hours assuming it all goes right first time.

          Which is also the best part of £300 in time to most studios when they could spend 20 mins just sorting it on the desk in the office there and then.

          That's why not.

  5. SD2


    OK so Thunderbolt ports for external high-speed connectivity makes sense, but 6 Firewire ports do not when one provides only 4 USB 3 ports!!!

    Seriously can anybody even name 6 different firewire 2.0 products? I mean I would welcome a resurgence of Firewire tech, but I don't see it happening, so what has driven Apple's decission?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. SD2

        Re: Firewire

        Ah, yeah. A little googling shows nobody else mentioning 6 Firewire ports, only the six Thunderbold 2 slots. The story's text should be amended.

        As for the Thunderbolt ports - they can be useful since they are such high speed, although this method of connectivity is hardly ubiquitous, and I think most will have a USB3 adapter attached.

    2. Sil

      Re: Firewire

      FireWire had so many compatibility problems.

      It is next to completely phased out in the photo industry and in the music industry its days are counted.

      Good riddance.

  6. JDX Gold badge


    I'll wait for reviews, but I have to say I am tremendously impressed they have focused on such a genuinely useful improvement as all-day battery life, rather than simply making it even thinner and lighter just because they can. Of course this is mainly down to Intel and will (hopefully) be seen in WinBooks too, but it's a pleasant surprise nonetheless.

  7. NullReference Exception


    "Designed by Apple in California" is not new. It's appeared on pretty much every Apple product and package (sometimes quite conspicuously) since the dawn of the Jobs II era. Checking my collection, the phrase appears on the bottom of my Flower Power iMac (2000) but not on my graphite G4 (1999) - possibly because the latter says "Assembled in USA" instead...

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Nitpick

      "Designed in California, built in China, taxes paid in the Cayman isles"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nitpick

        "...taxes paid..."


        The USA and other Western nations would do well to impose a minimum 25% tax, with credit for any taxes paid anywhere else. The hook can be the US stock exchanges. Profit can be as reported.

  8. Captain DaFt

    Ah, that takes me back

    "All expansion is external,"

    Anyone remember the Commodore 64?

    1. g e

      Re: Ah, that takes me back

      Jack Tramiel (sp?) will be suing from his grave

  9. Andrew Jones 2

    Well.... at least there was ONE interesting announcement today - "Lock Activation" sounds like it might help with phone thefts but I guess we will see.

    By the way I was incredibly amused to see the Lock screen now unlocks by sliding up from the bottom instead of sliding "an image along a predefined path".

    Every other "feature" is already available in other operating systems.

    The "Android fragmentation" card was trotted out again today - they seem to of missed the memo about the new way to update Android - additionally - that's the iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 out of the picture for iOS7. While in percentages it's probably not a huge number of devices - it is still fragmentation - fragmentation still exists on iOS no matter how much Apple attempt to sweep it under the carpet.

    1. Pete Spicer

      Remind me again, when did the iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 come out? That's right, 2009 and 2010 respectively. And they're only just losing support now. Never mind that it's been hard work getting hold of these for a while for the obvious reason that they've been superseded by multiple generations of product (iPhone 4/4S/5, iPad 2/new iPad (iPad 3 to the rest of us)/new iPad (iPad 4))

      Just to put that into context, Android Froyo was just coming out back in 2010...

      Seriously, the worst 'fragmentation' in the ecosystem was the iPhone 5 with a different set of dimensions (rather than simply 'doubled' what was there before)

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        It's not when they came out, it's when they stopped selling them.

        "When did the iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 come out? That's right, 2009 and 2010"

        When did they stop selling the 3GS? That's right 2012.

        The iPad 1 only lasted a year so 2011.

        Yup, old as the hills, no one is going to be using an iPhone that's almost a year old!

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: It's not when they came out, it's when they stopped selling them.

          *cough* the final version of iOS available for the iPad 1 is 5, not 6.

          1. Pristine Audio

            Re: It's not when they came out, it's when they stopped selling them.

            >*cough* the final version of iOS available for the iPad 1 is 5, not 6.

            Agreed. An iPad is not a phone - subject to annual or two-yearly updates by the users. Not here, anyway: two iPad 1s still going strong and no great reason to update yet as far as I can see. I just wish I'd stuck to iOS 5.0...


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