back to article Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?

We all got a sneak preview last summer and many were miffed when the scheduled arrival time at the close of 2013 came and went. However, it appears that the new Mac Pro did ship in small numbers in January of this year. But the dispatch of new orders quickly slipped to March, and Apple’s UK and US websites are currently …

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  1. Lallabalalla
    Gimp

    Final Cut Pro X?

    I thought this was now a dead-in-the-water amateurs-only "app"? There's SO many youtube vids deriding it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Final Cut Pro X?

      I know some Pros who are using it for certain types of fast turnaround work. But it is esoteric in the extreme.

      Adobe shot themselves in the foot with "Cloud" which has stopped some people from switching from older FCP setups.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Final Cut Pro X?

        Adobe shot themselves in the foot with "Cloud" which has stopped some people from switching from older FCP setups.

        Is this even true? Most complaints about creative cloud tend to be related to its price (something a video-production professional wouldn't have an issue with).

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Final Cut Pro X?

          Isn't there an issue with it having to phone home regularly, which might be a problem if for example you are shooting a nature documentary in Antarctica.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Final Cut Pro X?

          It's very true. The phoning home problem is very real. A colleague had his copy lock him out whilst abroad due to Adobe trying to take money from an expired credit card (he'd updated it months before). Trying to get that fixed from a remote location was impossible and he ended up doing a cut on FCP-X instead.

          People are also scared of the lock-in (which suits Adobe but not the end user). Stop paying and you won't be able to access your old projects.

          I'll probably end up biting the bullet myself. For now CS6 is fine. But once you take out the sweetener discounts "cloud" is more expensive and locks you in to the Adobe ecosystem forever whilst it slowly bleeds money from your credit card.

    2. Ivan Headache

      Re: Final Cut Pro X?

      Wrong. Warner Bros have a $100M film being edited in FCP X right now. And from what I've been reading in various video-related postings, some of those who abandoned the FCP ship after the intiial launch have been revisiting and are finding that the new version is so easy to use and so slick (and capable) that many are adusting to the new workflow and returning to the fold (as it were).

      <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/83441833" width="500" height="281" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

      1. WatAWorld

        Re: Final Cut Pro X?

        Ivan, that's one video. There are dozens of top professional movie industry editors who have complained about Final Cut Pro X being a betrayal of professional editors.

        Many are sticking with earlier versions of Final Cut.

        "After Final Cut Pro debacle, does Apple still care about creative pros?

        Apple's contentious Final Cut Pro X release has created uneasy feelings among …"

        http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/07/does-apple-still-care-about-creative-pros/

        1. Ivan Headache

          Re WatAWorld

          That was then. Look at the date of the link you cited - two and a half years ago! A lot has changed since then.

          The Film is being edited by 6 editors working on the latest version of FCP X working together as a distributed job working with 4K video and 40TB or raw footage.

          Here's a quote from an editor of 37+years experiencel

          "We have been using FCPX on a professional level for a long time now, so the fact that a Hollywood studio feature is being cut on it neither surprises me, nor does it make any difference to us. But I hope it will finally stop some people from still posting idiotic statements as "FCPX is not ready for professional use" on various forums. "

  2. Alan Denman

    The answer to the universe is 99?

    There might just have been a grand total of 99 pre-orders.

    So rather than admit no one is will to pay even sillier money, maybe that wait is just artificial one.

    Of course far more likely it is still Beta like.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The answer to the universe is 99?

      At the time of posting 10 downvotes, 1 upvote.

      You know you're problem? You asked this fairly reasonable question about an Apple product, had you asked it about an MS Surface, or Windows Phone, I very much suspect the voting would have been in the other direction.

      Not that there are double standards round here, or anything, you understand?

      1. Tel

        Re: The answer to the universe is 99?

        Because Apple doesn't have any real recent history of putting on sale products nobody wants, unlike the MS Surface or Windows Phone...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The answer to the universe is 99?

          Apple, however, do have a long track record of manufacturing hype for products and then undermanufacturing them. See every iPhone and iPod release.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The answer to the universe is 99?

            >Apple, however, do have a long track record of manufacturing hype for products and then undermanufacturing them. See every iPhone and iPod release.

            In what world does having 9+ million devices ready to go on launch day qualify as "undermanufacturing"?

            1. Frank Bough

              Re: The answer to the universe is 99?

              In the rabid anti-Apple world.

        2. Davidoff

          Re: Apple doesn't have any recent history of putting on sale products nobody wants

          What about the iPhone 5c?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huge relief

    Huge relief that you can add your own memory and SSD card (assuming some get released). My current Mac Pro dates from 2008 but has had various upgrades so that it can still cut the mustard today. Buying a base spec and then getting RAM from Crucial saved a small fortune!

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: Huge relief

      It's certainly a step in the right direction. Cannot for the life of me understand why the author was miffed at the lack of SD card slot. Don't think that's really the target demographic.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Cannot for the life of me understand why the author was miffed at the lack of SD card slot.

        Because he's got something on an SD card that he wants to copy to the mac?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huge relief

        The target demographic doesn't include people with hi-res digital cameras who use Photoshop?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nappy bin

    Love it.

  5. Tom7

    Oooo, the shiny!

    But you still pay the Apple tax - an equivalent spec from Dell is about £1600.

    1. hypernovasoftware

      Re: Oooo, the shiny!

      Sorry but you are flat out incorrect. There is no "Apple Tax" on the new Mac Pro.

      It's cheaper than anything in the PC world; it's not even possible to build an equivalent machine.

      http://bgr.com/2013/12/26/mac-pro-windows-diy-cost/

      http://www.macrumors.com/2013/12/31/entry-level-mac-pro-offers-comparable-pricing-versus-oem-pcs-diy-systems-more-affordable/

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Re: Oooo, the shiny!

        > It's cheaper than anything in the PC world; it's not even possible to build an equivalent machine.

        The problem with the bleeding edge is that you end up with diminishing returns. Once you get past a certain sweet spot with hardware, marginal improvements become drastically more expensive. The advantage of all other PCs is that you aren't playing an all or nothing game of trying to clone Apple's bad decisions.

        The value of the marginal improvements is disputable despite fanboy attempts to mischaracterize corporate culture when it comes to spending money.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oooo, the shiny!

          "The value of the marginal improvements is disputable despite fanboy attempts to mischaracterize corporate culture when it comes to spending money."

          Fully agree about diminishing returns. If you can get the previous-gen processor for $400 cheaper than the current one and there's basically no practical difference between the two (0.1 GHz and a few watts) then why spend the money? I do think that forcing these apples-to-apples (sigh) comparisons is biased and unfair.

          So, let's look at a "ballpark similar" system to the base-model Mac Pro. You can get a Dell with a similar (but last-gen) processor for $1045 on Newegg. Never mind that it has slower, non-ECC RAM. (Again, little practical difference.) Upgrade the RAM to 12GB--$65. Now add two of the cheapest FirePro cards you can buy with a similar number of processing units--$630 each. Now add the cheapest PCIe SSD that's over 200GB--$350. Total price: $2720. So in the end, the Apple tax IS around 10% but they do give you the best current-generation components in a neat form factor that's nearly silent. (That Dell is going to sound like a vacuum cleaner, BTW.)

          Frankly, I think paying the $300 extra is a no-brainer and actually a pretty good deal. Especially considering that if you want to sell the computer in a few years, you'll be lucky to get a couple hundred dollars on Craigslist for your cheap Dell with its grab bag of Newegg ugprades, whereas you'll likely get a couple grand for the Mac Pro.

      2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Gimp

        Apple Tax

        The c't Magazin has reviewed the box. It will cost over Eur. 8000 for a fully equipped box. However the new garbage can has no PCIe expansion slots and no disc and just 1 processor. However, a third party offers an external RAID box (for the Thunderbolt connector) for about Eur. 3500, for a total price equal to the old MacPro, which offers about the same performance. This makes about twice the price of an HP workstation .

      3. MooseNC

        Re: Oooo, the shiny!

        I just priced it, with everything the same except for twice the memory (system and graphics) and a 240GB ssd instead of 256, the price was $2980. Notice, this was retail, so about 20% marked up from what I could get it from tech data or ma labs.

        Apple Tax; Check.

        Try actually checking instead of ingesting and regurgitating the electronic excrement that frequently spews from macrumors.

    2. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: an equivalent spec from Dell is about £1600.

      Evidence?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. jai

      Re: Oooo, the shiny!

      Really? cos i'm looking at the Dell.co.uk website right now, and there's only three options with the same processor, and only the £1600 takes the same speed memory.

      But it also only comes with one graphics card. I can't find a uk price for the AMD FirePros that come with the MacPro, but lets assume you'll get equivalent performance from the card Dell supplies. So you'll need to buy a second one. Scan.co.uk are selling those for £750.

      And a SATA hard drive, not a SSD.

      There's no option to swap the HD for a SSD, so to get the "equivalent spec" you'll need to buy a 3rd party one and then swap it over yourself. Crucial sell one for this Dell Precision for 400 quid.

      Plus Dell insist on giving you a pointless optical drive - and it's not configured horizontally so you can't even use it as a coffee cup stand!

      So that's the 1600 you said, plus 750 for a 2nd graphics card, plus 400 for the SSD, and THEN you get close to the "equivalent spec" that you stated.

      I believe that totals to £2750, which is £250 MORE than the "equivalent spec" MacPro.

      yep, gotta hate that Apple Tax that gives money back to you

      (oh, and i forgot about the six Thunderbolt 2 ports. So you'll need to add a six-port PCI-e card I guess? I google'd and found one for £350, but there was also a refubished one on ebay for only 200 notes)

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Oooo, the shiny!

        It's been assumed by many pundits that AMD have given Apple a very big discount on the FirePro cards... Seeing as how 3rd party software for OSX is now supporting OpenCL and not just nVidia's CUDA as a result of the new Mac Pro, it could be worth it for AMD.

        1. jpb421

          Re: Oooo, the shiny!

          It is very hard to compare the new Mac Pro to Windows Workstations because the "FirePro" cards supplied with it are unique to it and under Windows are closer to being consumer cards in terms of drivers and lacking ECC. They are good for compute but then so are the AMD high end consumer cards. But they also have more memory and perhaps are more robust.

          There has been a lot of discussion, and benchmarking, on macrumors.com.

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Oooo, the shiny!

        " i forgot about the six Thunderbolt 2 ports."

        Who needs them if you have room for internal upgrades. Just plug in a card instead of some stupidly expensive external apple specific box.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Oooo, the shiny!

          >Who needs them if you have room for internal upgrades. Just plug in a card instead of some stupidly expensive external apple specific box.

          Maybe, but if you're using an external Thunderbolt box to house a $5000 RED Rocket accelerator card and swap it between users and machines, it doesn't seem so stupidly expensive.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. atrevers

      Re: Oooo, the shiny!

      Apple tax, or just the price you pay for the ability to run Final Cut Pro?

    5. Badvok

      Re: Oooo, the shiny!

      You have to congratulate them, Apple have done an amazing job getting this beast of a machine in a good looking form factor - if I had the money to waste I'd definitely buy one.

      The rather ungainly equivalent spec, but vastly cheaper, boxes from HP and Dell do make one realise that this box will be purchased only by those who are willing and able to pay a lot just for looks.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Oooo, the shiny!

        2nd commenter to mention cheaper equivalent boxes from Dell. Links please.

      2. jai

        Re: Oooo, the shiny!

        The rather ungainly equivalent spec, but vastly cheaper, boxes from HP and Dell

        Care to elaborate? As previously described, the equivalent spec from Dell costs at least 250 quid more than the MacPro.

        On the HP UKStore website, the equivalent product with the same processor is the HP Z420

        The cheapest of these is £1322 inc vat

        The be equivalent, you'll need to get a SSD to replace the SATA hard drive. The Crucial website doesn't list any compatible SSDs with this HP, but lets assume the one they recommended for the Dell above will work. So that's 400 quid you need to spend.

        It doesn't come with any graphics cards. They do include a NVIDIA Quadro K2000 with the really expensive model, so we'll assume that is equivalent to the AMD FirePros that the MacPro comes with. So you'll need to buy two of those. All the non-ebay prices i found were over 400 each, so to be equivalent spec you'll need two: £800+

        So you're "equivalent spec, but vastly cheaper" solution from HP will be £1322 + 400 for disk + 800 for graphics cards = £2522

        So you are absolutely correct sir, for a value of "vastly cheaper" = "spend £23 more"

        1. Robin Bradshaw

          Re: Oooo, the shiny!

          Jai What size/type SSD are you specing to get a price of £400? The going rate for a SATA SSD in the 240 - 256GB range seems to be somewhere between £100 - £140.

          My top tip for the crucial website is use it to find out what ram your machine takes and how many sticks/ max amount etc then go and buy it from somewhere else that isnt so stupidly expensive :)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oooo, the shiny!

            "Jai What size/type SSD are you specing to get a price of £400? The going rate for a SATA SSD in the 240 - 256GB range seems to be somewhere between £100 - £140."

            Not the OP, but where you're going wrong is "SATA." SATA drives top out at around 500 MB/s. The drive in a Mac Pro is PCIe and roughly twice as fast. You can get a 240GB PCIe SSD on Newegg in the US for around $400, and that's a good price. There are a lot that are more expensive.

    6. Frank Bough

      Re: Oooo, the shiny!

      There's always one. Spec it out properly. I'm sure you can build a faster machine for less money, but you can't build an equivalent machine for the same, Apple always make sure of that.

  6. Rob Crawford

    Pity about the cover

    Without the cover it looks excellent.

    With the cover it's a case of Oh well!

  7. Tom 35 Silver badge
    Happy

    death star

    Complete with exhaust port.

  8. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Terminator

    R2D2 - the Sith Years

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Terminator

      The would be Artoo Darthtoo, then.

  9. Not That Andrew

    The Ultimate Steam Box?

    1. John Bailey

      Possibly.. If you stick a kettle on top.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it goes wrong will I have to take it to the Apple store and wait in line with the consumer users, or will Apple send someone to my place of work and fix/swap out the same day? I think I know which the answer is, so I don't think it really justifies its "pro" moniker, it's just another workstation, albeit one which is pretty seriously kick-ass.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Last time I had a fault I had it repaired under warranty at a local authorised repair shop. Drove it there, they repaired it, collected it next day. Just like the good old days of going to the Acorn/Amstrad/whoever dealer.

      As a bonus you don't have to deal with some brainwashed prat dressed in black and fight your way past the people freeloading on the wi-fi.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you were to buy a business machine from a retail store then you deserve that service. If you buy it through one of the authorised re-sellers and service centers that supply businesses then their support package will give you the service you need. You have to pay extra for that package, but that's the same as you do with Dell.

    3. Lallabalalla
      Gimp

      If it goes wrong...

      The short answer is, don't buy it from Apple. Buy it from your local friendly certified reseller (I could name a very good one in North London - no affiliation...) and they will happily pick it up, fix it and deliver back PDQ, free of charge. They may even have loan machines (I have *no idea if this is true but it wouldn't surprise me). NB They will do this even if you DIDN'T buy it from them. If it's Apple + Applecare (ie in warranty) then no problem.

      Stand in line at an Apple Store? Actual LOL!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If it goes wrong will I have to take it to the Apple store"

      ...exactly why the faulty optical drive on my 2008 Mac Pro went unfixed(*) even though it was well inside warranty - Apple insisted that I had to take it to one of their 'genius bars'.

      Now, for those of you who've not had to physically move one of the old Mac Pros, they're built like old-school SUN Microsystems servers - big solid metal chassis, which weigh an absolute ton, although mysteriously most of the machine seem to be Aluminium, so I don't get where all that weight comes from!

      Absolutely no way I was going to haul that to an Apple store - even the only one I would be able to reach by car, since taking one of these machines on public transport is out of the question.

      (* Fixed now, thanks to the folks at Mac Upgrades, and a bit of straight forward screwdriver work on my part)

      1. Tel

        When I had a minor issue with my 2008 Mac Pro (noisy graphics card, since upgraded) I took it to my local Apple store. All I had to do was get it into my car. They sent one of their staff with me to the car park to get it as I'd done my wrist in and had trouble carrying it.

        Not many other shops would let their staff go on a half mile schlep to a car park for a customer, and I only had to ask, no need to fight for it. That alone won loyalty from me.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        I recently ripped a G5 MacPro apart.

        The chassis is indeed incredibly lightweight, it is the massive heat-sinks/coolers which will cause back-injury to the unsuspecting.

    5. Tim99 Silver badge
      FAIL

      @AC - 2107967

      If it goes wrong will I have to take it to the Apple store and wait in line with the consumer users, or will Apple send someone to my place of work and fix/swap out the same day? I think I know which the answer is, so I don't think it really justifies its "pro" moniker, it's just another workstation...

      I have not tried Apple support for a "pro" machine recently, but last year when my iMac had a problem with a half row of stuck pixels, I phoned Apple Support on a Monday morning. A nice man came to my home office on Tuesday at lunchtime and replaced the screen. I don't remember having that level of support from Dell or HP (Except for when we had a 4 hour contract, which was a damned sight more expensive than AppleCare).

      1. Mick F

        Re: @AC - 2107967

        I work in IT, just about every company has this level of support in business. None of it much different in price from Apple and most just as helpful.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the rapidly aging.....

    Something about some of those pics that remind me of 'Slave' from Blake's 7.....

  12. Khaptain Silver badge

    Final Destiny

    Didn't everything Darth Vaderish get blown up, burn or sent to oblivion....

    Would it hold a plant pot ?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Final Destiny

      Not at all. Darth was just the emperor's "dirty jobs" man, sent out to choke the military aristocrats into line, kick some ass on orbital construction sites, supervise planetary bombardment and maybe torture a princess in the dungeon.

      He was never at the source of major decisions.

    2. Tel
      Flame

      Re: Final Destiny

      Pop a can of baked beans on top? Instant lunch :)

  13. dz-015

    "Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan – the good one, not JJ Abram’s recent pallid remake"

    Glad it's not just me who's offended by Abrams' continued rape of classic Star Trek. I am also, however, slightly offended by your misuse of the apostrophe.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Shock horror, old fans like old version!

      1. dz-015

        "Shock horror, old fans like old version"

        I'm old enough to remember watching the original Battlestar Galactica when it was first shown, but I loved the remake. New does not necessarily mean worse. J.J. Abrams, on the other hand, _does_ mean worse in this case (and in most other cases where he's involved, in my opinion).

      2. Darryl

        I'm an old fan (pushing 50) and I like both versions

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          People are respectfully requested to Google Plinkett's review of JJ's Star Trek reboot.

          It's better than watching the movie.

    2. Snake Plissken

      Really?

      "not just me who's offended by Abrams' continued rape of classic Star Trek. "

      Rape? Did you really have to use that word in that context? I mean, really really?

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Holmes

        Re: Really?

        I watched them back to back and I found neo-Khan to be not such a bad thing really. It's a more modern interpretation of the character. Montalban looks like a cheesey scenery chewer by comparison.

        Some elements of Abrams Trek seem more sophisticated and thought out. Much of that stems from the benefit of 40 years to examine and contemplate the material.

        Kirk "trying" to fist fight with Khan is a good example of this.

        1. Vic

          Re: Really?

          > Some elements of Abrams Trek seem more sophisticated and thought out

          ...And then he covers the whole lot in shitloads of lens flare :-(

          Vic.

          1. Suricou Raven

            Re: Really?

            Or plays Willy Wonka in engineering.

    3. No, I will not fix your computer
      Holmes

      No, no, no, no. no

      >>Glad it's not just me who's offended by Abrams' continued rape of classic Star Trek. I am also, however, slightly offended by your misuse of the apostrophe.

      I'm offended by your misuse of the word "rape", but also it seems like some people don't understand this was never a remake, the new story was the story of the first meeting of Khan, whereas "The Wrath of Khan" was the story of the second meeting of Khan, the new film was also twisted slightly because old Spock (who experienced the second meeting) was there to warn people about Khan, which could result in him not being left on the planet, preventing the second meeting.

      Sherlock (for obvious reasons)

      1. dz-015

        Re: No, no, no, no. no

        "I'm offended by your misuse of the word "rape""

        Why don't you look it up in the dictionary, then? The term has definitions other than the sexual one, e.g: "2 the wanton destruction or spoiling of a place: the rape of the countryside."

        If you want to get offended by that then that's your problem I'm afraid.

  14. JDX Gold badge

    I like it

    I'm primarily a Windows user and am more likely to buy a Mac Mini than an iMac for my iOS development work, but if I was in the position to need/afford a stupidly overspecced PC I'd be on this like a shot.

    It's a niche product like a Ferrari. You can go as fast as a Ferrari for far less but it's still not the same... most of us will never be in the position to have the choice anyway though!

    1. dogged

      Re: I like it

      I'm primarily a debian user (plus windows development) and I like the look of it, too.

      I am concerned though that it'll have Apple's usual crippled Bootcamp drivers for anything that isn't OSX. I'm looking forward to a review which explores this probability.

  15. thomas newton

    £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

    is it magic ram?? will it give my pc special powers??

    or is it just ordinary 3rd party ram, and apple are having the kecks off people (again)????

    1. Volker Hett

      Re: £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

      Kingston DDR3 ECC 1866MHz KTA-MP318/16G close to 200 Euros each, you need 4 of those. So you can save some on Memory.

      1. Robert Sneddon

        Re: £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

        The new Mac Pro only has two memory sockets IIRC, very limited in memory capacity for dealing with stuff like 4k video. The older Mac Pros could take up to 128GB of RAM although I've heard it said that OS/X limits out at 96GB, don't know if that's true.

        1. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

          The hardware controller may well top out at 96gigs - the OS will address up to 4Tb

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

            Video can be read off the PCI SSD very quickly, so there is less need to keep all of a project in RAM.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            the OS will address up to 4Tb

            In theory, maybe. In reality, it isn't very efficient in handling even 1/16th of that.

            In addition, OS X still lacks proper NUMA support (memory local to the CPU vs memory connected to another CPU), which is probably the reason why the new Mac Pro comes as a single processor system only.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

          People keep on talking about processor speed and memory for 4K video. If you are doing it right you are offloading much of that work to a GPU (or two in the case of the new machine).

          Yes memory is good and you'll need a lot of it, but not as much as people think unless you want a huge memory cache. If you have SSD's on a fast interface like Thunderbolt there won't be much advantage in having a huge memory cache.

        3. Snapper
          Thumb Down

          Re: £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

          You didn't even Google it?

          Before putting your name on a clumsy attempt at using slang like IIRC!

          You are probably a civil servant.

          4-slots numb-nuts, otherwise Apple have just invented 32Gb RAM chips.

        4. Glenn Amspaugh

          Re: £1040 for an extra 52gb of ram???

          Heard from apple rep demoing the Pro at our company last week: OS X 10.9/Mavricks can handle 128 GB RAM and 3rd party vendors are/will be making 64GB chips for the Pro.

  16. ShortLegs

    With the lid on, it looks like a forward-thinking retro 70's ashtray.

    Without, though, it look pretty awesome, in a rugged tech way. If I had the dosh I'd be on it like a tramp on chips.

  17. Terry Kiely

    Dell service

    No win/mac bashing here, I use both for the purpose at hand! My

    custom fully SSD'd and 24G ram HP XW6600 blows the pants off

    my mate's new dell precision and while BOFFHing my clients servers

    I use my old faithful MBP just cos it has the best RDP client and screen!

    I had a great demo of Dell service when I worked

    In a computer shop. A customers broken PC was still

    In warranty so I gave them coffee and went out back

    To call dell. Repair arranged I had a quick Pee and returned

    To the counter to find another customer ( I assumed) waiting.

    I told my first customer that dell would be out to fix his machine

    Next day. "No they won't" piped up new man, "I am here already!"

    It was like Fu**ing Mr Ben, he had appeared as if by magic!!

    Turns out he was buying chips next door and was diverted by

    A very location aware CS!!

    1. Volker Hett

      Re: Dell service

      Apple can't even touch Dell Service. I know, I have both :) and HP and IBM servers at customer sites.

      My MBP 15" late 2009 workhorse has been to a certified repair shop several times while under Apple Care, I had to bring it there wait two weeks and pick it up again :(

      1. Darryl

        Re: Dell service

        Yep, people can badmouth Dell all they want, but their on-site service is probably the best in the business

    2. Fink-Nottle
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Dell service

      Have Dell managed to fix that random carriage return bug yet?

      1. Darryl

        Re: Dell service

        I didn't know their on-site service caused random carriage return bugs.

  18. Lord-a-miytee
    Stop

    It's a kettle.

    What's the matter with you all? Surely anyone can see that. I'll bet it even sizzles like a kettle when you fill it with water (if you can get enough Apple water).

  19. Matthew 17

    Will be getting one - probably

    My trusty MP is getting a bit long in the tooth now, still a very powerful machine but shows its age with some plug-ins under Logic X. The new machine is lovely the spec is insane, the fact that you can't build something anything like as fast for the money is also encouraging.

    What is frustrating though however is that Thunderbolt devices are so expensive, to add in a decent amount of storage is going to seriously ramp up the cost.

    1. jai

      Re: Will be getting one - probably

      me too!

      just as long as I win tonight's EuroMillions...

  20. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Try getting that past TSA officers.

    They will probably identify it as a porta-nuke.

  21. Wyrdness

    I'm waiting for an enterprising accessory maker to devise a small Barbie-sized seat to go around the base, a la Cray.

    1. Tel

      It might well be more powerful as well.

  22. Lord Lien

    But….

    ….. can you play Doom on it?

  23. Archivist

    Strokeable

    We thought we'd ordered a dustbin but a tall ashtray arrived!

    All joking aside, I've had one on my bench since Monday, and I think everyone in the company has come to see it. The Apple lovers have stroked it and even the Apple haters have admired it for it's design ingenuity. It's tiny and quiet and does all the things you'd expect it to, given it's spec. Unfortunately now that it's configured I have to give it to the motley creative staff...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strokeable

      @Archivist - When you write creative staff, can you remember to put the word "Creative" in quotes so we understand that you understand that you are probably referring to skinny pallid people with wispy beards, crap clothing, who talk non-stop bs in loud jarring voices, who think a lack of intelligence coupled with a baseless self-belief makes them smart, edgy and useful, who take pride in not knowing and understanding concepts that shouldn't tax a 10 year old, who nick all their ideas off YouTube, rove in identical packs of equally gormless idiots, and finally, who have never has a single, original, creative thought in their tiny worthless lives.

  24. johnnymotel

    It's not 100% clear in the article which MP they are reviewing, because a Geekbench of ~23,000 is not the base model by any means. Please clarify El Reg.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But can it run WIndows?

    and I don't mean dual boot, I mean proper single boot into Windows 7 so I can use it as a games station

    1. Annihilator

      Re: But can it run WIndows?

      As per the article, no (or at least not yet)

  26. DougS Silver badge

    Am I the only one

    Who thinks it looks better with the external casing off? I'm not sure if leaving the guts exposed would be a good idea, but I suppose it is small enough it could sit on your desk so you don't have to worry about accidentally kicking it under your desk or having the cleaning staff slamming into it with the vacuum.

  27. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Herby Silver badge

    Maybe they need a "surround" at the base.

    Then it would look like a shrunk Cray-1 computer, it being circular and all. I haven't done the comparison yet, but I suspect that it is a bit more powerful than the original Cray-1 as well. But that was over 30 years ago. Things have come a long way!

    1. baryonic

      Re: Maybe they need a "surround" at the base.

      A "bit more powerful" than a Cray-1? At 7 teraflops, the new Mac Pro is 87,500 times faster than the original 80 megaflop Cray-1. I'm not joking.

    2. baryonic

      Re: Maybe they need a "surround" at the base.

      Just a further note: At 7 teraflops, the new Mac Pro would have easily made the top500.org's November 2007 list of the fastest 500 supercomputers in the world.

  29. AbortRetryFail

    Large Pixel Collider

    £7,779 for a fully kitted out Mac Pro? I reckon you could go a long way towards building the Large Pixel Collider for that price. Especially if you used "only" two nVidia Titans rather than the four in the LPC.

  30. Morten Bjoernsvik

    Apple Cube 2

    Recall the Apple Cube from 2000. Also a very nice design, but the premium price made it fail. There were also some issues about overheating because it was fanless. And the performance was not that good.

    I do not care about the design of my box. it is performance and noise that counts.

    I like to hide the box in a closet somewhere out of sight.

    1. baryonic

      Re: Apple Cube 2

      There is no price premium for the new Mac Pro. See posts in this thread discussing this system's price. And if performance and noise are important to you, this is clearly your system.

  31. goldcd

    |'m not quite sure I get it

    Yes - the updated design is stunning and I'll go as far as revolutionary.

    However, I can't help but feel the advantages of the new format are all aesthetic.

    i.e. there's no reason all that new and shiney chippery couldn't have been put inside a more conventional 'box' with exactly the same performance and possibly a minor cut in price.

    Putting the price aside, there seems to be a very large trade-off that's been assumed users want between footprint and ability to upgrade.

    An iMac looks very swish and neat on the receptionist's desk - but for the power users I'm not quite sure how they're expected to justify the cost.

    Seems a product pitched towards those that don't have to explain the cost..

    1. Vociferous

      Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

      > the advantages of the new format are all aesthetic

      It's an Apple Mac. Aesthetics are the main selling point of Apple Macs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

      "However, I can't help but feel the advantages of the new format are all aesthetic."

      Completely wrong. From an engineering standpoint, how else are you going to effectively cool three hot boards (motherboard with CPU plus two graphics cards) using convection and one single, quiet fan? The design is actually pretty brilliant.

      1. Hellcat

        Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

        If you're not worried about aesthetics then you wouldn't be worried about trying to cool three boards with convection and only a single fan - you would just put silent fans where needed.

        The answer to your original question is heat-pipes which have been proven very effective especially in laptops and other space constrained systems.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

          "If you're not worried about aesthetics then you wouldn't be worried about trying to cool three boards with convection and only a single fan - you would just put silent fans where needed."

          There's no such thing as a "silent fan" unless it's off. It sounds like you're of the school of thought that if you just look up which fans are the quietest on Silent PC Review and pop some of those in a computer, it will be quiet. Not true, at least if you have normal hearing.

          I worked pretty effing hard to get my last PC to be quiet, to the point where I had a semi-passive (Seasonic X Series) power supply, a Scythe Ninja HSF, two rubber mounted 12 cm Nexus fans (CPU and exhaust) with Zalman Fanmate controllers to lower the RPM, and a foam-mounted 2.5" hard drive. In the end, it was very quiet, but really, not any quieter than the Mac Mini that I simply went and bought at an Apple store.

          Silent/quiet computing is a fairly sizable industry and it's not unusual for people to pay $1500+ for a "silent" (quiet) gaming PC, either for parts or to a specialty company that builds such things. What Apple has done here is make something that's much more powerful than any of those gaming PCs (I've never seen an SPCR-certified gaming machine with two graphics cards), probably just as quiet, and probably a very good deal price-wise for what you're getting. It's a pretty remarkable accomplishment if you're into such things. Although from the sound of things, you aren't.

          1. Duke2010

            Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

            "I worked pretty effing hard to get my last PC to be quiet"

            You are missing out water cooling. Its the best option for silence but the costs rise significantly. Its worth it though cos you end up with something that looks way cooler than the Mac Pro dustbin and with overclocking, insanely fast.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

              "You are missing out water cooling. Its the best option for silence but the costs rise significantly."

              Nah, air cooling is almost always quieter. With water cooling you still need a fan (or fans) for the radiator, plus you have potential noise from the water pump. And you probably need another fan in your case to cool everything that isn't the CPU or GPU. With my old computer, if I didn't have the exhaust fan turned on, all of my components would eventually get to uncomfortably high temperatures: the passively cooled graphics card, PWM circuitry, hard drive, etc. Much easier and better and quieter and more reliable to go with air cooling, unless (like you said) you want to do some crazy overclocking.

    3. Lord Lien

      Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

      "An iMac looks very swish and neat on the receptionist's desk - but for the power users I'm not quite sure how they're expected to justify the cost." I have a few power users (doing design, basic video editing & all manor of technical stuff) on IMAC's. So long as you don't have to be mobile, they are quite a good alternative to Mac Pro's with a screen, saves on desk space…. well underneath the desks anyway :)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: |'m not quite sure I get it

      "Yes - the updated design is stunning and I'll go as far as revolutionary."

      A-har har har (Agnes Skinner stylee)

      Suppose it gives its mediocre user base something pretty to look at (although it is completely fugly)

  32. Fenton

    Love it but too powerful for my needs.

    Apple should use this form factor to sit between the iMac and one of these.

    The Mac mini just isn't powerful enough . Whilst the iMac does the job, some of use don't need/want an all in one.

    Give me one of these with an I7 crossfired games GPU, an SD slot, 256GB SSD at around £1.5k and it would sell like hot cakes.

  33. Joey

    It is NOT expensive...

    My first Mac 128 (in 1984) cost about the same price as a Mac Pro does now. A LaserWriter cost £4500, a 10Meg SCSI hard drive cost £1750. My first Philips CD burner cost £2500, the software (Topic) cost £2500 for the Mac version and £2500 for the PC version. Blank CDs were £20 each and half the writes failed.

    A NuVista video card cost £2500 and the same again for a u-Matic control card.

    If you scale those 1980's prices to today, you are talking serious money. Expensive as they were, these items paid for themselves over and over again and fetched a good resale price too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is NOT expensive...

      Indeed. Being in high-tech, I know a lot of people who are pretty well paid. Almost everybody's salaries plus bonuses crack 6 figures (US dollars). Plenty of people drive BMWs or Mercedes and are happy to pay for the $2000 sunroof option, and whatever other crazy overpriced options those companies offer. Plenty of people remodel their kitchens for many thousands of dollars, or spend thousands on each suit or wristwatch they buy. Or spend thousands on a TV that's fractionally bigger than their last one.

      But ask these same people to pay a $500 "Apple tax" on a computer to get something with the latest components that looks good and runs quietly and they freak the eff out. Inexplicable.

      1. Van

        Re: It is NOT expensive...

        Look at the theme you've revealed. People will spend silly money on luxury items providing other people can see them.

        If a desktop computer could only be installed on a car roof or even in a front yard, then Apple could charge double for the new Pro and it would sell like hot cakes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is NOT expensive...

        "BMWs or Mercedes "

        Its always a BM or merc. never ferarri or bentley!

        Figures.

    2. WatAWorld

      Re: It is NOT expensive... My first IBM 370 cost $1.3 million.

      My first IBM 370 cost $1.3 million.

      And true, compared to that the R2D2 is dirt cheap.

      I suppose the valid question is not whether the new R2D2 is cheap compared to historical computer prices but whether it is cheaper than other Xenon power machines with similar professional video cards.

  34. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Joke

    Hey, this R2 unit has a bad motivator!

    Just what are you trying to pull here??

    Seriously though, I'm no Apple fan, but I actually like this one..

  35. Joey

    Why a MacPro might be your next Windows PC...

    Interesting

    http://www.macwindows.com/GPU-teaming-for-Windows-booting-Mac-Pro.html

  36. Michael Sanders

    Apple's are oranges

    Apple can't make money on all 88 people who will buy this. That's why they won't make them anymore. I've watched Apple since Apple was Apple. And they are going to disappoint you. Trust me. The IIFX is coming back in a big way. Why can't you artists just stop using Macs? Just rip it off like a bandaid. It will hurt. But in less time it takes Apple to replace this model with another one, the PC would take up the slack. The only people who are going to make an odd ball shaped video card for this is Apple. Enjoy your paper weight.

    1. Frank Bough

      Re: Apple's are oranges

      Windows sales are down. Mac sales are up. MS is dying.

      1. dogged

        Re: Apple's are oranges

        Well, this is true.

        Windows sales are down but still cover 91% of all desktop PC sales.

        Mac sales are up but still cover less than 5% of all desktop PC sales.

        Is this maths thing too hard for you, "Frank"?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple's are oranges

        "Windows sales are down. Mac sales are up. MS is dying."

        for now frank. if your old enough you might know that fashion dies and is then reborn!

  37. Vociferous

    This is not the computer I'm looking for.

    Move along.

  38. DrXym Silver badge

    Ugly design and expensive

    At least it's a small and compact. Not sure what if anything the shape lends to the machine except a vague sense that Apple is scraping the bottom of the design barrel to justify slapping a premium on the device.

    1. Philip Lewis

      Re: Ugly design and expensive

      The fact that it is very compact and essentially silent should impress you. It is an innovative and effective piece of industrial design.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Ugly design and expensive

        No, it's an ugly design that looks like a waste paper bin / a giant coke can. I'm quite certain that it's noise and size have absolutely nothing to do with the cylinder it is encased in. And in fact this can be seen quite plainly from the pictures without its case.

        1. Annihilator

          Re: Ugly design and expensive

          The shape lends itself to a single central heatsink through the centre, meaning all that kit has just one fan cooling it. Hate how it looks if you like, but the layout is so simple it's difficult to see how it wasn't thought of before.

  39. Arachnoid

    As a PC user

    Ill say it certainly seems an very innovative design and very art nouveau I guess the fan system works just like a cyclone floor cleaner so Id love to see some pics of one after a few months use.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You poor sods in the west.

    Parts are so cheap here, I could not buy an Apple computer even if I wanted to. In the east Apples are generally twice the price of a more power self-assembled machine. As Frank said, if you do your research, you can build a more powerful machine for less - but never with exactly the same parts as the Apple.

    Who said anything about using Windows? I DJ with xwax for example.

    First of all, you just need to wait around a bit till all the tweakers finish burning the newest chips down. Then you get an idea of their characterisitics. Apple might do that for you, but the mob of overclockers is not only more passionate, there are more of them.

    Next you need to focus on what your build will be for. Never make a generic machine unless you are a Faceplant user. Always maximize your gains in a specific area. Is it video editing? Is it rendering or encoding? Is it design and modeling? Is it sound synthesis. Or maby sound recording? Are you crunching numbers at lab?

    Apple make pretty good (looking!) generic machines. But they do not make machines focused on the task that *you* have.

    Support contracts? Are you kidding? For that kind of price, I'd have spare hardware sitting around. If you are a professional, I suggest you take your work seriously. Sharing hardware between workstations? Are you joking? It's not like you have to use MO disks anymore.

    The sooner you become independant from corporations not aligned with your goals, the better you will be able to serve your customers. ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You poor sods in the west.

      I think I've just heard your mummy calling you down for dinner.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You poor sods in the west.

        Oh what I would give to hear her voice calling me to the dinner table. (;_;)

        I must have struck a note somewhere with you, though, for you to mention my mother. Isn't that something that iBois like to do? I don't think I've heard it from anyone else on the Intertubes.

  41. WatAWorld

    Didn't Apple deep-six profssional users with Final Cut Pro X ?

    I only mention this because the article suggest loyal pros will get this $5000+ R2D2 like machine to run Final Cut Pro.

    Professional editors were complaining all over the web about Final Cut Pro X being a betrayal of professional users with FC being trimmed down so much it would only appeal to home and casual business users -- people unlikely to waste $5000 on a machine, let alone the upper limit of $10,000.

    Sample complaint article here:

    http://thecreativeorganization.com/final-cut-pro-x-creativity/

    I'm sure Apple will find a market for its machine. But I'm not sure any of them will be running Final Cut Pro X on it.

    1. Ivan Headache

      Re: Didn't Apple deep-six profssional users with Final Cut Pro X ?

      Why not look up some new comments - July 2011 is a long time ago.

  42. Skipraider

    Not a death star, nor a nappy bin ... its a floor-standing ashtray.

  43. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    ingenious, but also rather lacking a point

    I can't help but agree with others and think the machine would look an awful lot better with a transparent cover and a couple of lights (despite the fact I don't generally go for lighting and my dad snarkily asked 'why do computers need lights? Are they scared of the dark?')

    I can understand the wisdom of an external breakout box but think it should be an AND, not an OR. I have a Power Mac G4; it's still substantially smaller than my main workstation capable of holding EATX motherboards and a load of storage. This is the top level product and shiny design should take a backseat to sheer all out power and storage.

    Perhaps few people will want to have more than 12 cores, but it's nice to have the option and more cores necessarily means lower clock speeds to fit in Intel's 150W thermal envelope (they appear to be pushing things a bit with Ivy Bridge EX)

    Previous Mac Pros were extremely expandable, fast, had the option to fit as yet unreleased processors (won't happen in this case) and were still maintainable and quite pretty.

    Hell, if they insist on going to the smaller form factor why not go for 'borg cube'. Looks good on the desk, also arrange it so it fits in say 5U with the ability to mount more than one horizontally. It'd solve the absence of the XServe too.

  44. Van

    This design is going to be copied by PC case builders and become all the rage and I reckon there's a chinese factory already preparing to make clear covers for the Apple.

  45. Zolko

    they copied my workstation

    I wanted a Windows workstation for 3D CAD, but I wanted it silent. So I got a Silverstone Fortress FT03 housing, with passive PSU (actually, hybrid but the fan never switches on), and an AMD FirePro v5800 with passive heatsink, all of this cooled via a large vertical fan at the bottom that increases the convective vertical flux of the case. The mini-ATX motherboard is turned 90°, the PCI ports facing upwards.

    It's so silent that I can hear the neons and the halogen lamps in my office.

    OK, it's not as powerful as this MacPro, but Apple could have gone the same way and build a traditional case but turned vertically, allowing easy upgrading and commercial parts. A real Pro machine, not this toy that will go into history's trashcan like the Cube did.

  46. Duke2010

    It doesnt add up to me

    Ok its a fine machine but what is the point of this new design that forces the use of Thunderbolt? The main advantage I see is space saving but does a pro really care about the size difference? A tower isn't THAT big anyway, just put it under your desk. Looking at the disadvantages of Thunderbolt (high cost and less device choice) I would go for slightly larger size any day. Plus stringing all of those Thunderbolt devices together you end up with a machine that looks like a Tumbleweed!

    The only other advantage of this new design is the thermals. But its actually Intel that deserves a pat on the back for that not Apple. They are the ones responsible for making a chip with such low TDP that it doesn't needs massive cooling. Apple have just put it in a shiny box. You could have a full size tower with the massive choice of device support that it brings and still have the low thermals of the latest chips.

    So Apple what is the point of this new design?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It doesnt add up to me

      "The only other advantage of this new design is the thermals. But its actually Intel that deserves a pat on the back for that not Apple. They are the ones responsible for making a chip with such low TDP..."

      Kudos to Intel but they didn't make those FirePro chips, which are almost certainly hotter than the CPU. Apple deserves a lot of engineering credit. This is the first high power, high performance computer I've ever seen where all the components are cooled via convection and a single, quiet fan. And I've been following "silent computing" for a while.

      It's nice that we have a big company like Apple that's willing to spend money on design and engineering like this. I don't know of another company that would have invested this kind of time or money or effort into this innovative cooling solution, which requires custom motherboards, graphics cards, and heatsinks. All other products that could be considered remotely similar are designed around standard commodity PC parts and are thus inferior. I do remember reading about one computer case where the back was a giant, finned aluminum heatsink and you could use various modular heatpipes to connect the CPU and GPU to it as long as they were in certain standard-ish locations. It was hugely expensive, heavy, and big, and still inferior to the Mac Pro since there was little or no cooling for the other internal components. Again, even if you don't like some of the stuff Apple says or does, it seems like anybody with a respect for engineering should appreciate that they exist and are doing things like this.

  47. Potemkine Silver badge
    Trollface

    Practical question

    Isn't it a little big for a suppository?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?

    Yeah. Their both full of kiddies sh*t!

  49. TheBully

    Multiple Screens?

    I only see one HDMI port on the front of it can it support dual screens out of the box?

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