We Apple pros could be forgiven for having felt somewhat disenfranchised of late. After all, we’ve had to sit back for six years or so and watch the spotlight being hogged by lucrative telephones and tablets while enduring a relative lack of innovation in the design of what we know and love Apple for best – computer hardware. Yes, we got the MacBook Air, but that’s just a slimmer version of the traditional laptop aimed squarely at the domestic market. And yes, they practically invented the modern tablet in the form of the iPad, but how many professional users do you know who produce their stuff solely on one of those? To people who make their living using Macs, these products, although admittedly very cool and all that, have by and large been merely shiny distractions.
Now though, it looks like we finally have something to celebrate in the all-new 2013 Mac Pro, a sneak preview of which was unveiled at yesterday’s WWDC keynote. OK, so it does look a bit like a teabag bin, and has already been labelled the ‘Trash Can’ by the Twitterati, but whatever you think about how it looks, it really should be applauded as the first major hardware redesign from Apple in years. Tiny, cylindrical and with a stonking power-to-weight ratio, it delivers expandability in spades – as long as you don’t mind shelling out for a Thunderbolt chassis to run all those external drives, interfaces and displays, that is. So it’s wonderful to see a splash of this sort of forward-thinking, mould-breaking hardware design from a company who were once so renowned for it, and Apple pros the world over can finally breathe a huge collective sigh of relief. Even though I know a few studio owners who I suspect are going to have to put up a sign next to their machine politely asking people to refrain from stubbing their cigarettes out in it.
The 2013 Mac Pro is set to make its debut later this year, which should give everyone plenty of time to save up, arrange finance, plot and execute elaborate insurance scams, sell relatives etc. to come up with the funds needed to buy one, so form an orderly queue to the left please guys.
2013 Mac Pro Specs:
Intel Xeon E5 chipset offering up to 12 cores of processing power, up to 40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth, and 256-bit-wide floating-point instructions.
Four-channel DDR3 ECC memory controller running at 1866MHz delivering up to 60GB/s of memory bandwidth. Memory configurations unconfirmed as yet.
Two state-of-the-art AMD FirePro workstation-class GPU’s each with up to 6GB of dedicated VRAM.
Next-generation PCIe Express storage controller – 1.25GBps flash-based storage 10 times faster than a standard 7200rpm SATA hard drive. Storage configurations unconfirmed as yet.
6 built-in Thunderbolt 2 ports, up to 6 devices per port, 20GBps throughput, backwards compatible.
4 x USB 3, 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, and 1 x HDMI 1.4 ports.
Three-stream 802.11ac WiFi
Unified thermal core cooling system featuring large, multi-bladed single fan.
9.9 x 6.6 inches