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Mac Pro ship times start to slip ahead of Xeon E5

updated 03:55 pm EST, Mon January 2, 2012

Mac Pro shows signs of upcoming refresh

Signs of a long-in-waiting Mac Pro update have appeared in earnest through the Apple Store. Picking either the 12-core stock workstation or most build-to-order changes knocks the shipping time back to between one to three weeks, usually a sign at Apple that supplies are dwindling. A refresh isn't necessarily imminent and might depend on both the sales rate of remaining stock and how soon new components are ready.

Apple hasn't updated the Mac Pro since July 2010. The update has primarily been waiting on Intel, which hasn't had a mid-range Xeon update since. Its Xeon E5 update will be that replacement and was pushed back to early 2012, missing virtually an entire generation while the entry E3 and server-focused E7 shipped. The E5 moves to the much newer Sandy Bridge architecture's 32 nanometer design, new media instructions, and other upgrades to make it more efficient per clock.

Apple has already dropped hints as to other elements of the presumed Mac Pro upgrade, such as references to Radeon HD 7000 cards in the Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta. Its allusion to the Tahiti core hints at either the high-end Radeon HD 7970 or a new sub-variant, such as a possible 7950, being at least a build-to-order option.

Concerns have existed that Apple might drop the Mac Pro entirely, which could see a simple winding down of the line. When Apple discontinued the Xserve, though, it gave possible buyers significant advance notice so they could plan purchases and complete projects before it was too late. As the only Mac that could be considered a heavy-duty server as well as the emblem of its creative software, though, its disappearance is less certain, especially in the light of the pro-oriented Thunderbolt port and imminent new Xeons. [via MacRumors]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. macjockey

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004

    -4

    mini tower?

    I hope it becomes a mini-tower instead of the current tall monster.

  1. GJN

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2012

    +7

    Keep Existing Case

    It works beautifully and provides terrific expansion space

  1. rodvera

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2007

    +7

    Agreed

    Just update the damn thing, if it's not broke (case) why fix it.

  1. KristerBister

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2011

    +12

    Slightly lower please

    Just lower it 2mm please, allowing it to fit on side in a rack.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Apr 2011

    +3

    "suplies dwindling" - ERGO New MPs on the way!!!

    Sad, Sad, Sad, article based on speculation, rumors, and despair...

    The writer must be a creative content producer indeed,
    and like most Mac locked content creators is feeling the squeeeeze.

    If you need a very expensive dual Xeon setup, you need it bad.
    A new processor architecture can take hours (if not days) of 3D rendering of a 30 second animation.

    Having to wait almost 2 years or your preferred brand to come up with an update is criminal; quite a bit worse than getting a new smartphone and a few months later discovering you cannot upgrade it to the latest update.

    Apple is being specially cruel to it's once core business, the photographers, graphics artists, musicians, and just Apple Industrial Design fans that kept the company going through it´s worst years; even more so on account of it's recent earnings.

    Hope this is wrong,
    but the new Apple - "a mobile computing company" (quote from SJ on the demise of the Xserve), seems more interested in distributing content and putting together non-user configurable computer appliances.

    Very sad indeed as Apple might be greedy, but the rest are greedy copycats that do not care for the content creators or even a tad of imaginative design...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Re: Keep Existing Case

    It works beautifully and provides terrific expansion space

    It provides crappy expansion space for the size. The case is huge, and the expansion is still limited.

    Oh, but who cares, because no one expands. And it isn't about how many drives or cards you can put in there, it's how good the inside looks when you open it up (if you open it up, which no one does, we keep hearing).

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Re: "suplies dwindling"

    Having to wait almost 2 years or your preferred brand to come up with an update is criminal; quite a bit worse than getting a new smartphone and a few months later discovering you cannot upgrade it to the latest update.

    No, the 'criminal' part is that Apple is selling the same computer today that it sold 1.5 years ago for the same price.

    Apple is being specially cruel to it's once core business, the photographers, graphics artists, musicians, and just Apple Industrial Design fans that kept the company going through it´s worst years; even more so on account of it's recent earnings.

    "Apple Industrial Design" fans? Seriously? Apple's last concern should be people who just like to oooh and aaah over their latest 'design'. They should be more worried about the larger segment of society, those who actually pay money and buy their goods. Which is why Apple doesn't give a whit about content creators. They no longer are a big enough market to make a dent in sales for Apple, so they get ignored.

    Very sad indeed as Apple might be greedy, but the rest are greedy copycats that do not care for the content creators or even a tad of imaginative design...

    And I would argue that most of the people you claim are being ignored (except the fans) have little caring about the 'imaginative' design of the hardware and care more about the actual capabilities and usability of the hardware. I can't imagine how shallow one would have to be in the creative field if you would base buying or not buying a new Mac on whether the case looked good or stylistic. And how much can you care if you've got this pretty little mac sitting on your desk, and then next to it three external hard drives cabled up and around?

    I didn't buy my G5 tower because it glistened in the morning sun as the sunlight streamed through the cheese grater front. I bought it because it had the features I needed (even though it was far more expensive, and heavy, than it should have been). And also why it's the last high-priced desktop I've bought, since I need the internal expansion and hard drives, just not the speed and power, of a tower. But Apple doesn't care about that.

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