back to article Tim Cook reveals 'great' update for Mac Pro

Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed the Mac Pro range will be updated in 2013 with "something really great". Insubstantial Ram and processor tweaks to Apple's Mac Pro line had fans up in arms this week, prompting the removal of the machine's "New" tag on the company's online store, MacRumours reports. Without the addition of …


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  1. eSeM
    Thumb Up

    So .... Tim Cook is saying don't buy a Mac Pro this year, wait until next year?

    1. jai

      yep that's how much he loves the Pro customers - cares more about them being happy in a year than leeching their money now.

      maybe that's because the desktop Pro hardware isn't nearly as profitable for them as the iPhone and iPads are

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Desktop machines are popular in the office market but Apple isn't really a business desktop company (although Google use a lot of Macs).

        In the consumer market it's all laptops and tablets, desktops are 10% or so of the market.

        1. Ted Treen

          @AC 10.31

          ...Apple isn't really a business desktop company...

          With most of the non-graphics business users I've seen over the last few years, It's surprising how many of them are still using elderly Dell/HP entry-level machines, running XP.

          Who really IS a "business desktop" company these days?

        2. hazydave

          Thing is..

          Apple is, or was, in part a media content creation PC company. And the Mac Pro was never even remotely a business desktop. What business PC user needs dual socket. 12 core desktops? But for video work, boy howdy.

          Thing is, you can get a modern workstation class PC with a current high end gaming or even workstation class GPU for the price of the 2.5 year old Mac Pro and its 2009 gaming GPU.

          Of course, Apple's solving this problem on other ways. They have the only pro video editor still on the market that's 32-bit only and doesn't use GPU acceleration (Final Cut Pro 7). Plus, they released an upgrade that's not really an upgrade at all, but a scaled down, appified, not compatible, not pro replacement, FCP X.

          In short, Apple is trying really hard to kill their pro market. I mean, seriously, they couldn't come up with a Mac Pro replacement each year? I'm guessing they dump the Pro entirely and introduce an iMac Pro. Which will be useless to actual pros, but appealing to FCPX prosumers and die hard fanbois.

          And this is clearly what they're going to keep doing. Look at the Mac market.. last quarter, only 18% of Apple's business. Most of their money comes from one iPhone and one iPad refresh each year. For the Mac. they need 10-something models. So it's consolidation time. Same reason all laptops will be "Air" models... no optical or HDDs anymore.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rackmout "great" update

      The x-serve "great" update was to tell us magically find space in our cabinet for a Mac Pro or swap it with a couple of mini's.

      Maybe this "great" update will be to replace your Mac Pro's with an iMac?

    3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      That's what we were told last year too. And then in a back to back test, the (then) new 15" MBP almost kicked the butt of the 12 core Mac Pro in a rendering test. We were advised to wait for the new Xeons, and if we couldn't, then buy either the quad-core MBP or iMac.

  2. andreas koch

    iLife integration

    The really great update will be that it gets fully integrated into iLife: It will be depending on sharing processor load with your iPhone and your iPad and with the iTunes iCloud through an AirPort supported by IOS6i and MacOS11.

    This will make sure that you will purchase only the right iDevices to be able to use it at all. Your (coming soon...) iBankAccount will be debited accordingly.

    Apple knows what's good for you!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It's time they get into robotics and create an iWife. Will cost you as much as a real one, but with much improved usability. The iMan is easier: it just works.

      Pardon me while I go hide somewhere now :).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iWife

        If it's an iDevice, it'll cost three times what a standard wife costs, and it'll only integrate with an iPorsche and an iSmallboneKitchen and an iRayburn Aga. But it'll be fantastic for both the people who can afford it, assuming that they only want it to do what it wants to do.

        1. croc

          Re: iWife

          Are you SURE that these new iWives aren't already on the market? I'd swear that I just saw one use our nukebox, and the same one just cleaned out my ready cash about two hours ago...

          1. Ted Treen

            Re: iWife

            You need to get a Scientologist iWife...

            She'll be quite at home with the iRon...

            iCoat & iTaxi, please...

  3. JDX Gold badge

    Maybe they'll just stop making non-laptop PCs, it must be a fairly minor segment of their sales.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The AIO iMac line still seems popular though no iPhone size business. Agree the TC message sure sounds like recommendation to switch to Windows for professional desktop systems.

    2. Darryl

      Jeez, JDX. Do you have a death wish??

      NEVER use the term "PC" as a description of an Apple product. People have been killed for less.

    3. hazydave

      They kind of have...

      The Mac Pro is the only real traditional PC Apple still makes. IMacs are just laptops for the desktop.

      . the early ones at least used laptop motherboards. They're similarly unexpandable, and of course force a new monitor purchase with each iMac.

      Apple is one of the few PC companies gaining market share... they did 4.5% globally in 2011, and seem on track to hit 5.2% for 2012. More than all of that growth comes from the "iPhone/iPad coattail" buyers... even as they're shedding users in the pro market. So it's very reasonable for Apple to build Macs primarily for the iOS crowd... just what they're doing.

  4. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik


    "we fucked up and need a year to design a new device"

  5. kode

    It's gonna be magical, just amazin', downright revolutionary.

  6. Annihilator

    Low hanging fruit

    The really strange thing is, you'd think that the Mac Pro's would be the easiest thing to update compared with the massive reengineering that presumably needs to go on with a laptop/Air device.

    Lob in a new motherboard, buy a job lot of Ivy Bridge chips and away you go. They presumably couldn't care less about Pro customers, despite protests to the contrary.

    1. Stephen Usher

      Re: Low hanging fruit

      It's even easier than that. They merely have to design a new processor tray and leave everything else alone.

      Of course, they could help by asking AMD to just put some new firmware in a more modern version of their Radeon HD cards so that the current users can gain access to graphics card technology less than three years old as well.

  7. Jon Double Nice

    I reckon it's going to be

    a convergence of the Mac Pro, iPhone and iMac lines into one monstrous unwieldy aluminium clad giant screened lifestyle device. It will require the optional iSackBarrow in order to carry it around.

    On the plus side it will have a 32" retina display, just to stick it to Samsung Galaxy lines.

  8. Alan Denman

    It will grate user's that Tim thinks it great that barring users from upgrading.

    Obviously everything will be glued or soldered down sold for one heck of a disposable system.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the picture of?

    I'm not au fait with Apple desktops.

    It's just the perforated metal look reminds me of curret Dell Optiplexes - though I see that there are rounded corners on it.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: What's the picture of?

      It's the front view of just the top section of the Mac Pro. The two smooth bits are the optical drive covers which (from memory, I've not touched one for many years) 'magically' slide out of the way as the tray comes out.

  10. djstardust

    I bought a quadcore MacPro a couple of years ago with Cinema display for a cool £2600

    The Bluetooth has never worked and various releases of osX have got slower as time has gone on and the 3GB of RAM disappears pretty quickly, even when just web surfing et al.

    Apple support were useless.

    It's now got XP 32bit running on it and it goes like s**t off a shovel.

    Great solidly built machine sold with a poor OS. Should last me another 10 years at least!


    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      I will grant that much- macs generally tend to be engineered to be a bit more solid and reliable than the same spec machine from some of the other large vendors. (Dell, HP, etc.) Now, upgrading or repairing them... yeah. fiendish for certain. (really Apple? I have to spend 30 minutes and use/buy half the specialized tools in my kit just to swap a dead hard drive out of a ancient G3 based powerbook? FAIL.)

      That having been said, the dell precision chassis sitting on my work desk is built like a tank, weighs almost as much as one, and will probably be good for a full 5 years powered on 24/7. But then, it was nearly 2 grand without the monitors.

    2. Chris 3

      The Bluetooth has never worked

      When things don't work like that, you just box it up and send it back & they send you another one.

    3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      What? You bought a workstation that uses Intel Xeon processors 2 years ago and only put 3GB of RAM in it? My HP laptop from 4 years ago came with 4GB! Got a MBP last year and it came with 8GB (but supports 16GB). You do know that your MacPro supports 48GB, don't you?

      I can imagine that XP runs along very nicely in 3GB, but normally anything you want a workstation for wants more. (E.G. Adobe Creasive Suite will happily bloat itself out to use 12GB or more) I'm not sure that you can blame the latest OSx if you only feed it 3GB.

      1. Ted Treen
        Thumb Up

        Re Bristol Bachelor

        "...I'm not sure that you can blame the latest OSx if you only feed it 3GB..."

        I'm damned certain he can't. I too have a two-year old Mac Pro - except mines 8-core. I took it to 12GB RAM and she flies. I use CS5, MSOffice, iMovie etc., and run Win7 through VMWare Fusion.

        Not a problem.

  11. VinceH

    '"Our Pro customers like you are really important to us. Although we didn't have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at [this week's] event, don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year," he wrote.'

    After which, he immediately picked up the phone and rang the Mac Pro team. "Start working on an update that we can call 'really great' when we announce it next year..."

  12. Silverburn

    MacPro 1.1

    My - admittedly "non-apple-approved" upgrades (not quite latest gen AMD GPU, upgraded XEONS) to my 1.1 should see me right for a good while yet*.

    Those complaining about non-latest GPU's in factory fresh kit have a perfectly good point, but those of us with older kit outside of warranty are more than happy to flash the BIOS on a PC GPU, update QE_CI, and bingo - cheaper and faster GPU's than we'd ever get as standard.

    *...*if* 10.7 doesn't consign it to the legacy cul-de-sac of death...

    1. Adam T

      Re: MacPro 1.1

      1.1 user here too, and mine is still running like butter six years later.

      Therein lies the crunch though, as I buy workstations for graphics work every couple years, and while I've wanted Mac Pros, I always go with custom builds instead. I simply can't be bothered with playing the waiting game, only to find you have a measly choice of CPU loadout and graphics options.

      How many Xeons were released this year? And all will be a year old by the time the 2013 MP comes out (which will probably offer 2 or 3, and won't tell you which chips they are on the product page anyway...all you need to do is know they're "really fast" :p).

  13. Ben 50

    The decline and fall of an apple....

    ... is it already happening? non-announcements, competitors biting at their heels, little in the way of vision of excitement - more of the same, and in this case, less.

    1. Adam T

      Re: The decline and fall of an apple....

      "more of the same"...kind of applies to your post too :P

  14. P. Lee

    Easiest to do, hardest to sell

    A bit like putting out an android phone.

    The problem is that Apple's forte is giving consumers a top-of-the-line interface by which apple means, good display tech, nice visuals, good (battery) availability, nice touch and feel.

    For a pro machine, its likely that users will go for best of breed mix & match. The "good enough for most consumers wrapped in a really nice interface" doesn't cut it in that market. They will pick their own outrageously priced monitor and not care a hoot about the label. You aren't likely to sell them a magic mouse either.

    So far, apple seem to have the dual-cpu workstation to themselves. When you have a tower capable of multiple drives, thunderbolt is less important. To go "revolutionary" (ok, evolutionary) on this, they need more cpu's and more gpus which means working with AMD & nvidia.

    They could do a quad-xeon box but that's a whole lot more tech on the motherboard and costs more / eats margin. They could go SLI/Crossfire in OSX but that's more work from AMD/nvidia which appears to be hard to come by and mostly fuels the hackintosh market.

    My guess is that they'll do something with LGA 2011. Let's hope they do something more than add 14 SATA ports and 20 USB ports, as most mobo makers appear to have done. Thunderbolt would be a start, though not terribly useful except for fast portable disks.

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