April 19, 2015

What Are Your Thoughts on the New Mac Pro Redesign?

Apple could be addressing some of the serious concerns I’ve had lately.  The new iteration of the operating system will fix the notification errors I mentioned, as well as introduce a desktop version of the iBook software, letting it catch up to Kindle.  Issues with dual screens and fullscreen settings will be resolved.  Though I’m still hesitant, if they fix many of the other errors instead of introducing new ones, it could be like the leap from Windows Me to Windows XP.  I can’t wait for the days of Mountain Lion to be over as it ruined a wonderful operating system.

What excites me most is the redesign of the Mac Pro.  The aluminum body power system is now tiny compared to its older brothers, but packs a tremendous amount of power into the form factor, including support three 4k monitors.  If you aren’t familiar with the standard, 4k makes 1080p look cute and sad.  This is the first thing that has come out of the company since Steve Jobs died that at least gives me a glimmer of hope that they can continue to create truly compelling products.

Aaron’s already informed me he will likely want one.  It might … might … be enough to get me to stick with the company through another upgrade cycle.  It will really depend on the native performance of a Windows 8 installation put on a separate partition.  If it is still powerful enough to play some games on their maximum settings, I’ll probably go with it, giving me access to both the Mac and Windows ecosystems.  It would require an external thunderbolt or USB optical drive but that won’t be a problem.

What are your thoughts on the new Mac Pro for those of you involved in technology?  Impressed?  Disappointed?  Ambivalent?  The hard drive speeds make me happy – we recently began upgrading some of the systems to solid state drives, which resulted in huge speed jumps.  This storage is even 2.5x faster than that.  Going from a traditional hard drive to SSD by itself made a bigger difference than a jump between the i5 and i7 processors and doubling the RAM, so I’m already sold on the importance of speed read/write.

Mac Pro Body

Mac Pro Black 4 Mac Pro Black 3 Mac Pro Black 2 Mac Pro Black 1 Mac Pro Black 7

If you are not familiar with 4k display technology, here is the resolution difference between the standards you already know I found from a tech resource selling televisions.  It a whole lot more screen real estate.


  • Gilvus

    It looks like a high-tech garbage can.

    …I want one.

  • lokgp

    You might want to wait a little, and see what the competition in the likes of Dell, Asus, HP will come out with to counter Mac.

    The problem is, these are super high spec machine unimaginable just 5 years ago, which are out of reach of common computer users, price wise. It could be unprofitable for Dell to mass produce for a niche market. Perhaps Mac specs exceed your requirements, and add less value to your life for the amount of money you are paying. Its the OS and softwares that will add the most value to your life. You might want to look further into the software fixes. Just upgrade your current Mac to the new software fix for a taste of the new machine. The OS will still be the interface that you will be in contact with the most.

  • peterpatch79

    It reminds me of the G4 cube in that the design looks awesome but the components look like they had to be engineered in weird ways to fit in the cylinder. Hopefully it doesn’t suffer from the same cooling problems the cube did.

  • segfault

    The Mac Pro is very, very sexy. And I’m sure it won’t be cheap (nor will the Retina monitor). But I’m amazed that they can pack so much power into such a small box.

    I had no idea the dual monitor support on Mountain Lion was so poor. I was shocked that they were listing all these new features for dual displays (you mean it doesn’t do that already?).

    As for Mavericks, it sounds good, but they did claim that they increased their focus on improving battery life on the notebooks. I’m already infuriated over the way background tabs in Safari are loaded (or, more often, not loaded) on my iPad mini, so if they pull a bunch of tricks like that to improve battery life, I’ll be highly annoyed. iBooks is now available on OS X? Tough crap, they already lost that battle. The Kindle reader is a better reader app than iBooks on the iPad, anyway, and that’s where I’ve purchased my e-books. Plus, I happen to think that the Kindle Paperwhite is the ultimate standalone e-reader. It does one thing and does it exceptionally well, weighs very little, and has excellent battery life.

    iTunes Radio is a very blatant copy of Pandora. At $24.99 per year, it is less expensive to get the ad-free version compared to Pandora. That said, when my current Pandora subscription expires, I’m going to give Slacker a try because it will allow me to cache stations and listen in areas where my cell phone service is spotty.

  • http://ianhfrancis.blogspot.com/ Ian Francis

    4k. Hah! There is already 8k! Why? I’m not sure. I guess movie theaters, because I cannot see an advantage in the home unless everyone starts buying 100+ inch televisions.

    • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

      How about this 150 inch television? Is this what you’re thinking?

      • http://ianhfrancis.blogspot.com/ Ian Francis

        Yes. Like that one. I am pretty confident that wouldn’t fit through my door and I am not sure if it isn’t taller than my ceilings. It might even be wider than my entire entertainment center.

        • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

          … But you want it, don’t you? You want it badly. Look at it. Imagine setting it up as an entire wall in your house and having Ashly play Bioshock in the middle of the night, with Bose surround sound, all by herself. You could film it and put it on YouTube. It would be an advertising goldmine.

        • http://ianhfrancis.blogspot.com/ Ian Francis

          If you haven’t read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury I recommend it. His predictions of the future made in the 60s are eerily similar to a lot of the technology we use today. And yes, I want it quite badly.

        • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

          Speaking of tech, we were just at Best Buy and they have these amazing Samsung cameras running Android for only $449. It was this one. I loved it. I should have bought it, I don’t know what I was thinking walking out without it. Even the Android tablets are much better than they were a year ago – all of the Samsung products were beyond perfect. And they had some awesome Windows all-in-ones. I haven’t been this excited about the new technology in a long, long time. I can’t imagine how amazing it will be by the 2017-2018 long-haul (the time frame I’m always looking at as I project my investments 5 years out and try to picture the world).

          Crap … now I want that camera. And they are closed. This sucks. I could have bought it to take pictures of this weekend in Southern California. It had so many bells and whistles, you probably would have confiscated it and used it to realign satellites. We could have probably used it to spy on North Korea … er, forgive me, Best Korea. North Korea is Best Korea and Only Korea as dear leader tells us.

          Oh, and about that …. I realize I am supposed to get on the plane in the next few hours but we are going to the midnight premier of Superman, so looks like there will be no sleep. We’ll still make it out there by early afternoon.

          And I just realized I forgot to see if the driver is picking us up when we land … I have to go make a phone call.

          I’m getting tired. This is going to be interesting … this comment probably sounds like my movie review at 4 a.m. the other day.

        • http://ianhfrancis.blogspot.com/ Ian Francis

          I always really enjoy these “A Moment Inside the Head of Joshua Kennon” comments. It reads just like you typed this right as these thoughts crossed your mind. If so, I commend your typing skills.

  • archont

    It’s a sexy high-spec machine. However single-thread performance seems to have received little love, and that’s the main limiting factor in most tasks. The only way to solve that is to use bigger, more exotic cooling, delid the CPU and replace the thermal interface compound and do other hackish tricks which aren’t optimal for mass production and come at the cost of reliability. The new generation of Haswell barely increased desktop performance to make things worse.

    The PCIE drive is a good if still uncommon solution, we’ve maxed out sata bandwidth and the only way up was either RAID or that – and since motherboard RAID is ass either way if you try to get faster read speeds, you end up with a PCI-based solution.

    I’m also happy to see someone – anyone, even Apple, push for higher display resolutions. My retired veteran 22” CRT COMPAQ displayed more pixels than the modern standard of 1080p. And although I prefer the 16:10 aspect ratio, 2k and 4k are both fine, if consumer demand and competition can bring the price down from the current orbital level to a more reasonable 1k USD.

    The problem is that 4k is a lot of pixels and since gamers are the primary consumers of high-end hardware, that display would require a monster of a GPU setup – a 2x – 3x titan, 1k USD a pop, is the minimum to get decent 60-ish framerates, depending on the game.

    As a programmer working on interactive visual applications, someone who’s probably within the target zone for those things, I’d have to go insane and rob a bank, to buy one. In fact, based on police reports and the average amount of cash stolen, I’d have to rob several.

  • Guest

    It looks like a Microsoft product to me, not an Apple one. :/ I suppose because it’s black, whereas their products are usually white or silver. It reminds me of Star Trek or something, but it’s interesting… IDK, doesn’t feel ‘Apple’.