Mac Pro ruminating…

According to Tim Cook, there will be a replacement for the Mac Pro this year. I certainly hope so. At work I still use an aging 2008 Mac Pro, and it still works well. I have the my main drive in Raid 0 to speed things up a bit. I also upgraded the video card to a Radeon 6850 1GB card from the older Geforce 8800 GTX. I have also used an Nvidia GTC 470 in the machine, and it too worked well. However, it is now finally feeling old. USB 3 hard disks are faster than FIrewire 800 and new Macs all have Thunderbolt for some really impressive I/O. Newer Xeon’s are now available which are much faster than the CPU’s on the most current Mac Pro’s. But what form should the new Mac Pro take? With the advent of Thunderbolt, it must be included. Connecting external devices via Thunderbolt is a boon for those who need external storage and work with high def video. I would add that a fast PCI 3 express Video Cars is also needed. The current Nvidia cards are fast and power efficient. Many tasks in Adobe Software such as Photoshop and Premiere are now GPU acclerated. With regards to the CPU, I’m not even sure that Xeon’s are a must. I would think a higher end Core i7 such as the 3820, 3830 and 3970 would be sufficient for most folks. There would need to be an option for those who must have multi processing and Xeon’s do fit the bill nicely. Maybe Apple is waiting for the 22nm Haswell based chips to make their debut. I don’t know of any planned Haswell based Xeon’s but you can be sure they are coming. For storage, I would think the ability to use SATA 6 and the option to natively hold four disks (SSD or spinning platters) would be ideal. All in all I’m locking forward to see what Apple has planned. I’m hoping the entry points are more in line with some of the old G5 towers from back in the day. They started at $1600, which would be a great starting point for people looking for something with more customization that is possible than with an iMac.

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