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Desktops (Apple) Portables (Apple) Upgrades Apple

Apple Updates MacBooks and Mac Pro Desktop With Haswell, "Unified Thermal Core" 464

MojoKid writes with more detailed information on the new hardware Apple announced earlier today at WWDC "On the hardware side, Apple is updating its two MacBook Air devices; both the 11-inch and 13-inch versions will enjoy better battery life (up to 9 hours and 12 hours, respectively), thanks in no small part to having Intel's new Haswell processors inside. They'll also have 802.11ac WiFi on board. Both models have 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 or i7 (Haswell) processors, Intel HD Graphics 5000, 4GB of RAM, and has 128GB or 256GB of flash storage. Arguably the scene stealer on the desktop side of things is a completely redesigned Mac Pro. The 9.9-inch tall cylindrical computer boasts a new 'unified thermal core' which is designed to conduct heat away from the CPU and GPU while distributing it uniformly and using a single bottom-mounted intake fan. It rocks a 12-core Intel Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro GPUs (standard), 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory (60GBps), and PCIe flash storage with up to 1.25GBps read speeds. The system promises 7 teraflops of graphics performance, supports 4k displays, and has a host of ports including four USB 3.0, two gigabit Ethernet ports, HDMI 1.4, six Thunderbolt 2 ports that offer super-fast (20Gbps) external connectivity."
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Apple Updates MacBooks and Mac Pro Desktop With Haswell, "Unified Thermal Core"

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  • cylindrical (Score:4, Funny)

    by binarybum ( 468664 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:11PM (#43968823) Homepage
  • and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LodCrappo ( 705968 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:18PM (#43968879) Homepage

    ..PCs will still be more economical, more powerful, more easily upgraded, and uglier.

    Some things never seem to change.

    • Still better than those 90's beige monstrosities IMO.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        those 'monstrosities' allowed upgrades at least.

        I hate shiny surfaces.. they show off every scratch and fingerprint

    • Re:and... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by aliquis ( 678370 ) <> on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:52PM (#43969125) Homepage

      It's still a PC.

      Innovative board and case designs though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bemymonkey ( 1244086 )

        I think the word you're looking for is proprietary. Good luck adding storage when you run out of space, or upgrading to new GPUs when nVidia and AMD have a performance breakthrough one or two years down the line...

        Oh wait Thunderbolt - you can hook up an external graphics card and external hard drives... so it's a bit like a supercharged netbook minus the display and keyboard and portability.

    • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fermion ( 181285 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:30PM (#43969349) Homepage Journal
      Actually the Pros were very upgradable, and much easier to do so than any PC. It was always pull a lever, or pull off the top. No screws, not hassle, and this was all the way back , in many cases, to Apple ][. I recall swapping my hard disk out of my Mac LC in about two minutes. Memory on my Mac G4 was about a minute. And worried about getting thing stolen from inside because it so easy? The pass through for the security cable also automatically locks the case.

      Really with mac it was a design decision. Do you limit capability with internal, at the time, IDE ports or do you provide a high speed external port that is plug and play, before most things were plug and play. I have recounted many time how difficult it was to get a ZIP drive to work on a PC, but that such things were automatic on a Mac. Or that hard drives that were too big of slow on a PC were plug and play on a Mac.

      In this case I assume that I would have networked storage through gigabyte Ethernet for archive.

      • No screws, not hassle, and this was all the way back , in many cases, to Apple ][.

        Not in a continuous tradition, however.

        The compact Macs had bare CRTs inside that would give you a nasty shock if you touched them wrong, and for a while, the power supplies were bare too. And the whole case required an unusually long torx screwdriver to open, in order to deter people from opening it.

        The Mac II's were good, until the end, when the IIvx came along. It was a bit of a bitch to work with, and ushered in an age of Macs that were bitches to work with, most notably everything based upon the Quadra

      • No not really (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:26AM (#43969937)

        In terms of opening, it depends on the case. There are some very easy no-tools PC cases out there. All Dell servers, for example, are just a lever to open (I mention them since we buy a lot).

        However that aside easy of upgradeability isn't about how easy you can get the side off, I mean really if a thumb screw vexes you, you are being silly. It is about component availability and this has always been a massive Mac problem. Things like custom powersupplies, custom video card BIOSes, that sort of thing, and of course fuck-all available from Apple. When you get a PC, particularly a high end one, you've got all kinds of options. With a good manufacturer, they will sell you the stuff, as well as your ability to get it aftermarket. Like with a Dell workstation Dell will sell you, after the fact, addon processors, memory, GPUs, HDDs, SSDs, RAID controllers, HBAs, network adapters, power supplies, and so on for your system. All of them come with full warranty support though Dell, of course.

        They don't have what you want, or don't have it for a good price? No problem, you can get it all aftermarket. Nothing special needed, buy the regular stuff from any vendor.

        You can really upgrade the hell out of a PC, and keep doing it, if you want. I haven't bought a new desktop in like 8 years, yet it is still very much top of the line. What happens is I just replace components as needed. I get a new GPU every 18ish months, new HDDs if I run out of space or if something is faster enough to catch my interest (like my SSD), a new audio card when I see one with features I want, a new motherboard/CPU every 2ish years, new RAM if the motherboard needs it, new PSU should power requirements change (hasn't happened) and a new case never because I like mine. So even when the core, the CPU and motherboard, get upgraded it isn't a new system. I can keep the case, PSU, GPU, sound card, drives, and all that jazz.

        Now I'm not saying this is how people should do it, but that is a demonstration of what real upgradeability means. It is the ability to upgrade any component when a new one comes out more or less, and to do so with anything as much as needed. Not the ability to take the case off and put in more RAM.

        In terms of network storage I suppose... But what? OS-X can't act as an iSCSI initiator so you can't use any of the nice high end iSCSI arrays (like an Equallogic) or something. No 10gig so no FCoE. Apple doesn't make storage arrays and nothing else seems to support AFP. So... You buy a Windows server and use CIFS? Last I tried, CIFS performance wasn't great on the Mac, but whatever.

        Macs really aren't that well designed for network storage on account of not having anything out there for them. I mean generally for network storage you either want a NAS that speaks the protocol your OS likes, and for OS-X that's AFP which is not popular, or for higher performance/lower latency you hook up using iSCSI or FCoE. iSCSI is real popular because gig (and bonded gig) are options and you can run it over your regular network, even over the Internet if necessary. Most OSes (Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, VMWare) can act as initiators and talk to an iSCSI target (most of them can be targets too if you want), but not OS-X, it has no iSCSI support.

        I mean they'll talk to a CIFS share if you are just looking for a place to put stuff, but given the lack of space I presume you are talking about networked storage in a high performance capacity, using it online like local storage. That really only works well with high performance stuff and that they do not seem to have.

        • You can get AFP support for shares from FreeNAS, and from a few commercial NAS boxes: Netgear ReadyNAS, QNAP, and Synology. I use the ReadyNAS when I'm looking for something cheap, and the Synology if I'm looking for better features like encryption. I'm listening to music streaming off of a ReadyNAS AFP volume as I write this.

        • Re:No not really (Score:5, Interesting)

          by chris_martin ( 115358 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @05:37AM (#43970781)

          I have a 10G Ethernet card on my iMac via an external Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis. So, OS X can use 10G.
          I have a third party software iSCSI Initiator installed, so OS X can use iSCSI.
          You fail to mention NFS, which OS X supports natively.

          Aside from CPU upgradability, the 6 Thunderbolt ports means that this particular Mac Pro is the single most expandable Mac on the planet.
          You can add a TON of PCIe expansion boxes to give you a ton of slots as needed, including additional graphics cards, RAID cards, etc.
          Since everything is external, you also don't need to worry about upgrading the internal PS of the Pro or worry about cooling needs of the computer itself.
          Yes, it'll mean that everything is external, but it also means that everything is "pay as you grow" and keeps the computer itself nice and small and hopefully less expensive (we shall see).

          No, it's not for everyone, but it is an interesting design and it is expandable.

          • by jythie ( 914043 )
            *nod* if we finally start seeing low cost external expansion chassis again, that could really be a game changer in terms of upgradibility. I always really liked the modularity of them back in the NuBus days.
      • by neoshroom ( 324937 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:36AM (#43969981)
        Yes, the Mac Pro's used to be rather upgradable. I upgraded my drives many, many times and it was much easier than any PC and I upgraded my video card by buying a standard Windows video card and flashing it to work with Mac.

        While the new Mac Pro looks great, but I'm a little worried about expandability in this regard with the Mac Pro. I mean, I guess with dual GPU's you might not really want to upgrade the video card, as it would get quite expensive and they probably perform great to begin with. I can see not needing a CD-ROM. The only thing I use mine for ever currently is ripping music CDs to lossless. However, you are definitely going to want to add hard drives and popping on four thunderbolt connected drives, the same amount of slots as the Mac Pro had before, is going to get ugly fast.

        What they really should do is offer a second version of the same case as another product, with a power supply and four or five hard drive slots. It should as an option automatically put them in a RAID and even include wifi so it becomes a NAS. Then you can just have two of these things connected together locally via thunderbolt or separately over wifi or LAN instead of a mess of external drives.
        • The internal video can handle (3) 4k displays. Sure, someone might want six... but Apple is providing pretty high-end graphics at least relative to my needs and everything short of a NOC that for some reason must have all displays driven from a single tube.

          Sadly, the only thing I can pick on is how you integrate accessories with it. Do you go with a round RAID array that is 12" diameter, 3" high, and has 16 or (32) 2.5" drive bays around a central core just so you can have the little bugger actually look l

        • I was also concerned about the lack of PCI-e expandability, but there are Thunderbolt-to-PCIe breakout boxes that exist already, and a couple people have gotten Radeon 7xxx cards working with their MacBook Air via Thunderbolt. It compromises the aesthetic to have a shload of breakout boxes connected all over the place, but it will work.

          Also, in an actual pro environment, thunderbolt-to-fiber channel HBAs fix a lot of that. Keep your storage in a server room, and just run a fiber pair / ethernet cable to t

    • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:51PM (#43969463)

      ..PCs will still be more economical, more powerful, more easily upgraded, and uglier.

      ...unless you're one of the people relying on a piece of software that only runs on OS X, i.e. the main target demographic for this machine, in which case a PC isn't a valid substitute at any price. Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro still have decent followings, and if you're doing Mac or iOS development and actually have a need for a real workhorse of a machine, you really don't have any better alternatives unless you want to try making a Hackintosh workstation, since you'll need a machine running Xcode.

      Regarding upgrading, the old Mac Pro was remarkably easy to upgrade compared to other towers of its day, but it's since been passed. But if the new one's upgrades really are as trivial as just plugging something into one of the six Thunderbolt 2 ports on the back, then I doubt that any PC case currently out there can provide an easier solution. Whether it works as well as Apple claims remains to be seen, however.

      As for the economics of Macs, modern Macs generally do a rather good job on their launch day of stacking up in terms of price against comparably-built PCs from other major manufacturers like HP or Dell (the last-gen Mac Pro being a notable exception, since it was a poor value, even at launch). That said, with Apple, they've made most of the decisions on what hardware to put in the machine, which is great for people who actually agree with each and every one of those choices, whereas with other vendors, you can find options or alternative models that can save you some money in areas you don't care about as much, thus providing a cheaper machine that, while not truly comparable in terms of specs, is effectively comparable for customers who don't care about the affected areas.

      And, of course, if you're building your own machine you can easily come in at a much lower initial cost than that offered by the major vendors, Apple included, but then you're also accepting a lot of personal responsibility for its upkeep. That simply isn't viable in most corporate environments, since needing to divert people to build and maintain even a few custom-built machines could easily cost the company thousands of dollars in billable hours in no time at all, which isn't an issue with most major manufacturers, with whom you can simply send the machine in and get it back in a functioning condition a few days later as part of the warranty. But for a home environment, where you aren't worrying about billable hours and the like, then sure, building your own makes great sense...but then you're also not the target demographic for this machine either.

  • Not Upgradeable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javakah ( 932230 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:20PM (#43968897)

    With so much in such a small space/size and an unusual factor as well, I have a very bad feeling about your ability to upgrade practically any parts in this thing.

    • by csumpi ( 2258986 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:24PM (#43968919)
      But why would you want to do that? Apparently it's perfect.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      I think Apple sees the world as a fibre broadband connected office with the users doing simple manipulations of a digital product for sale.
      Your data is captured on some 4-8k video device, camera, music and you combine and envision the final product.
      Rendering is done off site or on the Mac Pro as needed, sent on effortlessly via a fast network.
      This is an artists tool on a production line like a big Mac mini or iMac, when you start earning, you upgrade hardware as needed over years.
      The software is rental
    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      But, they say it's good for another 10 years. (as long as you ignore 10 Gb networking, I guess)
    • Re:Not Upgradeable? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WCLPeter ( 202497 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:43PM (#43969425) Homepage

      In all the years I've been building computers I can name only twice where I ever had the opportunity to upgrade; once with an old 466 when I went from a DX2-50 to a DX4-100; another time when I upgraded a K6-2 333 to a K6-2 500. Most of the time when it came time to "upgrade" there had been so many changes to the bus types, socket types, memory types, etc... it was just easier to start over from scratch than try to pick an upgrade from a narrow list of parts which often cost a fortune, while often only giving a moderate speed boost, because they were now considered "specialty" equipment for an obsolete architecture.

      Granted, there are people who will insist that they've been able to upgrade their systems multiple times - but I'm not talking about those compulsive types who need the newest graphics card every other week. Most people I've talked to will buy a machine and keep it for 2-4 years before thinking its time buy a new one, by then everything has changed and the existing machine is mostly obsolete and so they have to start new.

      • by smash ( 1351 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:06AM (#43969851) Homepage Journal
        100% that. Even recently with a bunch of xeon servers (2007 spec), it was cheaper to buy new machines (2012 spec Cisco UCS) with more RAM than it was to upgrade the RAM, as the RAM standard changed and high capacity DIMMs in the old format were super expensive.
      • by Molochi ( 555357 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @04:02AM (#43970455)

        I've upgraded systems often, but that's more due to some quantity of opportunity than to prescience. Every now and then some remarkable upgrade is offered on an existing platform that is worth exploiting. Usually it's just a doubling of CPU performance like A64 CPU to Athlon X2 or Core2Duo to Core2Quad.

        I never really built any system with a belief that I would be able to upgrade the CPU. I just hoped for and took advantage of the opportunity. The truth is new CPUs tend to require new motherboards which tend to require new memory and PSUs. Even when a new version of a CPU kept the same socket it would tend to use a (lower) voltage, different (higher) FSB, or a BIOS update that older motherboards wouldn't accommodate.

        People tend to look back on the good old days and forget. K6-2 didn't run at full speed on a socket7 mobo, you had to go get a Supersocket7 motherboard. You couldn't replace Celeron 300a CPU with a Coppermine on your i440BX, that required a new (and oddly, inferior) motherboard. VIA's KT133 didn't support AthlonXP. Though in these cases there were sometimes hardware (with a soldering iron or a special slotket) workarounds.

        And during this period we went to DDR memory (though intel went DRAM> RDRAM > back to DRAM and then to DDR), new AGP and PCI cards that didn't work in old slots, different PSU connectors and system power requirements that required new PSUs.

        Today's systems are moving everything onto the CPU... first memory controllers with Athlon64 and now with Haswell even voltage regulation. Any change anybody makes practically requires a new motherboard.

        i7 desktop CPUs alone have used 1366 1155 1156 and 2011 pin sockets and Haswell is being introduced with the 1150. When they come out with a triple or quad memory channel or just something that supports DDR4 it'll mean even more new motherboards.

        But there will probably be some combination of hardware that allows someone to brag about how smart they were with a "planned upgrade".

    • Re:Not Upgradeable? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:26AM (#43969657)

      As a guy currently dragging his old Mac Pro into the modern computer era, let me say this: Apple would have found a way to make it incompatible anyways. There are so many just-slightly-nonstandard things they have, that any significant upgrade is made a hundred times more difficult.

      First are the obvious ones. Nonstandard motherboard layout. The whole case layout in general, which requires a lot of stuff be removed just to access anything beyond the drives, video card and RAM. No legacy PCI ports.

      Then come the subtle incompatibilities. Only certain video cards have OS X drivers, and only an elite, overpriced few have firmware that lets them work in the BIOS/EFI stage. I have to keep the original card around just in case I ever need it. Then the hard drive caddies only work with full 3.5" drives, or with 3.5" -> 2.5" adapters that perfectly mimic a 3.5" drive (I believe a Velociraptor IcePak will work; I use a cheaper plastic one since heat isn't an issue for SSDs). There's also a custom "mini-PCIe power" port, used to provide power to PCIe cards.

      Then come the dangerous ones. Apple seems fond of using standard connectors in non-standard ways. For instance, the front USB panel? That's connected to the mainboard using a SATA connector. Just don't try to plug a hard drive into it. Same for the case fans - they're four-pin, but they don't use PWM for speed control (I believe they use analog voltage instead). Which also means that Windows (should you boot into it) does not get any control over the fan speeds, or even visibility.

      Finally are the downright confusing ones. On mine, there are two unused SATA ports on the motherboard, hidden behind the front fans. They're labeled "ODD_SATA", hinting that they were planning to use SATA-based optical drives instead of IDE. I thought I could just use them for additional hard drives, but nope - they somehow only work in OS X. Don't ask me how, but they managed to make it happen. I've given up and just ordered a RAID card.

      So yeah, don't think for a moment that the only thing standing between the new Mac Pro and any non-trivial upgrades is the form factor. The thing standing in the way is Apple.

    • Yes, upgrades that aren't Thunderbolt-devices will be difficult. But as others have pointed out, most people don't upgrade, and when they do, so much needs to be changed anyway, that you're almost better off buying a new computer.

      For example. I built a Sandy Bridge based computer in January 2011. Two and a half years ago. If I wanted to upgrade to the newest line of CPUs, I'd be forced to buy a new motherboard as well as CPU, as the Haswell isn't socket compatible with Sandy and Ivy Bridge (nor are AMD CPUs

  • should have at least 2 build in HDD / SDD ports just one is to small for a system like that.

    And why not e-sata that is free and does not eat up bandwidth like a HDD on TB will.

    • e-sata is slower ... (Score:2, Informative)

      by perpenso ( 1613749 )

      should have at least 2 build in HDD / SDD ports just one is to small for a system like that.

      There are 6 thunderbolt 2 ports.

      And why not e-sata that is free and does not eat up bandwidth like a HDD on TB will.

      Thunderbolt 2 is 6+ times faster than e-sata.

  • by JanneM ( 7445 )

    4Gb or RAM? That's really not a lot today. As for the desktop, the whole point is expandability, but that seems pretty limited with this one. Might have another Cube on our hands.

    • You cannot add it later. You have to configure to order.

      The Air had 2 or 4GB CTO (configure to order) 2 years ago, 4 or 8GB CTO this year and I think last year was 4GB or 8GB CTO also.

  • Great fun (Score:5, Funny)

    by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <> on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:32PM (#43968967) Homepage
    Looks like it'll be great fun for pets and kids alike to roll around on the floor.
  • What the hell? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by putaro ( 235078 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:35PM (#43968993) Journal

    I wanted to like the new Mac Pro but it makes no sense to me.

    Internal FLASH only - that's fine for a MacBook Air, but aren't the target users for this video editors?
    Limited RAM - only 4 ram slots. The old one had 8.
    Cylindrical - Great, now nothing fits next to it
    Exhaust from the top - Can't put anything on top and if you spill a drink on it, it goes straight into the machine.

    What are the pluses to this design? Hopefully it runs quiet but beyond that???

    This is the new Cube. I wonder if this will be the final Mac Pro - "Well, nobody bought it so it's obvious there's no market here..."

    • by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:46PM (#43969071)

      I wanted to like the new Mac Pro but it makes no sense to me.

      Internal FLASH only - that's fine for a MacBook Air, but aren't the target users for this video editors? Limited RAM - only 4 ram slots. The old one had 8. Cylindrical - Great, now nothing fits next to it Exhaust from the top - Can't put anything on top and if you spill a drink on it, it goes straight into the machine.

      What are the pluses to this design? Hopefully it runs quiet but beyond that???

      This is the new Cube. I wonder if this will be the final Mac Pro - "Well, nobody bought it so it's obvious there's no market here..."

      The pluses are in Apple's bottom line, as they always are. Also, if you put it on the floor and your home is burgalarized the culprit will probably assume it's a wastebin and skip it.

      In an office, you might have a problem when the cleaning person tries to empty it. However, no worries since Apple products aren't often found in offices that can afford a cleaning person.

    • The internal flash doesn't bother me so much. The kinds of folks who are likely to be using this box likely have access to large network based storage. Alot of companies have also figured out that it's easier to move to a NAS or provide some sort of network based storage, than to continue wasting time and money upgrading local storage for a bunch of users.

    • Cylindrical - Great, now nothing fits next to it

      I suspect that's partly the point: it means that TV shows and movies can show off the new Apple device as a cool new piece of urban chic. Practicality doesn't enter into it, this isn't for stashing under a desk, it's for showing off.
    • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:06PM (#43969203)

      In the one CPU config. That is, one CPU socket package, 6 or 8 cores. If you got the two CPU socket version with 12 cores, you got 8 RAM slots.

      The model pictured is one with a single CPU socket and has 4 DIMM slots. It's quite possible that the two CPU socket version of this Mac Pro will have 8 RAM slots also.

      I checked, there is no 12 core version of Xeon E5, so presumably to get the 12 cores on this one will use two packages as the last one did.

      I don't have any problems putting stuff next to cylinders. I have a coffee cup on my desk, it isn't causing any untoward issues.

      This thing has no HDDs. No amount of flash would be enough for video editors, and not even 4 internal HDDs would either. So you will use a Thunderbolt external HDD or RAID array. I just hope those get somewhat cheaper soon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It will use the e5-2600 v2 series cpu that does indeed have 12 core variants (they have not launched yet), so I do not believe there will be a 2 cpu version otherwise I think they would have displayed it.

        • by hazydave ( 96747 )

          I concur.. the E5 V2 has already been announced going to 12 cores. Not out yet.. but Apple's certainly waiting on something. As well, you do not see a place in that box for a second processor. Nope, it ain't there.

    • With regards to the RAM, being limited to 4 slots may not be an issue if each of the modules are 32GB and in a year or two the modules could even be 64GB or 128GB each.

    • Re:What the hell? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:41AM (#43969729) Homepage

      Internal FLASH only - that's fine for a MacBook Air, but aren't the target users for this video editors?

      Real video editors are doing the actual work on external drives/arrays anyway. I don't think it's as big an issue as you're making it sound.

      Limited RAM - only 4 ram slots. The old one had 8.

      I think you have a point, but at the same time, shouldn't the real question be the maximum RAM capacity and RAM performance, and not the number of slots?

      Exhaust from the top - Can't put anything on top and if you spill a drink on it, it goes straight into the machine.

      So maybe don't pour your coffee into it?

      Depending on the price point, I suspect this thing might be successful. What annoys me more is that I've wanted Apple to build something like this for a while (i.e. a larger and more powerful Mac mini), but aiming more for gamers than professional workstations. Apple has kept their monitor-less computers segmented between "low-power desktop productivity" and "high-power professional workstation", but neither is really suitable for "cost-effective mid-range enthusiast/gaming". They should take this design and put a Core i7 and a NVIDIA GTX card. Then they should allow you, if you choose, to plug it into a TV and run an Apple-TV-like interface that would also let you launch games.

      • Re:What the hell? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:05AM (#43969843)

        On external arrays? No probably not. Not unless you are talking SAS/FC arrays. iSCSI would be an option, but not on a Mac since they don't support it. Firewire and USB are too slow. Yes I realize Thunderbolt is faster, it is also brand new and not in existing Mac Pros, it isn't what people use.

        Most of the video editing stations I've encountered use internal disk arrays. External drivers are used just for acquisition. I'm sure if you talk really high end you'll start going to some external setup to hold more drives, but that isn't the norm. You can pack a lot of drives in a normal tower, most people seem to do that.

        In terms of RAM slots numbers matter because it does dictate cost and capacity. Like say it is using RDIMMs. Ok well with 16GB modules your cost is $160ish per stick. Not bad, provided 64GB of RAM will do it. Want 128GB? There are 32GB sticks... for about $1100 each. It takes a massive jump to go to that density. Now if it uses UDIMMs then you are talking a max of 8GB per stick, that's all there is right now, so 32GB max.

        That's why a system with a lot of RAM slots is often desired, even if you aren't going max RAM capacity. Our VM servers can technically take 768GB of RAM, but we won't ever do that because it would cost like $26k. However we wanted that many RAM slots because we can do 384GB for under $4k which is reasonable. So more slots are useful, they can get you RAM for less money.

        My best? It is 16-32GB max. The 1866MHz speaks to UDIMM RAM (I've never seen 1866 RDIMMs), which means 32GB max no matter what because there aren't bigger sticks right now (and probably won't be, too many electrical issues without a register). It also might end up being 16GB, because as you push speeds, doing 32GB gets hard. Though I dunno, the memory controller on Hawell might have an easier time with that.

        In terms of the liquid thing, this is a real concern. Should you avoid spilling on shit? Sure but accidents happen. Everyone I know likes to have a beverage at their desk while they work. With a normal case, a spill on it (which I have seen happen) is unlikely to be a problem. With an open top, it is likely to short out the system.

  • Only 4GB of RAM? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:44PM (#43969053)
    Only 4 GB of RAM for the Air? Even your bottom-barrel throwaway laptop from Walmart tends to have at least 4 GB of RAM, let alone a laptop you're going to be paying $1K for.
  • Is it just me, or does the Mac Pro look like a really fancy garbage can? That's the first thought I had when I saw the pictures in the article.
  • by The Cat ( 19816 ) * on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:12PM (#43969245)

    It "rocks" a 12-core Intel Xeon processor


  • Not Haswell Mac Pro (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maccodemonkey ( 1438585 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:02AM (#43969533)

    Haswell Xeon E5s don't ship until next year. This would be an Ivy Bridge Xeon E5, unless Apple is going to be super super special.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:40AM (#43969989)

      Apple shipping Intel CPUs in models/versions/speeds unavailable to other vendors is not unusual - there's been quite a few times when Intel has cut them a 6 month lead on the rest of the industry ( which kind of makes sense as Apple embeds VLSI engineers at Intel in these situations, and buys in unit quantities of a small number of speed bins that are net much larger single orders than any other single Intel customer) eg 3.2 GHZ Xeon availability, or ULV Macbook Air CPU - neither of which was an available part from Intel for 6-12 months after Apple was shipping them.

  • by phalse phace ( 454635 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:31AM (#43969679)

    I'm really curious to see the benchmark comparisons between the previous MacBook Air with the 1.8GHz dual core i5-3427U (Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz) and the new MBA with a 1.3GHz dual core i5-4250U (Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz).

  • by gnu-sucks ( 561404 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:32AM (#43969969) Journal


    I just read ten posts above about lack of upgradability.

    Who cares!?

    It's not a big deal. The days of upgrading your pc every few years are over. Two years after buying this machine, Apple will release a newer version. The newer version will be so much better (faster bus, etc), that the older one will be left in the dust and on ebay for $499.

    Things have been headed this way for a long while now. Why upgrade when it's only a little more to get a new machine with the best and latest/greatest hardware inside? This argument didn't hold as much weight in the past when the computer ecosystem moved slower. These days though, we move faster.

    I like upgrading because it's an interest of mine to spend/waste my time getting things as fast and cool as possible, but honestly, this is more for fun than anything. If my professional life depended on a few more GB/s, I would drop down the money and upgrade at every chance I have.

    Max out the ram and other options when you buy it, and make the most of it until there's a new model.

  • by Barryke ( 772876 ) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @04:28AM (#43970553) Homepage

    No touch for the macbooks? I was hoping they would have a highres 18" laptop that i can install W8 on.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus