Desktop Systems Guide
Mac Pro Gets Quiet Update, CEO Confirms Major Changes Next Year
Apple has quietly updated their Mac Pro desktop series without any fanfare. This long-overdue hardware update for this high-end desktop series may bring little joy as these desktops still offer USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 connections, while support for Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 are still absent.
The basic configuration of a quad-core Mac Pro still offers the same 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Xeon CPU (Nehalem). It currently features 6GB DDR3-1066 memory modules with ECC with official support up to 32GB of RAM. The standard 12-core model has the most changes with its processor upgraded to a pair of 6-core 2.4GHz Intel Xeon E5645 processors (Nehalem) with 12GB of DDR3-1333 RAM with ECC (upgradeable to 64GB). The server model is similar to quad-core Mac Pro but the former features Mac OS X Lion Server OS with 8GB of memory and a pair of 1TB HDDs.
This is the first upgrade for the Mac Pro series since 2010; however, it wasn't mentioned in the announcements made during the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Its stark absence (and lack of new features after the upgrade) from any keynote announcements made during this important conference, may herald its impending end-of-life fate (but that's just a hunch for now).
The tepid update prompted an irate Mac Pro user named Franz to send an email directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, expressing his disappointment with the largely unchanged models that were announced. Mr. Cook replied by assuring that the company is currently working on a more complete redesign, scheduled for release next year. Here's the email in full:
Franz, Thanks for your email. 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 today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year. We also updated the current model today. We’ve been continuing to update Final Cut Pro X with revolutionary pro features like industry leading multi-cam support and we just updated Aperture with incredible new image adjustment features. We also announced a MacBook Pro with a Retina Display that is a great solution for many pros.-Tim