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No More Trucks

August 17, 2011 - Dave Hecei
A frightening thought occurred to me the other day. Apple got rid of their server boxes, leaving only a Mac mini server. Then they seem to be abandoning professional editors with the new easy-to-use Final Cut Pro X, replacing the more professional level Final Cut Studio 3. What if Apple does the same thing with the Mac Pro?

Not too long ago, actually it was when Steve Jobs was introducing the world to the iPad, the Apple CEO compared workstation computers to ‘trucks’. The idea is that not everyone needs or wants a ‘truck’. An iPad, which is something much simpler, is a better computer for the masses. With the iPad and now the MacBook Air, a sort of simpler laptop, being such a success for Apple, I am starting to worry that they will eventually abandon the ‘Pro’ market. That would mean no more Mac Pro - no more trucks.

What really scares me is that Apple is not in the business to sell thousands of computers, they are in the business to sell millions. The Mac Pro is something that sells, but not like an iPhone, or iPad, or even iMac. But the Mac Pro is important to a large number of Apple users. Publishing, video/photo editing, and 3-D/2D motion graphics are just a few examples of where a workstation makes much more sense.

Yes, the iMac has come a long way over the years. With larger screens, up to 27-inches, and more RAM, up to 16GB, the iMac is a very fast and capable machine. But it is not a ‘truck’. The Mac Pro, even with its aging design, has the power, speed, and expandability that no iMac will ever have.

The Mac community has been waiting for a new Mac Pro tower for a while now. All the other Macs have recently been upgraded or updated. They all have the newer Intel processor lineup (Sandy Bridge) and the latest, and fastest, I/O port technology called Thunderbolt. Rumors are out there that the Mac Pro was to be updated by now, but that has obviously not happened yet.

There is another rumor that the new chip from Intel might be slated for the next Mac Pro. This new chip, the Sandy Bridge-E processor, is not ready yet, but should be shipping sometime in Q4 of this year. Apple does seem to have a pretty good relationship with Intel, who routinely create custom chips for Apple. They also seem to give Apple chips early in their production.

Let’s hope that there will still be a Mac Pro in the future. Yes the iPad could be the future of computing, but we will still need ‘trucks’ to handle the heavy loads.


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