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Rumor Mill In Full Swing for new Mac Pro

A reliable and fast workstation for photography or  graphics arts, video or sound — MPG Pro Workstation
MPG Pro Workstation
A reliable and fast workstation
for photography or
graphics arts, video or sound

Rumors are flying about a new Mac Pro due out sometime in late July or August. If last year is a guide, an announcement will come in late July, and new models would ship in mid-August.

The rumors include Thunderbolt, a new case design, and a custom Intel CPU (not a great idea in my view).

I’m getting the usual worried emails about when one will arrive, but it’s actually quite simple: if you’re a professional with a job to do, whose time is valuable, and it’s not getting done right now, solve the issue now with the current model upgraded to an MPG Pro Workstation. If you can afford to wait, then wait.

I also don’t take it as a given that a new model will be better in all respects than the old one— will we get more and faster drive bays, or possibly a smaller Mac Pro with fewer and faster drive bays?

Thunderbolt is a plus, but of very limited usefulness at present, see my prior comments on Thunderbolt. Next year, that will change, as low-cost chipsets arrive that enable a wide variety of devices.

The arrival of internal 6G SATA ports would be a nice move forward, but given Apple’s flaky 6G implementation in the MacBook Pro, be careful what you wish for.

Barring some major new leap forward (e.g. a great CPU), none of the above really matters to the vast majority of photographers.

Here’s what I’d like to see:

  • A faster CPU in both clock speed and/or new design (e.g., Sandy Bridge);
  • 6 memory slots in the single-CPU model with double the memory bandwidth of the current model.
  • Internal 6G SATA ports, at least four.
  • Motherboard bandwidth for SATA ports of at least 1GB/sec (current limit is around 600 MB/sec).
  • At least two Thunderbolt ports, preferably four.
  • One more PCIe slot (mine are full in the current model).
  • 10 Gbps ethernet with dual ports.

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