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borjam

WWDC 2019. New Mac Pro?

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I know it's a topic of more interest for post people, but I am really wondering wether they will finally release the modular Mac Pro they announced long ago.

 

I am a happy user of a 2010 Mac Pro (I replaced the processor and I installed an improved graphics card) but so far the thing is kinking ass.

 

But anyway wondering. It's quite puzzling why they took such a long time to design a new modular computer given that it's not rocket science. Well, good desing is always rocket science but making it large and easy to upgrade is much easier than tiny, which has been their focus lately. 

 

There are two possible reasons I can imagine for such a long delay.

 

1) They were waiting for some new Intel processor series (or even AMD) they knew about in advance. I imagine they have a peek at their product roadmaps much earlier than us, common people.

 

2) Given that it's not so hard and it could offer enormous advantages, maybe they will announce a switch to their own ARM processors. 

 

So, why ARM processors? There are several good reasons.

 

1) Apple are control freaks. And they have been bitten several times by their reliance on CPU manufacturers (Motorola, IBM and Intel). The last big switching, Power PC G5 to Intel, was motivated by the PowerPC platform being stagnated both on raw computing power and, critically, power/energy consumption ratio. 

 

2) Intel's security track record has been a real disgrace. From a hidden computer running an obsolete version of Minix inside their control chips to serious design flaws in their processors.

 

3) They made huge investments on boutique processor design companies. It has paid off years ago with the excellent results obtained in the processors used in the iThings. Maybe it's time for the next leap.

 

4) It could even offer a cost advantage. Intel's processors (especially the high end ones) have been grossly overpriced because they hold a virtual monopoly. I guess these price reduction could be passed on to the customer. 

 

 

I know that some people will think that writing "their own ARM processors" is quite an overstatement, but it's not. ARM is an architecture for which Apple

has a license enabling they to design their own processors based on it. And yes, Apple outsources chip manufacturing to foundries like Samsung and TSMC (it's been

known recently that they approached Intel before launching the iPhone) but the designs are their own. Apple's A10, etc, are not Samsung or TSMC products. Claiming the contrary would be like saying that "1984" was written by Penguin Books ;) Except for Intel, Samsung and a bunch of other chip manufacturers, most are what is known as "fabless" firms. 

 

Well, time for the guesswork before Monday!

 

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So I was wrong about the ARM processor (although I guess that will eventually happen!).

 

As for the machine it's real overkill for most. My live jazz recordings use less than 16 tracks and of course I don't work with virtual instruments. A friend who composes soundtracks for movies and commercials will love it, though.

 

 

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Yep, Hollywood will buy a few of these.  Wow, it is really a stunning piece of kit.  $18k to fill the memory slots.  1.5TB of memory!  The display, another $5k.  Maybe $35k all-in with a bell and a whistle.

 

D

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