Mac Pro with Room to Grow

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Date: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 00:01
Category: Mac Desktop

macpro-150.jpgWhen the G5 tower was unveiled at the final Macworld Expo held in New York, I loved the look of it. The brushed metal, the purposeful grilles, the integrated lifting hoops. The machine looked sleek and professional but it was BIG, about 5/4 size. The entire case seemed to be designed around fans and air flow.
Well, there is no Macworld Expo scheduled this summer, so the Intel Mac Pro was unveiled at WWDC. The leaked banner photo gave no clue about the new pro machine, because in profile it looks just like the one it replaces. What does Intel Xeon mean for the Mac desktop workhorse? Well, it is still a 64 bit computer, something the other Intel Macs don’t offer. Otherwise, you have the basic drop in price and increase in performance that seems to be part of the transition to Intel. So, is it just a new processor in the same old box?
Not really. The thing I like about the new machine is that the BIG enclosure has a lot of internal space freed up by the lower thermal loads imposed by the new processors. Now there is real expansion space inside the box. Two optical drive bays and a modular approach for accommodating up to four internal hard drives. Now the box justifies its size and looks even more purposeful. The G5 tower did not sell very well because it did not offer enough performance for the price. This new workstation does.
There are no G5 Power Macs left in the pipeline either. The transition is complete. I think that one of the Intel Macs is ripe for a refresh. The PowerMac Pro notebooks were the first out of the gate with Core Duo “Yonah” processors, but the consumer MacBooks that followed are such a tremendous value that the Pro notebooks would benefit from the latest “Merom” Core 2 Duo chips from Intel. The entire lineup could represent the best value Apple has ever delivered, across the board, top to bottom, stem to stern.


macpro-150.jpgWhen the G5 tower was unveiled at the final Macworld Expo held in New York, I loved the look of it. The brushed metal, the purposeful grilles, the integrated lifting hoops. The machine looked sleek and professional but it was BIG, about 5/4 size. The entire case seemed to be designed around fans and air flow.
Well, there is no Macworld Expo scheduled this summer, so the Intel Mac Pro was unveiled at WWDC. The leaked banner photo gave no clue about the new pro machine, because in profile it looks just like the one it replaces. What does Intel Xeon mean for the Mac desktop workhorse? Well, it is still a 64 bit computer, something the other Intel Macs don’t offer. Otherwise, you have the basic drop in price and increase in performance that seems to be part of the transition to Intel. So, is it just a new processor in the same old box?
Not really. The thing I like about the new machine is that the BIG enclosure has a lot of internal space freed up by the lower thermal loads imposed by the new processors. Now there is real expansion space inside the box. Two optical drive bays and a modular approach for accommodating up to four internal hard drives. Now the box justifies its size and looks even more purposeful. The G5 tower did not sell very well because it did not offer enough performance for the price. This new workstation does.
There are no G5 Power Macs left in the pipeline either. The transition is complete. I think that one of the Intel Macs is ripe for a refresh. The PowerMac Pro notebooks were the first out of the gate with Core Duo “Yonah” processors, but the consumer MacBooks that followed are such a tremendous value that the Pro notebooks would benefit from the latest “Merom” Core 2 Duo chips from Intel. The entire lineup could represent the best value Apple has ever delivered, across the board, top to bottom, stem to stern.

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