Fell From the Tree

New Mac Pro Shipping Tomorrow

In a press release this morning, Apple announced the newly redesigned Mac Pro would begin shipping tomorrow:

Apple today announced the all-new Mac Pro® will be available to order starting Thursday, December 19. Redesigned from the inside out, the all-new Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

It’s been 10 years since Apple redesigned the case of the Mac Pro (neé PowerMac), but it was worth the wait; This Mac Pro is an incredible machine. Though many believed that the Mac Pro had reached end of life, some, such as John Siracusa, never wavered in their belief that a new one was on the horizon. Tomorrow that becomes a reality.

With this release, the Mac Pro moves even further upmarket than it already was. It’s truly built solely for professional use. Perhaps John’s analogy to halo cars is apt here:

The Mac Pro is Apple’s halo car. It’s a chance for Apple to make the fastest, most powerful computer it can, besting its own past efforts and the efforts of its competitors, year after year. This is Apple’s space program, its moonshot. It’s a venue for new technologies to be explored.

Still, it’s hard to believe this machine, which Apple proudly announced can power up to four 4k displays, does not have a 4k display from Apple to accompany it. It seems un-Apple-like to ask customers to purchase a plastic bezeled display made by someone else to be the face of the machine they spent so long designing.

In fact, Apple hasn’t updated its Thunderbolt Displays since they were released in July of 2011. Apple’s displays are a premium product that sell in extremely low quantities compared to the rest of Apple’s line these days. They typically get the same LCD panels as the 27″ iMacs, but months after the yield has improved to a point where the availability of iMacs isn’t affected by diverting some panels to make displays. But at the end of last year the iMac got a stunningly thin redesign and the Thunderbolt Display has yet to be updated.

As Marco Arment pointed out on a recent Accidental Tech Podcast, we are not yet at a point where DisplayPort/Thunderbolt can drive a monitor that is double the resolution of the current Thunderbolt Displays. Though the next version of Thunderbolt should be powerful enough to. Maybe Apple is just waiting for that to happen to debut it’s incredibly thin retina monitor. After all, Siracusa did find some interesting clues in Mavericks.