Yesterday an email, purportedly from Apple's CEO Tim Cook made the rounds in response to a reader query about the lack of any significant updates to the Mac Pro. Worries of Apple abandoning its only remaining traditional desktop form factor were rampant over the past year, however the email seemed to put those concerns to rest. Apple just confirmed the email below indeed came from Tim Cook:

Franz, 
 
Thanks for your email. Our Pro customers like you are really important to us. Although we didn't have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today's event, don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year. We also updated the current model today. 
 
We've been continuing to update Final Cut Pro X with revolutionary pro features like industry leading multi-cam support and we just updated Aperture with incredible new image adjustment features. 
 
We also announced a MacBook Pro with a Retina Display that is a great solution for many pros. 
 
Tim

I'll refrain from speculating about why Apple is waiting until next year for something really great. I do hope it has to do with Haswell though. Update: As you guys correctly pointed out in the comments, there's no good Thunderbolt strategy for the Xeon platform just yet. Apple's stance on USB 3 points to a corporate desire to maintain simplicity and uniformity across all product lines. Without processor graphics there's no clean way to route DisplayPort through Thunderbolt on a Xeon platform just yet. At some point processor graphics will come to the Xeon however...

Note that there haven't been any announcements made regarding the next iMac. Ivy Bridge was clearly a mobile targeted part (and Apple is a mobile dominated company), thus it's not surprising to see the first Ivy based systems from Apple were notebooks. 

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  • AmdInside - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Apple did not want to waste resources on redesigning the Mac Pro if the end of the world was going to occur in 2012. I still long for a Mac Mini like system with room for two 3.5" hard drives. Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    "Note that there haven't been any announcements made regarding the next iMac."

    Maybe no-one cares, but the Ivy Bridge mac mini also hasn't been announced.

    Personally I think there's no great mystery here. Apple (unlike some other tech companies) is well aware of the value of releasing new info in small doses. Announce new MacBooks AND new iMacs AND new iPhones on one day, and you get one day of publicity.
    Announce the iMacs separately (with the mac mini as a minor side issue, same as the Mac Pro boost yesterday); then the iPhone on yet another day, and you get three days of publicity.

    The relevance to the previous comment is that a mac mini with USB3 would basically give you want you want, in that there would be much less speed penalty for just using an external USB3 drive.
    Yes, it's not ideal. Unless the geniuses controlling USB3 have made a change I'm unaware of, USB3 just like USB2, does not transfer fancy commands like SMART or TRIM (or even NCQ?) over USB, so it's not ideal. But it's better than nothing.

    The other solution, of course, would be a TB drive which, in theory, SHOULD be just like an internal drive. Of course you will pay for that privilege...

    Point is --- Apple designs something that works well for most people, and can be made to work adequately for almost anyone. They are NOT going to design something that is optimized for a minuscule segment of the population, like two internal drives.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    Google UAS/UASP.

    Regardless, USB 3 is perfectly fine for a couple of external 3.5" drives. Aside from price it also has the advantage of being compatible with non-Mac computers.
    Reply
  • ddarko - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    I'll refrain from speculating about why Apple is waiting until next year for something really great. I do hope it has to do with Haswell though.


    At least for the Mac Pro, maybe the delay is because Apple is engineering a solution to pairing Thunderbolt with add-on graphics card that doesn't involve clunky pass through cable like this Asus motherboard that Anandtech previewed:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5935/asus-thunderbol...

    As Arstechnica noted in its article about the Mac Pro update before WWDC, Thunderbolt has to also carry the video signal:

    The complicating issue is that Thunderbolt not only carries high-speed PCIe data, but must also carry DisplayPort video as well. On all other Macs, GPUs—whether integrated or discrete—are fixed. This makes it easy to pipe the DisplayPort output to the Thunderbolt port, which serves as both a high-speed interconnect as well as the connection for an external monitor. The Mac Pro, on the other hand, has removable PCIe-based graphics cards. How will Apple get the output of these cards into the Thunderbolt controller?

    The most likely solution is a Mini DisplayPort passthrough cable. ASUS is using an external DisplayPort cable to add Thunderbolt to its latest motherboard designs, but that seems decidedly "un-Apple-like." There may be a more elegant solution in the works, such as directing the card's output over the PCIe bus directly to the Thunderbolt controller, but according to our sources, no current graphics cards work that way. Given that reality, we think Apple will use an internal cable combined with GPUs featuring an internal mini-DP connector.


    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/06/what-should-t...

    Ars labeled is an un-Apple-like solution but thought Apple was willing to make the trade to get new Mac Pros with Thunderbolt out the door. I think Apple wasn't willing to make the tradeoff and is waiting for a better solution.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    "least for the Mac Pro, maybe the delay is because Apple is engineering a solution to pairing Thunderbolt with add-on graphics card that doesn't involve clunky pass through cable like this Asus motherboard that Anandtech previewed:" Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    "least for the Mac Pro, maybe the delay is because Apple is engineering a solution to pairing Thunderbolt with add-on graphics card that doesn't involve clunky pass through cable like this Asus motherboard that Anandtech previewed:"

    The benefit being what? I cant imagine anything like this being useful outside of niches.
    Reply
  • ddarko - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    The benefit is that it isn't ugly. I think that's enough for Apple.

    I would clarify that Arstechnica speculated about an internal pass through cable, not an external solution like the one Asus is offering. But even an internal one would mess up the clean lines of the Mac Pro internals.
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    I would think the last machine that would need thunderport was the Mac Pro, it's a fairly largish ugly case, so you should be able to upgrade it all easily anyway. (Video cards, drives etc'.) Reply
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    I dont mean the benefit of using a passthrough cable vs. not, I mean what is the benefit of using thunderbolt display vs. already existing display standards that already dont need a passthrough cable. Why would Apple go through the trouble to design that in, what is the market?

    Not trolling here, its a genuine question.
    Reply
  • Wicked1 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    OMG!

    Only a Mac fanatic would worry abut the "Clean lines of the Mac Pro internals" over the utility of the system. (I have a Mac Pro - early 2009).

    So tell me, is your Mac Pro sitting up on your desk with the side panel removed so everyone can see how "Clean" the internals are????

    Too bizarre for words.
    Reply

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