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State of the Mac Pro

My Mac Pro is getting older. It's a 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Xeon with 13 GB of RAM. I've got four 1 TB SATA disks inside. It's hooked up to an older 23" Cinema Display and is on its second video card. The top SuperDrive (I have two) sticks sometimes when you eject the tray.

Apple's Mac Pro line has languished for quite some time without an update. 461 days, apparently.

This article at MacNN and this one at TUAW suggest that the Mac Pro line may vanish soon.

I think that'd be a mistake. I also think that the current lineup of Mac Pros is overpriced, particularly when you consider that a base model iMac costs as little as $1199 and includes a display. And Thunderbolt.

The comments on the linked articles say what I would say, too: the high-end desktop is a niche, but it's an important niche. It's the computer developers and creatives use to make the content that people consume on their iPhones, iPads, and laptops.

I've got four hard drives and an attached Drobo. I have a fair amount of content, and I appreciate being able to keep it on drives separate from my main disk.

I'd like my next computer to be a Mac Pro, but it's stupid to buy now and the rumors are either that the Mac Pro line is going away or not getting an update until the first part of 2012. Ouch.

An iMac will be more likely - but that doesn't solve the question of what I'll do with my other drives.

Until then, I wait, fingers crossed, knocking on wood.

One Response to "State of the Mac Pro"

  1. The "what to do about your other hard drives" question is one I've come up gainst recently, and I see two solutions:

    1. Buy a machine that can handle the number of drives, and use NFS/AFP/iSCSI to pretend it's a local drive

    2. Use thunderbolt to connect something like the promise pegasus boxes (there's a 4 and 6-drive version with 1/2TB drives from apple.com)

    I ended up going with #1 - using an HP micro server I was able to build a 12TB zfs raid for about AU$960 (~USD$900 at the time) with 4x3TB drives + 8GB of ram. I'm happy with gigabit for now between it and my Mac mini/iMac/Air (the devices that talk to it directly). It can saturate the gigabit link, so if that becomes an issue a combination of a 10GigE card for the micro server & a thunderbolt 10GigE adapter could get it faster, and still likely cheaper than the pegasus boxes all up. But it is more complicated than just attached drives locally of course.


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