Now that we are moving closer to a release of the new Mac Pro my thoughts have been turning to potentially upgrading my current Mac Pro. My current machine still flies along as its pimped out with max ram, hardware RAID, SSD's etc. However, it is starting to get a little long in the tooth in a few areas (video card, cant add more RAM etc) and although an upgrade is no where near mandatory - it might be nice.
Looking deeper into the new Mac Pro I am starting to feel like this may be a case of form over function. Last time I checked desks, walls and racks are square and are designed to work most efficiently with square and rectangular shapes. The new cylinder mac pro is going to be a bit of a strange beast to house. Yes its small, but I cant help but feel its going to sit like an out of place black shinny vase on a desk - which by the time I attach all the required peripherals its going to mutate into somewhat of an octopus and potentially a cable management nightmare.
As a minimum
- Cable connection to external Monitor
- Thunderbolt 2 connection to external RAID chassis for image storage
- USB 3 to Card Reader
- USB 3 to external time machine back up drive
- USB 2 to headphones
- USB 2 to colorimeter for display calibration
- USB 2 to spectrophotometer
- Power Cable
Ok - some of those can be removed when not in use - but most of them are being used most of the time. Currently my Mac Pro sits nicely under my desk and all the cables are nicely tucked up the back and out of sight. Its neither in the way, nor taking up desk space, nor hard to manage. With the new beast, sitting as designed on top of a desk, all that cable infrastructure is going to draped around it like spaghetti. I'm having visions of some Dalek like device from Doctor Who hooked up to machinery in an operating theatre..
And what about that external storage option for images? Nothing on the market yet for thunderbolt 2.... Surely Apple will release some sort of matching storage solution? Or, do we see a continued promotion of Promise's offering? (Promise have announced a TH2 chassis as coming soon...)
I dunno.. but this new MAC Pro may well have the engine to deal with 4k rendering etc... but it could prove a real nightmare to house and manage in the long term. I mean it wont work well in a rack system either.. Why didn't they make it cuboid? well.. I cant help thinking that might have seen direct comparisons to the previously tanked 'cube'.
The new thermal design looks 'clever' and the specs are cutting edge for a desktop form factor - but will it actually be a practical beast to house? dunno.....
Have to say, I feel at this point (without having tried one) that I think I would have preferred to see a typical rack mount chassis or a continuation of the existing chassis....