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Hurry Up And Wait, The New Mac Pro Is … Near?

confused-GlobeWell it’s been an interesting few days on the Apple front. Yesterday, the company announced the Mac Pro will be available today and now most orders are pushed back to Jan. 2 or even Feb. 7. Delivery is all over the map with units scheduled to arrive on several different dates according to reports on rumors site.

In any case, it would be this author’s guess that there is something in the chain causing the delay (well duh, right?). Perhaps they just barely got those assembly lines going, or maybe they way, way underestimated the pent-up demand. It’s certainly possible the line just now got going, but Apple had to make its December 2013 promise happen.

Of course, being “Mac heads” we’re used to a certain level of reliability with Apple on these things. So if they were holding to ensure quality – and hey, quality is worth waiting for – they should just be up front about it. Announcing that it’s available when the demand is known, and then having delivery dates slip like that does not “available” make.

It’s hard to recall any major system introduction or order availability happening overnight and without fan fare. And the result was that the “early birds” got the Mac Pros, or at least will have them within a couple weeks, while everyone else waking up this morning will see backlogs stretching into February or longer (estimates say February as of the posting of this blog). This is particularly shocking for a system that’s been four years in the making and six months since it was first shown off at WWDC.

While the new Mac Pro looks nice, we’re inclined to say we would have been very happy with the current Mac Pro design getting the updated processor, video, and Thunderbolt treatment rather than the re-invention of the wheel. The 2006-2012 Mac Pros are still amazing, solid, reliable workhorses, and here’s hoping the same is true of the 2013 Mac Pro form and that they can get production in this new form into good volume output.

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  • UPDATE: Mine shipped yesterday, a week earlier than specified (Dec 30), and should arrive some time today- way to go, Apple!

  • I’m running a data doubler in a mini right now with the system data on a SSD, and the user data on a SATA dive. I’d love to run the same setup with the internal SSD, and an external SSD in a thunderbolt enclosure. Hopefully you’ll have something out before my Mac Pro arrives.

  • I think the Macpro getting far more publicity and it should be.
    Everyone forgot the Practicality.

    Positioning your Mac Pro issues
    Most people would put the machine under the table, but seeing the new Macpro it is too dangerous to put under the table, but put on the table as everyone experience the table are already full of clatters.

    Internal hard drive – premium cost.
    With only 256GB + up to 1tb option at a very expensive cost.
    Any professional user will need to add external hard drives. At the end of the day you will have octopus legs coming out of the “Shinning “trash can”.

    Cables and connections issues.
    Most of us may already had IMac.
    Think of how many cables you are running out from the iMac.
    New Macpro is only good for people with casual user.
    For extensive users we have
    1 cable for iphone
    1 cable for ipad
    1 cable for DVD
    1 cable for keyboard. – mouse cable can be connect to this.
    1 spare slot needed for flash drive
    1 printer
    1 cable for Ethernet.
    1 cable for connect to video
    1 cable for external hard drive as the internal hard drive of 256gb is pathetic !
    1 cable for headset and mic
    Can anyone imagine how the Macpro will looks like ?!?!
    If I is on the table it will be octopus legs coming out of it, if under table the hustle to plug and un-plug the cables because you not enough USB port to accommodate everything.
    Now imagine how it will looks on your table !!!

    I must admit I’m a cable guy, I like cable because I can control when I’m using cable.

    Of course people can say
    You can sync ipad and iphone using wifi,
    You can also buy a thunderbolt hub and hide everything on other side of the table.
    You can use wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. ( I hate this because imagine you working on a project and the keyboard batteries dies and you forgot there is no back up battery and it is late at night) how frustrating is that.
    We have already polluted the world with all the batteries were not dispose environmentally, and with wireless keyboard and mouse you are just contributing to the environmental problem.
    You can use nas for the storage etc.
    You can use Bluetooth headsets.
    All the above things you need to connect wirelessly you need to spend yet more money.

    At the end of the day.
    Apple is very smart, to design a nice box and then making you pay for everything that should be included.
    1/ DVD rom
    2/ keyboard and mouse
    3/ expand ability hard drive
    4/ reduce the slot for ram.
    And charging a higher price for it. And option for upgrade with another premium cost for ram and hard drive.

    I can not believe people are still going for it…. speechless…….
    I can understand for the MacBook Air it is important to reduce the clatters inside the laptop, to be simpledue to the portability. Imagine how many connectors you have for Air, USB to FireWire, USB to Ethernet, USB to VGA, USB hub just for emergency.

    Macpro is a home use and everything should be inside and to have everything in. I’m sure every user will say at least once in a year.. Sxxx I do have have my DVD rom. Or Sxxx I can not burn a CD..

    When you purchase this, you will need
    Thunderbolt cable +20 usd thunderbolt hard drive +1000+ for professional + thunderbolt hub +200 + DVD rom +99 + 100 keyboard and mouse.
    I can not see the ending to this.

    Anyway…for those who bought it, congratulation. I hope you are happy with your purchase and for those wanting to buying one. Please consider what you are getting into…

  • Like many, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Having just being getting over a flu bug, I did wake up around 1AM PST in CA, decided, what the heck, let’s see if the Apple Store online has been updated. Sure enough, it had been, and I went ahead and put in my order, just for the base upgrade six core unit. I didn’t figure any big deal… so I was a little surprised to read later Thursday about how far out deliveries are already.

    Some might wonder what one will do with a base internal drive of only 256GB, but many folks forget that it’s easy to relocate your user account folder to a different drive; I figure keeping the start up files, library system files and applications on the internal storage will be just fine, along with an Admin account, and then create my main user account on an outboard Promise Pegasus TB Raid array (already ordered from OWC and shipped). I expect to put Bootcamp on a new WD Velociraptor Duo which I recently purchased.

    I am really jazzed about how configurable and expandable this system is- you just literally have to learn to think outside the box… or the cylinder, in this case.

  • They did this recently with the iPad Mini Retina units, so I think they’re testing out this “soft launch” approach it would seem. It meets the needs of the fervent and those less needy get the units shipped as soon as the supply chain can allow.

    Seems like a reasonable compromise to me.

  • I like the new wheel. I like it very much.

    Aesthetics aside, the shipping delays are caused by the yields on the server-class Xeon CPUs in these machines, and would be the same for any packaging. I seem to recall waiting a long time for at least one generation each of Power Mac G5 and Mac Pro because of constrained CPU availability.

    Blame Intel; it will remind us all of the good old days, before Steve abandoned Power CPUs.

    • I don’t think there’s anything new in the re-invented Mac Pro that isn’t already in the Apple playbook. The abandoned upgradeability some time back. The Mac Pro was one of the last bits standing that needed to be locked down. I predict it will backfire in the long run. They are now an appliance company. What can you upgrade in your kitchen blender?
      As for practical use and implementation of the new machine… think about this cool little black tower thing on your desk surrounded by all the soon to be external stuff, that use to be in the box. Not sure I want my desk looking like that. And how about an un-answered question regarding the thunderbolt ports. Lots of them…yes. But are they on the same bus or did Apple put in separate bus controllers for each port? If not, then the single bus can and will get saturated fast in a video editing environment, where Mac Pros have long since been the preferred platform. Thunderbolt controllers are pricey… but so is the new Mac Pro. Way pricey!
      My bet….Unix based machines, or highly configured Windows boxes, will regain dominance in the video realm. I’m in that realm and a hackInTosh might look really good when the real-world testing facts hit the blogs.

      • The thunderbolt ports are on dedicated controllers and can be paired to use two together.

      • Also for a workstation class machine the new mac pro is not expensive. A 12 core hp z80 class with a 12 core starts at $9000 with a dvd drive and no graphics card, no thunderbolt and no ethernet and 16 gig of ram and the price goes up from there. And the 12 core is not even the fastest one available like the mac pro. A fully maxed out mac pro with 2 gpu’s 64 gig of ram, 1 terabyte flash drive and a 12 core with 6 thunderbolt ports on dedicated busses, 4 usb 3, digital and analog in and out and two gigabit ethernet ports is $9599.

        And if your a professional a Hackintosh is a joke. Professionals that use workstations to get work done don’t need an unstable machine that crashes or needs constant attention. I have a hackintosh and would never use that for serious work.

        Go read the article at on there 8 core new mac pro. The video they have up shows them rendering real time a RED Raw 4k video clip with 18 realtime filters with background rendering turned off without dropping frames.
        That is jaw dropping. I can only imagine how the 12 core would do.

        • By the way too on the RED Raw 4k file there not using a $2000 RED Rocket card to assist rendering either it is all being done on the Mac Pro.

  • When will your thunderbolt / usb 3 drives be available and will they be thunderbolt 2?. Your site has listed them as coming soon for a number of weeks now.

  • TIP!
    Start out the new Mac Pro config with a 4-core! This way you can upgrade to 6-core, ONLY 12GB RAM (buy from OWC!) and only the slowest GPU (photographers, music production,etc.); saves $500 towards to 64GB OWC RAM!