Apple Allowed Developers to Test a Prerelease Mac Pro Hidden Inside a Metal Box

Before Phil Schiller gave the world a sneak peek of the new Mac Pro at WWDC this week, Apple allowed select developers to come to its Cupertino headquarters to test out their software on preproduction hardware.

AppleInsider spoke with employees of The Foundry, a firm that develops high end rendering software used on Hollywood productions.

The Foundry shared with AppleInsider the story of how its team worked with the new Mac Pro in a room at Apple HQ known as the "Evil Lab" ahead of the desktop's unveiling. During the tests, the Mac Pro was entirely concealed in a giant steel cabinet, keeping its new design a mystery to The Foundry and Pixar.

"We were essentially doing a blind tasting of the machine," said Jack Greasley, MARI product manager at The Foundry. "All we could see was the monitor, and the Mac Pro was encased in a giant metal filing cabinet on wheels. Experiencing the machine in this way was actually really cool, because I can tell you that the speed and power of this machine really stands up. Mari running on this machine out of the box is the fastest I have ever seen it run."

Greasley said "some real innovation and thought has gone into what users want and need" with the new Mac Pro, and he doesn't "think pro users should be concerned" about the new machine.

Representatives from The Foundry and Pixar participated in a lunchtime session at WWDC this week, demonstrating the company's MARI software running on the new Mac Pro. The company managed to get a working copy of MARI ported to the Mac in just under a week and convinced Apple executives to give a significant block of time at WWDC to demo the software and the new machine.

The Mac Pro is expected to be released later this year.

Source: Mac Rumours

Apple Tease with New Mac Pro Coming

Today, Apple Inc gave us details of their new Mac Pro coming later this year. The radical new redesign sees many new features including a cylindrical form-factor, next gen Xeon processors, memory with 60GBps bandwidth and all PCIe flash based storage. In addition to these new performance winners, we also get some little design touches, like the built in handle and a back panel that lights up "tron style" to show us the ports. No pricing yet, with later this year not coming soon enough. Full details here.

Apple Planning 'Something Really Different' for New Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro model, expected later this year, is "something really different" according to a video professional who says he spoke with the Mac Pro product manager.

Writing on the forum, Andrew Baird says he spoke to Mac Pro project manager Douglas Brooks on the phone after emailing CEO Tim Cook with his concerns about the lack of a new professional tower from Apple over the past few years.

Baird told MacRumors that the call didn't include any specific details about when the new machine would be released, nor its specifications -- however, he was assured several times that the new Mac Pro would be worth the wait. Brooks told him that the machine would be released later this year.

Somewhat corroborating Baird's phone call, Lou Borella -- administrator of the 'We Want a New Macpro' Facebook group -- wrote on the page that he heard the new professional Mac would be "heavily reliant on Thunderbolt" with "no internal expandability", and would have support for dual-GPU's and no FireWire or optical drive.

In mid-2012, after a minor update to the Mac Pro was announced at WWDC, Tim Cook confirmed to a fan that new Mac Pros were coming in 2013, which was later reiterated by an Apple spokesman. It has also been rumored that the new Mac Pro would be the first Apple computer in years to be 'Made in the USA'

Source: Mac Rumours



Mac Pro Now Unavailable for Purchase from European Apple Online Stores

As noted by 9to5Mac, the Mac Pro is no longer available for purchase from Apple's European Online Stores. 

In late January, Apple informed its European distributors that sales of the Mac Pro would cease as of March 1st due to new regulatory requirements that go into effect on that date. At the time, Apple told resellers that it would accept orders up until February 18, a deadline that appears to apply to general consumers as well.

The Mac Pro is no longer able to be sold in Europe because it is not compliant with Amendment 1 of regulation IEC 60950–1. According to information from Apple, the issue has to do with the Mac Pro's unprotected fan blades. Compliance with the new regulation would require fan guards and increased protection of the ports on the electrical system. 

Apple's Mac Pro is now unavailable in European Union countries, EU candidate countries, and the European Free Trade Association countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. 

Though the Mac Pro has been discontinued in Europe, resellers are still able to sell remaining product after the March 1st deadline. Apple plans to continue to support existing Mac Pro machines and will supply replacement parts. 

Apple has also announced plans to offer a redesigned Mac Pro in 2013, following a minor update in 2012.

[Source: MacRumors]

Apple to Refresh Mac Pro this Spring

Apple will stop selling its Mac Pro in Europe starting on March 1, and while there was a bit of speculation that this meant the company was going to drop the PC altogether—especially as the company’s laptops and iPad continue to dig into the market share—it appears that’s not the case. We already had an idea that Apple was going to update the computer, and now there’s a bit more of a confirmation.

 Mac4Ever recently noticed that an Apple distributor in Europe has confirmed that a new model of the Mac Pro desktop computer will indeed launch at some point this spring. The news comes in the form of a newsletter written in French, and we’re not sure what sort of specs the new computer will have at this point.

In the meantime, we can all rest easy knowing that a new Mac Pro is allegedly on the way.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Mac mini catches 2010 Mac Pro in benchmark tests

As if we needed further confirmation of the rapidly closing gap between the Mac mini and what is supposed to be Apple's top-of-the-line offering -- the Mac Pro -- it looks like the latest mini refresh has brought the pint-sized PC's performance nearly in line with the previous generation of Apple's tower. According to benchmark tests by Macminiloco, the brand new minis are rapidly approaching the standards set by the 2010 Mac Pro.

Apple gave the Pro an extremely modest update in June 2012, adding just a small processor and RAM upgrade. The current Mac Pro is still without features like Thunderbolt or even USB 3.0 support. Meanwhile, the Mac mini -- which starts at $599 -- now comes with 4GB of 1600MHz RAM standard (with the option of 16GB right from Apple), Thunderbolt, four USB 3.0 ports and an optional 2.6GHz quad-core i7 Ivy Bridge processor.

The Mac Pro should be getting a full update in 2013, but until then the much pricier Pro will remain a difficult value proposition for many would-be buyers.

[Source: TUAW]

iMac and Mac Pro could ditch disc drives, OS code hints

Apple's desktop-bound iMac and Mac Pro computers could be about to lose their disc drives, configuration files in OS X Mountain Lion reveal.

An Appleinsider reader noticed the cryptic clue, which appears in a configuration .plist file that's used by Boot Camp Assistant, a bit of software that helps you install Windows on your Mac.

The file details newer models of Mac computers that can boot up an older operating system from a USB drive, handy if your computer lacks a disc drive. While a few Macs in the list do have slots for a CD or DVD, most are models that lack that disc-chomping capability.

Nestled among those models numbers are two that refer to Macs that haven't come out yet, the IM130 -- reckoned to be the next iMac -- and the MP60, which is thought to be an upcoming Mac Pro. It's far from conclusive, but does raise the possibility of professional-grade Apple gadgets devoid of disc holes.

The iMac was notably left out in the cold when Apple recently refreshed its lines of fancy computers, shivering in the snow outside the Apple family home and pressing its nose against a frosted window pane to watch the MacBook Air and all-new retina MacBook Pro dancing around a Christmas tree with Tim Cook.

The Mac Pro meanwhile was given a cursory processor boost and a snifter more memory, but hasn't been given a significant upgrade since 2010. Updates for both are tipped to arrive next year.

Apple appears to be driving out disc drives with its other computers, but would shedding this once-crucial port from its desktop machines be a smart move?

I can't remember the last time I stuck a CD in my computer, but I remember the cruel lesson taught by the browser-only Chromebook laptop -- just because you don't think you use something (like a bit of software or a certain port) very often, doesn't mean it won't prove totally crucial in the near future.

[Source: cnet]

Boot Camp Files Hint at New Mac Pro and iMac Models

Hidden files in the Mountain Lion version of Boot Camp appear to confirm the next generation of both the Mac Pro and iMac, according to information dug up by AppleInsider.

Within a Boot Camp configuration file lies information that tells the software what models of Mac can boot Windows from a USB-drive, a task that only Macs of a more recent vintage can accomplish. The file includes mention of the existing Mac Mini and MacBook Air, but also mentions iMac 13,0 and MacPro 6,0 models -- machines that don't currently exist.

Earlier this year, Geekbench 2 benchmarks for an unreleased iMac 13,2 model were discovered that appear to be legitimate and fueled speculation that the iMac would be updated soon. The current model iMacs have gone more than a year -- 464 days -- without an update, and are well overdue.

After the Mac Pro was given a quiet update this year, many were wondering about the future of Apple's desktop line of Macs. Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and an unnamed Apple spokesperson have confirmed that the Mac Pro will receive a full redesign for delivery sometime in 2013, nearly three years after the last significant update to the product.

Update: It's been pointed out that these strings were in Boot Camp as early as November 2011.
[Source: MacRumors]