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Wednesday
Dec182013

The New Mac Pro

Like many, I have waited anxiously for the release of the new Mac Pro.  I still have a nearly 7 year-old Mac Pro, which has never missed a beat.  It's too old to upgrade to the newer operating systems though, and it's been repurposed.

The new Mac Pro is another animal altogether.  I'm undecided on it's merits.  And it is sure expensive. 

  • It's small.  But you have to supplement the machine with lots of peripherals.  I loved that my old Mac Pro, had 4 internal drive bays.  The new Mac Pro will need to be connected to one or more external drives by Thunderbolt.  And no, it's not a realistic option to only use the internal storage.  It's way too small.  You will also likely need an external BluRay/DVD device to read and maybe, if you're old-school, burn disks.  I suspect most Mac Pro users will go for RAID external storage.  So now you have at least doubled the size of the box.  And you've added cable sprawl.
  • It's got Thunderbolt.  Yes!  Unfortunately, however, I've had less than stellar experience with Thunderbolt external drives running on my 27" iMac.  I've tried Western Digital and LaCie.  Both units had trouble mainlining reliable connections, and would sometime need to be unplugged and plugged back in.  I'm not used to doing that for my internal drives.  My experience so far doesn't suggest that they are good for primary storage, though once connected, they seem plenty fast!
  • It's very fast!  But the 27" iMac is no slouch either.  And a lot less expensive!

True, the Mac Pro has got fabulous graphics to support multiple 4K monitors.  But 4K Thunderbolt monitors are around $3,000.  For heavy-duty video editing, I suspect that it will have no equal.  But I'm not stressing my iMac, except with occasional video transcoding.  The only other applications that I run worthy of such a machine are flight simulators.  Given how well the iMac 27" is running, it's hard to imagine why I would want to switch to the Mac Pro, at least until Thunderbolt is ironed-out as reliable primary storage. 

 

--Tiron

 

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