Is the Mac Pro really for professionals?

RedShark news by K. Stewart

An overpriced vanity machine engineered for looks over utility - or the answer to your 4K prayers?

The nature of a power user’s computer is most often defined by expandability: a consumer might never want or need to crack open the chassis, but a professional’s hardware is often an evolving story of upgrades and expansions as budgets allow or even on a project by project basis.

Ever since the Quadra 900 back in 1991, Apple’s most powerful machine has invariably been a tower with the amount of cards and flexibility of upgrading being a key criteria for judging its value. While Apple pioneered sealed unit iPods and iPhones in the consumer space, for professionals the Power Mac G4’s innovative mounting of the logic board on the interior of the side door made replacing just about anything on the machine exceptionally simple.

Ironically, this very openness helped seal its fate, falling afoul of European Safety regulations about exposed fans and electronics. The last European units shipped in February 2013, but lack of USB3 and Thunderbolt had signalled its demise long before then - Tim Cook was prompted to promise a new Mac Pro in June 2012 as professionals were so disappointed by that year’s minimalistic Mac Pro update.

And now that the all-new Mac Pro has finally arrived, there’s plenty of people who question whether it really lives up to its ‘Pro’ name. The giant aluminium tower which was always bigger in real life than pictures has been shrunk to a shiny cylinder which manages the opposite trick. Is this really something a professional can rely on? Or is it another G4 cube, a radical design which is ultimately too under-specced and over-priced to last? read more...

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