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New Mac Pro's, iMacs and Apple Displays

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The Really Big Question is - how does Apple define "modular?"
PCIe slots provided by an external expansion bay connected by Thunderbolt 3? That would allow around 5 GB/s, only slightly faster than PCIe gen 1 x16. Faster expansion bay connections use larger, more unwieldy, and more expensive cables. A separate expansion bay makes the total system more expensive. Maybe Apple will depend on Mac Pro users being a "money is no object" type of buyer.

Or maybe Apple will make a box and allow the user to put whatever they want in the box, like a Hackintosh.
 

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One thing I'm certain Apple won't do is use a standard ATX or mATX motherboard and case for the 8,1 2018 Mac Pro. What would be the point of that ? They've never copied another company's conventional looking PC. The first iMac pretty much ended the beige box PC era. The first gen PowerMacs and Mac Pro, the Mac Mini were all very unique. Look at all the mini form factor desktops that have become available since 2005.

They were first with the iPhone's touch screen interface on a cell phone, which everyone else, Google/Android immediately copied. The 7,1 MP often called the trashcan, was also completely unique but it wasn't practical. We all know how limited upgrading that MP is. So I'm optimistic that they will greatly improve the MP for the future. Don't expect a mid-tower black box that let's you swap out everything. The size will be between mini-ITX and mATX standards but will be something we've never seen before. I can hardly wait for 2018. Sure am glad all of my CustoMacs are going strong to hold me over till then.
 
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My speculation on Apple's take on "modular":

First, Apple always designs aesthetics before practicality, then design the practicality to fit the aesthetic. They do design some nice stuff, and then engineer everything to fit, so I'm not knocking that. (EDIT: I don't mean designing stuff that doesn't solve a problem, current Mac Pro excepted, just that they favor design first, and perhaps I didn't word that very well...).

Second, given the above, and a "common" definition of modular (which is something akin to blocks that play well together), Apple will likely design a completely propriety set of computer modules (blocks) that will be swappable. Think computer LEGOs in a way (though with Apple's twist).

Third, given that, look for a serious $$$ to go with such a concept - it will be completely proprietary, pretty, and "just work."

Fourth, no common market pieces will be able to used in such a system - thus Apple will have continued to keep a captured market.

The question remaining is whether they'll continue to use the "old tech is great tech" philosophy, or, stay on the curve as the rest of the manufacturers do.

Apple is now having to play catch up in some areas, so we'll see what happens. As it is, a year is going to pass before they have this grokked (if the press release is indeed accurate), so their future is definitely in question here. This could be the make-it-or-break-it time for them.

Just my very uneducated opinion.
 
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WonkeyDonkey

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My speculation on Apple's take on "modular":

First, Apple always designs aesthetics before practicality, then design the practicality to fit the aesthetic. They do design some nice stuff, and then engineer everything to fit, so I'm not knocking that. (EDIT: I don't mean designing stuff that doesn't solve a problem, current Mac Pro excepted, just that they favor design first, and perhaps I didn't word that very well...).

Second, given the above, and a "common" definition of modular (which is something akin to blocks that play well together), Apple will likely design a completely propriety set of computer modules (blocks) that will be swappable. Think computer LEGOs in a way (though with Apple's twist).

Third, given that, look for a serious $$$ to go with such a concept - it will be completely proprietary, pretty, and "just work."

Fourth, no common market pieces will be able to used in such a system - thus Apple will have continued to keep a captured market.

The question remaining is whether they'll continue to use the "old tech is great tech" philosophy, or, stay on the curve as the rest of the manufacturers do.

Apple is now having to play catch up in some areas, so we'll see what happens. As it is, a year is going to pass before they have this grokked (if the press release is indeed accurate), so their future is definitely in question here. This could be the make-it-or-break-it time for them.

Just my very uneducated opinion.


You raise some good points there. Apples modular and our modular will not be aligned (I think). We should also consider that the Mac Pro market apparently represents a single percentage figure of their income, so they dont have to do anything we expect. If it fails for them, its not like they are betting the company fortune on it.
 
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If it fails for them, its not like they are betting the company fortune on it.

I politely disagree. Eco-system sales are the new "thing," so any part of that system that doesn't hold up will affect the whole. And, if they don't get it right, bad press will be 10x worse than good press - if you catch my drift.

Bottom line is, they have to create a very compelling reason for people to buy & use their machines - right now that's not really happening. So, their future really does ride on the decisions being made with the Mac Pro & iMac lines.

IMHO that is.
 

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I politely disagree. Eco-system sales are the new "thing," so any part of that system that doesn't hold up will affect the whole. And, if they don't get it right, bad press will be 10x worse than good press - if you catch my drift.

Bottom line is, they have to create a very compelling reason for people to buy & use their machines - right now that's not really happening. So, their future really does ride on the decisions being made with the Mac Pro & iMac lines.

IMHO that is.

I do think you hit a good point here. Buts its not the mac eco-system itself in terms of hardware. Apples big thing right now is the app store, services and the iPhone. Collectively they seem to be the cash cow.

Im guessing right now that its not because of the hardware itself, they already let that flounder for a few years. I think its because they know a lot of developers write their software on Apple hardware. And they certainly dont want the app store revenue affected. I suppose technically they are now looking at the mac hardware as a small part of the much bigger eco-system overall, and yes, bad press wont help their cause.

Its funny, but good for us, how such a tiny part (mac hardware) of their overall revenue is suddenly back on the radar and being seen to be important again.

The mac pro hardware in isolation probably doesnt mean that much to them, but the effect it *could* have on the revenue stream from the app store (If fewer people write apps), now thats something different.
 
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I'm not surprised that Apple decided to break it's usual ironclad wall of silence. There's been a growing perception that Apple was getting ready to exit personal computing entirely on the professional level, and the years of neglect on the professional platform hasn't helped.
 
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I remember when my TC Electronic Powercore PCIe card stopped working due to a significant change to Mac OS X. Apple basically dropped much of their support for PCIe. Some 3rd party manufacturers managed workarounds but large chunks of PCIe support where simply gone after Mountain Lion. That was when I started wondering what Apple was doing to the Mac Pro's. Apple used to be the go to brand in recording studios but over night they killed a massive amount of trust in their brand and many folk who had invested heavily in Apple just felt absolutely mucked over by them and moved to Windows where typically a Windows version of their apps and drivers work along with their expensive PCIe hardware.
 

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Check this out, wonder if its real! The RX 580 labeled correctly in Geekbench lends some credibility.
iMac 18.1.png
iMac 18.1 RX 580.png
 
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