In years past, Apple has taken its fair share of risks in terms of design. From the year 2000 Power Mac G4 Cube to the 2001 flat-panel iMac some called the iLamp, the company has shown that it's not afraid to take a few chances. That spirit was once again on display yesterday in San Francisco as Apple unveiled the long awaited refresh of its Mac Pro computer.
Long considered the go-to machine for independent film editors and interactive artists, the Mac Pro has also been the machine many creative studios get when they buckle down for processor and memory intensive work. However, introduced way back in 2006, the casing of the Mac Pro, unlike all of Apple's other products, has remained unchanged for nearly seven years — until yesterday. The new casing of the Mac Pro looks like a black lacquer-covered bullet from the future, standing less than half the height of its predecessor at just 9.9-inches tall and taking up just one-eighth of the volume.
Packed into the tiny frame are dual workstation-class GPUs, a thermal core, Thunderbolt 2, PCIe-based flash storage, ultra-fast ECC memory, and Xeon processors. All this power will allow film and video editors to manipulate full-resolution 4K video while rendering effects in the background. According to Apple, the machine is 2.5 times faster than the current Mac Pro. And, adding a distinctly Apple-esque aesthetic touch, the machine also features blue LED highlights throughout its casing.
You could tell that Apple was pretty excited about getting this machine in front of the public. How? Well, when Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, pranced onstage to introduce the machine, he said, "Can't innovate any more, my ass!" That unusual (for an Apple presentation) outburst was likely in answer to recent concerns in the media that Apple may have lost its mojo following the death of Steve Jobs and the rise of competitors like Samsung and Google.
Unfortunately, we still don't have a price or release date for the new Mac Pro, but Apple says the machine will be available later this year.