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Still Waiting for Mac Pro Updates, Suitable Intel Processors Due in Q4

After a flurry of new releases this past month, the one Mac that Apple has continued to neglect is the Mac Pro. The last credible date we received was for early August, though CNet's Brian Tong now acknowledges that the information didn't pan out.

For many, an August release would actually have been the surprise, as Intel has yet to ship Mac Pro-suitable Sandy Bridge processors. There had been some hope that Apple would receive these processors early from Intel, but clearly not quite this early.

Still, Apple's Mac Pro is presently the only Mac without the new Thunderbolt port that Apple and Intel introduced earlier this year. Apple's Mac Pro has had relatively infrequent updates over the past few years with the last update taking place over a year ago.

Apple has certainly placed an emphasis on their notebook line, reflecting the ongoing trends towards mobile computing. Apple's notebook sales have steadily become a larger percentage of their total Mac sales.

Our last check with resellers reported no change in Mac Pro stock availability that might have suggested an imminent update.

As for Intel, the Sandy Bridge-E processor that is expected to be used in the Mac Pro had been rumored to be released even as late as 2012, but the latest leaks have pinpointed a Q4 2011 release. Donanimhaber posts the following release timetable from Intel:


The yellow box denotes the Sandy Bridge-E class of processors that we are waiting for with Xeon versions likely shipping at the same time. According to this slide, the Mac Pro suitable processors will first launch in Q4 2011. Apple's new Mac Pro is likely to follow.

Top Rated Comments

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42 months ago
I managed to convince my company to buy me an 8-core mac last year. It's been fantastic. I've tried to transfer Pro Tools and After Effects projects from it to my white Macbook and it just freezes up trying to run them.

I hope Apple doesn't abandon their Pro desktops. I'm still pissed about what they did to FCP.
Rating: 14 Votes
42 months ago
I used to want a Mac Pro.

Now I just want an external Thunderbolt expansion chassis for my Air!


Apple makes consumer products now.


Yes. And pro products.

Apple’s “pro demise” has been predicted constantly for as long as I’ve been using Macs. It’s a side effect of making things easy to use I guess: it makes people expect that Apple doesn’t care about the people who like things difficult :p But in fact they do care about pros (like myself) and offer us a quite a lot.

The Mac Pro is overdue for a change—not a removal.
Rating: 11 Votes
42 months ago
Pros may be a silent minority but it'd be outrageously stupid for Apple to underestimate their actual worth for its ecosystem and marketing.

Pros make software for iOS and OS X. You can make yet another twitter client on your Mac Mini, but it won't do if you're developing a huge 3D action game for future hardware.

Pros push the technology, which can be later adapted for regular users. There wouldn't be iMovie without Final Cut. There wouldn't be so many Final Cut users if the best hardware Apple could offer, was iMac.

In the end of the day pros are extremely influential opinion-makers. Being a satisfied and experienced Mac user and a "geek friend" of my friends, intentionally or not I introduced at the very least five new users to the Mac platform, and helped them learn it and tackle the difficulties. I'm sure this is not an uncommon situation, but you won't find statistics anywhere on how it impacts the sales.

Instead people count the amount of pro users and multiply it by the price of hardware they often use. Think wider!
Rating: 9 Votes
42 months ago
Dropping XServe had a lot of backlash. Dropping the Mac Pro will be the worst thing to date. If you follow the pattern, then Apple moving to ARM across the entire Mac product line with slower performance and integrated graphics. Then after that the Mac line will be dropped leaving only iPads and mobile phones. What a nightmare!
Rating: 9 Votes
42 months ago
I'm actually a bit surprised at how much people complain about Mac Pros being refreshed infrequently.

The Mac Pro is Apple's machine with the LONGEST useful life of them all! I'm still using my 2006 Mac Pro, and it STILL feels fast even today! Anyone with the 2010 Mac Pro should still be cruising with a blisteringly fast system and not need to upgrade anytime soon.

Meanwhile, my former 2006 Macbook Pro (I sold it) was quite slow and very limited, especially by its maximum RAM capacity.

Mac Pros are investments, meant to be used for several years. Unless you're absurdly rich and must always have the latest gear, this should be common sense.

I'll probably be buying a new Mac Pro at the next refresh (five years into the ownership of my current one). How many other computers can you get five productive years out of before they start feeling slow? I'm a bit annoyed that I'll be forced to move to OS X Lion, but I'm sure they'll get some of its issues resolved by then.
Rating: 9 Votes
42 months ago

I'm actually a bit surprised at how much people complain about Mac Pros being refreshed infrequently.

The Mac Pro is Apple's machine with the LONGEST useful life of them all! I'm still using my 2006 Mac Pro, and it STILL feels fast even today! Anyone with the 2010 Mac Pro should still be cruising with a blisteringly fast system and not need to upgrade anytime soon.

Meanwhile, my former 2006 Macbook Pro (I sold it) was quite slow and very limited, especially by its maximum RAM capacity.

Mac Pros are investments, meant to be used for several years. Unless you're absurdly rich and must always have the latest gear, this should be common sense.


Unfortunately, this isn't the attitude in the MacRumors Alternate Reality Bubble.
Rating: 7 Votes
42 months ago

My son it's a graph, not a map.


Rating: 7 Votes
42 months ago
I find it ironic that their professional grade product is the last to receive ThunderBolt.
Rating: 6 Votes
42 months ago

You think they want to screw with their entire Pro market? Not gonna happen. That's a LOT of people.


Yes. I do believe they plan on screwing the Pro market. They just did screw the pro market. The writings on the wall. Discontinued Xserve. Discontinued Final Cut Server. Discontinued Final Cut Pro and replaced it with a very nice, yet very buggy, version of iMovie. Love it or hate it it is not abproduct that is in any way suitable for pro use. Zero APIs for output to a NTSC monitor make it incapable of use for broadcast without assistance. Ugh.
Rating: 5 Votes
42 months ago

You think they want to screw with their entire Pro market? Not gonna happen. That's a LOT of people.


That's a good laugh. Apple rather sells 1,000,000 consumer devices than 5,000 "Pro" devices. The "professional" market is a tiny niche market and no longer important for Apple. Remember? Apple is building "computers for the rest of us". And that rest are certainly not the professionals, who, by definition, do not use stuff "for the rest of us" to get their job done.

Wake up, guys. Apple is like Douglas, Nike, BMW, Prada or whatever else in that league: A fashion company that builds expensive lifestyle products and status symbols for a mass market. If you need professional tools, you don't go to a perfume store, you go to a real hardware shop.

And before some idiot jumps in: That assessment has got nothing to do with me not liking Apple's products. But unlike some around here, I perform a reality check once in a while and even to a blind guy it should be obvious where Apple is headed and who has become their target audience. On the other hand, I also know that I buy a Mac for a bunch of reasons that do not always have something to do with technology or the simple need for a tool to get a job done. Buying a Mac is buying a beautifully designed fetish piece of techno-lust. And to quote Michael Romkey: "I admit these things without a sense of guilt."
Rating: 5 Votes

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