Apple Developing Narrower, Rackmountable Mac Pro Prototypes?

152122 mac pro 2010 inside
Inside Apple's current Mac Pro

According to 9 to 5 Mac, Apple is "toying with" a redesigned prototype for its Mac Pro line, narrowing the design from its current 8.1-inch width to something slightly over 5 inches wide. Combined with a slight reduction in height to around 19 inches, the redesign would apparently allow the Mac Pro to be rackmountable in server cabinets as a 3U component.

Nearly eight years after the Mac Pro's current design debuted, Apple is toying with a re-designed version of the product. The new design is said to be narrower at just over 5-inches and a few inches shorter at around 19-inches. One of the reasons that Apple might be making this particular Mac Pro prototype smaller is because it is able to fit on to a standard server rack.

Apple of course used to offer its dedicated Xserve product line offering a thinner 1U component for rackmountable use, but the company discontinued the line as of January 31st of this year. The company has since introduced a new "server" configuration of the Mac Pro, but a redesign to accommodate both standard upright orientation and a sideways rackmounted one would likely be a welcome move for server fans despite the significant increase in rack space required.

The report claims that Apple has developed a "stacked" drive configuration utilizing sleds capable of handling two conventional or solid state hard drives apiece, increasing the density of drives in an attempt to squeeze all of the existing components into the smaller form factor while still preserving space for expandability.

Apple's Mac Pro was last updated in late July, meaning that the line could be due for an update, although the company has been stretching out its Mac Pro product cycles over the past few years.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: Mac Pro

Top Rated Comments

hobbbz Avatar
150 months ago
Here's a quick scale / mockup
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Consultant Avatar
150 months ago
OMG it's xServe ProBook G5!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peskaa Avatar
150 months ago
Redesign to a rackmountable? Yes please, even if it isn't as convenient as 1U.

Smaller for desktop use too? Bonus!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hyper-meta Avatar
149 months ago
If not this year then soon I predict Apple will revamp the MP to be a module system tied together using TB. Of course, I hope they'll wait until the 100GB TB spec is ratified and in use, otherwise it will be a step backwards. But overall I think it could be a serious improvement for the MP. You buy the "brain" you want (mini ala i3/i5, a middle brain with Desktop i5/i7, and a "pro" brain with 1 or 2 Xeons. The brain would be CPU, RAM, USB, and TB (and perhaps wireless and ethernet). You can buy storage containers and video containers as you need.

This system would be easily and quickly standardized (commoditized) giving continuing Apple's tight fist of control but letting them spin off the lowest margined, fasting changing areas of video processors and storage.

I personally think it will work a bit like RED's cameras ushering a new era of embedded and server room technology. You could have a fanless I/O station and/or monitor sitting on your desk with all the fans and heavy lifting equipment isolated somewhere else.

Genius. Combined with the cloud computing and virtualization technology, a glimpse of the future emerges.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnomeisland Avatar
149 months ago
If not this year then soon I predict Apple will revamp the MP to be a module system tied together using TB. Of course, I hope they'll wait until the 100GB TB spec is ratified and in use, otherwise it will be a step backwards. But overall I think it could be a serious improvement for the MP. You buy the "brain" you want (mini ala i3/i5, a middle brain with Desktop i5/i7, and a "pro" brain with 1 or 2 Xeons. The brain would be CPU, RAM, USB, and TB (and perhaps wireless and ethernet). You can buy storage containers and video containers as you need.

This system would be easily and quickly standardized (commoditized) giving continuing Apple's tight fist of control but letting them spin off the lowest margined, fasting changing areas of video processors and storage.

I personally think it will work a bit like RED's cameras ushering a new era of embedded and server room technology. You could have a fanless I/O station and/or monitor sitting on your desk with all the fans and heavy lifting equipment isolated somewhere else.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
firestarter Avatar
150 months ago
Actually, you can get by with a mid/high level iMac now for most graphic design needs (photoshop, illustrator, etc) these days and even average video editing needs

Not if you care about colo[u]r management. While Apple continues its love affair with shiny screens, creatives need an alternative.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...