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Impressive Mac Pro concept imagines Apple's modular desktop

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Mac Pro Concept

Just last week, we learned Apple was going to be "rethinking" its Mac Pro desktop computer, after introducing the new-look 'trash can' version of the desktop way back in 2013.

Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller was quoted by Buzzfeed this month as saying: “Since the Mac Pro is a modular system, we are also doing a pro display. There’s a team working hard on it right now.”

And now, the guys over at Curved.de have imagined just what that 'rethought' Mac Pro will look like with a new concept design.

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We know the new Mac Pro won't be available this year, but the concept gives us a glimpse of what Apple could have in-store – and it really is an impressive design.

The German site has created a mockup of both the modular computer and the display, the former of which looks something like a cross between a regular desktop tower and a Mac Mini.

Gone is the 'trash can' look of the existing Mac Pro, with the tower itself sporting what looks to be an OLED panel on the front.

The modular component is envisioned as a swivelling central unit that allows users to access the device's internals to upgrade certain parts.

According to Curved's site, the concept includes two slots for full-sized graphics cards, along with removable hard disks and SSD drives.

Mac Pro Concept

There's even a headphone jack, which Apple may or may not decide to include following its much publicised removal of the port on the iPhone 7.

Apple confirmed it would return to making displays this month after speculation arose that it could stop manufacturing its own screens.

The speculation started once the company began to promote LG-made displays for use with its MacBook Pro, but it seems Apple will remain in the screen-making business for now.

And Curved has made sure to include a screen design with its latest concept, in the form of a 27-inch retina display, which certainly tops the whole thing off.

Let us know what you think of the concept in the comments.

Tristan Summers

April 15, 2017, 7:05 am

Two words. Air flow

mode11

April 15, 2017, 12:00 pm

Interesting design that's good food for thought. The GPU is a bit of tight squeeze though - what if there needed to be a slightly longer card installed? Not sure how the display connectors are accessed either (even internally). Memory DIMMs that can be accepted sideways would take some engineering effort! RAM upgrades are also made very occasionally; there's no need to have SD-card like convenience for these. Can't see it using 2.5" SSDs, even for bulk storage - might as well use these externally via USB-C.

The style is a bit derivative of the previous Pro and the mini - I'd expect something more forward looking, perhaps using the shiny black finish of the current Pro. Also, whilst the new one will definitely be smaller than the G5 / classic Mac Pro, shrinking it to this extent would run the risk of making the same mistake twice - it leaves very few options for flexibility. For instance, where would PCIe cards go? They're still much cheaper / more widely available / more neatly integrated than Thunderbolt peripherals.

The display looks cool, but the screen corner radius is a bit extreme - to the point of interfering with menus etc. Perhaps a small radius would work well though. The reverse stand looks nice, but how would the screen tilt forwards? The OLED panel and TouchID would be great, but would make this a strictly desktop machine, which may not be convenient - better to put these on the display?

Also, like Tristan says - airflow would be a problem. The vertical GPU (and grill at the top) suggests a top exit for the warm air - fair enough - but where is the air coming in? The bottom is flat on the table. Also, flat tops are begging to have papers etc. left on them, which would be bad news.

EastLondoner99

April 16, 2017, 9:56 pm

Looks sleek and compact and it would run into the same problems as the trash can. Where are the outputs of the GPU? I see it slotted in but I don't see how the cables are connected. GPU will have to be in a horizontal configuration if you want the cable to come out from the back and not the top. How is the ram fitted in? A horizontal insertion seems rather difficult. You'll probably want a minimum of 4 Ram slots if not 8. At least two 3.5" hdd bay and 2/4 2.5" SSD bay. Finally I would want enough motherboard space and cooling capacity for a dual socket CPUs. A pair of next gen intel Xeon or AMD Naples server CPUs (32 cores!) with a beefy power supply. So have the guys try to cram all that in a nice sleek tower design.

Frank

April 20, 2017, 3:46 am

tim cook needs to leave apple he is killing the company and pissing people off! lol and I laugh at the abortion 2016 macbook pro! I could make a better computer myself! off to Ryzen 7 ;)

frink stink

April 20, 2017, 4:29 pm

If size and getting this all to fit in a small package a-la the thin obsession on all the iStuff and new HackBook Nos are even a consideration this is going to be Trash Can 2.0.

Pros don't want tiny. Pros don't want thin. We want expandability. Take the idea of the cMP and start there. If I have to take it to the apple store to replace anything it's designed wrong.

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