New Mac Pro Starts At $2999 – Is It Worth It For Musicians?

new-mac-proApple today announced pricing and availability for the new Mac Pro line.

The updated Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, with up to 12 cores, dual workstation-class GPUs, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

The new Mac Pro is priced starting at $2,999 (US) and will be available in December.

Check out the specs – and let us know if you think a $2,999 Mac Pro makes sense for musicians.  Continue reading

New Mac Pro Promises Fast & Furious Face-Melting OS X Action – Was It Worth The Wait?

new-mac-pro

Apple today offered a sneak preview of its next generation Mac Pro desktop computer – something pro Mac users have been looking for for years.

It’s fast and furious, promising up to 2.5 times the speed of the existing Mac Pro line, up to 12 cores, dual GPUs, Thunderbolt 2, faster memory and flash storage. So, it will be a screamer. But the form factor could be the most talked about aspect of the new Mac.

The redesigned Mac Pro dumps the traditional tower format of its predecessors, in favor of a small, futuristic and appliance-like form. The form factor may generate love/hate reactions, because – while Apple calls the new Mac Pro “our most expandable Mac yet”, much of that expansion is in the form of high-speed connectivity. According to Apple, the new Mac Pro supports up to 36 high-performance Thunderbolt-based peripherals.

Here’s what Apple has to say about the new Mac Pro: Continue reading

The Mac Pro – ‘Lame Update’, Bloated Price?

Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the original Apple Macintosh development team, has some choice words for his former employer about the Mac Pro update that was introduced yesterday:

The next generation MacBook Pro announced today at WWDC looks fantastic. I ordered one immediately and can’t wait to start using it.

Unfortunately, the euphoria was negated by my deep disappointment with the meagre, lame update that was silently bequeathed to the Mac Pro today.

The Mac Pro is Apple’s top of the line, expandable Macintosh, aimed at users who need lots of computing power and disk storage, like programmers or other professionals. I have an 8-core Mac Pro with 16 GB of RAM in my home office that was an amazing machine when I acquired it in 2008, but it’s not so hot by today’s standards. I’ve been looking to get a new one for a while now, but Apple hadn’t updated the hardware for two years, so I was looking forward to finally seeing a new one announced today, with essential features like Thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

When they didn’t mention the Mac Pro during the keynote presentation, I got worried but figured they’d update it anyway, it just wasn’t worthy of mention from the high pulpit of the consumer-oriented keynote. And sure enough, when I visited store.apple.com, there was a little “new” icon above the Mac Pro. But I was in for a shock when I clicked on the link to check it out.

The specs for the “new” Mac Pro had hardly changed, except for a tiny, inconsequential processor clock bump. Still no Thunderbolt, still no USB 3.0, no SATA III or RAM speed improvements – it seems like it’s stuck in time in 2010. The only thing that’s still high-end about it is the bloated price.

Apple had interesting news about both the iOS and OS X operating systems, yesterday. And the updates for its MacBook Air and Pro lines should maintain and even grow their popularity.

The relatively minor updates to the $2,500 Mac Pro, and the lack of fanfare given to them, suggest that the line is becoming too small of a niche to warrant much attention from the company.

What do you think? Are giant towers becoming dinosaurs, even for power users like musicians, graphic artists and programmers?

Continue reading

Will The Magic Trackpad Bring iPad Goodness To Mac Music Apps?

Apple today made a variety of introductions today ranging from upgrading its top-of-the-line Mac Pro to a drool-worthy 12 cores to giving its sexy iMac line a speed bump.

The most interesting introduction of the day, though, is the new Magic Trackpad – a wireless pad that brings multi-touch gestures to Mac OS X computers running Snow Leopard.

More users are now working on Mac laptops than desktop computers, so the lack of multi-touch input on desktops limits development of Mac multi-touch apps.

The Magic Trackpad changes that. And, at $69, it’s within reach of just about anyone.

It’s easy to imagine interesting musical uses for the Magic Trackpad, ranging from a wireless X-Y controller to a open-ended control surface.

This raises the question: will the Magic Trackpad jumpstart mac music app development like the iPad has?

Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Apple Unveils Mac Pro

apple mac proApple has unveiled the new Mac Pro, a quad Xeon, 64-bit desktop workstation featuring two new Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors running up to 3.0 GHz and a new system architecture that delivers up to twice the performance of the Power Mac(R) G5 Quad.. .

“Apple has successfully completed the transition to using Intel processors in just seven months — 210 days to be exact,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “And what better product to complete it with than the new Mac Pro, the workstation Mac users have been dreaming about.”

The new Mac Pro features the new Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 series processor based on the Intel Core microarchitecture, delivering breakthrough performance and power efficiency. The new Mac Pro is up to twice as fast as the Power Mac G5 Quad running industry standard benchmarks and features two Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors running up to 3.0 GHz, each with 4MB of shared L2 cache and independent 1.33 GHz front-side buses. With 667 MHz DDR2 fully-buffered memory, the Mac Pro also boasts a 256-bit wide memory architecture for amazing bandwidth. Continue reading