by Anton Shilov
02/11/2014 | 05:40 AM
Apple has quietly updated shipments date for Mac Pro desktops in its online store. The high-end systems ordered today will be shipped only in April, around two months from now. This is not the first time when Apple delays Mac Pro shipments, but this time it looks like the company has problems with mass manufacturing of its latest workstation.
Apple Mac Pro features a very innovative cylindrical design that is comprised of multiple unique/non-standard components, which need to be made to order. Shortage of just one component exclusively produced for the Mac Pro by a contract maker could ruin shipments schedules for the desktop. Besides, the system is assembled in the U.S., where manufacturing capacities may be relatively limited. Since Apple has not updated its Mac Pro significantly for quite a while, the demand for the new Mac Pro can be very high as professionals want higher-performing systems.
Originally, Apple planned to start shipments of its Mac Pro in December. Some lucky owners even got their new workstations in 2013, but many were told to wait until February, 2014. At present, Apple’s online store in the U.S. and the U.K. note that Mac Pro workstations that are pre-ordered now will only be dispatched on an unspecified date in April.
Despite of the fact that Apple has one of the world’s best supply chains, Apple’s products traditionally face shortages early in their lifecycles because of overwhelming demand. However, demands for Macs is not as high as demand for iPhones and iPads: the company only sells four or five million personal computers per quarter. Still, in Fall 2012 Apple was challenged by shortages of the (back then) latest iMac all-in-one desktops that were assembled both in the U.S. and China. The current-generation iMac AIO PCs sport ultra-slim design and numerous proprietary components.
The new Apple Mac Pro features 4-core, 6-core, 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon processors running at Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9GHz that deliver double the floating point performance of the previous generation Mac Pro. Two workstation-class AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with up to 12GB of video memory provide up to 7TFLOPS of compute power and up to eight times the graphics performance of the previous generation Mac Pro. OpenGL and OpenCL are optimized in OS X Mavericks to leverage the full computing power of the Mac Pro CPU and dual GPUs. The new Mac Pro ships with OS X Mavericks. The all-new Mac Pro starts at $2999 and will be available in December.
The new Mac Pro features PCIe-based solid-state storage that delivers sequential read speeds up to 1.2GB/s. ECC DDR3 memory running at 1866MHz, with a four-channel memory controller, gives the new Mac Pro up to 60GB/s of memory bandwidth, twice that of the previous generation Mac Pro.
The new Mac Pro also features six Thunderbolt 2 ports, each with up to 20Gb/s of bandwidth per device. Thunderbolt 2 ports support up to six daisy-chained devices each, giving pros the ability to connect up to 36 high-performance peripherals – from external storage devices, to multiple PCI expansion chassis, to audio and video breakout boxes. Thunderbolt 2 uses existing copper or optical Thunderbolt cables and is completely backward compatible with existing Thunderbolt peripherals and cables, and also supports the latest 4K displays. A new self-configuring IP over Thunderbolt software feature in OS X Mavericks provides a fast link between Thunderbolt-enabled Macs.
The price of a new Apple Mac Pro starts at $2999.