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WWDC 2013 Wish List

June 7, 2013 – by Per Christensson

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is next week, commencing with the always captivating keynote address on Monday. Apple is expected make several announcements, including forthcoming updates to iOS and OS X, new laptop models, and a new "iRadio" service.

While these are all exciting things, I have my own my wish list for WWDC.

  1. New Mac Pros

That's right – my wish list contains one item – new Mac Pros. Apple has snubbed pro users multiple times over the past several years with either no updates or minimal changes to the Mac Pros. With all the attention Apple has given the iPhone and iPad over the past three years, they've largely ignored the Mac Pro. It seems Apple has forgotten about those of us who use our Macs for professional purposes.

If you are a serious web developer, graphics editor, audio engineer, video producer, CAD designer, or software programmer, nothing beats a Mac Pro. Not only do Mac Pros have tons of processing power, you can choose your own graphics card, install multiple internal hard drives, and add as much RAM as you want. Best of all, you can choose one or more custom monitors that suit your needs.

Unfortunately, the current Mac Pros are a horrible value. Apple hasn't made any significant updates to the Mac Pros in almost three years and they haven't dropped the price. The current Mac Pros are heavy, bulky machines that don't appeal to many customers. Even I chose to get an iMac for my most recent computer because the Mac Pro just wasn't worth it.

I am hoping Apple announces a completely redesigned Mac Pro with a smaller, more modern design. The new model doesn't need PCI slots, since Thunderbolt serves an improved substitute. Thunderbolt can also be used for additional drive bays, though at least two internal bays would be nice. Improved processors now use less power, which means mean the fans, heat sinks, and power supply can be smaller. The memory modules for the new model shouldn't need heat sinks either, which means more RAM can be placed in a smaller area. Finally, there's a good chance Apple will remove the optical drive (though I think this would be a bit premature for a pro model).

The resulting machine would be about a third the size of the current Mac Pro and would be much cheaper to manufacture. Apple might be able to offer this type of pro machine for around $1,500, which is $1,000 less than the current entry-level price of $2,499. Sound too good to be true? I hope not.

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