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Visualising the MacCube Apple Silicon Mac Pro

Epic renders in today’s video via Apple_Tomorrow https://twitter.com/apple_tomorrow?s=21

0:00 On Today’s Apple Daily…
New Release Candidates drop
The numbers are looking good
Taking a closer look at the MacCube Concept
Notification Squad

New Release Candidates drop

Release candidates have been posted for Apple’s software platforms, including macOS 11.2, iOS and iPadOS 14.4 and more. This generally means we should be looking at a public release next week, most likely Tuesday assuming there are no major issues found with these.

macOS 11.2 should hopefully fix the Bluetooth issues with peripherals (I am so hopeful for this!), along with a couple of other issues like Photos not saving ProRAW changes right.

iPhone and iPad releases bring the U1 integration with handoff for HomePod mini with the new haptic effects, Audio guided Apple Fitness Plus walking workouts with Apple Watch, Bluetooth audio devices having more detailed types to help with level monitoring for hearing health and more.

The numbers are looking good
Apple investors have raised their price targets ahead of the earnings call coming up at the end of the month, as it looks that Apple could have their first 100 million dollar quarter after the launch of iPhone 12 (which all falls in that quarter for the first time), Apple One bolstering services revenue and Apple Silicon Macs which have been a massive hit so far.

We’ll be live streaming right after the call, so look out for the event coming up in your feeds and join me to break down what is reported.

Taking a closer look at the MacCube Concept

After Bloomberg broke news that Apple is working on two new Mac Pro models, one as possibly the last intel anything in the current chassis, and far more interestingly a smaller, less than half the size Apple Silicon powered one. So I reached out to my friend and talented Blender cowboy @Apple_Tomorrow to work on what the smaller, interesting one could look like. https://twitter.com/apple_tomorrow?s=21

There’s been a lot of talk about this system evoking nostalgia for the PowerMac G4 Cube, so that’s kind of the volume target we’re looking at. The G4 Cube is about the size of 4-5 current Mac minis stacked up, but suspended in a perspex frame so it looks like its floating above your desk. It was also pretty much silent running, at least it would be if you threw in an SSD – these had no fans but they had clicky old Hard disk drives.

I see the new MacCube being purchased as a frame that gives the option to replace a couple of components going forward, so in essence you’re buying a cooling frame with IO and the latest versions of Apple’s Pro level SOCs that probably slot in from the back, and can be replaced easily by the end user, perhaps as easily as plugging a game cartridge into an early 90s game console like a Nintendo or Sega, adding Graphics processors, Afterburner like cards, storage arrays or even replacing the main SOC in the system.

Let’s be honest, once you get to quiet fans that can move a lot of air, there’s not much more the frame itself needs to do. The individual cards could have cooling channels inside allowing the best possible airflow as well as their own heatsinks. I think the most interesting thing will be to see how Apple addresses upgradability going forward.

The main SOC card would have everything that the current M1 SOC has, but just more betterer. So probably a 16-20 Core CPU with 12-16 of those being high performance Firestorm cores and 4 efficiency cores. Those would be retained so that normal computing doesn’t have to fire up the quicker cores, meaning less heat is already in the idling system and allowing the high performance cores to go for longer before the fans need to spin up when you do push the system.

In terms of discreet graphics – I think it will be Apple all the way, I don’t expect any Nvidia or AMD support here, but I see that as a good thing as I think these will smoke them pretty soon. Apple is working on up to 128 core graphics, but the general OS browsing work would be pretty much all taken care of by the main SOC’s integrated graphics, with the major crunching being off boarded to the discreet graphics for gaming, video processing on bigger tasks and other heavy workloads.

Of course you’ll still have your IO for adding storage, but I think Apple will offer super fast internal storage options on these cartridge cards too – possibly with multiple M.2 style ports so you can swap these out. The system would also likely run these in some sort of automatically configured raid style system, making it super simple but keeping the speeds.

I could see a base version of this having a way lower price than the current Mac Pros – maybe $2500 with the SOC card and then you can upgrade from there adding graphics, additional storage and more as you need for your need.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and thanks again to Apple_Tomorrow for the amazing renders.

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