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June 10th 2013 2:09 pm

Apple beefs up the Mac Pro, and assembles it in the US

Apple has redesigned its venerable Mac Pro workstation, reducing its footprint substantially, while adding major performance upgrades, including dual GPUs, 4K support, and dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. But the most interesting thing about the new Mac Pro may be Apple's plan to assemble them in the US. Apple and other technology companies have been criticized for moving most of their manufacturing offshore, and Apple has been hit with charges of worker abuse in plants run by its Chinese subcontractors. Will producing the Mac Pro in the US change this? And will US labor substantially increase the price of what was already a very expensive computer? Finally, what does "assembled" mean? Will high-value work be performed in the US, or will workers here literally be assembling a computer based on components produced overseas? Stay tuned.

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I don't have keynote access at work, so sorry if this was answered.

Is this thing upgradeable? Blogs said it is cylindrical shaped. Ram, hard drives, and video cards are all rectangles.
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Upgrades are largely external. Tons of ports, but that won't satisfy anyone who wants to add internal hard drives or anything like that.
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I think that is a bit of a shame, but the people I know that care about storage currently use a thunderbolt arrays for storage, so I bet it won't be too much of an issue. With thunderbolt 2, I think the speed difference between internal and external drives is not going to be too different.
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Just wondering, and I hope I don't get heat from asking this but, how about upgrading the video card? Will this part be not upgradable just like laptops or will manufacturers have specially designed cards for this device?
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Rumors are that the video card is not upgradeable. But since we don't yet have details on configurations and such, that may be just rumor.

Some rumors have said that these video cards are "soldered in". I'm an old service guy and I can tell you that this is a silly proposition — the thing has to sometimes be repaired, so replacing a card has to be possible.

But even assuming it's possible to replace a failed graphics card, that doesn't necessarily mean that the card is upgradeable. Or that there would be graphics cards available on the open market that would plug into what may be a custom connector.

None of this is known, from I've seen and read. It's all just supposition.
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I think, like previous Mac Pro's, this should still be easily doable, but they didn't announce anything one way or the other on this point.
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"Assembled" would almost certainly be putting the parts together, as opposed to making them.

I think the whole thing is a bit empty, though. The Mac Pro's profit margins are so big you could assemble the thing on the Moon and it would still make a profit. I can't really see this as a trend that their cheaper products will follow, not to mention other PC manufacturers whose margins are lower still.
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