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2013 Mac Pro teardown shows high repairability, low storage expansion

updated 11:31 am EST, Tue December 31, 2013

SSDs linked to videocards

Repair firm iFixit has published a teardown of the 2013 Mac Pro, following in the steps of a another teardown conducted by OWC. iFixit describes the machine as highly repairable, thanks to a lack of proprietary screws and tool-free access to RAM. Such design approaches also make the Pro relatively easy to upgrade, particularly the socketed CPU.

iFixit notes that one of the computer's twin graphics cards also plays host to a slot for the SSD. The company suggests that higher-tier configurations may make use of two SSD-capable cards, allowing doubling storage capacity. User upgrades of storage are said to be problematic though, limiting people to expensive external Thunderbolt drives.

The 2013 Pro is a major redesign, abandoning the PC-style tower of its predecessors for a compact cylinder. While this offers size and portability advantages, upgrade makers may have to custom-tailor some of their parts to support it, and some changes -- like installing internal HDDs -- are of course impossible.

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Right, right. Low storage expansion. Because it's not like there's a set of 6 ports on the back which provide 20 Gbps connections, each of which can connect to a whole chassis of devices. Oh, wait, yes there is.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    And to hedge off the naysayers inclined to talk about "My precious desk space! I have no room for peripherals!" let us not forget that this Mac Pro is a mere fraction of a fraction of the size of the previous-gen Mac Pro.

    With the space savings alone of the chassis itself, the desk now has ample room for Thunderbolt RAID arrays and all sorts of high-speed storage and expansion peripherals. Whatever you could stuff inside the old Mac Pro can now sit outside the new Mac Pro and still, at best, take up the same amount of space.

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Even better stuff can now sit outside in terms of storage. What did the old model have, 4 internal bays? That's barely a starter RAID, though granted, it might have been enough for many. But yea, storage being external isn't really a problem. The real problem might be things like upgrading the GPU after a year when the next line of killer GPUs comes out, if you're in an industry where that speed-gain can be directly used. Or, if you rely on CUDA based software, while these are ATI cards. Or, you need more RAM than you can put in this thing. Or, you need more CPU cores than 1 Xeon provides, etc.

    It's a great machine for prosumers (though maybe a bit spendy). But, for those for whom an iMac doesn't cut it, this makes sense. It's a great machine for pros who use software which this takes advantage of, and who don't want to muck with building a Hackintosh. You just have to think it through though.

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