Apple Mac ProHas Apple already released it’s latest Mac for pros? The upper-end iMac can now be configured with an Intel Core i5 or i7 quad-core processor, a 2TB hard drive, and up to 16GB of RAM; and the mammoth 27″ LED screen is nothing short of stunning. With all this power in Apple’s supposed consumer-level desktop, one has to wonder if there’s any need for a MacPro by anyone shy of George Lucas working on the next horrible sequel to StarWars. As a designer, I’ve spent the last 20 years accepting the fact that I had to buy the most expensive model of Mac available in order to get the power I needed to edit large multi-layered Photoshop files and videos. Buying a G3, G4, G5, and even the early MacPros was the only way to get a Mac which would support enough RAM to accomplish my job without adding two days to the work week. With Apple announcing the latest revision of the iMac to include a quad-core processor and plenty of room for more RAM, one has to wonder where that leaves the MacPro. Is Apple slowly warming us up to the fact that they’re phasing out the MacPro? Or are they, more likely, preparing to release a MacPro that will leave power-users absolutely stunned and breathless? Assuming Apple is not moving out of the tower market, I’m wondering what they could add to the MacPro line that would make my credit card leap from my wallet and slide through those little hand-held check-out devices at the Apple Store.

A beautiful case design and a relatively minor speed bump just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

The new high-end iMac already includes a more than adequate LCD screen for print and Web designers. It already has a capable media drive, plenty of room for 8 to 12GB of RAM, and a roomy hard drive for storing large graphics and video files. All these things were formerly only available to MacPro buyers. Even if Apple were to include a BluRay drive internally, I doubt it would be enough to sway most buyers to spend the extra $500 or more for a tower. The internal drive bays in the MacPro are nice, but hardly enough to sway me one way or another. External hard drives are cheap, extremely small, and run nearly silent nowadays. Apple iMac Now I know that high-end video editing requires every last ounce of power a Mac can offer. But just how large is that market for Apple? Is it enough to sustain the cost of developing such a machine? I don’t have those answers. The MacPro represents a very high profit margin for Apple, and I suspect that they’ve got something jaw-dropping in store for us in the near future. The new iMacs will surely steal quite a few customers from the MacPro camp, particularly high-end designers, photographers and all but the most high-end videographers. So the question is, are there enough people who require the power and extra expandability of the MacPro over the increasing market of iMac buyers.