How to use your new Mac Pro on its side

By , Jan 3, 2014

Late-2013 Mac Pro (sideways, The Verge 001)

So you’ve shelled north of $3,000 for a brand spanking new Mac Pro so you could edit 4K video in real-time and I imagine that, as a bonus, the machine would help declutter your desktop due to its drastically reduced footprint (MacWorld has a nice gallery comparing the system to every day objects).

If for some reason you prefer to use your Mac Pro on its side instead of its default upright position, you can do so because Apple’s engineers have designed a fan system to support cooling in both orientations, provided you follow the company’s guidelines listed in a newly published support document…

For starters, Apple cautions that the late-2013 Mac Pro needs some space at each end for unrestricted airflow. As a reminder, the Mac Pro’s thermal core design sucks cool air into the base of the computer and pushes it out through the exhaust at the top.

That means you should never disrupt the air flow by covering the air intake or exhaust ports. Apple also advises rich people who happen to own more than one Mac Pro not to direct the exhaust at the top of one Mac Pro towards the intake of another system.

“Place the computers side by side with a gap of at least several inches between them,” the support doc reads. At any rate, rack-mounting multiple Mac Pros should be fun.

Finally – and this is common sense – orient the cylindrically-shaped machine so that its I/O ports remain accessible during use and make sure it doesn’t roll on your table.

mac-pro-size-ipad-air-100221197-gallery

And because the Mac Pro’s precision-made reflective enclosure is prone to scratches, be careful to place it on a protective surface that won’t damage the chassis. As a word of caution, the company notes that the Apple Limited Warranty does not cover “cosmetic damage” to the enclosure.

Apple’s dream desktop launched in mid-December to some pretty raving reviews. Unfortunately, shipping estimates for online orders slipped to February 2014 just hours after release, with customized units taking even longer to ship.

A report from Electronista noted that the iPhone maker doesn’t expect its sophisticated machine to be available in-store until at least March 2014 due to heavily constrained production.

Other useful resources concerning the Mac Pro:

An iFixIt teardown analysis of the late-2013 Mac Pro has revealed that nearly everything inside the new system is user-replacable, including its socketed Intel processor.

As a bonus, the computer uses 68 percent less energy than the previous generation Mac Pro, another Apple support doc has revealed.

Wrapping up, Apple’s pro apps like Final Cut Pro, Motion and others have been updated recently with support for 4K content, 4K monitoring and more.

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  • XC Techs

    its just a little pricey

    • SpArk

      i think we all can agree that apple is just a “little” pricey.

      • jack

        Unlocked iPhone 5S = U$650. Unlocked Galaxy S4 = U$750

      • SpArk

        Where did you get your figures from? Give me a link

      • 5ingularity

        No that is totally not true, i’ve had both, iPhone 5S is $720 unlocked, and S4 unlocked is 699. Think about it logically, S4 and iPhone 5S are made to compete with each other, how on earth can there be a $100 difference.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Apple controls prices, Samsung doesn’t. Depends on which retailer you buy the GS4 from, the Google Play edition sells for $650 (http://bit ly/1kjzrm5) where as US cellular sells it for $750 (http://bit ly/1kjzYV2)…funnily, seems they value the GS4 over the iPhone 5s (http://bit ly/1kjA4fh)…who knows why

    • Maxim∑

      Windows equivalent of a top specked mac pro is 11,600$. 20% more expensive

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Sounds like you either suck at shopping or mindlessly accept every pro apple news you read online…why am I not surprised. After a bit of googling, researching and referring to the source article (http://bit ly/1bHIjHX), found the following:

        Processor – Xeon E5-2697v2 (http://amzn to/1bHIGlI) = $2799 USD
        Motherboard – Asus P9X79 £227 (http://bit ly/1bHIWRR) = $270 CAN = ~$255 USD
        Dual Graphics Card – GTX 780Ti (http://bit ly/1bHJIyi) = $740×2 = $1480 USD
        RAM – Corsair 64GB DDR3 2133 MHz (http://amzn to/1bHJXJI) = $960 USD
        SSD – SAMSUNG MZ-840 EVO 7TE1T0BW 1TB (http://bit ly/1bHKMlw) = $690 CAN = ~650 USD
        Future Expandable Case + Power Supply <= $600 USD
        Coolant <= $200 USD
        Windows = $100 USD

        Total = ~$7100 USD
        Savings = ~$2900 USD

        Learn to shop…

      • Maxim∑

        Wow, first off can’t you shop, nice try on the GPU which makes 0 sense.

        Graphics-

        GTX 780ti’s are not an equivalent to AMD Fire Pro’s you would have to buy AMD FirePro W9000 (x2) for 6,800$ total.

        SSD-

        Thats not PCIe based flashed storage just a regular Samsung SSD, assuming you would have a extra pcie slot after using both for the GPU’s the price would be 1000$ not 600$. I would like to see the r/w speed of that crap storage you picked out.

        RAM-
        Apple uses buffered RAM modules, nice try thats not available for consumers at the moment so a price equivalent cannot be found

        Cooling cannot be compared as its custom, that motherboard will not be capable in supporting some of the Pros hardware. And dont forget tax after all of that.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Makes 0 sense? Of course, ’cause it’s not made by Apple…gimme a break. According to these results (http://bit ly/1cS9dl4), the Nvidia GTX titan closely matches the AMD FirePro D700, which according to this (http://bit ly/1cS9jJu), is just Apple’s proprietary version of the AMD FirePro W900. Finally, based on this report (http://bit ly/1kkNQOR), the GTX 780 Ti (which I pointed out above) performance matches the GTX Titan at a better price. Nice try though…

        Regarding the storage, when video editing, you’ll barely go beyond streams of 100 MB/s, which is significantly less than the read writ speed of the SSD. Where that’ll be useful is for running a server on the hardware, in which case, you’ll be stupid to be limiting your server expandibility to the Mac Pro.

        Regarding RAM, nice try, but the buffered stuff is for stability purposes, and it penalizes performance for that. Each read or write is buffered for one cycle between the memory bus and the DRAM, thus the buffered RAM can be thought of as running one clock cycle behind the equivalent non-buffered DRAM. That’s for applications where reliability is more important than price and performance, like servers, in which case, again you’ll be stupid to be limiting your server expandibility to the Mac Pro.

        Cooling being custom can’t be compared? Sounds like you suck at building PCs, why am I not surprised. The motherboard doesn’t have to support everything the Mac Pro offers when there are just as good and cheaper alternatives. Tax can’t be more than that of a Mac Pro ’cause the total principal is significantly less. Don’t forget about the Apple tax where you’ll be running into incompatibilities every now and then due to proprietary hardware/software…

  • leart

    Incredible design.
    still I prefer my big, in dimensions, apple computer :D

    • Maxim∑

      I thought your computer was glued to a wall for a second

      • leart

        It’s a workstation case, I would say “old style” :))
        But it’s pretty new and powerful almost like a mac :)
        I love it

  • RarestName

    The design never fails to make me laugh every time I see it :D

  • ReanimationXP

    “How to use your Mac Pro on its side: Put it on it’s side.”

    Brilliant, great article.

    • johnnydfred

      Assuming you are being facetious. And yes I agree, ruin your Mac Pro by putting it on its side. After all, you’re rich. You can buy another one. Forget the fact that it was designed to use air convection as well as a fan to cool. Forget that the cover is integral to the cooling effort. After all, when it burns up years before its time, you can just throw it in the ocean.

      Or bury it beside the clear brook by your country club.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    What’s the point of ThunderBolt ports when you got a 1TB SSD and HDMI ports? The thunderbolt stuff would probably be used just for 4K displays in a studio, which the GTX 780Ti supports. With thunderbolt, your add-ons would just be unnecessarily overpriced due to the non display functions of a thunderbolt port. For workstation to workstation data transfers, you’ll most likely be using a USB device…the USB 3.0 ports are sufficient for that.

    Regarding your scores, your link leads to an error page. If you require more horse power, according to these results (http://bit ly/1cS9dl4), the Nvidia GTX titan closely matches the AMD FirePro D700, which according to this (http://bit ly/1cS9jJu), is just Apple’s proprietary version of the AMD FirePro W900.

    Let’s try coming up with better excuses to justify Apple’s overpriced stuff.