How to use your new Mac Pro on its side

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.


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.