Will Apple’s next Mac Pro look like any of these concepts?

20 February, 2013 - Paul Dixon
Mac Pro concept designs

During the latest episode of the excellent International Mac Podcast, the panel discussed what Apple’s rumoured next Mac Pro could look like, and invited listeners to submit their own ideas. Admittedly, I’ve taken their request a little too seriously – but once I’d started, I couldn’t stop. And these are the results, seven Mac Pro concepts based (literally) on one of Apple’s other machines – the Mac mini.

There’s a couple of reasons I decided to base these concepts on Apple’s ultra-compact desktop. The first is as follows: when you consider that the current Mac Pro sports the same case design introduced with the Power Mac G5 in 2003, then I’d argue that the latest Mac mini offers the best clues as to what a next-generation Mac Pro could look like. I really can’t see Apple introducing a machine that looks radically different from its current Mac lineup.

The second reason is Thunderbolt. Thanks to the high-speed I/O technology, many of the components that would have previously needed to be installed inside a Mac Pro, can now potentially be connected externally – and that would allow for a much smaller case design. I’m not saying that Apple could cram everything into something quite as small as the current mini, but perhaps they could if they made it a little taller, or separated individual components into stackable modules?

Mac Pro concept 1

concept Mac Pro based on Mac mini

Roughly the height of 2 and a half current-generation Mac minis, perhaps this Mac Pro would be a little too small?

Mac Pro concept 2

cube-like Mac Pro concept

So, here’s a bigger version, equivalent to about three and a half Mac minis.

Mac Pro concept 3

concept Mac Pro with optical drive

In fact, at this size, why not include an optical drive? Even if Apple’s other Macs no longer have them, I’m sure some pro users would appreciate one.

Mac Pro concept 4

Mac Pr concept

And, just for fun, here’s a version with the Apple logo displayed proudly on the front.

Mac Pro concept 5

Modular Mac Pro concept

But rather than having one big box, why not have a modular Mac Pro? Each module would be the same dimensions as the current Mac mini.

Mac Pro concept 6

Five module Mac Pro concept

Here’s a version with five modules, one of which is an optical drive.

Mac Pro concept 7

two module Mac Pro concept

One last version – a combination of the first and fifth concepts.

So there you have them – seven Mac Pro concepts inspired by the Mac mini. I’m sure Jony Ive and team will come up with something much better looking, and due to the likely manufacturing complexity, perhaps Apple would be unlikely to produce a modular design. But what do you think of these concepts?

If anybody wants to feature any of these in a post, all I ask is that you leave the credit on the images, and include a link back here.

About the author

Paul Dixon is the owner of Macsessed. He lives in Lancashire in the UK where he works as a web designer. You can find him on and Twitter.