The announcement by Apple of the radically redesigned Mac Pro on June 10, 2013 was met with some mixed reviews. Most negative comments have tended to focus on perceived limitations of the new design relative to expandability. A recurring thread (if you allow me to extrapolate from only 24 hours worth of threads) is specifically the lack of “internal” expandability. The reason I am writing this entry, is that even though technical capabilities of integrating components with technologies such as Thunderbolt have removed performance barriers of using external devices, the perception of “everything having to be within one cabinet to maximize poformance” will need to be broken. To me, the new Mac Pro is taking on a component stereo approach, where each individual will be able to tailor their solution to their needs with the core “amplifier” at the heart of the configuation being the Mac Pro. The ability to move data at faster and faster speeds (20 GBs bidirectional in the case of Thunderbolt 2) through a cable frees the need to be physically limited by a cabinet with 4 expansion bays and allows an almost limitless ability to mix and match components as the user sees fit and as requirements demand. The danger here is to be stuck in a past paradigm – unless it is in one cabinet, something will be bottlenecked. Yes, capacity will still have a limit, but the limit will no longer have any perceived impact on productivity since the limit will provided near instantaneous response. Yes, Thunderbolt is an emerging standard and to be used with a Mac Pro, that’s one of the standards that someone will have to embrace, but that is no different than the standard of SCSI or PCI that would be inherent within the cabinet. We need to discard the boundaries and limitations of thinkinjg which marry us to the past and think outside the box – or in this case the cylinder.