All of us will have to buy newer, faster components to keep up anyway.
Old tech has a finite life.
Moving on, with TB2 MacPro users can fit tomorrow and tomorrow + 2 components.
If you relied on internals then you are limited to today's hardware.
That is the limits of legacy 'Towers'.
5 years from now there may me be Thunderbolt2 to tomorrows next interface box keeping your MacPro you bought in November 2013 good until November 2017.
Time marches on.
if you would inform yourself you would see for example that the new mac "pro" is NOT EXPANDABLE for 3d rendering because thunderbold2 is too slow for gpu expansion. these new macs are not suited for every need, certainly not for the real high end workstation market. they are fine for the mid to high end user and will make nice profit for apple. but for certain applications this concept is a complete failure and you're forced to switch where an updated actual mac pro would have allowed to stay on macos.
I understand your worries.
I think the future of things seems to be having units that are optimized for the tasks in hand.
GPU boxes x amount needed for the task, controlled by the amount of Pro machines needed at the time.
Seems to me the GPU power of the new MacPro's would be for design and manipulation and the finished render would be off loaded to bespoke render engine farms. Hence the need for the ever present duel gigabit RJ45 ports. Or a local TB2 powered render farm that can be RAID'd for fail safe. Connected to the gorgeous cylinder that is late 2013 MacPro.
Also you are forgetting Mavericks and iOS7 integration.
Keynote your Boss your latest render from your iPhone that you rendered on your MacPro.
Can you do that with your Android phone from your XP (yes XP, alot of Win drivers are still too scared to leave 2002 tech) machine?
Time marches on.
Phil Schiller never said that the one with two hulking AMD GPUs was the ONLY one ever to be available...
If anyone wants to take some hot graphics chips and put them on that form factor card with ThunderBolt output and the Mac Pro heatsink mating surface on the big chips, I am sure Apple would welcome that. But retrofitting yesterdays GPUs for that purpose is not likely to happen.
NVIDIA has cost Apple a lot of money with MacBook recalls in the last few years, and their drivers for two simultaneous Mac Pro graphics cards at once in latest versions of Mac OS X 10.8 are falling apart. (Specifically: Users with two or more GT120 cards must remove one after upgrading to 10.8.3 or later or suffer kernel panics)
NVIDIA seems to not be especially responsive when people ask them for drivers that, well, actually WORK.
For those people saying that if your a pro user and want to use your expansion just buy a TB expansion case, just think about it from a pros perspective. You've spent thousands of dollars on hard drives graphic cards and other equipment and have been desperately waiting for apple to provide to new updated Mac Pro only to find out that all those thousands of dollars you spent means jack **** now. Now you need to buy a expansion case for you PCI cards and hard drives which depending on how much stuff you have could run a couple thousand dollars extra. This machine will not be cheap for pro users and while I may not be a pro user I can sympathize with them. The machine will likely not be able to match the pro configurations of pc users because its limited now by non-expandable hardware which will force many Mac Pro users to either abandon the platform or stick with their old boxes.
Apple seems to want to make the Mac Pro line now for low end consumers that don't need the expandability of current Mac Pros. The thing is these people already have options with iMacs and Mac Minis, the Mac Pros are built for people who need expandability, they don't care about how small and pretty it looks. Pc makers aren't going to change strategy because of this computer and 3rd party manufactures aren't going to simply jump on the Thunderbolt band wagon without good reason.
I really worry that this new computer is going to be a dismal failure and bring down Apple even more. We don't need Apple to go back to the way it was in the 90's.
"Now you need to buy a expansion case for you PCI cards and hard drives"
What's wrong with keeping them in the old tower and linking both together? Do people really trade up and take huge losses that much or do they network old and new together for more processing power. The old towers won't be bricks for at least a decade, especially the 12 core.
"I really worry that this new computer is going to be a dismal failure"
Don't worry. What was going to be a failure was no Mac Pro at all (which everyone thought was HIGHLY likely) or another vapor "upgrade" like the last one, more status quo.
Bottom line: What you naysayers wanted just isn't that innovative nor MODULAR. For decades people have been complaing how "locked in" the Apple universe was. They finally give people something MODULAR that can be applied to different diciplines in different ways and people go nuts.
Always having gpu that was on the tail end or EOL of a product and with drivers that were not the best (Barefeats showed off GTX 680 and how the AMD 79xx and AMD was barely an improvement in tests than 5870 which also showed weakness in AMD).
OpenGL 4.x though will help and step in the right direction finally.
64GB RAM for a workstation really?
An iMac would cost me $3000+ and I don't feel it will offer the same level of use as a $2500 Mac Pro normally.
What I wanted:
2 x 8-pin aux power connectors for gpus
4 x SATA III 6G
PCIe 3.x - not just for one slot either as some PCs offer, if they HAD to have two PCIe 2.x slots, fine.
Support for more RAM (not me, I think 24GB will be fine but never know what tomorrow will bring)
USB3 (4) AND USB2 (4) - using up PCIe for USB3 and support that has been soso
Being able to choose stock but option of AMD or Nvidia (CUDA)
People wanted a Thunderbolt enabled motherboard. That was the biggest more frequent request in the last two years.
Everyone though 'assumed' USB3
SATAIII would be there (even if only for two SATA ports). Two SSDs where the optical drive bays were would be a huge popular SUCCESS.
Use top optical drive bay for powered connections for iPads and other devices.
Yes there are better compilers for doing calls for OpenCL and CUDA abstracted from the hardware, but I think that has not happened on Mac platform. (why the GTX 6xx series was such a major change it is worse for CUDA than the 580 - the 7xx series is suppose to change all that).
Evolution, not revolutionary design change.
DDR4 is just around the corner though even this system has optimized DDR3 a step further, it is not 6 DIMM slots per cpu socket which it could have.
I don't know anyone that hated the 65 lb design.
Mac Mini Pro. Unless this thing is significantly cheaper than the old systems, there is no way anyone can justify a trashcan over a real computer case.
I can already see the internet memes of people putting trash in the top of it, or 6+ external devices with a huge nest of power bricks and cables running everywhere to support what used to be intenral and secure plug-n-play drives and PCI-e cards.
TB peripherals add a significant added cost plus a lot of unneccessary, noisy clutter in a professional audio workspace.
Apple seems to have forgotton that it has a LOT of support for the Mac Pro amongst the pro audio industry. It is forcing upon us a ridiculously overpowered and overpriced graphics solutuion in the new Mac Pro that is TOTAL overkill for our requirements. At least with the old Mac Pros, the graphics capability was scalable with Apple itself offering a range of PCIe options.
An HP Workstation looks an ever more appealing option especialy given that Windows is a significantly more efficient OS for running audio applications at low latencies.
After 17 years as a loyal Mac user, the grass looks FAR greener on the other side.