The first major question about the brand new cylindrically shaped Mac Pro has been officially answered by Apple. A 2 January announcement on the Cupertino, California company’s website addresses the pressing issue of horizontal versus vertical.
Despite the pro machine’s surprisingly tiny footprint, there clearly are people out there for whom the computer’s obvious upright position will just not do. And Apple says that’s OK. “Although the Mac Pro (late 2013) is designed to operate in an upright position, you can also use it on its side.”
Apple notes that the fan system can handle either position, but users should take a few pointers into account.
First, make sure there is enough room at the top and bottom for the air to flow freely into the base and out of the exhaust at the top – ensuring that the ports are uncovered. (Though this does beg the question: how do you ensure the air flows into the bottom when it’s in the regular upright position?) Also, make sure that the device is oriented to allow easy access to the Input/Output panel.
And, most importantly perhaps, get your chocks out. Or, basically, make sure the thing doesn’t roll off your desk. “Note: the Apple Limited Warranty does not cover cosmetic damage to the enclosure,” says the website.
Apple also has some advice for users of multiple Mac Pros (otherwise known in the trade as ‘millionaires’). Such well-heeled folk are advised: “Do not 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.”
So there you are. The short answer is, yes, you can use your Mac Pro lying on its side. But why would you want to? Unless perhaps you’re worried about inadvertently tossing your apple core into your shiny new toy instead of your IKEA special…