The New Apple Mac Pro

Product Review – The New Apple Mac Pro

Why did I purchase a new Mac Pro?

I admit that I bought my first Mac ten years ago purely because of the aesthetics. Well, that, and the number of friends who loved to ask me how many times my PC had frozen up in the last week.  I keep buying Macs because of the quality, reliability, and the fact that I am now addicted to the clarity of the Retina display on my MacBook, and using their well-designed, backlit laptop keyboard.

 The new Mac Pro is my latest investment, but why did I decide purchase a $3000 desktop computer?  What is my motivation?

Graphics.

The Mac Pro is all about power.  Apple is determined to convince those of us who want massive computer power at our fingertips for our creations that Mac Pro is the desktop computer we must have for filmmaking, video editing, animation, game building, and photography purposes.

How much graphical computing power does the Mac Pro have?

The basic technical specifications are impressive.  The previous Mac Pro had capacity for up to 2.7 teraflops in its graphics processing unit (GPU).  The new model has even more image-rendering power – up to 7 teraflops.

There are actually 2 GPUs in the Mac Pro, and each one can have either 2GB, 3GB, or 6GB of dedicated virtual random access memory (VRAM), which of course means the purchaser is selecting a computer with either 4GB, 6GB, or 12GB of total VRAM available for their up to 7 trillion floating point operations per second.  That’s a vigorous amount of energy, providing support for 4K video.  Somewhere, more than a few filmmakers just shouted “Hurray!”

What about the computer processing unit (CPU)?

Apple never wants to hear you complain about a lack of speed.  Up to 12 cores of processing power are available in the new Mac Pro, starting level is 4.  Each processor is an Intel Xeon E5, and you and your projects will also be assisted by up to 30MB of L3 cache and up to 40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth.  While your processor is speeding along, it has a 4-channel DDR3 memory controller operating at 1866MHz to work with.

What’s the deal with the design?

If you’ve been hoping for years that one day you would no longer need to find space for the large metal rectangle of your desktop computer, now is your moment.  Take a deep breath and start making plans for the space you’ll regain when you replace the metal rectangle with a handsome cylinder that is just over 25 centimeters tall, and has a 16.8 centimeter diameter.  Good things can and do come in small packages, and now the Mac Pro is one of them.

The computer’s components are all centered around a thermal core, making it possible for the final product to stand elegantly in public view rather than hide next to reams of paper on the floor.

Check out this great video of the new Mac Pro being made – click here

Is the Mac Pro too noisy to have on top of my desk?

Every computer system produces heat that must be dealt with.  Apparently Apple’s engineers paid attention to the fact that no matter how much they streamlined and dressed up the new Mac Pro, no one would leave it on their desk for long if the noise factor outweighed the hipness factor.

For the Mac Pro, apple has developed a single-fan system which pulls air upward over an interior designed to minimize resistance to air movement in a way that’s both more efficient and more quiet than previous systems.

While audible when you’re in a quiet workspace, the sound of the cooling apparatus isn’t overpowering, obnoxious, or anything that will distract you from the Internet radio you’re streaming.

What’s not to love about Apple’s new Mac Pro?

I’ve already mentioned the $3000 starting price tag.  (Quad-core system starts at $2999; 6-core starts at $3999.)  That said, those who have used a Mac Pro in the past and those who will use one in the future do so because they know it’s the system that empowers them to create, to get things done and done well, and to make money.

There is concern that the new design will make customizing and upgrading internals more difficult, but others counter that any physical limitations of the Mac Pro can be overcome with peripherals for the users who desire more than is already contained within the cylinder.  This is a debate that’s just getting started, and it’s the type that won’t be settled even when the population of users worldwide begins arguing on blogs after Mac Pro’s release.  Watch for lively discussions over how much easier it was when everything was arranged in a rectangular space.

How about input/output specifications?

Turn your Mac Pro to use the I/O panel, and the system cordially lights up to show you your options and help you easily locate the one you want.  The system has four USB 3 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports (daisy-chain up to 36 devices), two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a headphone jack, plus an HDMI 1.4 port.  Bluetooth 4.0 is on board to handle all your favorite wireless devices, and wireless transfer promises to be optimum (Yay!) with three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Why does all of this matter to me?

If you are in the market for a mighty computing machine which can handle whatever video or image load you throw at it, and you want high quality, soul-pleasing design, Apple’s Mac Pro has come along at the exact right moment for you.

Pros:

Sleek, cylindrical elegance 25 cm tall, with 16.8 cm diameter
Up to 12 cores of processing power now available
Quieter cooling system

Cons:

New design is potentially restrictive to internal expansion
Must upgrade to get more than 4 cores of processing power
Moving your old rectangular computer will likely reveal a dust line

Resources:

Office Mac pro web page - http://www.apple.com/uk/mac-pro/

Recommend Business support for the Mac Pro - http://www.ouritdept.co.uk/apple-mac-support/

Author Info:

Lindsey is a mac enthusiast that loves to write about all things Apple. If you are looking for an honest (if slightly bias) comprehensive opinion on the latest Apple technologies then read her reviews!

Comments

  1. Eddie says

    I so wish that I could afford a Mac Pro, but at 3K, its a bit out of my price range. Love the design though.

    By the way, you have used the wrong picture, its a Mac Pro, not a MacBook Pro LOL. Nice read though.

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