After nearly two years of waiting, Apple’s Pro customers finally got an upgrade in June 2012. But it wash’t the Xeon E5 processor based machine that everyone was expecting. Instead, the current models got a minor speed bump and additional RAM for prices similar to those of the previous models.
The base system is now a 3.2HGz quad-core rather than the 2.8GHz 12-core version, and is available for £2.049. You can get a 2.4GHz 12-core machine for £3.099, which is probably the best deal compared to the old 2.4GHz eight-core for 2.859. The 2.66GHz 12-core Mac Pro is a shade over £4.000, while the top end 3.06GHz version weighs in at over five grand, so the prices have barely changed.
The elegance continues inside. While PCs are usually a tangle of cables and inaccessible components, everything in the Mac Pro is laid out for easy access. The RAM very neatly slots into riser boards that slip easily out of the case, and there are four drive bays with solid metal slide-out brackets that you screw your hard disk to.There are also three full-lenght PCI slots, so you can add hardware such as a Fibre Channel or audio card when you need to.
The biggest disappointed with this current range is the lack of any new technology such as USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt, and the odd inclusion of the AMD Radeon HD 5770 GPU graphics card – although there are enough slots to enable you to run as many as eight 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays! Apple has now publicly stated that the Mac Pro will be refreshed some time in 2013, though, so it might be worth your while to wait a bit if you can…
Not many people need the power of a Mac Pro, but if you’re engaged in high-end creative or scientific work, it’s the best choice. The expandable architecture means that it’s also the most future-proof Mac that Apple makes.
IDEAL FOR YOU IF…
- You’re a profesional user, particular in the creative fields, such as graphics designers, video editors, sound editors, 3D artists and so on.
- You want guaranteed expandability, to add specialist hardware, for example, or extra storage capacity or a newer graphic card.
- You’re a passionate, high-end gamer.
- Easily upgradeable
- Superbly engineered
- Phenomenal power
- Plenty of different configuration options
- Heavy and bulky
- Can be expensive
- No longer leading-edge technology
CHOOSE A MAC PRO:
- Single 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon. Hard drive: 1TB, RAM: 6GB, Graphics: Radeon HD 5700 1GB. Price: £2.049.
- Dual 2.4GHz Six-Core Intel Xeon. Hard drive: 1TB, RAM: 12GB, Graphics: Radeon HD 5700 1GB. Price: £3.099.
- Server: One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Xeon. Hard drive: 1TB, RAM: 8GB, Graphics: Radeon HD 5700 1GB. Price: £2.449.