Mac Pro: So, how many thousands of dollars do you want to spend?

Summary:Apple's new flagship workstation, the Mac Pro, is out and available for pre-order. Let's see what your hard-earned dollars will buy you. But let me warn you before we begin, your wallet is going to get a beating.

Apple's new flagship workstation, the Mac Pro, is out and available for pre-order. Let's see what your hard-earned dollars will buy you.

Mac Pro
Image: Apple

The Mac Pro is offered in two base options. The $2,999 comes with a 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC RAM, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, each with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage. The $3,999 option features a 3.5GHz six-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, each with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

See also Apple's new Mac Pro

But that's just the beginning.

Let's take the $3,999 six-core system as a starting point – after all, this is hardly a time to be penny-pinching – and start looking at what more dollars buys. Start off by throwing another $3,000 in the pot for a 2.7GHz 12-core processor featuring 30MB of L3 cache. While we are at it we can then throw in another $1,200 to bump up the RAM to 64GB of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC RAM.

The standard 256GB of storage will quickly start to feel cramped, so we might as well bump that up the max of 1TB, which adds another $800 to the already burgeoning total.

Feel that those dual-AMD FirePro D500 GPUs might not be enough? For an additional $600 you can upgrade them to dual-AMD FirePro D700 GPUs, each of which have 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM.

Al this takes the total price up to an eye-watering $9,599, but if you think your wallet has taken all the beating it can take, you've got another thing coming.

First off, you need a display. Here you've got the choice of a 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt display for $999 or a 31.5-inch Sharp 4K 3840 by 2160 panel for $3,595. Or why not go for both and turn the Mac Pro into a dual-display system? After all, those twin AMD FirePro D700 GPUs will be able to handle it.

With the last-minute addition of a keyboard and mouse, and AppleCare for extra piece of mind, the system is now a jaw-dropping $14,580. This is a lot of money, and there's no doubt that most people don't want or need this sort of power, but in the right hands this is a workstation that would pay for itself very quickly.

See also:

Topics: Hardware, Apple

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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