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Gallery: Apple's new Mac Pro

Let's take a look at this new king of Macs and see what makes it tick.

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Topic: Hardware
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Introduction

Apple took time out of its WWDC 2013 keynote speech to give the developers a sneak peek at its revamped Mac Pro workstation. Today, , the Cupertino giant gave us a deeper look at its next-generation workstation.

Let's take a look at this new king of Macs and see what makes it tick.

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Design

And the new Mac Pro isn't a massive hulking monster of a workstation that's going to consume all your desk either. In fact, it's positively petite. The machined aluminum cylinder encasing the Mac Pro has a diameter of only 6.6-inches, and is only 9.9-inches high.

The new Mac Pro will be assemble in the U.S., and some of the custom parts for this new system will also be machined on the mainland.

That's a small space, and it feels even smaller when you find out what Apple have packed into the new Mac Pro.

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Powerful, yet small

And the new Mac Pro isn't a massive hulking monster of a workstation that's going to consume all your desk either. In fact, it's positively petite. The cylinder has a diameter of only 6.6-inches, and is only 9.9-inches high.

That's a small space, and it feels even smaller when you find out what Apple have packed into the new Mac Pro.

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Processors

The new Mac Pro is built around Intel's new Xeon E5 chipset, and will come with an option to have a total of 12 cores of processing power, up to 40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth, and 256-bit-wide floating-point instructions.

This gives the new Mac Pro twice the floating-point performance of the existing Mac Pro.

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RAM

Backing up the Xeon cores is up to 64GB of RAM running through a four-channel DDR3 memory controller running at 1866MHz which will deliver up to 60GB/s of memory bandwidth. The new Mac Pro will also be kitted out with ECC RAM to improve reliability.

This is a system designed to chew through the toughest video render or simulation jobs. 

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Graphics

The graphics are handled by dual state-of-the-art AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, each with up to 6GB of dedicated VRAM. The provide up to 4096 stream processors, dual 384-bit memeory buses, up to 12GB of GDDR5 VRAM and 528GB/s total bandwidth.

These can handle not only rendering a 4K video, put also powering up to three 4K displays simultaneously, and deliver up to 7 teraflops of power (compared to a maximum on 2.7 teraflops for the current Mac Pro).

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Storage

A system like the new Mac Pro needs something special when it comes to storage, and Apple hasn't disappointed us. Rather than go for hard drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs), Apple has instead chosen next-generation PCIe flash storage, which is up to 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA-based solid-state drive, and up to 10 times faster than a 7200-rpm SATA hard drive.

The PCIe storage offers up to 1,2GB/s reads, 1.0GB/s writes, and up to 1TB of storage.

This means that the new Mac Pro will have the fastest storage available to a desktop workstation.

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Thermal core

Because the Mac Pro packs so much computational power into such a small space, it needs an effective way to deal with that heat. To effectively cool the system, Apple has built the entire system is built around a thermal core. This, according to Apple, not only simplifies the design but also improves cooling.

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Cooling

Workstations are traditionally noisy because of all the fans needed to keep them cool. With the new Mac Pro Apple has opted to aim for simplicity and gone with a single fan design.

The single, larger fan pulls air upward through a bottom vent, absorbing heat heat as it goes before it is vented put of the top. The fan features backward-curved impeller blades that run at fewer revolutions per minute, drawing air more efficiently as it spins, and creating less noise.

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I/O

The new Mac Pro also features a vast array of ports – including built-in Thunderbolt 2, USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI 1.4 ports.

Also, to make finding the port you are after easier, as you rotate the Mac Pro to plug in a device, it senses the movement and automatically illuminates the I/O panel.

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Wireless connectivity

The new Mac Pro is also kitted out with the latest wireless technology, including 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. 

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Availability

 

Pricing

The Mac Pro comes in two customizable options.

$2,999 buys you:

  • 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
  • 12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
  • Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each
  • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage

$3,999 buys you:

  • 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
  • 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
  • Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each
  • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage

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