You'll see a lot in the news about the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models, but what you may not hear is that Apple has also updated the Mac Pro desktop. It just didn't tell anyone about it.
While holding court at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco yesterday, the announcements came quick and fast - updates to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines, including a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, along with iOS 6 and Mountain Lion operating systems. But the Mac Pro, Apple's high-end desktop, wasn't even mentioned, despite getting updates across all three pre-configured models.
The Mac Pro starts at just over £2,000 for the base model, and will now come equipped with a 3.2-GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor and 6GB of RAM. The next model up sells for a shade under £3,100, but comes with two 2.4-GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors - yes, that's 12 cores-and 12GB of RAM. Both models come with ATI Radeon 5770 graphics processing and a 1TB hard drive.
Finally, for close on £2,500 you can get the Mac Pro Server, which features the same 3.2-GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor seen on the base configuration, as well as 8GB of RAM and two 1TB hard drives. It also boasts ATI Radeon 5770 graphics.
Most notable about the update is what remains unchanged. The Mac Pro still offers USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 connections, with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 nowhere to be seen, making the desktop unable to take advantage of high-speed devices like the Pegasus R6, a speedy RAID drive designed with video professionals in mind.
With no updates to the Mac Pro desktop since 2010, speculation arose that the Mac Pro would be discontinued entirely. Whether the Mac Pro will remain a part of the Apple catalogue in the future is yet to be seen, but its omission from any keynote announcements and press releases - not to mention the lack of current features - leave it on shaky ground.
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