If you have £2,499 of spare change lying around in the Christmas run-up, you’ll be pleased to know that Apple is more than willing to take it off your hands in exchange for its new Mac Pro.
Available to order now, the Xeon-based workstation eschews the old rectangular design for a cylindrical body that takes up around one eighth the volume of previous models.
It’s impressive stuff, not least of which because Apple have packed all the Mac Pro’s hardware – the rectangular chips, hard drives and logic boards - into a body as curvy as Marilyn Monroe's. In a quite literal display of out the box thinking, the Mac Pro is now unrecognisable as a smooth cylinder.
The 10in-tall design centres around a “thermal core” that sucks air from the bottom to the top of the machine and features 4-core, 6-core, 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon processors. These run at speeds of up to 3.9GHz, alongside two AMD FirePro graphics processors that deliver up to eight times the graphics performance of the previous generation Mac Pro.
Not only that, thanks to its PCIe-based flash storage, the Mac Pro will deliver sequential read speeds up to 10 times faster than your conventional desktop hard drive, which amazed us back in our October hands-on preview.
At the product launch that month, Phillip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, could barely contain his excitement: “The new Mac Pro is our vision for the future of the pro desktop, everything about it has been reimagined and there has never been anything like it,” he said.
“The new Mac Pro packs up to 12-core Xeon CPUs, dual FirePro GPUs, ultra-fast ECC memory, new PCIe flash storage, Thunderbolt 2 expandability and more into a radical new design that is one-eighth the size of the previous generation Mac Pro.”
The cheapest option for potential buyers would be the 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor option for £2,499. With dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of RAM, 12GB of memory, and 256GB of storage, it works out as £800 cheaper than the next model.
If you are, however, willing to sell all your children’s Christmas presents and swap them for coal, you can use the extra money to bag the next Mac Pro’s 5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor. With dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs packing 3GB of RAM each, 16GB of memory, and 256GB of storage, they'll forgive you one day.