Are You Ready to Go Pro?


Not to be overlooked amid the glitz and shuffle of Apple’s major WWDC announcements, Apple has also added some great tweaks to its Mac Pro line.

Apple has now outfitted its standard top end Mac Pro model with two 2.4GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5645 processors for 12 total cores instead of 8. This configuration also includes 12GB (six 2GB DIMMs) of 1333MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM and a 7200 rpm 1TB Serial ATA (3Gb/s) hard drive. The muscle-bound 12-core version also supports Hyper-Threading and includes 12MB of fully shared L3 cache per processor. With Turbo Boost running, the speed of the E5645 processors is up to 2.67GHz. Although the change may seem minor to current owners of the Mac Pro, those thinking of purchasing one should be aware that we are talking about serious processing power here.

If you want to scale down your Apple budget, consider the 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon W3565 model, which runs at 3.46GHz using Turbo Boost, and is also capable of Hyper Threading for up to eight virtual cores with an L3 cache of 8MB. It comes with 6GB (three 2GB DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM and a 7200 rpm 1TB Serial ATA hard drive. But more importantly, the unit costs $1300 less than the powered up 12 core Mac Pro.

Both come with ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory PCI Express 2.0 graphics card, which sports two Mini DisplayPorts and a dual-link DVI port.

There’s also a server edition, which comes configured thusly: One 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor, 8GB (four 2GB DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM of memory, two 1TB Serial ATA hard drives, and the ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory.

All units come with an 18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) and built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) wireless technology, along with three open full-length PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots with mechanical support for 16-lane cards. The quad-core and 12-core include OS X and iLife ’11. The server comes with OS X Server and iLife ’11.

There are other options available which make the unit even more attractive. Adding solid state drives is one option—up to four 512GB drives that encode video up to 2.5x faster –along with drive-bay expansion that lets you add HDD storage (1-4 slots that hold 1TB or 2TB Serial ATA drives, for a total of 8TB of optional storage), an additional Radeon HD 5770 or upgraded ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB GDDR5 video card, and another 18x SuperDrive. Yum.

If you are looking for that trademark oomph in your Mac Pro, you will be happy to know that you are still getting a computer that can handle your toughest applications and hardiest software with speed. For a first time buyer, this Mac is still a pro.


I am using an early 2009 that is pretty well loaded except for the slowest processors, which has turned out to be a poor choice. It has RAID, the hottest video card that was available when I specced it. To improve it I would have to spend a load of money to get a machine that would be a little better, but certainly not worth what the cost would be. As others have noted, Apple doesn't seem interested in the Pro level computers. Too bad. I like working with the OS. Color is well controlled, and things are generally working well. It's just that my files keep getting bigger and bigger and everything takes longer and longer. I would be ready to buy a real upgrade, but not the little incremental changes.



Listen, as someone who bought and supported Apple and the Mac computer line since the NuBus Mac desktops, I stopped using Macs since the G4 eMac was discontinued, and have no regrets.

When Apple bought into using Intel processors and dumped the Motorola RISC processors, the only thing different that you were paying for afterwards was the operating system. And I think there's nothing wrong with that, if that's what people really need to have a product workflow for their business.

But come on, don't continue to knowingly take people's hard earned money, and act like it's justified to charge them $800 or $1000 more for a Mac Pro, with the exact same h/w specs as a Win 7 or Win 8 workstation for less! It's insulting, people are not stupid. And money is money, no matter how you want to justify it.

I've used Windows & Macs professionally, and to be honest, Win8(beta)is awesome, love it!

The truth is, Mac Pros are not selling like they used to. They are probably one of the worst selling products, in comparison with their iPhone and iTunes revenue. So money spent investing in the Mac Pro line for Apple is just not panning out anymore.

I have been waiting 2 YEARSto upgrade to something worthwhile. Even the saespeople at the Apple store say don't bother. Steve Jobs is dead and so is your new leadership. Except they are only dead from the neck up. I have been a loyal Apple fan since 1986 with my MacII. I have stuck with you in good and lean times. But you seem only tobe interested in making profits today instead of moulding the world tomorrow. Pathetic is the only word that comes to mind. As the largest, most powerful company, you should be setting the agenda with innovation, class and your most loyal customers needs. Instead, you agend includes talking newbies into thinking that you are the only show in town. Time to wake up, or history will repeat itself, except Bill Gates won't be there to write Steve a check this time. Wise up Apple,

This is an enormous disappointment.  I now have to seriously consider switching to a PC machine with Adobe software.  Apple has just dropped the ball in the pro market one too many times with this.  Really?  Another year (or so? maybe?).  Hey Apple, here's an idea: descend from your ivory tower and actually communicate with your most loyal subjects.  Maybe an update that isn't leaked without confirmation through David Pogue - just tell us if we should give up.  If not, then offer us something.  How about dropping the price of this 2009-2010 backstock to an appropriate level so we can bring our gear up to current specs without getting shafted in a year?

The thing is, why should we hang on with Apple?  They don't respect us enough to even talk to us about their plans, plans which will greatly effect our ability to run our businesses.  And I, for one, learned from the FCP debacle that Adobe has a perfectly workable set of solutions without all the intrigue and anxiety that comes with Apple's secrecy.

I hope the iPhone fad lasts longer than most fads, because Apple isn't going to have much else if they don't start paying attention.

Apple is obviously more interested in the more lucrative iPod market. 

This is a indication.

Nothing much new for now, tune in next year.

Similar to a 2010 Model Mac Pro, why the full price?

$999. would be a fair price.

This article is horrible, a real disservice to your customers. Apple should be ashamed with this lame update. And you should be embarrassed by promoting it. An "update" without thunderbolt and USB 3.0? This is garbage and you should know better.

I have been putting off upgrading to hear what Mac would do this June.  Now I'm not sure what to do.  Not much of an upgrade, is it?  Don't want to buy and then Mac get its act together and release an actual update next year.  Let down.  I have business to do.

Thanks Apple (Big Brother) for another dud!  You just don't get it do you?  The once loved niche machines for video and graphics pros are lagging way behind with really poor suppport...all you care about are easy profits from iphones!  You did the same thing with Final Cut Studio!

same conponets used on 2010 is the same 2010 machine not worth the money 

no thunderbolt 

no usb 3 

no sandy bridge xeon processors 

no new graphics card 

to sum it all up its a WASTE of money 

After waiting for years, I was REALLY hoping for 

> 1600Mhz RAM

> SATA 3

> USB 3

> Thunderbolt

> newest Intel processors.

Very sad indeed !

Why doesn't the updated macpro have a thunderbolt port?

Unfortunately no reason was given for no Thunderbolt port being added to the updated Mac Pro models. It would have been a nice addition, I agree.

You're kidding right? That quad core introductory model is STILL using the same architecture as my 2009 model Mac Pro. And Radeon 5XXX GPUs for a Pro? What about 6XXX or 7XXX? Or 2012 XEON E5s?? This almost seems like a fallback - like they had something better but had to roll back to this - what seems like it should have been released in early 2011. It just feels really strange. I hope they have something good in the pipeline for a few months time. My money will soon go to HP...

This (so called) upgraded MacPro is insulting to people that make a living from them!

NO THUNDERBOLT on the new Mac Pro !!!!!?????

Unfortunately not, no.