Apple Mac Pro review (2013): small, fast and in a league of its own
There isn't another computer we know of that's this powerful and also this compact. With a starting price of $2,999, going all the way up to nearly $10,000, it's quite pricey, but for videographers, photographers, animators and other creative professionals, it could be well worth the investment.
- Compact, space-saving design
- Stronggraphics performance, fast disk speeds
- Runs quietly
- Supports up to three 4K displays
- Runs a little warm, and can take a while to cool down
- Many apps still need to be optimized to take advantage of two GPUs
It would be an understatement to say that Apple's Mac Pro workstation was getting a little long in the tooth. As of summer 2012, it was missing Apple's own Thunderbolt ports, not to mention 802.11n WiFi. Finally, though, Apple released an updated version, and it addresses a little more than just the wireless card and I/O options. Redesigned from the ground up, it's now much smaller and lighter, with a space-age cylindrical shape, an overhauled cooling system that's significantly quieter and a spec sheet that includes standard dual GPUs, PCIe SSDs, 802.11ac WiFi, up to 64GB of RAM and the latest Intel Xeon processors, once again going up to 12 cores. In short, these are specs that bring the Mac Pro into the modern age -- and make it ready to handle the coming onslaught of 4K content.
If you're a professional photographer, videographer, audio engineer, animator or what-have-you, you might actually be considering spending $2,999 on one of these -- maybe as much as $9,599, if you have the means. Or maybe you're just like my colleagues here at Engadget, who don't need one, and won't ever buy one, but covet it just the same. Either way, you'll want to read on to see how this thing actually performs (though you probably already have an idea).