Apple wowed video and graphics professionals with the Mac Pro pricing today. Most seemed to be expecting a starting price of about US$4,500, but $2,999 will be pretty attractive to pros and semi-pros.
Apple also got industry leaders who have been using the Mac Pro to enthuse.
"From the blazing-fast performance of DaVinci Resolve to real-time video capture with UltraStudio 4K, Mac Pro is a revolution in pro desktop design and performance," said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design.
"At 20 Gbps, Mac Pro's Thunderbolt 2 blows away anything on the market and completely changes the external storage landscape," said James Lee, CEO of PROMISE Technology.
The new Mac Pro features four-core, six-core, eight-core or 12-core Intel Xeon processors running at Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz that deliver double the floating point performance of the previous-generation Mac Pro. Two workstation-class AMD FirePro GPUs with up to 12GB of video memory provide up to seven teraflops of compute power and up to eight times the graphics performance of the previous-generation Mac Pro. OpenGL and OpenCL are optimized in OS X Mavericks to leverage the full computing power of the Mac Pro CPU and dual GPUs.
Apple also announced new versions of Final Cut Pro X to take advantage of the new hardware.
The Mac Pro will be available in December.
Apple showed some video today of its US assembly line getting the Mac Pros ready to ship. The Mac Pro is available with a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2 GB of VRAM each, 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of PCIe-based flash storage starting at $2,999; and with a 3.5 GHz six-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3 GB of VRAM each, 16 GB RAM and 256 GB of PCIe-based flash storage starting at $3,999.
I would expect this new, most-powerful Mac to be a mega-hit with video editors, photographers and graphic artists. The current Mac Pro was released in June 2012, and has been falling behind other workstation machines in terms of specs and features, so the new Mac Pro will give Apple a needed competitive edge for others to aim for.