Design and Features After three years without a new Mac Pro desktop, and a decade without an updated look for the desktop, the design-conscious folks at Apple have taken the opportunity to show their stuff and flex their muscles. The new ultra-minimalist design is a stark departure from the large silvery aluminum tower of the old Mac Pro, like the Apple Mac Pro Xeon E The new Pro still features an all-aluminum chassis, but that's likely the only similarity between the old and new.
View All 7 Photos in Gallery. The new Mac Pro is small and compact, a inch tall cylinder measuring 9. The chassis is aluminum, inside and out, and it's dense, weighing Between the sheer weight and the density of components inside, it's a lot heavier than it looks, but that weight only drives home the premium feel. Though it appears to be burnished black in photos, it's more apt to call it a dark metallic grey—Apple calls it "Space Grey"—almost a cross between glossy black obsidian and polished chrome.
The result most resembles polished hematite, and the glossy surfaces pick up reflections from everything around it. It's a futuristic look indeed; and that's certainly the impression that Apple wanted the new design to deliver. From the first unveiling to the subsequent ads and private briefings, Apple has pushed the idea that this is the design of the future.
But central to this sleek new look is a design that rests on two main concepts: a design built around Apple's Unified Thermal Core, and a paradigm that emphasizes expansion rather than upgrades. Let's look at each.
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Beating the Heat The first concept is Apple's new Unified Thermal Core, a design that leverages both materials and design for cooling the hot components that fit inside this gallon-sized desktop. Inside, all of the Mac Pro's components are mounted onto a triangular aluminum frame. Extruded as a single piece of metal and then milled to exacting specifications, the inner frame serves as the primary heat sink for the processor and graphics.
The three-sided design has one board covered in ports, with two more on the other sides of the triangle. Inside, the empty space has its cooling capabilities enhanced further with heat-dissipating vanes.
Sitting on top of the whole thing is an exhaust fan, designed to pull air up from intakes on the bottom of the case, up through the components and cooling vanes, and then through the fan, which pumps the now hot air out through the top. While the Mac Pro takes thermal design to a new level, this sort of vertical airflow design isn't unheard of—we've seen similar concepts in the Labs before, such as the Maingear F Super Stock GTX Titan which had a similar stovepipe design and aluminum chassis that helped to draw off heat from the components.
The thermal design deeply influences the overall shape and look of the Mac Pro, but also allows the tiny chassis to house components that get much hotter than you would put into a comparably tiny small form factor desktop. Expansion, Not Upgrades The second concept is one of peripherals over upgrades.
Apple's new paradigm does away with the easily accessible drive bays and swappable graphics cards of the previous models—like the Apple Mac Pro Xeon E from —in favor of an external, modular approach.
While you can still open up the case without having to reach for a screwdriver, you'll find far less opportunity inside for maintenance and upgrades. But that's not to say that it's entirely closed to the user; slide off the exterior shell of the chassis and you'll find access to four DIMM slots for RAM, as well as access to the internal PCIe-based flash storage.
As for the processor or either of the graphics cards, both are tucked further inside, out of reach. Upgrades—in the sense that connecting external storage or peripherals is an upgrade—are all done through the rear port selection.
Want Firewire ? It's inside the 3. Apple's Migration tool brought over everything on my old OS Even Photoshop and Dreamweaver and all my plugins came over all by themselves. It was an easy migration from three generations of OS ago! I'll have a lot more to write, but this black orb from outer space that's marked "Assembled in the USA" clearly is of exterrestrial origin.
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While its outer covering looks and feels like shiny dark gray aluminum, fingerprints don't stick to it and it stays perfectly clean, clearly made of something that landed in Roswell in ! There's so much more. Copying and moving loads of files and making backups is now about twice as fast as before. My daily backups now take 12 minutes instead of 24, and gigabyte files just fly back and forth even in and out of external hard drives.
Of course anything that takes a moment to process in CPU, like cataloging files in Phase One Media Pro that I do all day, zips right along faster than ever before. We always expect that with faster computers. Know what else is much faster? Uploading these files you're reading right now!
Mac Pro - Wikipedia
That's also a huge timesaver. This crazy new Mac Pro is a complete change to how we used to work on a desktop. Imagine the future where computers are silent, files just move around and programs just open. One day our kids are going to laugh when we try to tell them that even as of last week that I had to wait for programs to load, for files to copy, or that computers made noise. It's not just the fans that used to be in old-style PCs, it's the hard drives.
Hard drives are always crunching around, sounding like there's a rat in a can inside your PC. It's astonishing to use a computer and have not a sound, not even a hard drive clicking, as you do your work. The new Mac Pro comes in a boggling array of versions. I have the 1 TB version and have loads of files to fill it. For me, I'm all about quiet and fast booting, and I suspect even the most basic version will do that as well as the well-optioned octuple 3 GHz processor version I have.
As computers go, Photoshop for still images isn't very taxing; it's motion picture special effects and video editing that bogs down computers and may need hotter processors. I suspect the reason everything is flying so fast for me is that it's a solid-state memory that doesn't have to wait for a mechanical head to go running all over the place trying to find things, as well as an OS optimized from the ground up to take advantage of this new paradigm.
This is probably the first time since hand-stitched core memory of the s and s where a professional personal computer once again works without any mechanical memory. Know why all this impresses me so much? Maybe you're perfect, but I'm always forgetting that one last thing after I turn it off or put it to sleep.
Now I can get it back up and do what I have to do, instead of putting it off until tomorrow when I bring the whole system back up again. Doing all this, and doing it silently without even so much as a hard drive crunching, is astonishing. The Mac Pro runs very calmly. No matter how much I throw at it, it won't run hard or hot. At the highest end, you're looking at more than doubling the number of processor cores, which can have a profound impact on your workflow if you're using an app that's fully threaded and designed to leverage as many CPU cores as possible.
It's even more of a benefit if your workflow uses older apps that may rely on multiple CPU cores but lack GPU acceleration. Even at the low end, the differences between the two machines' CPUs are significant. The Xeon in the base-model Mac Pro starts with just two more cores than its entry-level predecessor's did, but it gains many modern CPU features that simply didn't exist in , most notably support for more and faster memory.
In terms of memory, the differences are even more marked here. The Mac Pro can host up to Outfitted with the core Xeon W or the step-down core version, the Mac Pro can actually accept up to 2TB of RAM if you install aftermarket modules, but Apple says its memory-optimization process limits from-the-factory configurations to 1.
Third-party storage manufacturers are already lining up to offer aftermarket drives for the new Mac Pro, too. More on MPX Modules in a moment. This, to say the least, isn't possible with the Mac Pro. But the Mac Pro's graphics muscle will presumably really shine when you punch it up from the Radeon Pro X.
Each MPX Module has a large heat sink, and, according to Apple, doesn't contain its own fans, in order to keep operating noise down. The three giant fans behind the Mac Pro's front grille keep the entire interior cool, including the GPU modules. Where things get interesting is with the MPX options. Put two and two together, and assuming you have the budget for it , you can buy a Mac Pro with four discrete GPUs with a combined graphics compute units and GB of video memory. Such a configuration would truly leave any Mac Pro in the dust.
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Mac Pro users using the machine shouldn't sniff at it, though; its 8GB of memory and 6. As soon as the first images of the Mac Pro flashed across the WWDC stage, the internet was ablaze with comparisons to a cheese grater. The likeness keeps with the tradition of high-end Macs being associated with household goods—many people think its predecessor looks like a trashcan. The grater is an apt enough comparison, because Apple cut a ton of holes into the metal chassis to improve airflow.
The company refers to the holes as a "lattice pattern," and they are apparently so effective that the new Mac Pro keeps all of its insides cool with just three front-mounted fans to draw air through the chassis.
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