During Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote speech, it gave developers a sneak peek at the upcoming newly revamped, and powerful, Apple Mac Pro workstation. “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass,” said Apple exec Phil Schiller when announcing the new workstation, which will be assembled in the US. “This is without a doubt the future of the pro desktop.” Here’s our review of the Apple Mac Pro, possibly the most amazing workstation ever…
Powerful yet small. The new Mac Pro isn’t a massive hulking monster of a workstation that’s going to consume all your desk either. In fact, it’s positively tiny. The machined aluminum cylinder encasing the Mac Pro has a diameter of only 6.6-inches, and is only 9.9-inches high.
The new Mac Pro will be assemble in the U.S., and some of the custom parts for this new system will also be machined on the mainland.
The new Mac Pro is built around Intel’s new Xeon E5 chipset, and will come with an option to have a total of 12 cores of processing power, up to 40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth, and 256-bit-wide floating-point instructions. This gives the new Mac Pro twice the floating-point performance of the existing Mac Pro.
Meanwhile, the graphics are handled by dual state-of-the-art AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, each with up to 6GB of dedicated VRAM.
A system like the new Mac Pro needs something special when it comes to storage, and Apple hasn’t disappointed us. Rather than go for hard drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs), Apple has instead chosen next-generation PCI Express flash storage, which is up to 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA-based solid-state drive, and up to 10 times faster than a 7200-rpm SATA hard drive.
This means that the new Mac Pro will have the fastest storage available to a desktop workstation.
The entire system is cooled by a single impeller and each of the major components makes direct contact with a large, triangular heatsink Apple calls the “thermal core.” It’s an interesting design and I don’t doubt the company’s claims that it’s quiet and easy to cool.
Oh yes, and it’s Made in the USA and beautifully round…
Here’s the official news from Apple:
Apple Gives Sneak Peek Into the Future of the Pro Desktop
SAN FRANCISCO—June 10, 2013—Apple® today showed a sneak peek into the future of the pro desktop with a first look at the next generation Mac Pro®. Designed around a revolutionary unified thermal core, the Mac Pro introduces a completely new pro desktop architecture and design that is optimized for performance inside and out. With next generation Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, Thunderbolt 2, PCIe-based flash storage, and ultra-fast ECC memory, the new 9.9-inch tall Mac Pro packs an amazing amount of power into an incredibly small package.
“With the latest Xeon processors, dual FirePro GPUs, ECC memory, PCIe-based flash and Thunderbolt 2, all built around a revolutionary thermal core, the next generation Mac Pro is the most radical Mac yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “All this performance and expandability is packed into a dramatic new design that’s one-eighth the volume, and best of all, it will be assembled here in the USA.”
The next generation Mac Pro is architected around an ingenious unified thermal core that allows the desktop to efficiently share its entire thermal capacity across all the processors. The result is a pro desktop with breakthrough performance packed into a design that is one-eighth the volume of the current Mac Pro. Next generation Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 core configurations deliver double the floating point performance. With two AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, the all-new Mac Pro is up to 2.5 times faster than the current Mac Pro and delivers up to an amazing 7 teraflops of compute power. The new Mac Pro also features PCIe-based flash storage that is up to 10 times faster than conventional desktop hard drives and includes the latest four-channel ECC DDR3 memory running at 1866 MHz to deliver up to 60GBps of memory bandwidth.* With all that power, the new Mac Pro lets you seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background.
The next generation Mac Pro is the most expandable Mac® ever built. With six Thunderbolt 2 ports that can deliver up to 20Gbps of bandwidth to each external device, Mac Pro is perfect for connecting to external storage, multiple PCI expansion chassis, audio and video breakout boxes, and the latest external displays, including 4K desktop displays. Each of the six Thunderbolt 2 ports supports up to six daisy-chained devices, giving you the ability to connect up to 36 high-performance peripherals. Thunderbolt 2 is completely backwards compatible with existing Thunderbolt peripherals, and allows you to transfer data between Macs faster and easier than ever.
The next generation Mac Pro will be available later this year. To learn more, visit www.apple.com/mac-pro.
*Performance claims are based on technical specifications of preproduction Mac Pro hardware as of June 2013.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
Roger Scoble blogs about the latest gadgets, travel and luxury news. A graduate of UCLA, Roger loves to travel, drive luxe autos and have amazing adventures.