New Mac Pro details, UK price, spec - everything you need to know
Here's the new Mac Pro release date, price and specs.
Mac Pro: Release date in the UK
At Apple's October 'special event' it launched new iPad models including the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display. The firm also took the chance to announce that the Mac Pro will be available in the UK in December.
When a more specific date is revealed we'll update this article and let you know, but at least we know will arrive in time for Christmas.
Now read on for new Mac Pro specifications, design, and price in the UK (click all the images to see them at full size). See also: Group test: what's the best power PC?
Mac Pro: Price in the UK
Apple announced along with the iPad launch that the Mac Pro will start at £2,499 inc VAT. That's for the 3.7 GHz quad-core model with dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each, 12GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage.
The more impressively kitted out 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of VRAM each, 16GB of memory, and 256GB flash storage Mac Pro stars at £3,299. Prices include VAT.
These are the starting prices but the Mac Pro can be configured to order including 8-core and 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processors, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of VRAM, up to 64GB of memory, and up to 1TB of flash storage.
New Mac Pro: Full specifications
This is where things get impressive. Let's take a look at the Mac Pro's components:
Mac Pro: Processors
The new Mac Pro is built around new generation Intel Xeon E5 Ivy Bridge processors. This Intel chip boasts up to 12 cores. It offers double the CPU performance of the current generation of Xeon processors, according to Intel.
Mac Pro: Graphics
You'll also get third-generation PCI Express architecture, but the graphics cards you use require a unique design to fit in the system and properly marry its components to the triangular unified thermal core at the centre of the new Mac Pro. So GPU upgradability is in Apple's hands. Those graphics boards will be dual AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, able to run up to three 4K displays at once.
Mac Pro: Memory
That lack of ability to upgrade is not replicated in the case of RAM. The Mac Pro will use fast RAM - 1.866MHz ECC DDR3 RAM to be exact - and it is upgradable. Apple has stuck with the traditional RAM slots, and provides four slots for adding more RAM modules to the system. OS X Mavericks supports addressing up to 128GB of RAM, so in principle at least you could add up to that much RAM. The likelihood is that space issues will preclude this, of course.
Mac Pro: Storage
The Mac Pro eschews HDDs in favour of SSDs. Apple is outfitting the new Mac Pro with PCIe-based flash memory. There's no mention yet of what storage options will be offered, and expect the drives used to be bespoke Apple storage devices, again limiting your potential to upgrade. Finally, don't expect an optical drive in the Mac Pro.
Mac Pro: Ports
The new Mac Pro will four USB 3.0 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and HDMI out. But expect a relative lack of expansion slots - the previous Mac Pro had a pair of 16-lane PCI Express 2.0 slots and two 4-lane PCI Express 2.0 slots. But Apple is expecting Mac Pro users to daisychain expansion devices via Thunderbolt.
Mac Pro: Design
This we can tell you all about. The new Mac Pro is a stunning looking device, differing dramatically from the now discontinued Mac Pro's aluminium tower design (a design that is, after all, 10 years old). The new Mac Pro has a black, cylindrical design. It looks like a sleek tube, to be frank. A sleek, tiny tube: at just over 25cm tall it is around one eighth of the size of the previous Mac Pro.
The cylindrical design is not just for show, however. Apple says that it represents a 'unified thermal core' that will help with cooling. Critical on a power PC. And the smaller size and included carrying handle means the new Mac Pro is relatively easy to carry around. This could prove to be a key differentiator in a world in which some form of portability is increasingly important.
The Mac Pro also has a motion sensor - when you turn it around the I/O panel on the back lights up.
It's also worth noting that it is made of polished aluminium.