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Power PCs Reviews
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Apple Mac Pro 8-Core 2.93GHz review

£4,819 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Apple's Nehalam-based 8-Core 2.93GHz Mac Pro is a speedy, but expensive PC.

Apple's Nehalam-based 8-Core 2.93GHz Mac Pro is a speedy, but expensive PC.

Mac Pro: Visual flair

As we found in our recent gaming performance benchmarks, the ATI Radeon HD 4870 is a better performer than the Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics card in the standard configuration. High-resolution game tests showed the 2.93GHz Quad Core Mac Pro with its optional ATI card displaying more than twice the number of frames per second in our Quake 4 tests and nearly three times as many frames in our Call of Duty 4 tests.

The 8-Core 2.93GHz Mac Pro, which uses a pair of Quad-Core processors, was 17 per cent faster than the standard 2.26GHz 8-Core Mac Pro in our Speedmark tests, 16 per cent faster in our ProRes Compressor test and 23 percent faster in Cinema 4D. Again, the custom system, with its speedy ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics was considerably faster than the systems with standard GeForce GT120 graphics cards.

Processor speeds weren't much of a factor in our games test results. If you're a hard-core 3D gamer, the £160 upgrade to the ATI Radeon HD 4870 seems like a no-brainer, though the stock Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics card is certainly no slouch.

Latest Mac news

It is better to have fewer but faster processors rather than more cores running slower. But in the few applications that can take full advantage of multiple core, such as Compressor, Cinema 4D and Mathematica - the Quad-Core 2.93GHz was not as fast as the standard 8-Core 2.26GHz Mac Pro.

NEXT PAGE: RAM raiding >>

Apple Mac Pro 8-Core 2.93GHz [PCA] Expert Verdict »
Nehalam-based 8-Core 2.93GHz processor
8MB of L3 cache
Mac OS X 10.5
four hard drive bays
two optical drive bays
four PCI Express 2.0 card slots
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

It’s probably best not to think about the price when looking at a maxed-out system such as this. Clearly, with a price approaching the £5k mark, the 8-Core Mac Pro with a 2.93GHz CPU is a specialist system that’s beyond both the budget and means of mere mortals. Still, its Speedmark figures speak for themselves, and both data crunchers and 3D video professionals will find the speed increase represents value for money. Aside from that, as a pure object of lust it’s hard to beat.

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