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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: RAM raiding

We ran a few tests with more RAM, but as our tests are run one at a time, there wasn't much of an impact. The 8-Core 2.93GHz Mac Pro with 12GB of RAM scored a 407 in our Speedmark tests, just 5 points higher than the 402 score earned running the tests with 6GB.

It is also worth noting that the next iteration of the Mac operating system, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard has several technologies (most notably one called Grand Central), designed to take full advantage of computers with multiple cores.

Latest Mac news

This, in effect, will make it much easier for programmers to develop applications that perform faster on multi-core systems. Just how much advantage you'll see initially on Snow Leopard, versus how much you'll see in a few year's time when programmers have coded applications specifically for the operating system remains to be seen. Only time will tell.

Whether it makes financial sense to invest in a single, uber-fast core, or get a system with multiple slower cores is - in this respect - a moving target; in some respects it may be wise to wait until we have performance tested Snow Leopard before making such a big investment.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict


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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