We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

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.

Apple stole a march on other computer manufacturers with its latest range of Mac Pro computers, being the first company to include Intel's Xeon 3500 and 5500 Quad Core processors.

Part of the ‘Nehalem' family of chips, the new processors offer a number of advances over the old Intel Quad Core family. All four cores are now on a single die, ensuring all 8MB of L3 cache is available to any and all processing cores. On top of this the memory controller is now on-chip, facilitating access to the main memory, which eliminates latency by up to 40 percent.

Nehalem also marked a return for Intel's Hyper-Threading technology, which creates two virtual cores on each physical core (and consequently runs two processes on each core). And with up to eight cores available across the two Quad-Core CPUs that's up to 16 processes running simultaneously.

Latest Mac news

The idea of using cores, rather than base speed, to measure performance is one that's increasingly taking hold. This could be a real game-changer, if anybody knew how to program for it. However, most applications aren't currently designed to take advantage of these separate cores; at least not until Snow Leopard comes along.

But even here the Mac Pro is no slouch. A custom, build-to-order option cranks the processor speed up to 2.93GHz, and the Nehalem processor features a technology called Turbo Boost. This technology spins down idle processing cores and increases the speed of the processors in use. Apple claims this enables a 2.93GHz Xeon to run at speeds as high as 3.33GHz.

There's no denying that the new Mac Pro is a beautiful piece of kit, both inside and out; so we decided to put two of the fastest Mac Pros we could buy to the test.

NEXT PAGE: beauty and the beast

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.

  • Apple Mac Pro Eight-Core/2.26GHz (2009 edition) review

    Apple Mac Pro Eight-Core/2.26GHz (2009 edition)

    Apple's new tower PC, the Apple Mac Pro, has just received a major overhaul.

  • Apple Mac Pro 3GHz 8-core power PC

    Apple Mac Pro 3GHz 8-core power PC

    Apple's professional desktop system, the highly configurable Apple Mac Pro, recently added another choice that features eight processing cores, all running at 3GHz.

  • Apple Mac Pro 3.2GHz review

    Apple Mac Pro 3.2GHz

    Here's our review of the final piece of the Mac Pro puzzle - an eight-core, 3.2GHz model. As you might expect, this machine, powered by a pair of 3.2GHz quad-core Xeon processors, is the fastest Mac we've tested yet.

  • Apple iMac review (21.5-inch, 27-inch)

    Apple iMac (21.5-inch, 27-inch)

    The new Apple iMac design lends itself more towards use as central part of a home entertainment centre, as well as boasting top-end performance. [Updated with Quad-Core i5 and i7 speed tests, November 20, 2009. See LATEST 2012 iMAC REVIEWS link below]

  • Mac Pro (Mid 2012) review

    Mac Pro (Mid 2012)

    The new Mac Pro, is just about the same as the old Mac Pro, it doesn't even have Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 ports.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

Watch this heartwarming Christmas short by Trunk for composer John Rutter

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad