Hands On: Apple’s New Mac Pro Is An Insanely Quiet Thermal Wizard

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Today at an event in San Francisco, Apple reintroduced its new Mac Pro computer which will form the vanguard of its new high-end lineup of machines for the professional set. The new Mac Pro got a December release schedule and a $2,999 starting price.

We went hands on, as much as we could, with the new machine today and can give you a few more details about how it looks and feels now that it’s out from behind a glass case.

We watched some folks utilizing them for video and photo editing and the results certainly appeared smooth and impressive. Though it is hard to tell how that will work out in the real world away from a controlled demo.

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The machine itself is a smooth cylinder that emits almost no noise at all. The dim rush of air being expelled from the circular vent hole on top was nearly impossible to hear over the demo room noise. And it was warm enough to take the chill of the cool October air out of my hands as I hovered them over the vent. The sides were on the hotter side of warm but not unpleasant to the touch. It’s such a small package that the heat has almost nowhere to go. It’s a testament to the vent system with an intake underneath and port on top that it’s as cool as it is.

The central column of the new Mac Pro is a triangular vent that wicks heat from the memory and CPUs, which are attached to its outer skin. That heat is then sucked up through the top of the machine and thrown out the top.

The back of the device is a dense cluster of ports, and softly shifting the computer around on the desk was enough to trigger the lit-up port guides that will help you guide cords into their proper receptacles.

Other than the demo situations, it’s hard to say a whole lot about the performance of the devices, so we’ll have to wait until we get a review unit in hand to make any statements about the innards. But the industrial design is certainly striking and exhibits at least some initial evidence that Apple’s thermal design is working as intended.