Apple has just announced that its new Mac Pro computer, featuring that signature ‘Darth Vader’ design, will be available for sale starting tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 19 beginning at $2,999. There’s another version with better specs for $3,999, and a number of custom order options that will vary the prices upwards from there.
Orders kick off tomorrow online through Apple’s official web-based store, as well as in retail stores and at authorized resellers, according to Apple’s official announcement, so conceivably we could see the first customers actually take theirs home tomorrow, though it’s much more likely that orders will kick off first with stock arriving at locations gradually over the next few days.
The $2,999 configuration of the Mac Pro features a 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, not one but two AMD FirePro D500 workstation GPUs with 2GB of dedicated RAM per unit, 12GB of system RAM and a 256 flash storage module. The $3,999 version boosts the processor to a 3.5GHz six-core version, provides 3GB of dedicated RAM to each of those workstation GPUs, 16GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage. Custom configurations allow for 8- or 12-core processors, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of RAM, a maximum of 64GB of system memory and up to 1TB of flash storage.
Apple first revealed the new Mac Pro back in June at its annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference. The sleek black cylindrical unity is assembled in the U.S., and features a design that maximizes cooling through a jet turbine-like system that funnels air through the top opening. It features an all-black aluminum enclosure, and comes in at under 10 inches tall. It dramatically reduces its size versus the previous version, and to do that, moves the modularity outside of the case thanks to six Thunderbolt 2 ports, as well as four USB 3.0 connections on the back. It can power up to three 4k displays, too, and also features two Gigabit Ethernet jacks and an HDMI 1.4 UltraHD out.
At Apple’s special event in October, we got the chance to go hands-on with the new Mac Pro, and found it to be incredibly silent while working, despite the amount of power contained under the hood. It features a number of impressive details like the back panel that automatically lights up when it detects the computer is being moved to help you see which ports are which, especially handy if you’re working in a darkened studio.
The price range of this new Mac Pro means that as its name implies, it’ll likely be most sought after by working pros who’ve been clinging to their aging silver aluminum models and holding out for something more, but it’s a device that shows Apple is still invested in its longtime bedrock of creative professionals. It’s also a demonstration device in terms of showcasing Apple’s hardware engineering, and a way for Apple to highlight its efforts to bring at least part of its manufacturing and assembly chain back home to the U.S. It’s definitely a machine we’re eager to test more extensively, and we’ll report back once we do.