Updated Apple Mac Pro: Now with 12 Cores

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In addition to the substantive updates the Cupertino-based technology company added to the all-in-one iMac lineup, Apple didn’t forget their big, hulking Mac Pro workstations.  The new updates include pushing the Mac Pros up to 12 processing cores, 32GB of RAM and 2TB of speedy solid state drives.

Surprisingly – or not – the new Mac Pros don’t seem to include an update to the iconic silvery towers. Apple has been working with this design for the better part of a decade, and they seem to have taken a “don’t fix what ain’t broke” approach to the look and feel.

Starting at $2,499, the new Mac Pros aren’t exactly cheap, but customers do pay for style, support and some of the most innovative engineering found in any desktop at the market today.  The Mac Pro workstations offer uniquely easy upgrade options, such as pulling out a drawer in order to change the RAM. Apple also offers a package upgrade for $800, and even though the prices aren’t yet released, there’s no doubt that the custom CTO builds won’t be for the faint of heart.

Updated Apple Mac Pro Base Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Xeon W3530 @ 2.8 GHz (quad-core, 8MB of L3 cache)
  • Memory: 8GB of DDR3 ECC SDRAM @ 1066 MHz (max of 16gb)
  • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB of GDDR5
  • Hard drive: 1TB SATA @ 7200 RPM
  • Optical drive: 18x DVD+/-RW
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wireless networking: 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Four PCI-E 2.0 slots, five USB 2.0 ports, four FireWire 800 ports
  • Apple Keyboard and Wireless Magic Mouse

That configuration carries a $2,499 price tag, as stated earlier. The $800 upgrade package pushes things up a notch, adding a second physical processor (two Intel quad-core Xeon E5620s @ 2.4 GHz, 12MB L3 cache each) for a total of eight processing cores (16 logical cores). There’s also twice the RAM, at 6GB of DDR3 ECC SDRAM running at 1066 MHz (max of 32GB).

Apple offers a number of upgrades which get pretty crazy, at least in terms of processing power; the graphics options are still surprisingly anemic.  Additionally, there are still no Blu-ray drives as even an option, which can no doubt be a pain for high-end video enthusiasts.

Custom-ordered upgrades for the new models include:

  • Single CPU Mac Pro CPU options: 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon W3565 or 3.33 GHz six-core Xeon W3680
  • Dual CPU Mac Pro CPU options: two 2.66 GHz six-core Intel Xeon X5650s or two 2.93 GHz six-core Xeon X5670s
  • Dual ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics cards with 1GB of GDDR5 or one single HD 5870 with 1GB of GDDR5
  • 16GB of ECC DDR3 memory for the single CPU Mac Pro or 32GB for the dual CPU model
  • Up to four 512GB solid state drives or four 2TB hard drives @ 7200 RPM
  • Mac Pro RAID card
  • Dual- or quad-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel card
  • Dual 18x DVD+/-RW optical drives

Apple says that the new and improved Mac Pros will begin shipping in August. Considering that that’s only a few days away, it doesn’t look like Apple’s hardcore users will have very long to wait.


Be sure to check out our complete coverage of everything Apple that’s happened this summer here!



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