Apple's Mac Pro crawled to market. With its workstation line languishing, Apple spent a year teasing its new heavy-horsepower machine. It was worth the wait, and for some demanding customers, it'll probably also be worth a price tag between $3,000 and $9,600.
In a computer world is moving to rectangular slabs of tablets and smartphones, the new Mac Pro's cylindrical design really stands out. The squat black shape somehow manages to combine a Darth Vader-esque seriousness with a unintimidating roundness.
It's nice on the inside, too. Most of the time top-end components means lots of fans furiously trying to pump enough air through a chassis to avoid overheating, but Apple uses a single big fan on top to cool the machine. It draws air past a "unified thermal core" -- basically a big heat sink connected to the main processor and the two graphics chips. It's kind of too bad it doesn't have a transparent case, but I guess Apple learned its lesson from the ill-fated G4 Cube.
In the real world beyond Apple's marketing department, the Mac Pro's sleek lines will be degraded by all the cables that its owners will have to attach -- Thunderbolt 2, USB 3, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and of course power. If you need to plug and unplug cameras, monitors, USB drives, or external storage systems, you'll miss the absence of front ports. But that's quibbling. It's a remarkable, beautiful machine.
December 31, 2013 12:00 AM PST
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
| Caption by: Stephen Shankland
Conversation powered by Livefyre