Apple has said their new Mac Pro will hit the market tomorrow, December 19, making good on the promise of a December ship date announced back in October. If you still have a lot of wiggle room on your holiday wish list this year, the high-end cylindrical computer could make an excellent last-minute addition.
The machine is the first major upgrade for the Mac Pro line since 2010 if you don't count last year's minor spec bump. What's more, it's the first major design update since the Intel-based Mac Pro hit the scene in 2006. It was clearly time for a redesign and Apple hasn't disappointed.
The base model is priced at $2,999 and includes a 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5-1620 v2 processor, 12GB of 1866MHz ECC DDR3 RAM, a 256GB PCI Express solid state drive and two AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards, each with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. For a bit more coin ($3,999), you can order a system with the following upgrades: Intel's 3.5GHz six-core Xeon E5-1650 v2 chip, 16GB of memory and two FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of GDDR5 RAM each.
The chassis looks unlike anything we've ever seen, which isn't a bad thing unless you're the type that likes to upgrade your own hardware down the road. Apple managed to get the Mac Pro down to just 11 pounds by getting rid of things like PCI Express expansion slots and extra internal hard drive bays. Users should, however, be able to upgrade the RAM and PCI Express SSD without incident.