Apple Mac Pro (July 2010)

/ Updated: 21 October 2010, 11:10 pm AEDT

Apple has given some long overdue love to its desktop range. While it doesn't come with the same fanfare as an iPhone launch, significant updates were rolled out today that are bound to make creative professionals happy.

The aesthetic is left unchanged by Apple — this is a pure spec update. The most interesting news across the range? Nvidia is out. Whether iMac or Mac Pro, ATI is the only choice, leaving Nvidia in the MacBooks and Mac Mini. The Mac Pro itself can either be equipped with a Radeon HD 5770 or 5870, and if you can find a use up to two 5770s can be installed. The ATI cards come with two Mini DisplayPorts, and a single dual-link DVI port.

Six-core Westmere Xeons are the order of the day as well, with dual-socket machines allowing a total of 12 cores in the one box — although the base version is still the same old four-core Nehalem.

Rumours of USB 3.0 and FireWire 1600 were unfounded, with four FireWire 800 and five USB 2.0 ports supplied. Interestingly, it now has built in 802.11n wireless as standard according to Apple's page, with Bluetooth 2.1 and dual-gigabit Ethernet rounding out the networking capability.

Up to four 512GB solid state drives (SSDs) can be selected, although expect this to be pricey. There's no word on what brand of SSDs are used at this stage.

Default configurations are available below courtesy of Apple, although upgrade/accessory prices are yet to be revealed.

The new quad-core Mac Pro, with a recommended retail price of AU$3499 inc GST/AU$3180.91 ex GST, includes:

  • One 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Xeon W3530 processor with 8MB of fully-shared L3 cache
  • 3GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory, expandable up to 16GB
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • Two Mini DisplayPorts and one DVI (dual-link) port (adapters sold separately)
  • 1TB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200rpm
  • 18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Four PCI Express 2.0 slots
  • Five USB 2.0 ports and four FireWire 800 ports
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Apple Keyboard with numerical keypad and Magic Mouse

The new eight-core Mac Pro, with a recommended retail price of AU$4899 inc GST/AU$4453.64 ex GST, includes:

  • Two 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5620 processors with 12MB of fully-shared L3 cache per processor
  • 6GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory, expandable up to 32GB
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • Two Mini DisplayPorts and one DVI (dual-link) port (adapters sold separately)
  • 1TB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200rpm
  • 18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Four PCI Express 2.0 slots
  • Five USB 2.0 ports and four FireWire 800 ports
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Apple Keyboard with numerical keypad and Magic Mouse

Configure-to-order options include:

  • One 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Xeon W3565 processor for the quad-core Mac Pro
  • One 3.33GHz six-core Intel Xeon W3680 processor for the quad-core Mac Pro
  • Two 2.66GHz six-core Intel Xeon X5650 processors (12-cores) for the eight-core Mac Pro
  • Two 2.93GHz six-core Intel Xeon X5670 processors (12-cores) for the eight-core Mac Pro
  • Two ATI Radeon HD 5770 cards with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • One ATI Radeon HD 5870 card with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • Up to 16GB of DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory for the quad-core Mac Pro
  • Up to 32GB of DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory for the eight-core Mac Pro
  • Up to four 512GB solid state drives or;
  • Up to four 1TB or 2TB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7200rpm
  • Mac Pro RAID card
  • Dual-channel or quad-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel card
  • Up to two 18x SuperDrives with double-layer support

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Where to Buy

Apple Mac Pro (July 2010)

Part Number: CNETApple Mac Pro (July 2010)

Typical Price: $3,499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.