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Christmas Gift Guide

The new Mac Pro

A unique aesthetic

Fast and expandable

Thermal core

Boosted performance

Inside the Mac Pro

Need for speed

PCIe flash storage

Ports that light up

Humming along in silence

Although Apple unveiled the radically designed Mac Pro earlier in 2013 during the Worldwide Developers Conference, CNET got a closer look at the computer during Apple's October keynote in San Francisco. The powerful desktop, with its new cylindrical design, will be available on a still-unspecified date in December, starting at $2,999.

Editors' note: This slideshow was originally published June 10, 2013. It has now been updated with information from Apple's October 22 event.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The new model has a striking new look. It's a tall black cylinder, but much smaller than the tower it replaces, about one-eighth the volume of the previous Mac Pro.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The new Mac Pro is built for Apple's "most advanced users," according to Apple executive Phil Schiller. It's Apple's fastest and most expandable device, and the company calls this device the future of the pro-level desktop, emphasizing its use in high-end movie and music production.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Components are built around a "central thermal core," and the specs include an Intel Xeon CPU and faster 1,866GHz RAM.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Users will also get Dual AMD FirePro GPUs support (even though current MacBook Pros use Nvidia graphics), and new solid-state drive storage that's 2.5 times faster than current SSDs.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The system can output to as many as three 4K resolution displays. The new desktop will offer two times the performance of the existing version.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Schiller said the new Mac Pro is 10 times as fast as any notebook hard drive.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The new Mac Pro will use PCIe flash storage, a 3.7GHz Intel Xeon 12-core processor, 12GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Ports and connections are normally covered, but the port panel lights up when you open the cover, allowing easy access.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

There, you'll find six Thunderbolt 2 ports, including one from a built-in HDMI output. The machine is reportedly very quiet, with minimal fan noise, which Apple compares to the sound level of a Mac Mini desktop.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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