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Apple's new Mac Pro looks like Darth Vader: Yea or nay?

The new Mac Pro appears to be built for the future of powerful computing, and its unique design is already attracting attention.

Apple's new Mac Pro.
James Martin/CNET
This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple's annual developers conference.

With its six Thunderbolt ports and a "unified thermal core," Apple's new Mac Pro doesn't just sound like a futuristic piece of alien machinery, it also looks like something out of science fiction.

Far from the boxy designs of early personal computers, the new Mac Pro is compact, sleek, and nearly edgeless. The resemblance of the Mac Pro, which is aimed squarely at creative pros, to a tiny nuclear reactor is in part due to that heat sucking "thermal core" design. Heat generated from the Intel Xeon CPU and new solid-state drive (SSD) storage dissipates out through the core as the hot air rises -- a change from the typical front-to-back system of air flow in most consumer desktops.

And while the crowd attending Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, where the device was first unveiled, seemed to love this dramatic new design, the visual comparisons to everything from Darth Vader to air purifiers and trash compactors began almost immediately.

Here are a few of our favorite Mac Pro look-alikes: