Apple Mac Pro is a 12-core PC, looks like Darth Vader's bin

The new Apple Mac Pro, due before the end of the year, is a 12-core monster. Just don't mistake it for an ashtray.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

When was the last time Apple revealed something that made you go, "What the hell is that?" Right now, baby. This is the new monstrously powerful Apple Mac Pro, due before the end of the year.

Standing just 9.9 inches tall and 6.6 inches across, the new Mac Pro is housed in a tubular aluminium casing around a central heat sink. There's only one fan, in the top -- like a jet engine stood on end -- drawing heat from the middle of the computer, and purportedly running more quietly than traditional cooling fans.

The new Mac Pro is powered by the Intel Xeon E5 chipset, and you can choose up to 12 cores of processing power. There are dual graphics processors, with up to 6GB of dedicated VRAM. It comes with PCIe flash storage.

Not only does the new Mac Pro support 4K -- also known as UltraHD -- it supports three separate 4K displays. And you get a fistful of HDMI 1.4 and USB 3 outputs, as well as Thunderbolt 2 connections that can daisy-chain up to 36 devices. Plus there are two Gigabit Ethernet ports so you can connect to multiple networks.

Oh, and when you spin the Mac Pro round to plug something in, it detects the movement and lights up the panel with the sockets in.

In the world without wires, it also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Apple says the new Mac Pro is "coming later this year". There are no details for price yet, but I'm going to stick my neck out and say it'll be a teeny bit pricey -- so don't mistake it for Dusty Bin. Or R2-D2's evil twin. Or, for God's sake, an ashtray.

What do you think of the new Mac Pro? Gorgeous new design, or something you'd plant begonias in? Tell me your darkest thoughts in the comments or on our sleek Facebook page.