Apple's Intel Xeon-Based Mac Pro Thoughts, Images, And Roundup

Apple's finally completed the transition from Power PC to Intel processors with the introduction of the Mac Pro. What's new about this high-end Apple desktop? If you just looked at the outside, you'd answer nothing. But inside the aluminum shell you'd find lots of upgrades and new features.

The brains of this machine consists of two Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 processors, which are available in 2GHz, 2.66GHz, or 3GHz versions. We'll skip just repeating the entire list of specs, since you can find them on Apple's Mac Pro spec sites, and just hit you with the important stuff after the jump.

  • Eight slots of 667MHz DDR2 RAM, supporting up to 16GB of total memory
  • Four PCI-Express slots that can be configured with an NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT, an ATI Radeon X1900 XT, or an NVIDIA Quadro FX4500.
  • Eight display support (With four graphics cards installed)
  • Four SATA Hard Drive bays
  • Two Optical SuperDrive supporting Bays
  • Lots of connectivity, including dual Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, Firewire 400, and USB 2.0.

So what does this mean for you? First off, this is a powerful, powerful machine indeed. Most users won't need this much juice for running everyday applications like web browsing, iPhoto, or even home video editing. The iMacs and MacBook Pros should be enough to handle most tasks. The people who need this are the hardcore developers, designers, audio/video guys, and people who really tax their system. And these guys, who most likely will need this for work, won't mind the $2,499 base price tag. Apple claims it's from 1.6 to 2.1 times faster than the old G5 machines. That's quite a good bit of speed difference.

And once the Mac Pro is fully spec'ed out with all the goods—500GB hard drives, 16GB of RAM, four NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT cards, and two Apple Cinema displays—the price jumps to a whopping $15,000! Granted, most of that comes from the $5,700 worth of RAM, but if you're really going to push this machine to the limits for your professional work, you'll probably need something beefy.

And here's the roundup for Mac Pro coverage so far:

News Sites:
Apple rolls final Macs in move to Intel [Reuters]
Apple shows Leopard, swipes at Microsoft [Seattle PI]
Apple completes transition to Intel chips [San Francisco Chronicle]
Apple Unwraps Power Mac Replacmenet [PC Magazine]
Apple shows Leopard's spots [CNET]
Apple completes Intel-chip transition, unveils Mac Pro desktop computer [San Jose Mercury News]


Mac Sites:
Apple introduces Xserve with Quad 64-bit Xeon processors [SpyMac]
WWDC: Apple unveils Mac Pro, Intel Xserve, Leopard [Think Secret]
Mac Pro Announced [MacRumors]
Apple unveils new 'Mac Pro' featuring quad 64-bit Intel Xeon processors [Mac Daily News]




You're using entirely wrong RAM for that price. The memory bus on the Mac Pro is 667 MHz, not 400 (look at the specs in the post). It also uses FB-DIMMs. That said, you can purchase 8 sticks of 2 gig Kingston PC2 5300 RAM for just under $3000 on Newegg.