The latest and greatest Nehalem-based Xeon Mac Pros are the fastest Apple computers you can buy. Unfortunately, they seem to have a serious problem when processing audio, a task that sucks 20% of its power while making the processors overheat.
According to Ars Technica, the problem—which happens with Early 2009 and Late 2009 models—doesn't only happen while playing iTunes' music or Quicktime videos, but also whenever you have USB or FireWire audio devices connected and working. Users have been reporting about it in support boards, but Apple has ignored the problem so far.
The company argues that the extra heat—which includes increases of 86ºF (30ºC)—is normal. The performance hit ranges from 15% to 20%. That is not normal at all, and users are understandably up in arms. Hopefully, Apple will start paying attention now. And hopefully, the problem won't happen with the incoming Core i7-980X Mac Pros, which are rumored to be announced on March 16. [Ars Technica and Hardmac]