Impending Mac Pro Launch Provides Plenty to Get Excited About

1 - Impending Mac Pro Launch Provides Plenty to Get Excited About
2 - It's Been a Long Time Since a Major Update
3 - The Design Is Impeccable
4 - Maybe Apple Is Right: It's a Next-Generation Desktop
5 - Customizability Options Are Massive
6 - It Appeals to Apple's Most Loyal Customers
7 - Expect a Graphical Workhorse
8 - Processing Power Will Be Impressive
9 - Really, Really Fast Performance
10 - External Device Connections Are Endless
11 - A Price That Matches Value?
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Impending Mac Pro Launch Provides Plenty to Get Excited About

by Don Reisinger

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It's Been a Long Time Since a Major Update

Despite Apple's best attempts with slight processor upgrades to silence critics, the Mac Pro hasn't changed much in years. The device is still huge, still not nearly as powerful as some of the flagship desktops at other PC makers, and still exceedingly expensive at more than $3,000 for a well-equipped option. It's no wonder a major upgrade is so welcome to so many customers.

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The Design Is Impeccable

Apple's Mac Pro comes with a gorgeous design. The device comes in a glossy black finish and measures just 9.9 inches tall. Better yet, it has a diameter of 6.6 inches, making it easy to fit on just about any desk. The inside of the cylindrical desktop is about as gorgeous as the outside, featuring ideally placed components, a thermal core for cooling and a single fan to handle heat dissipation. Apple has outdone itself on its Mac Pro design.

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Maybe Apple Is Right: It's a Next-Generation Desktop

The desktop market is declining. In fact, recent data from Gartner suggests that desktop shipments will decline over the foreseeable future and could eventually become niche products. That estimate, however, assumes no radical change in desktops. The Mac Pro delivers that radical change and, as Apple points out, is designed to deliver a next-generation experience. Millions of people around the globe still buy desktops every year, and they want something as futuristic as what they see in mobile devices. Apple is finally delivering that.

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Customizability Options Are Massive

The sheer number of ways to customize the Mac Pro are astounding. Apple hasn't published all of the SKU and upgrade options yet, but the company has reassured customers that they can upgrade the Mac Pro's storage drives, processor and graphics processors. One of the great things about desktops is that they can be easily upgraded and customized to match a user's needs. The Mac Pro should offer exactly that.

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It Appeals to Apple's Most Loyal Customers

When the Mac business was on the downswing and Apple needed a group of customers to help promote its products, it leaned on the company's loyal, enthusiastic buyers who were using its desktops for graphics work. In fact, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a sentiment in the marketplace that Macs were ideal for graphics, while PCs were good for the enterprise. Obviously, things have changed a bit over the years, but Apple's loyal contingent of designers needed something special from the company. And they're getting it in the Mac Pro.

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Expect a Graphical Workhorse

Those designers are going to love Apple's graphics choices in the Mac Pro. The desktop comes with two AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs with up to 6GB of VRAM. According to Apple, those chips will allow for editing full-resolution 4K video, render effects in the background, and run three 4K displays—all at the same time.

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Processing Power Will Be Impressive

In addition to meaty graphics, the Mac Pro comes with the Intel Xeon E5 chipset. Customers can choose up to 12 cores of processing power in the Mac, making the Mac Pro twice as fast as the current-generation Mac Pro. Processing power has taken a bit of a backseat to GPU performance over the last few years, but it's still extremely important for those who want high-end performance. And Apple's Mac Pro will deliver that.

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Really, Really Fast Performance

While GPUs and CPUs are integral for performance, it's also important that customers don't forget about a device's storage drives. That's why Apple has promised PCI Express flash storage, which can clock speeds up to 2.5 times faster than traditional serial ATA solid-state drives. In fact, the PCIe flash storage offers speeds of 1,250MB per second—more than 10 times what computer users find in a traditional SATA hard drive. Such speed, coupled with the Mac Pro's up to 60GB-per-second memory bandwidth means one, very important thing: OS X, apps and everything else that matters will open very, very quickly.

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External Device Connections Are Endless

Apple's Thunderbolt 2 technology comes with an endless supply of possibilities. And in the Mac Pro, that's clearly illustrated. According to Apple, thanks to the device's six Thunderbolt 2 ports, users can connect up to 36 devices to the computer in a daisy-chain format. Apple's Mac Pro also comes with four USB ports on the back that can also be used to add components. Yes, Apple's Mac Pro can handle 40 devices at once without a problem. Wow.

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A Price That Matches Value?

Apple has yet to announce pricing on the Mac Pro, but considering the current-generation model can set customers back thousands of dollars, its new version won't be cheap. Regardless of the price, Apple might have just delivered a product, with all of its features that can stand up for that expensive price. See, the Mac Pro is a product that people expect to pay more for, and over the last few years, most haven't been so willing to do so. The new Mac Pro changes that paradigm and can justify a several-thousand-dollar price tag. Of course, Apple can't go overboard on its pricing, but given the device's specs, its design and its future-proofing, it might just be worth spending $4,000 or $5,000 on it.

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