Apple’s long-awaited Mac Pro is now on store shelves.
Starting Today,19th December 2013, customers can order the completely redesigned Mac Pro on Apple’s Web site, its retail stores, and through select authorized resellers, Apple announced Wednesday. The computer starts at $2,999, but customization options can push that price higher.
Apple unveiled the new Mac Pro in June at its Worldwide Developer Conference, showcasing a startlingly redesign. Unlike the massive, heavy tower that was the previous Mac Pro, the new computer features a sleek, cylindrical design and is just 9.9 inches tall. The device’s diameter comes in at 6.6 inches, and it weighs 11 pounds.
A $2999 configuration that comes with a 3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of DDR3 RAM (filling three of four memory slots), 256GB of flash storage, and two AMD FirePro D300 GPUs (with 2GB of VRAM each). There’s also a $3999 model, which has a 3.5GHz Xeon E5 CPU, 16GB of RAM (filling all four slots), 256GB of flash storage, and two AMD FirePro D500 GPUs (each of which have 3GB of VRAM each). Those graphics chips are stout enough to drive three 4K displays at the same time.
There are, of course, numerous customization possibilities. You can upgrade the CPU to an eight-core 3GHz Xeon E5 or a 2.7GHz Xeon E5. The RAM is upgradeable to 64GB, and you can expand to 512GB or 1TB of on-board flash storage. The graphics can be upgraded to dual AMD FirePro D700 cards, each with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. At the time of this writing, prices for those upgrades had yet to be confirmed.
Apple expects users who need more storage or other expansion options to use external devices, connected via the new machine’s six Thunderbolt 2 and four USB 3.0 ports. (Each Thunderbolt 2 port supports up to six daisy-chained devices, so the Mac Pro can support up to 36 Thunderbolt peripherals—if you can find that many.)
The RAM is more user-upgradeable: You can remove the machine’s metal sleeve to get access to the Mac Pro’s four memory slots. The internal flash-storage card should also be upgradeable in theory, though it will likely require storage designed to work specifically with the Mac Pro.
The new design is based around what Apple has called a “unified thermal core”, to help pull heat away from those components and keep the machine cool.