Apple teases with tiny new MacPro powerhouse
It’s been a very long time coming but power-hungry Mac-loving video producers and creatives can at last rejoice: a new Mac Pro has been unveiled at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference – and it’s going to make your software scream and beg for mercy.
Cylindral in shape, and looking disconcertingly more like an exotic ashtray than a supercomputer, the forthcoming machine has specifications to make any geek drool into their keyboard: up to a 12 core Intel Xeon CPU, dual AMD FirePro GPU graphics supporting up to three 4K-resolution displays, DDR3 memory running at 1866MHz and six, 20Gbps, Thunderbolt 2 ports for up to 36 expansion add-ons. Apple says it’s up to two and a half times as fast as existing models.
It will also boast PCIe-based flash SSD storage that’s ten times faster than before, as well as more mundane features such as four USB3.0 ports and HDMI output. The entire machine is relatively tiny, taking up just an eighth of the space of the old models. Wackily, it has a movement detector that lights up the expension ports when it senses you shaking the machine in the dark under your desk, trying to find where to plug things in.
Video editing, whether under Final Cut X, Premiere and Avid, should be a breeze even in 4K resolution says Apple; according to at least one commentator on Twitter tonight, the new Mac would have ranked in the top 40 supercomputers on the planet just eight years ago, with 7 teraflops of compute power.
The firm is also rather proud of its “thermal core” – a triangular cheesegrater in the middle with a fan on top that dissipates all the heat generated by the chips inside. If video editing’s not your thing, it’ll make a lovely heater for the office come winter. With its compact size, general attractiveness and high power, expect this to be on every thief’s “to nick” list as soon as it’s released.
No release date or pricing was given but expect it to be a) later this year and b) damnably expensive. There’s a lovely animated graphic of it at www.apple.com/mac-pro/.
Meanwhile new Macbook Air (laptop) computers are being released in the US on Monday featuring the latest Intel “Haswell” chips, better battery life, and faster WiFi. Prices range from $999 USD to $1299.