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[Pro] Apple Mac Pro review: reinvention of the workstation

Something completely different

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Introduction

It does not happen very often that we come across a product that is so revolutionary that even we need time to get used to it. One of the manufacturers that often release products that are surprising is Apple, and with the new Mac Pro the company shows again exactly how innovative they can be.


An ashtray, a vase, an object of art, but definitely not a computer. Those were our initial reactions when we saw the Mac Pro for the first time. Especially when you can not see the rear of the Mac Pro you will not associate this with a computer at all. The design is revolutionary and as that is quite remarkable, especially for the conservative target market for workstations, powerful machines boasting prefessional graphics like the nVidia quadro cards or AMD's Firepro series, server class processors and  memory and storage options usually found in servers as well.

Apple Mac Pro (Z0P85N/A)
The Apple Mac Pro's "package"...

Workstation PCs have always been easily recognisable, using a heavy and large tower case, like the previous generations of the Apple Mac Pro. There were some exceptions to the rule like the Z1 workstation built by HP, but this was uncommon. A workstation would normally fall between a high powered desktop PC and a server, where workstation laptops are slightly different; powerful but not as much as the desktop workstations.

Apple Mac Pro (Z0P85N/A)
...and its contents.

The casing of the new model is a radical change to the previous generation, that was still using a similar case to the one introduced with the Apple Mac G5 from 2003. Over the last few years it was becoming obvious that Apple was losing focus on this corner of the market, as the generation introduced in 2012 had not received any updates since. It was still based upon the Xeon 3565 (Bloomfield) introduced in 2009 and the Westmere-EP E5645 from 2010. Apple went back to the drawing board for the new Mac Pro and they have designed a completely new computer. The Mac Pro comes loaded with OS X Mavericks, but it is perfectaly capable of running Windows through Boot Camp. A keyboard and mouse are not included.


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