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Apple: New Mac Pro uses 68 percent less power than previous model

updated 06:56 pm EST, Thu January 2, 2014

Environmental report highlights vastly-reduced resources, carbon footprint

Apple has updated its Environmental Responsibility page -- a section of its website most rivals do not even attempt to match -- with data on the new Mac Pro, revealing that the unit uses 68 percent less power at idle than the previous model, despite being far more powerful. The new design uses 74 percent less aluminium than the previous design, and features an even stronger mix of recyclable materials than before. The package takes up 82 percent less volume as well.



The Mac Pro's energy efficiency comes mostly from the use of more-intelligent components that power down when not used. As a result, most of the "carbon footprint" of the machine -- 65 percent -- comes from its manufacturing process rather than its use. The new Mac Pro's lifetime "greenhouse gas" emissions are rated at 940 kilograms carbon dioxide equivalent, six percent less than that of a 27-inch iMac (the Mac mini is, as one might expect, the carbon footprint winner at 270kg co2e).

As is standard with Macs, the Mac Pro meets an array of government standards for energy use, including Energy Star 6.0 standards and a gold rating from EPEAT, and meets the latest RoHS Directive guidelines to avoid use of lead, mercury, cadmium, PBB, PBDE and hexavalent chromium. In addition, the company points out that its design is BFR-free, and uses PVC-free internal and external cables in all regions (India and South Korea, for some reason, continue to use power cords that contain PVCs).



Apple also notes that the reduced volume and weight of the Mac Pro also makes for more efficient packaging and shipping, the latter being a major factor in the greenhouse gas equation. Compared to the previous Mac Pro, the 82 percent lower volume means that three retail Mac Pro packages can be shipped in the same space as the old Mac Pro's package. The packages use 33 percent recycled cardboard as well.

"Apple's ultra-compact product and packaging designs lead the industry in material efficiency," the company says. "Reducing the material footprint of a product helps maximize shipping efficiency. It also helps reduce energy consumed during production as well as material waste generated at the end of the product's life. The enclosure and thermal core of Mac Pro is made of aluminum and copper, materials that are highly desired by recyclers," according to the report, which can be seen in full here (PDF).



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 03-24-09

    The power reduction is easy to understand since it doesn't have any mechanical hard drive(s) or more than one fan. Without hard drives, it also doesn't need as big of a power supply even with the two graphics cards since the old Mac Pro had to size its power supply to handle 4 hard drives, 2 optical drives, and everything installed in its PCI slots.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    'one product at a time' is a big qualifier...

    ....and while it is good to see measurable improvement prl99 raises a good point, and it would be interesting to see a more holistic quantification of impacts, including such things as user behavior ranges, power sourcing impacts (inc. pv mining impacts), strategic support sunsets & (if only perceived?) product obsolescence (and os churn), iCloud, health and other larger scale considerations. An i7 mini just tested drew from 40~120w depending on as basic a setting as monitor brightness...

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 03-24-09

    I just reread the article and the maximum power usage Apple lists is at idle. Give me a break, turn the computer on and run something to see how much it really gets. I'd like to see some iStat results showing internal temperatures as well as simple results from a power line meter while running Geekbench or LuxMark (really rev up those GPUs). Compare the new and old versions of the Mac Pro with and without peripherals (like disks on the new Mac Pro). Will I need a dedicated 20A circuit to run the new Mac Pro with a Promise 8-bay RAID, Apple TB display, and a printer?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by prl99View Post

    I just reread the article and the maximum power usage Apple lists is at idle. Give me a break, turn the computer on and run something to see how much it really gets.



    Since Apple went out of their way to hide this spec from you by putting it right on their tech specs page, I figured I'd help you:

    Apple - Mac Pro - Technical Specifications

    "Maximum continuous power: 450W"

    Also, "idle" means the machine is running, not off or sleeping.

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 03-24-09

    @Spheric, you're right, it was there. My question still is what is the normal power usage. Maximum continuous power means the maximum power the power supply can handle before it shuts down. Again, this is only for the Mac Pro. I'd still like to see what a reasonable system would draw. (450W=3.75A or almost 20% of a standard 20A circuit leaving some room for other equipment but not a laser printer when it warms up.)

    I was typing too fast to fix the idle comment. I know what it means.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    prl99: "less than the previous Mac Pro" would be the answer you are looking for. It's not specific, I know, but then very few people have one to test it to that level of detail just yet. When yours arrives, we'd be interested in hearing what your findings are!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by prl99View Post

    @Spheric, you're right, it was there. My question still is what is the normal power usage. Maximum continuous power means the maximum power the power supply can handle before it shuts down.



    I thought in this context it would mean the maximum power the computer would consume before YOU shut it down? ;)

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    this may be of interest 'one product at a time', and factors in power source for carbon emissions
    http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/management-software/ppmac.html

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-19-01

    @ prl99 - I suppose things like hard drives and DVD-burners add up, but are pretty minimal in a system like this. Heck, they are even minimal to something like my entry-level iMac (I have a UPS that tells the power used, and even adding a few external drives and other devices only changes things like 10-15 watts). The big power reduction gains are probably mostly the CPUs. While speeds haven't been going up by leaps and bounds over the last few years, power efficiency has.

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