AMD FirePro D-Series power the Mac Pro to new performance highs
One of the many exciting new features of the Mac Pro (late 2013) is Apple's choice to opt for dual AMD FirePro workstation GPUs as standard fitment, which certainly caught the eye of many observers. The previous generation Mac Pros included the option to fit dual CPUs, but as you can tell from the radical external redesign of the Mac Pro that Apple has fundamentally rethought its approach to the Mac workstation. Apple has chosen to adopt a dual-GPU configuration as standard fitment to leverage the massive processing power in GPU architecture. The biggest performance gains in certain professional applications come through harnessing the processing power in GPUs, rather than the CPU. To this extent, Apple has worked closely with AMD to develop three custom GPU solutions for the Mac Pro, to help Mac users tap into the power of AMD's Graphics Core Next microarchitecture for parallel processing using the OpenCL framework.
Mac mini and Mac Pro
Apple's online store today has a selection of refurbished Mac mini and Mac Pro models at low prices. The refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, OS X Server, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives has seen a $150 discount to $849. For $929 is the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB solid state storage.
Two models same as Apple's, two new processors
Upgrade company OWC today officially introduced Intel Xeon processor "turnkey" upgrades for the latest Apple Mac Pro 2013. Options include 8-Core, 10-Core, and 12-Core models. The processors are fully compliant with Apple technical specifications and power requirements and are fully tested, qualified, and guaranteed to meet or exceed the processors available from Apple.
VisionTek announces availability of Mac Pro quad-channel memory upgrades up to 64GB
Upgrades and accessories manufacturer, VisionTek, has announced the immediate availability of new high-performance Error Correcting Code (ECC) 1866MHz quad-channel matched module memory upgrades of up to 64GB for Apple's Mac Pro 2013 models. Test certified at both the component and module level, the memory upgrades are accompanied by a lifetime warranty. Four upgrades are available, and can be purchased as singular 16GB modules for $220, or 32GB($430), 48GB ($640) and 64GB($830) kits.
International stores still call for 'April'
Shipping estimates for the 2013 Mac Pro have slipped from "April" to 5 to 6 weeks at Apple's US online store, checks show. At least some international storefronts are continuing to mention April, but could follow suit. Built-to-order Pros should take longer to ship as per usual.
PDFs, GPUs, Free Apps and more
This week the MacNN forums, forum-goers discussed a wide range of topics -- from virtual machines and merging PDFs to new GPUs for a Mac Pro. One long-time member turned to the forums yesterday looking for virtual machine software that was able to assign specific optical drives to specific VMs after having no luck finding software with this feature in the past. Mac Elite "And.reg" started a thread this week looking for a way to merge multiple PDFs into one PDF using Preview.
OWC introduces 128GB memory upgrade kit for latest Mac Pro, doubles RAM vers
Other World Computing announced the expansion of its MaxRAM Certified Upgrades to include up to 128GB memory upgrade kits for the Apple Mac Pro 2013 six-core, eight-core, 12-core models. Offering both OWC 32GB modules and matched kits up to 128GB, pricing per module starts at $600. The new 128GB upgrade kit is priced at $2,130.
Booq launches multi-fold folio and snap case for iPad Air
Tech-related accessories company Booq has announced its release of its latest multi-fold folio and snap case, the Booqpad for iPad Air. A combination of a folio and case, the Booqpad facilitates protecting one's iPad Air while accommodating viewing and typing. Its multi-fold cover folio magnetically attaches to the polycarbonate snap case, opening to reveal a 50-sheet notepad for traditional note-taking.
Mac Pro and iMac
This week, Apple's online store is offering a selection of refurbished Mac Pro and iMac models at discounted prices. The refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive has seen a $360 price cut to $2,139. For $2,549 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.33GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive.
Mac Pro, iMac lines said to be mostly automated
Apple is working to get iPhone batteries manufactured on fully automated production lines in 2014, supply chain sources claim. The company is already said to have mostly automated iMac and Mac Pro production, the only exceptions being materials and final assembly. Apple is allegedly interested in reducing the manpower needed for its products; this may be due to rising minimum wages in China, and problems like labor shortages and high turnover rates, linked to the fact that many young people don't want to work in manufacturing. Such jobs can often demand 60 or more hours a week in poor conditions.
Civilization V adds support for the new Mac Pro, 4K resolution
Aspyr has released a new update for Civilization V, aimed at improving its performance on the newest Mac Pro. Allowing for 4K resolutions on supporting monitors while running into fewer crashes, Mac games that use the Mac Pro will now be able to take advantage of the machine's second video card. The updated game will automatically download and install for Steam users, and Mac app-version users can grab the update from the App Store. Civilization V and all of its DLC and expansions are currently 50 percent off, until March 27.
Change could upset some Mac users
Apple has formally dropped Windows 7 support in Boot Camp for users of the 2013 Mac Pro, an updated support document reveals. It's not clear why the change was made, but it can also be seen in Boot Camp Assistant, which insists on "Windows 8 or later" during the Windows installation process. The omission could upset some Pro users who don't like the touchscreen-oriented interface additions made in Windows 8.
Doubles normal upgrade options
Memory maker Transcend has announced a new set of RAM upgrades for the 2013 Mac Pro. These include 16 and 32GB modules, which can be used to boost a Pro up to 64, 96, or even 128GB of RAM. 128GB is twice what Apple's build-to-order options allow.
Mac Pro and Mac mini
This week at Apple's online store, find a wide selection of refurbished Mac Pro and Mac mini models. The refurbished 2012 Mac Pro with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive has seen a $360 price cut down to $2,139. A $560 discount is available on the refurbished Mac Pro with dual 2.4GHz six-core Xeon processors, 12GB of RAM and a 1T hard drive, bringing it down to $3,239.
Secure a new Mac Pro with the $49 Switchd MacPro Lock
A new security solution for the latest Mac Pro has been announced from a company called Identified Media, which is taking pre-orders now for a new locking alteration referred to as the Switchd Mac Pro Lock. The lock is expected to ship next month, using a replacement part for the existing case lock switch on the 2013 Mac Pro that creates an opening for a standard cable lock. The pre-order price is $49, and emails are being accepted for notification about when the product debuts.
Updates support for OS X 10.9.2, CUDA update also available
On Monday, video card maker Nvidia released updated drivers for 2010, 2009 and 2008-model Mac Pro units, along with a reminder that the units will need the previously-updated CUDA 5.5.28 driver for Mac in order to leverage the CUDA architecture in some Nvidia cards. The updated drivers bring support for the latest version of OS X Mavericks (10.9.2), and include an Nvidia Driver Manager preference pane.
Mac Pro and Dell 4K monotor only $3,442
This week, Expercom has an excellent bundle deal that includes a Mac Pro and a Dell 4K monitor all for only $3,442.22, which is $56 less than Expercom's regular price and a whopping $640 less than buying these items individually anywhere else. The Mac Pro features a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, with dual AMD FirePro D300 video cards. It is backed by a one-year warranty from Apple. The Dell 28-inch 4K display is included in the bundle deal.
Computer still in short supply
Apple has been delaying shipments of some of the earliest Mac Pro orders into March, anecdotes reveal. Shortly after the company opened up online orders in late December, shipping estimates quickly extended into February. Now, though, even people who ordered in early January are receiving word that they shouldn't expect delivery until next week at the earliest; at least some customers are being told to wait another five to seven business days. One buyer notes that he had received emails at the beginning and middle of February reassuring him that his Pro would arrive by the end of the month.
First Mac Pro-oriented update since December
Apple has posted a new download for owners of the 2013 Mac Pro, SMC Firmware Update 2.0. The patch lets a computer enter Power Nap without turning on the fan for "most" Power Nap activities, according to Apple. It also solves a problem with low-speed USB devices not being detected at boot.
Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iPad and more
Looking for a deal on a new Mac Pro can be tough, but Adorama is offering great discounts to VIP members, which requires signing up for a free account. Save $100 off the MSRP on a current-generation Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel Quad-Core Xeon E5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage. It carries a list price of $4,399, but is reduced to $4,299 with free US shipping. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Orders must cost at least $25,000
Apple is offering a select group of companies up to 20 percent off leases for the 2013 Mac Pro, a new report claims. Eligible businesses must be in the US, and placing orders for at least $25,000 of hardware with a 24-month lease period. Even then, it's believed that only some companies are receiving the offer via email notices.
System has always been in small-scale production
Estimated delivery targets for the 2013 Mac Pro have slipped to April in most if not all of the world, reports note. Specifically the delay is affecting Apple's online stores in Canada and the US, and the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) regions. It's also affecting both stock and custom configurations, although as a rule custom orders always take longer to ship.
Issue somehow linked to Bluetooth
Apple has issued a new support document, acknowledging a problem with AirPlay Mirroring freezing or dropping entirely. The issue appears to be limited to 2013 Mac Pro and MacBook Pro models, and only when connecting through an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network. As a temporary solution, Apple notes that the problem can be fixed by turning off Bluetooth.
Unified thermal core, Thunderbolt 2 make Mac Pro design possible
The Mac Pro (Late 2013) is a perfect example of an electronics product that only Apple can bring to market first. If you look at Apple's current and past product range, it has often been the first to introduce new technologies, new manufacturing processes, and/or custom parts. The Mac Pro features the very latest technologies available for a workstation, new manufacturing processes are used to produce its incredible polished anodised finish, while it features custom logic boards and graphics cards. It is also built around an all-new triangular unified thermal core that we have never seen in a computer before, resulting in its incredibly compact design.
Entry-level Mac Pro makes for a tempting proposition for power users
Now that the long-awaited redesigned Mac Pro has reached the market, Mac power users have something of a dilemma when it comes to choosing a powerful Mac for the home. In our full review of the Mac Pro, it became quite apparent that the Mac Pro is a very powerful machine, but that its full power only revealed when running professional-class applications. Although Mac power users may not use their Mac for their profession, many opt to use professional applications made by Apple and third-party pro apps as well. In most instances, a high-end iMac has plenty of power to run the same applications as the Mac Pro. Yet, there is no denying that the new Mac Pro has incredible appeal, not only as the most powerful Mac that you can buy, but also as yet another stunning example of Apple's engineering and design prowess. As a power user, or Mac enthusiast, should you save some money and stick with an iMac, or should you realistically consider opting for a shiny new Mac Pro?
Apple continues publicity tour
Apple CEO Tim Cook was joined by fellow executives Craig Federighi (head of Software Engineering) and Bud Tribble (VP of Software Technology) during an ABC News interview set to air later tonight, but teased this morning during Good Morning America. While the occasion was nominally the 30th anniversary of the Mac, Cook was asked about topics like the manufacturing of the Mac Pro in Austin, Texas. He suggested the company could "do more" on that account, which led to discussion of its contracted sapphire glass plant in Mesa, Arizona.
Includes SLI graphics, multicore optimizations
Pixelmator has released an important update of its namesake image editing software, v3.1, also codenamed Marble. The release is mainly geared toward supporting the 2013 Mac Pro, for instance enabling 16-bit-per-channel color, multicore optimizations, and the use of both of the Pro's graphics cards simultaneously. This should speed up rendering and various other tasks, offering what Pixelmator claims is "profoundly" better performance.
Delays follow path of international storefronts
Apple's online stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico now listing "March" shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro, shoppers note. Until recently, the stores were quoting February delivery dates. The new times are however consistent with changes at Apple's international storefronts.
Apple reinvents the pro desktop with the redesigned Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Last June, Apple unveiled the new Mac Pro in what turned out to be a an excruciatingly long six-month wait for the shipping product. Now that we finally have our hands on one, the high-end standard configuration with a 6-core Intel Xeon and dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, we have been putting it through its paces. In our first look at the Mac Pro, we noted that it is clear that Apple has created something special defining what it believes is a new paradigm for the pro workstation moving forward, while our early benchmarking supports the assertion. In our full review, we take a deeper look into Apple's bold vision for pro computing that, like many of Apple's breakthrough products, looks set to redefine its category. Read our full review of the Apple Mac Pro (Late 2013) to see if Apple's execution matches its vision.
Mac Pro configurations debate
Recently in the MacNN Forums, members gathered in a thread titled "Mac Pro config" started by Senior User "I'mDaMac" to discuss what the best configuration options would be for someone looking to buy a new Mac Pro. Yesterday "Hawkeye_a" asked fellow forum-goers if it was possible to install Snow Leopard on a new Mac or even boot into Snow Leopard while being installed on an external HDD.
February estimates remain for US buyers
Apple's shipping estimates for the new Mac Pro have been pushed to March for customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific markets. Spotted by MacRumors, the shipping setbacks suggest the company is still attempting to accommodate strong demand for its high-end desktop systems.
Build Your Own Mac Pro
This week in the MacNN forums, members discussed a wide range of topics, but one of the most fascinating threads might just be the one tiled "Build Your Own Mac Pro" where users discuss building a Mac Pro from scratch, a task that has flummoxed PC white-box builders. Today, Forum Regular "Hans M Aus" turned to the forums with a Wi-Fi problem that has yet to be solved.
New Mac Pro with 64GB of RAM for $4,461
Expercom is currently offering a great deal on the new Mac Pro. This configuration is normally priced on the site at $4,597, but has been reduced to $4,461 with about $17 for shipping, making it about $738 less than the price Apple charges for this same configuration. That makes this the lowest price with these specs that we have seen anywhere. It features a 3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 64GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage with dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Shipments of Mac Pro begin in Europe following regulatory withdrawal
The new Mac Pro has apparently started to ship in Europe, marking the first time the computer has gone on sale on the continent since March 1st in 2013. Though the Apple website shows it as shipping in February in a number of European countries, there are reports of some customers receiving shipment notifications for as early as January 14th.
Apple Mac Pro is the definition of a high-end workstation
Ahead of our full review of the Apple Mac Pro (Late 2013), we have begun running some preliminary benchmarks in both OS X Mavericks as well as Windows 8.1 (64-bit). As we noted in our first look at the Mac Pro, our unit is the high-end standard configuration with a six-core Intel Xeon E5 processor clocked at 3.5GHz, matched with 16GB of RAM. As with all Mac Pro models, it comes fitted with dual AMD FirePro GPUs, which in this instance is a pair of FirePro D500s, each with 3GB of DDR5 VRAM. Our early benchmarking has yielded some interesting results, particularly in terms of the Mac Pro's graphics performance -- helping to clarify why the Mac Pro is classed as a 'workstation,' as opposed to a high-end 'desktop' computer or even gaming rig.
Stock systems already in some buyers' hands
Apple is now shipping some earlier online orders of custom-configured Mac Pros, buyers note. A number of people say their systems are listed as preparing to ship, already shipping, or even en-route for delivery today. Stock configurations began shipping before Christmas.
Apple struggling to produce enough Mac Pros
MacNN has learned that Apple's in-demand new Mac Pro will not be available to in store customers until as late as March or April. The information was supplied to us by an Apple Australia business sales specialist who also advised that they are being told to direct customers to the online channel as it the only way that customers can currently secure a new Mac Pro -- the advice also applies to those who may have already placed an order on a unit in store. Apple's online store is still showing that Mac Pros ordered now will not ship until sometime in February at the earliest. The only Mac Pro units to have reached some Apple Stores are demonstrator units and this is not expected to change for some months.
new Mac Pro discussion and more
Excitement around the new Mac Pro is building as MacNN forum-goers who have ordered one wait anxiously for them to arrive, and discuss reviews and tear-downs of this latest addition to the Mac lineup. A discussion about appropriate RAM usage was sparked by one Junior Member who was wondering why his machine was using a lot of RAM, in a thread posted earlier this week.
SSDs linked to videocards
Repair firm iFixit has published a teardown of the 2013 Mac Pro, following in the steps of a another teardown conducted by OWC. iFixit describes the machine as highly repairable, thanks to a lack of proprietary screws and tool-free access to RAM. Such design approaches also make the Pro relatively easy to upgrade, particularly the socketed CPU.
new Mac Pros available to order
It's official, the new Mac Pros are available to order, and the MacNN Forums are abuzz with excitement over this latest addition to the Apple lineup. Some, however, question the usefulness of multiple GPUs and the exorbitant price tag for fully-equipped models. On another topic, one member has been having trouble synching passwords for email accounts on their new iPhone 5s and has turned to the forums for some advice.
refurbished Mac Pros still available
It's obvious that while aluminum Mac Pros are in high demand right now, there is still love for the now-previous tower models. That is why Apple's online store is constantly sold out of older Mac Pros, but right now save $360 on the Mac Pro with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $2,139. A $560 discount is offered on the refurbished Mac Pro with dual 2.4GHz 6-core processors, 12GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, currently $3,239.
Promise RAID arrays, Sharp 4K display among earliest accessories
Now that the redesigned Mac Pro is finally out, buyers lucky enough to get one of the early ones will also be shopping for accessories. While a number of third-party manufacturers have already begun ramping up to support the new tower, offerings specifically targeting Mac Pro buyers are still thin on the ground. The online Apple Store, however, has an UltraHD (4K) display monitor, new black Thunderbolt cables and existing storage expansion solutions on offer.
Firmware update improves system reliability
Just a few hours after it became available, Apple's Mac Pro has received a firmware update. Apple published Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.0 midday Thursday, saying that it is recommended for all Mac Pro (Late 2013) models. The update improves system reliability during reboot, and it solves an issue with memory self-test.
New Mac Pro debuts to strong demand, shipping slips
The debut of Apple's new Mac Pro desktop may have met with considerable demand, as shipping times for the powerful new Mac have slipped to months from now. Apple appears to have sold through its initial allocation of Mac Pro units, as a look at the online Apple Store shows the devices shipping in February of 2014. It is unclear whether the delay in shipping, which occurred just hours after the devices launched, is due to pent-up demand or lack of supply.
Software revamped for latest hardware
Apple has released updates for its Final Cut Pro X video editing software, along with Compressor and Motion, just in time for the Mac Pro launch. As expected, v10.1 brings several optimizations for the new hardware including dual-GPU playback and rendering, video monitoring at 4K resolution via Thunderbolt 2 or HDMI, and support for 4K content such as titles, transitions and generators.
First total redesign since 2006 piles on new technologies
[Update: the US online store has now returned with pre-orders for the new Mac Pro; offering a Sharp 4K display as an option] The Apple online store worldwide has put up its familiar "We'll be right back" message in preparation for today's debut of the new Mac Pro. The redesign, the first complete overhaul since 2006, radically reimagines the entire concept of the professional workstation into a mini-tower design featuring all-external expansion and up to 1TB of PCI-e SSD storage (some 10x faster than conventional HDD storage), dual workstation-class graphics cards and a six-core Xeon E5.
High-end Mac desktop to launch Thursday
Apple on Wednesday announced the impending availability of its Mac Pro desktop computer, ensuring that the powerful new Mac will indeed see release before the end of this year. The redesigned Mac Pro will go on sale on Thursday, starting at $2,999 for the baseline model. The unit will be available in Apple's online retail store, as well as Apple's physical retails stores and select Apple Authorized resellers.
Mac mini and aluminum Mac Pro
Apple's online store today offers a range of refurbished desktop Macs as low as $509. The refurbished Mac mini with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive has been cut to $509. A $150 discount is offered on the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, OS X Server, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives, now $849.
Nest CEO denies being buyer of Product Red Mac Pro, gold EarPods
Former Apple executive, "father of the iPod" and Nest CEO Tony Fadell has denied being the buyer of two high-priced but one-off Apple items designed by Sir Jonathan Ive for a Global Fund charity auction. "To be clear, Im not the owner of either" the red new Mac Pro or the gold EarPods, Fadell tweeted, which together sold for over $1.4 million. Photographs of Fadell with the items taken by Kevin Abosch and posted on Twitter earlier this week suggest, however, that Fadell knows the winning bidder. "The real owner will reveal themselves if they so choose." Fadell's wording hints that both items do indeed belong to a single buyer.
Mac Pro from $3,239
This week at Apple's online store, save on refurbished aluminum Mac Pro models and more. A $560 discount is offered on the refurbished Mac Pro with two 2.4GHz Intel 6-core Xeon processors, 12GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $3,239. For $4,249 is the Mac Pro with dual 2.66GHz 6-core Xeon processors, 12GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $4,249.