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WWDC: The New Apple Mac Pro

2013 Apple Mac Pro

What I heard from the WWDC keynote presentation: (might have missed something as it moved quickly):

  • Coming later this year (“first glimpse”), built in USA.
    As of 11:34 AM, existing Mac Pro with old specs still on Apple Store, suggesting a release months away. September?
  • Tiny compared to existing Mac Pro: 1/8 the volume.
  • In general, seems to be oriented to heavy-duty video processing, but should prove highly attractive to general photography use also.
  • Uses latest Intel Xeon E5 chips, details on clock speeds offered TBD.
    A 12-core with slow CPU speeds is not so great for most uses. I hope Apple offers the fastest available clock speeds (never has traditionally), so that PC users don’t snicker.
  • Memory is 1766MHz DDR3, 60GBps bandwidth.
  • Only 12-core mentioned as “up to”.
    My concern here is slower clock speeds that might be fine with 12 cores in use for video work, but slow for only a few cores used for photography use). A fast 6-core or 8-core?
  • Four (4) USB3 ports, 6 Thunderbolt 2 port, Gigabit ethernet, HDMI out.
    Four USB3 ports is a bit meager, but the Thunderbolt ports are probably enough to manage the cable mess.
  • Cylindrical design, but seems to be beautifully accessible.
    Well, I’m a sucker for the indisputable quality look and feel of aluminum, and maybe this is anodized aluminum, not plastic.
  • Fast memory with 60 GB/sec bandwidth.
    Did not hear any description of how many slots or max memory of if OS X memory limit bugs are fixed.
  • PCIe SSD flash, ~1200 MB/sec flash drive.
    OWC Accelsior E2 offers high performance on existing Macs.
  • All expansion is external. Thunderbolt 2 with 20Gbps throughput, 6 devices per port, backwards compatible. No mention of any Apple external cases for drives.
    Seems to imply a rat’s nest of cables and potentially an unpleasant auditory environment (fan and drive noise in multiple external boxes. Cost issues for high quality external boxes might raise total system cost considerably.
  • Graphics: dual AMD FirePro GPUs, 2.5X performance of last model: 7 teraflops over OpenCL, 528GBps total bandwidth.
    GREAT for video, total yawn for general photography use .
  • Supports up to three 4K displays.
    GREAT for 4K video as well as photographers.
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