“To call Apple’s Mac Pro ‘anticipated’ definitely qualifies as an understatement. It’s been over three years since we reviewed the last Mac Pro,” Dave Girard reports for Ars Technica. “The buzz around a new Mac Pro would have been high even if Apple only updated the core of this machine with the newer tech like the Xeon E5 v2 CPUs, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, PCI Express 3.0, etc. But the contentious ‘Darth Pro’ redesign has done what Apple wanted: created a fever-pitched chatter and air of excitement around the machine that their workstation competitors are surely envying.”

“At first glance, the new Mac Pro seems like a finger in the eye for demanding creative professionals. But after actually using the system, I am convinced that this is a very successful workstation design that can be a great template for future versions,” Girard reports. “As novel as the tube design is on the surface, it is simply a solution to a design problem for workstations. How do you keep a high-performance machine with two powerful compute GPUs cool? You make it small, you make it a wind tunnel, you put all the devices along the walls of a giant heatsink, and you make the case metal to assist with cooling. James Dyson couldn’t have done it better.”

Apple's all-new Mac Pro

Apple’s all-new Mac Pro

“For the next version of the Mac Pro, I’d like to see a little more sense restored to the insides of this new design. Yes, people are talking about the Mac Pro again, and Final Cut users know Apple does indeed love them. But bring back dual-socket CPU options for people who absolutely need them. We won’t flinch at the higher sticker price — we just need the power. I know that these dual-CPU machines likely make up a small portion of Mac Pro sales, but they are crucial for many creative workflows,” Girard reports. “I’m not asking for my old tower back, but throw me a bone here — I just paid $6,500 for the same render speeds I had three years ago. That’s not revolutionary from any angle.”

“It sounds like ending on a sour note, but I am cautiously optimistic about the newly shrunken Mac Pro,” Girard reports. “Apple has made an exceptional machine for the future that just needs some tweaks to really shine. It’s a machine the company could be proud of at any point in its history.”

Reams more in the full, extensive-as-usual review – highly recommended – here.

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