InformationWeek: Apple’s new Mac Pro blows away the competition

“After two weeks with one of the new Mac Pro desktops, I’ve got only one word: “Wow. The new Apple Mac Pro desktop is one of the best-designed, highly-performing desktops currently available at any price. Not only does it run Mac OS X and OS X applications at absolutely blazing speeds, but if you install Parallels Desktop for Mac (or Apple’s Boot Camp), the Mac Pro makes a better Windows workstation than almost any other Windows desktop out there,” Richard Hoffman reports for InformationWeek.

“Raw power is what the Mac Pro is all about. Overall XBench numbers were roughly five times higher on the Mac Pro than the Powerbook reference platform (170.64 versus 35.70); that scale of differential is not unexpected, given the Mac Pro’s two dual-core 3 Ghz processors, each with its own independent 1.33 Ghz frontside bus, ATI Radeon X1900 XT card loaded with 512MB of GDDR3 SSDRAM, 4 GB of fast system RAM, and up to four Serial ATA drives, each with its own 3Gb/s channel. Cinebench 9.5 figures were similarly impressive, many multiples above the reference platform,” Hoffman reports.

“But while Apple’s mix of Universal binary professional digital audio, video, graphics and authoring applications (Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Aperture) run at warp speed on the Mac Pro, the many professionals now using Adobe software will have to make do with running under Rosetta until Adobe releases Universal binary versions of their products next spring,” Hoffman reports.

Hoffman reports, “That said, while tests of Adobe’s currently-shipping product versions reveal a significant performance hit for Rosetta, results certainly fall well within the usable range. For example, a series of Photoshop filters that processed in 11.5 seconds on the reference platform took half the time on the Mac Pro (6 seconds), while a second set took 5.5 seconds on the Mac Pro versus 15 seconds on the Powerbook. Much greater speeds can be expected when the Universal versions of the Adobe products appear…”

Hoffman reports, “The Mac Pro, however you look at it, is a very powerful, capable, expandable performer. Its dual OS X/Windows capability and adoption of a range of critical open standards make it worth consideration in any enterprise looking for the best possible machine for high-end use.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Review: Apple Mac Pro 2.66GHz dual-core Intel Xeon – October 13, 2006
PC Pro crowns Apple Mac Pro fastest ‘PC’ – October 04, 2006
AnandTech upgrades and tests Octo-Core ‘Clovertown’ Apple Mac Pro – September 13, 2006
Wired’s Kahney: Apple’s Mac Pro ‘speaks power’ with ‘a weapon aesthetic, like an expensive handgun’ – September 05, 2006
MSNBC: Apple Mac Pro is the ultimate desktop computer – August 28, 2006
Apple Retail Stores can build-to-order customized Mac Pros on site – August 26, 2006
Computerworld hands on: Apple’s new Mac Pro is ‘one screamer’ – August 18, 2006
Thurrott pits Apple Mac Pro vs. similarly configured Dell, figures out the Mac is less expensive – August 18, 2006
AnandTech: Mac Pro vs. PowerMac G5 – August 16, 2006
Apple Mac Pro Quad Xeon 3.0GHz benchmarks – August 16, 2006
Apple Mac Pro dissection photos – August 16, 2006
Ars Technica reviews Apple Mac Pro Quad Xeon 64-bit workstation – August 11, 2006
Apple Mac Pro Quad-core Xeon easily beats Power Mac G5 Quad – August 11, 2006
OWC offers Apple Mac Pro memory upgrades; rebate trade-in of Apple factory memory – August 11, 2006
Benchmark duel: Apple Mac Pro vs. Power Mac G5 – August 10, 2006
Apple unveils new ‘Mac Pro’ featuring quad 64-bit Intel Xeon processors – August 07, 2006


  1. Rabid Dog:
    The heck with SLI or CrossFire, have you seen the new nVidia 8800GTX? Aye carumba – it kicks their buttocks! And all for a mere $650 (OUCH).
    I wish Apple would develope the VGA upgradability on the Mac Pro. I know they have to take what the graphics card manufacturers give them, but I wish we could just use anything like with a PC. They sure aren’t wasting anytime when it comes to the latest CPUs. But now, even the ATI 1900XT looks decrepit compared to nVidia’s new goodies. And the 7300GT? Totally lame, other than the basics.

  2. Interesting how working graphics pros prefer to “wait for OS X/Intel versions” of creative apps like Photoshop, and that running Windows versions is not even on the table for many, even though it would allow them to immediately run these apps faster than under Rosetta emulation.

    Enduring the pathetic technology that is Windows is just not worth the effort for many, not even in the short term.

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