Apple unveils updated Mac Pro family with Intel Xeon E5 processors

Apple unveiled new Mac Pro updates today featuring Intel Xeon E5 processors.

The easy-access interior of the Mac Pro feels like the well-organized workstation it is. No rat’s nest of components here. You don’t need to turn the system on its side or struggle to reach into awkward spaces to make changes. Just remove the side panel for instant access to everything. Slide out the processor tray to add memory. Slide out drive bays to add storage. Slide a simple bar to change up to four expansion cards at once. And with plenty of I/O ports both front and back, you’ll have room for all your external devices.

The Mac Pro offers two advanced processor options from Intel. The Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor is available in a single-processor, quad-core configuration at 3.2GHz. For even greater speed and power, choose a 6-Core Intel Xeon processor. Since the Mac Pro comes with either one or two processors, you can have a 6-core Mac Pro at up to 3.33GHz, or, to max out your performance, a 12-core system at up to 3.06GHz.

System memory is often connected to a processor through a separate I/O controller. But Intel Xeon processors feature an integrated memory controller. By connecting memory directly to the processor, the Mac Pro processors have faster access to data stored in memory, and memory latency is reduced.

Apple Mac Pro Mid 2012

The integrated memory controller, along with fast DDR3 ECC SDRAM at either 1066MHz or 1333MHz, gives the Mac Pro an increase in memory bandwidth over previous generations. More bandwidth allows for more data to be fed to the processor faster, helping each core spend its time processing data, not waiting for information to arrive. And Error Correction Code (ECC) corrects single-bit errors and detects multiple-bit errors automatically. That’s especially important in mission-critical and compute-intensive environments.

The Mac Pro features Turbo Boost, a dynamic performance technology that automatically boosts the processor clock speed based on workload. If you’re using an application that doesn’t need every core, Turbo Boost increases the speed of the active ones, up to 3.33GHz on a 12-core Mac Pro, and up to 3.6GHz on a 6-core system.

The Intel Xeon processors support Hyper-Threading, which allows two threads to run simultaneously on each core. So, for example, a 12-core Mac Pro presents 24 virtual cores that are recognized by OS X. Performance is enhanced because Hyper-Threading enables the processor to take better advantage of the execution resources available in each core.

A bidirectional, point-to-point connection — called QuickPath Interconnect — gives the Intel Xeon processors quick access to the disk, I/O, and other Mac Pro subsystems. In dual-processor Mac Pro models, there’s a QuickPath Interconnect between the two processors as well. This connection acts as a direct pipeline, so processor-to-processor data doesn’t need to travel to the I/O hub first. It’s another way the Mac Pro boosts performance across the board.

The Mac Pro meets the stringent low power requirements set by the EPA, giving it ENERGY STAR qualification. ENERGY STAR 5.0 sets significantly higher efficiency limits for power supplies and aggressive limits for the computer’s typical annual power consumption.

The new models include:

• Quad-Core – $2,499
– One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
– 6GB (three 2GB) memory
– 1TB hard drive
– 18x SuperDrive
– ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5
– One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
– Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
– Four FireWire 800 ports (two on front panel, two on back panel)
– Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
– Two USB 2.0 ports on included keyboard
– Front-panel headphone minijack and internal speaker
– Optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports
– Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
– Multichannel audio through Mini DisplayPort

• 12-Core – $3,799
– Two 2.4GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors
– 12GB (six 2GB) memory
– 1TB hard drive
– 18x SuperDrive
– ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5
– One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
– Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
– Four FireWire 800 ports (two on front panel, two on back panel)
– Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
– Two USB 2.0 ports on included keyboard
– Front-panel headphone minijack and internal speaker
– Optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports
– Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
– Multichannel audio through Mini DisplayPort

Server – $2,999
– One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
– 8GB (four 2GB) memory
– Two 1TB hard drives
– OS X Lion Server
– ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5
– One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
– Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
– Four FireWire 800 ports (two on front panel, two on back panel)
– Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
– Two USB 2.0 ports on included keyboard
– Front-panel headphone minijack and internal speaker
– Optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports
– Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
– Multichannel audio through Mini DisplayPort

All models are in stock at the Apple Store and available for ordering today.

More info about Apple’s new Mac Pro models here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is either an interim update to get Apple to a new model or the last Mac Pro update.

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65 Comments

      1. Theoretically, Thunderbolt could be implemented as card for a slot, as it is already done for some Asus motherboards.

        But yes, this is not good that they did not build it Thunderbolt and USB 3.0

        1. No Thunderbolt makes no sense as it’s the Pro market that’s going to build a market for Thunderbolt peripherals, not the consumer market (which will do just fine with USB).

    1. To be honest, the GHz numbers have been screwy for a while. You don’t know what the speed will be like until the benchmarks come in. These are new processors from Intel. My guess is that it will probe to be very fast… but the no Thunderbolt thing is just weird. It’s so weird it’s hard to complain because it’s hard to comprehend. I can’t wrap my head around it.

      Not only that but NO USB 3.0?

      So I personally wouldn’t touch that Mac Pro until the next iteration.

      1. 6GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon (12 cores)
        64GB (8x8GB)
        2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
        2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
        2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
        2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
        Two ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
        One 18x SuperDrive
        Apple LED Cinema Display (27″ flat panel)
        Apple Magic Mouse
        Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) & User’s Guide

        $10,448.00

        I CAN BUY A FEW IMACS and
        BUILD A NICE RENDER FARM for that money.

        pass

      2. Right. My Octo 2006 is still going to do a good render job till 2013 (2013-2014 is, anyway, the period i intend to upgrade my hard). If i’d used fiber, i wouldn’t need TB that much though.

      3. Pretty lame upgrade! The tower is a great design, hard to improve. Maybe a SATA dock in the 2nd DVD drive bay for swapping hard drives in and out.

        NO THUNDERBOLT, NO USB 3.0, NO SATA III
        USB 3.0 and SATA III could have and should have been in the last iteration, mid 2010. Still not there after two years! Shame on you Apple. Time to put the Pro back in the Mac Pro.

        Please, please, include all the above in a early 2013 model. I’m certainly skipping this “update”, as I did yor last. Jeez!!!

    1. … weak?
      OK, pardon my earlier complaints of “not even a Speed Bump. This is a Speed Bump. Seeing as they had so many items of greater interest to the hoi polloi than this, I can understand why nothing was mentioned in the Keynote. Still … thank you Apple, for the crumbs tossed our way.

      1. Yeah, no TB is a definite surprise. And the fact that they aren’t Ivy Bridge makes me think that this is a stopgap and they are going to do a proper update (hopefully soon)…

        This was basically just a speed bump.

  1. This has to be a minor interim refresh, I’ll bet a new one will be out soon with a slimmer form factor. There’s no way they would exclude thunderbolt, usb 3 ect…

  2. What a mess. Now we have to throw away 6 GB of useless RAM to upgrade to at least 16. In the past it was only 3. How can Apple do this? A pro machine with 6 GB of RAM is a joke.

    I bought 6 MacPros in April and May for my company and I upgraded them all by myself with up to 4 x 3 Terabytes and 16 or 32 GB of RAM. Much cheaper than at Apple, especially they do not offer 3 TB HDs.

    This MacPro update is a spit in the face of all Pro Users expecting Thundebolt, USB 3, better graphics, bigger HD, and more.

    I am so disappointed.

  3. These are NOT NOT NOT new models!! These are the OLD two-year old models given a (OLD) processor bump, as the 3.2 was the quad option two years ago; and the OLD style memory doubled from 3 to 6 gigs. This is the kind of update that should have been done in early 2011.

    NO USB 3.0, no thunderbolt, no 1600MHZ memory, and the 5770 graphics card?

    I think this means the MP is semi-officially being ended, but with an opportunity to get a “bargain” on two-year old tech for a few months.

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