PC Magazine reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Stunning, astonishing, Editors’ Choice

“There’s no ignoring it, the new Apple Mac Pro (2013) is stunning,” Brian Westover writes for PC Magazine. “Aside from the occasional joke about the resemblance to more mundane objects—garbage cans, coffee makers, wine chillers—the Mac Pro (2013) has been grabbing attention because of it’s complete lack of resemblance to every other boxy desktop on the market. But that distinctive look isn’t the only thing that’s different.”

“The Mac Pro (2013) is a powerhouse in an astonishingly small and compact chassis, with a design that embraces innovations in manufacturing, cooling technology, and embodies concepts that may very well shape the future of the desktop PC.,” Westover writes. “There are plenty of details to discuss, but one stands out—the Apple Mac Pro (2013) is our new Editors’ Choice for single processor workstation desktops, and one of the best premium desktops period.”

“Our review unit of the Mac Pro isn’t the standard pre-built system available for order. The entry-level Mac Pro comes with a quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor and 12GB of RAM, two FirePro D300 GPUs (each with 2GB of dedicated memory), and 128GB of local flash memory. This is the lowest-tier system in the Mac Pro lineup, but also the most affordable, sell for $2,999. At the other end of the spectrum, a version of the Mac Pro kitted out with the best of everything rings up for $9,566: A 12-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU, 64GB of RAM, two AMD FirePro D700 GPUS, and 1TB of PCIe mounted flash memory,” Westover writes. “Our review unit falls somewhere in between, but decidedly on the more expensive end of the scale. Selling for $6,799 through the Apple Store, our review unit isn’t a standard model, but is instead upgraded to an 8-core Intel Xeon E5 processor (Xeon E5-1680 v2 at 3.0GHz), paired with 32GB of RAM, 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage, and outfitted with two AMD FirePro D700 GPUs (with 6GB of dedicated memory each).”

Much more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s new Mac Pro. For when you absolutely, positively have to sequence the human genome before lunch.

Related articles:
The New York Times reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Deeply futuristic; extremely, ridiculously fast and powerful – December 26, 2013
The Verge reviews Apple’s new Mac Pro: Unlike anything the PC industry’s ever seen – December 23, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple’s new Mac Pro: In a league of its own – December 23, 2013
The first 24 hours with Apple’s new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 (with video) – December 20, 2013
T3 Mac Pro review: Unboxing, hands-on, and first impressions – December 20, 2013
Apple’s powerful new Mac Pro a good value; far from the most expensive high-end Mac or high-end PCs – December 20, 2013
CNET hands on: Apple’s radically reimagined Mac Pro is a powerhouse performer – December 20, 2013


      1. Depends on what you mean by serious. Mac OSX is built on Unix. Fire up “Terminal” to see it in action. Some will argue it doesn’t get more serious than that. Anecodtal evidence can also been seen on many of the major “science” shows on TV where Macs are often featured prominently in the hands of researchers. When it comes to hardcore math it doesn’t get much more serious than Matlab (mathworks.com). And when all else fails I’m running Win7 via Parallels when I need an obscure piece of SW that is only on Windows. And by the way – Win7 is much more stable and fast on my Mac than any PC hardware I’ve ever used it on and I can hide it like any other app when not in use. Yes – it’s a resource hog so I don’t recommend backgrounding it – but it can be done for fast copy/paste etc when needed.

        Hope that helps…

  1. I’m pretty certain her got all the SSD sizes incorrect. 256GB is the base model size (not 128) and his review unit most certainly had 1TB (not 512). The 8 core/1TB/D700 is what reviewers seem to be receiving.

  2. I would like to know how often old Mac Pro users upgraded their CPUs, and GPUs. I don’t think it’s as often as the article implies. If the processors are removable, even if it’s difficult, then a tech geek will offer their services. We will know when I Fix It gets theirs. I could be wrong, I thought one of the benefits of Mavericks is that it could use idle GPUs to do some of the CPU’s work. This would cut down on the need for two GPUs.

    1. I’ve worked for a number of different creative services groups, ranging in side from three users to 30, and I can tell you in my entire career the number of times someone opened the case to swap out anything other than a hard drive was literally ZERO. We needed the high-end power of the old Mac Pro to handle Photoshop, Quark and Adobe apps, but now the high-end iMacs have all the speed we need (or could use).

    2. We upgraded a few GPU’s (swapped video cards) however a couple of those came back to bite us (Mavericks wouldn’t boot in a couple older MacPro’s (08’s) till we swapped the OEM card back in)

      We actually don’t do it anymore (ram and storage upgrades only), as I realized it is a false economy. You are better served by selling the CPU (or system in the iMac’s case) and just buying the new one. Upgrading one component does give a boost (in that component) however, you are nearly always better served by spending a bit more (the difference between what you sell the old one and the new one)

      I don’t see the “non-upgradability” of iPhone’s or iPads as a liability, nor do I see it as a problem in the iMac’s (we still have some mostly in admin roles) So, I don’t foresee it as a problem with the new Mac pro’s. I am sure their will be a vigorous used market when the time comes that we feel the state of the art has passed us by.

      The other advantage to this strategy is you are getting new state of the art throughout the system (not just upgrading the graphics board) a new warranty, and you are wasting nothing (like we did storing the old cards sitting in a closet, or worse just disposing of old upgraded components)

  3. If I had around $3000 burning a hole in my pocket, I’d be totally happy with the base model. I might make the RAM 16GB, because “12GB (3x4GB)” seems like an odd config, so it would cost $3099.

    Actually, I’ll probably look for one used about three or four years from now… 🙂

  4. I feel like oneof the lucky ones as I ordered my Mac Pro the other day. I deliberated what I would want vs what I really needed. When all was said and done I ordered it with teh 6 core CPU, the 256 GB SSD (I will be using externals for storage), 16 GB RAM, and the W500 GPUs. I work with FCPX quite a bit, and Photoshop (with large panorama files). My MBP is too slow for these apps, and I got tired of waiting for things to render. I can’t wait to get this unit! No more waiting around, and way more productivity!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.