Apple begins taking pre-orders for redesigned, American-made Mac Pro

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
As promised, Apple on Thursday initiated sales of its highly-anticipated Mac Pro desktop, with some orders placed through the company's digital storefront shipping by Dec. 30. Supplies appear extremely limited out of the gate, however, with custom configured models showing delivery dates into February.

Update: Reports are coming in that certain BTO configurations, especially those with maxed-out specifications, are showing delivery dates pushed back to the first week of February. Specifically, one iOS developer in California, who ordered immediately after the Mac Pro went up for sale, is seeing a delivery date of Feb. 7. A screenshot of their order specifications can be found below.

Mac Pro


The official release of the redesigned Mac Pro has been a long time coming, but Apple finally kicked off sales of its cylindrical desktop as promised. With Thursday's opening of orders, Apple will just barely meet a self-imposed December deadline it announced in October as ship-by dates are set at Dec. 30 for base configurations, while build-to-order options push delivery into January.

Mac Pro


At launch, customers can purchase configurations starting at a base price of $2,999. The low-end version comes with a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each, 12GB of ECC DDR3 RAM, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

A higher-tier model can be configured with 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of VRAM each, 16GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD. Base price for this model is $3,999.

Mac Pro


In addition to the standard configurations, build-to-order models are also available, with options including faster 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processors, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of VRAM, up to 64GB of memory, and up to 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage.

In addition to Apple, pre-orders are similarly now available from Apple Authorized Resellers MacMall and B&H Photo, which offer considerable savings when you take into account that B&H only charges sales tax on orders shipped to NY and MacMall only taxes orders shipped to CA, NY, IL, WI, MN, CO, TN, NC and GA. At roughly 8% average tax, that's a savings of at least $240 per Mac Pro for readers outside those states.

When the Mac Pro was announced in October, AppleInsider was able to get a hands-on look at the radically redesigned pro-level machine.

Instead of continuing with the boxy form factor of older Mac Pros, which carried over a design based on the PowerMac first introduced in 2003, the black aluminum cylinder has been completely rethought with an eye on future-proofing.

At the core of Apple's new halo-computer is a triangular heat sink, onto which all major components and boards are mounted. The so-called "unified thermal core" is key to the Mac Pro's compact size, Apple says.

As for components, the company went with a fast PCIe flash storage solution clocked at 1250MB/s. This compares to current SATA flash solution speeds of 500MB/s and SATA HDD's 110MB/s. Instead of swappable drives, Apple chose to lean on Thunderbolt 2 for storage expansion, a direction in which many professionals are moving with increasingly data-heavy workflows.

Memory


The copious six Thunderbolt 2 ports join four USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one HDMI 1.4 port and audio in/out. For many, Thunderbolt 2 is likely the main attraction with support for 20Gbps throughput, up to six daisy-chained peripherals per port and backward compatibility with current Thunderbolt hardware. A host of components can be connected via Thunderbolt 2, including the recently released Pegasus2 RAID array from Promise Technology.

Memory has also been switched to four-channel ECC DDR3 modules running at 1866 MHz, capable of supplying bandwidth up to 60GB/s. These speeds double those of the outgoing Mac Pro.

All the internals fit into a svelte 11-pound chassis coming in at only 9.9-inches tall and 6.6-inches in diameter. The footprint of the machine is vastly smaller than the Mac Pro tower it replaces.

At this time, Mac Pro stock levels are unknown, though Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Wednesday that production of the desktop has ramped up at the Austin, Tex. plant tasked with manufacturing the computer.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 141
    Beast
  • Reply 2 of 141
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation.

     

    The reason is, OpenCL is not a gimmick limited to a few specialised apps any more, it is the future of performance computing. CPUs have been getting what, 10-15% faster with each new generation, but when I run programs on my GPU (provided it's a data parallel task, which is a lot of tasks if you model it right) it is 1000x faster (and I mean that literally not hyperbolically).

     

    Currently I develop my OpenCL solns on my Mac with it's Nvidia 650M and then port them to my Linux compute box where I leave them running for days on end. It has dual AMD GPUs. In theory the Mac Pro should be able to take it's place. But the best the Mac Pro has is D700s which is the equivalent (I believe) of dual HD 7970 consumer cards, which is what my "slow" compute box has. My fast compute box has already been upgraded to dual R9 290x's in the last few weeks.

     

    But it depends: Apple always take a whole-of-system approach, so I suspect they would have spent a long time optimising OS X OpenCL drivers, ready for release at the same time as this box, so I'll definitely be looking with interest.

  • Reply 3 of 141
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,606member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

     

    The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation...


    Will be interesting to hear about the experiences of those who require an external cage for specialist boards. I myself don't but use Mathematica, do you think that this will benefit - http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/OpenCLLink/tutorial/Overview.html ?

  • Reply 4 of 141
    Meanwhile in Australia Apple and price gouging, charging us over a thousand dollars more than in the US. At the current exchange rate, that's about a $900 premium over the US. Time for the ACCC to interview Apple again
  • Reply 5 of 141
    noelosnoelos Posts: 104member
    I assume you're accounting for the fact Australian prices include GST while US sales tax is applied separately.
  • Reply 6 of 141
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,606member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jcbigears View Post



    Meanwhile in Australia Apple and price gouging, charging us over a thousand dollars more than in the US. At the current exchange rate, that's about a $900 premium over the US. Time for the ACCC to interview Apple again

    My understanding is that the U.S. store doesn't charge taxes whereas the Australian store charges the G.S.T. at 10%. Makes a difference if I am correct. :)

  • Reply 7 of 141
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,750member
    What a spoilsport, Neolos. Taking sales tax in the USA and GST in Australia would make the difference less significant. How could JC bitch about that? Apple Au have gotten a lot slacker about the Apple tax lately. Maybe they haven't been taking as big an exchange rate risk factor into account as they have in the past.

    Back on topic, the fact they are making the sharp 4K monitor available does not bode well for an update to the apple display. Where is the updated display with TB2 and USB3? If Apple doesn't bother what TB2 monitor options are there? Won't be putting three 4k monitors on that shiny new MP using HDMI.
  • Reply 8 of 141
    ascii wrote: »
    The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation.

    Doubtful.
  • Reply 9 of 141
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

     

    Will be interesting to hear about the experiences of those who require an external cage for specialist boards. I myself don't but use Mathematica, do you think that this will benefit - http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/OpenCLLink/tutorial/Overview.html ?


    I'm sorry my friend, I use Wolfram Alpha quite a lot but not Mathematica, and don't know what the best box would be for you. All the best.

  • Reply 10 of 141
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post





    Doubtful.

    Well, only time will tell. A lot of people said "doubtful" about the iPhone too.

  • Reply 11 of 141
    T
    iqatedo wrote: »
    My understanding is that the U.S. store doesn't charge taxes whereas the Australian store charges the G.S.T. at 10%. Makes a difference if I am correct. :)
    hat would account for $300. The rest? Shipping?
  • Reply 12 of 141
    ascii wrote: »
    Well, only time will tell. A lot of people said "doubtful" about the iPhone too.

    No they didn't. The only hesitation at the time was the high initial price, but that was negated a few months later by price drops, and completely a year later with full AT&T subsidies. After that it was full speed ahead.
  • Reply 13 of 141
    ascii wrote: »
    Well, only time will tell. A lot of people said "doubtful" about the iPhone too.
    Very true and if such a thing comes to pass I will readily admit my error.
  • Reply 14 of 141
    cash907 wrote: »
    No they didn't. The only hesitation at the time was the high initial price, but that was negated a few months later by price drops, and completely a year later with full AT&T subsidies. After that it was full speed ahead.

    Actually there were many:

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/ip-telephony/11-more-reasons-not-to-buy-an-iphone-and-that-you-havent-thought-of/1890

    http://suckbusters2.blogspot.com/2007/06/apple-iphone-debut-to-flop-product-to.html?m=1

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/ptech/07/03/iphone/

    Plus many more. Wrong in hindsight obviously but at the time there were many doubt about the iPhone.
  • Reply 15 of 141
    adybadyb Posts: 184member

    Childish I know, but I can dream!!

     

  • Reply 16 of 141
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jcbigears View Post



    T

    hat would account for $300. The rest? Shipping?



    Probably import duties, shipping, insurance.



    http://customs.gov.au/site/page5663.asp



    Also, Apple probably pays money to buy futures contracts to hedge against currency fluctuations, which has to also be added to the price in Australia.







     

  • Reply 17 of 141
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,047member

    This person is ordering through the educational or government store to get this price along with AppleCare for $199. Does the person really qualify for this price? ADC members don't get a discount anymore. I checked his configuration and it shows shipping in January so a February delivery date sounds reasonable. The only product that appears to ship in December is the stock configuration.

     

    Maxing out still comes in under $10K w/o monitor, which isn't that bad when you consider the monster you're getting.

     

    It didn't take OWC/MacSales long to undercut Apple's RAM price: 64GB for $895 (Lifetime warranty). No PCIe flash storage yet.

     

    I was hoping for a new Apple monitor but they only show the current 27" Thunderbolt display plus the Sharp 4K. $1K for a 27" monitor is high but it does include a FW800 port for existing FireWire devices so you wouldn't have to immediately purchase an interface box.

  • Reply 18 of 141
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Placed my order at 5 a.m. Mac Pro and the 27" TB display. Now the wait .... :D
  • Reply 19 of 141
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    ascii wrote: »
    The new Mac Pro really is the future of Workstations. Just like 2 years after the iPhone came out, all phones looked like the iPhone, same will happen with this workstation.

    The reason is, OpenCL is not a gimmick limited to a few specialised apps any more, it is the future of performance computing. CPUs have been getting what, 10-15% faster with each new generation, but when I run programs on my GPU (provided it's a data parallel task, which is a lot of tasks if you model it right) it is 1000x faster (and I mean that literally not hyperbolically).

    Currently I develop my OpenCL solns on my Mac with it's Nvidia 650M and then port them to my Linux compute box where I leave them running for days on end. It has dual AMD GPUs. In theory the Mac Pro should be able to take it's place. But the best the Mac Pro has is D700s which is the equivalent (I believe) of dual HD 7970 consumer cards, which is what my "slow" compute box has. My fast compute box has already been upgraded to dual R9 290x's in the last few weeks.

    But it depends: Apple always take a whole-of-system approach, so I suspect they would have spent a long time optimising OS X OpenCL drivers, ready for release at the same time as this box, so I'll definitely be looking with interest.

    That is some rig you have, I bet it's cool for playing games ;)
  • Reply 20 of 141
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,737member
    jcbigears wrote: »
    Meanwhile in Australia Apple and price gouging, charging us over a thousand dollars more than in the US. At the current exchange rate, that's about a $900 premium over the US. Time for the ACCC to interview Apple again
    Blame your government for that. All electronics is much more expensive there.
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