Apple's shiny, short-statured monolith, the Mac Pro, will be available starting at $2,999 this December, the company announced Tuesday (Oct. 22) during an event in the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco. Assembled in the U.S., the Mac Pro is a sea change in comparison to the previous model, reducing its form factor to one-eighth the size of its predecessor. For $2,999, the svelte black Mac Pro comes with a 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon CPU, 12GB of DDR3 RAM, dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics chips each with 2GB of VRAM and a 256GB, PCIe-based SSD for storage.
Apple didn't just cram these beefier components into a smaller chassis. The company completely redesigned its professional-grade rig in a cylindrical fashion, with all of its innards wrapped around a central thermal cooling unit and a single cooling fan. According to Apple, this allows the Mac Pro to run quieter than even its Mac mini, at about 9 dB.
Digging a bit deeper into those flashy new components, Apple claims that the 1866MHz DDR3 RAM within the Mac Pro is capable of 60 GBps bandwidth and it easily accessible for upgrades. The new workstation's AMD FirePro chips can push up to 7 teraflops (floating point operations per second) of processing power and 528 GBps of total bandwidth, which can be used for computational tasks in addition to graphical work. (To put that into perspective, the average calculator runs about 10 FLOPS executing a single operation.) As for storage, the Mac Pro's 256GB of PCIe flash can work at up to 1.2 GBps read and 1 GBps write speeds. Finally, Mac Pro comes with six of Apple's Thunderbolt 2 ports, which can support up to six connected devices each at 20 GBps throughput.
Throw in support for up to three 4K displays through Thunderbolt 2, and the Mac Pro might just be the professional workstation to get once it lands this winter.