This isn't merely the ultimate Mac, but an impossibly idealistic concept for a fast, green, silent, rugged, expandable, and affordable top-end workstation, made real
- Fast, green, silent, rugged, expandable
If my take is right, then the 2009 Nehalem Mac Pro hardware platform, once purchased, is one that should stay stable and upgradable until, say, PCI Express 3 becomes an imperative.
Price$ 5,899.00 (AUD)
You can't tell from the outside that Apple's new two-socket, eight-core Mac Pro, based on Intel's new Nehalem Xeon CPU, is much changed from the two-socket, quad-core Mac Pro that preceded it. The only giveaway? One front panel FireWire port has been upped from 400Mbps to 800Mbps.
If Apple hewed to PC tradition, that port, and the swapped-in Nehalem guts, would be the headline changes to the platform. Nehalem Mac Pro could get my attention, and the attention of the top echelon of Mac users, with that alone. What completely blows me away is that Nehalem Mac Pro is a reengineering of the entire Mac Pro platform, the 2006 edition of which set a bar for build quality that nothing in its price class can touch.
Apple used Nehalem as an occasion to build the ideally fast and modern Mac, but it didn't stop there. In the new Mac Pro, Apple also created a computing platform that satisfies a combination of criteria that buyers only dream of demanding: Toxin-free, recyclable, quiet, low power, rugged, transportable, field-repairable, upgradable without tools, broadly configurable, internally and externally expandable, and the kicker, affordable.
Nehalem certainly deserves its due. It is thoroughly modernized with on-chip memory controllers, three-level cache, and a point-to-point bus design. The 1066MHz DDR3 RAM is the fastest memory yet made. Based on Apple's numbers, it looks like Nehalem packs 50 to 90 percent more firepower into the Mac Pro chassis compared to prior and current top configurations. The arrival of Intel's world-class architecture couldn't be more timely. Nehalem Mac Pro is a hand-in-glove fit for the full 64-bit Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) that will put Mac Pro on par with two-processor RISC Unix workstations.
I'm embarking on a full review, with performance testing, of the top-end Nehalem Mac Pro now, but I got an early look at a more basic Mac Pro config expressly so that I could share some of the more remarkable aspects of the platform. Some of the enhancements are new, and some continue along the path set by the original Mac Pro, but in combination, they afford owners a unique level of flexibility and investment protection. And they mark the new Mac Pro as wildly different.
Like the Mac Pro before it, Nehalem Mac Pro is loaded with I/O. This front panel has a headphone jack, along with two USB 2.0 ports and two 800Mbps FireWire ports. There are three more USB 2.0 ports, two more FireWire 800 ports, stereo line in and out, TOSLINK optical digital audio in and out, and two gigabit Ethernet ports around back. One day, these 800Mbps FireWire ports will be killer conduits to external storage, but cables and adapters for 400Mbps peripherals are available.
Mac Pro has four internal, side-facing 3.5-inch SATA drive bays. Empty bays are filled with aluminum drive trays in which you can mount raw SATA drives. Hard drives and PCI Express 2 expansion cards plug into Mac Pro the same way, by being inserted into backplane sockets. There are no loose hard drive cables in the system or in the drive trays, just SATA plug headers stuck right onto the logic board that mate directly with the drives. Inserting and removing drive trays requires no tools, and is so easy that you may, as I do, treat these as removable storage.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Intel ships latest Itanium chip called Kittson, but grim future looms
- Samsung Galaxy S7 hardware will come to the DragonBoard 820c computer
- Now you can try Microsoft's supersized Surface Hub before buying
- Samsung scraps a Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, shrinks Artik line
- Google wants to add AI to gadgets made using Raspberry Pi
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCPerformance TesterQLD
- TPWintel EngineerVIC
- FTPMO Project Analytics and Tools ManagerNSW
- CCOracle WebLogic AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Forecasting SASNSW
- FTOracle eBusiness Functional Consultant. (Procurement)NSW
- FTAEM Architect - Blue Chip companyNSW
- FTSenior Full Stack Software Engineer, C#, Financial ServicesNSW
- FTInformation Security ConsultantACT
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTSecurity Support AnalystNSW
- FTApplication Team Lead - ERP & Microsoft TechnologiesNSW
- TPGIS Officer | Map InfoQLD
- CCDevelopment Lead - Java - TelcoVIC
- CCWeb Data Entry PublisherACT
- CCBusiness Analyst Team LeadQLD
- FTLead Change Manager- Culture & Process ChangeNSW
- TPAutomation Test AnalystSA
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPProject Manager | HealthQLD
- CCSharePoint Developer - Multiple Roles - 3-6 Mth Contract Initially - SydneyNSW
- FTSoftware Development ManagerACT
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC