- Fast processors
- Good game frame-rate performance
- Additional ports on front and back
- Huge memory capacity
- Lack of a sub-$2,000 entry-level model
- Limited performance gains in software not optimized for multi-core systems
- Pricey, rare RAM format
- Non-native software (notably Adobe Creative Suite) must be translated via Rosetta
At A Glance
Apple completes its transition to Intel-based hardware with this Power Mac replacement that's powered by two dual-core Intel Xeon chips. Unlike its previous desktop offerings, Apple has just one standard configuration -- but there are millions of different configurations. Most notably, Mac users can select dual-core 2GHz, 2.66GHz, or 3GHz chips; they can choose between several different graphics card options; they can stock the four hard-drive bays with extra storage (up to TB); and they can max out the installed Fully Buffered Memory modules to 16GB. AirPort Express and Bluetooth wireless connectivity are options as well; there is no installed modem.
It provides four hard-drive bays and a cable-free installation process with no cables or connectors to trouble you. A tool-less PCi bracket simplifies the installation and removal of expansion cards. The double-wide graphics slot means you don't have to sacrifice a valuable expansion slot. Eight FB-DIMM slots on two riser cards offer quick, easy memory installation. And you'll find more ports up front for added convenience including a FireWire 800 and another USB 2.0 port.Every Mac Pro comes with a single 16x SuperDrive, but a second bay lets you outfit your Mac Pro with a pair of SuperDrives. Talk about productivity gains, with two 16X SuperDrives, you can simultaneously read from one drive and write to the other. Read from both drives. Or even write to both.