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Mac Pro/Quad 2.66GHz Xeon

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At a Glance
  • Apple Mac Pro/Quad 2.66GHz Xeon

The Mac Pro gives professional Mac users more processor power, storage options, and external ports than the previous Power Mac line -- and at a better value, too. But this new system isn't for everyone: If you don't run high-end professional applications and don't need a huge amount of internal storage or access to PCI Express slots, you might find that the remarkably powerful 20-inch iMac Core Duo is a much better value.

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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.


    • 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
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