At a Glance
- 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
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.
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.