Mac Pro

The Mac Pro is a Macintosh workstation manufactured by Apple Computer based on Intel Xeon microprocessors and a PCI Express architecture. Apple introduced the Mac Pro on August 7, 2006 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (announced by Schiller at 10:08 AM), to replace the Power Macintosh G5. Along with the new Xeon-based XServes, the Mac Pro completes Apple's transition from the PowerPC to Intel architecture.

By 2006 standards, the Mac Pro is a comparatively high-end machine, with four CPU cores, four hard drive bays, two optical drive bays and two RAM risers. In addition to the new processors, the switch to the Intel-based system has brought with it a large improvement in the computer's overall throughput. The system uses FB-DIMMs running at 667 MHz on two independent 1333 MHz busses, includes four PCI Express (PCIe) slots that can be configured individually to give more bandwidth to devices that require it, and features four SATA 300 MB/s ports for the hard drives. In comparison, the last versions of the G5 series used DDR2 RAM running at 533 MHz, PCIe with one 16x, one 8x and two 4x slots, and SATA 150 for the drives.

The exterior of the aluminum case is similar to that of the Power Mac G5, with the exception of an additional optical drive bay, and a new arrangement of I/O ports on both the front and the back. The Xeon processors generate so much less heat that a large volume previously used to house the cooling system for the G5 processors was able to be left empty. This allowed the interior to be re-arranged, leaving more room at the top of the case and allowing the drives to double in number. Unlike other recent Mac products, the Mac Pro does not include the infrared receiver needed to use the Apple Remote, nor is Front Row included.

The Mac Pro features a new expansion system that allows expansion cards to be installed with no tools (the required screws are "captive" in the case), and hard drives are added using a cable-free slide-in system that likewise requires no tools. The "first" PCIe slot is double-wide, allowing larger video cards to be used without having to abandon one of the other slots, a common problem in the average PC and PowerMac. The Mac Pro does not support SLI or Crossfire, however, which limits its ability to support the latest generation of high-end video cards. The Mac Pro is very quiet in normal operation.

Marketing materials for the Mac Pro generally refer to the middle-of-the-line model with 2.66 GHz processors. In the past Apple has featured the base model with the words "starting at" or "from" when describing the pricing, but the Apple Store lists the "Mac Pro at $2499", the price for the mid-range model. The base model can be configured at $2124, much more comparable with the former base-model dual-core G5 at $1999, although offering considerably more processing power.

* Processors: Two dual-core Xeon 5100 Series ("Woodcrest" Core architecture) processors at 2, 2.66 or 3 GHz

* Memory: Minimum 1 GB 667 MHz DDR2 buffered ECC RAM (upgradeable to 16 GB), in eight FB-DIMM slots

* Graphics: nVidia GeForce 7300 GT 256 MB (up to 4 total), ATI X1900 XT 512 MB or nVidia Quadro FX 4500 512 MB

* Storage: Four drive bays for Serial ATA hard disks: included disks have 8 MB cache and run at 7200 RPM (Up to 500 GB each bay; 2 TB total)

* Optical Drive: 16x SuperDrive (multiple DVD write formats), optional second drive. Optical bays support ATA/100 and SATA.

* Networking: Dual Gigabit Ethernet, optional AirPort Extreme 802.11g

* I/O: Five USB 2.0 (two on front), two FireWire 400 (one on front), two FireWire 800 (one on front), optical audio input and output, 3.5 mm stereo audio input and output (one output on front), optional Bluetooth

* Software: Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger, iLife '06, Comic Life, OmniOutliner, various trial software.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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