Apple has confirmed that the new Mac Pro will be released in December. Now that the month has arrived, customers are eager to find out the exact date of the Mac Pro's release. Here, we bring you the latest Mac Pro release date news.
Updated 9 December 2013 with 4K monitor information.
Welcome to our new Mac Pro release date, specs and features article. Here, we bring you everything we know about the new Mac Pro, including the new Mac Pro release date and the new Mac Pro price in the UK. We'll update this story as more information becomes available, so be sure to check back from time to time.
For more information about the new Mac Pro, you can read our Mac Pro first look and preview.
New Mac Pro release date: 16 December?
During its 22 October event, Apple talked up the features and specs of its new Mac Pro - but we already knew that the new Mac Pro was a powerhouse. What was news was the shipping date: Apple will be shipping the new Mac Pro in December.
When exactly in December was still a mystery, as Apple gave no further detail about the new Mac Pro's shipping date. However, on 4 December, German retailer Conrad Electronic began taking pre-orders for the new Mac Pro, claiming that customers would get their hands on the computer on 16 December. This date later changed to 17 December, but it's unclear whether this is due to high demand or a release date change.
The December launch could be due to supply constraints, it is possible that supply will be constrained as this is the first Mac that Apple is building in the USA. Let's hope it won't be a repeat of the iMac launch last year - most people couldn't get their hands on a new iMac before Christmas. We are sure that's not a mistake Apple wants to make twice, and CEO Tim Cook himself has admitted that he wishes the company had waited until the new year to launch the iMacs. We think that Apple is keen to avoid the delays its customers experienced getting their hands on new iMacs last autumn.
New Mac Pro monitor
The new Mac Pro can support up to three 4K monitors, but many potential customers have been concerned about the lack of 4K monitors in Apple's Store. Apple is currently selling its Thunderbolt display, but that's a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels compared with the 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
On 7 December, though, Apple began selling a 4K monitor from Sharp in its UK online store. The monitor was quickly removed, but not before it was spotted by eager customers and Apple watchers. The appearance of the Sharp monitor hints that Apple will be selling 4K monitors when it launches the Mac Pro this month.
New Mac Pro specs
The new Mac Pro uses the latest Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 cores, dual workstation-class GPUs, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, PCIe-based flash storage and ECC memory.
To break it down further, the new Mac Pro comes in two customisable configurations. The first is has a 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 with 10MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. This model has 12GB of user accessible memory and Dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics processors.
The second configuration has a 3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 with 12MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. It has 16GB memory and Dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics processors.
Both configurations come with 256GB of user accessible PCIe-based flash storage that's configurable to 512GB or 1TB.
The new Mac Pro can support up to three 4K displays or six Thunderbolt displays. In terms of conncetions, the new Mac Pro has four USB 3 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI 1.4 UltraHD.
As for WiFi, the new Mac Pro supports the faster 802.11ac WiFi, and it also has Bluetooth 4.0, too.
This new Mac should demonstrate that Apple still cares about its traditional market of power users, and it should turn a few heads when the results of the speed tests are published.
New Mac Pro pricing
The new Mac Pro price was one of the biggest questions after Apple first previewed it in June. A poll of Macworld readers suggests that potential customers were hoping for a price under £2,000, so they'll be disappointed.
The Mac Pro starts at £2,449. To find out more about the new Mac Pro price, visit our Mac Pro price in the UK article.
Will the new Mac Pro live up to expectations?
It's been a long time coming and the traditional user base has a hell of a big wish list. Many fear that the update will not meet their needs. Many of these pro users - particularly the ones who need the absolute best performance and the most expandability (and, it should be said, who were once Apple's bread and butter) – already believe that Apple has abandoned them. It is likely they have already bought specialized workstations from other vendors.
We asked video pros for their thoughts about the new Mac Pro. Read our article New Mac Pro reaction: Video pros speak about GPU and storage concerns to find out more. Concerns include fears about expansion, concerns about storage and problems with existing software not working with the new Mac Pro.
What is the Mac Pro?
The Mac Pro is not the same machine as the MacBook Pro, as any professional Mac user knows. However, for some of those pro Mac users the MacBook Pro is now adequate for their needs.
However, the Mac Pro is a very different machine to the MacBook Pro. It's not a high-powered consumer computer and it isn't even a business computer used in a design setting. It's a workstation, and workstations operate to different rules to desktop computers.
The Mac Pro is the tower system for Mac professionals who like adding things other than stickers to their computer. It's designed to be used by a single person who requires serious computing power.
The typical market for workstations is 3D mechanical design, engineering simulation, animation studios, and video production houses. Over the years the Mac Pro has risen in popularity with this group, only to fade as Apple failed to keep up with the times. Now this market don't lack for serious alternatives that are cheaper, updated more frequently and have similar - or even better - levels of software support.
Apple's update to the Mac Pro may have come just in time, or it may have missed the boat.
While the Mac Pro has languished, Apple has pursued the highly profitable consumer market. Some question whether Apple should even bother with the professional user in this new era of iPads and iPhones? Didn't Steve Jobs say the PC was dead?
Apple's apparent lack of interest in its Mac tower over the past few years had lead many to suppose that the company intended to lay the Mac Pro to rest. The Mac Pro's current design was introduced 10 years ago at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2003. Call it a design classic by all means, but the Mac Pro case is still long in the tooth. Ten years is a heck of a long time in computing. Since the launch of the G5, which introduced the classic Mac Pro tower design, much has changed in the world of desktop computers. Bear in mind that Apple introduced the G4 Sunflower iMac in the same year, and look at how much the iMac has changed in that time.
The Mac Pro: Banned in Europe
Since back in March, the Mac Pro has been unavailable to buy in Europe. Apple was been forced to stop selling the Mac Pro in Europe. An amendment to a safety regulation left the professional Mac incompliant and left Apple with no choice but to stop shipping the Mac Pro to these countries on 1 March.
Apple told Macworld that the amendment to the IEC 60950-1 regulation increases requirements around electrical port protection and the fan guards in the system. Apple told us that it still considers the Mac Pro to be a very safe and very reliable product, however, so if you own one there is no need to panic.
At issue are the large fans within the Mac Pro. Since they are unprotected, it would be possible to touch the fan blades. According to Apple, the new requirements necessitate fan guards and some increased protection on the ports on the electrical system.
New Mac Pro: time to change
To comply with the safety regulations mentioned above, Apple has had to make some internal changes to the machine, we were glad to see more than fan guards in the new model however. The aging Mac really did need a bit of a facelift.