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Is the New Mac Pro Your Next Editing System?

Apple announced many upgrades to software and operating systems yesterday, but the biggest announcement that professional users have been waiting for was the Mac Pro. We were told that it would be worth waiting for and the new machine is clearly innovative. But is it for you?

The new Mac Pro is a clear departure from the previous design. Instead of a tower form factor where you can slide in several hard drives to store your files, Apple miniaturized the computer to the core elements, pushing storage and expansion needs to external add-on components.

For those heavily invested in towers for multiple internal hard drives, or PCI cards, and who have been waiting for a serious upgrade, the inability to move any of this hardware to the new Mac Pro certainly gives pause. But by reducing the core computer down to a 6"x9" tube, it creates essentially a Mac Mini Pro, with a real GPU and extensive connectability. This is what a lot of people have been clamoring for.

Key Features

Let's look at the computer's features, as described in Apple’s press release.

Up to 12 Cores

Apple promises “configurations up to 12 cores of computing power with Intel Xeon E5 processors."

This means that there will be lower-end models that will be more affordable. But as no price was announced, I expect that the Mac Pro will continue to command "Pro" prices and is not simply a Mac Mini Pro. I'd expect around $1,999 to start, with processor/SSD options easily pushing it to be over $4,000.

4 Slots of RAM

Apple Mac Pro

This will likely mean that processes that require gobs of RAM, like working with huge Photoshop images, will be amazingly fast. If that’s something you do regularly, order one of these puppies now. But for video processing, where the bottleneck is I/O-to-storage, the RAM speed improvements will likely not be noticeable.