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Mac Pro quad-core: A good investment for users of multi-core Mac apps

James Galbraith | March 17, 2014
Though we call them late 2013 Mac Pros, it took us until March of this year to receive our new entry-level Mac Pro. Apple released the redesigned Mac Pro near the end of last December, but high demand quickly pushed the systems' estimated ship date to February 2014 and beyond. At $2999, the least-expensive Mac Pro features a single quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor running at 3.7GHz, 256GB of PCIe connected flash storage, 12GB of RAM, and dual AMD D500 graphics with 2GB of VRAM each.

As we've said before, for many casual tasks, an iMac might perform better than a Mac Pro. Our 2013 CTO 27-inch iMac with quad core 3.5GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, 3TB Fusion Drive, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M graphics posted a 12 percent higher Speedmark 9 score than the new entry-level Mac Pro. The biggest difference was in the iMovie test — Intel's Core i7 processors support quick sync video and Xeon processors do not. A task that took the iMac 47 seconds to complete took 3 minutes and 48 seconds on our new Mac Pro.

Bottom line
For pros that use apps that take advantage of multiple processing cores, the Mac Pro is a time-saver, but is probably overkill for everyday tasks. The $2999 Mac Pro is a real step up from its predecessor.


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