New Apple Mac Pro: the high-end music computer strikes back

Flagship machine brings raw power back to the fore

It's been ten years Apple launched the Power Mac G5 and, despite this being superseded by the Mac Pro in 2006, the physical design of the company's flagship computer has remained pretty similar ever since.

That's set to change, though, with the release of the new Mac Pro, a 9.9-inch cylindrical affair that promises to be up to 2.5 times faster than the current model and was announced earlier this week.

"With the latest Xeon processors, dual FirePro GPUs, ECC memory, PCIe-based flash and Thunderbolt 2, all built around a revolutionary thermal core, the next generation Mac Pro is the most radical Mac yet," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

"All this performance and expandability is packed into a dramatic new design that's one-eighth the volume, and best of all, it will be assembled here in the USA."

You can read more about the new Mac Pro's specs on the Apple website, but what's significant is that it confirms that Apple is still interested in building high-performance computers for users who need a lot of power. Computer musicians, for example.

When we asked him for his predictions for 2013 late last year, FXpansion's Angus Hewlett correctly nominated a refresh for the Mac Pro, adding that "2013 should see the return of the high-end workstation. While traditional laptops may get left behind by tablets, people will still want big iron for big jobs."

It seems that Apple agrees with him. We can only hope that this announcement will serve as a precursor to the release of the long-awaited Logic Pro X update.

For now, it's good to know that, even as the world continues to obsess over the finer details of iOS 7 and iTunes Radio, the Mac and its operating system (which is also set for an update to OS X Mavericks later this year) are still very much on Apple's roadmap.

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