Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on Thursday released the new Mac Pro, the company’s highly-anticipated cylindrically shaped desktop, on its online store and the machines are expected to start shipping by Dec. 30.
The company announced the availability of the redesigned Mac Pro on Wednesday, highlighting the device's latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage, and ultra-fast ECC memory.
Apple offers the new Mac Pro in two basic configurations -- the entry-level $2,999 model and the more powerful $3,999 version -- with extensive build-to-order options for buyers who want to customize their system.
The $2,999 version of the Mac Pro is powered by a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each, 12GB of ECC DDR3 RAM, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.
The pricier $3,999 version of the device features a 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of VRAM each, 16GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD.
In addition to the standard configurations, the build-to-order options include an eight or twelve-core Intel Xeon E5 chip, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of dedicated memory, up to 64GB of memory and up to 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage.
According to Apple, each of the systems comes equipped with the new Thunderbolt 2 I/O (with up to 20Gbps of bandwidth for per device), USB 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and ships with the company’s latest OS X Mavericks operating system. The new Mac Pro also can drive up to three 4K displays with HDMI 1.4 support.
Thanks to the ECC DDR3 RAM, the Mac Pro can deliver up to 60GBps of memory bandwidth, which Apple claims will allow users to seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background.
The new Mac Pro is also Apple’s first product to be entirely assembled in the U.S. following CEO Tim Cook’s pledge to domesticate some of the company’s production processes after years of criticism over working conditions at Apple's contractors in mainland China.
And though Apple has not announced plans to manufacture other products in the U.S., recent developments such as Apple's plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Mesa, Ariz., suggest that the company may be heading in that direction.