(RED) Mac Pro: Apple SVP Jony Ive, Marc Newson Design One-Of-A-Kind Macintosh For Charity [PHOTOS]

 @redletterdave on October 26 2013 10:34 AM

The 2013 Mac Pro is a special computer for Apple: It's the company’s fastest, highest-end and most expandable Mac ever created by Apple -- twice as powerful as the previous Mac Pro at just one-eighth the size of its predecessor. It also symbolizes the company’s innovative spirit for radical engineering and design that “just works,” but the Mac Pro will mean even more in the fight against AIDS, as Apple SVP of human interface Jony Ive and designer Marc Newson have created a customized, one-of-a-kind Mac Pro for Bono and Bobby Shriver’s (RED) charity.

This particular Mac Pro, which is customized with a stunning red finish, will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. EST. Sotheby’s lists the estimate for the (RED) Mac Pro between $40,000 and $60,000. Check out these photos of the (RED) Mac Pro below.

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Sotheby’s does not list the specs of the (RED) Mac Pro, but the non-red 2013 Mac Pro from Apple, which starts at $2,999, will release in December with several different configurations for customers. The entry-level Mac Pro features a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12 GB of memory, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, and 256 of PCIe-based flash storage built-in. The high-end Mac Pro, which starts at $3,999, features a 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor (with options to upgrade to eight or 12 cores), up to 64 GB of memory, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs and up to 1 TB of flash storage. We have reached out to Apple and Sotheby’s for the particular specs of the (RED) Mac Pro, and we will update this story as soon as we learn more.

The (RED) Mac Pro isn’t the first time Ive and Newson have collaborated together. The design minds previously collided to produce a pair of Apple EarPods made of solid gold, a desk machined from solid aluminum, and a one-of-a-kind Leica M camera. These three products, in addition to the (RED) Mac Pro, will be auctioned via Sotheby’s On Nov. 23, and all proceeds will go directly to Product (RED). On its website, (RED) says it has raised over $215 million through the sale of (RED) products via companies like Apple and Starbucks to help the fight against AIDS.

About The 2013 Mac Pro

While the (RED) Mac Pro is truly unique, most Apple customers will still be happy with the conventional black shade of the 2013 Mac Pro, which in many ways resembles a Death Star with its radical cylindrical form factor wrapped around a thermal core. As we mentioned, the 2013 Mac Pro is just one-eighth the size of its predecessor with a diameter of 6.6 inches and a height of 9.9 inches, weighing just 11 pounds.

The next-generation Mac Pro features USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 1.4 ports, and six ports for the ultrafast Thunderbolt 2, which is Apple's new connectivity tech that delivers up to 20Gbps of bandwidth to each external device. Since each Thunderbolt 2 port supports up to six daisy-chained devices, the 2013 Mac Pro is ideal for transferring data between your Mac and up to 36 high-performance peripherals, such as external storage devices, PCI expansion chassis, A/V breakout boxes and even next-generation 4K desktop displays. Thunderbolt 2 makes it easy for the 2013 Mac Pro to connect to peripherals, but users care much more about how quickly they're able to boot up and multitask several applications at once. The 2013 Mac Pro features next-generation PCI Express flash storage, which is up to 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA-based SSDs and up to 10 times faster than a 7200-rpm SATA hard drive and ideal for launching massive files or applications such as Photoshop or Final Cut.

Of course, quick connectivity and boot-up times mean nothing unless the actual tasks perform equally fast. The 2013 Mac Pro is certainly no slouch in the computing department, with configurations up to 12 Xeon processing cores from Intel, dual workstation GPUs with simultaneous support for up to three high-resolution 4K desktop displays, and a four-channel DDR3 memory controller delivering up to 60GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is perfect for video exporting or simulations.

The ultrafast processing and connectivity of 2013 Mac Pro is made possible by the new unified thermal core; instead of utilizing multiple heat sinks and fans to cool the computer's processor and graphics cards, Apple designed a core out of a single piece of aluminum that maximizes airflow and thermal capacity by conducting heat away from the CPU and GPUs and distributing the heat evenly across the core of the Mac Pro. With this single core, the total thermal capacity of the computer can be shared efficiently among the processors, especially if one processor isn't working as hard as the others.

Obviously, the level of centralized thermal energy in the 2013 Mac Pro required an equally powerful and efficient fan, so again, Apple focused on engineering a single fan large enough to pull air upward through a vent at the bottom of the computer. Apple designed the Mac Pro's fan so air absorbs heat as it travels vertically through the center of the computer and carries it out the top. By also carefully engineering the number, size, shape and spacing of the blades, Apple was able to make the fan in the 2013 Mac Pro surprisingly quiet by minimizing air resistance with backward-curved impeller blades that run at fewer revolutions per minute to draw air more efficiently.

Unlike other Apple devices designed in California but built overseas, the 2013 Mac Pro is the first major Apple product manufactured and assembled in the U.S. -- specifically, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois, and Florida, among "a dozen other states across America," according to Apple.

What do you think of the 2013 Mac Pro? Do you prefer the (RED) Mac Pro? Will you buy the new Mac Pro when it sees its December release date? Sound off in the comments section below.

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