Apple might have dropped the word "Computers" from its company name, but that hasn't stopped the company making them. The latest is the MacPro, the company's desktop model. We lived with the new computer for almost a month. So were we reluctant to give it back or calling Apple to take it away? Read on to find out.
Powerful, large and metal are three words that would help us describe the MacPro along with expensive, impressive and envious.
Powerful because the test unit we were sent featured two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, 4GB of memory across 4x 1GB slots, a ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2x dual-link DVI) graphics card, three (yes three) 500GB hard drives, a 16x Superdrive including CD and DVD burner, and finally a 20-inch Apple Cinema Display.
Large and metal because all that technology has to fit in somewhere and the case for the desktop is one of the tallest tower cases we've seen. Made out of brushed aluminium on the sides (complete with large apple logo), the front and rear of the machine is also made out of aluminium but with plenty of holes in it for ventilation and style (see images). The end result is one of the most stylish desktop cases we've seen on the market, but one that is also likely to take a large chunk of your under desk space.
The expensive part comes in when you see the price tag for the above. While Apple will happily promote prices for the MacPro starting as low as £1500, anyone wanting to opt for the above powerhouse we reviewed will have to find a further £3429.01. At a total price of £4927.01 you will get the 20-inch display and the three 500GB hard drives, but also a large hole in your bank balance.
Once you've recovered from the price heart attack, the impressive bit comes when you actually start using it. It might be the price of a brand new small family car, however, to use Microsoft's advertising slogan for Vista - wow.
Understandably the processing speed and 4GB memory means that applications open in an instant and the spinning beach ball of death is no where to be seen. Video editing with iMovieHD - something that takes an age on our PowerBook G4 1.25Ghz laptop - was done in a fraction of the time.
Other power-hungry applications such as Adobe's Photoshop or desktop publishing applications such as Quark or InDesign didn't seem to have any problems either even when we chose to run them all at the same time.
The final word we used to describe the MacPro was Envious. Why? Because if Apple has said - "Don't worry, we won't be picking this one up" we wouldn't have complained. Put it shortly - we want one. (They did collect it before you ask.)
It might be just shy of £5000 and not really be able to play games, but this is a workhorse that any creative bod will be proud of. Apple may have dropped the "Computers" from the company name, but this machine shows the company at what it does best.
The only catch? It could have done with being a couple of grand cheaper.
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