Apple Event: Updated, Cylindrical Mac Pro Unveiled

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Today's Apple event was expected to focus on the company's newest generation of iPad tablets. Apple, however, used much of the event to debut new hardware and software for its desktop and notebook computing lineup. In addition to OS X Mavericks and a new line of Macbooks, Apple today announced what longtime Apple fans have been waiting a long time to hear - a newly designed Mac Pro desktop computer.

The new design of the Mac Pro is an odd-looking cylindrical black shape. Apple stated that the new design is one-eighth of the volume of previous Mac Pro towers.

Inside, Apple is packing in serious computing power for professionals who use Macs. The presentation focused heavily on how the new Mac Pro can output video to up to three 4K displays, including one 4K TV. The company also mentioned that its new computers will be well-equipped for 4K video editing.

The new Mac Pros will have Intel Xeon E5 processors, available in quad-, 6-, 8-, or 12-core iterations. Apple is also offering up to 64GB of 1866MHz DDR3 RAM. The new Mac Pro comes with two AMD FirePro GPUs standard, with up to 12GB of GDDR5 VRAM for them. The computer will not have a hard drive, and instead comes with an SSD drive with up to 1TB of storage.

The lowest-end version of the new Mac Pro starts at $2999. That version comes with a 3.7GHz quad-core Xenon processor, 12GB of RAM, Dual FirePro D300 GPUs (with 2GB of RAM on each), and a 256GB SSD. Obviously, upgrades such as a 12-core processor or more SSD drive space for video editing will quickly drive up the cost of the computer. The new Mac Pro will be out sometime before the end of the year, with Apple's presentation slide showing a December release date.

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