Mac pro quad core 2.66 review

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Apple Mac Pro Xeon/GHz (4 cores) ยท Read Macworld's review. The new Mac Pros, with their cutting-edge Nehalem processor technology. capsule review Apple Mac Pro Xeon/GHz (4 cores) GHz Quad-Core /GHz Eight-Core Mac Pro Speedmark Scores.

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Apple hardware since Italics indicate current products. See also: Apple hardware before Apple hardware. MacBook Air Pro. History Outline. List Anobit AuthenTec Inc. Arthur D. Bell Albert Gore Jr. Andrea Jung Ronald D. Sugar Susan L. The Mac Pro also has a new mechanism for adding and removing system memory. Instead of requiring you to reach into the system and wade through overhanging cables to get to the memory slots, the Mac Pro has two removable circuit boards, each of which features four memory slots.

These cards fit a little more snugly than the hard drive brackets, but they require only about as much pressure to reseat as a typical PC expansion card. This system eliminates the need to lay the Mac Pro down on its side to swap memory in and out, which is useful because you don't always have that much work space available, particularly with a system of this size. We have a minor beef with the removable memory trays, in that they make the problem of installing the memory in the correct order a little more complicated.

Put your sticks in the wrong slots, and you'll throttle your memory bandwidth. The Mac Pro's side panel has a diagram that attempts to explain the proper order to use, but the instructions could be a little more intuitive.

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We'd also wager that it won't occur to many users to realize that the order makes a difference. The advantage here is that the x16 slots can accommodate all types of PCI Express cards: x16, x4, and x1. This doesn't mean that you can double up on 3D graphics power the way Nvidia's SLI and ATI's CrossFire technologies allow on high-end gaming boxes, but what you can do is stick in four graphics cards and output to up to eight different displays.

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That capability could be of benefit to designers, desktop publishers, people in the finance industry, and anyone else who wants more screen real estate than a single display affords. The optical drive cage is a removable box in the upper-left corner of the system into which you can fit up to two optical drives.

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Unlike with the hard drives, you still need to wrangle with cables, but with the cage in place they're kept away from the rest of the system. As for the CPUs, Apple has mounted a metal casing over them that's not easy to remove. This doesn't invite making your own processor upgrades, but the team at PowerMax showed that the processor casing can be removed, proving that DIY CPU upgrades are a possibility. Where it'll start impressing you is with its two 2. ECC, or error-correcting code, is a feature of server-class memory designed to ensure stability. It makes plenty of sense to include ECC memory in a professional-level desktop, but it's overkill for casual home use or even for gamers.

You can see the benefits of four threads in our performance section. What matters more in our features discussion is the type of chips it uses. The Xeon chips are based on Intel's new Core architecture, the same design behind Intel's category-leading Core 2 Duo consumer chips.

These new Xeons incorporate all of the power-efficiency and performance-enhancing capabilities of their consumer desktop counterparts. That means that not only is the Mac Pro fast, it's also efficient.

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Apple made a big deal about the Mac Pro's value proposition when the system was introduced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in early August. The customization options between the two vary, though. Dell has more hard drive configuration options, including 10,rpm drives, which Apple still doesn't offer its customers want capacity more than speed, is what Apple told us. For professionals with the luxury to choose a platform, it's hard to make a blanket statement about which is the superior platform for value and flexibility, because the configuration options and specific professional needs vary widely.

But starting from the baseline specs, at least, it appears that the Mac Pro's initial offer is a much better deal. If you're a home user with an appetite for a powerful desktop such as the Mac Pro, you should consider a couple of things. We probably don't need to underline the fact that Macs aren't good for gaming, but what we find interesting is that Apple hasn't made the Mac Pro as home-theater friendly as the Mac Mini and the iMac.

We don't expect that the lack of a remote will rattle professional users, but the Power Macs had a history of crossing over into consumer-level territory, and the omission of a remote from the Mac Pro admittedly, not as intuitive a platform for the remote seems to isolate it further from the casual buyer.

If you need more 3D processing power, your options are more limited. True, the Quadro is the top-of-the-line card, so Apple has the high-end covered, but for scalability, Dell offers more workstation cards, from entry level to the high end and all points in between. We'll admit right out of the gate that our performance results for the Mac Pro don't paint the complete picture for readers with a professional level of interest. The latest update for the Mac Pro pretty much lives up to expectations. In some ways, the basic quad-core 2. But it falls short of last year's version when it comes to great expectations of across-the-board performance leaps.

With this iteration, the Mac Pro takes a significant step forward by moving to Intel's new Nehalem processor , leaving behind the previous model's Harpertown and Penryn chips. Yes, they're all officially Intel Xeon processors, but Intel's nomenclature is so arcane that it's better to go by those code names to keep the models straight. It's a hefty price bump, mostly for the additional CPU; Intel's newest processors still command a premium cost. There are also a variety of CPU options: Moving to a 2.

If those prices seem high for a personal computer, they are.

watch Granted, these Mac Pros approach performance numbers previously seen in Unix workstations costing in the five figures. And they offer Apple's traditional build quality, not to mention the vertical integration of hardware and software that can avoid driver updates and conflicts. But price does focus attention on value and on whether those Apple advantages are worth the cost.

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Various commodity PC makers are starting to roll out their own Nehalem offerings at much lower prices. Of course, these are bare-bones prices, with the features and expandability that are already built into the Mac Pros sure to cost extra elsewhere. But the ability to order a bare-bones model is something that has always been attractive to businesses. So tote up the balance sheet if you're comparing this workhorse with others. Don't be misled by the lower clock speeds of the new Mac Pros compared with their predecessors, which offered CPUs ranging from 2.

Those processors had two dies and shared cache memory, while the new bit, 45nm Nehalem processors are designed purely as quad-core chips. With multithread-aware applications, this more than makes up for any missing megahertz. All of this allows for some interesting internal magic, complete with hot-rodding code names. Hyper-Threading manages two computing threads running simultaneously on a single core. Turbo Boost overclocks a single core and turns off the others when an application accesses only one core.

Editor's note: This review has been updated with corrected information about the stock video card used in the Mac Pro models. In a Call of Duty 4 time demo, our test machine delivered more than double the frame rate when moving from the GT to the Radeon HD That matches the faster performance Apple touts on its Web site.

Apple Mac Pro Quad Core 3.0 (Original)

In other benchmarks, the review unit's quad-core 2. These numbers place this model squarely in line with the previous generation running two 2. This year's Mac Pro might not bury the older generation, which is selling at a discount now, but the Nehalem-based new Mac Pros look like they'll grow the gap soon. More about that later. Looking to add RAM? The more the better, of course.