Issue 18/2006 of the c’t magazine contains a quick test of the Mac Pro. The machine is faster than the old Quad Power Mac G5 (if running native software) but consumes only 223W instead of 340W at full load. It’s also very silent with only 1,0 sone unless the harddisk is used, probably another questionable Maxtor harddisk similar to the one in my Power Mac G5.
Its excellent performance, the low price (for such a machine) and the lack of noise make the Mac Pro a worthy challenger for highend workstations sold by companies like HP, IBM or Sun. Let’s hope they follow Apple’s lead and rid us of noisy fans.
Apple finally released the Intel CPU based desktop Mac yesterday:
The Mac Pro
Just like I guessed back in January it took Apple a few more month to replace the old G5 based Power Mac desktops for two reasons:
- The Core Duo is an astoundingly fast CPU. But a system powered by this CPU cannot possibly beat the old Quad G5 Power Mac. And replacing the high end desktop with a slower Intel CPU based model is of course not something Apple wanted to do.
- The Core Duo doesn’t support Intel’s EM64T extension to be able to deal with more than 4GB of main memory efficiently. And because the old Power Mac G5 could handle upto 8GB of main memory Apple had another reason why they needed a better CPU for the new desktop model.
When Intel announced the new Core 2 Duo desktop CPU I thought Apple would use that to build the new desktop. But it turned out that they actually put two Woodcrest Xeon CPUs (based on the Core 2 Duo architecture) into the Mac Pro. That makes it a really fast workstation which e.g. beats all the Quad Opteron systems out there.
I wonder whether Apple managed to get the cooling as good as in the old G5 Power Macs. I can hardly hear mine especially not while one of my other computers is running in the same room. Highend workstation always were noisy in the past and it would be great if Apple could set an good example here.
I was really looking forward to Apple’s new desktop (because contrary to a lot of people I still prefer desktops over notebooks most of the time) and they didn’t disappoint me. The bad thing about the Mac Pro is of course that my G5 feels a lot less cool now. I’m especially envious that you can install two optical drives in the case of the Mac Pro. Being restricted to one optical drive was a bit of letdown when I replaced my old Power Mac G4 with the G5.
The final is question when I will be able to buy one (with approval by my secretary of domestic affairs and a good conscience) …