Apple Shows Off New Mac Pro, MacBook Air At WWDC


Apple Mac Pro
The next-generation Mac Pro

Apple has delivered another eye-catching desktop design.

More than a decade after the iconic iMac G4 "desk lamp" design, the company on Monday unveiled its new Mac Pro desktop at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. The next-generation Mac Pro sports a cylindrical design and an all-black chassis, and at 9.9 inches tall, it's much smaller that the bulky current-generation Mac Pro workstation.

The new Mac Pro features a brand new pro desktop architecture that includes a unified thermal coil, new 12-core Intel Xeon processors and dual workstation-class ATI FirePro GPUs. The system also support Thunderbolt 2 and PCIe-based flash storage.

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Apple says the new Mac Pro is up to two-and-a-half times faster than the current Mac Pro and boasts 7 teraflops of computing power. And despite the modular design, Apple claims the 2013 Mac Pro will be the most expandable Mac system ever made, with six Thunderbolt 2 ports that can be connected to up to six daisy-chained devices for a total of 36 peripherals.

During the WWDC general session Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the new Mac Pro "A revolutionary computer" designed specifically for power users.

Apple said the new Mac Pro desktop will be available later this year, but the company didn't offer pricing details or addition technical specifications for such areas as storage capacity.

Jerry Zigmont, owner of MacWorks, an Apple consultant based in Madison, Conn., said he likes the sleek, eye-catching design of the new workstation but has questions about the price as it pertains to the storage. Since the new system is about one-eighth the size of the current Mac Pro workstation, he said, then it's likely going to rely on a lot of flash storage, which could make the new Mac Pro expensive.

"It's a compelling design and it's got a lot of power," Zigmont said, "but at the same time we didn't get a full view of what's inside and how much it's going to cost."

Apple also introduced its new MacBook Air on Monday, with the biggest addition being all-day battery life.

Running on Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, codenamed "Haswell," the new 13-inch MacBook Air gets up to 12 hours of battery (10 hours of iTunes movie playback) while the 11-inch MacBook Air delivers up to 9 hours of battery life (8 hours of iTunes movie playback).

The new MacBook Air models also feature Intel HD Graphics 5000, which Apple says will deliver up to 40 percent better graphics performance. Some Apple fans were hoping for the addition of the Retina display for the new MacBook Air model, but the technology is noticeably absent.

The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $999 with a 128-GB solid-state drive and $1,119 for the 256-GB version. The 13-inch model starts at $1,099 for the 128-GB version and $1,299 for the 256-GB version. All models are currently available through Apple's website, Apple retail stores and Apple authorized resellers.

PUBLISHED JUNE 10, 2013