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Early Mac Pro orders seeing shipment, new orders shipping in February

updated 12:15 am EST, Tue December 24, 2013

Some stock configurations shipped today, BTO still shipping early January

Apple's new line of Mac Pro computers have begun shipping to customers, a few days earlier than expected, according to reports from Twitter and other social media. Users with standard configurations are starting to receive shipping notifications from Apple for delivery before January 1, with previously-ordered build-to-order machines still shipping early in January.

Users ordering today will see dates in some cases for delivery in February, with the shortest time for delivery available on the four-core stock configuration. Apple retail stores have little, if any, availability of the computer, with most locations indicating "ship to store" which generally means no in-stock supplies of the in-demand computer.

Contrary to some media reports, the slippage in delivery times is more likely to be the case of unexpected popularity rather than production issues. While the Mac Pro is a relatively niche product compared to most of Apple's other offerings, there is both great interest and pent-up demand due to it combination of extremely powerful technologies and a prosumer-level price point. It is also by far the product most likely to be ordered with custom configurations, and there are a total of over 200 ways to modify the two standard models.

Though the base configuration is a little less than twice the price of the most common MacBook and iMac models, it is cheaper of the most powerful configurations of each of those machines -- and offers considerably more graphic and processing potential than either provides. The company itself notes that the new machine is three to four times faster in Final Cut Pro X compared to a 12-core, 3.06GHz previous model (even when using an SSD drive and an ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics system). Final Cut is the first pro app to be specifically tweaked for the new Mac Pro

It is also said to be between five and eight times faster in 3D applications, 1.5 to two times faster in Aperture and twice as fast using Pixelmator. The units PCIe-based SSDs are 25 times faster than Firewire 800-based drives, and 2.5 times faster than conventional SSDs (which are themselves already up to 10x the speed of conventional HDDs). The processor offers up to seven teraflops of computing power -- by way of comparison, the previous top-of-the-line Mac Pro offered 2.7 teraflops.

One of the reasons Apple chose to build the new Mac Pro in the United States was due to expected modest demand, since one of the barriers to more assembly and manufacturing being done in North America is that companies can't scale up demand to huge levels virtually overnight as Chinese-based assembly compounds (which often resemble small cities and house thousands of workers) can. The Mac Pro is also not thought of as a machine that typical consumers would give as presents, making the December launch a clear indication that Apple wanted to start with "soft" demand.

Early reviews, however, have characterized the new Mac Pro as a machine without equal in the current computer industry. Radical in both design philosophy and performance, the machine -- while not the fastest computer money can buy -- is one of most powerful available at its main price points or even at its most expensive configurations, and also one of the quietest (which is, for some buyers, a highly-desired bonus).

Apple has now pushed back shipping and delivery dates into February after the initial influx of orders, but is likely to be ramping up production to the extent possible so that orders will slowly be pushed back to more reasonable wait times -- as it did with the iPhone 5s.

by MacNN Staff





  1. henjin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-20-07

    I cannot find one, well hardly one review that agrees on the power to price ratio, nor the lack or upgradeability of this new MacPro. My problem are the large numbers of cables that will be needed for RAID, HD, ePCI breakout boxes and so on. Soon the great design will look like all the other designs, endless dongles.
    Saying that, the MacPro compared to a fully kitted out HP Z820 or Z840 will be no cheaper and maybe far less effective as Apple has made FinalX optimized for the new MacPro dual GPU and I managed to stream HD off a WiFi drive on my new MacPro Retina.

    I read the NYTimes report that detailed stuttering similar to a MacPro 2012 when applying rendering effects. So how good is it.

    The Price is not too high compared to professional workstations built to order. So it's just performance and the problems of having a MacPro built like a laptop.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I think you fundamentally misunderstand the Mac Pro because you haven't used one. There is no "lack of upgradability" -- quite the opposite, there is more upgradability and flexibility in the new Mac Pro than there has been in any previous computer ever built. There is no "large number of cables" -- there is one cable that can handle up to 37 devices.

    You appear to be suffering from a somewhat-understandable failure of imagination. Wait until you can try it out personally and the inevitable accessories really come out for it and see if you don't find yourself eating these words more than a little. I think you will.

    Addendum: here's a few reviews you obviously haven't read:
    The Verge (only one of the leading Final Cut Pro sites -- can't think how you missed this one ...)

    ... and I've got plenty more where those came from ...

    Seems to me you are looking (or rather, inventing) "negative" reviews that reinforce your pre-determined (but not based on anything real) perceptions. Maybe you should consider widening your reading list a little.

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