Buying guide: 2012 Macs

By Roman Loyola, Macworld |  Hardware, Apple, computers

If you already have an iMac thats less than three years old, the new iMac may be a harder sell. Youll see a performance boost, but youll sacrifice some features, such as the SuperDrive.

Read our complete review of the 21.5-inch iMac (Late 2012)

Mac Pro

What is it? The Mac Pro is Apples workstation. Its meant for professionals who need flexibility with the machine itself.

Whos it for? The Mac Pro is ideal for professionals who use applications that are designed to employ as many processing cores as possiblevideo-editing applications, image-editing software, 3D programs, and the like. The Mac Pro is also good for people who need to use expansion cards, or who want a Mac thats capable of holding more than one internal drive.

What are the specifications? You'll find two standard-configuration models. The $2499 Mac Pro has a 3.2GHz quad-core Xeon processor and 6GB of memory. The $3799 Mac Pro provides two 2.4GHz six-core Xeon processors (for a total of 12 processing cores) and 12GB of memory. Both models include a 1TB hard drive, a SuperDrive, and ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics hardware with 1GB of video memory.

What makes the Mac Pro appealing is its build-to-order options. You can add up to 32GB of memory, upgrade to a hard drive with more capacity, upgrade to a solid-state drive, add multiple drives, and more. The Mac Pro also has PCI expansion slots.

How do I connect stuff? The Mac Pro provides a lot of connectivity optionsthough not necessarily the most up-to-date offerings. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built in. Although the Mac Pro has USB 2.0 (five ports), it does not offer USB 3.0. The machine has four FireWire 800 ports, and two gigabit ethernet jacks. Audio professionals should know that the Mac Pro has optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports.

The Mac Pro is the only Mac that Apple offers without Thunderbolt.

How fast is it? Mac Pro models excel when running software that takes advantage of multiple processing cores, such as high-end video-editing programs, 3D graphics applications, image editors, professional audio software, and so on. But with general, everyday tasks (emailing, Web browsing, and running office applications), the iMac and the Retina MacBook Pro outperform the Mac Pro.


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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