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Apple Mac Pro 2013: no Sep 10 launch, but we do have benchmarks

Neil Bennett | Sept. 12, 2013
Apple's Mac Pro wasn't announced at Apple's recent event but we have benchmarked a workstation with the same chip.

mac pro

Two months after announcing the new Mac Pro 2013, Apple still hasn't finally announced when's shipping and what it costs - but we have exclusive benchmarks of how the chip inside performs.

New Mac Pro 2013 price and release date

We were expecting the Mac Pro to be formally launched today - and possibly even released - and Intel formally announced its 'Ivy Bridge'-based Xeon E5-2600 V2 processors, which it has just done at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) event in California. Unlike competing solutions from the likes of Dell and HP, the Mac Pro 2013 is a single chip machine - which allows it to be a lot smaller than its rivals. Buyers will likely a choice of chips including the the 8-core, 3.4GHz Xeon E5-2687W to the 12-core 2.7GHz Xeon E5-2697W

New Mac Pro 2013 benchmarks
We haven't seen a Mac Pro in the wild yet, but we have seen another system with a single 8-core, 3.4GHz Xeon E5-2687W processor. This is a Windows-based workstation, but we've seen comparable scores between Macs and Windows PCs in the past using the Cinebench benchmark - which is based on Maxon's Cinema 4D 3D animation suite.

Running Cinebench's 3D rendering test - which is almost exclusively a measure of CPU performance - we saw a score of 14.04 points (a measurement that only applies to Cinebench scores and has no wider context). This is actually 6.8% slower than the 12-core Mac Pro we reviewed back in 2010, which obtained a score of 15.07- though we expect the 12-core Mac Pro to be significantly faster. It's also 47.5% slower than the 26.78 score that the same Windows workstation with two Xeon E5-2687W chips installed.

We'll give the Mac Pro 2013 a full review when we get our hands on a review sample.

New Mac Pro 2013 specs

Being from Intel's 'Ivy Bridge' processor line, the Xeon E5 V2 chips give support for up to an as-yet unknown amount of 1,866MHz ECC RAM - up from 1,333MHz in the previous generation of Mac Pros and up from 1,600GHz on the previous generation of PC workstations. ECC RAM uses error correction to be more stable that the RAM used by consumer PCs and Macs - which is important for longer processes such as video encoding and 3D rendering.

Storage-wise, the new Mac Pro features PCIe flash storage, which with a data transfer rate of 1,250MBps is 2.5x faster than the fastest SATA-based flash storage, according to Apple, and over 10x faster than a 7,200rpm SATA drive. We expect these to be very expensive and small in capacity, so you'll likely need to pair these with an external drive for your projects.


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