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Mac Pro vs. Macintosh 128K: How much more powerful is the new Mac Pro than Apple's first Mac?

Lou Hattersley | Feb. 16, 2015
It's a case of old against new as we pit Apple's classic Macintosh 128K against the modern Mac Pro.

The Mac Pro, on the other hand, is designed to be a standout computer that offers radically improved performance. The new Mac Pro runs the same operating system as all the other Mac computers.

The Macintosh 128K was the first Apple computer to use System 1, which introduced the public to concepts like The Finder and The Desktop. The Macintosh 128K software was truly revolutionary while the Mac Pro has revolutionary hardware.

Mac Pro Technical Specifications

Price: £2,499 / $2,999CPU: Intel Xeon E5 with 10MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHzRAM: 12GB of 1866MHz DDR3Storage: 256GB PCIe-based flash storageGraphics: Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. 1,280 stream processors, 256-bit-wide-memory, 160GB/s memory, 2 teraflops of performance.Display support: Three 4K displays (3840 x 2160)Connections: 4 USB 3, 6 Thunderbolt 2, HDMI 1.4 UltraHDNetworking: 802.11ac, Dual Gigabit EthernetMaximum continuous power: 450W

Macintosh 128K: Technical Specifications

Price: $2,495 ($5,683.37 adjusted for inflation)CPU: Motorola 68000 (7.8336 MHz)RAM: 0128K (0.125MB)Graphics: 1-bitStorage: DB-19 Floppy DriveDimensions (in): 13.6 H x 9.6 W x 10.9 DWeight (lbs): 16.5Display: Built-in CRT (512 x 342)Connections: Printer, Modem, SpeakerNetworking: NoneMax Watts:60(On a side note, much respect goes out to Apple for still listing the Macintosh 128K Technical Specifications online.)

Macintosh 128K vs Mac Pro: performance testing

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the new Mac Pro is somewhat more powerful than the Macintosh 128K. Here are some standout statistics:

The Mac Pro's CPU, at 3.9GHz is 500 times faster than the Macintosh 128K. And that's before taking into account the multiple-cores and Hyper Threading technology.The Macintosh had 128K (hence the name) and the Mac Pro has a maximum of 128GB RAM (which is itself, pretty amazing). That's 128000000K, giving the new Mac Pro a million times as much memory as the Macintosh.The Dual AMD GPU system of the Mac Pro is impossible to compare to the Macintosh 128K graphics system in any meaningful sense. The Macintosh 128K shipped with a number of chips to control the display, but none of them really equate to a modern GPU. It's listed by Apple as just 1-bit.The Macintosh 128K's hardware was capable of powering a 512 x 384 display, although it featured a smaller 512 x 342 display. The Mac Pro is capable of powering up to three 4K monitors, each with 3840 x 2160 pixels.You could fit 47 Macintosh 128K screens into the three 4K monitors powered by a single Mac Pro.

 

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