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Meet Apple's Mac Pro

Meet Apple's Mac Pro
Mac Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line desktop computer aimed at the creative professionals.

For the moment, I am living the life of a tech one-percenter. Atop my desk sits a shiny new Mac Pro. It's Apple's top-of-the-line desktop computer, aimed at, as the name implies, the creative professionals who have always relied on Macs for video, graphics, music and photo manipulation.

It makes everything around it look vaguely slower. The Mac Pro is daring, extravagant and elite — or maybe it's just for the elite.

The design is obviously an indulgence. The Mac Pro is a charcoal gray cylinder that stands about 10 inches high and reflects back a distorted, slightly menacing view of the world. The outer layer of the tube is removable, displaying the Pro's innards in a pleasing industrial array.

A cutout at the top of the cylinder creates a lip that acts as a handle, and a visual effect sadly reminiscent of either a trash can or an ashtray.

Its affect is deeply futuristic: It looks like a device that might project a hologram, or generate its own singularity . Its blenderlike size makes it suitable for sitting atop a desk, particularly a Lucite desk in an ultramodern sparse loft, or on black aluminum in an ultra-stylish ad agency, graphic design shop or documentary film studio.

The Mac Pro is extremely, ridiculously fast and powerful. The specifications are nearly mythical. The model Apple lent me has an eightcore Intel processor; you can max out at 12. It has 64 gigabytes of extremely fast memory (most computers have four, eight or maybe 16); two AMD graphics cards that, purchased separately, cost $800 each; and a luxurious and fast one-terabyte solid-state hard drive.

As configured , and without a monitor or even a keyboard and mouse, which are not included, the Mac Pro sitting on my desk rings in at $8,099. Shipping is free.

Once it's running, the Mac Pro is virtually silent, and only a ports panel that illuminates when you move the machine offers any sign of life.

Nevertheless, the power is evident. The Pro took just over an hour to convert 32 gigabytes of high-definition video into another video format — a job that took over three hours on my quad-core Mac Mini. And although the task noticeably heated up the Mac Pro, its fan stayed quiet, and it didn't seem perturbed

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