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Apple releases more info on Mac Pro 4K editing desktop

Apple originally announced the new Mac Pro back in July. The October press event confirmed the machine will be available in December. Looking more like a miniature R2D2, the high-end power house starts at $3K and grows rapidly from there.

Despite the pre-announcement rumors, the updated Mac Pro does not use Intel's fourth generation of Core i-series (Haswell) processor, but instead relies on Ivy Bridge-EP-based Xeon processors.

The system can be configured with an up to 12-core, 256-bit Intel Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro GPUs (which support up to three HDMI 1.4, 4K displays) and up to 64GB of 1866MHz DDR3 RAM.

Inside, the new Mac Pro can be configured with up to 1TB of flash storage, four USB 3.0 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, two GigE ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and an HDMI v 1.4 port.

The basic configuration includes a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor supported by 12GB DRAM, 2GB VRAM and a 256GB SSD. The base Mac Pro uses dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards, and the user can mount up to 1TB of flash storage. The base system uses about one-third the power of the original Mac Pro.

If the base configuration is insufficient for your applications, the system can be expanded with a $4K option that includes a 3.5GHZ 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, with a Turbo Boost speed of 3.9GHz. Also included with this extra cost package are dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, each with 3GB of VRAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage.

Despite the typical large number of Apple Fan Boy accolades, tech writer Dave Girard called the Mac Pro "a truly epic lack of expandability." While Apple called it "the most expandable Mac ever built" because of its Thunderbolt ports. Girard noted that it has no extra internal drive bays, only four USB 3.0 ports, no optical drive and the user cannot replace the GPU with an Nvidia card.