CW: Mac Pro is Beyond the Sum of its Parts

The new eight core, Harpertown, Mac Pro, is a speed demon, pushes apps to the limit and is beyond the sum of its parts, according to a review at Computerworld on Friday.

Michael DeAgonia, a video professional, sat down with an eight core, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro accompanied by two 30-inch Apple Cinema displays for a month and was very impressed. After briefly listing the technical specifications of the system, he described some of the work that he was able to accomplish on the Mac Pro with plentiful raves.

One of the things that stood out was the balance of the system -- the effective integration of Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard, and the hardware. "Leopardis thread manager scales to match the hardware on which itis running," Mr. DeAgonia wrote. "That yields more efficient distribution of threads, more cores being fed, less waiting for a task to complete and more efficient recovery in case of system hangs -- all of it automatic and invisible to the user. All you see is pure on-screen snappiness. After a month, I can say Iive never had to wait less for any application to launch or process to complete."

Photo Credit: Computerworld

The result was a feeling that all parts of the system were working in harmony. "This system is beyond the sum of its parts. Itis the technological equivalent of a well-played symphony: Each individual piece is solid in its own right, but everything is amplified once theyire put together in concert," the reviewer said.

Notable during the month of intensive video work, Final Cut Pro editing, Photoshop, and video conversions, the Mac Pro didnit need to be restarted, not even once.

One observation, slightly negative, was that the enclosure is getting long of tooth. "... not sure about the cheese-grater grill look these days, especially in comparison with Appleis other designs. I understand the decision to keep the look during the companyis successful Intel transition two years ago, but itis probably time the Mac Pro got a little sleeker, maybe with carrying handles that donit cut so much into your hands when you pick up the unit."

For those who may have wondered whether the Mac Prois speed is significantly greater than consumer Macs, the author made some comparisons to a Core 2 Duo Mac mini and a Core 2 Duo MacBook and found it to be impressively faster, 3x to 5x faster. [The 2.8 GHz iMac would have done better.]

"The Mac Pro is aimed first and foremost at professionals -- although well-off speed demons will want it, too -- and Appleis latest revision to the lineup is more than worth the price of admission," the author concluded. "... This is an amazing machine that is as fast as it is stable, offering pure brute force and processing power at a competitive price for what you get."