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Apple Mac Pro (late 2013) review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £2499
inc VAT

Incredible power, excellent value and a stunning case that's as quiet as it is beautiful - the ultimate workstation


3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5-1620, 12GB RAM, N/A display, OS X 10.9

Impressively, the new internal design doesn’t ruin or alter the upgradeability of the Mac Pro, with all four DIMM slots (four-channel DDR3, supporting up to 64GB of 1,866MHz DDR3) and the PCI-E SSD drive (models from 256GB to 1TB supported) all accessible. At some point in the future it may be possible to upgrade the graphics cards and CPU, too.

Size means that there’s no enough space for any more storage and certainly no mechanical disks if that’s the way you want to go. That’s nothing to worry about, as expanding externally is now the way to do things, without any compromise on quality or speed.

To that end, the Mac Pro has six Thunderbolt 2 ports, powered by three individual Thunderbolt controllers, each capable of delivering 20Gbit/s throughput. On top of that you get four USB3 ports, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, so you can connect to a LAN and storage network at the same time. Given the speed and convenience of external storage, there’s simply no need to have a bigger desktop in order to accommodate more internal storage.

Apple Mac Pro rear


As you’ve probably guessed from the specs we’ve mentioned so far, the Mac Pro is aimed at professionals and prosumers that require and demand the best performance. Primarily that’s a creative audience, with photographers and video editors top of the list of people that will want it.

For video editors in particular, the Mac Pro could well be the computer they need, as it’s designed for 4K workflow. As well as providing super-fast external storage and connection to other peripherals, Thunderbolt can also be used to drive displays (it’s Mini DisplayPort compatible), with the Mac Pro supporting up to three 4K displays. If you don’t mind a little less resolution, you can use six 2,560×1,600 monitors instead. In addition, there’s an HDMI 1.4 output, which supports 4K at 24p, so you can hook up a TV as monitor.

Then, there’s the power of the components. The base-level computer has a 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU, a 256GB SSD, 12GB of RAM and dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM. There are plenty of expansion options, including six-core, eight-core and 12-core CPUs, up to 64GB RAM, up to 1TB of storage and AMD FirePro D500 or D700 GPUs. In other words, even the most hardcore computer user will be able to find the spec that suits them.

The thing about this kind of specification is finding something that can adequately test it. In our standard benchmarks, which run natively on Mac OS X, as well as Windows, the 3.7GHz quad-core version managed an overall score of 112, which is quick for a quad-core CPU.

To see what the Mac Pro was really capable of, we also run two copies of our benchmarks at the same time. This time, we achieved an impressive overall score of 68, showing that this computer really can take a lot.

Apple Mac Pro top

Still, we wanted to know what a fully-loaded Mac Pro could do, so we also ran our benchmarks on the 12-core 2.7GHz Intel Xeon E5 version. In our standard benchmarks, a score of 125 isn’t that much faster than the quad-core version got. This is because the apps in our benchmarks find it hard to use all of the cores efficiently, and the 12-core version has a lower clock speed. However, running two copies of our benchmarks simultaneously showed just how incredibly powerful this computer was: it scored 112.

In other words, the 12-core Mac Pro can run two copies of our demanding tests and it’s the same speed as quad-core version. Fast doesn’t even begin to describe this computer.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Xeon E5-1620
Processor external bus100MHz
Processor multiplierx37
Processor clock speed3.7GHz
Processor socketFCLGA2011
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory64GB
MotherboardApple Mac Pro


USB2 ports (front/rear)0/4
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports2x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11ac

Internal Expansion

PCI slots (free)0
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)256GB Apple SSD


Graphics card(s)2x AMD FirePro D300
Graphics/video ports6x Thunderbolt, HDMI


Sound outputs3.5mm headset

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsN/A
Optical drive type(s)N/A


Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware



Operating systemOS X 10.9
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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