Pros Blazing specs, increidble design and innovation.
Cons Configurability could be improved.
Summary Despite, CNET's not so flattering review of performance (which seems to be more and more of a trend at this site - if you are going to compare you compare identical stats? same platform? Macs run windows, you know), all other non-biased tech sites out there have showed that the machine not only wins at almost every test, but blows them out of the water - especially when running windows. I had been amicrosoft fanboy for a long time (mostly because most of my programs run only of PC), but became increasingly frustrated with their numerous security patches, Windows Genuine Advantage that they tried to slip on by, and the whole lack of a new operating system for 5+ years. Thus when Mac switched to Intel, I became interested and after learning about what MacOS can now do, I'm hooked on Mac. Apple continues to push the envelope and strive for innovation. I've been waiting for someone to come out with easy-load hard drives, expandable memory (beyond XP's max of 2GBs) and nor chords!! It does not surprise me that it was Apple who did it first. CNET was right in that this machine is designed for high-end professional use and the consumer won't see the whole bang for the buck. It WILL, however, run intensive games at blazing speeds with the Radeon 1900 XT (on windows, since games are only now coming out for Mac). My only wish was that I could have bought the system hard-driveless or videocardless because Apple, not having the market share of Dell of HP (yet - that'll change, especially in light on recent cover-ups of exploding batteries by DELL laptops - one of which I witnessed personally as my neighbor's house became charred because of one), does not get the deals to sell components cheaper, and they need to make money somewhere, especially when they're underselling DELL by $1000, and thus the components I can find cheaper elsewhere. But if you want a really good machine that can render, process, game, Photoshop (well - at least when 10.0 comes out anyway), this machine is the way to go. If you're not sure, wait. The price will drop when Apple adds Intel's Xeon Quadcore to its processor list in January. I, however, couldn't wait. I love this machine, it screams!
Pros SPEED!, upgrade options, design, performance, price.
Cons Weight... over 40lbs
Summary This machine is a beast! I just picked mine up about three days ago at the local apple store. I cannot believe how fast this system is. I have a few other dual proc systems in my studio that I just recently purchased in February and June, and this out performs all of them by leaps and bounds. Not only am I impressed by the design and configuration of the hardware, but I am also blown away by the Operating System. What an amazing OS! I intend to replace all of my PCs with these new MacPros. The only drawback for me is the weight of the system. I have a bad shoulder and lifting this hefty machine out of the box was no picnic. Other than that, I have absolutely no complaints! This is one beautiful system.
Pros Superb Operating System, Speed, Scalability, Support
Cons A Little Pricey (but worth it)
Summary I bought my first 'PC' in 1977 and worked my way up to running a sophisticated 46-node Windows NT network for several years, so I had some trepidation about buying an 'Apple.' I initially made the move because of irritation at having to update 'Windows' virus protection every day and having to reformat hard-drives infected with viruses, worms and Trojan horses.
The MacPro is like having the Space Shuttle in your room, with the looks of a Porsche and (when you look inside) the build of a Ferrari. Out-of-the-box I found it so easy to use, moving from being a Windows user to an Apple user was a snap. One example was setting up a RAID system for fault tolerance. The Mac O/S X operating system makes it a breeze to configure, so easy that it surprised me.
Want a 2-button 'Windows' mouse? No problem, just plug one into the many available USB ports. Want to be able to continue running 'Windows?' Just buy a $79 program called 'Parallels Desktop' or Apple's free 'Boot Strap' program and you can do it... side by side!
As a network manager, I did not buy a lot of Apple computers, because they did not run a lot of 'Windows' programs... but now that these machines have been built using Intel chips and can run 'Windows' software as well, I consider these machines far superior to any PC's I have researched at the same price.
I bought a lot of DELL and GATEWAY computers, and my personal opinion is that they were affordable but 'throw together' inside. Not impressed. I was always having to fix something (maybe part of why their market share has dropped so quickly)?
The MacPro was not designed as a kid's 'gaming machine,' so I don't expect that. I do a lot of photography, and the 'Aperature' program sold by Apple is incredible (but I also run Photoshop on the same machine). With my Apple LCD display, I just click a 'button' on the screen and it instantly changes settings for Photoshop's standard ( as well as several other configurations built in).
My experience with Apple's Support Team has been only positive. In fact, happily, when I have called the Tech people they actually sound pleased that you have called, and pleased to be able to help you. No 30-minute waits to connect with them (you know what I am talking about if you have ever owned a computer you bought from anybody else)because they are always on the line within 1-2 minutes of my dialing the Support number.
There are perhaps better machines out there, but I bet not for less than $8,000 - $10,000. This is a computer that is so much fun to use, and so good at delivering the goods, you may not come out of your room for the first 30 days.
Add to this the ton of free software 'Widgets' on the Apple site(one gives me constant readings on the weather forecast... another my stock market... another turns the computer into a seismograph... etc)its really quite amazing.
Because this was to be my first-ever Apple computer (after owning, building, and fixing Windows PC's for almost 30 years), I spent 3 full months researching desktop computers. I just kept coming back to the MacPro, and now using one have validated my good decision.
Want more RAM? It takes 8 Gigabytes of it. Want more hard-drive storage space? The MacPro takes up to FOUR 500-Gigabyte SATA 3Gb/s drives that just slide into drive bays (no wires or cables to connect).
Goodbye Ford Pinto... Hello Toyota.
Goodbye 'Windows'... Hello MacPro.
Incredible machine ! Your friends will want to come over to see it.
Pros exceptional power, speed and design
Cons MS Office, Adobe CS & Macromedia Apps are not intel native
Summary If you work in an environment in which you need to access an exchange server and you use a mac, you'll likely be using Microsoft's Entourage as a mail client.
Entourage, like the majority of major third party apps are not yet optimized for Apple's new intel-based machine, making it a less-than-optimium choice for some users at this point.
The same is true for the popular Adobe application suite unfortunately.. so designers.. keep your G5s for now. The photoshop performance on these intel macs is terrible (about equal to a G4) and crashes have been known to occur.
My advice, if you don't use photoshop, illustrator or the other adobe apps and you can get by with Apple's mail application (which isn't half bad) - get over to the Apple store and grab one of these.. If, on the other hand, you need design productivity - hold off until Adobe makes the switch.
Pros Massive speed, next gen hardware, perfect for any true multitasking professional
Cons below average GPU, hard drives aren't 10k RPM
Summary I bought the quad 2.66 ghz model with 2 gigs of ram and thus far it has served me exceptionally well. I'm an experienced computer tech / designer with roughly 13 years of experience. Machines packing less power just can't meet my needs as far as tasking out the multitude of applications I use when I'm designing a website, editing gigabyte sized image files, or working with video and the fact of the matter is I don't necessarily want to be forced to dedicate everything I have power wise to just one application. This is especially the case if I'm using two or more of those programs in conjunction with each other to create a specific final product so this machine is perfect for me. It's not necessarily something one would recommend to an average web surfer / emailer but that should be apparent in the price tag. As for it not having a wireless card, that should be expected seeing as it weighs a ton and will more than likely be stationary for any professional who is using it. Wireless isn't secure, nor is it as fast as a wired ethernet connection so the reasoning behind excluding it is acceptable. What isn't acceptable, however, is the fact that apple decided to use 7200 rpm hard drives instead of 10k as well as the fact that it comes stock with a substandard nvidia GPU chipset. Other than that, this system is perfect. Upgrades are easy, the internals of the case are extremely organized and there is much more room for airflow than the previous G5. Installing memory is as easy as pulling out one of the riser cards and popping it in. Hard drive installation is so easy a 4 year old could do it. Bravo Apple. Lastly, there has been some talk about this computer having a lot of power which it might not necessarily be capable of fully facilitating when it comes to multiprocessing in programs that are not yet designed to take advantage of it, but the fact is that many professional programs have been authored in the past to take advantage of dual and quad chipsets from the old G5's so its only a matter of time before they're rewritten as universal binaries. With heat issues rapidly becoming the barrier between processor / mobo manufacturers and higher clock speeds it only makes sense that multiple core processing would be the next logical step in the progression of computer evolution so its only a matter of time before it becomes the standard. I recommend this computer to any professional looking for the next level.