New Mac Pro: Performance Plus

Apple kept its promise to release the new Mac Pro before the end of the year, and it finally came out last week. Initially announced at the World Wide Developer’s Conference in June, the Mac Pro features the latest Intel 3.7GHz Xeon processor, 12GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, AMD D300 FirePro graphics. This SSD storage is of the faster PCIe type that you’ll see in the current MacBook and iMac systems.


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A MomentCam self-portrait | Photo from Alison Young

Designed around an innovative unified thermal core, the all-new Mac Pro packs unprecedented performance into an aluminum enclosure that is just 9.9-inches tall and one-eighth the volume of the previous generation. Mac Pro features 4-core, 6-core, 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon processors running at Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz and two workstation-class AMD FirePro GPUs that deliver up to eight times the graphics performance of the previous generation Mac Pro. PCIe-based flash storage delivers sequential read speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional desktop hard drives, and ECC DDR3 gives the new Mac Pro up to 60GBps of memory bandwidth for seamlessly editing full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background. With an incredible six Thunderbolt 2 ports, each with up to 20Gbps of bandwidth per device, the new Mac Pro completely redefines desktop expandability with support for up to 36 high-performance peripherals, including the latest 4K displays.

Apple deems this the future of the pro-level desktop, and the company is emphasizing its use in high-end movie and music production, perfect for graphic designers, website builders and other creative types. The ports and connections normally are covered, but the port panel lights up when you open the cover, allowing easy access. There you’ll find six Thunderbolt 2 ports that can power up to three simultaneous 4K displays, including one from a built-in HDMI output.

The base model is $2,999 and gets you what’s mentioned in the first paragraph, whereas a $3,999 investment moves you up to a 6-core Xeon processor with 16GB RAM, AMD D500 FirePro graphics and the same 256GB SSD, and other configure-to-order options cost more and can take you up to a 12-core processor, etc.

Click Chick’s App of the Week: MomentCam

Bored on Christmas morning? Entertain yourself with the MomentCam app as it morphs your pictures into fun caricatures. It’s very easy to use: You snap a picture of yourself and the app transplants the image onto a cartoon body, allowing you to customize the appearance.

You can place glasses, different clothing and hairstyles on your cartoon. And, as with most apps, Moment-Cam allows you to share your creations on the Web.

MomentCam originally was created in China by a group of artists and engineers “with a dream and big heart to bring happiness and fun to all the people in the world.” It recently was translated to English and it soon went viral. This app is among the best camera/entertainment apps I’ve ever tried and I highly recommend it. The best thing is it’s free and available for both iOS and Android (Google Play) devices.