Apple defied expectations by introducing an updated Mac Pro today, despite not mentioning the machine at WWDC, and indications that it would kill it off. Creative professionals are most definitely celebrating — it's the first time their super-powerful computer of choice has gotten a refresh in two years, and it needed some attention in a bad way. So what exactly does the updated machine look like?

Similar to its predecessor, the new Mac Pro comes in three configurations. The base has a 3.2GHz quad-core processor, 6GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and the ATI Radeon 5770 graphics chip. If you're hankering for even more power, the next step up has a 2.4GHz 12-core processor, 12GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and the same graphics chip. Once again, there's also a server model, with a 3.2GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, two and 1TB hard drives. Mac Pros, of course, can also be built to order, but these are the readymade specs.

Until today, the future wasn't so certain for the Mac Pro — sales have suffered and there is a growing selection of more affordable alternatives, making it harder to justify the expense. However, with its immense processing power, it's an aspirational product that's dearly loved by creative professionals.

The last update in summer 2010 gave it 12 cores of power for the first time.


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