The Tech Report points out that Apple quietly updated its Mac Pro desktop lineup with new processor options, but it's nothing to get excited about. Buyers now have the choice of Intel's Xeon E5645 and W3565, chips that were first released in early 2010 and late 2009, respectively!
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly e-mailed to a Mac user that a new Mac Pro is coming in 2013 and that it will be really great. Until then, those seeking to buy a Mac Pro will have to shelve out at least $2,500 for a system with an outdated processor, a Radeon HD 5770/5870 graphics card, SATA 3Gbps, USB 2.0, no Thunderbolt and PCI Express 2.0.
I can't help but contrast the Mac Pro's specifications with those of the beefy Double-Stuff workstation configuration from our current System Guide. For around $2800, that system packs a water-cooled, six-core, Sandy Bridge-E CPU; an X79 motherboard loaded with USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps ports; a cutting-edge Radeon HD 7970 graphics card; 256GB of solid-state storage backed by 2TB of redundant hard drive capacity; and 16GB of RAM. There's a discrete sound card in there, too, and the Cooler Master chassis is very snazzy. The base Mac Pro looks pretty sad by comparison.