Back at WWDC earlier this year, Apple debuted the brand new Mac Pro ($2,999+)—a completely redesigned version of its professional-grade computer. Six months later, it’s actually coming to stores: the new tower will be available December 19, 2013 at a starting price that’s up $500 from the previous model. Shaped like a tapered metal tube, this is a radically different machine from not only the previous Pro, but anything Apple’s done before. Everything’s built around a thermal core, with Intel’s Xeon as the brains of the whole system—up to 12 cores and 256-bit floating point math, promising around twice the power of the prior generation. All expansion is handled externally, over Thunderbolt 2. It comes standard with dual AMD FirePro GPUs for crazy graphics power, including support for up to three 4K displays, or six Thunderbolt Displays. And yet it’s tiny: 1/8 the volume of the previous generation, with the entire top serving as a handle. This is the first Mac in years Apple is manufacturing in the United States.
In terms of I/O, you’ve got four USB 3.0 ports, six Thunderbolt ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and HDMI. The space around them lights up when you turn the machine around. In terms of internal components, the base model comes with a 3.7Ghz quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of RAM, Dual FirePro D3000 video cards with 2GB of VRAM each, and a 256GB SSD. $1000 more gets you a3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, four extra gigabytes of RAM, and an upgraded graphics card. Other upgrade options include an 8- or 12-core processor, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of VRAM, 64GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of built-in storage.