Apple’s current desktop line includes three of the best-known desktop computers today: the Mac Pro, the Mac mini, and the iMac. Mac desktops feature high-performance components backed up by equally capable OS X software, to provide personal and professional users the best desktop experience possible.
The Mac Pro is among Apple’s most powerful computers. The latest Mac Pros are the most efficient yet, equipped with faster processors and GPUs and higher-capacity memory and storage for high-speed, processing-intensive computing. Designed as a small form factor desktop computer, the Mac mini likewise packs a lot of performance features in its unibody construction. Current Mac minis feature some of the fastest Intel Core i7 processors, supported by more than enough memory and storage space to ensure a consistently impressive performance.
The iMac is Apple’s premiere all-in-one computer. The latest iMacs are the thinnest and lightest yet, with 21.5” or 27” displays that are designed to provide true-to-life color and 75% less glare. On the inside, these iMacs are designed for speed, thanks to Haswell processors, SSDs, and 802.11ac WiFi cards. High-end graphics cards make the iMac the ideal all-in-one computer for creative professionals and gaming enthusiasts.
The Mac Pro’s reputation as a reliable desktop for high-performance computing continues with current Mac Pro models, which make quick work of processing-intensive tasks through Intel Xeon processors, up to 12 GB’s worth of RAM, and 1 TB hard drives. And as capable as these Mac Pros are, the newest Mac Pros are even better, sporting an all-new tubular design, the most advanced processors and double the memory bandwidth, and the latest in wireless connectivity for the fastest desktop performance possible.
With up to 12 cores of processing power, it’s the fastest Mac ever.
A towering achievement in power. With all-new Intel Xeon processors and advanced graphics cards, the new Mac Pro is the fastest, most powerful Mac ever.
2 x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet) ¦ 4 x FireWire 800 ( 2 in front ) ¦ 5 x USB 2.0 ( 2 in front ) ¦ 1 x headphones ( 1 in front ) ¦ 1 x TOSLINK ¦ 1 x TOSLINK ¦ 1 x audio line-in ¦ 1 x audio line-out ¦ 1 x DVI-I (dual link) ¦ 2 x Mini DisplayPort
The Mac mini is proof that good things come in small packages. Measuring just an inch and a half tall and sporting a seamless aluminum unibody structure, the Mac mini is equally impressive inside and out. Third-generation Intel Core processors, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, and Intel HD Graphics 4000 cards enable this small form factor desktop in breezing through most tasks, while wireless connectivity features and a handful of the latest I/O ports enhance the computer’s versatility.
The little powerhouse. The Mac mini may be little in size, but with the new dual-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, Intel HD Graphics, and Thunderbolt technology it is definitely a powerhouse that promises to deliver incredible performance.
The new iMac has been completely re-engineered – not only to give it a slimmer, sleeker profile but also to enable blazing processing speeds via Haswell processors, upgradeable memory, the all-new Fusion Drive, and the Thunderbolt interface. On the newest iMacs, NVIDIA graphics and increased dedicated video memory allow for glitch-free digital content creation and gaming, while 21.5” or 27” LCD displays provide for true-to-life colors and up to 75% less glare.
2 x Thunderbolt ¦ 4 x USB 3.0 ¦ 1 x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet) ¦ 1 x SPDIF output/headphones
Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, IEEE 802.11ac
Power supply | AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
Reviewed by Rob Wendland2013-10-18
Best desktop for photo and video editing
I got a Mac Pro for two reasons: performance and expandability. The 12-core Mac Pro with 2.4GHz Intel Xeon and Radeon HD 5770 is still one of the best desktops I’ve owned for editing raw footage and SOOC photos. With 12 cores, there’s obviously a lot of processing power to go around and it feels like it – this computer doesn’t slow down even when I use it to render and stream raw HD videos all day. Working on FCP X is faster than ever.
I’ve never encountered a desktop that’s easier to upgrade than the Mac Pro. Easy expansion features are definitely an advantage – I’ve been able to add more memory and a couple of internal hard drives with no problems at all. I’m already looking forward to upgrading the graphics card next, once I find a great deal on the Quadro K5000.
I also like that the Mac Pro offers plenty of data interfaces to choose from. The SuperDrive is unbelievably quick at copying videos, music, and other media to CDs and DVDs. FireWire 800, USB 2.0, and WiFi via built-in AirPort Extreme make transferring files to and from my Mac Pro fast and easy.
Reviewed by Mary Seifert2013-10-18
Great home server & backup device
I got the Mac mini with OS X Server a couple of weeks back so I could use it as a media server that me, my husband, and our two kids can share. The main draw for me was the Mac mini’s size. We don’t have a lot of desk space in our home office so it’s important that our server was small and slim, just like the Mac mini. On the first try, I managed to connect the Mac mini to our widescreen VGA monitor through a Thunderbolt to mini Display Port connector.
When it comes to performance, our Mac mini has surpassed expectations. It’s fast and consistent – we haven’t experienced any downtime since I set the server up. The real surprise for me was OS X Server, which turned out to be user-friendly even for people like me who don’t have much IT know-how. In less than an hour I was able to set up user accounts for myself, my husband, and my kids, modify user access settings, and set up a file-sharing folder for our shared media. I also configured automatic backups through Time Machine. This setup for backups has been working perfectly for us so far.
Reviewed by Emma Bitting2013-07-05
New 21.5” iMac – beautiful and very, very fast
The new iMac’s appearance and overall performance have been exceptional for me. It looks very sleek, indeed, and I can’t believe how thin it is. It’s so thin that I get a little bit scared that it’s going to topple over whenever I accidentally jostle my desk. The most important thing about this iMac for me, though, is that it works perfectly with my Cintiq 13HD. I had to get an adapter, but the effort was completely worth it. Now I have a vibrant 21.5” widescreen that really lets me see the smallest details of everything I draw.
Coming from a 2007 MBP, the upgrade was a bit overwhelming at first, no thanks to the larger-than-life screen (seems that way to me, at least) and the bright colors coming off it, but the learning curve wasn’t that steep and I soon got used to this iMac’s speed. I barely have to wait when I pull up Illustrator and my vast graphics library (on my WD My Book, connected to the iMac via Thunderbolt) takes minutes to browse from start to end. It used to take my old MBP up to half an hour to load and render a double-page spread, but the iMac lets me open my files right away, no matter how heavy they are.
Reviewed by Joan Bingham2013-07-03
Another beautiful, powerful desktop from Apple
The newest 27” iMac is personally one of the best-looking desktop computers on the market today. This computer’s profile must be seen in person to be believed and this is one of the main reasons why I chose to go for an iMac as my first desktop since 2004.
I got the 27” model because I wanted a large screen, having worked on notebooks for almost 10 years. Using this iMac, I can open up to three windows side by side, which is something that comes in really handy when I’m comparing details among documents and spreadsheets. This computer seems to have just two settings for processing tasks: fast and very fast. Bootup takes less than a quarter of a minute, while heavier applications like PowerDirector and Photoshop can take up to half a minute to start up.
The display quality is also quite excellent, with vibrant colors and sharp details. For some reason, even SOOC photos look a bit better when viewed on this iMac. The display quality, combined with the size of the screen, makes watching movies and TV shows all the more enjoyable. And I love that this iMac’s pretty lightweight, too, so I can move it around if I want to connect it to the TV for TV show marathons.
Reviewed by CJ Henry2013-06-06
User-friendly Mac OS X Server
We needed to upgrade to a dedicated server for our small business and we chose to go with this quad-core, 8GB-RAM, 2TB HD Mac Pro, which ships with Mac OS X Lion Server. The computer itself was impressive out of the box since it seems solidly built with easily accessible bays and ports should we need to make further upgrades to memory and storage capacity down the line.
Mac OS X Server was a pleasant surprise, as we’d prepared for some serious troubleshooting since it’s our first time configuring a server. Setup was fortunately very easy. On the same day the Mac Pro was delivered to our office, I and another IT guy managed to set up a network, create user profiles and user access settings, set shared folders, and schedule thrice-weekly backups of every MacBook on the said network. Our team has already made loads of positive comments on the faster upload/download speeds, too.
Two features our office really loves right now are Calendar Server and Wiki Server. With everyone’s important appointments on the Calendar Server, setting up office-wide meetings has been very convenient. Wiki Server is also pretty cool; right now we’re working on creating wikis for simple MacBook troubleshooting.
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