MacBook Buying Guide 2018 – Which Mac should you buy?

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When it comes to purchasing a Mac, we’ve got the lowdown on each model to help you make a buying decision.

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re thinking about buying a new Mac and may be in need of a little guidance. Fortunately, we’re quite familiar with Apple’s Macs, and we’re happy to help you choose the right Mac for you.

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Before we proceed, we should specifically address Apple’s desktop Macs. It’s been a while since the company has updated the Mac mini and Mac Pro. While our advice for each Mac model provides guidance as to which model you should buy, you might actually consider waiting to see if Apple releases a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, or consider buying an iMac.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Which Mac should you buy?

This buying guide provides an overview of all the Mac models available, and what each model is best suited for. To get more details, you can read the full review by clicking the product name in the product boxes that have mouse ratings.

Which Mac should I buy?

MacBook Air

Models for sale were originally released June 2017.

What is it? The MacBook Air is Apple’s affordable line of laptops. Apple currently offers two 13-inch models.

The company used to sell an 11-inch MacBook Air, but it is no longer available to the general public. If you really want an 11-inch model, you can try looking in Apple’s Certified Refurbished Store or Amazon. (The 11-inch model is only available as a bulk purchase by educational institutions.)

Who’s it for? The MacBook Air is ideal for the budget conscious. It’s also for anyone who is always on the go, doesn’t want to be bogged down by a regular-size laptop, and needs a computer that’s more versatile than an iPad.

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What are the specifications? The two MacBook Air models have the same 1.8GHz dual-core Core i5 (Broadwell) processor and 8GB of RAM. All MacBook Air models come with integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 technology. Apple claims 12 hours of battery life for both wireless web and iTunes movie playback.

The main difference between the laptops is storage. The $999 model has 128GB of flash storage, while the $1,199 model has 256GB.

How do I connect stuff? The MacBook Air has built-in Wi-Fi for connecting to a network. It also provides built-in Bluetooth for wirelessly connecting a mouse or other peripheral. If you want to connect to an ethernet network, you’ll need a USB ethernet Adapter ($29 on the Apple Store).

Thunderbolt 2 is the MacBook Air’s high-speed connector. The laptop also has a pair of USB 3.0 ports, which can work with devices that use USB 2.0. If you have a FireWire 800 drive, you’ll need to buy a Thunderbolt-to-FireWire Adapter ($29 on the Apple Store).

How fast is it? The MacBook Air is quite capable of handling everyday tasks, such as sending and receiving email, browsing the web, and using office applications. You can even use it for editing short videos, or for working with JPEGs from your iPhone or point-and-shoot camera.

Macworld’s buying advice: The MacBook Air is a great affordable laptop for someone who does general-purpose work and moves around a lot, such as a student or a self-employed person. Since the MacBook Air is at the lower end of Apple’s laptop lineup in terms of price, you won’t find the Retina display that’s on the Retina MacBook Pro or the MacBook. Also, you can’t easily upgrade the storage after purchase, so you should buy the model with the largest amount of storage you can afford. (After-market storage upgrades are available, but Apple does not provide support for such upgrades.)

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  • 1.8 GHz Core i5 MacBook Air 128GB storage (mid 2017) – $999.00/MSRP $999.00

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  • 1.8GHz Core i5 MacBook Air 256GB storage (mid 2017) – $1,199.00/MSRP $1,199.00

MacBook

Models for sale were originally released June 2017.

What is it? The MacBook is Apple’s entry in the ultra-portable laptop market. It’s actually lighter and smaller than the 13-inch MacBook Air.

Who’s it for? The MacBook is made for users who prioritize mobility over everything else, including features and performance.

What are the specifications? The MacBook comes in only one size: a 12-inch model available in rose gold, space gray, gold, or silver.

There are two models of the MacBook. The $1,299 model has a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 (Kaby Lake) processor and 256GB of flash storage. The $1,599 model has a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Kaby Lake) processor and 512GB of flash storage. Both models include 8GB of memory and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 615 processor.

The MacBook has a Retina display, which means it has an ultra-high resolution screen that’s capable of showing crisper images than on the MacBook Air, which has a standard display. The MacBook has a native resolution of 2304×1440 and offers scaled resolutions of 1024×640, 1280×800, and 1440×900.

How do I connect stuff? The MacBook has Wi-Fi for connecting to a network and Bluetooth for your devices.

There’s only one USB-C port for connecting storage devices, printers, external displays, power adapters, or anything else. If you have older USB peripherals, you need to use a USB-C to USB Adapter ($19 on the Apple Store) that will allow you to connect USB 3 and USB 2 devices to the MacBook. Want to connect to ethernet? You need the USB-C to USB Adapter and the USB ethernet Adapter ($29 on the Apple Store). If you want to connect an HDMI display and USB devices, you need to get the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter ($69 on the Apple Store). Or if you want to connect a VGA display, you need the USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter ($49 on the Apple Store).

How fast is it? The processors in the MacBook are made to be efficient and cool. They’re not a top-performers, though we’ve found that the MacBook outpaces the MacBook Air.

Compared to previous MacBook generations, the current version provides a much-needed performance boost. The MacBook is a better value than it has been, thanks to the Kaby Lake processor.

That being said, it can handle everything your typical user does on a daily basis. It can even handle some high-end, professional production tasks. It just won’t be the fastest to the finish line.

Macworld’s buying advice: The MacBook is for anyone who’s constantly on the go and seldom needs to connect devices—be prepared to carry a bunch of adapters if you have to make connections.

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  • 1.2GHz Core m3 MacBook 256GB storage (mid 2017) – $1,299.00/MSRP $1,299.00

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  • 1.3GHz Core i5 MacBook 512GB storage (mid 2017) – $1,599.00/MSRP $1,599.00

MacBook Pro

Models for sale were originally released June 2017.

What is it? The MacBook Pro features a high-density display with so many pixels that images and text look especially smooth and clean. At normal viewing distances, you can’t discern individual pixels.

Who’s it for? The MacBook Pro is for the demanding user who wants a portable computer that also performs well. MacBook Pro models sit at the top of the performance chart of Mac laptops.

What are the specifications? The MacBook Pro is available in screen sizes of 13 inches and 15 inches.

There are four 13-inch models:

  • $1,299 model: 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Kaby Lake) processor, 8GB of memory, 128GB of flash storage, Intel Iris Graphics 640 integrated graphics, and no Touch Bar.
  • $1,499 model: 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Kaby Lake) processor, 8GB of memory, 246GB of flash storage, Intel Iris Graphics 640 integrated graphics, and no Touch Bar.
  • $1,799 model: 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Kaby Lake) processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage, Intel Iris Graphics 650 integrated graphics, and the Touch Bar.
  • $1,999 model: 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Kaby Lake) processor, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage, Intel Iris Graphics 650 integrated graphics, and the Touch Bar.

Apple has two 15-inch MacBook Pros:

  • $2,399 model: 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Kaby Lake) processor, 16GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD Graphics 630 integrated graphics, 2GB Radeon Pro 555 discrete graphics, and the Touch Bar.
  • $2,799 model: 2.9GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, 512GB flash storage, Intel HD Graphics 630 integrated graphics, 4GB Radeon Pro 560 discrete graphics, and the Touch Bar.

The 13-inch Retina display has a native resolution of 2560×1600, and OS X offers a scaled resolution up to 1680×1050. The 15-inch Retina display has a native resolution of 2880×1800, and OS X’s highest scaled resolution on those laptops is 1920×1200. These high-scale resolutions can accommodate the workspace of a larger-screen standard Mac laptop on a smaller Retina MacBook Pro if you can tolerate the smaller icons, text, and other graphics on the screen. If you use a third-party app such as QuickRes, you can set the Retina screen to use resolutions higher than the scaled settings OS X offers, including the native resolution.

The MacBook Pro does not have a SuperDrive, so if you need one, you’ll have to buy an external USB optical drive.

What is the Touch Bar that’s mentioned in the specs above? The Touch Bar is a new input device. It sits on top of the keyboard, and it’s basically a narrow touchscreen. The button and controls available on the Touch Bar change depending on the software you are using. Learn more about the Touch Bar.

Important: The Touch Bar is not available on the $1,299 and $1,499 13-inch MacBook Pro. That model has the traditional function keys.

How do I connect stuff? No need to worry about wireless connectivity: The MacBook Pro has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

It’s the wired connectivity you need to be concerned with. The MacBook Pro has only Thunderbolt 3 ports, which are compatible with USB-C. The $1,299 and $1,499 13-inch MacBook Pro models have two ports, while every other MacBook model has four.

If you have a Thunderbolt 3 device, you can plug it directly into the laptop. The same goes for any USB-C device. However, if you have wired devices that aren’t USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, you’ll need an adapter. We have a separate MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide to help you decide which ones you’ll need. Unfortunately, be prepared to shell out a good amount of extra cash.

How fast is it? The MacBook Pro models are, to no surprise, the fastest laptops Apple has ever released. They are significantly faster than the MacBook Air. The 2017 MacBook cut the difference down, thanks to its Kaby Lake processor. But if it’s processing power you seek, it’s the MacBook Pro you want.

Macworld’s buying advice: For the most demanding mobile Mac user—someone whose work requires a lot of processing power—the MacBook Pro is the ticket. If you’re looking at a 13-inch model, the $1,799 Retina MacBook Pro hits a sweet spot for price and performance. The money that separates the two 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models is a hefty chunk of change; the $2,799 MacBook Pro is the top-of-the-line Mac laptop, offering the strongest performance. If your work mostly involves internet access and other productivity tasks, however, go for a MacBook Air.

Apple has refurbished 13-inch MacBook Pro models available in the company’s Refurbished and Clearance Store. Scroll to the bottom of the list to find the 2017 models. Refurbs offer a modest savings over new models.

Apple tests and certifies all products in the Refurbished store. Supply is limited, so Apple could run out of refurb stock, and you’ll have to check back if you missed your opportunity to buy. But once Apple receives your payment, the company guarantees your purchase.

Refurb products come with a one-year warranty.

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  • 13-inch 2.3GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro 128GB storage without Touch Bar (mid 2017) – $1,299.00/MSRP $1,299.00

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  • 13-inch 2.3GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro 256GB storage without Touch Bar (mid 2017) – $1,499.00/MSRP $1,499.00

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  • 13-inch 3.1GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro 256GB storage with Touch Bar (mid 2017) – $1,799.00MSRP $1,799.00

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  • 13-inch 3.1GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro 512GB storage with Touch Bar (mid 2017) – $1,999.00MSRP $1,999.00

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  • 15-in 2.8GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro 256GB storage Touch Bar (mid 2017) – $2,399.00MSRP $2,399.00

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  • 15-in 2.9GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro 512GB storage Touch Bar (mid 2017) –  $2,799.00

Mac mini

Models for sale were originally released October 2014.

What is it? The Mac mini is Apple’s entry-level desktop Mac. It’s slower than Apple’s other desktop computers—the iMac and the Mac Pro—but it remains fast enough for general-purpose use.

Who’s it for? Apple targets first-time Mac users with the Mac mini. If you’re switching from a PC, you can use your PC’s keyboard and mouse with the Mac mini. The Mac mini is also ideal as a secondary Mac in your home, and it can integrate into your home entertainment center.

What are the specifications? What makes the Mac mini stand out is its small size. It doesn’t take up a lot of desk space.

Apple sells three Mac mini models. The $499 model has a 1.4GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU, a 5,400-rpm 500GB hard drive, 4GB of memory and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000 GPU. The $699 model includes a 2.6GHz dual-core Core i5 processor, a 5,400-rpm 1TB hard drive, 8GB of memory, and integrated Intel Iris Graphics. The $999 model has a 2.8GHz dual-core Core i5 processor, a 1TB Fusion Drive, 8GB of memory, and integrated Intel Iris Graphics.

The Mac mini does not include a display, keyboard, or mouse, so you’ll have to provide your own—or you can customize your order to include these devices as extra-cost options.

Since the Mac mini lacks an optical drive, you need to buy an external USB optical drive if you want to read or burn CDs and DVDs.

How do I connect stuff? Like Apple’s other Macs, the Mac mini has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It also has four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, and an SDXC card slot. It also has a gigabit ethernet port, in case you want to connect to a wired network.

To connect a display, you can use the HDMI port or a Thunderbolt 2 port. You might have to buy an adapter if your display doesn’t have either HDMI or Mini DisplayPort (which connects to the Mac mini’s Thunderbolt port). If you own a display with VGA and/or DVI output, you’ll need either the Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA Adapter ($29 on the Apple Store) or the Mini DisplayPort-to-DVI Adapter ($29 on the Apple Store).

How fast is it? The Mac mini won’t set any speed records—it’s among the slowest Macs in Apple’s lineup. But don’t judge its performance too harshly. For general use (writing, email, Web, social media) and for editing short videos, the Mac mini does just fine.

Macworld’s buying advice: For new Mac users switching from a PC, the Mac mini is an excellent machine, if you’re fine with not having the fastest Mac. It’s a great choice for shoppers on a budget, or for someone who wants a second computer in the home. It handles everyday usage well. If, however, you want to use a Mac as a production machine for video editing or some other task that requires substantial processing power, consider an iMac.

Apple Mac mini/1.4GHz (Late 2014)

Apple Mac mini/2.6GHz (Late 2014)

Apple Mac mini/2.8GHz (Late 2014) 

iMac

Models for sale were originally released June 2017.

Apple has two versions of the iMac. Let’s go over the standard iMac first, followed by the iMac with Retina display.

What is it? The iMac is Apple’s iconic all-in-one computer. Made of aluminum, the iMac has a built-in display and looks stately as it sits on a desk. It also offers top-notch performance.

Who’s it for? The iMac is great for both novices and demanding users. It can handle general-purpose and heavy-duty tasks equally well. It’s ideal for someone who needs to buy a complete computer setup (keyboard, mouse or trackpad, and display) and wants to maximize workspace efficiency.

What are the specifications? One standard iMac model is currently available with a 21.5-inch 1920×1080-resolution display. It has a 1TB hard drive. (Apple no longer makes a 27-inch iMac with a standard display—more on that later).

The entry-level 21.5-inch $1,099 iMac has a 2.3GHz dual‑core Intel Core i5 processor and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 integrated graphics. The hard drive in the 21.5-inch iMac models is a 5,400-rpm drive.

You can’t upgrade the 21.5-inch iMac yourself after you buy it, so consider paying an extra $200 at the outset for a memory upgrade to 16GB. If you want to add more RAM later, you need to bring the iMac to an Apple store. The 21.5-inch iMac also offers a Fusion Drive or a flash storage upgrade.

The iMac comes with Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2. If you order online from the Apple Store, however, you can switch the keyboard to a version with a numeric keypad, and switch the mouse to a wired Apple Mouse or a Magic Trackpad 2 ($50). You can opt to get both a Magic Mouse 2 and a Magic Trackpad 2 for $129 extra.

The iMac does not have an optical drive. If you want to read or burn CDs and DVDs, you need to buy an external USB optical drive.

How do I connect stuff? Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in. All iMacs have four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a gigabit ethernet port, and an SDXC card slot.

If you want to connect a FireWire device, you’ll need to use a Thunderbolt-to-FireWire Adapter ($29 on the Apple Store). USB 2.0 devices can connect to the iMac’s USB 3.0 ports.

How fast is it? The iMacs are among Apple’s fastest computers, however, the $1,099 iMac is Apple’s slowest iMac. Also, if the iMac has a hard drive, it’s a performance bottleneck. If you can upgrade to a Fusion Drive or flash storage, you’ll gain a significant performance boost. The $1,099 iMac has an attractive price, but you make huge sacrifices in performance.

Macworld’s buying advice: For new Mac owners, the $1,099 iMac is a good alternative to the Mac mini, providing a nice performance increase. If performance is your top priority, consider a Fusion Drive upgrade. On a 21.5-inch iMac, the 8GB of RAM should be fine, but buying the RAM upgrade at the point of purchase could help you avoid some hassle in the future.

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  • iMac 21.5-inch 2.3GHz Processor 1TB Storage standard screen (mid 2017) – $1,099.00MSRP $1,099.00

iMac with Retina display

Models for sale were originally released June 2017.

What is it? The iMac with Retina display is like Apple’s standard iMac, but with an ultra high-resolution display.

Who’s it for? The Retina iMac is designed for professionals who work with high-resolution videos, photos, or images. Or it’s for the demanding user who wants the best image quality for everyday use.

What are the specifications? Apple calls its two 21.5-inch models the 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display. These iMacs have a 4096×2304 resolution screen. The $1,299 model has a 3.0GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and 2GB Radeon Pro 555 graphics. The $1,499 model has a 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive, and 4GB Radeon Pro 560 graphics.

Apple’s 27-inch iMacs (called the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display) come with a 5120×2880-resolution Retina display. Apple offers three models of the 27-inch Retina iMac. The $1,799 model has a 3.4GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5 processor, a 1TB Fusion Drive, and 4GB Radeon Pro 570 graphics. The $1,999 model has a 3.5GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5 processor, a 1TB Fusion Drive, and 4GB Radeon Pro 575 graphics. The $2,299 model has a 3.8GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5 processor, a 2TB Fusion Drive, and 8GB Radeon Pro 580 graphics.

Users can upgrade the RAM on the 27-inch iMac easily. The machine has four RAM slots, accessible through the back. Apple installs the standard 8GB as a pair of 4GB memory modules, so you can add more RAM after you buy the system. Or if you prefer, you can upgrade the RAM at the point of purchase to 16GB ($200) or 32GB ($600).

How do I connect stuff? Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in. All Retina iMacs have four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a gigabit ethernet port, and an SDXC card slot.

If you want to connect a FireWire device, you’ll need to use a Thunderbolt-to-FireWire Adapter ($29 on the Apple Store). USB 2.0 devices can connect to the iMac’s USB 3.0 ports.

How fast is it? The Retina iMacs are among Apple’s fastest computers when it comes to single-core performance. When it comes to multi-core speed, the Mac Pros with more than four cores are faster machines. You can improve the multi-core performance by opting for the 4.2GHz Core i7 upgrade in the $1,999 and $2,299 in the 27-inch models, or the 3.6GHz Core i7 upgrade in the 21.5-inch model—you’ll pay more, but it may be worth it to your for the performance boost.

Macworld’s buying advice: The allure of the Retina display is strong; you’ll love the way it looks. You may not love the way the price looks, however. If you are hesitant about the price, it won’t take long to get over it, once you’ve used the Retina iMac for a couple of weeks.

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  • iMac 21.5-inch Retina 4K Display 3.0GHz Processor 1TB Storage (mid 2017) – $1,299.00/MSRP $1,299.00
  • iMac 21.5-inch Retina 4K Display 3.4GHz Processor 1TB Storage (mid 2017) –  $1,499.00/MSRP $1,499.00 

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  • iMac 27-inch Retina 5K Display 3.4GHz Processor 1TB Storage – $1,799.00/MSRP $1,799.00

  • iMac 27-inch Retina 5K Display 3.5GHz Processor 1TB Storage – $1,999.00/MSRP $1,999.00

  • iMac 27-inch Retina 5K Display 3.8GHz Processor 2TB Storage – $2,299.00/MSRP $2,299.00

iMac Pro

Models for sale were originally released December 2017.

What is it? The iMac Pro is an all-in-one computer like the iMac, but it contains workstation-class components for handling heavy-duty, complex computations.

Who’s it for? This is the computer for people who with the most demanding tasks. It’s targeted at creative professionals, scientists, and software developers.

What are the specifications? The iMac Pro uses workstation-class Intel Xeon W processors. The processors are available with 8, 10, 14, or 18 cores.

The iMac Pro will come standard with 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory. You can configure it to 64GB or 128GB. The RAM is not user upgradeable, though; if you want to add more RAM later, you need to bring the iMac Pro to a service provider.

The storage device is a 1TB SSD, with options for 2TB or 4TB. The graphics card is a Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of HBM2 memory, with upgrades available.

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Pricing starts at $4,999 for the 8-core model with 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and 8GB Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics.

The iMac Pro comes in an aluminum space gray case. It also has matching space gray Magic Keyboard with a numeric keypad and Magic Mouse 2.

How do I connect stuff? Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are included for wireless connectivity. The back of the iMac Pro has four USB 3 ports, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 10-gigabit ethernet jack, and an SDXC card slot.

How fast is it? The machine is a multi-processing beast, designed to work with pro-level apps that demand multiple processing cores. Apple has issued different configurations of the iMac Pro to select users, including mechanical and aerospace engineer Craig A. Hunter, director and photographer Vincent Laforet, and YouTubers Marques Brownlee and Jonathan Morrison, and all of them say the speed is very impressive.

In our review of the iMac Pro, we confirmed that the new Mac is at its best with software that can take advantage of processors with multiple cores. And the iMac Pro’s graphics performance is spectacular, thanks to the Radeon Pro Vega

If you use software that’s geared for single-core performance (which includes many general consumar apps), you won’t see a marked increase. In fact, we found that the iMac Pro is similar in single-core performance to a 2014 Core i7 5K iMac. You’re better off with a new 5K iMac in this case.

Macworld’s buying advice: This is the fastest available Mac in Apple’s lineup, if you use multi-core software. There doesn’t seem to be a new Mac Pro coming in the near future, despite what Apple said about it. So if you’d rather wait for a new Mac Pro, you might be waiting for a while.

Apple - iMac Pro [2017

iMac Pro – MSRP $4,999.00

Mac Pro

Models for sale were originally released December 2013.

What is it? The Mac Pro is Apple’s workstation. It’s designed for professionals who need a powerful and flexible machine.

Who’s it for? The Mac Pro is ideal for professionals who work with applications that use as many processing cores as possible—video-editing applications, image-editing software, 3D programs, and the like.

What are the specifications? You’ll find two standard-configuration models. The $2,999 Mac Pro has a 3.5GHz 6-core Xeon E5 processor, 16GB of memory, and dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics processors with 3GB of video memory each. The $3,999 Mac Pro provides a 3.0GHz 8-core Xeon E5 processor, 16GB of memory, and dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics processors with 6GB of video memory each. Both models include 256GB of flash storage.

The Mac Pro offers buyers some appealing build-to-order options. You can add up to 64GB of memory, upgrade to 512GB or 1TB of flash storage, upgrade the graphics, or upgrade the processor (to a 12-core CPU).

The Mac Pro (2013).

How do I connect stuff?Unlike the previous Mac Pro, the new Mac Pro has no internal options for connecting PCI expansion cards or internal storage drives. The new Mac Pro relies on its six external Thunderbolt 2 ports for add-ons. If you have an old Mac Pro tower and PCI cards and/or drives that you want to use, you’ll need to buy a Thunderbolt expansion chassis for the cards and external cases for the drives.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth come built-in on the new Mac Pro. The machine has four USB 3 ports, dual gigabit ethernet jacks, and HDMI. Audio professionals should know that the Mac Pro has a combined optical digital audio input and analog output minijack. The computer doesn’t have FireWire connections.

How fast is it? Apple says that the new Mac Pro is a “video editing powerhouse” capable of handling 4K video editing, that 3D applications will see “ultrafast rendering,” and on and on. And our first set of tests reflects that. If you use Final Cut Pro X, you’ll see huge performance gains. If you use applications that can take advantage of as many processing cores as are available, then the Mac Pro really shines.

However, if you’re more of a “prosumer” than a professional—someone who is an expert Mac user, but doesn’t use high-end apps—then you’re not going to see a big jump in performance. You’re probably better off with an iMac, especially if you use the iLife apps a lot. iLife actually performs better with the processors in the iMac than those in the Mac Pro.

Macworld’s buying advice: In April 2017, Apple provided some much-needed insight into the Mac Pro. Originally released in 2013, the Mac Pro hasn’t received a serious upgrade since then. The current models were originally offered as build-to-order options for the models released about four years ago. So the current Mac Pro still sports old technology.

Apple admitted that the Mac Pro’s design severely limits what the company can do with the machine in terms of upgrades, and that, as Apple VP Phil Schiller puts it, they are “completely rethinking” the Mac Pro.

The next Mac Pro will be better able to support the latest CPU and GPU technologies, according to Apple. But you’ll have to wait until next year for the new, redesigned Mac Pro to make its appearance.

In the meantime, should you buy the Mac Pro that’s currently available? If you are doing professional work and require extreme multi-processing capability, and you’re using an old pre-2013 Mac Pro or an older iMac, you’ll definitely see a performance boost with the current Mac Pro.

But if you already have the 2013 Mac Pro, there’s no reason to buy what Apple is selling now, unless you are making a significant jump in the number of processing cores (say, from a four-core to a 12-core CPU). Try to hold out for the first half of next year to see if Apple makes an announcement.

(macworld.com, https://goo.gl/SReMwF)

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