Apple has started taking orders for the rackmount version of the new Mac Pro, with new purchases shipping in three to four weeks. It’s the same MacPro underneath as its desktop-oriented counterpart with options for many-core Xeon CPUs, Radeon Pro Vega II graphics, an Afterburner video accelerator card and lots of memory and storage — it’s just the form factor that’s new.
The system starts at $6,499, or $500 more than the standard tower. Like before, though, the price can go up quickly. Max it out with a 28-core Xeon, 1.5TB of RAM, dual Radeon Pro Vega II Duo cards, 8TB of SSD storage, an Afterburner card and a Magic Mouse/Magic Trackpad combo and it’s over $54,000 (RAM is expensive).
Engadget points out that In some ways, this represents Apple’s pro efforts coming full circle and offers some context that we can relate to. “[Apple] stopped selling the Xserve rackmount back in January 2011,” Jon Fingas says, “leaving Mac-inclined companies to use tower-based servers instead — and the cylindrical Mac Pro made that even harder. The rack version of the new Mac Pro isn’t a perfect replacement for the Xserve (it’s much thicker and doesn’t have front drive bays), but it could fill a conspicuous gap that has existed for nine years.”