Mac Pro Tech Notes


Choose Processor

Mac Pro is powered by the latest Intel Xeon E5 processors. Built using Intel’s advanced 22-nanometer process technology, Intel Xeon E5 processors feature up to 12 processing cores and up to 30MB of shared L3 cache on a single chip.

Intel Xeon E5 processors feature:

  • An Integrated memory controller providing four channels of 1866MHz ECC memory for massive memory bandwidth and low memory latency
  • Hyper-Threading — a technology that allows each processor core to simultaneously run two threads, providing up to 24 virtual cores in a 12-core system
  • Turbo Boost 2.0 — a dynamic performance technology that automatically boosts the processor clock speed in cores being used when other cores aren’t needed

Intel Xeon E5 processors with higher core counts also have increased shared L3 cache. The quad-core Xeon offers 10MB of L3 cache; the 6-core offers 12MB of L3 cache; the 8-core offers 25MB of L3 cache; and the 12-core offers 30MB of L3 cache.

Which processor is right for you? If you run apps that are not highly multithreaded, you will benefit the most from processors with a higher clock speed. Highly multithreaded applications will perform best on processors with a higher core count, even with a slightly lower clock speed.

Choose Memory

Mac Pro supports up to 64GB of fast 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory using a four-channel memory controller. Choose more memory to improve overall system performance.

Because accessing data from memory is much faster than accessing it from primary storage, the more memory your system has, the faster it can manipulate your data. The result is greater performance, especially when working with large files and memory-intensive graphics, audio, video, and scientific applications.

The SDRAM in the Mac Pro uses an advanced memory technology that is not only fast, but also reliable. ECC provides this added layer of reliability by automatically detecting and correcting transient memory errors if they occur.

Mac Pro uses unregistered DIMMs (U-DIMMs) in all memory configurations except 64GB, which uses four 16GB registered DIMMs (R-DIMMs). Registered DIMMs cannot be mixed with unregistered DIMMs.

Choose Storage

Mac Pro comes standard with ultrafast PCIe-based flash storage that is up to 10x faster than a 7200-rpm SATA hard drive. With PCIe-based flash storage, your Mac Pro boots nearly instantly, applications launch fast, big projects open quickly, and everything you do is incredibly responsive.

Mac Pro comes standard with 256GB of flash storage and can be upgraded to 512GB or 1TB. The larger the capacity, the more space is available to store your documents, photos, music, videos, apps, and more. And flash storage doesn’t have any moving parts, which means it’s more reliable and quiet.


Mac Pro comes standard with two workstation-class AMD FirePro graphics cards with up to 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each, enabling powerful GPU-based visualization and compute capabilities in every system. Both GPUs are connected internally via x16 PCI Express gen 3 lanes for massive bandwidth. The FirePro GPUs in Mac Pro enable video output through both the Thunderbolt 2 ports and the HDMI 1.4 port, enabling you to connect up to three 4K displays or up to six Apple Thunderbolt Displays.

Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5

Configure your Mac Pro with dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs for additional graphics memory bandwidth and processing power. Equipped with 3GB of VRAM each on a 384-bit-wide memory bus providing 240GB/s of bandwidth, each FirePro D500 GPU has 1526 stream processors delivering up to 2.2 teraflops of processing power each. The FirePro D500 supports fast double-precision computations, executing at one-quarter the performance of single-precision floating point rather than the 1/16 performance seen in the D300 and most consumer GPUs.

Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDR5

Tackle the most demanding 3D, 4K video, and scientific visualization problems by configuring your Mac Pro with dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics cards. Equipped with 6GB of VRAM each on a 384-bit-wide memory bus providing 264GB/s of bandwidth, each FirePro D700 GPU has 2048 stream processors delivering up to 3.5 teraflops of processing power each, for a total of 7 teraflops. The FirePro D700 supports fast double-precision computations, executing at one-quarter the performance of single-precision floating point rather than the 1/16 performance seen in the D300 and most consumer GPUs.

Note: AMD FirePro GPUs in Mac Pro support a maximum of two passive DVI adapters such as the Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter. Active adapters such as the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter can be used to support more than two DVI displays.

Choose Mouse or Trackpad

Both Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 are wireless and rechargeable — so you won’t have to replace any batteries — and are a perfect complement to your Mac Pro. You can also connect your own USB or Bluetooth mouse.

Magic Mouse 2

The new design of Magic Mouse 2 lets it glide more smoothly across your desk. And since it supports Multi-Touch, you can use simple gestures on its surface to do things such as swipe between web pages and scroll through documents. So if you prefer using a wireless mouse and want some of the benefits of Multi-Touch, Magic Mouse 2 is a great choice.

Magic Trackpad 2

If you prefer using a trackpad, Magic Trackpad 2 gives you the full range of Multi-Touch gestures and introduces Force Touch technology to the desktop. Sensors underneath the trackpad surface detect subtle differences in the amount of pressure you apply, bringing more functionality to your fingertips and enabling a deeper connection to your content. The new design also features a lower profile, making it even more comfortable to use.

Apple Mouse

The wired Apple Mouse features a scroll ball that lets you move anywhere inside a document without lifting a finger. And with touch-sensitive technology concealed under the seamless top shell, you can choose either the versatility of a four-button mouse or the simplicity of a single-button beauty. The Apple Mouse is powered by a precision optical sensor.

Apple Keyboard

Mac Pro ships without a keyboard, but it works with virtually any Bluetooth or USB keyboard. If you don’t already own one that you want to use with your Mac Pro, you can add the new Magic Keyboard or the wired Apple Keyboard to your purchase. (Note that your keyboard and Mac Pro will be shipped separately.)

Magic Keyboard

The redesigned Magic Keyboard is wireless and rechargeable (so you won’t be replacing batteries), and its ultracompact, edge-to-edge design wastes no surface space. Magic Keyboard has full-size function keys, an enhanced scissor mechanism, and a lower profile that provide a more precise and comfortable typing experience.

Wired Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

The wired Apple Keyboard offers an extended layout that includes document and desktop navigation controls as well as a numeric keypad — an added benefit for gamers and number crunchers alike. It has two USB 2 ports that let you connect a wired mouse as well as a high-speed peripheral such as a digital camera or printer.