Apple introduced the first Mac Pro with two dual-core 2.0, 2.66, or 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon CPUs in August 2006 with 1 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, and Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT graphics. Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme were both optional on the original Mac Pro.
An 8-core version with two quad-core CPUs was added in April 2007.
The second generation Mac Pro was released in January 2008, and every configuration used quad-core Intel Xeon CPUs. A single quad-core 2.8 GHz CPU entry-level model was available alongside a dual quad-core 2.8 GHz model and a 3.2 GHz one. Bluetooth became a standard feature, but AirPort Extreme remained an option.
The third generation Mac Pro was released in March 2009; every configuration uses quad-core Intel “Nehalem” Xeon CPUs. A single quad-core 2.66 GHz CPU entry-level model is available alongside a dual quad-core 2.26 GHz model, and there are a host of build-to-order options.
The 2010 Mac Pro was released in July 2010; the single-CPU model uses quad-core Intel “Nehalem” Xeon CPUs running at 2.8, 3.2, or 3.33 GHz. The dual-CPU model uses Intel’s newer “Westmere”, a version of Nehalem that uses a 32nm die (vs. 45nm) for higher speed, lower power consumption, and reduced heat. The base dual-CPU Mac Pros use two 2.8 GHz 4-core CPUs, and 6-core CPUs running at 2.66 and 2.93 GHz are options, creating the first 12-core Macs. Westmere CPUs have new instructions to better support encryption and are designed to reduce latency when used for virtualization. As always, there are a lot of build-to-order options.
The 2012 Mac Pro was a speed bumped version of the 2010 model. CPU options were a 3.2 GHz quad-core and one or two 2.4 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon processors.
In 2013, Apple completely revamped the Mac Pro, building the whole computer in a 9.9″ tall 6.6″ diameter cylinder with no hard drive bays and no PCIe expansion slots. Upgrading system memory is about the only thing a user can do internally; all other upgrades must be external. 10 points for style and speed; 0 for expandability.
- Troubleshooting Memory Problems with the Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1, Mark Sokolovsky, Maximize Your Mac, 2018.03.06.
- Install 64 GB of RAM in Your Mac Pro 1,1 or 2,1, Mark Sokolovsky, Maximize Your Mac, 2018.03.02
- Mac Pro Overview, 2006 to 2012, Daniel Knight, Low End Mac Tech Journal, 2016.09.23
- Modernizing the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pro to Go Beyond OS X Lion, Robert Bryant, Hacking Your Mac, 2014.07.28
- Maximizing a 2006 Mac Pro, Jason Schrader, Maximize Your Mac, 2013.01.28