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Apple's rackmount Mac Pro is now available

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Apple

If you (or more likely, your company) are pining for the new Mac Pro but don't want anything so gauche as a tower under the desk, Apple has you covered. It started taking orders for the rackmount version of the Mac Pro, with new purchases shipping in three to four weeks. It's the same computer underneath as its desktop-oriented counterpart with options for many-core Xeon CPUs, Radeon Pro Vega II graphics, an Afterburner video accelerator card and gobs of memory and storage -- it's just arriving in a new form factor that's better-suited to render farms, servers and easy-to-move stations.

The system starts at $6,499, or $500 more than the standard tower. Like before, though, the price can quickly spiral upward depending on your needs. 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 you're going to pay over $54,000. You likely won't pay nearly that much in practice (nearly half that maxed-out price comes from the RAM), but it's an option for those pros who will spare no expense.

In some ways, this represents Apple's pro efforts coming full circle. It stopped selling the Xserve rackmount back in January 2011, 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.