Long Live the Desktop! Apple's Made-in-America Mac Pro Arrives Thursday

PHOTO: The new Mac Pro will go on sale Dec. 19, 2013, starting at $2,999.
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Christmas is a week away, and you might still be scrambling around looking for the perfect gifts. If there's an Apple-obsessed technophile in your life, the newest Mac Pro might be your ticket to winning the holidays. That is, if you have the cash.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced via tweet Wednesday morning that the Mac Pro has begun rolling off the lines in Austin, Texas. The desktop computer will be available Thursday, Dec. 19, in Apple Stores and on the Apple website, starting at $2,999.

The Mac Pro's design is a big departure from Mac's previous desktops. It stands at a little less than 10 inches, and its cylindrical shape makes it look more like a futuristic coffee mug than a computer. The machine is also assembled in the U.S., unlike many of Apple's other products, most of which are put together in China.

But buried within the 11-pound machine is top-notch hardware that outclasses not only all other Mac models but most other high-end towers.

The basic Mac Pro comes with the latest quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, as well as 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage space. But customers who want a more powerful computer can buy a 6-core processor Mac Pro for $3,999. Both computers can be customized even more, going up to a 12-core processor, 64 GB of memory and 1 TB of storage space.

Along with both computers' powerful Dual AMD FirePro graphics processors, the new Mac Pros can handle a lot at once -- up to three separate 4K displays or six Thunderbolt displays. It certainly is for the power user who demands a lot of horsepower, especially for heavy video or graphic work.

But be forewarned that those displays aren't included in the $2,999 price tag. The only accessory that the Mac Pro comes with is a power cord. Monitors, speakers and the keyboard and mouse are extra.

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