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Apple Mac Pro MA970LL/A Desktop (Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors, 2 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, 16x SuperDrive)
List Price: $2799.00

Our Price: $2589.00

You Save: $210.00 (8%)


Product Description

Start your engines, all eight of them. Eight-core processing power was once only top-of-the-line. Now it comes standard. This time around, performance is more phenomenal than ever - up to two times faster than the previous standard-configuration Mac Pro. And with the multi-core technology enhancements of Mac OS X Leopard, the new Mac Pro is a force to be reckoned with. For what ever your working on, either Photoshop or Final Cut Pro enjoy up to 1.8 times faster processing power with this new Mac Pro. All-new high-performance graphics cards from ATI make Mac Pro graphics technology even more cutting edge. ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory, PCI Express 2.0, and two dual-link DVI ports - provides great performance for typical creative applications. The Mac Pro has four 3.5-inch internal hard drive bays that allows for an enormous amount of internal storage, up to 4TB. These bays are direct-attach and cable free, just attach the drive carrier to a Serial ATA hard drive and slide the drive into place. Another smart design allows you to install more memory in a snap. Mac Pro has two memory riser cards with four fully buffered DIMM slots each. Just slide out the riser cards and snap in the memory. With a total of eight DIMM slots available, you can install up to 32GB of 800MHz ECC DIMM memory. If you're looking for a powerful and a sweet looking desktop this is the one for you. ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR3 video memory SuperDrive with double-layer support Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR Two independent 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet Front ports - FireWire 800, FireWire 400, 2 USB, Headphone minijack and speaker Back ports - FireWire 800, FireWire 400, 3 USB, Optical Digital Audio In/Out TOSLINK ports, Stereo line-level input/output, 2 RJ-45, 2 DVI ports Expansion slots - 2 PCI Express x4, 1 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Drive bays - One open optical drive bay for optional second SuperDrive, 4 internal 3.5 Mo

Boost your productivity with the Apple Mac Pro desktop PC--the fastest Mac Apple has ever made. Combining two of Intel's new 64-bit, 45-nanometer Quad-Core Xeon 5400 processors running at 2.8 GHz, the Mac Pro is an unbelievably powerful workstation that can handle even the most intensive graphics rendering. Its industrial-style enclosure offers improved functionality with a cable-free installation process and massive upgrade ability--up to 32 GB of 800 MHz RAM and four hard drive bays for up to 4 TB (that's right--terabytes) of storage under the hood. And while it comes standard with a 16x SuperDrive (compatible with burning DVDR/RW and CD-R/RW discs), you can also add a second writing SuperDrive.

Additionally, the Mac Pro MA970LL/A features a 320 GB hard drive, 2 GB of installed RAM, and the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT (two dual-link DVI ports) graphics card with 256 MB of video RAM, both FireWire 400 and 800 slots, optical digital audio input and output, Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard, and iLife '08. The Mac Pro also includes a DVI to VGA adapter and an Apple keyboard and Mighty Mouse.

Smart design makes installing massive amounts of memory, adding expansion cards, and increasing storage surprisingly simple.

Based on Intel's next-generation Core micro-architecture, the two 2.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core Intel Xeon 5400 processors are based on state-of-the-art 45nm Intel Core microarchitecture. With a new high-bandwidth hardware architecture, 12 MB of L2 cache per processor (each pair of cores shares 6 MB), and dual-independent 1600 MHz front side buses, the new Mac Pro achieves a 61 percent increase in memory throughput. These 64-bit buses give each processor a direct connection to the system controller and deliver improved processor bandwidth of up to 25.6GB per second--20 percent greater than the previous Mac Pro. Every Intel Xeon processor features an enhanced SSE4 SIMD engine. Capable of completing 128-bit vector computations in a single cycle, SSE4 is ideal for transforming large sets of data, such as applying a filter to an image or rendering a video effect.

Because Intel designed this dual-core Xeon to be more efficient, it consumes less power than similar workstation-level processors, so your system fans don't have to work as hard to keep them cool. Working with Mac OS X Leopard, it also continues the tradition of enabling 64-bit computation. Ideal for scientific applications, the 64-bit Intel Xeon processors can express the extreme precision needed for floating-point mathematics and to express integers up to 18 billion.

The Mac Pro incorporates a 256-bit-wide, fully buffered memory architecture with Error Correction Code (ECC), which corrects single-bit errors and detects multiple-bit errors automatically. These features are especially important in mission-critical or compute-intensive environments. Apple designed a more stringent thermal specification for the Mac Pro FB-DIMMs, so the internal fans spin at slower speeds and keep the system quiet.

This Mac Pro comes standard with the new, high-performance ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card with 256 MB of GDDR3 memory, PCI Express 2.0, and two dual-link DVI ports. GDDR3 (Graphics Double Data Rate, version 3) is a graphics card-specific memory technology that's better able to deliver fluid frame rates for even the most advanced games and applications. It provides great performance for typical creative applications, and you get dual 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display support out of the box. With support for up to four graphics cards, the new Mac Pro can drive up to eight 30-inch displays at once for advanced visualization and large display walls.

Hard Drive
This Mac Pro (model MA970LL/A) comes loaded with a single 320 GB hard drive. It comes with four 3.5-inch internal hard drive bays for an enormous amount of internal storage--up to 4 TB. These bays are direct-attach and cable free, so it's easy to add or remove drives. Just attach the drive carrier to either a Serial ATA 3Gb/s or Serial Attached SCSI 3Gb/s drive, and slide the drive into place. There are no connectors or cables to contend with. Lock the drives with the side door latch, and you're done.

You can also choose ultrafast 15,000-rpm Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 3Gb/s drives with 300GB of capacity for the highest in disk I/O performance. Together with the Mac Pro RAID Card, these drives provide 250MB/s of RAID 5 disk I/O performance. That's enough data to play back one stream of 10-bit uncompressed HD content. It's the ultimate storage solution for highly demanding data transfer situations like editing uncompressed HD video content or updating ultra-high-resolution images.

The Mac Pro is loaded with connectivity options.
Using Mac OS X, you can stripe two, three, or all four hard drives in a RAID 0 array to increase performance and create a massive volume for video editing; or create a RAID 1 mirror for protecting your critical digital media assets against a drive failure. For the ultimate in data protection and enhanced performance, add the optional Mac Pro RAID Card with 256MB of RAID cache, a 72-hour cache-protecting battery, and hardware RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 0+1. Apple's RAID Utility software makes setting up and managing the RAID card easy.

While this Mac Pro comes loaded with just 1 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 RAM--which is satisfactory--this Mac Pro has two memory riser cards with four fully buffered DIMM slots each. Just slide out the riser cards and snap in the memory. You don't have to dig around inside the computer or wrestle with wires or cables. With a total of eight DIMM slots available, you can install up to 32GB of 800MHz ECC fully buffered DIMM memory.

Expansion and Connectivity
The Mac Pro features four full-length expansion slots, including a high-performance PCI Express 2.0 graphics slot, with up to twice the bandwidth of PCI Express. The graphics slot is double-wide, so it doesn't cover up an adjacent slot. In addition, three available expansion slots, one PCI Express 2.0 and two PCI Express, provide room to grow. And thanks to a tool-less PCI bracket, you can take out cards as fast as you put them in.

  • Two FireWire 800 ports (one on front panel, one on back panel)
  • Two FireWire 400 ports (one on front panel, one on back panel)
  • Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
  • Two USB 1.1 ports on included keyboard
  • Front-panel headphone minijack and speaker
  • Optical digital audio input and output Toslink ports
  • Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks

Preloaded with Leopard, you'll enjoy enhanced productivity and a clutter-free desktop (thanks to the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks).
Preloaded with Leopard and iLife '08
The biggest Mac OS X upgrade ever, the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system features over 300 new features, including:

  • Time Machine, an effortless way to automatically back up everything on a Mac
  • A redesigned Finder that lets users quickly browse and share files between multiple Macs
  • Quick Look, a new way to instantly see files without opening an application
  • Spaces, an intuitive new feature used to create groups of applications and instantly switch between them
  • A brand new desktop with Stacks, a new way to easily access files from the Dock
  • Major enhancements to Mail and iChat
Leopard's new desktop includes the redesigned 3D Dock with Stacks, a new way to organize files for quick and easy access with just one click. Leopard automatically places web, email and other downloads in a Downloads stack to maintain a clutter-free desktop, and you can instantly fan the contents of this and other Stacks into an elegant arc right from the Dock. The updated Finder includes Cover Flow and a new sidebar with a dramatically simplified way to search for, browse and copy content from any PC or Mac on a local network.

Time Machine lets you easily back up all of the data on your Mac, find lost files and even restore all of the software on their Mac. With just a one-click setup, Time Machine automatically keeps an up-to-date copy of everything on the Mac. In the event a file is lost, you can search back through time to find deleted files, applications, photos and other digital media and then instantly restore the file.

The Mac Pro also comes with the iLife '08 suite of applications that make it easy to live the digital life. Use iPhoto to share entire high-res photo albums with anyone who's got an email address. Record your own songs and podcasts with GarageBand. Break into indie filmmaking with iMovie and iDVD. Then take all the stuff you made on your Mac and share it on the Web in one click with iWeb.

It measures 20.1 x 8.1 x 18.7 inches, and weighs 42.4 pounds.

What's in the Box
Mac Pro, Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse, DVI to VGA adapter, USB keyboard extension cable, install/restore DVDs, printed and electronic documentation

  • Two 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processors with dual-independent 1600 MHz front side buses
  • 2 GB RAM expandable up to 32 GB, 320 GB hard drive, 16x Double-Layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (Two dual-link DVI)
  • Two FireWire 800 ports, two FireWire 400 ports, five USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports on keyboard
  • Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard (includes Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools), iLife '08 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, and GarageBand)

Customer Reviews:

  • Best computer I have owned
    Here are some things to consider when shopping around for this type of system. This machine is dual-CPU, with a 1600MHz frontside bus and 800MHz memory. Most server-grade systems like this, say from HP or Dell, are still shipping with a 1333MHz bus and 667MHz memory. The extra bandwidth helps on applications like video encoding.

    The tower case is perfection. You're looking at a 1000 watt power supply, aluminum case, a large number of huge fans that run slowly, meaning quietly. It would cost about $300 to assemble a comparable unit for a dual-CPU PC, and you'd end up with something weighing 70 or 80 lbs, instead of 50. I know, I've lifted them. This case has some marginal improvements on the original Mac Pro case, like rubber bumpers on the drive sleds to decrease vibration. I sold a Mac Pro quad 2.66 to buy this dual quad 2.8. This machine is all around faster, more polished, and quieter. Which is saying something, because the original Mac Pro was quiet. I cannot stress enough how quiet this tower is. If you do any sort of audio work, or just like to have a quiet house or work environment, you can appreciate a computer that is almost completely silent. Occasionally I'll hear some disk activity, almost inaudible. Seriously, my laptop makes more noise because its hard drive has less shielding.

    Each of the CPUs in this Mac is an Intel Xeon E5462 running at 2.8Ghz. These chips are $850 APIECE if you buy them retail. Dell and HP generally sell comparable systems with the Xeon E5440 running at 2.83GHz and a slower 1333MHz bus... for much more money. You are getting a great deal with this Mac.

    You don't buy a machine like this and hobble it with the stock memory and hard drive. (Dell and HP also skimp on the included RAM and HD). Do yourself a favor and get another 4GB or 8GB of RAM, using 4 DIMMs. This architecture performs best when you use DIMMs in matched sets of 4, for quad-channel performance. This will increase your memory bandwidth by 5-15%. Shop around for RAM, and make sure that they are CAS 5-5-5 800MHz FB-DIMMs.

    The stock hard drive in mine turned out to be a 320GB Western Digital. You never know what you'll get, as Apple also uses Seagate and other vendors. Again, do yourself a favor and add a high-performance drive and make it your boot drive. See sites like or for drive comparisons. I personally use a WD 750GB RE2 and a Seagate 7200.11 500GB drive. 1 Terabyte drives will perform even better. You're not just buying extra capacity. High capacity drives generally have higher transfer rates as well. These drives are now relatively inexpensive. The Samsung Spinpoint F1 is the fastest out there, but I'm waiting to hear reliability reports. The two I mentioned are well-proven in the PC world and I've heard good reports from other Mac users.

    If you need this sort of power or simply want the best experience that OS X can offer you, with a machine that will last you a long time, the 2.8 is a good choice. Unfortunately, this is currently Apple's bottom of the line tower machine (unless you configure-to-order a single-CPU unit directly from Apple). Apple has had a history of always using server-class, rather than desktop-class chips in their tower machines. Unless Apple ever releases a tower Mac that uses Intel's desktop chips like the QX6850 or forthcoming QX9770, this is likely the cheapest tower Mac we'll see. But at least you can feel safe in getting something priced lower, with better performance, than comparable PC dual-CPU systems. And yes, it will run Windows just like any other PC, if you choose to do so....more info
  • Mac Guy
    I am a mac guy for sure and the new tower is extremely quiet and reliable. Fast as well. Add more memory if you can afford it but comes pretty loaded. 5 stars for apple again....more info
  • One of the Best Computers I have ever bought
    This is my 3rd computer. Had a Compaq Computer, a Dell Computer and now the Apple Mac Pro. This is one of the best computers i have ever purchased in my life. Seamless Operating System. MAC OSX is the best and Years ahead of its time. It makes me think how did i ever used Windows!!! Vista is the real reason i switched to mac. After Vista came out Microsoft fell off. Vista is garbage, Office 2007/8 is garbage, and now theres talk of Windows 7?? Looks no different from vista. Just another quack product to milk the consumer.

    Anyway Back to MAC Pro. Nice design, Very Quiet (You will never know its even on). Ultra fast. If you need RAM don't buy it from apple. Get it from OWC. They use the same ram apple uses just 60% cheaper.

    Now to the Cons. The only real con's is the price. $2500+ is a heavy investment for a computer especially in these hard times in the economy. But to me its worth the price. You really get what you pay for. I would not mind spending $2500+ for a piece of mind. zero to no virus,spyware, and regular headaches of the common PC user is well worth the price....more info
  • Top of the line Mac, get it if you can afford it!
    Apple's most upgradeable computer, though best suited to the prosumer or professional market due to its power and price. I have the 4 core version (custom configured through Apple) and its plenty fast. Plenty of room to upgrade hard drives, video cards, RAM, etc. Can't be beat for pure power, there's not much else to say that hasn't been said. This thing is built like a tank!...more info
  • Extra power?
    What does a Mac need extra power for, it runs only OS X and cannot run games or next to nothing releated to extreme graphics. Dell's power PC's are faster, more powerful and cheeper than this anyway. 3000$ give me a break Apple....more info
  • Mac Pro Computer
    Computer works great. Rec'vd it fast from After adding 3 more HD's & 12 more gigs of ram the computer functions great. Good speed when using the OSX Leapord Raid to stripe 2 drives & then use a mirror raid for protection. Good price too from [...] Chase Card. Hard to beat that price!...more info
  • Initial problems gone, I'm loving it now. Would upgrade to 5 stars if I could.
    UPDATE: I've now owned my new Mac Pro for a little over two months. I've been extremely pleased with it and have seen none of the problems I had with the first one I bought from another vendor. I changed out the keyboard for a Microsoft Natural wireless and the mouse for a Logitech Bluetooth wireless. It's great!

    2nd Update: After 6 months in the Mac life, I'm so totally pleased. After 20 years in the PC world, I'm astounded at how THINGS JUST WORK. No weirdness, no conflicting drivers, no "gotta get version 8.2c228 of MS Whatzit Framework". And with VMWare Fusion, I can still run the occasional Windows program. We're converting our entire house and business over to Mac.

    Original Review
    I was in the market for an upgrade to my current Windows PC. I do a lot of digital photography and need serious horsepower. I was astounded at how inexpensive the Mac Pro was, considering the dual-quad processors and high-speed RAM.

    I bought a Mac Pro from another vendor, because at the time Amazon didn't have them in stock. During the week I owned it, I really really loved it. Processing large batches of photos took less than 1/4 the time of my old Dell (dual-core 2.66). It was a little tough adjusting to the "Apple Way" of doing things, but overall things are easier on the Mac. Especially installing/uninstalling applications, trivially easy compared to a PC. And I really loved the way the machine didn't have all this stupid "trialware" clogging up the system.

    One definite drawback of the Mac Pro is the horrible keyboard. It looks and feels like a super-low-end "chicklet" keyboard from the 1980s. It *is* super thin and stylish, but in this case it's a triumph of style over usefulness. If you do any significant typing and you're used to a nice ergonomic keyboard, you'll hate it. The "mighty" mouse is better, but (like the keyboard) the shape put unnatural stress on my wrist and it began to ache, like the old days of straight keyboards and flat mice.

    Why did I write "when it works"? Well, after a week, I had to send my Mac Pro back. It was constantly locking up and only a hard power-cycle would reset it. From my subsequent reading, it appears that there are a lot of problem machines. I found dozens of other users with symptoms identical to mine. When I called Apple technical support and described the issue, they immediately told me to return it as a DOA, so they know there's a problem.

    Hopefully, it was just a glitch of the early machines. Now that Amazon has more in stock, I'll be ordering one from them and see if they fixed the problem in later batches. Just that few days with the Mac Pro was great, I'm looking forward to getting another....more info
  • Quiet, Fast, and Powerful
    Those three adjectives pretty much sum up my experience with the Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad-core desktop system. I waited a full 3 weeks before writing my review, to make sure I had a chance to thoroughly put the computer through its paces.

    In that time, I've had the opportunity to open the case up and install additional hard drives. The case design for the tower units is still the metal "cheese-grater" look, and while I was hoping that Apple would have revamped its design, I'm amazed as to how well thought out the inside of the case really is. Installing those aforementioned drives was literally a snap to do. There are 4 internal SATA drive bays, and outside of using a Phillip's screwdriver to mount the drives into the MacPro's racks, the rest was a technical no-brainer.

    The machine runs extremely quiet - so quiet that I sometimes have to look down at the power indicator light to verify that the unit is, in fact, on. The Mac Pro also has no issues in 'Sleep' mode. This was my biggest concern, having read sites like and, where other readers have reported such issues. In my case, the machine works flawlessly.

    I'm running a stock memory configuration, but it looks like additional RAM will be just as easy to install. The shipping box itself comes with the much touted aluminum keyboard (which I personally find to be excellent in my heavy usage), a Mighty Mouse (which I've never used, as I prefer trackballs), Leopard restore discs, a VGA-DVI cable, a very tiny manual, and a few Apple stickers. Oh, and the computer.

    My previous Macintosh computer was a Dual 2GHz G5 (2003, Rev. A model). The speed difference is there between these two machines, but it's more subtle than I would have expected. I suspect that adding additional RAM beyond the stock 2GB will allow me to see more substantial performance improvements.

    This computer is used regularly with Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Corel Painter X, with a myriad of other apps I use on a day-to-day basis. Everything has worked flawlessly out of the box. Overall, I'm very pleased with my purchase. Highly recommended....more info
  • Operating Windows Vista on the Mac Pro-Priceless!
    After years of struggling on PC's from Windows 3.1 to Vista this is the answer for all of those issues.

    Setup via Bootcamp was a breeze and it is one fast and silent machine!

    ...more info
  • MAC
    Ok this is my second MAC I had bought a MAC Mini for my first MAC.. I'm a old PC user but after the purchase of the MAC Pro I could not be happier as the MAC allows me to run virtuals as well as the MAC OS and have not gotten a virus and very happy with the product. Suggest Vmware for virtuals if you a PC person and thinking about switching use VMWare to load XP / server 2003 / Server 2008 / Win 7 / as well Linux

    Since receiving the my order I have gone to OWC for more memory and this MAC is a screamer.. I do 3D art and a normal PC can take three to four hours to render the picture but not the MAC Pro 20min at most.

    Also Amazon delivered on-time like normal as well the box and all equipment was in a excellent condition. Thank you Amazon.. ...more info
  • Very quiet. Incredible performance.
    If you're reading this review, you probably already know the basics about this computer. Let me tell you a few things you might not be able to find elsewhere:

    This computer is practically silent. The fans rotate at around 600 (six hundred!) RPM. This is much slower than the fans on most computers, and as a result they cannot be heard even with my ear a few inches from the computer. The 320 GB hard disk is very quiet as well--I installed two 500 GB Seagate drives I already owned, and they are the noisiest part of this computer. For comparison, this machine is significantly quieter than my old dual 2.0 GHz G5 tower.

    With four hard drives and two 2600 video cards installed, the computer draws about 220 watts of electricity when it is under little load. I've seen the wattage get as high at 300 watts when things really get cranking. The computer generates a fair amount of heat. I found that I wanted to leave at least 6" clearance behind the computer for good ventilation.

    This Mac Pro is really really fast. I have the 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro as well, and had been very impressed with the speed of the laptop. But the Mac Pro is far faster for the work I do (software development, so a lot of VMs, a lot of code compilations, etc.). Compilations of Linux software in VMware are far faster on this machine than my old dual core Linux tower.

    For any kind of serious work, you're going to want more than the 2 GB of RAM it comes with. Unfortunately, very few 3rd party vendors have significant amounts of the 800 MHz Mac Pro RAM in stock as of this writing (8 days after the introduction of the computer). I have an additional 10 GB on order. Even Apple has delays for the FB-DIMMs bigger than 1 GB.

    I am running 4 displays with two ATI 2600 cards in the two 16 lane PCIe slots. 2D performance is very fluid. I have not tried any 3D games or applications.

    A lot of people on the web have complained about the price. Yes, $2800 + accessories is a high entry point, but if you're considering this computer, you're probably using the computer for hard core work. If you need this kind of performance, then this computer is money well spent.

    Update (May 2008): I've since upgraded to 12 GB of RAM, 2x1000 + 2x500 GB internal drives, and a third 2600 video card. The computer uses a bit more electricity than it did prior to the upgrades, mostly due to the RAM. However, it's still a very quiet computer and runs with cool temperatures. I've had this machine since a few days after its release in January and still am happy with the performance....more info
  • Top of the line Mac, get it if you can afford it!
    Apple's most upgradeable computer, though best suited to the prosumer or professional market due to its power and price. I have the 4 core version (custom configured through Apple) and its plenty fast. Plenty of room to upgrade hard drives, video cards, RAM, etc. Can't be beat for pure power, there's not much else to say that hasn't been said. This thing is built like a tank!...more info