New Mac Pro uses 74% less aluminum and steel, 68% less energy compared to previous generation
With OS X Mavericks, Apple has made a big effort on the software side to make its computers more energy-efficient and extend their lives. On the hardware side, they recently released a completely redesigned version of their top-of-the-line professional workstation, the Mac Pro. There too they tried to make things as streamlined and efficient as possible without compromising performance. The results are pretty impressive.
The first thing that is obvious - as you can see in the image above - is how much smaller the new Mac Pro is. The small black cylinder with connection ports in the back is not just a few percents smaller than its predecessors. You could fit a few new Mac Pros in the old one!
This results in a 74% reduction in aluminum and steel use, and 84% less packaging by weight compared to the old version. That's pretty significant since, according to Apple, about 2/3 of the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of a computer like the Mac Pro come from production, not use.
On the energy usage side, the 2013 Mac Pro "outperforms the stringent requirements of the ENERGY STAR Program Requirements for Computers Version 6.0, utilizing less than half the allowable energy limit". In idle mode, which is what a computer spends most of its time in unless you are rendering video, compiling code, playing a demanding video game, etc, the new Mac Pro uses 68% less power than the previous generation. Its power supply, which converts AC electricity from the wall outlet to DC, is 90% efficient, which is very good.
Apple can still improve a lot, but it's obvious that they are taking this as seriously as anyone in the industry.
As you can see above, it meets most of the big things you might expect. But it also improves on some aspects that few people think about, like noise levels:
Life is so much better when you don't constantly hear fans whirring!
So the new Mac Pro definitely isn't for everybody. Like most pro tools, it's expensive, but it should handle pretty much anything a video editor throws at it, which is the point. Even pricing is competitive with similarly equipped workstations from competitors (though notice how big their physical dimensions are), as this table from the excellent AnandTech review shows:
The new Mac Pro is even manufactured in the United States, providing more than 2,000 jobs across 20 states.
Here's a quick overview by The Verge: