As the manual for this Mac Pro states, “This is no floor model. Go ahead and keep it right on your desk.” This Mac Pro was a radical design departure from all previous Mac Pro—and other Apple desktop models with its cylindrical design. According to an Apple press release:
“Designed around an innovative unified thermal core, the all-new Mac Pro packs unprecedented performance into an aluminum enclosure that is just 9.9-inches tall and one-eighth the volume of the previous generation. Mac Pro features 4-core, 6-core, 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon processors running at Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz and two workstation-class AMD FirePro GPUs that deliver up to eight times the graphics performance of the previous generation Mac Pro.* PCIe-based flash storage delivers sequential read speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional desktop hard drives, and ECC DDR3 gives the new Mac Pro up to 60GBps of memory bandwidth for seamlessly editing full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background. With an incredible six Thunderbolt 2 ports, each with up to 20Gbps of bandwidth per device, the new Mac Pro completely redefines desktop expandability with support for up to 36 high-performance peripherals, including the latest 4K displays.”
As is often the case with unique designs, this Mac Pro is sometimes unfortunately referred to as the “trash can” Mac. I have included a couple of tongue-in-cheek photos in reference to this moniker.
This set of “Special Tools and Fixtures” are Apple repair components custom-designed to fix the Mac Pro (Late 2013). The parts are named and described in an Apple repair document. According to the document, the parts are named:
Core Cradle (made from a large block of black foam)
Core End Caps (2 identical parts made from clear acrylic)
CPU Riser Cover (made from ITW Formex)
Roof Alignment Fixture (made from a ring of black foam)
I/O Wall Stand (made from a small block of black foam)
Foam block (a small square block of black foam)
The parts are used in the following ways:
The two Core End Caps are inserted into the Core Cradle to support the Mac Pro core assembly, the triangular core of the computer. For some repairs, the Core Cradle is used without the Core End Caps.
The CPU Riser Cover is used as a protective spacer when performing certain repairs (e.g., installation of the I/O and power supply assembly).
The guide specifies that the Roof Alignment Fixture is necessary when servicing the logic board, inlet, and the roof of the Mac Pro core.
When the outer case is removed, Apple recommends laying computer on its side while removing and inserting DIMMs. Using the I/O Wall Stand keeps the inside of the Mac Pro from rocking.
The Foam Block is used when tilting the core assembly into the exhaust assembly or removing other parts of the core assembly (e.g., I/O and power supply assembly) to allow the parts to rest and preventing strain on cables.
Coincidentally, the company that made the Formex material of the CPU Riser Cover is ITW, Illinois Tool Works, based in Glenview, Illinois—a Chicago suburb close to where I live.
My collection of Apple CD and DVD media includes operating systems, applications, software collections that shipped with devices, promotional media, diagnostic tools, and educational content. In general, Apple-branded CD or DVD examples in original packaging have been presented separately, while single discs or collections of discs are presented chronologically.
Apple CDs and DVDs from 2008 include:
Mac Pro Mac OS X Install Disc 1 (Mac OS X version 10.5.2, AHT version 3A146, Disc version 1.2, 2Z691-6202-A, 2008)
AppleSeed, Mac OS X Server Leopard Install DVD (Version 10.5.4, Build 9E26, 2008)
AppleSeed, Mac OS X Leopard Install DVD (Version 10.5.4, Build 9E25, 2008)
The Mac Pro Quad Core 2.8 uses a single 2.8 GHz Quad Core Xeon W3530 processor. The “quad core” designation refers to its single processor with four independent “core” processing centers that can work independently or together to increase computing speed and efficiency. It used 3 GB of RAM (DDR3 ECC SDRAM), a 1 TB Serial ATA hard drive, an 18X dual-layer SuperDrive, and an ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card.
The design of this tower was identical to its Power Mac G5 predecessor, using the same anodized aluminum alloy case with a removable side panel. The sides of the tower were solid aluminum with a light gray Apple logo printed on center. The front and back used a pattern of aluminum perforations as a design element, a structural feature, and as part of the ventilation for the internal systems.
The front of the tower included spaces for two optical drives at the top. On the lower-right was the power button and five ports: 3.5 mm headphone jack, two USB ports, and two FireWire 800 ports.
The back of the tower included five slots. Slot 1 includes a dual-link DVI port and two Mini DisplayPorts. Slot 2 is unused (and uses a ventilated cover), while slots 3–5 are unused. Rear ports include three USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire 800 ports, optical digital audio in/out ports, a 3.5 mm line-out audio jack, a 3.5 mm line-in audio jack, and two independent Gigabit Ethernet ports. Internally, wireless networking options include AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1.
Inside, the Mac Pro includes two 5.25-inch optical drive bays (both are outfitted with Apple SuperDrive drives in this example); four internal 3.5-inch cable-free, direct-attach hard drive bays (this model has three 512 GB drives); and four PCIe 2.0 slots, one with a graphics card installed.
When the original Mac Pro was released in 2006, it included two side-by-side DVI-D connectors (Digital Visual Interface) on the back so two DVI displays could be connected at the same time.
Since the ports were close together, Apple shipped this DVI-D Male to DVI-D Female Cable Adapter in the event that the cable interface of the display was too wide to fit the connectors from both displays. The adapter’s function is to extend the port an extra six inches from the computer.
According to Apple, “The Apple USB SuperDrive is compatible with Mac models from 2008 and later that don’t have a built-in optical drive.” This includes MacBook, MacBook Air with Retina display, MacBook Pro with Retina display, MacBook Air, iMac (late 2012) and later, Mac mini (late 2009) and later, and Mac Pro (late 2013).
The drive is compact at 0.67 inches by 5.47 inches by 5.47 inches, and weighs 0.74 pounds. The drive includes a USB-A port, making an adapter necessary to use it with newer Macs that only include USB-C ports; however, no separate power adapter is required.
Apple proclaims that this drive is “Everything you need in an optical drive. Whether you’re at the office or on the road, you can play and burn both CDs and DVDs with the Apple USB SuperDrive. It’s perfect when you want to watch a DVD movie, install software, create backup discs, and more.”