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Review : Apple Mac Pro ME253LL/A Desktop

appleposts.com – I purchased mine directly through Apple. (Waited for 2 months) My spec is 3.5GHz 6-Core E5, 32GB ram, 1TB SSD, D700s. I have been using this machine for 1 month now, and this is my personal experience with by configuration.

A little bit about what I do. I am a photographer who shoots in Raw and also a lot of 1080P video content on Canon DSLRs. I’m going to explain how this computer has changed my workflow. Software I use on an everyday basis: Adobe Lightroom5, Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, InDesign CC, jAlbum.
Prior to the Mac Pro I was using a 27″ i7 iMac and a 15″ i7 Macbook Pro. All I can say is the difference coming from these machines is like day and night.

The reason I pick this configuration:

6-core: It’s a good sweet spot for what I do. An 8-core chip might have been over kill, also its hard to justify the speed gain with the $1500 extra price tag.
32GB: I feel like this is a good start, and 32GB feels enough for me. (So far I have zero page outs) This is also something that might go down in price later on.
1TB SSD: This is one of the fastest things on the mac pro. 1TB would give me enough space to set it as a scratch disk on my video projects while I am working on it. When I’m finish with the project, I can move the files to external and start the next project. Setting Lightroom scratch disk on this SSD will speed up your Lightroom workflow as well.
D700s: This is a no brainer for video editors. At $600 extra, this is the best bang for buck. Premiere Pro and After Effects totally utilize 2 GPUs now, Also FCP X.


Adobe Creative Suite has recently updated the software to optimize the performance of the mac pro. It now uses 2 GPUs on Premiere Pro, After Effects and Media Encoder. I no longer need to render previews on my timeline. Premiere pro now can run full 1080p without drop frame with adding live scaling, rotation, color correction, all other filters, and changing playback speed. When exporting final output video I am getting a very close to 1:1 export time. A 2-minute fast cut video only takes about 2 minutes to export. A 15-minute video with simple color correction only takes about 18 minutes to export. (1080p at 20,000kbit/s.) I have a one-hour long timeline project coming up and I would like to see how it performs.
Update: Exporting a 1 and a half hour timeline with audio and color adjustment in all clips. It took me just about 1 hour and 50 minutes to export. (1080p 15kbps target 20kbps max). when rendering preview it only took about 50 minutes to do so (without rendering audio)
Im sure these time are different projects by projects, but this is just so you guys get an idea of how this machine performs.

By using iStatMenus, I was able to track CPU and GPUs usage. ALL 6 cores 12 threads were working close to 85%. Both GPUs temp were up at the same time, therefor you can tell it’s using both GPUs


Photoshop and Lightroom are a little different. When doing batch export(CR2 to full size jpg) with Lightroom 5, the software only uses one thread per core. To max the performance on the CPU cores, you have to run multiple project tasks on Lightroom the same time. I was able to get the CPU to use all 12 threads and up at 85% usage by exporting 3 separate tasks together. I never run Photoshop long enough to see if the CPU or GPU are working hard. Although I know Photoshop eats up RAM like nothing. After working multiple images(about 50 or so) with a lot of copying layers I get a high inactive memory usage, not wired. jAlbum uses all cores when creating album.

Everyday Tasks:

Most of the time my CPU stays below 15% if I am just browsing the Internet, watching videos, and running everything else all at once. When playing video games, (Diablo 3) the GPU heats up to 160F and 130F. The reason one card is higher than the other I think is because one GPU is dedicated to push my monitors. (1 1080p and 1 1440p monitors with display port/TB2)
I was able to utilize the 2 Ethernet ports by plugging 2 cables into my iMac and Macbook Pro to create a wired network. This works great as the Ethernet transfer speed is pretty fast.
The fan is quiet, from 780-930 RPM (from every day to exporting video). Max rpm is at 1900rpm(activate manually) and yes by then you can hear the fan.


Coming from my old Macs it’s a no brainer this mac pro is faster and more stable. It sped up my workflow, as I no longer need to render previews prior my edits. Its also future proofing as 4K is just around the corner. Exporting and adjusting in Lightroom is lighting fast. This is a perfect computer for the content creators.

By W. YANG, amazon.com

Completely reinvented

Stunning new design

Unified thermal core allows a compact design that’s cooled with a single fan and is very quiet

One-eighth the volume of the previous Mac Pro

PCIe-based flash storage

Up to 10x faster than a standard 7200-rpm hard drive

Supports up to 1TB of internal storage

Product specifications

  • 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor
  • Dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics with 2GB each
  • 12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC RAM
  • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • Six Thunderbolt 2, Four USB 3, HDMI 1.4, Two Gigabit Ethernet ports

Most advanced I/O technology

Six Thunderbolt 2 ports offer the fastest, most versatile I/O available

Three independent Thunderbolt 2 controllers provides 20Gb/s throughput per port and support up to 36 devices

Thunderbolt 2 supports displays and high-performance expansion devices including storage, 4K displays, and PCIe expansion chassis

Four USB 3 ports, which are up to 10 times faster than and backward compatible with USB 2

HDMI 1.4 port for easy connectivity to HDTVs and projectors, including the latest UltraHD (4K) displays

Latest Intel Xeon E5 processors

3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor delivers performance to tackle the most demanding tasks

Four-channel 1866MHz memory controller provide up to 2x the memory bandwidth of the previous generation Mac Pro

40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth

Dual workstation-class GPUs standard

Dual AMD FirePro GPUs in every Mac Pro

Each GPU connected to the system via a dedicated x16 gen 3 internal connection

4GB of total GDDR5 VRAM with 1280 stream processors deliver 2 teraflops of performance

Supports up to three 4K displays or up to six Thunderbolt displays

Apple Mac Pro ME253LL/A Desktop (Quad-Core) Apple Mac Pro MD878LL/A Desktop (6-Core)
Processor 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5
Graphics Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB each Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB each
Memory 12GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
Storage 256GB PCIe-based flash storage 256GB PCIe-based flash storage
Ports Six Thunderbolt 2, Four USB 3, HDMI 1.4, Two Gigabit Ethernet Six Thunderbolt 2, Four USB 3, HDMI 1.4, Two Gigabit Ethernet

Technical Details

Processor 3.7 GHz Intel Xeon
Memory Speed 1866 MHz
Hard Drive 640 GB
Graphics Coprocessor AMD FirePro D300
Card Description dedicated
Graphics Card Ram Size 2 GB
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 4
Brand Name Apple
Series ME253LL/A
Item model number ME253LL/A
Hardware Platform PC
Operating System Mac OS X
Item Weight 9.1 pounds
Product Dimensions 6.6 x 6.6 x 9.9 inches
Item Dimensions L x W x H 6.6 x 6.6 x 9.9 inches
Color Black
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Count 1
Computer Memory Type DDR3 SDRAM
Flash Memory Size 256
Hard Drive Interface Serial ATA
Audio-out Ports (#) 1

More detail :


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