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Apple Mac Pro (2013) review: in a class of its own

Mac Pro 2013 review

Power. The Apple Mac Pro (late 2013) is the newest Mac on the block, and it's also the most powerful computer ever made by Apple. It deserves to be, too, as the Mac Pro lost that title as Apple let that product line slip into virtual irrelevancy. After all, the previous Mac Pro spent the last four-or-so years at a technical standstill. It didn't have any Thunderbolt ports, no USB 3.0, no PCIe flash storage...heck, it didn't even have an 802.11n Wi-Fi option. For all intents and purposes, Apple had allowed the Mac Pro, the one machine that was aimed at meeting the needs of the most demanding customers, to become a dinosaur.

That is, until the release of the newly-redesigned Mac Pro (late 2013) model. With its smooth metallic cylindrical shape that looks like it was plucked off of an alien spaceship, smaller and lighter profile, and top-of-the-line specs that include PCIe SSD storage, dual workstation-class GPUs as standard, the newest Intel Xeon processors (up to 12 cores!), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a bunch of I/O ports which include Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0, this thing is a beast. It's modern--no, futuristic.

For all of you professional video editors, photographers, graphic artists, 3D animators, audio engineers and the like, we're betting that Apple has piqued your interest. After all, this is a Mac which can drive up to three 4K displays simultaneously. That's a lot of power. Wondering if it should be your next purchase? It's expensive, starting at $2,999 (and climbing up to $9,559 depending on how you configure it,) so we're here to help you in your decision making. Follow along as we bring you our full Mac Pro (late 2013) review, after the jump.

Click to continue reading Apple Mac Pro (2013) review: in a class of its own


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Bleeding Edge TV 500: Apple Mac Pro (late 2013) first-look

We give you a look at the newly designed Apple Mac Pro in this episode! Apple has rebuilt the Mac Pro from the ground up to be a multimedia powerhouse, optimized for tasks like video editing, audio work, 3D modeling, and other such pro tasks. Here are the specs on the Gear Live Mac Pro featured in this episode:

  • 3.5 GHz Intel Xeon E5 Six-Core
  • 64GB of 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC RAM
  • 256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
  • Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs (2 x 3GB)
  • Six Thunderbolt 2 Ports
  • Four USB 3.0 Ports, One HDMI 1.4 Port
  • Supports up to Three 4K Displays
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Unique Compact Cylinder Design
  • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Apple has these on backorder for about 8 weeks, but if you order a Mac Pro from B&H Photo, you should be able to get one shipped out much sooner, if not immediately.

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel!

 

Apple releases Numbers 3.1, here’s a look at what’s new

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Software

Numbers 3.1

Apple has released Numbers 3.1, and with the update comes the ability to sort data by column values of multiple areas, calculation progress indicator, and more. Here's the full list:

  • Sort by multiple columns
  • Sort a subset of rows
  • Text autocompletes when editing cells
  • Chart date and duration values
  • Optionally highlight rows and columns on mouseover
  • Progress indicator for calculations
  • Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Numbers ’09 and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
  • Share password-protected spreadsheets via iCloud link
  • Export password-protected spreadsheets to XLSX format
  • Improvements to AppleScript support
  • Improved compatibility with Microsoft Excel 2013 spreadsheets
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements

You can download Numbers 3.1 now from the Mac App Store.


Apple releases Pages 5.1, here’s what’s new

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Software

Apple Pages 5.1

Apple just released Pages 5.1, which includes new features like alignment customization, vertical ruler, character counter, and more. Here's a list:

  • Vertical ruler
  • Share password-protected documents via iCloud link
  • Customizable alignment guides
  • Set keyboard shortcuts for styles
  • View character count with or without spaces
  • Improved precision for inserting and pasting objects
  • Create charts with date, time, and duration values
  • Delete sections from the page navigator
  • Improved compatibility with Microsoft Word 2013 documents
  • Export password-protected documents to DOCX format
  • Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Pages ’09 and Microsoft Word documents
  • Start a list automatically using new special characters
  • Improved support for bidirectional text
  • Improved ePub export
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements

You can download Pages 5.1 now from the Mac App Store.

Read More | Apple Pages

Pixelmator 3.1 released with Mac Pro dual GPU optimizations

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Software

Pixelmator 3.1 marbles

One of our favorite Mac apps, Pixelmator, received a massive update today. Pixelmator 3.1 Marble brings a bunch of new improvements, the biggest of which might be full compatibility with the the Mac Pro's dual GPUs, as well as 16-bit support on Apple's flagship desktop as well. Both GPUs are used together when applying effects, and optimizations are in place for each model, including 4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-core Intel Xeon processors. Aside from all the new Mac Pro goodness, there are a lot of other improvements to layer styles, RAW image handling, and effects.

One other cool addition is the ability to order finished prints of your work right from within Pixelmator. You can download Pixelmator from the Mac App Store.

Also, if you're on the lookout for a new Mac Pro and don't want to wait the 2 months that it will take Apple to ship it, check out B&H Photo which has the Mac Pro in stock!

Read More | Pixelmator

Top 10 Gear Live stories of 2013

OS X 10.9 Mavericks

We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2013, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 now available:
Anticipation for Apple's newest desktop operating system, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, trumped all other news here on Gear Live in 2013!

Click to continue reading Top 10 Gear Live stories of 2013


Top 10 most read Gear Live stories in 2013

Sleeptracker Watch review

Sure, we've given you a list of our top 10 most popular stories of 2013, but we figured we'd go a bit more broad than that. We also thought it would be interesting to give you a look at the top ten most read stories on this site this year, period, regardless of what year they were posted. We must say, we're just as surprised as you are at what did (and didn't) make the list! For example, you guys seem to really like Apple. Here we go:

  1. Sleeptracker Watch review: This one focuses on a watch that tracks your sleep data and aims to wake you up when you are in your lightest phase of sleep. The result is that you wake up feeling more rested, and more refreshed.

  2. Flash on iPhone is just around the corner: This five-year-old article made it's way back after being linked to by John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Since then we've learned that just because it's in testing behind closed doors, doesn't mean that it's going to make it's way to public release. Also, John, why couldn't you have linked to when we broke what was the biggest Apple software leak of the decade?

  3. Mod your Xbox without a mod chip: This is an all-time favorite of our readers. It dropped out of the top 10 last year, but has reappeared for 2013.

  4. Apparently that Xbox 360 Red Ring of Doom issue hasn't been fixed

  5. OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 now available

  6. How To Mod Your iPhone on Windows Using iBrickr

  7. Apple releases iOS 7 beta 2 with iPad support: iOS 7 beta 1 supported the iPhone and iPod touch only. When beta 2 arrived with iPad support, many were excited.

  8. TiVo out-of-home remote streaming arrives on Roamio Plus, Roamio Pro DVRs: We'd been waiting for this feature for a long, long time, and it is finally here.

  9. Exclusive details on the next Nike+ FuelBand: We got exclusive details on the new Nike+ FuelBand months before its release.

  10. iPhone 5s review: Our review of Apple's flagship smartphone for 2013.

Any surprises? For a trip down memory lane, check out the top ten most-read stories in 2012, 2011, 2010.

We've also compiled a list of the stories that have dropped out of the top ten between 2012 and 2013, which you can check out after the jump, and don't miss the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013 either!

Click to continue reading Top 10 most read Gear Live stories in 2013


MacBook Pro (late 2013) review

MacBook Pro late 2013 review

A couple of weeks ago, Apple introduced the world to the iPad Air, but during the same event, the new 2013 MacBook Pro lineup was also revealed, going on sale that same afternoon. These new MacBook Pros would ship with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the new desktop operating system that was also released that same day, completely free of charge. The 2013 MacBook Pro line sees some significant updates--things like a thinner body, Retina display, PCIe storage, and Haswell processors. So, how do all these changes come together at the end of the day, and is the end result enough for you to give it your attention? Does a thinner, lighter, cheaper, and more powerful package add up to more than the sum of its parts? We answer all this and more in our 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2013) review.

Click to continue reading MacBook Pro (late 2013) review


The history of Mac OS X pricing: How we got to free

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Features, PC / Laptop, Software

OS X Mavericks

OS X Logo history

We had a few readers email in yesterday after it was announced that OS X Mavericks would be free, a first for a major desktop operating system release. It seems a few of you are curious about how Apple got here, and what the history is as it relates to the pricing of OS X. So, here's a quick history lesson. 

  • 10.0 Cheetah: Released March 24, 2001 for $129
  • 10.1 Puma: Released September 25, 2001 for $0
  • 10.2 Jaguar: Released August 23, 2002 for $129
  • 10.3 Panther: Released October 24, 2003 for $129
  • 10.4 Tiger: Released April 29, 2005 for $129
  • 10.5 Leopard: Released October 26, 2007 for $129
  • 10.6 Snow Leopard: Released August 28, 2009 for $29
  • 10.7 Lion: Released July 20, 2011 for $29
  • 10.8 Mountain Lion: Released July 25, 2012 for $19
  • 10.9 Mavericks: Released October 22, 2013 for $0

So, as you can see, both OS X 10.1 Puma and 10.9 Mavericks were released as free updates, however, Puma was released just six months after 10.0 Cheetah, so that would have been ridiculous if Apple has chosen to charge for it. Other than that anomaly, OS X updates remained at $129 each until Snow Leopard in 2009, which sold for $29. The last $129 version of OS X was Leopard, which saw massive delays due to Apple pulling engineers from it to work on iPhone OS 1.0 (now known as iOS.) Lion was also sold for $29, and was the first version of OS X to be available as a digital download from the Mac App Store. The following year, Mountain Lion debuted at just $19--the best bargain in OS X release history until yesterday, when Mavericks launched for free. The trend has always been that OS X updates would cost the same as the previous year, or less--never more (discounting the Puma issue, which was a huge bugfix patch.) As this point, it appears that OS X has gone the way of iOS, where all updates from here on out will be available for free, on an annual basis.

You can download OS X Mavericks, for free, right now.


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