The bold new design of the new Mac Pro has been called a “bin” (as in waste bin) by the snarky, while other fans praised its sleek, cylindrical shape. But for most, it comes down, of course, to what’s inside that tot-sized R2D2 container of flashing lights. While everyone has been making their favorite sci-fi references, my inner nerd immediately suggested the Genesis Device from Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. However, you see it, below are the most salient facts about what the Mac Pro desktop offers.

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Mac Pro 2013

Mac Pro 2013 facts and features

  • Aluminum cylinder 9.9-inches tall and 6.6-inches in diameter
  • Intel Xeon E5 with up to 12 cores of processing power, up to 40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth
  • Dual AMD FirePro GPUs (Apple claiming 7 teraflops of GPU performance)
  • DDR3 memory controller running at 1866MHz delivering up to 60GB/s of memory bandwidth
  • PCI Express flash storage (up to 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA-based solid-state drive, and 10 times faster than a 7200-rpm a SATA hard drive)
  • Unified thermal core design with one fan
  • No optical drive; Built-in Thunderbolt 2, USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI 1.4 ports
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • No pricing as of yet, coming later this year

With such radical new design features, you can bet that TechRepublic’s Bill Detwiler will be cracking one open as soon as they’re available, which is sometime later this year, according to Apple, but there is no specific date as of yet. Also of note, the Mac Pro will be built in the U.S.

What are your first impressions of the Mac Pro? The klutz in me is already imagining the pain of dropping that slippery cylinder on my toe. What do you think the price tag will be?

Stay tuned for more analysis and perspective on all of the news out of WWDC, including iOS 7, the new MacBook Airs, the Mavericks OS, and more. Meanwhile, you can check out some of the first impressions of the folks at ZDNet and view the galleries by visiting the links below.

WWDC roundup: