Apple Mac Pro Eight Core 2.8 (2008)

A versatile and powerful workstation 

Praised for years as Apple’s most customizable computer, the Mac Pro rivals — and in many cases surpasses — the performance of its iMac cousin. The elegant aluminum case design of the pre-2013 models maintains Apple’s trademark stylish professionalism, while the Late 2013 Mac Pro offers a strikingly modern and compact design. This stark contrast is still the subject of much debate, despite the unique strengths of both designs.

The ease with which users can upgrade the pre-2013 workstation is among its foremost appeals, especially considering the difficulty of upgrading any of Apple’s other modern devices. While this advantage is somewhat lost with the release of the 2013 models, the new Mac Pro still provides state-of-the-
art hardware and impressive computing power despite its compactness. 

DSC08804Other advantages of the 2013 model over its predecessor include a much quieter cooling system and smaller design, in addition to many ports in order to retain external expandability.

This high-end workstation provides a slew of configuration options straight from Apple, and such customized units can be found used in great variety. 

The Mac Pro is geared toward the professional. Any professional. Though entertainment options abound — and the Mac Pro won’t fail to impress — this desktop computer’s true talent stems from its versatility and power in the workplace. 


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Full Technical Specs of this Model

The Mac Pro Eight Core 2.8 (Early 2008) is powered by two 2.8 GHz Quad Core 45-nm Intel Xeon E5462 (Harpertown/Penryn) processors with 12 MB of level 2 cache per processor (each pair of cores shares 6 MB), 1.6 GHz 64-bit dual independent frontside buses, and a 128-bit SSE4 SIMD vector engine. This model could be equipped with a single 2.8 GHz Quad Core Xeon E5462 processor, two 3 GHz Quad Core Xeon E5472 processors, or two 3.2 GHz Quad Core Xeon X5482 processors via custom configuration.

It was configured with 2 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 EEC fully-buffered FB-DIMM memory, a double-layer 16X SuperDrive, a 320 GB (7200 RPM, 8 MB cache) 3Gb/s Serial ATA hard drive, and an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics processor with 256 MB of GDDR3 memory and two dual-link DVI ports.

Expansion includes two external 5.25″ optical bays (one free by default), two PCIe x4 slots, four internal 3.5″ cable-free, direct attach hard drive bays (three free by default), and two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots (one free with one graphics card installed). Ports include five USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, two Firewire 400 ports, two Firewire 800 ports, and optical digital audio in/out, among others. Bluetooth 2.0+EDR is standard. AirPort Extreme (802.11g/n) and a modem are optional.

Compared to the original Mac Pro, the Mac Pro Eight Core 2.8 uses faster memory (800 MHz instead of 667 MHz), a more advanced architecture with faster and more efficient processors with larger level 2 caches, a more advanced vector engine, faster frontside buses (1.6 GHz instead of 1.33 GHz), support for optional faster Serial Attached SCSI drives (with the installation of the Mac Pro RAID card), and two 16-lane PCIe 2.0 slots.

2.8 GHz Q. Core Xeon E5462 x2
2 GB 64 GB
Radeon HD 2600 XT GDDR3 SDRAM
Details: By default, an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256 MB of GDDR3 memory is installed in a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot. It has two dual-link DVI ports. Other graphics card options included the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512 MB of GDDR3 memory or a NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 with 1.5 GB of GDDR3 memory. All of the video cards offered have two dual-link DVI ports, and the Quadro FX 5600 has a stereo 3D port as well.
256 MB 256 MB
Details: Other graphics cards could be pre-installed at the time of purchase or installed later. Other cards were available at the time of purchase with 512 MB and 1.5 GB of video memory.
Up to 8 Displays 2560×1600
Details: Apple advertised that this model can support “up to eight 30-inch displays” (with four video cards installed, one card is installed by default and can support two 30-inch displays). The default ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT is capable of supporting “digital resolutions up to 2560 by 1600″ pixels and analog resolutions up to 2048 by 1536 pixels.
Dual/Mirroring 2560×1600
Details: The ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT is capable of supporting two 30-inch displays with a resolution of 2560×1600 in either dual display or mirrored mode.
320 GB (7200 RPM) Serial ATA (3 Gb/s)
8X DL “SuperDrive” None
None Gigabit (x2)
Details: An external Apple USB Modem was available for US$49. The system has “two independent 10/100/1000BASE-T [Gigabit] Ethernet (RJ-45) interfaces with support for jumbo frames.”
802.11a/b/g/n (Opt) 2.0+EDR
5 (2.0) 2 (400), 2 (800)
2 PCIe, 2 PCIe 2.0, AP 4 3.5″, 2 5.25″
Details: This model has two PCIe x4 expansion slots and two PCIe 2.0 x16 expansion slots (in the default configuration one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot is occupied by the graphics card). Apple also reports that “all slots provide mechanical support for 16-lane cards [and supports] 300W combined maximum for all PCI Express slots.”
Apple Aluminum KB Mighty Mouse
Tower Mac Pro
MA970LL/A Early 2008
A1186 (EMC 2180) MacPro3,1
Details: Please note that these identifiers refer to more than one model.Also see: All Macs with the A1186 Model Number, the 2180 EMC Number, and the MacPro3,1 Model Identifier.
N/A N/A
X 10.5.1 (9B2117) Current
Original Price (US): $2799

Rating overview

  • Design
  • Expandability
  • Quality
Total score
Excellent 5

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