Apple’s environmental report claims the new Mac Pro is a green, power-sipping machine

by Nate Ralph

Dylan Tweney/VentureBeat Another view of the Mac Pro’s insides.

Apple’s new Mac Pro might set you back a hefty $2,999, but the company has taken steps to ensure that Mother Nature won’t be taking as dramatic a hit as your wallet.

In an environmental report released on Thursday, Apple revealed that the new design consumes far less power than its predecessor, and it’s packaged and designed with eco-friendliness and recycling in mind.

It all starts at the electrical outlet: The new Mac Pro consumes approximately 68 percent less power when idle than its predecessor — a mere 43 watts, versus the older model’s 134 watts. Power consumption under load will vary, but its power supply is also slightly more efficient than the previous model, and newer energy-sipping components like flash storage and Intel Xeon E5 CPUs should prove more power-efficient than those in previous Mac Pros.

The packaging has also taken a cut, weighing 84-percent less than before. That should be rather obvious — it is a relatively tiny thing — but the new packaging is also made with a minimum of 33 percent post-consumer recycled corrugated cardboard. Smaller, lighter boxes means a smaller footprint for shipping, allowing distributors to pack more hardware into every shipment, ostensibly reducing the total greenhouse gas emissions used in getting it from the factory to your home. And in addition to Apple’s usual stance on steering clear of restricted substances, much of the Mac Pro’s material chassis consists of recycler-friendly materials like aluminum and copper.

Anyone in the market for a $3,000 workstation will have a lot of requirements to consider, but it is nice to see that energy-efficient and environmentally friendly isn’t necessarily stricken from the list.

You can check out how the new Mac Pro fares (warning: PDF), and see how the rest of Apple’s lineup stacks up at the company’s environment site.

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Apple details impressive Mac Pro environmental improvements over previous generation

Apple today released a new environmental impact report on its Apple and the Environment webpagedetailing improvements in the newly launched Mac Pro’s environmental performance. In the report, Apple notes the new Mac Pro meets ENERGY STAR® Version 6.0 standards and gets a Gold rating from EPEAT, but it also provides estimates for the Mac Pro’s lifetime greenhouse gas emissions (around 940 kg CO2e), power consumption, and material efficiency.

In a section outlining the power efficiency of the new Mac Pro with the chart above, Apple claims the new machine “consumes 68 percent less power in idle mode than the previous-generation Mac Pro.”

It also notes the new Mac Pro uses 74 percent less aluminum with packaging “consuming 82 percent less volume than the previous-generation” and weighing 84 percent less. Apple says that it allows it to fit nearly three times as many Mac Pros in a standard airline shipping container.

Apple’s ultracompact product and packaging designs lead the industry in material efficiency. Reducing the material footprint of a product helps maximize shipping efficiency. It also helps reduce energy consumed during production as well as material waste generated at the end of the product’s life. The enclosure and thermal core of Mac Pro is made of aluminum and copper, materials that are highly desired by recyclers.

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Apple’s Mac Pro Is Now Available, Max One Out Now With A 4K Display For Over $13K

Posted yesterday by  (@drizzled)

Apple is now selling its new U.S.-assembled Mac Pro via its online store, as announced yesterday in a press release. The pro-targeted computer starts at $2,999, but with custom options and maxed out specification, plus a single Sharp 4K display which also went on sale this morning, you can spend as much as $13,194.00. And let’s be honest, you’re going to want at least two 4K displays, so bump that up to $16,789.

The ship date for that super custom build is listed simply as “January,” but stock configurations are expected to be in the mail by December 30 according to current estimates. There’s also a personal pickup option, but so far any checked say that they’ll “ship to store,” meaning you likely can’t just walk in and buy one at this stage.

Mac Pro is definitely going to be a rarified choice among Mac models, reserved for those with deep pockets and advanced technical need, but it’s still an extremely drool-worthy machine even for those of us who don’t have the means to justifiably pick one up. The next time I have a spare $15,000 or so, though, you know exactly where it’s going.

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Apple kicks off ‘made in USA’ push with Mac Pro

Peter Burrows Published 4:51 pm, Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Apple will take orders Thursday for the newMac Pro personal computer, which is being built in Texas with components made domestically as part of Chief Executive OfficerTim Cook‘s $100 million “made in the USA” push.

“We have begun manufacturing the Mac Pro in Austin,” Cook wrote in a posting Wednesday on Twitter. “It’s the most powerful Mac ever.”

The cylindrical machine, which runs on Intel’s latest Xeon chip, will be available to order at a starting price of $2,999, Apple said. While Google and Lenovo are doing some final assembly in the United States of parts made overseas, Cook said in October that Apple is manufacturing – not just putting together – the Mac Pro’s metal parts in the United States.

“The difference with us is that we’re taking a bottoms-up approach,” Cook said at the time. “We don’t want to just assemble the Mac Pro here, we want to make the whole thing here. This is a big deal.” Apple’s partners are using industrial molds and production processes that were developed in the United States, he said.

Cook’s pledge to domesticate some production followed years of criticism from labor advocates about conditions at contractors’ plants in China, where most of Apple’s products are built. Though Apple, the world’s largest technology company, hasn’t announced plans to make other products in the United States, recent investments suggest it may head in that direction, including a new plant in Mesa, Ariz.

Quick calculations

The newest version of the Mac Pro, a top-of-the-line computer used by graphic designers and filmmakers who require the fastest performance, is going on sale at the height of the holiday shopping season in customizable configurations starting at $2,999 and $3,999.

The sleek, rounded black machine, which looks like a space-age trash can or a small jet engine, is 9.9 inches tall and is an eighth the size of the current Mac Pro, the company said. Intel’s Xeon processors will let it handle some calculations at twice the speed of the existing model, Apple has said, and will use 70 percent less power because of its smaller size. The computer comes with 256 gigabytes of flash-based storage, expandable to 1 terabyte – the equivalent of 1,000 gigabytes.

So far, the company’s push isn’t poised to have a big impact. Of Apple’s $170.9 billion in annual revenue, more than 70 percent of that comes from the iPhone and iPad tablet, which are built in China. The new Mac Pro will probably contribute less than 1 percent of Apple’s sales in 2014, said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. He predicts the company will sell 1.1 million Mac Pros in 2014, compared with 300 million iPhones and iPads.

Other large technology companies have also been doing more work in the United States, yet few have begun manufacturing components in the country.

Apple has faced stepped-up scrutiny of its overseas labor in recent years. Allegations of use of underage workers, forced overtime and other infractions have led the company to investigate conditions at Chinese manufacturing partners Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.and Pegatron Corp. Apple has joined the Fair Labor Association, and publishes regular results of hundreds of factory audits in a Supplier Responsibility Report.

‘A drop in the bucket’

In December 2012, Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek that the company would spend $100 million to build a new version of one of its Mac models in the United States. In testimony before the U.S. Senate in May, Cook said the Mac Pro would be assembled in Texas using parts made in Illinois and Florida and equipment made in Kentucky and Michigan.

Last month, the company said a new Arizona plant will employ 2,000 people to produce a glass alternative made of synthetic sapphires, increasingly used in smartphones to cover camera lenses and home buttons.

Cook declined to say how many total jobs Apple might create in the United States.

Some of Apple’s suppliers are already taking steps to boost their operations in the United States. Last month, Hon Hai said it would spend $30 million to build a factory in Harrisburg, Penn. Hon Hai CEO Terry Gou said the focus at that plant would be developing automation technologies, not creating job-intensive production lines.

Given the lower labor costs and smooth supply chain Apple has built in Asia, the company may never bring high-volume manufacturing of devices such as the iPhone back to the United States, said Mike Fawkes, who oversaw Hewlett-Packard’s supply-chain operations until 2008. While labor costs in China have been rising in recent years, they are still 60 percent lower than those in the United States, according to Boston Consulting Group.

“It’s a positive sign to see Hon Hai further establish its U.S. presence,” Fawkes said. “That said, a $30 million factory is a drop in the bucket for manufacturing of any consequence.”

Peter Burrows is a Bloomberg reporter. Email:

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