Apple has always had the edge over PCs in looks and design, and with the Pro it has the performance to back it up. Put simply, this is one of the most powerful desktop systems you can buy.
The top spec has two quad-core Xeon chips to make a total of eight CPUs, giving a massive amount of horsepower that munches through heavy-duty work like digital video editing. Even the more sensible dual-core systems blaze through desktop work.
Living the iLife
You don't have to be confined to Apple's OS X to take advantage, either. Since last year's switch to Intel chips you can run Windows XP or Vista quite happily on Mac hardware, although of course you'll have to buy that separately.
If you want to, that is. The creative programs that have become Apple's forte, like Photoshop and Premiere, run just fine on OS X and there's the added bonus of Apple's iLife ‘08 software suite thrown in, saving you the cost of a copy of Microsoft Office.
Unfortunately the bundle doesn't include a monitor. You'll need a big one to justify all that processing power, sending the total price up to the two-grand mark, but that famed Apple allure means that's easier to justify that you might think.
Even something as huge as this is drool-worthy, with a hewn-from-tungsten feel that even Alienware can't match, and even the normally unglamorous innards look like an engineering clean room.
It's very easy to upgrade as a result, which is handy considering that you can whack in aftermarket RAM or hard drives for less than it'd cost to get Apple to add them from new.
The only upgrade you'll have trouble with is boosting gaming performance. The standard 7300GT is a mere sparkler against the pyrotechnic capabilities of the gaming PCs, and you're still be confined to a rather limited range of new games releases available for OS X.
That's less of an issue if you run Windows, of course, but the hardware doesn't support the huge range of pixel pumps that normal PC kit does so you won't be seeing new titles at their best.
Beyond that the only caveat is being really sure you need something this powerful – when fully loaded it really is an industrial-strength machine that's overkill for everyday tasks. If you merely crave Apple's slick interface and peerless design, you can get it for less in an iMac or Macbook.