Given the Mac Pro's flexibility when it comes to expansion and customization, it's not surprising that Apple offers a wide array of accessories to choose from. Of course, what you choose will depend on what you're planning to use the workstation for. If you're using your Mac Pro to edit film or photographs, for example, you might consider one of its displays, not to mention a digital camera or recorder. Apple's Music Creation accessories, featuring speakers, keyboards, turntables, microphones and like, might interest composers, DJs and recording artists.
Then there are the more technical accessories:
- If you've got more than one Mac Pro or other Apple device, Apple has several networking options. Networking lets you connect each machine so that you can share files, all use the same printer or even hook up your TV to your computer.
- Apple's Time Capsule is a wireless backup system and base station that works on both 2.4 and 5GHz bands simultaneously. Most older computers use the 2.4GHz band, while newer devices that support the Wireless-N (802.11n) standard can move up to the 5GHz band, which has less interference. So, Time Capsule is compatible with almost all wireless devices [source: Murphy]. Or, if you want a dual-band wireless base station without the backup system, AirPort Extreme is exactly that.
- If you're looking for extreme portability, AirPort Express helps to extend or create a wireless network anywhere you need it. When near the edge of the range your normal router services, AirPort Express widens the coverage. This could come in handy if, for example, your printer is at the other end of the house.
And of course, you'll need a place for your Mac Pro to live. Like all CPUs, it's best kept free from dust, so look for a desk or shelving system with a cabinet large and sturdy enough to hold the tower (be sure air can circulate around it so it cools properly). There are desks on the market that keep cables and wires organized, so you can keep things relatively tangle-free. If you're looking to cut down on even more wires, Apple also offers the Magic Trackpad (like a laptop tracking pad but for your desktop computer) and wireless keyboard, both of which utilize Bluetooth technology for cord-free integration with the computer.
So, is the Mac Pro too much computer for you, or does it provide just the right amount of power and flexibility? Only you can decide. Check out the next page to learn more about Apple products.