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Apple's high-end Mac Pro goes on sale

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(CNN) -- Apple's Mac Pro, the high-end show horse of the company's desktop line, goes on sale Thursday, restoring some luster to deskbound computers that have been overshadowed by the mobile revolution.

In some ways the Mac Pro, which will be available for preorder on Apple's website and Apple stores, is like the fancy haute couture dresses that get walked down the runways of Paris and New York.

At more than $3,000, the sleek machine is more computer than most people need or can afford. But it serves as a showcase for what its creator can do.

"Can't innovate any more, my ass," Apple Vice President Phil Schiller said when he unveiled the new Mac Pro in June. It was a response to some analysts who say rivals like Samsung and Google have been rolling out fresher ideas than Apple the past couple of years.

The sleek black Mac Pro doesn't look like anything else on the market.

The Mac Pro certainly doesn't look like anything else on the market. It's a silver and black cylinder and stands just 10 inches tall.

Packing a range of Intel Xeon processors, the new Mac Pro is more than twice as fast as its predecessor, released three years ago, Apple says.

And, starting at $2,999 (with custom modifications that could push prices upward of $12,000), it's for a select group of power users like graphic designers, photographers, videographers, animators and the like.

The machine has six of Apple's Thunderbolt 2 ports, enabling up to 36 external devices to be attached.

Apple says the Mac Pro has been designed and manufactured in the United States.

Pro users are a small part of Apple's overall business. Only 19% of the company's revenue in the first quarter of this year came from Macs. That's just shy of the 21% it made selling iPads, and a far cry from the 49% Apple made on the iPhone.

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