Best Windows PC Alternatives to Apple's Mac Pro

Instead of a new Mac Pro, Apple included some of its more expensive options and parts as standard in the "new" 2017 model. An all-new Mac Pro is still some time away, no doubt leaving many feeling a bit let down.

The Mac Pro is five years old at this point and instead of waiting (and waiting, and waiting) how about a compact Windows 10 machine that oozes performance?

Here are some of the best PCs to consider.

MSI Vortex

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MSI Vortex

The Mac Pro isn't the only cylindrical computer on the market, and MSI's Vortex is every bit the looker. It's a tiny little can on the outside, but what MSI squeezed inside is nothing short of miraculous.

At the heart, you'll find an Intel Core i7 8700 six-core processor in the best all-round configuration. You'll also find 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of RAM keeping it company, along with solid-state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD) combinations for storage. Then there's the graphics.

You can have a single GTX 1070 inside the Vortex, or a single GTX 1080. Both of these are terrific graphics cards, but there's also room inside to fit a pair of GTX 1070 cards if you'd prefer. Apple isn't the only company that can fit dual-GPUs inside a small cylinder.

Add in Killer Doubleshot-X3 Pro networking, Thunderbolt 3 and the ability to upgrade parts down the line, and you have an extremely enticing little powerhouse. And it costs less than a base Mac Pro, as well, depending on which you go for. The one mentioned here is $2,000. MSI also offers a workstation grade Vortex with NVIDIA Quadro graphics if you prefer.

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Corsair One

Corsair One

Corsair One (Image credit: CORSAIR)

Corsair isn't known for making PCs. This one is, in fact, its very first, but the company's reputation for quality is unquestionable. With the Corsair One, you're no longer just buying a case, you're getting a complete PC inside it.

Not just a PC, either. A seriously powerful PC. And one that costs a lot less than a Mac Pro.

What it doesn't have is Thunderbolt 3. But what it does have is the latest and greatest internals to make a screaming fast machine. Intel's latest Core i7-8700K six-core unlocked processor is here, as is NVIDIA's GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti GPU. There's even an option for liquid cooling, so you get ultimate power and a whisper-quiet machine.

The Corsair One is also entirely upgradeable because it uses standard-size parts inside that sleek, compact body. Prices start at around $2,300 for the latest models, which is certainly reasonable considering what's inside.

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Origin PC S-Class

Origin Chronos

If you're looking for a small, powerful PC built entirely to your specifications, the S-Class by Origin PC will fit the bill. Almost everything is customizable, from the exterior case color to how many drives you have and which GPU. It's also possible to build the ultimate system and send the price tag into orbit!

That's not to say the Chronos Pro is ridiculously expensive, but there are options that include Xeon and Extreme edition Intel processors, AMD Ryzen 8-core processors, up to NVIDIA Titan V graphics cards or an almost $9,000 workstation-grade NVIDIA Quadro GPU.

You can spend much less and get more "normal" internals, such as 8th Generation Core i7 processors, 32GB of RAM, GTX 1070 or 1080 graphics cards and SSD or HDD storage options. The beauty of the Origin system is that you can put exactly what you want inside your PC, as long as you're happy to pay the price.

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While not exactly subtle in appearance, the latest revision to the ASUS GR8 is small in size and big in performance. It's also a bit cheaper than others listed here, while still offering a lot in a small space.

For $1,200, you'll find a Core i7 7700 processor, 16GB of RAM and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card. Throw in a combination of SSD and HDD storage and ASUS's Aura lighting, and you have a small-form PC that sparkles inside and out.

The custom cooling on the GR8 also keeps it very quiet, with ASUS claiming it's up to 23 percent less noisy than comparable systems. It lacks Thunderbolt 3 but covers every other base when it comes to ports, so you're not going to be caught short.

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Updated August 3, 2018: The Origin PC S-Class joins our ranks of PCs you should buy instead of a Mac Pro.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at