Apple Unveils Revamped Mac Pro and Display
For about as long as I can remember being a self-thinking, slightly educated member of tech-following world, consumers and prosumers have been screaming at Apple to give them a powerful, customizable computing product that’s capable of delivering untold amounts of processing power. Well, during the WWDC 2019 keynote from the San Jose Convention Center on Monday, the company finally delivered.
The completely revamped—and absolutely gorgeous—Mac Pro was unveiled and checks off just about every box a user could want in a powerful processing machine.
From a design perspective, the new Mac Pro is about as Apple as you can get. The tower (you read that right) is completely enclosed by an aluminum casing that integrates a dual-layer mesh construction that improves airflow and optimizes the internal cooling system. And, with the simple turn of a lever, the casing can be removed, giving the user complete 360-degree access to the guts of the system. Apple, during the keynote, called the Mac Pro the most configurable computer the company has ever built—and that’s by no means an exaggeration. The system has eight internal PCIe slots—including four double-wide and three single-wide slots—two 10GB Ethernet ports, and customizable graphics card slots that can support two Radeon Pro Vega II cards at the same time. And all of this while running on a 28-core Intel Xeon processor with 300 watts of dedicated power. The Mac Pro will also support what Apple called an Afterburner card, which essentially is a hardware accelerator card that can allow the system to process some 6 billion pixels per second, and can support ProRes and ProRes RAW codecs for video editing.
In demoing the capabilities of the system, Apple had a developer running nearly 1,000 streams of audio in editing software, and then had them port that audio over to video editing software where the developer had three streams of RAW 8K footage running simultaneously.
And we haven’t even touched on the jaw-dropping display yet.
The new “Extremely Dynamic Range” (XDR) display—a new Apple-coined term—is a 32-inch, 6K monitor that’s meant to offer the same features as some $40,000-plus reference monitors you might find in a film studio’s editing room, albeit with even more functionality built in. Anti-reflective coating on the display, along with the optional nano-texture feature on the glass, improves viewing angles and ensures the HDR image doesn’t suffer under harsh conditions. Users will be able to connect up to six of the displays at a single time, and the display supports single-cord connections via the Thunderbolt port.
Apple even got down into the nitty-gritty details around the stand with this display. Optional accessories will allow the user to rotate the display into a portrait mode, which would improve the user experience when coding. The Pro Stand, though, will run an extra $200.
And speaking of pricing, the complete Mac Pro system isn’t going to come cheap, as one might expect. Shipping later this Fall, the Mac Pro itself will start at $5,999 for the Radeon Pro 580X version. The display will run another $4,999 with the Nano-texture model costing $5,999. Altogether, you’re talking about a starting price of $10,998—Pro Stand not included. Of course, for professional environments like a music or movie studio, the new Mac Pro seems like a no brainer. For the Average Joe consumer, we know finally have a super high-end model of the Mac that we can dream about someday never owning.