Apple unveils insanely powerful, all-new Mac Pro

Apple today introduced the all-new Mac Pro, a completely redesigned, breakthrough workstation for pros who push the limits of what a Mac can do, and unveiled Apple Pro Display XDR, the world’s best pro display. Designed for maximum performance, expansion and configurability, the all-new Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world’s most powerful graphics card. It also introduces Apple Afterburner, a game-changing accelerator card that enables playback of three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video simultaneously.

Pro Display XDR features a massive 32-inch Retina 6K display with gorgeous P3 wide and 10-bit color, an extreme 1,600 nits of peak brightness, an incredible 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a superwide viewing angle, all at a breakthrough price point. Together, the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.

All-new, completely redesigned Mac Pro delivers maximum performance, expansion and configurability.
All-new, completely redesigned Mac Pro delivers maximum performance, expansion and configurability.

“We designed Mac Pro for users who require a modular system with extreme performance, expansion and configurability. With its powerful Xeon processors, massive memory capacity, groundbreaking GPU architecture, PCIe expansion, Afterburner accelerator card and jaw-dropping design, the new Mac Pro is a monster that will enable pros to do their life’s best work,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement.

Smooth handles allow users to easily move Mac Pro around the studio.
Smooth handles allow users to easily move Mac Pro around the studio.
Mac Pro features an aluminum housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system.
Mac Pro features an aluminum housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system.

Tremendous Processor Power and Massive Bandwidth

Designed for customers who demand the ultimate in CPU performance — for workflows like production rendering, playing hundreds of virtual instruments or simulating an app on a dozen iOS devices at once — Mac Pro features powerful Xeon processors up to 28 cores, with 64 PCI Express lanes for tremendous performance and massive bandwidth. It also provides over 300W of power along with a state-of-the-art thermal architecture to allow the processor to run fully unconstrained all the time.

State-of-the-art thermal architecture allows the Mac Pro processor to run fully unconstrained all the time.
State-of-the-art thermal architecture allows the Mac Pro processor to run fully unconstrained all the time.

Enormous Memory Capacity and Expansion

For pros working with the largest projects, analyzing huge data sets or running multiple pro applications, Mac Pro provides enormous memory capacity to meet needs as they grow. Featuring a six-channel memory architecture and 12 physical DIMM slots, the new Mac Pro allows for a massive 1.5TB of memory, the most ever available in a Mac. And with eight PCI Express expansion slots, which is twice that of the previous-generation Mac Pro tower, pros can customize and expand their system in ways never before possible in a single workstation.

Mac Pro features powerful Xeon processors up to 28 cores and delivers tremendous performance and massive bandwidth.
Mac Pro features powerful Xeon processors up to 28 cores and delivers tremendous performance and massive bandwidth.

World’s Most Powerful Graphics Architecture

For pros animating 3D film assets, compositing 8K scenes and building complex 3D environments, graphics performance is more important than ever. That is why Mac Pro features the world’s most powerful graphics card and up to 56 teraflops of graphics performance in a single system. Its groundbreaking graphics expansion architecture, the Apple MPX Module, features Thunderbolt integration and over 500W of power, both firsts for any graphics card. And for super quiet operation, the MPX Module is cooled by the Mac Pro system thermals.
Mac Pro graphics options start with the Radeon Pro 580X. Mac Pro debuts the Radeon Pro Vega II, featuring up to 14 teraflops of compute performance and 32GB of memory with 1TB/s of memory bandwidth, the highest of any GPU. Mac Pro also introduces Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, which features two Vega II GPUs for an incredible 28 teraflops of graphics performance and 64GB of memory, making it the world’s most powerful graphics card. Mac Pro can accommodate two MPX Modules so customers can use two Vega II Duos for a staggering 56 teraflops of graphics performance and 128GB of video memory.

Introducing Apple Afterburner, a Game-Changing Accelerator Card

The new Mac Pro debuts Afterburner, featuring a programmable ASIC capable of decoding up to 6.3 billion pixels per second. With Afterburner, video editors using high-quality cameras that require the conversion of native file formats into proxies for easy editing can now use native formats right from the camera and decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real time,1 virtually eliminating proxy workflows.

Afterburner on the new Mac Pro allows video editors to decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real time.
Afterburner on the new Mac Pro allows video editors to decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real time.

Stunning Modular Enclosure with 360-Degree Access

The design of the new Mac Pro starts with a stainless-steel space frame with an aluminum housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system. The frame provides a foundation for modularity and flexibility, and incorporates smooth handles for easily moving Mac Pro around the studio. The housing also features a stunning lattice pattern to maximize airflow and quiet operation. For customers who want to rack mount their Mac Pro in edit bays or machine rooms, an optimized version for rack deployment will be available this fall.

Three fans move air through Mac Pro, keeping the system cool.
Three fans move air through Mac Pro, keeping the system cool.

Performance to Transform the Pro Workflow

With up to 28 core Xeon processors, 56 teraflops of graphics performance and the groundbreaking Afterburner card, the new Mac Pro delivers performance that will transform pro workflows. A number of pro app developers are seeing amazing results that have never been possible in a single workstation.

• Blackmagic Design brings full CPU and multi-GPU accelerated 8K real-time editing, effects and color correction in ProRes 4444 for the first time on any system.

• Avid can enable support for up to six HDX cards, resulting in more IO, increased voice count and two times the real-time DSP processing than any other system can achieve in Pro Tools.

• Maxon’s Cinema 4D is seeing 20 percent faster GPU render performance when compared to a Windows workstation maxed out with three NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 graphics cards.
For additional performance results for the all-new Mac Pro, see apple.com/mac-pro.

The all-new Mac Pro starts at $5,999 and will be available to order in the fall.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Behold, the Cheesegrater Supreme!!!

Would that Apple would repurpose the “cheese grater” Mac Pro that many people initially denigrated only to find themselves dreaming of a modern one nearly 13 years later. Yes, some more astute observers did praise its design from the get-go.MacDailyNews, March 22, 2019

Yes, it took far too long (and for that, there’s no valid excuse except “cockups happen”) but it looks like it’s been worth the wait (which will continue until this fall). Apple no longer is derelict at the top end for professional Mac users and Windows boxes once again look just like the garbage when compared to, and thoroughly shamed by, Apple’s all-new, insanely powerful Mac Pro BEAST!

46 Comments

  1. Funny how they went back to an updated Cheese Grater look as well as PCI slots – HELLO! This was always supposed to be a pro machine Apple and not some moronic flight of Jony Ives fantasy!

      1. Yeah so far so good. Hopefully no other shoe drops. Delivering even in September instead of 2020 sometime! So there might be hope for Apple after all. If all goes well by the reviews I will be getting one. But $999 for a monitor stand? Sheesh!

        The terrible thing is this new Mac Pro by all rights should’ve been the direction of the 2013 Mac Pro and the successor of the 2012 Mac Pro and it will be a while before they are forgiven for that mistake and the excruciating amount of time they took to do the right thing by their pro customers. The problem with thinking “better late than never” is they gambled their pro base might’ve left them in the interim, and no doubt many did. Hopefully they’ve learned some hard lessons. Pros may not be so forgiving again.

        1. No one said September. Historically, for Apple “Fall” means on or before 21 December which is the end of the official “fall” season.

          Maybe I’m being a bit pessimistic, but I would not be too surprised if we got limited shipping by 21 December and full availability in Q1 2020.

    1. You promised to be back Peter when the new Mac Pro was announced and you made good on your promise. 👍🏻

      I am a Pro software jockey and not not a hardware guru. So I have to rely on others for answers.

      Two questions:

      1- Pound for pound regarding price is the cost worth the purchase. Or, does the Apple fashion tax kick in.

      2- Is this a true gamer machine that is better than everything released in history.

      That said, looking mighty fine… 🤗

      1. Yes, and yes. The price is commensurate with those of the previous Mac Pros I have purchased. (There always was a fashion tax, as you call it, and there always will be for a maker like Apple.. unlike the alternative, Dell-like bottom feeders who skimp on component costs and are out to lunch when you demand reparation.) And I can see how to configure this beast into a screamer. (Partisan gamers may grumble but specs, like numbers, are hard facts, not fake news.)

      2. Hi GoeB! Yes I’m back and initially enthused at the new Mac Pro but becoming concerned what the final tab will be come this fall (which silly me I assumed this September but that’s very optimistic, more like December).

        The minimum $5999 configuration on this new MP is comparatively less than previous iterations and no one I believe would buy a new MP and just use the base configuration which is like Apple’s little joke.

        I would need at least a 16-core model which is the sweet spot and go from there. Any other comparable upgrades I can buy elsewhere I will do so and for much cheaper. Until we get a final cost list for the various items like Afterburner and the MPX modules plus feedback from other users I am holding tight and see what unfolds. Then there’s potential availability issues depending on demand but hopefully that’s not a problem. It will be interesting to see how much pent-up demand explodes – or not. But at least a worthy MacPro has finally shown up.

  2. I am suitably happy with what I’ve seen and read so far. NOT an externally modular Mac, which is what I and others had been fearing. Rack-mountable. Very expandable.

    And after years of asking for the return of, or return to, the model nicknamed the cheesegrater, Apple showed a little tongue-in-cheek and gave us a front that literally looks like a cheesegrater. I approve

  3. I’m thinking the T2 chip and the “Afterburner accelerator card” will be real differentiators for Pros doing both HD, 4k, and 8k video. With the drop in price of 4k televisions, the demand for 4k content will dramatically increase. By the 2020 Olympics this demand will be enormous. Professional video content people will need to grab a new Mac Pro quickly. Both Comcast and AT&T have dramatically increased available bandwidth to support this in my area. They both deserve credit. Good job to you both.

    The rack version will be popular with traveling Pros using Logic Pro. I’m certain EVERY Studio Sound Pro is just drooling over this machine. The new iMac is great for a small studio, and the iMac Pro is awesome, but the Mac Pro is a huge jump into something else entirely for audio production.

    I’m wondering if the new Apple Pro Display XDR 6k will be the Medical Professional’s “go to” monitor.

    Given today’s announcements it is odd, very odd, that there is no T2 chip in the new iMac. I can’t understand why. Even more odd, this lack of a T2 has caused ME to hold off buying a new iMac until 1) my 2012 iMac craps out or 2) they updated it with a T2. I am, however, very glad that should I really need a new iMac, the new i9 iMac is a perfect machine for me that will be a very big jump in performance. I’m a big Apple fan because my 2012 iMac has run fast, quiet, and it never craps out or bugs me for “updates” and it has run all day, everyday since March 2013. That’s BY FAR the longest I ever used a computer since I started using computers all day, every day back in ’90. That’s almost 30 years. (and, in real dollar terms, it is just the SIXTH most expensive computer I’ve used including the addition of an external HP Envy 32 and a thunderbolt SSD. Macs are worth it, spend the money. )

      1. I laughed at myself a few weeks ago when I suggested on MDN that in my mystic, fantasy universe the new Mac should be rack-mountable. Apple would NEVER consider such a practical design option!

        This thing is going to be filling up server rooms and render farms.

        Hallelujah.

        1. This is entirely consistent with Cook’s Apple. They are so hell bent on meeting the fattest margins in the computer industry that they no longer even try to take the initiative to expand their product range or lead development into new niches.

          You will never see any Mac Pro marketing because the tightwads at Apple will not take any chances attracting long lost markets like education, servers, engineering, science, and so on. Apparently Hollywood has fatter profits so serving any professionals who actually have to work within tight budgets is ignored, and has been for 6 years now. The new Mac Pro is for video editing, not software development and certainly not as a server.

          To use any Mac as a server today is an exercise in frustration. Not that the hardware couldn’t be made to work, it’s simply more expensive and not easier to use than Linux anymore. Apple’s not even running its own business on Macs. macOS server software is basically nonexistent now so if one wanted to have a reliable server, it would take a lot of work from 3rd parties to cobble together a workable solution for modern needs. For power, instead of having a great dual power supply option, Apple will expect server users to install a big beige UPS next to their shiny new cheese grater. Internal RAID? Not a word about that in the keynote. Apple instead felt it was more important to brag about an overpriced monitor stand — a stand that looks no more technologically advanced than the mechanism that cost Apple a few bucks to make for the Lampshade iMacs.

          As far as I’m concerned, Apple has at least 6 years of demonstrating continuous Mac product range expansion and annual product improvements with serious software quality enhancements and then MAYBE one could put their livelihood on a 100% Mac platform. Rolling out the chassis that should (and could) have been released in 2013 is not “mission accomplished”. This professional has put Apple on probation. EARN BACK OUR TRUST, COOK.

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