Apple nails it with their new Mac Pro, the computer for the few of us

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.
All-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.

Jonny Evans for Computerworld:

It’s not for the mass market, and it costs as much as a car and most people will never even see one, but Mac Pro is still the best Mac Apple has ever made.

I’ve been wandering around WWDC speaking with people, and the general feeling about Mac Pro seems to be that the company has got this really, really right.

These Mac systems are not compromised on cost, components or design and were developed with just one primary mission in mind: to radically enhance professional workflow.

These Mac Pros are not systems “for the rest of us.” Most Mac users will never need to run something as powerful as these machines.

I sensed real pride from among Mac-related Apple people I encountered at the giant developer event… I think they have a right to feel pride. They have built the best Mac Apple has ever made.

MacDailyNews Take: Of the new Mac Pro, every Mac user should be proud.

The Mac Pro is sort of like why you fund a space program, if you’re smart. Yes, there are pressing needs elsewhere (and, btw, there always will be; it’s a bad excuse for not investing in exploration), but if you’re not pushing, you’re stagnating. Nothing unexpected can be discovered, no new solutions uncovered when no new challenges are ventured. It’s why smart car companies make esoteric supercars of which only a few will ever be sold and on which the investment will never be recouped. As with supercars, lessons learned from the Mac Pro, the Mac flagship, will percolate throughout and improve all of Apple’s product lines. Yes, Apple worst-selling Mac is their most important.

May the Mac Pro never be dead-ended, abandoned, and ignored again!

Think about what you thought of Apple’s Mac lineup when it had a half-decade-old, neglected, dead-end design as its flagship. The entire Mac lineup was diminished. Apple’s management who allowed this to happen were diminished, too. People could only see the flaws – in the machines and the people. Now, with the new Mac Pro proudly raising the flag high atop the mountain, all Macs, and everyone responsible for making Macs, are lifted up along with it.

26 Comments

  1. “Apple nails it with their new Mac Pro, the computer for the few of us”

    For the very very very few of us.

    Schools and universities have been switching to Windows work stations and will continue too.

      1. You read into the MDN comment what you needed to get out of it. MDN compared the NASA program which is the most unique program on earth to Apple’s efforts with the new Mac Pro. Nasa task which is funded publicly, is to take living people into space and beyond and bring them back alive. We went into space and the moon and beyond as a species, not a private company hell bent of profit. Several tech’s came out of the space program that benefited humanity.

        Apple is a private company that only worries about it’s sky high margins and keeping their stock holders happy. Is the technology used in this new Mac Pro only available to Apple? Are there not WIndows workstations or Hackintosh machines that can equal or better this new Mac at much less cost?

        1. No. There are not Windows workstations or Hackintosh machines that can equal or better this new MacPro at lower cost.

          The new Mac Pro is not a gaming rig, it is a professional grade machine designed for mission critical applications.

          The Mac Pro uses industrial grade components like: latest generation Xeon processors, ECC RAM, ultra-fast SSDs, bleeding edge GPUs, bespoke hardware accelerators, and Apple’s exclusive T2 security/encryption system. All of these components are housed in a super accessible enclosure with a 1.4KW power supply and a super-low-noise fan system that generates 300cfm of airflow at around 12 Decibels.

          You cannot get this combination of hardware anywhere else, at any price.

          1. “No. There are not Windows workstations or Hackintosh machines that can equal or better this new MacPro at lower cost.”

            So there are? Just at about at the same cost or a little less?

            Stick to specs – you’re not a debater.

          2. “You cannot get this combination of hardware anywhere else, at any price.” If you had included macOS and it’s user friendly interface, I would agree with you. You didn’t.

            Therefore… You can build an equal or more powerful custom machine at a lower price than the assumed price of a Mac Pro (as we don’t have specific pricing on the new Mac Pro yet). Hell, with a custom build you can go to 56 cores/112 threads in the CPU (assuming you want to spend the money, or even go for two of those chips for the supported dual chip configuration). So more powerful is always possible.

            You can build something with all that hardware or better (think V100 based processors instead of the Vega II based processors) except the T2 security/encryption system, but if you’re tied into certain organizations you can get U.S. Government hardware encryption directly from the USG at zero cost since the USG forever “owns” those chips and you never will.

            Another example is there are systems shipping with PCIe 4.0 (which has been defined for a long, long time now), yet Apple chose to stick with the significantly older PCIe 3.0. Why? If they are going to support special variants of AMDs video cards and a special accelerator card, why not just go forth and go with PCIe 4.0 like some other leading vendors have done for several months. (Besides PCIe 5.0 is expected to be ratified by the end of this calendar year.)

            It absolutely is possible to build a comparable or better system for less than people expect the new Mac Pro to cost. You just can’t get it “off the shelf with macOS included” unless you buy it from Apple.

          3. You guys don’t know anything about the wide world of computer hardware. there is nothing on this mac pro that is new, or hasn’t already been done on a windows/linux platform. afterburner = R3DRocket card, MPX = Crossfire/SLI/NVLink.. This intel chip was previewed almost exactly a year ago, and they used exotic water cooling to keep it from thermal throttling while showing it off, so good luck with passive.. This is apple slapping a fancy paint job on last years technology to play catch up. I mean, good for them, they need to catch up. The monitor is very impressive. the Box? not so much. Christ this mac pro only has PCIe 3.0 on it. 4.0 is available NOW. It won’t even have fast SSD Drives by next months standards. Still it is nice that they finally have a product. We’ll never buy them, we’re switching to an more open and less expensive YET more powerful platform.

  2. “MacDailyNews Take: Of the new Mac Pro, every Mac user should be proud.”

    No, a majority of first and second generation Intel Mac Pro users realize they will be keeping their old Mac Pros longer. They will have eventually have to decide between a Windows Workstation or a Hackintosh.

  3. People should remember a fully configured 1984 Macintosh cost $2500, which would be about $6000 in todays dollars. Think about that. Do you know what a 1984 Macintosh could do? The $6,000 of the 2019 Mac Pro is very reasonable, even inexpensive if compared to prices of very limited computers 30 years ago. This machine can do things you would have needed a supercomputer to do, if that was even possible, a few decades ago.

    Thank you Apple for finally delivering a real Mac Pro the company can be proud to offer. Don’t fail to keep it current for 5 years ever again. But thanks for this. Great product.

    1. The old Intel cheese grater and the trash can Mac Pro that was just replaced by the new Mac Pro topped out at $3,999 compared to $5,999 entry level point of the new Mac Pro.

      1. This is not accurate. I paid $4918 for a Mac Pro in 2007 and it wasn’t “topped out.” It only had 4GB of RAM. I planned to buy more from cheaper sources.

    2. Exactly! I got the 512ke in 1985 as I heard it was coming…with external (extra) floppuy disk drive and ImageWriter printer, I laid out $3k with a UCLA discount. The next year, I got a SuperMac external SCSI HDD that was 10MB – MB! for $1299. Plus, I had to pay $500 for the SCSI port to be added to the battery compartment. So, yeah, this new Mac isn’t for everyone. There are plenty others to choose from.
      I for one am so sick of the “we need a new Mac Pro”. “We need a REAL Pro Mac Pro” and then they make it and all we hear is b!tching about the price. Internet = wankers.

    3. People should remember …

      People also remember that digital technology does not follow traditional CPI inflation indexes.

      That’s why one can buy a Full Frame dSLR today that has 2x as many pixels as the one from a dozen years ago … at 1/3rd the price, not counting inflation.

  4. Yes the new 2019 Mac Pro and it’s design was a pleasant surprise and it shows how the original Cheese Grater design under Steve Jobs watch was the correct one since this one clearly evolves from that.

    It’s sad how far off-track that 2013 Trash Can was for any real serious pro consideration and as a result conceded many machines they would have sold to their competition – PC Workstations. Among pros I know that’s certainly been the case when they could no longer wait for Apple to get their sh*t together. Comparing them now only makes that 2013 misfire look even more like an utter joke.

    What I want to know is if that Afterburner card comes with this new machine or is it an optional expense? I can’t find that info anywhere. What is or isn’t an option?

  5. A positive Youtube Mac Pro video to watch by Snazzy Labs – The 2019 Apple Mac Pro is Perfect! Well… Kinda.
    It definitely shows the plus side of the new Mac Pro without all the price negativity.

    It will be interesting to see some benchmarks of the new Mac Pro in comparison to Windows PC computers only to find out if it is close to being worth the price. I wouldn’t think Apple is that far off from designing a beast computer with some bang for the buck.

  6. Well, we definitely got a pro-level Mac Pro. Unfortunately, it is only for the upper-echelons of pro users and not prosumers as past Mac towers have been. It really would be great to have just a prosumer tower with decent specs like past Mac towers. We have pro and regular versions of the iPad, MacBook and iMac, why not the tower as well?

  7. At the end of the day a ‘Pro’ (Professional or work ) machine lives or dies on the whether their customers can make money using them better than by using a rival machine.

    The old Cheese Graters for example were good pro machines, even though some PCs were faster in certain periods, because they were stable and it was easy to configure and fix them. Drives for example slid out on sleds.

    When Graters first came out some complained about the cost when they started speccing the chips etc , problem was they specced the design and case like a PC plastic case. The original Grater was revolutionary, look at the photos of the clean insides vs PCs at the time with spaghetti tangles of wiring. It was way easier to deal with the insides of the Grater than PCs of the era.

    Hackintoshes might be cheaper than the new Mac Pro but when you factor in you probably need very knowledgeable folks on site for potential issues like things can get broke with software updates, you have to ask yourself are Hackintoshes really for high end pro studios ? There is dollar cost to downtime and expert troubleshooting staff. And pros would have to debate the worth of Mac OS with it’s ecosystem of Macs, iOS devices etc vs Linux and PCs. If you went on location work with iPhones and iPads in support , is it easier to dump data from them into Macs or Linux boxes ?

    Like I said at start for Pros it’s just be a bottom line argument , can they make money better (faster , easier, ) than other options.

    For years at the lower levels pros who needed lighter computing stuck with Macs like iMacs or MBPs even though PCs at the same price were way more powerful, because to them the ease and workflow were more important.

    Today at least Apple is trying to match power with it’s latest Mac offerings.

  8. If you’re a legit business, say a production house handling 4-6-8k video and audio, have a deep reputation and a stellar client list do you go with a legit beast of a Mac like the new Mac Pro or do you cobble together a comparable Windows/Linux box maybe for the same or a bit cheaper, with maybe PCIe 4.0 or 5.0? It depends. If you got a person in-house can build and maintain hardware like that, then great. Especially if you think they’ll stick around. Are you really getting that much done, that much faster? Again, it depends. But if you are a pro production house and you spec a Mac Pro in your office, especially with a display, keyboard, etc. all Apple accessories, would anyone turn their nose up at even unboxing the thing? Likely not. Also, if a client happens to roll in and see your folks working on one of the machines are they going to ask you why you didn’t go with a better cobbled together solution? No! If they know anything about computers they’ll likely be asking how you like using it, maybe even ask you to show them some of the benefits of such a beast. Would they do this if you were running anything else with a bunch of blue blinky lights and generic case? Nope! Would the client perceive you as being a true pro shop with one of these? Probably. Would they even enquire about any of these perceptions with anything else? Again, probably not. They would care though about the end product and the production time involved. Whether it’s a Mac Pro or a cobbled together Windows/Linux box won’t matter, but there is something of a cache the Mac Pro brings to any production house, especially early in their release that the other platforms just don’t have. Couple that with often better vertical integration between hardware and software and the new Mac Pro looks to be enticing and competitive. Some people don’t want to have buy, construct and maintain things, they’d rather opt for a turn key solution. This machine fills the the latter situation quite nicely. As for not having PCIe 4.0 or 5.0, it’s a bit of a surprise as Apple typically supports earlier advanced spec’s, but rest assured it’ll likely be on future models. That case and this machine will be around a long long time, just as the original cheese grater machines were.

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