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New Mac Pro

June 4, 2019.

Apple Mac Pro.

Mac Pro. © Apple.

The highlight of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, was probably the unveiling of the long-awaited new Mac Pro. The previous Mac Pro (the aluminium cylinder, or “trash can”) dated back from 2013 and hadn’t evolved since, to the despair of video and 3D graphics professionals. The design of the new Mac Pro (called the “cheese grater”) harkens back to the first generation: a good old aluminium rectangle with a front and a back and plenty of ventilation holes. It also brings back what the second generation sorely lacked: extension ports. The new design has no less than 8 PCIe slots.

As for power, professional users will be pleased: the third generation Mac Pro comes with an 8 to 28 core Xeon W processor and 32GB to 1.5TB of RAM, which is unheard-of. For the graphics, you can go from AMD’s Radeon Pro 580X up to the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, with two Vega II GPUs, for a total of 28 teraflops of power. Depending on the card used, the machine can support 6 to 12 4K displays, or 2 to 6 6K displays. You can also get the optional high-resolution video accelerating card, called the Apple Afterburner, able to decode 6 billion pixels per second and display 3 streams of 8K ProRes RAW video at 30fps in real-time. As the machine weighs 18 kilos (without the extra cards), Apple allows you to swap out the feet for wheels, for an undisclosed price (though we’re pretty sure that a set of four Apple-designed wheels will cost at least a hundred bucks).

Speaking of money, the new Mac Pro isn’t cheap, with the base version starting at USD6,000, while the more powerful configurations can set you back USD50,000, with just the RAM running at USD17,500 (12 x 128GB DDR4 ECC). Availability is set for the fall.

Apple also unveiled a 32-inch, 6K Retina display, called Pro Display XDF, with a resolution of 6,016x3,384, just over 20 million pixels. This superlative monitor seeks to rival professional-grade screens that retail for over USD40,000, for “just” USD5,000. Add to that the USD1,000 stand to pivot the screen or USD200 for a VESA Mount, and you’re all set.

PetaPixel, “Apple’s new 6K 32-Inch display costs $5,000… without the $1,000 stand.”

The Verge, “First look: the new Mac Pro is the shiny, expensive powerhouse that pros wanted.”

Ars Technica, “It’s really real: Apple unveils the all-new Mac Pro.”