We Asked For It! Apple Unveils All-New Mac Pro

June 4 2019, 01:35
During its annual WWDC event, Apple introduced the all-new Mac Pro, a completely redesigned, breakthrough workstation for professional applications. Two years since Apple promised to go back to the concept of a modular and flexible computer for the professional market, the company finally delivered on the promise to push the limits of what a Mac can do. The most powerful Mac ever will be exactly what creative companies, audio recording studios, musicians, and production studios were waiting for, and more. And the new Mac Pro already received enthusiastic support from all pro-software companies, from Adobe to Autodesk, Blackmagic to Avid.

Even though the WWDC 2019 event was mainly focused on all the new features and technologies available for developers, accompanying the anticipated release of all Apple's operating systems, including a new macOS and a new forked version of iOS for iPad, now called iPadOS - there as moment for hardware and that was the much anticipated Mac Pro.
Designed for maximum performance, expansion and configurability, the all-new Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores (the latest 2nd-generation Intel Xeon Platinum processors, recently announced at Computex 2019), 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 from AMD. It also introduces Apple Afterburner, a game-changing accelerator card that enables playback of three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video simultaneously.

With the new Mac Pro, comes also the Pro Display XDR, a 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. Together, the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of professionals and will change those workflows forever, as it was demonstrated at the presentation. Directly from Apple, there was a unique moment to show-of what new versions of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro can do in this platform, with a Logic project using 1000 audio tracks and 1000 virtually instruments at the same time, playing directly with an 8K Final Cut project using up to 3 layers of 8K images with graphics and color correction in real time!

“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,” says Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Pro Display XDR is the world’s best pro display and the perfect companion to the all-new Mac Pro. With Retina 6K resolution, gorgeous color, extreme brightness and contrast ratio, and a highly functional design, Pro Display XDR delivers the most comprehensive set of features ever offered on any display at this price point.”

Of course the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR have prices to match all the power and technology - starting at $5,999 and $4,999 respectively - but there's no doubt that for any business looking for such a system, this is still much more affordable than any existing alternative.

Designed for users 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 — the new 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.

For professionals 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.
Apple's David Earl discusses the potential for professional software like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro running in the new Mac Pro.

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 users can use two Vega II Duos for a staggering 56 teraflops of graphics performance and 128GB of video memory.

And 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, virtually eliminating proxy workflows.

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.

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.
PCIe boards can be fitted once again inside a Mac Pro, with 8 available slots.

The new Mac Pro development was closely followed by professional software companies and it was reassuring to see the names listed in the presentation, including all the leading 3D animation and gaming software companies. At the presentation it was confirmed that Blackmagic Design will bring 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 will enable support for up to six Pro Tools 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.

The all-new Mac Pro will be available to order in the fall. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available at apple.com/mac-pro and apple.com/pro-display-xdr.
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