Mac Pro Overview Updated June 20, 2019

Mac Pro

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214 'Mac Pro' stories

January 2011 - June 2019


After letting the Mac Pro become stagnant since 2013, Apple has finally unveiled the new version. In early 2017, Apple made a handful of announcements regarding the product. The company explained that it is rethinking its Mac Pro approach and plans to unveil a new modular model sometime in the future.

The company admitted that its 2013 model approach hasn’t been as upgradable in practice as it had hoped.

At some point [Apple] came to the conclusion that the 2013 Mac Pro concept was fundamentally flawed. It was tightly integrated internally, which allowed for some very nice features: it was small and beautiful (a pro machine that demanded placement on your desk, not under your desk) and it could run whisper quietly. But that tight integration made it hard to update regularly. The idea that expansion could be handled almost entirely by external Thunderbolt peripherals sounded good on paper, but hasn’t panned out in practice. And the GPU design was a bad prediction. Apple bet on a dual-GPU design (multiple smaller GPUs, with “pro”-level performance coming from parallel processing) but the industry has gone entirely in the other direction (machines with one big GPU).

Phil Schiller acknowledged that the 2013 Mac Pro had not been well received by many pros, and it was this that had led to the radical rethink.

With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call “completely rethinking the Mac Pro”. We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.

As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.

In the interim, we know there are a number of customers who continue to buy our [current Mac Pros]. To be clear, our current Mac Pro has met the needs of some of our customers, and we know clearly not all of our customers. None of this is black and white, it’s a wide variety of customers. Some… it’s the kind of system they wanted; others, it was not.

In the meantime, we’re going to update the configs to make it faster and better for their dollar. This is not a new model, not a new design, we’re just going to update the configs. We’re doing that this week. We can give you the specifics on that.

The CPUs, we’re moving them down the line. The GPUs, down the line, to get more performance per dollar for customers who DO need to continue to buy them on the interim until we get to a newly architected system.

At WWDC 2019 Apple offered the first look at its new Mac Pro. The new version is a return of the cheese grater design from a generation previous.

Apple says the new Mac Pro was designed with easy access to its components. There are stainless steel handles for modularity, all internal components mount to the frame with 360-degree components.

Mac Pro Specs

  • 300 watts of power, runs fully unconstrained
  • 2933MHz ECC memory, 12 DIMM slots
  • 8 internal PCI slots, four double-wide slots, three single side slots
  • Half-length slot populated with two TB3 ports, audio jack, two USB A ports, two 10Gb Ethernet ports
  • Up to 1.5 terabytes of RAM
  • Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores
  • Apple designed a PCI connector with a second PCIe connector and power
  • Multiple graphics options; can configure with options such as Radeon Pro Vega II
  • Two GPUs connected via Infinity Fabric Link, 5X faster than PCI bust
  • Apple built a brand new card called Afterburner for video editing, 6 billion pixels per second. 3 streams of 8K, 12 streams of 4K

Mac Pro Pricing

The new Mac Pro starts at $5999 for 8-core, 32GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

Mac Pro Release Date

Rumors point to a September release for the new Mac Pro, but Apple’s official answer is Fall of 2019.

Mac Pro Stories June 18

Hands-on photos explore G4 Cube and the likely origin of the Mac Pro lattice design

An interesting story about the history of the new cheese grater lattice design of the upcoming Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR points to Apple coming up with the idea almost two decades ago for the PowerMac G4 Cube, but the hemispherical design didn’t make it into that desktop. However, a reminiscent design was used…

Mac Pro Stories June 12

Software developer and designer Arun Venkatesan has taken a look at the smart thermal management features of the upcoming 2019 Mac Pro.

He also shows some of the past Mac technology Apple has drawn on in the design of the Mac Pro and its accompanying monitor …

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Mac Pro Stories June 10

Update: The copy has been changed to ‘Coming This Fall,’ hinting that the September mention was indeed an error.

When Apple announced the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR last week, the company would only say that the products are launching this ‘fall’. The fall date was noted in both Apple’s keynote and press releases.

However, if you look at the Apple homepage right now, there’s a link to get notified about forthcoming Mac Pro news. If you click that link, a box appears that readily states the new Mac Pro is coming in September.

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Mac Pro Stories June 6

Display maker MSI mocks Apple’s $999 Pro display stand with ad for its 5K display

Apple has been getting a lot of criticism for its $1,000 optional stand for the upcoming Pro Display XDR. Now, hardware manufacturer MSI is making fun of Apple as it promotes its latest 5K display.

Apple’s Mac Pro AR tool is great for making a slick iPhone wallpaper

Just after announcing the all-new Mac Pro, Apple launched an AR tool to visualize how the new modular desktop will look in your workspace. As it turns out, the AR experience is also a great way to create some sharp wallpapers for iPhone.

Mac Pro Stories June 5

Belkin and Logitech commit to Mac Pro accessories alongside Apple’s new ‘Pro’ cables

Even though the all-new Mac Pro won’t be released until later this fall, we’re learning more about the accessories that will be available for the new modular professional desktop. Belkin and Logitech will be among the first third-parties to offer specific Mac Pro products alongside Promise.

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