At WWDC 2019 Apple have just announced a new Mac Pro that looks like the old cheese-grater with lots of holes, a set of feet on the bottom and handles on the top and against all expectations it has internal PCI slots as well as a 6K monitor.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing tod us…
“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.
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 colour, 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.”
New Modular Mac Pro Feature Summary
Stainless-steel space frame with an aluminium housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system.
The housing also features a stunning lattice pattern to maximise airflow and quiet operation.
For customers who want to rack mount their Mac Pro in edit bays or machine rooms, an optimised version for rack mounting will be available this fall.
There are optional wheels for the feet too.
It has a brand new Xeon processor and a massive heatsink to keep it all cool with up to 28 cores.
It has up to 1.5TB of RAM with a six-channel memory architecture and 12 physical DIMM slots.
64 PCI Express lanes for tremendous performance and massive bandwidth.
8 internal PCI Express Card slots - four of them are double width, three are single width and the last one is an Apple MPX Module with Thunderbolt, USB ports, and two 10GB Ethernet ports.
A headphone jack on the front
The new Mac Pro graphics options start with the Radeon Pro 580X.
Then there is the debut of 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.
Next there is the introduction of the 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.
The new 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.
There is an "Infinity fabric link" that provides data-buss 5 times faster than a normal PCI bus.
There is a new accelerator card called Afterburner for video editing with a hardware FPGA ASIC that can do 6 billion pixels per second, bypassing the need for proxies for 8K video. It can handle three streams of 8K Prores video or 12 streams at 4K.
Apple is making a range of custom expansion cards designed to tailor the Mac Pro to various workflows.
The PSU can provide 1.4 kilowatts of power to feed all these cards and peripherals.
Although there are huge heatsinks there are fans as well designed to shift 300 cubic feet per minute using three big fans. but Apple stress that “it's quiet”.
Many brands have announced they are supporting the new Mac Pro including Adobe, Autodesk, Sefi, and Blackmagic, SideFX, Red, Epic, Unity, Pixar and Maxon.
And don’t worry Avid is on that list too, and have been working with Avid so that the new Mac Pro can support up to 6 HDX cards.
Blackmagic Design brings full CPU and multi-GPU accelerated 8K real-time editing, effects and colour correction in ProRes 4444 for the first time on any system.
Maxon’s Cinema 4D is seeing 20 per cent faster GPU render performance when compared to a Windows workstation maxed out with three NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 graphics cards.
They demoed Logic Pro just randomly adding a 50-piece percussion ensemble, a 100-piece orchestra, etc. to end up running 1000 audio tracks.
Price: Starting price for 8-core Xeon, 32GB memory, Radeon 580x, 256GB SSD $5,999.
Available “in the fall”
It has the same styling on the back as the grille on the Mac Pro.
It will be a 32-inch LCD, 6016 x 3284, 6K Retina display and is 40 percent larger than iMac 5K display and supports P3 color, 10 bit, reference modes.
There is an anti-reflective polariser technology, delivering a superwide, colour-accurate, off-axis viewing angle, so now multiple people can view more accurate content simultaneously.
To manage reflected light, Pro Display XDR has an anti-reflective coating with a new matte option called nano-texture, with glass etched at the nanometer level for low reflectivity and less glare.
The LEDs are calibrated at the factory.
The rear lattice is also a heat sink
There is a direct backlighting system with an array of LEDs that produce 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness indefinitely, something that Apple claim has never been possible before on a display at this price point and 1,600 nits of peak brightness
1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
Edge-to-edge glass and narrow, 9-millimetre borders
Thunderbolt 3 will be able to support a two-display setup and Mac Pro can handle 6 displays.
The Pro Stand has an intricately engineered arm that perfectly counterbalances the display so it feels virtually weightless, allowing users to easily place it into position.
The Pro Stand also provides both tilt and height adjustment, and also allows Pro Display XDR to rotate into portrait mode, designed for tasks like retouching photos, designing a web page or writing code.
Easily removable, the Pro Stand quickly attaches and detaches so it is easy to take on location. There is also a VESA mount adapter', which is interchangeable with the Pro Stand.
Price: $4,999 for Pro Display XDR, Matte nano-texture is an extra $999 and the VESA Mount is $199.
Avid Respond To The Announcement Of The New Mac Pro
Francois Quereuil, director of Product Management, Avid has said…
“Avid’s Pro Tools team is blown away by the unprecedented processing power of the new Mac Pro, and thanks to its internal expansion capabilities, up to six Pro Tools HDX cards can be installed within the system – a first for Avid’s flagship audio workstation. We’re now able to deliver never-before-seen performance and capabilities for audio production in a single system and deliver a platform that professional users in music and post have been eagerly awaiting.”