Following the Apple Keynote at WWDC 2019, Apple Product Manager for the new style Mac Pro Cheese-grater sat down with David Sparks and Stephen Hackett from the Mac Power Users podcast and shared some useful detail on the Mac Pro design, Apple’s Pro Workflow and more.
Pro Workflows Team
Doug shared with David and Stephen that the Pro Workflows Team is a “deep investment” in the company’s support for the ‘pro’ sector. He explained that the team’s focus goes from the new Mac Pro through to the MacBook Pro and iPad Pro…
“That team is really a deep investment on what we’re doing here in the pro space. And it goes well beyond just Mac Pro to MacBook Pro and even iPad Pro. You’re going to see the benefits and the implications of that team across all of our Mac products and our pro products.
The teams really consist of two kinds of people. Artists and creatives who came out of the industry, in the video, audio, and 3D space as examples. They were creative professionals who brought their talents inside. And system architecture people, who they can be coupled with, and who are deep computer scientists who can look at performance and system traces, and architectural details on what it takes to achieve given task.”
The Power Of The New Mac Pro
Moving onto the power of the new Mac Pro, Doug said Apple’s goal is to design for tomorrow and to ensure that this new computer is capable of still being able to handle the needs of professionals in the future…
“We don’t want to build it for today, we want to build for the future. So we look at things like 8K workflows; that’s not the norm today, there’s definitely people doing it at the high end, but we want to make sure we’re ready for and have the performance to deliver throughout the system.”
The New Mac Pro Design
Next they discussed the design of the new Mac Pro, Doug explained that the stainless steel space frame is at the core of the Mac Pro’s modularity. It has been designed to enable Apple to add “all sorts of different modules” to the Mac Pro in the future. Doug also stressed that the design is incredibly quiet, and made an interesting claim that it is actually quieter than the iMac Pro and Mac Pro trash can…
“The design of the new Mac Pro started fundamentally with the space frame. We really wanted to bring modularity to the very fundamentals of the system. So in a way, the space frame is this open canvas for us to be able to bring all sorts of different modules and technologies into the system, so everything hangs off of that.
The thermal system is a great example, the past Mac Pro tower had 9 fans. We wanted to kind of simplify and make the thermal system a lot more elegant. So it’s a low impedance airflow system. So if you look through the the heating sync, the fence-basing is pretty wide. We’re able to move a lot of air through the system and get a lot of heat exchange.
They [the fans] tend to move a little slower so they don't create a lot of noise, but can move quite a bit of air through the system to cool the system very effectively.
We’ve measured the system when it’s on the floor next to your desk at 10 decibels. It’s actually quieter than the iMac Pro or a current Mac Pro, which are around 12 decibels.”
During the interview Doug turned his attention to the optional wheels…
‘You realize you have this thing next to you and there's a handle there. It's perfect to just grab… what if I just wanted to slide it out a bit to get access to the top boards or spin it around for the back. The feet have material on the bottom… it's really easy to slide around. It's like, what if this thing had wheels?’
We understand that Apple is using G-sensors to ensure that the new Mac Pro will be able to withstand reasonable amounts of shock and vibrations whilst being wheeled around in production trucks and other professional environments.
Security - A Stealth Enclosure
Doug also let it slip, during the interview, that like other Apple products under development, the new Mac Pro was kept in a "stealth enclosure" during testing in Apple's labs to ensure that its design remained a secret until it was announced.
It certainly worked with this product and the level of security is even more impressive when you realise that Apple has been working with partners like Avid, Universal Audio and Adobe, to make sure that the Mac Pro will work with their products like being able to get 6 Avid HDX cards in one computer.
Want To Hear More?
You can listen to the podcast in full on the Mac Power Users Podcast.