Mac Pro Overview Updated December 13, 2019

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252 'Mac Pro' stories

January 2011 - December 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 December 13

iFixit dives into the Mac Pro with initial look at the modular machine

Continuing the recent tradition of doing a live initial look inside Apple’s machines as soon as they get them, iFixit is diving into the Mac Pro to check out the new modular pro desktop (and yep, they actually grated cheese with it 😅).

Apple Pro Display XDR works with iMac Pro, but with limitations

Apple shared which Macs will be compatible with the Pro Display XDR and very notably, the iMac Pro wasn’t on the list. However, we’ve got confirmation today that it will work, but with a limitation.

Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

Mac Pro Stories December 12

Apple is known to charge exorbitant prices for memory, and the just-released Mac Pro is no exception. For example, the Mac Pro comes with a base amount of 32GB of RAM in a 4x8GB configuration, but upgrading to 48GB costs $300 and quickly balloons to $1000 for 96GB of RAM.

Even worse is the RAM that Apple sells separately. In that case, a mere 16GB of RAM in a 2x8GB config will cost you $400, while 64GB in a 2x32GB config will cost you a whopping $1200. Want 256GB? Prepare to pay $6000.

But there may be good news in all of this. As has been the case for many years, it may be possible to utilize third-party RAM, which comes at a much more reasonable price. For example, this 64GB kit in a 2x32GB configuration from NEMIX RAM costs under $200, a $1000 savings over Apple’s kit. expand full story

Renowned music producers put the Mac Pro to the test with Logic Pro X session

After we saw first impressions and some early benchmarks for the Mac Pro, YouTuber Jonathan Morrison has partnered up with two successful music producers to see how the new pro machine performs during a recording session in Logic Pro X.

Apple likes to boast about how much thought it put into the little things, and that includes the new Mac Pro fans.

The funky-looking lattice grille that gives the new Mac Pro its distinctive look got a lot of attention when the machine was first unveiled back in June. More air than metal, the grille plays a key role in both passive cooling and allowing efficient extraction of air pulled through by the fans, but plenty of work went into designing the fans themselves…

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Mac Pro: How to install more storage or another GPU with an MPX module

The 2019 Mac Pro features a modular design that makes it easy to upgrade or swap out components like graphics cards and storage. Follow along for how to install more storage or another GPU with an MPX module.

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