At its annual WWDC, Apple announced its most powerful Mac system to date, the Mac Pro, along with the Pro Display HDR, a professional grade monitor for creatives.
The new Mac Pro utilizes a tower-style design that was evident in previous Mac Pro models from 2006 to 2012 – an Aluminium body with feet and handles, and larger air-vents for better cooling. Its entire body can be removed using a latch located at the top that you can rotate and allows you to pull up the side shell.
Inside, you get eight PCI-e expansion slots, the last one comes with Apple’s own I/O card pre-installed. This gives you two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. You’ll find two more at the top of the chassis.
Powering this monster are Intel’s Xeon W processors. The base model comes with an 8-core CPU, but at your heart’s content, you can have it configured with the 12-core, 24-core, or even a 28-core model, all of which support Hyper Threading. For RAM, you can have up to 1.5TB of it (yes, you’ve read that right), provided you’re getting the 24-core or 28-core variant. You can also get up to 4TB of flash-only storage.
Of course, this powerhouse wouldn’t be complete without a strong arm for graphics processing. The base model comes with an AMD Radeon Pro 580X, but you can have the Radeon Pro Vega II, or if you really want it all, Dual Vega II graphics. You want to take it even further? sure. You can have up to four Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs inside your Mac Pro.
Afterburner is a programmable ASIC that’s built for one thing alone, to accelerate video encoding and decoding. That basically means that the new Mac Pro can take 3 streams of 8K ProRes RAW 30fps video, 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW 30fps video or 16 streams of 4K ProRes 422 30fps video. Lastly, you get a 1400W power supply.
The new Mac Pro’s base model (8-core CPU, 32GB 2666MHz RAM, 256 SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 580X) is priced at USD5999.
Pro Display XDR
Of course, what good is having a powerhouse machine if you don’t have an equally capable display? so Apple also introduced the Pro Display XDR.
For a price of USD4999, you get a 32-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 6016 x 3384 on a 16:9 aspect ratio or Retina 6K. On SDR content, this giant can achieve 500 nits of brightness, though Apple claims up to 1000 nits sustained on the surface, thanks to it being an HDR display. Oh, wait, it can even go up to 1600 nits in under 25 degrees Celsius ambient temperatures for short time intervals.
As for format, you can choose between HDR Video P3-ST 2084 (HDR10/Dolby Vision), BT.709, BT.601, P3-DCI, P3-D65, P3-D50, and sRGB. That pretty much covers current color standards from cinema to television and photo.
The monitor supports 47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz and 60.00Hz refresh rates. As far as connectivity is concerned, you get four Thunderbolt 3 ports at the back, which also work as USB-C ports.
As you’ll need a proper stand for it, Apple is offering an optional Pro Stand for USD999, which seems a bit much, even for Apple standards. In any case, having it gives you the option to set the display orientation to portrait and adjust the height. To remove the monitor from the stand, all you have to do is press a single button.
If you do want a more affordable mounting solution, a VESA Mount Adapter will also be sold for USD199.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.