Computers

Roundup: Everything we know about the Mac Pro so far

The new Mac Pro is expected to be released in September

With Apple set to release the new Mac Pro in September, we thought now was as good a time as ever to delve deeper into the new release and explore all of its new features…

What’s changed?

The new computer is Apple’s most advanced to date, featuring Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a new high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a new graphics architecture designed to accommodate the world’s most advanced graphics cards.

Apple’s new flagship desktop tower was designed for customers who demand the ultimate in performance, whether they’re rendering videos in production, playing virtual instruments in the studio, or testing applications on iOS devices.

The new Mac Pro truly offers next-level power and performance, and state-of-the-art architecture to offer users everything they need to run unconstrained, all of the time, whatever their workload.

Speaking of the new Mac Pro, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said the company had “designed Mac Pro for users who require a modular system with extreme performance, expansion, and configurability,” and with a “jaw-dropping design, the new Mac Pro is a monster that will enable pros to do their life’s best work.”

Performance

Perhaps one of the most impressive things about the new Mac Pro is memory performance, with the tower capable of analyzing hundreds of data sets or running multiple professional applications at the same time.

The new Mac Pro features a unique six-channel memory architecture as well as 12 physical DIMM slots, designed to allow for up to 1.5TB of RAM.

What’s more, with eight PCI Express expansion slots, twice the previous generation’s, users are able to customize and expand their Mac Pro systems in a way that suits their needs best – not only when they buy their Mac from Apple, but years in the future when they need more power or storage.

Superpowered graphics

The Mac Pro wasn’t built for your Average Joe – it’s designed to accommodate the needs of 3D film animators, developers, photographers, and professionals.

And it’s there where the Mac Pro lives up to its name, offering the world’s most powerful graphics card and an eye-watering 56 teraflops of graphics performance in its single system.

The tower features the Apple MPX Module, as well as Thunderbolt integration and over 500W of power, which are firsts for graphics cards. To top it all off, the Pro was designed to run as a “super quiet operation” thanks to system thermal cooling integrated into the device’s MPX Module.

The new Mac is modular!

Featuring a stainless-steel frame design and aluminum housing, the new Mac Pro is one of Apple’s most visually-striking pieces of hardware to date, resembling the original Mac Pro rather than the 2013 refresh in a design some may say is “threatening.”

However, it’s what’s on the inside that matters most, and Apple knows that, which is why it’s allowed the Mac Pro’s aluminum housing to be removed so that users can access 360-degrees of the system.

The outer frame offers a foundation for modularity and flexibility so that users can plug in their own hard drives, graphics cards and more, whilst the outer body protects the device and features stunning smooth handles, allowing for easy movement between studios.

Indeed, according to benchmark data from Apple, Blackmagic Design allows for full CPU and multi-GPU accelerated 8K real-time editing in ProRes 4444 for the first time on any computer, whilst Avid can allow for support of up to six HDX cards, offering more IO and an increased voice count.

Finally, Apple has witnessed Maxon’s Cinema 4D see 20% faster GPU render performance when compared to a Windows workstation maxed out with three NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 graphics cards, demonstrating the power of the new Mac Pro.

It takes Apple in a new direction

The introduction of the new Mac Pro sparks a new direction for Apple’s hardware design, with the company perhaps looking to shake off the minimalistic design it is known for.

Apple tried to alter the appearance of the Mac Pro back in 2013 with a spaceship-esque design, but the device wasn’t supported nor updated for close to six years, so here’s hoping the new Mac Pro is a return to form, with regular updates to introduce even greater functionality.

What Apple has shown with the launch of its new high-end desktop tower is that it still knows its audience better than anyone else and that it can reinvent the computer wheel and provide the power, performance, and functionality that today’s professional users are demanding.

When first presented with the new Mac Pro, its design and sheer power may seem difficult to digest, particularly in today’s all-glass, all-aluminum, all-smooth mindset, but the new direction offers significant possibilities, with Apple pushing its professional hardware further than it has ever done.

We’re not sure where Apple is headed next, but with rumors of a new MacBook design and the introduction of iPadOS pushing Apple’s tablets into unchartered waters away from smartphones, Apple’s relationship with professional users has never been more exciting…

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