Close ☰
Menu ☰

Mac Pro 2019: new modular design for professionals

Posted on: Saturday 15th of June 2019

At the beginning of June Apple unveiled its 2019 Mac Pro, marking the first new Mac Pro since 2013, when Apple released the shiny ‘trash can’ replacement – much derided by production pros for its lack of expansions slots – a model which Apple failed to update after dual GPUs became unfashionable and computer designers prioritised powerful single GPU options.

The new Mac Pro is a high-end, high-throughput machine designed for Apple’s pro user base. Apple has learned from its mistakes and the thermal limitations (which it admits) of the 2013 ‘trash can’. The new Mac Pro features a design that’s similar to the rectangular 2012 Mac Pro – hot-rodded versions of which are still to be seen in many studios –  focusing heavily on upgradeability and expansion.

 

The new ‘cheese-grater’ offset two-layer circular lattice design serves as an extremely high-surface area heat sink for use with the trio of fans moving airflow through the tower horizontally. The rectangular design means that GPUs and other additional hardware can be easily slotted in on one of its broad sides. Once the cover is removed using a simple twisting lock mechanism, you have complete 360-access to all the internals of the computer, and the frame can be fitted with wheels. The 2019 Mac Pro features four double-wide PCI slots, three single-wide PCI slots, and one half-width PCI slot, allowing the machine to accomodate any form factor that a supplemental GPU or RAM card may assume. It gives users many options for external peripherals, with two USB-A ports and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

 

The base model is equipped with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, a Radeon 580X graphics card, 32GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The 2019 Mac Pro is capable of scaling up dramatically, with enough slots to pack in 1.5TB of RAM, and options to swap the Radeon 580X for four Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs working in two pairs. These GPUs, which together offer 56 teraflops of computation, are connected with Apple’s proprietary Infinity Fabric Link, which reportedly allows data transfers faster than current standard PCI buses are capable of. Apple’s proprietary Afterburner FPGA will enable the computer to simultaneously play back three streams of 8K video, or 12 streams at 4K resolution.

The starting price for the Mac Pro is $5,999: an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of memory, Radeon Pro 580X graphics and a 256GB solid-state drive for storage. No pricing details have been given for higher end configurations, but with top-of-the-line specs, the high-end Mac Pro could cost upwards of $20,000: 28 cores, 1.5TB of memory, 2x AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo and Afterburner. Availability is “fall 2019”.

The news of this computer should be welcomed; for production pros in busy post houses and in facilities where audio integrates with video, it will be well worth the investment. But, aside from any considerations about this particular model, it indicates Apple’s commitment to the media production community – a retreat from the idea that creative professionals must live with consumer design, and an acceptance it is worth building products for professionals because of the reputational cachet –  a welcome marker for all of us who depend on Apple’s hardware and software for our daily work.

 



Latest News & Blog articles

  • After a successful inaugural year (see Resolution V21.2), The Sound of the Year Awards is returning. A celebration of everyday sound in all its forms, the awards are presented by The Museum of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and others. Submissions are accepted and encouraged from around the world. Anyone over […]
  • Salsa Sound has upgraded its MIXaiR system. The AI-driven automix software for pitch/court-based sporting events, enables you to automatically create an immersive listening experience using standard mic setups without the need for tracking or manual operation. It does this by analysing the signals of multiple inputs and adjusting accordingly to its sports-specifc ‘trained’ AI. The […]
  • Exhibitors are signing up to take part in ISE 2022, due to take place in Barcelona at the start of February. NIGEL JOPSON takes a look. Registration for ISE 2022 is now open, offering the international audio, visual, and systems integration community a long-anticipated opportunity to reconnect in person at ISE’s new home at the […]
  • Merging will show several new introductions at the Amsterdam IBC2021 show, including developments relevant to broadcasters as IP infrastructures and remote production are ever more important. Its Pyramix digital audio workstation is often used for immersive content, and the 25th Anniversary edition of Pyramix included many of the hooks needed to simplify the workflow when […]
  • DPA Microphones has released a new accessory, the MS4099 mic stand mount, for its 4099 CORE instrument mic – and is also shipping brown versions of its 4466 CORE omnidirectional and 4488 CORE directional headset mics (Resolution V21.3). A solution for mounting the 4099 onto any mic stand, the MS4099 can be used for ⅜” […]
  • When AMS Neve got in touch with us to talk about the fact that its iconic 88R desk turns twenty this year, it occurred to us that the history of Resolution is somewhat intertwined with it. The very first issue of this magazine appeared in May of 2002, not all that long after the launch […]
  • Trinnov Audio has announced a complete hardware and software refresh of its D-MON speaker optimisation and management range. The upgrades are designed to deliver new features that can meet customer and studio requirements as the music industry incrementally adopts Dolby Atmos. Effective from December, the current D-MON 6 and 12 hardware units will be replaced […]
  • Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has today announced it has signed a definitive agreement of merger with PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana based brand is a manufacturer of recording and live-sound hardware. The musical instrument giant, best known for its guitars and amplifiers, is over 75 years old now – but sees potential […]
Translate »