Allow me to quote President Gerald Ford to describe the pain Mac users have endured for many, many years; a quote that Tim Cook could have uttered this week.
“My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” Ford, of course, was talking about the end of Watergate and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. How does that Apply to Tim Cook and Apple’s Mac customers?
“It’s Alive! It’s Alive!”
Remember the Mac Pro? Professional level Macs have come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. We had plastic Macs, flat pancake Macs for server rooms and die hard Mac power users, then the much beloved cheese grater Macs that seemed infinitely expandable, and more recently the Mac Pro shaped like a trash can. The Trash Can Mac Pro.
Two years ago Apple executives promised a new and powerful and modular Mac Pro for professionals and this week the company delivered the goods. It’s Alive! It’s Alive! seems appropriate, especially when you see the Mac Pro’s technical specifications and capabilities.
Apple delivered on the promise.
Alright. I get it. That’s not exactly pretty or awe inspiring but if you look closely you’ll see where Apple delivered the promised goods.
Modularity is built in inside, yet, Apple paid proper homage to the Mac Pro most of us wanted, the cheese grater Mac Pro of yesteryear.
Behold, the future King of the Macs.
No, seriously. That’s the new Mac Pro design. It’s not exactly a cheese grater Mac Pro, but look how it resembles and enhances the original design.
This one has handles, too, but they’re round and easy to grab without stocking up on the bandaids previous Mac Pro models required when you needed to move it around.
Legs? Sure. Why not because wheels. This Mac Pro has wheels which make it easy to move from here to there without back surgery later. Oh, and that handle? Well, that’s how you unlock the entire case and lift it off so the modularity just spills out onto your eyeballs.
How cool is this top view?
OK, that’s the face of power. What really counts is what you get inside. The Mac Pro’s base Model comes with an 8-core Intel Inside for a starting price of $5,999.
What do you get?
- 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W
- 8 cores, 16 threads
- Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
- 24.5MB cache
- Support for up to 1TB 2666MHz memory
Is that a typo? 1TB of RAM. Not storage. RAM. Memory. T-E-R-A-B-Y-T-E. At the other end of the scale of power is a 28-core Intel Inside (Apple hasn’t announced the price tag yet, but you’ll need a mortgage and an Apple Card credit card).
- 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W
- 28 cores, 56 threads
- Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
- 66.5MB cache
- Support for up to 2TB 2933MHz memory
Good Lord! 28 cores of Xeon CPU with 2TB of RAM. Or, 1.5TB with 12 128GB for the 24-core and 28-core CPUs with DDR4ECC RAM.
Wait. There’s more? Remember how anemic some Macs were with graphics, especially when compared to do-it-yourself Windows PCs?
Try this on for size:
AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo
- Two Vega II GPUs, each with 64 compute units and 4096 stream processors
- 64GB of HBM2 memory (32GB per GPU), each with 1TB/s memory bandwidth
- Up to 28.2 teraflops single precision or 56.4 teraflops half precision
- Onboard Infinity Fabric Link connection connects the two Vega II GPUs at up to 84GB/s
- Four Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port on card
- Four DisplayPort connections routed to system to support internal Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Support for up to eight 4K displays, four 5K displays, or four Pro Display XDRs
- Full-height MPX module fills an MPX bay and uses extra power and PCIe bandwidth
Are you nauseous with glee?
How about a 1.4 killowatt power supply? How about eight PCIe expansion slots. How about the Afterburner hardware accelerator card for video? 3 streams of 8K ProRes Raw? Or, 112 streams of 4K ProRes RAW.
Yeah, yeah, Mac Pro 2019 comes with all sorts of other things, too, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, ports and more ports, speaker, and in a less than 40-pound package.
But how will you see what this new Mac Pro can do? For that you need a a professional caliber display. Apple calls it Pro Display XDR:
I won’t bore you with specifications, but think of it as astonishing. Or, astonishingly expensive at $4,499.
Apple Pro Display XDR is extreme HDR, a 32-inch Retina 6K display with up to 1,600 nits of brightness and a 1-million-to-one contrast ratio.
OK, it looks as is this Mac Pro model is aimed at professionals and children of billionaires. If I rented my parents home in Brooklyn as a BnB with 100-percent monthly occupancy I still might have to take out a mortgage.
On the Mac Pro.
At $4,999 for the base price of the Pro Display XDR and $5,999 for the entry-level Mac Pro, we’re looking at $11,000 just to get to turn it on before we get turned on.
Oh, did I mention the display also goes from landscape mode to portrait mode?
Based on the cheese grater like design of the Mac Pro case, and the handle and base on the Pro Display XDR, could it be that we’re looking at the future design of desktop iMacs, too?