The new Mac Pro: The most expensive cheese grater

Apple’s new Mac Pro (Photo: Apple)

Hungry for more Pro Apple products? The Mac Pro is now available for purchase in the Apple store. The new Mac Pro offers mind-boggling specs at eye-watering prices.

At WWDC 2019 earlier this year, Apple unveiled the new Mac Pro. It’s a professional powerhouse product deserving of the Pro moniker. The new Mac Pro replaces the old trashcan style Mac Pro from 2013.

The 2019 Mac Pro corrects many of the flaws of its predecessor from 2013. Firstly, the new machine fuses function and form with an iconic cheese grater design, reminiscent of the Mac Pro from 2003. A more traditional, tower design has replaced 2013’s, cylindrical, trashcan build that brought thermal and upgrade limitations.

The Mac Pro with the case on. (Photo: Apple)

Apple learned from its past sins, so it’s clear the new Mac Pro was designed with modularity and ease of access in mind.

At the base of the new design is a stainless-steel frame that houses many high-performance parts. The structure extends upward to form grab handles. An aluminium shell slides off vertically, granting 360° access to the inside of the work station. Machined holes in the front of the aluminium case create the eye-catching cheese grater style design. These holes facilitate proper airflow via three massive, vertically stacked fans that sit directly behind the cheese grater grill. There is a fourth fan toward the rear that sucks hot air out.

The redesigned thermal system is necessary because the new Mac Pro is a spec beast, boasting top-tier workstation components for demanding workloads.

Apple went all out for its new powerhouse Mac Pro. The device uses an Intel Xeon W processor with 8, or as much as 28-cores. The top-tier, 28-core Xeon W has 56 threads and supports memory speeds up to 2933 MHz.   The Mac Pro is available with a whopping 1.5 TB (terabytes) of DDR4 ECC RAM. Let that sink in. If you have vast storage needs, the Apple Mac Pro is available with up to 8 terabytes of SSD storage.

The case lifts off the frame revealing the internals. (Photo: Apple)

For serious, graphics-intensive workloads, customers can opt for two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II cards. Each graphics card has 32 GB memory and has 1TB per second memory bandwidth. With that much horsepower, the Mac Pro handles up to eight 4K or four 5K displays. Additionally, Apple created an Afterburner card to crank video editing up to the max. The Afterburner card accelerates particular codecs like ProRes and ProRes RAW used in apps like Final Cut Pro. With the Afterburner in tow, the Mac Pro can play up to 6 streams of 8K ProRes RAW footage.

A 1.4-kilowatt power supply feeds the power-hungry components with electricity.

The Pro Display XDR. (Photo: Apple)

To complement the Mac monster, Apple also released the Pro Display XDR. It’s a 32-inch, 6K display that goes up to 1,600 nits peak brightness with a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

Now that we’ve gotten the specs out the way let’s talk about the prices. It costs US$5,999.00 for a base-model Mac Pro with an 8-core Xeon processor, 32 GB RAM, single Radeon Pro 580X graphics card and 256 GB storage. A maxed-out version with the 28-core Xeon processor, 1.5 TB RAM, two Radeon Pro Vega II cards, 4TB storage, the Afterburner card and the Magic Mouse 2 and trackpad combo costs a whopping US$52,348.00.

The Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. (Photo: Apple)

Want a shiny XDR display to go along with your powerful system? The Pro Display XDR is US$4,999 for the standard edition or US$5,999 for the Nano-texture glass version. The Pro Stand is US$999, and the VESA Mount Adapter is US$200. The good news is, you can purchase the display only.

Many may marvel at the seemingly exorbitant prices. However, it’s important to note that the new Mac Pro was designed with professionals in mind. Audio engineers, 3D graphics artists, App developers and video editors will rejoice with all the horsepower, and the machine will likely pay for itself in a few months.

The new Mac Pro went on sale on December 10, 2019.