The week before a World Wide Developer Conference can sometimes have new items become known. The release for these is because the items will not be discussed at the WWDC keynote. This year there are two hardware updates and a service update.
16-inch MacBook Pro Graphics
The first update is for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. There is a new graphics option available. You can now configure a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an AMD Radeon 5600M with 8GB of HBM2 memory. The other options available are all GDDR6 memory. The difference with the HBM2 memory is that it has more bandwidth available and ideally suited for Artificial Intelligence and advanced computing, like Machine Learning. Typically, HBM2 is more expensive than GDDR6 and this new option will cost you $800 to add to a 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Mac Pro SSD Kit
If you are using the high-end of the high-end, the Mac Pro, there is a new kit for you, the SSD Kit. The SSD Kit for the Mac Pro will allow you to swap out the internal storage on your Mac Pro. The SSD Kit comes in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB kits. Once you have purchased your SSD Kit you can see how to install the new SSD with Apple’s support article.
Apple Card Payments
When you want to go and purchase that new 16-inch MacBook Pro, you may want to be able to use your Apple Card and finance it. Previously you could finance an iPhone over 24 months, but now you can finance other products as well. You can finance a HomePod, AirPods, and the Apple TV for six months, or an iPad or Mac for 12 months. When you do this, you get the Apple Pay Cash right up front.
The inclusion of the new hardware options will be great for pro users who can benefit from the options and can significantly enhance their productivity. For those who may not be able to utilize the hardware, you can use the monthly payments option on your purchase of a Mac, iPad, HomePod, or AirPods, in addition to an iPhone.
At the WWDC 2019 Keynote Apple unveiled a whole lot with their operating systems, tvOS, watchOs, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. However, they also showed a preview of the all new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. Let us look at each of these in turn. These will not be super in-depth dives into the products, but just a general overview.
The Mac Pro has always been for the most power hungry of applications. This could be anything from video editing to audio production or even building machine learning models. The Mac Pro is not designed to be a consumer device, not in the slightest.
The Mac Pro has an all new chassis. It is made of Stainless Steel and should accommodate a variety of different components. The front and back of the case have vents that are designed to allow air to flow over the components. The cooling with will be needed.
The Mac Pro is designed to be a powerhouse. To this end it comes with a variety of processor options. This ranges from an 8-core processor up to a 28-core processor. The different options are 8, 12, 16, 24, and 28-core options. The base speeds are 3.5GHz, 3.3GHz, 3.2GHz, 2.7GHz, and 2.5GHz, respectively. The turbo speeds are 4.4GHz, except for the 8-core which tops out at 4.0GHz.
The motherboard consists of eight PCI Express slots. This includes four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one half-length slot, which is pre-configured with Apple’s own I/O card.
One of the main uses of the Mac Pro is for use with graphically heavy tasks. This includes video editing. The Mac Pro has you covered there too. Apple has created a new module, called the Mac Pro Expansion Module, or MPX Module.
The MPX Module is designed to provide even more power, up to 500 Watts. This is done by taking a standard PCI Express and adding a second connector to integrate thunderbolt and provide even more capabilities. You then take the connector and connect a second graphics for even more processing. Yes, you can get two Radeon Pro Vega II graphics cards in a single MPX module. You can even have two of these modules in the Mac Pro.
The three options available for graphics cards are the Radeon Pro 580X, the Radeon Pro Vega II, and the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo.
There is even more graphics processing available with the Mac Pro with a new product called Afterburner
Afterburner is an Apple-designed hardware accelerator with over one million logic cells that can process up to 6.3 billion pixels per second. What does this mean? It means that you can process three streams of 8K ProRes RAW or 12 streams of 4K ProRes Raw, simultaneously.
The Mac Pro come with 256GB of storage standard, but can be configured for 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB. All of this is encrypted with the built-in T2 Security Chip. So everything will be more secure, to the booting of macOS to the items stored on the Mac Pro.
The Mac Pro comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and two 10Gb Ethernet ports. It should also be noted that there is in fact a 3.5mm Headphone connection should you require one. It also comes with 802.11AC wireless, and Bluetooth 5.0.
One topic we have not looked at is the amount of memory that the Mac Pro can have. It can be configured for up to 1.5TB of ECC memory. The 8, 12, and 16-core processors can support up to 1TB, while the 24-core and 28-core processors can support the 1.5TB. All of this memory runs at 2933MHz, except for the 8-core which is 2666MHz. All of the RAM is DDR4.
In order to be able to power everything in the Mac Pro it comes with a 1.4 Kilowatt power supply. This should be able to handle pretty much everything that you can include in the Mac Pro.
Dimensions and Weight
The Mac Pro is not a small machine. It is approximately 21-inches tall by 18 inches deep by 8.6 inches wide. For the more metric minded this is 53cm tall, 45cm deep, and 22cm wide. If you include the optional wheels the height comes to 21.9 inches, or approximately 56cm tall.
The Mac Pro comes in at almost 40 pounds, or 18 kilograms. This is not a light machine.
The base Price of the Mac Pro is $5999. This is for an 8-core machine with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage.
To go with the new Mac Pro is a whole new Display, the Pro Display XDR.
Pro Display HDR
When Apple discontinued the Cinema Display line, it was presumed that Apple would get out of the display business, except for its own integrated displays. This was the original plan, however when it came to building a new Mac Pro, they had to have a display to go with it.
The Pro Display XDR is a behemoth. It is a 32-inch display Retina 6K Display. It can support up to 1600 nits of brightness with a contrast ratio of 1 million to 1.
The Pro Display XDR goes beyond traditional High Dynamic Range and provides even more. It does this by providing 1000 nits of full-screen sustained brightness. You get 10-bit color and the P3 wide-color gamut for those times when you need to have just the right color. There is also a wider viewing angle than most displays, which Apple states is 25x better for off-axis contrast as compared to a typical LCD.
One area that can become problematic for users is glare. To work against this Apple has crated a Matte version of its display that includes an etched Nano-texture glass which will reduce the glare and significantly reduce the hazing that can be seen with other matte finishes.
Each display is calibrate at the factor and should produce the best image possible.
There is some connectivity on the Pro Display XDR as well. It includes one Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port, and three USB-C ports. The Thunderbolt port is so you can connect it to your Mac and the USB-C ports allow you to charge and connect devices. These devices will only run at USB2 speeds though, not USB3. This means that you can use the Display for expansion or connecting other accessories.
One accessory for the Pro Display XDR is the stand. The Pro Stand can be adjusted for height, tile, and it can even rotate so you can view something in Portrait if you need to.
The Pro Display XDR starts at $4999, that is without the Pro Stand, which is another $999. The Matte Finish for the Mac Pro display is $5999. The VESA mount is $199.
The Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are not meant for consumers, and the prices reflect this. The Mac Pro is designed to allow professionals get the most out of their machines. The range of options, along with the modularity, means that professionals will be able to configure their Mac Pro to their exact needs, from the most basic to the most extreme.
The Pro Display XDR is the monitor of monitors. It supports a whole range of capabilities, including 10-bit color, P3 Color Display, and the price reflects that.
If you were to get a base model Mac Pro, a Pro Display XDR with the Stand, it will set you back almost $12,000 and that’s just the base price. It goes up from there. For those who need it, it looks like the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will be a great solution. They should both be available this fall.
As most may be aware, Apple is a very secretive company. Apple prefers to keep to themselves until they are ready to announce a product. There are only a few times when Apple will reveal a product before it is available. A few of the product that they have done so include the iPhone, the Apple TV, and the 2013 Mac Pro.
It is not often that Apple reveals what they are working on. However, Apple has done just that, although not as explicitly as they did with the iPhone or the Apple TV. Apple invited a handful of journalists to visit their “Machine Lab” on Apple’s campus across from One Infinite Loop. Apple did not show off any physical product, but they did describe what they are working on.
In June of 2013, at their World Wide Developer Conference, Phil Schiller unveiled that Apple was working on a revolutionary design for their high-end Mac Pro. This came on the heels of many “pundits” indicating that Apple lost its way. This lead to Schiller giving the infamous “Can’t innovate my ass” quote. This is when Apple unveiled the all new Mac Pro.
The design of the Mac Pro is a very customized design that had not been tried before. The thermal core of the Mac Pro is triangular. The Mac Pro has dual graphical processing units occupying two sides of the triangle thermal core. The third side has the processor. The thermal core is designed to move all of the heat up through the central core and out of the top of the Mac Pro.
The exterior of the Mac Pro is smooth. However, from Apple’s own wording, the interior design, while ambitious, has ultimately not worked out as well as they would have hoped. In reality, the tolerances for the thermal core were too close and if Apple changed any of the internal components, the Mac Pro would not be able to work properly.
Due to the tight tolerances, the Mac Pro has lacked any upgrades since its introduction in 2013. Apple has made some slight upgrades to the Mac Pro. In reality, they are not upgrades as much as a better value for the same price. The new base model comes with dual AMD D500 GPUs, and a 6-core processor. This is up from the 4-core and AMD D300. The higher-end model comes with an 8-core processor and the AMD D700s. This is up from the 6-core and AMD D500 processors. For now, these are the only changes to the Mac Pro.
At this same meeting, Apple did provide some details on their new Mac Pro. Apple is currently working on a new modular Mac Pro. The modularity is not necessarily end-user modularity, but more likely, for Apple to be able to upgrade the Mac Pro on a more regular basis, but it will not be with the current form factor. Apple indicated that this new Mac Pro will “not be available this year”.
Alongside the new Mac Pro, Apple also indicated that it is working on a new display. This goes against what some reports indicated before. Previously, it was reported that Apple was completely out of the display game, since Apple partnered with LG to work on the LG Ultrafine 5k Display that was introduced in the fall with the MacBook Pro with Touchbar.
Apple did not give any more specific information about the Mac Pro. However, they did mention that they are working on a new iMac model that is geared towards professionals. What this entails, is not entirely clear. It is entirely possible that Apple will have even more powerful processors, and possibly even higher maximum amounts of memory. One of the better items that Apple could put into an iMac Pro would be a 6 or 8 core-processor with the possibility of having 64 or 128GBs of memory.
All that we know is that Apple is working on these items. There is no information as to when the redesigned Mac Pro or the iMac Pro will be released, but it is only a matter of time before the new Macs are released. One thing that I would like to see is any new information about a new Mac Mini, but there is no new information about it.