At its annual developers’ conference, Apple has finally delivered what designers, photographers, video editors, and other pro-grade creators who grew up using the company’s machines and understanding the concept behind it, has been waiting for years now—With the new Mac pro, it clearly shows that Apple has abandoned the small cylindrical form computer machine for a beastly, more traditional and highly modular tower. But just because it’s a tower doesn’t mean it’s boring.
The new Mac Pro starts at $5,999 for the 8-core model with 32 GB of RAM and a 256-GB solid-state drive. That can be configured up to a 28-core model with 1.5 terabytes of RAM. It was unbelievable believe it when we announced—it seems practically un-Apple at this point, but the Mac Pro is a tower PC with modular components. It has a cheese-grater-like design that, as noted, harkens back to the previous Mac tower from many years ago.
That grater design comes with a function, not just a form: it’s critical to the machine’s cooling system. This system-wide solution (that is to say, there’s no separate cooling on the GPU) places three giant fans on the front and a blower on the other side; there are two isolated thermal zones. There is, however, a very large, separate heatsink for the CPU. When idle, the Mac Pro is quieter than an iMac Pro.
The Mac Pro doubles the number of PCIe expansion slots over that classic tower, with a total of eight. But the Mac Pro isn’t exactly like a PC desktop in that it’s all about modules made by Apple’s partners. You can load it up with MPX modules containing hardware made by partners like AMD and its competitors, and it’s not just for PCIe cards: Apple showed us another MPX module with a RAID array in it.
The Mac Pro comes in configurations ranging from 8 to 28 cores as well as memory up to 1.5 TB with six memory channels and 12 DIMM slots. The price is undeniably steep; the product earns its Pro name, with ultra-expensive features specifically designed for creative professionals in fields like video editing and 3D modeling. Apple isn’t thinking about the Mac Pro in terms of selling it to consumers—not even power users.
Pro Display XDR
Apple also unveiled a new professional monitor – the Pro Display XDR – which comes with a matching design that compliments the Mac Pro. This monitor features a 32-inch Retina 6K display (the world’s first), and the next level in high-dynamic range (HDR). And it’s an impressively high output and is only achievable because the back of the monitor is heavily vented so the guts don’t overheat. The rear venting uses the same cheese-grater pattern as the new Mac Pro for some visual synchronicity.
The 32-inch 6K display features a Nano-Texture surface that should dissipate reflections without affecting the image quality—And, because every single LED is calibrated at the factory level for HDR, Apple is able to deliver HDR like never seen before. Apple is able to do this by using a unique lattice cooling pattern on the back of the display in order to maintain 1,000 nits of brightness at all times – with 1,600 nits of peak brightness.
This display will be able to produce stunning images, too, thanks to its 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. All of these specs combine to deliver a new technology Apple is calling Extreme Dynamic Range or XDR, the next generation of HDR—Of course, for this display, you’ll have to pay: $4,999 (about £3,950, AU$7,270) for the standard version, and $5,999 (abhardware0, AU$8.720) for the Nano texture equipped version—Both hardware may be worth every penny, and will arrive this fall. But truth be told that’s still a lot of pennies.