Apple has announced a brand new Mac Pro, just over two years after it said it would and six years after introducing the previous version of the Mac Pro.

The announcement was made at WWDC on 3 June 2019, then exactly one week later Apple updated its website to indicate that the new Mac Pro and Apple Display XDR would be arriving in September.

We have a first look at the Mac Pro here.

We've updated this article with the latest news about Apple's efforts to have certain parts of the Mac Pro exempt from Trump's Chinese Tariffs and the company's plans to manufacture the Mac Pro in China, despite its desire to build the Mac Pro in the US. 

2019 Mac Pro release date

The new Mac Pro will be available to order in the autumn, with no specific date officially announced.

Apple appears to be suggesting that the new Mac Pro will arrive in September, though. You can currently provide your email address requesting to "Be the first to know when Mac Pro is available" via the Apple website here, and as of 10 June Apple had a note suggesting it was "Coming September" above that pop up, as shown below.

Mac Pro launch date

2019 Mac Pro price

The new Mac Pro starts at $5,999 for the 8-core Intel Xeon 3.5GHz model, with 32GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and Radeon Pro 580X graphics card, but there will be multiple build-to-order options and configurations available with up to 1.5TB of RAM, Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics and a 28-core Xeon.

In addition there will be additional units and expansion modules that can be purchased separately, including the Mac Pro Expansion Module (MPX Module) and Afterburner. ,and wheels (which we assume will be sold in packs of four). More on the extras you can buy separately below.

This is a computer with a high price that will appeal to very few people.

  • 8-core, 16 threads, 3.5GHz, 4.0GHz TB, 24.5MB cache, $5,999
  • 12-core, 24 threads, 3.3GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 31.25MB cache, price TBC
  • 16-core, 32 threads, 3.2GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 38MB cache, price TBC
  • 24-core, 48 threads, 2.7GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 57MB cache, price TBC
  • 28-core, 56 threads, 2.5GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 66.5MB cache, price TBC

New Mac Pro 2019

If you already thought that the Mac Pro was expensive, it may get even more pricy thanks to the US and China's ongoing trade war.

Apple filed a request with the Trump administration in July, asking that certain parts required for the Mac Pro would be exempt from Chinese trade tariffs. “There are no other sources for this proprietary, Apple-designed component,” Apple said in the filing.

The Mac Pro wasn’t mentioned in the filing but the following components, used in the Mac Pro were: a CPU heatsink, a graphics processing module, a computer frame and enclosure, as per a Bloomberg report.

Trump had promised relief to companies that can demonstrate that that parts can only be obtained in China. He has also tweeted that companies won’t face a tariffs if they make goods in the USA.

But Trump isn’t prepared to offer any such support to Apple. "Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!" wrote Trump at the end of July.

As a result Apple will be charged duties of 25 per cent in order to bring those parts into the US.

Where will the Mac Pro be built?

In its quarterly earnings call on 30 July, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that “We’ve been making the Mac Pro in the US. We want to continue to do that. So we’re working and investing currently in capacity to do so, because we want to continue to be here”.

The 2013 Mac Pro was built by Flex Ltd in Austin, Texas and was stamped with “Assembled in the USA”. An Apple spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in the US and includes US-made components, emphasising that “Final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process”.

There had been reports that the Mac Pro assembly would be moving to Quanta’s Shanghai factory in China, with the Austin, Texas factory closing, as per this Wall Street Journal report from June.

2019 Mac Pro Design

The new Mac Pro is completely redesigned by actually looks a lot more like the old 'cheese grater' Mac Pro tower than the previous trashcan-like generation did, which was perhaps a bigger mistake for Apple than the G4 Cube was back in 2000 - for those of you who’ve been in the game long enough to remember that.

Mac Pro 2019 design

The 2019 Mac Pro looks like the powerhouse that Apple is claiming it to be. It features a stainless steel frame and an aluminium housing which can be lifted off with a twist of a handle to offer "360-degree access to every component" according to Apple.

You can even buy wheels that can be added to the Mac Pro so you can wheel it around the studio. We don't yet know the price of the wheels. The Mac Pro also has handles for ease of moving, and will be rack mountable, using Apple’s rack deployment.

Mac Pro wheels 2019

The new Mac Pro dimensions (base configuration) are as follows:

  • 52.9cm x 45cm x 21.8cm (20.8in x 17.7in x 8.58in)
  • 18kg (39.7lb)

Older Mac Pro dimensions:

  • The 2013 generation Mac Pro was 5kg, and 25.1cm high.
  • The previous Mac Pro was 18.7kg (41.2lb), and 51.1cm high (20.1in)

2019 Mac Pro Spec

The new Mac Pro can be configured with a workstation-class Xeon processor with 28 cores, up to 1.5TB of high-performance memory, eight PCIe expansion slots and the world’s most powerful graphics card.

The new Mac Pro is so powerful that Apple has had to equip it with a 1.4KW power supply and in order to keep the system cool it requires three impeller fans and a separate blower coupled with a massive heat sink with pipes that direct the hot air away from the chip, dispersing it along aluminium fin stacks.

Mac Pro 2019

Processor

The new Mac Pro features an Intel Xeon W processor with the following specs:

  • 8-core, 16 threads, 3.5GHz, 4.0GHz TB, 24.5MB cache, up to 1TB 2666MHz memory
  • 12-core, 24 threads, 3.3GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 31.25MB cache, up to 1TB 2933MHz memory
  • 16-core, 32 threads, 3.2GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 38MB cache, up to 1TB 2933MHz memory
  • 24-core, 48 threads, 2.7GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 57MB cache, up to2TB 2933MHz memory
  • 28-core, 56 threads, 2.5GHz, 4.4GHz TB, 66.5MB cache, up to 2TB 2933MHz memory

2019 Mac Pro

RAM

The new Mac Pro will feature up to six channels of superfast ECC memory and up to 12 physical DIMM slots. There's up to 140GB/s memory bandwidth.

Options include:

  • 32GB with four 8GB DIMMs
  • 48GB, six 8GB DIMMs
  • 96GB, six 16GB DIMMs
  • 192GB, six 32GB DIMMs
  • 384GB, six 64GB DIMMs
  • 768GB, six 128GB DIMMs

As outlined above, the entry-level model supports up to 1TB 2666MHz memory, while the 12-core and 16-core models support up to 1TB 2933MHz memory, and the 24-core and 28-core models support up to 2TB 2933MHz memory.

Because the Mac Pro utilizes a two-sided logic board, it will be easy to access memory for upgrades.

Storage

The Mac Pro ships with flash storage. The entry-level model offers an 256GB SSD and is configurable to a 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB SSD.

Security

All data on Mac Pro will be protected by the Apple T2 Security Chip with its Secure Enclave coprocessor. This will encrypt storage and offer secure boot capabilities.

Graphics

Graphics options include the Radeon Pro 580X at the entry-level and the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II, which features up to 14 teraflops of compute performance and 32GB of memory with 1TB/s of memory bandwidth, the highest of any GPU, according to Apple.

That AMD Radeon Pro Vega II can also be provided in duplicate as the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo. Here you'll find Two Vega II GPUs, each with 64 compute units, up to 28.2 teraflops, 64GB of HBM2 memory and 1TB/s memory bandwidth.

There are many more options for those who want extreme graphics capabilities if you look at the Mac Pro Expansion Module or the Afterburner option detailed below.

Case of Mac Pro 2019

Expansion Options and ports

It is is the “most configurable and most expandable Mac ever made,” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. This is all thanks to the Mac Pro's modular design that makes it possible for Apple's customers to add the components they need.

It’s a lot easier to upgrade than the older trash-can Mac Pro was. The small and compact design of the 2013 Mac Pro essentially made it impossible to upgrade graphics cards and other components (even Apple couldn't upgrade it).

With the new Mac Pro comes multiple options for expansion thanks to eight PCI Express expansion slots (twice that of the previous-generation Mac Pro tower). There are four double-wide slots, and three single-width slots.

There's also a half-width slot where Apple plugs in its own I/O card that comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

That's a total of 64 PCI Express lanes for massive bandwidth in and out.

There are also up to 12 Thunderbolt 3 ports, with two conveniently located on the top for quick and easy access.

Mac Pro inside

Mac Pro Expansion Module

Also known as the MPX module, this extra unit has an PCI Express connector, graphics card, additional PCIe lanes integrate Thunderbolt, up to 500 watts power. Apple says it has the “power capacity equivalent to that of the entire previous-generation Mac Pro.”

The MPX can ship with TWO Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs. Yes, it can be configured with four Radeon Pro Vega II cards, with the four GPUs combining to add up to 56 teraflops and 128GB of high-bandwidth memory. Apple explained how the two Duo GPUs are connected through the Infinity Fabric Link, which allows data transfer up to 5x faster between the GPUs.

The company says the MPX Module is designed as an integrated component of Mac Pro. Its form factor enables a larger heat sink, which works in concert with the machine’s internal airflow to quietly dissipate heat. Without a noisy bolted-on fan, heat and decibel levels are kept remarkably low.

The specs for the MPX are as follows:

  • Radeon Pro Vega II Duo - two MPX Modules - 4 GPUs
    56.8 teraflops single precision, 112.8 teraflops half precision, 128GB of HBM2 memory
  • Radeon Pro Vega II - two MPX Modules - 4 GPUs
    28.4 teraflops single precision, 56.8 teraflops half precision, 64GB of HBM2 memory
  • Radeon Pro 580X - One MPX Modules - 1 GPU
    5.6 teraflops single precision, 8GB of GDDR5 memory, 256GB/s memory bandwidth

Afterburner

Apple’s also offering Afterburner, an accelerator card that will make it possible for the Mac Pro to handle up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video at 30 fps, or 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW at 30 fps, or 16 streams of 4K ProRes 422 at 30 fps.

Pro Display XDR

If all those additional options weren't enough, there is also a new 32in display you can buy to use alongside the Mac Pro. We have more information about the Pro Display XDR here. Like the Mac Pro the new display isn't cheap, it starts at $4,999 and that isn't even including the price of the Pro Stand - that costs another $999.