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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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
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.