When Apple finally unveiled the new version of the Mac Pro last year, some critics argued that Apple had taken six years to simply return to the aluminium tower design it had used prior to the 2013 cylindrical ‘trashcan’ Mac Pro.
However, the 2019-vintage Mac Pro is a different beast altogether, designed to tackle modern tasks such as 4K/8K video editing and VR, and it has done much to restore Apple’s credibility with its most demanding professional users. And, with customisation options such as a 28-core Xeon processor on offer, it seems likely that the Mac Pro will hang on to its Intel processors for a while — probably until Apple completes its full transition to Apple Silicon sometime in 2022.
Expansion has always been Apple’s Achilles Heel, but the new Mac Pro restored the expansion slots of previous models, with seven PCI-e 16 slots and support for twin Radeon GPUs. It’s expensive, even by Apple standards, with a starting price of £4,582.50 (ex. VAT; £5,499 inc. VAT) or $5,999 for an 8-core Xeon W processor running at 3.5GHz (4.0GHz with TurboBoost), 32GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a single Radeon Pro 580X graphics card with 8GB of dedicated video RAM.
Extensive upgrade options include Xeon W processors with up to 28 cores (+$/£7,000), up to 1.5TB of RAM (+$/£25,000), two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs (+$/£10,800), 8TB of SSD storage (+$/£2,600), and an ‘Afterburner’ accelerator card that allows the Mac Pro to handle up to six streams of 8K video, or 23 streams in 4K (+$/£2,000).
There’s no display included in these prices, though, and at $/£4,999 Apple’s own Pro Display XDR costs as much as an iMac Pro with an integrated 27-inch 5K display.
from $5,999 / £4,582.50 (ex. VAT)