June 3, 2019

A True Mac Pro is Finally Here and It's a Feature-Packed Knockout

This is what it feels like when a company takes Pro users seriously

Apple has launched a new Mac Pro.  We didn't think it was going to happen.  We heard rumors, and we sang from the rooftops, and we kept asking, and honestly, for the first time ever, something is "back" in a Mac. 

Generally when Apple drops something, it's gone.  But Apple dropped PCI expansion with the 2013 Mac Pro, and as they announced on stage at WWDC today, they just put it back in.  "PCI is back." 

Apple course corrected. 

This is huge.  Maybe not "we'll have SD card slots and MagSafe back in MacBook pro's" huge or "an iPhone with a headphone jack is coming again" huge, but really, legitimately huge. 

Amazing. 

Of course, since it's Apple, they had to do it their own way. Their slots will accept normal old x16 PCIe connectors, but they will also have an additional connector that is set up for Displayport and Power, giving the full function of Thunderbolt to the slot. 

And, frankly, this is the kind of thing we love Apple for.  Take a wide standard and include it on your system so I could just stick an NVIDIA Quadro card in there, but then also give me some extension on top of it (the MPX slot) that will allow for even more power. 

Right now they are making their own special cards that go in those slots, but we can imagine that aftermarket (NVIDIA!!!) will likely find a way to build for that slot as well.

There are 8 PCI slots.  8!!!!

You could put in 2x "double" graphics cards and have 4 powerful graphics cards inside this thing and still have 4 slots left, one for an SDI card, one for fiber channel, and one for decoration. 

I repeat !!!

This is a big, honking machine, with 1400 watts of power in the supply and a massive fan structure, that is designed to stay cool while working hard. Interesting one of the slots is devoted to an I/O board with USB and T3, and then there are some other ports on top of the machine, and that's about it for ports. 

The only real "permanent" ports are the dual 10-gig ethernet ports, which are going to be amazingly useful for things like a Jellyfish.  A bunch of the other ports are removable on that I/O board.  It seems likely that Apple thinks the future of this powerhouse will largely be internal power (fill it with the cards you need), and then external 10gig storage, and maybe daisy-chaining a few T3 items together.  

In addition to all that cooling power, the body is also designed to open on all sides. 

This is also amazing. 

If you work hard with your machine, sometimes you need to swap things out.  You burn through graphics cards.  It's a part of life.  Opening the original cheese grater was already so easy, but this is promising to be even easier.  In addition, you can swap out those bottom legs for wheels if you want to.

Video is so clearly one of the big markets of this machine they spent quite a while talking about it and even presented that they are working with RED and AVID already on workflows involving their new Afterburner, a dedicated video processing card. We can be confident that Blackmagic and Adobe will take full advantage of the processing power as well. And the best part of it? 

It's field replaceable.  Process so many RED dailies you burn out your Afterburner? 

Replace it!

This is practically the full wishlist, with quite a few Apple twists and tricks to keep things interesting and give us more than we were asking for.  Yes, it's missing NVIDIA, but honestly, I'll be surprised if NVIDIA doesn't make something custom and aftermarket to dial into the chassis in a reasonable amount of time.  Now we just need to keep asking for a return to a real "pro" laptop (SD card slot and the 2013 keyboard, and a mix of ports and MagSafe), and Apple will be literally firing on all filmmaker cylinders.

Is it expensive? 

Hell yeah, it's expensive.  It starts at $5999. 

But it's a professional device.  It's designed to save you money.  If you are a colorist billing $150/hr or an editor paying your assistant $400/night to stay and oversee renders, speed and stability literally save you money. 

The power this offers will make your interactions with clients faster and easier as they watch previews of what you do in realtime even when working with piles of effects.  It'll save you money when you no longer need to pay an assistant to babysit renders overnight.  It'll save you money when you render out and catch a QC issue in the output before you leave and can fix it in the room.  It's expensive for the same reason a professional drill is 20x the price of a consumer drill...  cause when it stops working you lose money. 

Consumers should look at an iMac, but if you are a working pro, this thing is going to be amazing.  Head to Apple for More.

Specs

  • 8-28 cores
  • Intel Xeon W processor
  • 32GB-1.5TB memory
  • AMD Radeon Pro 580X, Pro Vega II, or Pro Vega II Duo
  • Two HDMI 2.0 ports on card
  • Support for up to eight 4K displays, four 5K displays, or four Pro Display XDRs 
  • Up to 2933MHz DDR4 ECC memory
  • Up to 140GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 6 channel memory system
  • Afterburner ProRes and ProRes Raw accelerator card
  • 256GB-4TB SSD
  • Support for: USB 3, Thunderbolt 4, Ethernet, USB-C, DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone jack

Your Comment

43 Comments

8-core Xeon, AMD 580x (equivalent to a Nvidia 1060), 32gb RAM, and a 256GB SSD for $6k is an absolute joke.

June 3, 2019 at 11:41PM

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Jim Relsh
152

Have you read the rest of the specs and internal engineering? That's what you're buying (the extensible basis constructed to support 1.5TB or RAM, dual everything, etc), and that would cost close to $6K in equivalent PC hardware alone. Just an equally good made 1400 watt power would take $300-400 alone. Heck, the thermal sink alone would cost several hundred dollars.

If you want to grab a cheap xTB SSD go to your local Best Buy or whatever.

Serious media pros that are candidates for such a system (not people that do weddings) don't store their assets on their internal SSDs, they use SANs.

June 4, 2019 at 5:08AM, Edited June 4, 5:11AM

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Yes there is a cost to the engineering and all that jazz but event for workstation grade hardware it's expensive.

I just looked at dell's site and configured a similar workstation.

8 Core xeon,
32gb ecc ram
Quadro P4000
256gb nvme

Total cost - $3647.57
https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/pdr/precision-7920-workstation/xcto...

If I wanted to spend $6118 I could jump up to a 16 core with a quadro p5000
https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/pdr/precision-7920-workstation/xcto...

June 4, 2019 at 4:33PM, Edited June 4, 4:33PM

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You do realize your processor is not nearly as powerful as the one in the base model 2019 Mac Pro? This is what you put

Intel Xeon Silver 4110 2.1GHz, 3.0GHz Turbo

This is what is in the Mac Pro
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1427425-REG/intel_cd8067303533601...

Just a wee bit more powerful...

So go ahead and add 700 dollars to your build for that.

Also the new Mac Pro has two 10gb ports which I also didn't see on your build. Oh and it has the Afterburner accelerator card which you can't even buy and that has a lot of value for video editors.

June 4, 2019 at 6:00PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
634

I can’t agree with this, I’ve seen PC builds for far less, and they come with liquid cooling.
I’m a “serious media pro” and I wouldn’t invest in this system.

June 4, 2019 at 11:40PM

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Brian
Senior Producer / Graphic Design Artist
96

Yep. As usual with Apple.
You can get similar specs in a PC machine for a lot less.

June 4, 2019 at 9:22PM, Edited June 4, 9:31PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
229

Absolutely, absolutely amazing...how an author can be such a fanboy...

June 4, 2019 at 12:55AM

1
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DingDong
1589

More Apple bullshit!

June 4, 2019 at 5:04AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1426

This isn't for consumers or even most pros. It's for corporate vendors with deep pockets who need this amount of processing power-- major post production houses, tv networks, visual effects companies, animation studios, render farms. Those are the only people this makes any sense for. As a working, freelance professional for 15 years, this thing is absurdly priced. I'll stick to building my own PC's, thank you.

June 4, 2019 at 9:20AM

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Batutta
262

well, i mean yes...that's exactly who its for, its obviously not for you.

June 4, 2019 at 9:48AM

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rehan
112

Yes, but the article says it's for working pros, which I disagree with somewhat. Not all pros work for a big company in an office somewhere.

June 4, 2019 at 9:51AM

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Batutta
262

“Most” companies are smart enough to see a practical ROI with their hardware. This isn’t such an investment. It’s reminds me of the audiophiles who spend thousands on amps and speakers for the aesthetic and clout.

June 4, 2019 at 11:45PM

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Brian
Senior Producer / Graphic Design Artist
96

so you're not a working pro if you can't afford to fork out for this ?

i'm in canada ... add exchange, sales tax, monitor .... we're actually approaching $100,000 for a mac pro and monitor.

June 4, 2019 at 10:52AM

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stephen knifton
owner / creative director
432

Just no.

Maybe you could say that about the old Mac Pro, you know the one that had very limited upgrading paths and was just a cute little machine that was under performing at the time.

You are getting a well designed machine that has easily up-gradable hardware, and the motherboard's support is no joke. 6 channel ram, a buss that is large enough to keep up with changes, and a very nice power supply.

June 4, 2019 at 10:49AM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
833

Not saying it isn't powerful. But many of us were hoping for an expandable Mac with user serviceable and replaceable parts that started at a reasonable price point. This isn't it.

June 4, 2019 at 11:49AM

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Batutta
262

What components are you concerned about not being able to put into it?

In the presentation they spec-ed out an HP machine that had equivalent specs and it was more than $8,000.

June 4, 2019 at 2:19PM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
833

An HP or other brand machine isn't the best comparison. If you can assemble IKEA furniture, you can assemble your own PC from off the shelf parts. It's not that hard. Some of the parts in this Apple are new, but you could probably make something that delivers close to the same performance for less even if it's not using the same components.

June 4, 2019 at 3:26PM

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Batutta
262

Yeah the value for Money is the biggest thing to me. You are NOT getting the same value if you go with any vendor's pre-built machine. Apple is typically the worst though in the markup margins.

June 4, 2019 at 4:28PM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
582

You didn't answer the question. The Ram sure as heck looks accessible, the PCI slots are all free and open.

Okay, so lets part it out on Newegg since you think you know better:
ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme Intel LGA 3647 - 12 dimm slots and 6 channel architecture - $1800
*Add another $1000 for the extra PCI slots because its a custom board and the one listed only has 4 not 8*
The Processor is no available on the open market the closest equivalent is on B&H (Intel Xeon W-2145 3.7 GHz Eight-Core FCLGA 2066 Processor ) $1200
Ram $219
Custom RX580 $300
Titanium Class Power Supply $350
I have no clue if the Afterburner card is included, but if it is... then add at least $6,000 to the price for a red rocket...
SAMSUNG 950 PRO $275
Intel X540T2 $180
Gigabyte GC-TITAN RIDGE Thunderbolt Card $123
And since it is an extended motherboard and would be a super tower ATX design (Sorry I could not find a customized one that had an easy opening handle but at least is has a door that opens); Phanteks ENTHOO ELITE PH-ES916E_AG $900
3 Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM 140mm fans $84
Noctua NH-C14S $220

So without the Afterburner in raw parts it is worth at minimum because the Processor is so new it's not on the market;$6,528

As of right now... no, you cannot.

June 5, 2019 at 12:23PM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
833

HP has been doing this for a number of years already.

June 4, 2019 at 9:23PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
229

Disney/Pixar uses HP machines.

June 4, 2019 at 9:32PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
229

Good grief. Do you folks have any clue what the first Media Composer cost? Your iPhone is more powerful, had two 9GB drives and literally took 5 minutes to render a 30 frame dissolve. You wanna play with the big boys? Invest in your career. Otherwise an iMac and FCP X will do the job you're clearly currently doing.

June 4, 2019 at 12:01PM

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Actually I do, because I cut on one. I've been editing for nearly thirty years. I just don't see why it would be so hard for Apple to put out a bare bones box with a Mac OS compatible motherboard and let us install our own components. I've built my last couple PC's myself and it's more cost effective, and they are rock solid.

June 4, 2019 at 12:08PM

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Batutta
262

Lol, play with the big boys? Sounds like someone who doesn’t have a clue about hardware and the industry.

June 4, 2019 at 11:47PM

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Brian
Senior Producer / Graphic Design Artist
96

"play with the big boys" doesn't mean we have to spend our money foolishly. I made the mistake of "needing a mac" for years. It wasn't until 2017 that I said "I'm done!" and built a custom PC that is incredibly stable, fast and most importantly, expandable and upgradable how I see fit.

Need multiple (more than 2) NVIDIA GPU's? Easy.
Need to install ANY type of storage whether NVME, M.2, Sata SSD, Sata HDD? Easy.
Need to upgrade my RAM? Yep. Easy too.

In the end, it doesn't matter what your tools are so as long as they're reliable, within your budget and allow you to get your job done.

June 5, 2019 at 9:11AM

2
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But how much extra for all the i-dongles ?

June 4, 2019 at 12:57PM

6
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urban revolution
Creative Director
135

Well the Monitor stand is $1000, so not a good sign.

June 4, 2019 at 4:26PM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
582

I think we all knew that a new Mac Pro wouldn't be "cheap". It's like they're forcing you to buy/accept a super high end machine that still needs to be upgraded a bit. The value of this is super subjective. It depends on what you're personally looking for. People will end up defining their own value. I switched to PC in 2016 and so far, I don't feel like I want this. I'll wait on the benchmarks to really decide though. Apple operates as if PC's don't exist so they pretty much offer you what ever they want and charge what ever they want.

June 4, 2019 at 1:28PM

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Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
756

At the base price, I can save all you Mac fanboys $1k+, plus include a 10-bit monitor with 10-bit output render ready Quadro RTX.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ywJRD2

June 4, 2019 at 5:18PM

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Joseph Arant
Writer
391

Does your 10 bit monitor have a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio?

June 4, 2019 at 8:32PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
634

WOW .... all the whining here ... if you don't like it, can't see the value in it then do something different ... having a choice is amazing .... and just for the record, if you build you own PC... you are not a film profession ....period.

June 4, 2019 at 6:34PM

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FYI, film professional here for over 20 years and built my own PC. Earn my living with it daily :)

June 5, 2019 at 8:34AM

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You are clearly not living in the U.S.
And you're obviously very, very, very young.
Here's a challenge for you - ask your teacher about video production. Or better yet, call around where your middle-school is, and see if there are any production houses. Ask them about hardware. You will be floored by what you discover actual professionals (and not students) use.
I would put the percentage of Mac video professionals in America at around 10-25%. No more. The only people still using apple hardware are executives who haven't work in the industry for years. The modern landscape is very, very different than what the kids on YouTube are using.
You can't always believe what you hear on the jungle-gym.

June 6, 2019 at 3:34PM, Edited June 6, 3:37PM

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Hmmm I would saw that's incorrect. I have worked and visited several post houses in NYC and they're primarily apple computers. Their encoding machines are usually PC for like DCPs and QC but the workstations are all apple. I'm an engineer at a post facility and the only reason why people use PC's is because our restoration software is PC only.

June 24, 2019 at 6:01PM

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Alex Alva
1402

You wanna tell me that after they delivered that turtle of the trash can which completely maxed out was around $11k now I should give them more money...way more for this? Buh bye. With $7k I can get a kick ass HP machine that in apple money would be around $10k. You fool me once...shame on....

June 4, 2019 at 9:36PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
229

Did someone not tell the author that Nvidia is no longer a 'mac' thing?

June 4, 2019 at 9:54PM

0
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Love No Film School! Your content is always fantastic....but this article made me laugh. It is great that Apple is offering a new "pro" level product, but this summary of the product is so non-objective that it needs to be on an Apple fan site somewhere. Please consider balancing this type of content with a more comparative review.

June 5, 2019 at 6:37AM

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Yes it is extremely expensive
Yes its expandable
Yes it’s future proof
Yes its for highend creatives
Yes its for professions who work for creative mainstream brands
Yes its for desktop filmmakers creating content for mainstream broadcast or broadband pay platforms
Yes its for professionals whose colleagues can afford an LF camera an full set of LF lenses
Yes its for studios who already record and engineer music for traditional record labels
Yes its for professionals who charge on an hourly or contract basis
Yes if 4K, 6k, 8k, are resolutions you have to playback at high res in realtime its for you
Yes 75K for a workstation this fast is normal if you work on 500k and above projects
For all other there Imac i9, Imac Pro with GPU expansion chassis in more than adequate.
Let’s not even talk about Pc’s and the blue screens of death in 2019.

June 5, 2019 at 8:46AM, Edited June 5, 8:46AM

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dfj

June 26, 2019 at 1:53AM

2
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Once again, AMD GPU's only. Not good.

June 5, 2019 at 9:05AM

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Any other DITs here and willing to share their thoughts? I’m definitely thinking on buying this, but I want to hear from others with experience as I recently graduated university and would have to do some serious saving to buy even something a little better than the base version.

June 6, 2019 at 7:04PM

5
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Nicholas Furer
DIT and editor
8

hi

June 26, 2019 at 1:52AM

0
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ty

June 26, 2019 at 1:54AM

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