Apple Grater. New Mac Pro And Groundbreaking Pro Dsiplay XDR
Articles / Desktop PC
It’s good news for Mac creatives as Apple releases two powerful new pro-level products.
It’s been six long years but Mac creatives finally have the successor to the original Mac Pro. The 2013 model combined an eye-catching ‘dustbin’ design with highend specs, and is still the go-to machine for Photoshop power users and 4K video editors. But not for long. The all-new ‘cheese grater’ Mac Pro, announced at Apple’sWorldwide Developer Conference in June, comes labelled as the most powerful Mac ever made. And, answering a major criticism of its predecessor, it’s modular, meaning you can expand and configure its internals until you’re completely satisfied.
Satisfaction does come at an eyewatering $5,999 price though, and that’s just for the base model. At its biggest and best, the all-new Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world’s most powerful graphics card. Unsurprisingly, that beefs up the price tag a fair bit.
“We designed Mac Pro for users who require a modular system with extreme performance, expansion and configurability,” says Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With its powerful Xeon processors, massive memory capacity, groundbreaking GPU architecture, PCIe expansion, Afterburner accelerator card and jaw-dropping design, the new Mac Pro is a monster that will enable pros to do their life’s best work.”
And there’s more...
Apple also announced the Pro Display XDR, a new 32-inch Retina 6K display that promises industry-leading performance. That’ll set you back another $4,999, and there’s a Pro stand that has tilt and height adjustment that’ll cost another grand. Schiller says: “Pro Display XDR is the world’s best pro display and the perfect companion to the all-new Mac Pro. With Retina 6K resolution, gorgeous colour, extreme brightness and contrast ratio, and a highly functional design, Pro Display XDR delivers the most comprehensive set of features ever offered on any display at this price point.”
A select few software developers have had early access to the Mac Pro, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. We’ll bring you our own independent review in due course, but for now the words of the leading software giants in Mac apps will have to do. Maria Yap, vice president of Digital Imaging at Adobe explains how the new Pro Display XDR will be fully supported in the next release of Photoshop: “For the first time, customers will be able to see and edit their Photoshop files in high dynamic range and their photos will come to life, revealing details not visible before.”
Simonas Bastys, lead developer at iCreate favourite Pixelmator describes the Mac Pro as “by far the fastest image editor we’ve ever experienced or seen”. He says users will see a huge difference when editing RAW shots, with “extended dynamic details in images, invisible on other displays, for a phenomenal viewing experience like we never imagined”.
Autodesk is already working on optimising its AutoCAD, Maya, Fusion and Flame apps to take advantage of the Mac Pro’s new creative possibilities. It announced that: “This level of innovation, combined with next-generation graphics APIs, such as Metal, bring extremely high graphics performance and visual fidelity to our Design, Manufacturing and Creation products.”
Ashley Hewson, managing director at Serif which makes Affinity Photo speaks of his app’s users now being able to work in real time on massive, deep-colour projects. He says: “Thanks to our extensive Metal adoption, every stage of the editing process is accelerated. And as Photo scales linearly with multiple GPUs, users will see up to four-time performance gains over the iMac Pro and 20 times over typical PC hardware. It’s the fastest system we’ve ever run on.”
And finally, Pixar praise how the new Mac Pro will dramatically accelerate the most demanding 3D graphics workflows. Guido Quaroni, Pixar’s vice president of Software Research and Development, claims this will happen because of an “excellent combination of memory, bandwidth and computational performance”. He goes on to say that the high-end Mac “clearly shows Apple is delivering on the needs of professionals at high-end production facilities like Pixar”.
The new Mac Pro will be available in the autumn, most likely at the same time as macOS Catalini is released. Stay tuned for our full review.