The Mac Pro Is Back, It’s Got Wheels and Costs up to £47k

Yesterday at 5 pm the 2019 Mac Pro hit the Apple store. It’s certainly a significant change from the 2013 Mac Pro and is a good venture backwards to the highly configurable 2012 Mac Pro. I think everyone can agree the trash can was a mistake and would’ve been better placed as a Mac Mini Pro. Furthermore, the new Mac Pro breaks a trend for Apple giving power back to the user with the addition of support documents outlining exactly how to perform a few of the critical upgrades. So without further ado here’s a summary of yesterday’s release!

The new Mac Pro has certainly taken the top spot (as expected) as the big daddy of the Mac family. To be fair to Apple as much as the system costs they’ve given users plenty of configurations to pick from. The 2019 Mac Pro stars at £5,499 and stretches to £47,439 currently. Some parts are now unavailable to purchase, which will increase the maximum total.

Processor

  • 3.5GHz 8‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
  • 3.3GHz 12‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz + £900
  • 3.2GHz 16‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz + £1,800
  • 2.7GHz 24‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz + £5,400
  • 2.5GHz 28‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz + £6,300

You can pick between high core count or base clock speed based on the Applications you use. All the processors (bar one) have the same turbo boost of 4.4GHZ, and the monolithic passive cooler should allow a relatively high sustained clock speed. We will be putting this to the test when ours arrives at the start of January.

Memory

  • 32GB (4x8GB) of DDR4 ECC memory
  • 48GB (6x8GB) of DDR4 ECC memory + £270
  • 96GB (6x16GB) of DDR4 ECC memory + £900
  • 192GB (6x32GB) of DDR4 ECC memory + £2,700
  • 384GB (6x64GB) of DDR4 ECC memory + £5,400
  • 768GB (12x64GB) of DDR4 ECC memory + £9,000
  • 768GB (6x128GB) of DDR4 ECC memory + £12,600
  • 1.5TB (12x128GB) of DDR4 ECC memory + £22,500

Whatever amount of memory you need coupled with the size of your wallet is unlikely to be more than what the 2019 Mac Pro offers. For the same amount of money as a brand new VW Golf, you can have yourself a gargantuan 1.5TB. We would’ve hoped for some more sensible options such as 64GB or 128GB, but we assume this is done for speed reasons as every kit apart from the entry-level comes in six or twelve modules.

Oh, and if you do want 1.5TB of memory, you’ll need the 24 core or up. Because we all need 1.5TB of memory…

Graphics

  • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
  • Radeon Pro Vega II with 32GB of HBM2 memory + £2,160
  • Two Radeon Pro Vega II with 32GB of HBM2 memory each + £4,680
  • Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory + £4,680
  • Two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory each + £9,720

Coming Soon:

  • Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB of GDDR6 memory
  • Two Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB of GDDR6 memory each

There may be a few eagle-eyed people out there that noticed the slight inconsistency in the pricing of the graphics cards. If you can’t see it; one Radeon Pro Vega II is an extra £2,160, but two Radeon Pro Vega IIs is £4,680. We don’t know what the mystery £360 is for, probably some ‘expensive’ (aka overpriced) cables.

Following the recent announcement from Nvidia about the drop of CUDA support in macOS, Apple’s full AMD lineup isn’t surprising. We’ve got a choice of regular(ish) graphics cards and the MPX Duo modules to pick from. The MPX graphics modules are nothing but impressive, and we praise Apple on their ingenuity. What we hope to see is updates to these MPX modules as AMD releases new cards.

Storage

  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 1TB SSD storage + £360
  • 2TB SSD storage + £720
  • 4TB SSD storage + £1,60

Coming Soon:

  • 8TB SSD storage

Not a hard drive in sight! You may think there are limited options for storage but if you head onto the Apple store pegasus have already released Hard Drive carriers and MPX modules designed to take additional SATA drives. In addition to the pegasus carries we’ve already got our hands on a Sonnet PCIe card design for the 2019 Mac Pro that’ll house four M.2 NVMe modules, in RAID 0 that’s a theoretical write speed of eight thousand megabytes a second!

Afterburner Card & Wheels!

  • Apple Afterburner card + £1,800
  • Stainless steel frame with wheels + £360
  • Rackmount chassis + £500

The Apple Afterburner card could be a game-changer for the video industry. The only thing similar to the afterburner card is the red rocket card which costs over six thousand pounds, and in our opinion, it is pointless for most! Where the Afterburner card is different is that it’s an ASIC or an Application-specific integrated circuit that is designed to do a limited number of tasks but exceedingly well. This type of technology is famously found within the bitcoin mining industry to process the data mining task which was previously performed best by graphics cards.

Oh yeah, and you can have wheels!

Upgradability

Hats off to Apple, on day one they’ve given us a full range of support documents on how to change parts in the 2019 Mac Pro. Despite this, there are holes in the stated upgradability. For instance, there is no mention of the CPU. It is speculating but, the lack of information could mean parts are serialised to the board. We’re hoping Apple believes it’s just a task that shouldn’t be left to the user. On the other hand, parts such as the SSD and wheels tell you to contact Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, but the power supply doesn’t. In fact, the power supply comes with a handy video!

For the Nvidia GPU Mac Pro community, we found an interesting line in one of the documents referring to the use of the cards. Unfortunately, it’s for use only in Windows Boot Camp.

“If you use Boot Camp and want to install a NVIDIA card to use in Windows on your Mac, don’t install the card in slot 2.”

In short, before we’ve done our investigation when our system arrives in January, this is what Apple states are upgradable components:

  • Memory (User Upgradable)
  • PCIe Cards (User Upgradable)
  • Apple I/O card (User Upgradable)
  • SSD (Non-User Upgradable)

Here is a list of the Apple support documents if you’d like to take a look:

Our Review & Investigation

Our Mac Pro is turning up late December, beginning of January. We will be tearing it apart and testing it to its limits. We’ve got a whole host of components from processors to PCIe cards that we will be using to check compatibility and possible Apple introduced hardware restriction similar to that seen in the iMac Pro.

Watch this space as an in-depth article and video on the 2019 Mac Pro will following. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest from us on the 2019 Mac Pro!