The all-new Mac Pro is an absolute powerhouse with up to 28-core Intel Xeon processors, up to 1.5TB of ECC RAM, up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics with 64GB of HBM2 memory, and eight PCIe expansion slots for maximum performance, expansion, and configurability.
The new design includes a stainless steel frame with smooth handles and an aluminum housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system. The housing also features a unique lattice pattern, which has already been referred to as a cheese grater, to maximize airflow and quiet operation.
I love this machine. Not because I need it, will buy it, or even understand the kind of professional workflows people use these for – but because I’ve always had a soft spot for high-performance, no-compromises professional workstations. Whether it be the Sun or SGI UNIX workstations of the ’90s, the PowerMac and Mac Pro machines of the early 2000s, or the less flashy but still just as stunning powerhouses HP, for instance, makes with their Z line of workstations, such as the Z8.
This new Mac Pro fits that professional workstation bill more than probably any PowerMac or Mac Pro before it, and I love it for it. While not nearly as insane or crazy, it reminds me of SGI’s most powerful MIPS workstation, the crazy SGI Tezro, which had a list price of tens of thousands of dollars. In that light, I’m not even remotely surprised that this is an expensive machine – anybody who has spent even a modicum of time in the world of professional workstations knows how expensive these machines are, and why.
In short, if you are appalled by the price, this machine is not for you.
Apple also unveiled a new professional display, and while the specifications look impressive, the stand that’s sold separately for 999 dollars has already become a meme. I’ll leave the display talk to those of us who know more about the kinds of demands professionals place upon displays.