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New Mac Pro: What's behind the most powerful Mac so far?

Face it however you want, but the new Mac pro, announced at WWDC19, fits into the top of the line of evolution of Apple computers in its own way.

Of course, such a machine will not be set up in a few months; In the case of Apple, the new Mac Pro took more than the expected time to get to where many are to remember that the company had announced it would launch a new one. workstation (in addition to a new display, aka the newly announced Pro Display XDR) for more than two years; Only last year, however, did she assume it would take a little longer for the computer and monitor to hit the market.

So long, obviously, it has taken building the most powerful Mac so far. To understand the hype around the new machine, we first need to tear it apart (not like iFixit usually does, of course).

Design

Despite the sudden change in the external look of the new Mac Pro, which resembles the early versions of workstation, the "cheese grater" format that was the result of years of study and was "already floating in Apple's design labs" even before the design of the machine itself, as the Axios.

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Image: https://www.cgtrader/3d-models/electronics/computer/apple-mac-pro-2019

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Naturally, Apple has not chosen this design (among likely dozens of options) for nothing: each ball (or hole) of the housing is made by machining its own stainless steel chassis, and has the goal of maximizing ventilation and reducing noises during operation.

The tower shape of the new Mac Pro is typical of a modularly designed machine, and thanks to that it is extremely customizable; otherwise, so many configuration options would be inconsistent if the internal components were soldered, such as MacBooks Pro (which from 2016 onwards had RAM and SSD soldered directly to me).

In short, the design of the new Mac Pro delivers on Ma's promise: an expandable machine that brings together the best in Apple's computer architecture, offering room for powerful components including the new accelerator card. Afterburner, which we will detail below.

As announced shortly during the product presentation, Apple also plans to release a “stackable” version of the workstation (without the bottom feet or wheels) for those who need two or more of these machines.

Processing

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Image: https://hothardware/news/intel-cascade-lake-xeon-w-3000-workstation-cpus

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The new Mac Pro inspires performance from its most basic model to the flagship version. In this regard, Apple offers up to five processor configuration options for the workstation, all from the chip family Xeon W (from Intel).

The most basic model equipped with an 8 core processor with clock 3.5GHz (or 4GHz in the Turbo boost), 24.5MB of cache and up to 1TB of RAM (2,666MHz).

The 12 core version has 3.3GHz (or 4.4GHz on the Turbo boost), 31.25MB of cache and although it also reaches 1TB of memory, it supports combs up to 2,933MHz. The intermediate model, in turn, has 16 cores of 3.2GHz (or 4.4GHz in the Turbo boost), 38MB of cache and support memory up to 1TB (2,933MHz).

Arriving at crme de la crme, we have a 2.7GHz 24 core processor (or 4.4GHz in the Turbo boost), 57MB of cache and, unlike other chips, up to 1.5TB RAM (2,933MHz). Finally, the high-end Mac Pro processor has 28 cores with clock 2.5GHz (or 4.4GHz in the Turbo boost), 66.5MB of cache It is the same memory capacity as the 24-core model.

Apple should use a version of processors that will be released soon by Intel, as the specifications of existing Xeon W chips (Intel ARK line) do not have the same amount of cache that Apple claims to use on the new Mac Pro even though they reach the same frequency as clock, as the AppleInsider.

Currently, the largest amount of cache on a 38.5MB Xeon W chip. In all varieties of processors in this line, however, the ability to cache jumps from 60MB to 71.5MB; that is, there is no Xeon chip with 66.5MB of cache.

RAM

New Mac Pro Inside

The new Mac Pro has 6 memory channels with 12 slots DIMMs. Apple revealed the possible memory combinations for each of the Mac Pro's RAM configurations:

  • 32GB: 4 8GB DDR4 combs;
  • 48GB: 6 8GB DDR4 combs;
  • 96GB: 6 16GB DDR4 combs;
  • 192GB: 6 32GB DDR4 combs;
  • 384GB: 6 64GB DDR4 combs;
  • 768GB: 6 128GB DDR4 combs, or 12 64GB DDR4 combs;
  • 1.5TB: 12 128GB DDR4 combs.

Remember that the use of 1.5TB of RAM is only possible on 24 or 28 core models, of course. In addition, only the 2,666MHz (8 core) input model RAM, while the remaining models can use 2,933MHz ECC memories.

Graphics

Similarly RAM, the new Mac Pro has a total of 8 slots PCIe 3.0 expansion cards that can be configured in different ways, all within one giant MPX card.

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Image: https://ymcinema/2019/06/03/apple-announces-the-new-mac-pro-a-beast-dedicated-for-8k-raw-editing/

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The new Mac Pro graphics card combines a new slot PCIe capable of delivering up to 475W (!) Of power, standard PCIe (x16) connectors and a connector with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A and a 3.5mm audio output.

As we said, the slots The new Mac Pro's PCIe are third generation, which has left many users wondering why Apple has not adopted the fourth generation of the technology. The simple answer: So far, only AMD has advanced in the development of PCIe 4.0.

Speaking of AMD, in the graphic part that the manufacturer contributed to the production of the new Mac Pro, from its chipsets Radeon Pro 580X and Radeon Pro Vega II (or II Duo), which represents the new generation of the latest iMac power card, with up to 64GB of HBM2 memory.

Intel, on the other hand, has not yet announced any specific processor that supports PCIe 4.0. However, the new generation of chips Ice Lake The manufacturer will support this standard, but Xeon processors in this line should not be commercialized until the first half of 2020 too late to include it in time for the Mac Pro.

Afterburner

While optional, let us not forget to comment on such a powerful component as the new Afterburner card, configurable especially with the new Mac Pro. Briefly, it is designed to “unburden” the processing components in such intensive tasks as video production and editing. , audio, etc.

Instead of Mac Pro relying on processors or graphics cards for some tasks, Afterburner takes over these functions, freeing up the rest of the system components to perform other actions; In short, it was already potent to get even better with her.

When installed in a slot From Mac Pro's PCIe (x16), editing apps can easily manage high-resolution, high-bitrate videos without “choking”. To achieve all this, Apple worked with a number of companies such as Adobe, Autodesk, Serif and Blackmagic to optimize their software to take full advantage of this processing power.

During Afterburner's presentation at WWDC19 inclusive, we saw one person add over 1,000 audio tracks to Logic Pro X without any impact on the workflow. In addition, the card capable of processing up to 3 streams simultaneous 8K resolution (at 30 frames per second), 12 streams at 4K (at 30 frames per second) or up to 16 streams Video

With Afterburner, Apple wants video editing and production software to be able to use the codecs and original video file formats without creating versions of proxy (which can be edited more easily).

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Image: https://techcrunch/2019/06/03/a-closer-look-at-apples-reinvented-mac-pro/

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Curiosities

In addition to the sturdier features seen on a Mac, there are other details of the new workstation Ma that are worth highlighting. Apple product manager Doug Brooks said during the 485 podcast edition Mac Power Users that the new Mac Pro is quieter than iMac Pro and the current model (from Mac Pro, the trashcan computer).

The sound of the new Mac Pro under a table measures about 10 decibis, making it quieter than an iMac Pro or the current Mac Pro on a table, which is already “virtually silent” around 12 decibis.

As for power, Brooks said Apple's goal was to design a computer for the future, ensuring that the machine is capable of handling tasks that professionals will have to perform in a long time yet.

We do not want to build it for today, but for the future. So, we look at features like streams of 8K video; This is not usual today, but surely there are professionals doing it, so we want to make sure that we are ready and have the performance to deliver it throughout the system.

The machine's manufacturing process was so meticulous that, according to the executive, Apple used impact sensors to ensure that the computer could withstand shocks and vibrations while being transported on trucks inside Apple Park and other environments.

Another interesting detail (and quite the face of Apple) points out that, like many other Ma products, the new Mac Pro was kept in a “secret cabinet” during testing at Cupertino's labs to ensure its design remained a secret. that worked after all.

· • ·

Thinking specifically about the new Mac Pro, it can be said, yes, that Apple's advances in hardware are substantial enough to make it the most incredible Mac ever released, but perhaps the main feature of that. workstation remain the high configuration power and versatility it offers.

Of course, so much potential is not meant for “common” use, that is, the new Mac Pro was not meant to be a desktop computer in any home, but this is a discussion we have already covered in another article.

We now have to wait until the last quarter of this year for the first consumers to get their hands on their professional computers and that we mere mortals can drool over the processing power of the machine.

Until then, maybe someone doesn't change their mind and decides to spend (or rather invest) more than a million reais in such beauty? 😝

via AppleInsider, MacRumors, TechCrunch, 9to5Mac, Y.M.Cinema