Apple in June unveiled the 2019 Mac Pro, marking the first new Mac Pro since 2013, when Apple released the cylinder-shaped "trash can" machine that never saw any updates after dual GPUs fell out of favor and focus shifted to more powerful single GPU options.
The new Mac Pro is a high-end high-throughput machine designed for Apple's pro user base. Apple learned from its mistakes and the thermal limitations of the design of the 2013 Mac Pro and the new Mac Pro features a design that's similar to the rectangular 2012 Mac Pro, focusing heavily on upgradeability and expansion.
While the 2019 Mac Pro features a more traditional PC shape than its predecessor, it's still Apple-esque with a stainless steel frame and an aluminum housing that provides 360-degree access to the system. There are also optional wheels.
Handles are built into the frame to make the Mac Pro easy to move around, and it adopts a lattice design that some have likened to a cheese grater. Apple says the lattice pattern maximizes airflow and allows for quiet performance.
Pricing on the Mac Pro starts at $6,000, so this is a machine that was unquestionably created for professionals who need the absolute best performance available.
The Mac Pro uses workstation-class Xeon processors with up to 28 cores with 64 PCI Express lanes, up to 1.5TB of high-performance memory, eight PCIe expansion slots, and at the high-end, dual Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs housed in two Apple MPX Modules which Apple says offer groundbreaking graphics expansion architecture, providing Thunderbolt integration and over 500W of power. That's four Vega GPUs total.
The Mac Pro uses Intel's Xeon W processors, ranging from 8 cores to 28 cores. 28 cores is the most ever that Apple has ever made available in a Mac, but there are also several other lower-end options.
Specific details on each processor option are listed below:
8-core - 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W, 8 cores/16 threads, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz, 24.5MB cache.
12-core - 3.3GHz Intel Xeon W, 12 cores/24 threads, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz, 31.25MB cache.
16-core - 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W, 16 cores/32 threads, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz, 38MB cache.
24-core - 2.7GHz Intel Xeon W, 24 cores/48 threads, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz, 57MB cache.
28-core - 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W, 28 cores/56 threads, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz, 66.5MB cache.
The base version of the Mac Pro comes with the 8-core chip, with the other chips available as optional upgrades for an additional cost.
The Mac Pro features a T2 Security Chip that makes sure that the lowest levels of software aren't tampered with and that only macOS loads at startup. There's a Secure Enclave that provides encrypted storage and secure boot capabilities.
The Mac Pro supports up to 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC memory in 12 user-accessible DIMM slots, configured in different ways depending on the included amount of RAM.
32GB - Four 8GB DIMMs
48GB - Six 8GB DIMMs
96GB - Six 16GB DIMMs
192GB - Six 32GB DIMMs
384GB - Six 64GB DIMMs
768GB - Six 128GB DIMMs or 12 64GB DIMMs
1.5TB - 12 128GB DIMMs (24 or 28-core processor required)
Apple's 8-core processor operates at 2666MHz, while the 12-core to 28-core processors operate memory at 2933MHz. All RAM is easy to access for upgrade purposes thanks to the dual access design of the Mac Pro.
At the high end, the Mac Pro offers up to 140GB/s memory bandwidth.
Two Mac Pro Expansion (MPX) Modules can be configured with a up to four GPUs, with Apple offering the AMD Radeon Pro 580X, the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II, and the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo.
The AMD Radeon Pro 580X features 8GB of GDDR5 memory, two HDMI 2.0 ports, four DisplayPort connections, and it supports up to six 4K displays, two 5K displays, or two Pro Display XDRs.
The Radeon Pro 580X comes in a half-height MPX Module that fits in an MPX bay and enables PCIe slot 2 for additional expansion.
The AMD Radeon Pro Vega II features 32GB of HBM2 memory with 1TB/s memory bandwidth, four Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI port on card, two DisplayPort connections, and it supports up to six 4K displays, three 5K displays, or two Pro Display XDRs.
The AMD Radeon Pro Vega II comes in a full-height MPX Module that fills an MPX bay and uses extra power and PCIe bandwidth.
At the high end, Apple offers the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, which is two Vega II GPUs connected by an Infinity Fabric Link with 64GB of HBM2 memory (32GB per GPU), each with 1TB/s memory bandwidth, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, one HDMI port on card, and two DisplayPort connections. It supports up to eight 4K displays, four 5K displays, or four Pro Display XDRs.