The 2019 Mac Pro is Here

The new Mac Pro is here, and a fully loaded version will run a cool $52,748.

(That’s with wheels, but without a display, mind you.)

Keep in mind that almost no one is going to fully spec out every option on a Mac Pro, nor is this in any way, shape, or form meant as a consumer product.

That said… it’s still really fun to spec out. Here’s how all the options break down:

Configuration

The base Mac Pro starts at $5,999, but the first thing you’ll notice when going to the configurator is that there is a complete separate and new case design, specifically for rack mounting. This custom casing design costs $500 more than the standard tower design.

CPU

There are 5 options for CPUs on the Mac Pro, with options ranging from 8 to 28 cores.

It’s interesting that each step up in core count comes with a decrease in individual core clock speeds, which seems counterintuitive but really makes sense for workloads that are going to spread work across multiple cores.

It’s also noted that a 24-core or 28-core CPU is required to support 1.5TB of RAM.

Speaking of…

Memory

We all knew this was going to be one of the most expensive parts of configuring the new Mac Pro, and indeed, the price of RAM alone can make up 50% of the cost of a fully-loaded Mac Pro.

Options are:

A couple observations:

First, some of these numbers seem super weird (384GB?), but that’s due to the fact that the Mac Pro uses (effecitvely) triple-channel RAM, rather than the dual-channel systems most computers use.

Secondly, I find it interesting and encouraging that Apple offers the 768GB configuration as both a 6-module and 12-module kit. The Mac Pro has 12 DIMM slots, so paying $4,000 extra to get the 768GB option as a 6-DIMM kit leaves 6 slots open for future expansion.

Graphics

5 graphics card options are available at launch:

There are also two card options listed as “coming soon”: the Radeon Pro W5700X (16GB GDDR6), in both single- and dual-card configurations.

I honestly don’t know why the dual-card options cost more than twice the price of the single card option. Someone please explain this to me.

Storage

Ugh.

An 8TB SSD option is listed as “coming soon”.

Listen… it’s absolutely pathetic that the $6,000 Mac Pro comes with 256GB of storage standard, when the just released 16-inch MacBook Pro ships with 512GB standard. Pathetic.

And why is the 8TB option “coming soon”? That’s also available, today, in the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Ugh.

Afterburner

I’ll admit that I’m not entirely sure what Afterburner is. Apple describes it as such:

To get even better video performance for the most demanding workflows, consider upgrading your Mac Pro with Apple Afterburner, a PCIe accelerator card that offloads the decoding of ProRes and ProRes RAW video codecs in Final Cut Pro X, QuickTime Player X, and supported third-party applications.

I’m sure that means a lot to certain people… like the people that will be buying this machine.

Afterburner is a $2,000 add-on, and uses a PCIe x16 slot.

Accessories

It costs $400 to get the Mac Pro with wheels, because apparently they’re literally built in to the frame instead of being an add-on part.

Apple also charges $149 to get both a Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, because what’s $149 on a $6,000-$50,000 computer?

Pro Display XDR

No surprises here, the Pro Display XDR and it’s “accessories” (read: required hardware to ensure your display doesn’t just sit lazily on your desk) are priced exactly the way Apple said they would be.

To be clear: I fully and completely understand why Apple is selling the Pro Display XDR this way. They’re effectively selling you either a $6000 display with a stand, OR a $5200 VESA-mount-only display, with an option $1,000 matte-texture option. But it still feels super weird to price out a display like this.

Reviews, Impressions, and More

Several people had access to the new Mac Pro ahead of time, and there are a lot of great videos to watch, podcasts to listen to, and articles to read, if you want to learn more.