The Mac Pro is back. Apple is finally delivering on a promise it made back in April 2017. Here’s John Gruber, writing at the time:
Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.
At the time, Apple said the new machine would “not ship this year,” and later said it was “a 2019 product.” At WWDC this year, Apple finally showed off the machine.
Today, several reviewers have been able to share their thoughts on the new Mac Pro:
Don’t miss episode 514 of Mac Power Users, where David and I interviewed Thomas Grove Carter, a video editor who has been using Final Cut Pro X on the 2019 Mac Pro with the Pro Display XDR for several weeks.
In addition to reviews dropping, Apple has finally shown its hand when it comes to pricing. As we knew at WWDC, the Mac Pro starts at $5,999 with the following specs:
- 3.5GHz 8‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
- 32GB (4x8GB) of DDR4 ECC memory
- Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
- 256GB SSD storage
- Stainless steel frame with feet
- Magic Mouse 2
- Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
For comparison, my $4,999 iMac Pro stacks up this way:
- 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W CPU with 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost
- Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 8GB HBM2 memory
- 32GB 2666MHz ECC RAM
- 1 TB SSD with T2 encryption
… and it comes with a 5K display, complete with wide color support.1
So yeah, there’s no way around it. The Mac Pro is an expensive computer. And because we have to, a fully-loaded Mac Pro will run you over $53,000.If I wanted wheels on it, it’d be an extra $400. It seems that you have to choose if you want wheels or feet at time of purchase.
AppleCare is a cheap $299, and the rack-mountable Mac Pro starts at $6,499 and is not available yet. Customers will be able to buy kits of RAM, additional GPUs and the Afterburner card to install on their own, but that page doesn’t seem to be live yet. Update: Some Mac Pro accessories are showing up on this page.
The Mac Pro isn’t the most expensive Mac on sale without reason. Its power, flexibility and upgradability are unmatched, even by the old Mac Pro towers. It’s a return to form for a machine that many people will use to do the best creative work of their lives. It’s a finely-crafted tool, designed for users who need the most out of a box running macOS.
I was impressed when I saw it at WWDC, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one at some point in the future. The Mac Pro is not for everyone, but for those who need it, today’s a great day. Long live the cheese grater.