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Here's what professionals really want from a new Mac Pro



Two years ago, Apple made the unthinkable: The company gathered a select group of prominent technological journalists at the Cupertino headquarters and apologized mostly for leaving its most powerful computer, Mac Pro, to die a slow death during four years.

In the same conversation, Apple executives also announced that they were working on a new Mac Pro, which we later learned, would not be launched until 2019. Now we're just halfway through 2019 and Apple still hasn't said anything about Mac Pro.

Will it still be published this year? What does it look like? What kind of specs can we expect from it? How much will it cost? Apple can answer some or all of these questions at WWDC next week, but what will professionals ̵

1; the people who have been waiting for years and want to pay top dollar – really want from a new Mac Pro?

I asked a number of professionals, from developers to video producers, to get a better idea of ​​what they want to see in the new Mac Pro, and that is, of course, the exact opposite of the current "garbage bin" model.

Despite its compact size, the two biggest complaints about the current Mac Pro are that its design greatly limits performance. During the round table of tech journalists in 2017, Apple Senior Vice President of Software Craig Federighi said they designed "a bit of a thermal corner."

Everyone wants a more PC-like Mac Pro that is easy to upgrade.

The challenge of designing Mac Pro is to find out who its users are and what to use. Are the developers creating apps and need lots of RAM, but maybe not so much graphics performance? Are they podcasters who rely on CPU performance? Are the video editors able to upgrade their graphics cards to more powerful ones under the line? Are they 3D animators to maximize both CPU and GPU for their workload?

Of course, all professionals will be different. But after talking to a bunch of them, it is clear what kind of Mac Pro Apple should deliver to satisfy them: a more PC-like Mac Pro that can be easily upgraded.

No one expects Apple to ruin the old Mac Pro "ostristist" tower design and call it a day, but a compact computer with plenty of room for expansion tracks seems to be on everyone's wishlists.

Internal extension is a must

Stephen Hackett, co-founder of Relay FM, an independent podcast network where he also uploads his own podcast and chronicles Apple's devices on his 512 Pixel blog, says he will see Apple prioritize internal expansion.

"I think it's clear that 2013 Mac Pro's requirement that all extensions be external, over Thunderbolt, didn't really play out," Hackett says. "Even Thunderbolt 3 can't match the speed of internal connections to things like audio and video recording cards, let alone GPUs. The old Mac Pros (and the G5 towers before them) could be upgraded over time with things like extra RAM and In a world where even the powerful iMac Pro is glued closed, the Mac Pro can still make itself a long-term upgradeability. "

Several other professionals I spoke to also echoed Hackett's hope for a Mac Pro that has got more upgradeable options.

"For me, the ideal Mac Pro would be a once-in-a-lifetime machine that will be upgraded in the future when new CPUs and GPUs are available," says app developer Guilherme Rambo who also often releases Apple leaks at 9to5mac. "I also need to be able to add more SSD storage if I need it at all times."

"Mac Pro has to go in the opposite direction to all other computers that Apple manufactures, all optimized for portability, thinness and beauty," Rambo says. "The absolute top priority should be to deliver a steak, custom desk to people who need that kind of power."

"I want something between the tower's Mac Pros of the past and the trash can," says Kenneth Bolido, who leads video production at Overclock Media to the popular technology-oriented Austin Evans YouTube channel. "Ideally we get more modularity, to be able to upgrade the CPU and GPU in addition to RAM and storage."

Another popular tech youTuber, Jonathan Morrison, also said he will see more storage on the Mac Pro.

"I want more storage," Morrison says. "I miss it from the Mac Pro Cheese potty. I'm a fan of internal storage when I can get it, especially with music production libraries that are huge, so if I could get 20TB SSD internal storage that would be great." [19659010] Support for NVIDIA graphics cards

In addition to easily upgradeable components, the most sought after feature is every professional I spoke to, better graphics card (GPU) support. Especially a Mac Pro that works with NVIDIA's GPUs.

Although I would not go so far to say that AMD discrete graphics chips in Mac & # 39; s are bad, the iMac Pros Radeon Pro Vega GPU is an animal – NVIDIAs are considered best in the industry as they provide better performance and compatibility with a wider range of professional software.

Mashable Senior Motion Designer Malik Yusuf, using a 2013 Mac Pro in the workplace to animate videos, told me that NVIDIA support would greatly improve his workflow. "Almost all modern third-party 3D renderers like Octane and Redshift for the 3D program I use, Cinema 4D, require NVIDIA cards."

"Many 3D motion designers have over the years moved to PCs," says Yusuf. "I think I might eventually, if I get more in 3D stuff."

  NVIDIAs Titan RTX is one of the most powerful consumer GPUs. Now imagine it in a Mac Pro.

NVIDIA's Titan RTX is one of the most powerful consumer GPUs. Now in a Mac Pro

When asked, most video builders and animators were fine with a Mac Pro that supports the latest NVIDIA RTX 2080-GPUs, but for true workstation performance, Bolido says he believes that Apple should support yet beefier NVIDIA GPUs, such as the Quadro series starting at $ 4,000.

"I think it would be cool to see NVIDIA Quadro card options," Bolido says. Especially for workflows in Davinci Resolve and other applications that can use graphics, with internal GPU support – especially with workstation class – would be a killer. "[1 9659010] Beefy, but reasonably priced

We call it now: the new Mac Pro will be expensive. How do we know that? Because the rubbish bin Mac Pro has an offensive price tag with a starting price of $ 2,999 and a maximum configuration price of $ 6,599.

Also the iMac Pro is also very expensive. It starts with $ 4,999 and balloons up to $ 15,699 with each upgrade option checked.

Sure, the new Mac Pro does not come with a 4K or 5K display that will save you a few hundred or a thousand dollars, but anyone who buys a new Mac Pro will probably have exactly what is right – Retina Mac Pro Display Apple creates it.

"I'm most excited about an Apple display," Morrison says. He said LG's 4K and 5K screens sold from Apple are "good but just don't really do it."

Still, there is nothing stopping professionals from wishing for a Mac Pro who will not break the bank

"Personally, I have long wanted Apple to offer a portable desktop tower that is not a 4000+ workplace, "says app and game developer Steve Troughton-Smith who has long been one of most vocal on Apple neglecting Mac and professionals.

"What I need most is expansion capabilities, upgradeability and replaceable parts – an NVIDIA class GPU, removable storage and slots that allow me to upgrade the device to utilize hardware that has not yet been invented," says Troughton-Smith. "As much of what I need will be served by Apple, just putting an Intel CPU in a box and calling it a day, and it's so frustrating that they feel they need to change the world with their design instead. "

The Dream Mac Pro

As I said, every professional will have an opinion on what kind of Mac Pro they want from Apple. The specifications will vary according to each person's work style, but the general consensus is that they should be comparable to the iMac Pro in the low end and blow it past in the high end.

"In terms of performance, the new Mac Pro will have a fierce competition from the iMac Pro, which to date is the most powerful Mac ever sold," Troughton-Smith says. "I have to imagine that there will be overlap in both price and power between these two machines, but I think it's fine. Some users will have the all-in-one design and will be willing to deal with upgradeability and expandability for that and others will not. "

If so, there is a Mac Pro wishlist based on the conversations I had:

  • Modular design with user-replaceable components

  • Swappable CPU [19659040] More powerful Intel Xeon processors with at least 18 highest end cores

  • Interchangeable graphics cards

  • NVIDIA graphics card support

  • Boat load internal storage (preferably flash-based for insane read / write speeds)

  • Toner RAM options with configurations more than iMac Pro's maximum 256 GB

  • Lots of accessory extension I / O ports such as eGPUs

  • A bomb-ass new Apple screen

  • Prices that don't cost a fortune

Apple: If You're still open to ideas, there's a good list of features to consider for Mac Pro.

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