The New Mac Pro

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new Mac Pro

“Can’t innovate anymore, my ass” – Phil Schiller

Apple unveiled the long-awaited Mac Pro update at their World Wide Developer Conference. The new Mac Pro, designed for professional users, is far more powerful than its predecessor, yet only a fraction of the size. Standing at 9.9 inches tall and only 6.6 inches in diameter, the new Mac Pro isn’t much bigger than a Mac Mini. It features a bold, new, cylindrical design unlike any other computer on the planet. This new high-performance machine is destined to be the platform of choice for professional video editors, recording engineers and animators.

Overall Design

The new Mac Pro features a revolutionary cylindrical design. A few people have joked that it looks like a garbage can. I don’t think anyone will be tossing their banana peels in this thing. Compared to the current Mac Pro, the new one is a fraction of the size. Thanks to new technologies, like Thunderbolt 2 and flash storage, it is no longer necessary to include drive bays. Optical drives are virtually obsolete. While this accounts for the smaller size, the cylindrical shape allows the new Mac Pro to stay cool under pressure.

The new Mac Pro is built around a thermal core. This core features a single piece of aluminum, designed to conduct heat away from the processors. There is one large fan at the top of the unit, strategically placed to draw cool air from the bottom. The single fan is supposed to be dead quiet, which is critical for audio editing. The current Mac Pro model is also quiet. I’ve accidentally turned mine off at the power strip, because I thought it was off. It’s that quiet. The new one is supposed to be even quieter.

The Guts

Apple crammed an enormous amount of power inside the new Mac Pro. It features dual GPUs which provide 7 teraflops of graphics processing power. This is twice as powerful as the previous Mac Pro. The new Mac Pro has full support for the new 4K video standard. Users can connect up to three 4K monitors. While this is superfluous for most users, it is essential for video editors. The new Mac Pro will be the work horse of the motion picture and television industry.

Heavy lifting is accomplished using the newest Xeon processors. Supporting up to 12 cores, the new Mac Pro can easily execute complicated algorithms necessary for audio and video effects. Internal hardware is connected via the new PCIe bus, featuring 40GB/s bandwidth. This is twice as fast as the previous model. Memory speed has also doubled, running at an astonishing 60GB/s.

A look inside the Mac Pro reveals the absence of key components — the hard disk and optical drives. With recent advances in flash storage, hard drives are no longer necessary. Most users download software and media, making optical drives obsolete. The new Mac Pro uses PCI Express flash storage, exclusively. The Mac Pro’s solid state drives are faster than others, connecting with PCI Express instead of a SATA bus. This allows for 2.5 times greater speed, which is necessary for high performance 4K video editing. Storage is 10 times faster than any previous Mac Pro model. (continue…)

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