Mac Pro's lessons learned will trickle down to all 'Pro' products, says project lead

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
The product manager for this fall's 2019 Mac Pro, Doug Brooks, promised in a podcast interview this week that the impact of his Pro Workflow Team will be felt beyond this year's WWDC centerpiece.

2019 Mac Pro


"That team is really a deep investment on what we're doing here in the pro space," Brooks told Mac Power Users. "And it goes well beyond just Mac Pro to MacBook Pro and even iPad Pro. You're going to see the benefits and the implications of that team across all of our Mac products and our pro products."

The Pro Workflow Team was first disclosed in April 2018, around the same time Apple acknowledged a Mac Pro refresh wouldn't happen until 2019. The group is led by John Ternus.

Functionally it's split into "two kinds of people," Brooks said. The first are "artists and creatives who came out of the industry, in the video, audio, and 3D space," while the second are "system architecture people" and "deep computer scientists" that partner with the first group.

The iPad Pro has only recently begun to appeal to serious professionals. While it first launched in 2015, it took until 2018 for the product to transition from Lightning to USB-C. This fall the tablet will get its own operating system, iPadOS, with long-demanded features such as mouse support, local folder management, and direct support for external storage options like thumbdrives. These are taken for granted on other "pro" devices like the MacBook Pro.

iPadOS


The hardware design of the 2019 Mac Pro "started fundamentally with the space frame," Brooks mused.

"We really wanted to bring modularity to the very fundamentals of the system. So in a way, the space frame is this open canvas for us to be able to bring all sorts of different modules and technologies into the system, so everything hangs off of that.

"The thermal system is a great example, the past Mac Pro tower had 9 fans," he continued. "We wanted to kind of simplify and make the thermal system a lot more elegant. So it's a low impedance airflow system. So if you look through the the heating sync, the fence-basing is pretty wide. We're able to move a lot of air through the system and get a lot of heat exchange.

"We've measured the system when it's on the floor next to your desk at 10 decibels. It's actually quieter than the iMac Pro or a current Mac Pro, which are around 12 decibels."

Living up to its name, the 2019 Mac Pro will start at $5,999 for a model with an 8-core Xeon processor, 32 gigabytes of RAM, and a Radeon Pro 580X graphics card. Buyers will be able to scale up to even more monstrous specifications, including a 28-core processor, 1.5 terabytes of RAM, and multiple Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs. Such configurations will likely cost tens of thousands of dollars.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 158
    cynegilscynegils Posts: 9member
    Lets hope that one of those lessons is not "Pricing will start at cost X eleventybillion!"
    williamlondondonjuanThe_Martini_Catdysamorialorin schultzkestralRoger_FingasGlockWorkOrange
  • Reply 2 of 158
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,750member
    It would be interesting if this is a slight node to the possibility of a consumer-level Mac "pro" with i9 CPU's instead of Xeon's, or a redesign of the iMac.

    Pretty exciting stuff.
    donjuandavgregdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 158
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,750member

    cynegils said:
    Lets hope that one of those lessons is not "Pricing will start at cost X eleventybillion!"
    Stop being so overdramatic.  The Mac Pro is priced similarly to WinTel counterparts of EXACT specs and the monitor is far cheaper than the competitors reference-level monitors.  Funny how you folks don't complain about the prices of those monitors.
    williamlondonroundaboutnowlkruppStrangeDayschiaThe_Martini_Catmacplusplusmacxpressurahararacerhomie3
  • Reply 4 of 158
    I think the Pro Workflow Team is going to turn out to be one of the best ideas Apple has had in a long time.  It's sort of a wonder why they didn't have them before.  The new Mac Pro, though obviously not for me, seems to be a damn good machine.  I said the other day Apple hit one out of the park with the Pro and the monitor.  That was just my first impression.  A couple of days worth of reflection and I still think they hit one out of the park.  A home run.  My only criticism, and what kept that home run from being a grand slam, is (1) the puny storage on the base model Pro (2) pricing the monitor stand separately (3) the misstep in announcing the price of the monitor separately.

    Imo the price of the stand could have been a non-issue in the press if Apple had simply announced a $5999 monitor with the bonus of an $800 discount for choosing a VESA adapter instead of the stand.  Exact same pricing, exact same components, completely different emphasis.  Putting the spotlight on the stand was not good, but the overall presentation was the best WWDC opening Apple has done in a long time.  They actually got me excited for iPads again.  
    mdriftmeyercornchipMacQcSpamSandwichrepressthisdocno42watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 158
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Anyone like to guesstimate what a fully speced-out new Mac Pro with display will cost?
  • Reply 6 of 158
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,321member
    cynegils said:
    Lets hope that one of those lessons is not "Pricing will start at cost X eleventybillion!"
    When Intel charges $15k for the 28 core Xeon what do you expect? Just one more reason Apple will sooner-rather-than-later ditch Intel for AMD.

    And no, they aren't going ARM people. Just like they aren't building a competing GPGPU--the Afterburner is that secret GPU project from Florida.
    tmayfastasleepmacxpressrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 158
    If this means a MacBook Pro with user-serviceable components like RAM and storage, I'd be all over that
    donjuanmacseekerdysamoriarepressthisfrank777
  • Reply 8 of 158
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member

    Imo the price of the stand could have been a non-issue in the press if Apple had simply announced a $5999 monitor with the bonus of an $800 discount for choosing a VESA adapter instead of the stand.  Exact same pricing, exact same components, completely different emphasis.  Putting the spotlight on the stand was not good, but the overall presentation was the best WWDC opening Apple has done in a long time.  They actually got me excited for iPads again.  
    Why do you care so much what people think of Apple? The stand is overpriced. 

    However, if Apple really wanted to be clever and hide the price they are charging for the stand they should have priced the monitor $500 higher, and given I’d bet the vast majority of folks will want to stand, the stand should have been default configuration, with options for additional VESA for $200 additional, or VESA-only for $399 discount. The press would infer the stand at $599 and that would be that.

    I wouldn’t worry about your precious darling, though, many customers of theirs will find the stand attractive precisely because of it expense. Call it perverse inferiority complex.
    edited June 5
  • Reply 9 of 158
    I think the Pro Workflow Team is going to turn out to be one of the best ideas Apple has had in a long time.  It's sort of a wonder why they didn't have them before.  The new Mac Pro, though obviously not for me, seems to be a damn good machine.  I said the other day Apple hit one out of the park with the Pro and the monitor.  That was just my first impression.  A couple of days worth of reflection and I still think they hit one out of the park.  A home run.  My only criticism, and what kept that home run from being a grand slam, is (1) the puny storage on the base model Pro (2) pricing the monitor stand separately (3) the misstep in announcing the price of the monitor separately.

    Imo the price of the stand could have been a non-issue in the press if Apple had simply announced a $5999 monitor with the bonus of an $800 discount for choosing a VESA adapter instead of the stand.  Exact same pricing, exact same components, completely different emphasis.  Putting the spotlight on the stand was not good, but the overall presentation was the best WWDC opening Apple has done in a long time.  They actually got me excited for iPads again.  
    (1) IMO, a bare minimum base makes sense, now that components can be swapped out by end users. Anyone in the market for a higher-spec Pro might be able to save a few bucks by getting the base model and installing their own drive and memory to get to the higher spec if they have the time and inclination to do so. (Not sure what this does to warranty though).

    I kinda agree with (2) and (3).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 158
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,982member
    cynegils said:
    Lets hope that one of those lessons is not "Pricing will start at cost X eleventybillion!"
    When Intel charges $15k for the 28 core Xeon what do you expect? Just one more reason Apple will sooner-rather-than-later ditch Intel for AMD.

    And no, they aren't going ARM people. Just like they aren't building a competing GPGPU--the Afterburner is that secret GPU project from Florida.
    So, is it an ASIC, or an FPGA, or hybrid SOC?

    Those in the know don't seem to be talking.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 158
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,896member
    cynegils said:
    Lets hope that one of those lessons is not "Pricing will start at cost X eleventybillion!"
    When Intel charges $15k for the 28 core Xeon what do you expect? Just one more reason Apple will sooner-rather-than-later ditch Intel for AMD.

    And no, they aren't going ARM people. Just like they aren't building a competing GPGPU--the Afterburner is that secret GPU project from Florida.
    How much confidence do you have in Afterburner coming out of the Florida project?     Seems like a long time coming.  By the way people should be ready for a price shock, FPGA are not cheap by any means.  

    The problem i have with the new Mac Pro is that it just widens the gap between their run on the mill desktops and the Mac Pro.  The high price of this machine just has me wishing that much more for an XMac type machine.  That is a box with a desktop processor and a decent video card.   
  • Reply 12 of 158
    I would love to see a 32"5K iMac and a 32"5K iMac Pro, with a separate 32"5K monitor to add on if needed, and a smaller version of this Mac Pro, for people who need a bigger screen size based on this "space frame" design. I can see a nice rack mounted version, a souped up Mac Mini server if you like. I hope Apple develop something along these lines. Why not a nice 16.5" MacBook Pro? I loved the 17" MacBook Pro, bought three of them. Are things looking up for Mac users? Pro and semi-pro users? September time would be great Tim. Make it happen, please, please. My credit card has been waiting for 5 years, for something half decent from Apple.
  • Reply 13 of 158
    cynegilscynegils Posts: 9member
    sflocal said:

    cynegils said:
    Lets hope that one of those lessons is not "Pricing will start at cost X eleventybillion!"
    Stop being so overdramatic.  The Mac Pro is priced similarly to WinTel counterparts of EXACT specs and the monitor is far cheaper than the competitors reference-level monitors.  Funny how you folks don't complain about the prices of those monitors.
    Not at all dramatic. The top Mac has always been a product within the reach of many. Apple has now redefined that, to say that the top Mac will be a product for <0.01% of the Mac using population. With a base price of at least $12K for all parts needed, Apple is essentially giving the finger to the loyal Apple base that was waiting for a new Mac Pro. I'm sure some people need a machine that can drive six $5000 monitors at once, and need to see 1600 nits or whatever "extreme" other nonsense Apple is hyping up to justify the exorbitant price, but what about others that needed a powerful and expandable computer that couldn't care less about a million to 1 contrast (that is unlikely to be imporant to anyone)? An absolutely not. The $6000 charged for the lowest 3.5ghz 8-core chip and accessories, is obscenely above parts and labor. Apple is going the way of those whack job Hi-Fi audio companies that sell cables for $3000 a foot.
    dysamoriaSanctum1972chemengin1
  • Reply 14 of 158
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,193member
    I think the Pro Workflow Team is going to turn out to be one of the best ideas Apple has had in a long time.  It's sort of a wonder why they didn't have them before.  The new Mac Pro, though obviously not for me, seems to be a damn good machine.  I said the other day Apple hit one out of the park with the Pro and the monitor.  That was just my first impression.  A couple of days worth of reflection and I still think they hit one out of the park.  A home run.  My only criticism, and what kept that home run from being a grand slam, is (1) the puny storage on the base model Pro (2) pricing the monitor stand separately (3) the misstep in announcing the price of the monitor separately.

    Imo the price of the stand could have been a non-issue in the press if Apple had simply announced a $5999 monitor with the bonus of an $800 discount for choosing a VESA adapter instead of the stand.  Exact same pricing, exact same components, completely different emphasis.  Putting the spotlight on the stand was not good, but the overall presentation was the best WWDC opening Apple has done in a long time.  They actually got me excited for iPads again.  
    Agreed. The presentation was absolutely perfect, except for that one moment, and you can tell by the audience reaction. They kind of invited mockery and memes with that part. Many other ways to frame it. 
    cornchipStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 158
    donjuandonjuan Posts: 41member
    We do not know yet if all the motherboards will be the same. I doubt the low end model will have 12 ram slots.
    edited June 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 158
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,981member
    cynegils said:
    Lets hope that one of those lessons is not "Pricing will start at cost X eleventybillion!"
    When Intel charges $15k for the 28 core Xeon what do you expect? Just one more reason Apple will sooner-rather-than-later ditch Intel for AMD.

    And no, they aren't going ARM people. Just like they aren't building a competing GPGPU--the Afterburner is that secret GPU project from Florida.
    "And no, they aren't going ARM people."

    What makes you so sure?
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 158
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,460member
    ireland said:
    Anyone like to guesstimate what a fully speced-out new Mac Pro with display will cost?
    $50K at least. The 28 core Xenon CPU is $15,000.00 just by itself on Amazon. Pixar, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic and others will be buying truckloads of these machines. 
    cornchip80s_Apple_GuyJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 158
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,031member
    I just looked up “fence-basing”. There’s no such phrase in the English language.
    cornchip
  • Reply 19 of 158
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 833member
    I guess I'm not a Pro anymore. I might still qualify as a semi-pro. Perhaps Apple should sell a Mac Semipro.
    tenthousandthingsdysamoriarain22
  • Reply 20 of 158
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 479member
    Just speculation, but I think over time Apple intends to bifurcate the user base and eventually the iPad will take over most of the laptop space (MacBook and MBA) and the Mac line will continue to march upmarket.

    Already, most people can meet their computing needs with an iPad or iPad Pro. I would love to see Apple offer a larger screen desktop version of iPadOS on a tilting stand like the Surface Studio. I think Apple could eat the Surface Studio alive and at a better price with a desktop version of iPad OS.
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