Apple details cutting edge Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR tech in white papers

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited July 2020
Apple on Monday published a pair of white papers that offer a top-to-bottom overview of the technology employed in both Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, the company's most powerful, and most expensive, Mac products.

Mac Pro


While much of the information offered in each of the papers is covered in broad strokes on respective product webpages, the new publications go deep on major Mac Pro (PDF link) and Pro Display XDR (PDF link) hardware features including technology explainers, exact operating specifications, product diagrams and more.

Following a platitude-laced introduction, Apple's Mac Pro Technology Overview delves into the desktop's key features, from an aluminum enclosure built for expansion, to custom MPX Modules and Afterburner cards, and macOS Catalina. Each major component and integrated system is fleshed out in exhaustive detail, with special consideration given to proprietary hardware and solutions.

The MPX Module explainer, for example, occupies five pages of text and diagrams, with Apple considering features of each variant -- Radeon Pro 580X MPX Module, Radeon Pro W5700X MPX Module, Radeon Pro Vega II MPX Module and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX Module -- as they apply to specific use cases and integration with the wider system.

Apple's Pro Display XDR Technology Overview is similarly precise. Along with an overview of operating components and specialized hardware, the paper provides granular information regarding the display's built-in reference modes, outlining color primaries, white point, transfer functions, peak HDR and SDR luminance, brightness control and automatic adjustments for each.

A section describing workplace considerations provides important information about how to properly set up and use the display, as well as the technology that assists in achieving optimal performance in a variety of environments.

Apple typically uses white papers to outline more obscure concepts like encryption and backend privacy technology, but has in the past relied on the medium to explain consumer-focused tech like Touch ID and Face ID.

Designed for professionals, Mac Pro launched in December as Apple's most powerful Mac ever. The accompanying Pro Display XDR went up for order at the same time as a challenger to more expensive reference monitors.
cornchipwatto_cobra

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Any sales estimates yet?
    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 8
    KITAKITA Posts: 409member
    The accompanying Pro Display XDR went up for order at the same time as a challenger to more expensive reference monitors.
    Challenger? While it's an impressive monitor, it doesn't even come remotely close to the Sony display that Apple called out in their presentation.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtd7UzLJHrU
    williamlondonchemengin1cy_starkmanCloudTalkin
  • Reply 3 of 8
    This should be a nice weekend read.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    I’ve read the white paper. Still no word of the Afterburner FPGA manufacturer, and/or the toolset used in programming it.
    As an avid Mac user who does occasionally have to work with FPGAs, I’d like to know if Apple developed an in-house solution. The two big FPGA manufacturers, Altera (Intel) and Xilinx, currently don’t make their tools available for the Mac!
  • Reply 5 of 8
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,290member
    lkrupp said:
    Any sales estimates yet?
    I am rigging a concert tomorrow at our arena, and I plan to ask the various production heads if they have bought any new MP’s yet.
    i expect to see one in a rack box soon. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    Overall, nice papers.  I hope Apple keeps producing these.  They're interesting and provide clarifying facts that help dispel some of our misconceptions about the products. One big quibble and one small quibble.  

    Big: It's pretty obvious marketing had a heavy influence in the writing of the papers.  Too much of an influence, if you ask me.  Although most of the paper has nice tech details, there's still too much marketing fluff that detracts from the technical information.  It reads as if the subject matter experts did their parts and then marketing gave the papers a once over to spice 'em up a bit.  Papers that were already good would have benefited more without the spice imo.

    Small: I don't think the papers were proofread before release.  There are a lot of grammatical errors.  Not enough to really detract from the papers' content, but enough to be noticeable.  
  • Reply 7 of 8
    KITA said:
    The accompanying Pro Display XDR went up for order at the same time as a challenger to more expensive reference monitors.
    Challenger? While it's an impressive monitor, it doesn't even come remotely close to the Sony display that Apple called out in their presentation.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtd7UzLJHrU
    i also watched that video and came to see if it were mentioned in the comments.

    the XDR and its walk of shame


  • Reply 8 of 8
    KITA said:
    The accompanying Pro Display XDR went up for order at the same time as a challenger to more expensive reference monitors.
    Challenger? While it's an impressive monitor, it doesn't even come remotely close to the Sony display that Apple called out in their presentation.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtd7UzLJHrU
    i also watched that video and came to see if it were mentioned in the comments.

    the XDR and its walk of shame


    I don't think the XDR Display is on a walk of shame.  I think Apple simply oversold it's capability.  It's still a great IPS monitor.  Overpriced imo, but a great IPS monitor nonetheless.  As Vincent said, it's a great monitor for consumption and content creation at a certain level of professional.  It is not comparable to the Sony monitor for the highest level of professional colorist.

    Unrelated.  Vincent has a biting wit that is sneaky as hell.  JJ Abrams lens flare, 12" portable DVD player, and a beautiful looking display in the office of a divorce lawyer... I'm dead.
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