, 17 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Finally, I can tweet knowledgeably on a topic, the new Mac Pro & display. I help oversee 175+ Macs used for professional video editing, audio mixing, and graphics creation. Here's a 'hot take' on the new Mac Pros.
First, why this is a big deal. The old Mac Pro sucked for pro users. No expandability, dongle hell, and no 10G Ethernet, with no real change since 2013. The iMac Pro was a huge leap, 10G, but still no expansion and crazy form factor.
Tech workers that have to install these into complex production and post environments have been eager to see a "real" computer, ala the 1st gen aluminum Mac Pro and the beloved Xserve (RIP 🙏), reappear.
It looks like Apple has delivered. This computer is not for any hobbyist, enthusiast, and realistically most video editors. The Mac Mini can easily handle the majority of graphic & video work. The iMac Pro speeds everything up for renders and better playback.
So why is this new Mac Pro good, if it's not needed by many users?
It appears that Apple has returned to letting people open the case and add things. A remarkable turnabout to a company that literally glues batteries and drives in place so that can't be fixed.
Don't get caught up in the RAM and CPU core info, the real change here are the delicious PCI expansion slots with are really what this whole computer is about. This will allow interfaces and upgrades to focus the Mac Pro into an optimal platform for individual groups.
Working on a feature film in a digital intermediate suite? It's all going to be about that fast networking and Afterburner card to play back sequences.
Building our some initial scene concepts to pre-vis, and need a quick render to show the execs? It's all about that new GPU expansion capability.
Taking that 4K wideshot and squeezing it down to HD while adding some branding animation and rendering out versions in various aspect ratios? It's not going to give you time to go it a cup of coffee, slacker.
Need HD-SDI video output for live events? Install a card instead of relying on a crappy box hanging off a dodgy Thunderbolt connector.
Running a render farm to offload those truly big jobs? That is the sweetest spot of all, with the ability to bump up the cores, RAM, and specialty GPUs, you are replacing literally dozens of crappily racked computers with a single, focused machine.
In short, the Mac Pro is basically all the things high end users have needed, AND the ability to rackmount it, which is :chefskiss:
The Pro Display XDR is going to see some complaints due to it's cost, but again, it's not for most users. If you don't know what Rec 709 or Rec 2020 are, you don't need this display. Monitors of this caliber routinely go for $3-5K.
What you are paying for is the Apple name and the quality of HDR it can present, which is impressive, even to a cynical broadcast engineer like me.
tl;dr: The Mac Pro and display fill a large gap in Apple's professional product line. Prices are reasonable for the professional user. If you want one at home, you are an idiot.
The only bad news is this is probably the last generation of this level of machine that will sit on or a near a desk.
Virtualization is here and will eat this space over the next 5 years for on-prem work eliminating the need, and within 10 years, this will all be cloud based. But that's for another tweet thread.
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