Geof-Crowl / mac-pro-2019-initial-roundup
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Tuesday, Dec. 10th 2019

Mac Pro (2019) and Pro Display XDR Initial Roundup

Apple Mac Pro

Apple: Buy Mac Pro, Apple: Mac Pro Tech Specs

Processor: Configure from an 8‑core to 28‑core Intel Xeon W processor

Memory: Configure up to 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC memory in 12 user-accessible DIMM slots

Graphics: Configure two MPX Modules with up to four GPUs

AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo

  • Two Vega II GPUs, each with 64 compute units and 4096 stream processors
  • 64GB of HBM2 memory (32GB per GPU), each with 1TB/s memory bandwidth
  • Up to 28.3 teraflops single precision or 56.6 teraflops half precision
  • Onboard Infinity Fabric Link connection connects the two Vega II GPUs at up to 84GB/s
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port on card
  • Four DisplayPort connections routed to system to support internal Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Support for up to eight 4K displays, four 5K displays, or four Pro Display XDRs
  • Full-height MPX Module fills an MPX bay and uses extra power and PCIe bandwidth

Power Supply: 1.4 kilowatts

Expansion Slots: Eight PCI Express expansion slots

Storage: Configure up to 8TB of SSD storage

Two USB 3 ports

  • Support for USB-A (up to 5Gb/s)

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Support for Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s)
  • Support for USB-C (up to 10Gb/s)
  • Support for DisplayPort

Two 10Gb Ethernet ports

Apple Pro Display XDR

Apple: Buy Pro Display XDR, Apple: Pro Display XDR Tech Specs

Retina 6K Display

  • 32-inch (diagonal) IPS LCD display with oxide TFT technology
  • Resolution: 6016 by 3384 pixels (20.4 million pixels) at 218 pixels per inch
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • 2D backlighting system using 576 full array local dimming zones
  • Apple-designed timing controller (TCON) chip engineered to precisely control high-speed modulation of both 20.4 million LCD pixels and 576 LEDs in backlight for seamless synchronization
  • True Tone technology with dual ambient light sensor (ALS) design to ensure an accurate viewing experience in any ambient lighting condition
  • One upstream port for Mac Pro or other Thunderbolt 3 host (96W host charging)
  • Three USB-C (USB 2) ports for charging or syncing

Pro Display XDR is compatible with the following Mac models running macOS Catalina 10.15.2 or later:

  • Mac Pro (2019) with MPX Module GPUs
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro (2018)
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)
  • 21.5-inch iMac (2019)
  • 27-inch iMac (2019)
  • Any Mac model with Thunderbolt 3 ports paired with Blackmagic eGPU or Blackmagic eGPU Pro

The iMac Pro is missing from this list.

Blogs and Tweets


I’m happy that the new Mac Pro exists, but for my purposes it feels like they built the wrong product, too late. Apple has a great history of making modular desktop Macs, at sane prices, and this is not that.

I agree that a cheaper modular pro Mac doesn’t exist, but I’m not really sure if there’s much of a market.

It seems like there’s still a hole in the lineup. … Meanwhile, the iMac Pro hasn’t been updated since 2017 and is likely slower than the regular iMac.

This hole should be filled by an update to the iMac and iMac Pro. But it seems like these holes in Apple’s lineup appear faster than they can fill them.


A 47min TV episode we’re cutting, exported directly to h.264 takes 2mins 40secs. Previously 12mins on iMacPro.


Mac Power Users 514: Apple is Listening — The 2019 Mac Pro, with Thomas Grove Carter


MKBHD: Mac Pro Unboxing & Second Impressions: The Power is Back!

iJustine: Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR 8K Unboxing!

Jonathan Morrison: MASSIVE Mac Pro + Pro Display XDR Unboxing!


Apple: Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR Accessories

The Verge: Logitech made a bespoke $200 magnetic 4K webcam for Apple’s Pro Display XDR

A Pro webcam for a Pro Display

The 4K Pro Magnetic Webcam attaches magnetically to the display with a stand designed to perfectly fit the screen. Logitech says that the magnet is strong enough that it’ll stay attached even when rotated sideways into portrait mode. It can even automatically rotate the video input when the rest of the display is rotated so that you can still video chat no matter what your screen orientation is.

Closing Thoughts

I’m really happy that there is, once again, Apple hardware that is much faster than what I would need or can afford. It felt strange to me, that at times, even the top of the line Apple laptop or iMac was what I would use for my design and programming work. There are certainly professions that need faster computers than me.

Apple hardware should span a large gradient of needs and idioms. Now that there is a range from the $329 USD iPad to a fully loaded $52,748 USD Mac Pro (display not incl.) I think this gradient is larger and stronger than ever before.

Updated on Monday, Feb. 17th 2020