Hell froze over: Apple previews new Mac Pro, video professionals rejoice?

June 10th, 2013
Hell froze over: Apple previews new Mac Pro, video professionals rejoice?

This is not a site for IT innovations, but these are news that are hugely relevant to video professionals working on the Mac platform, and that’s why I feel we need to share this with you:

At the WWDC 2013 Keynote (rewatch it here), Apple just announced a new Mac Pro to be released later this year.

macpro_2013

If you haven’t been in the loop on this over the past few years, the professional creative community felt increasingly neglected by Apple. For one, Final Cut Pro X was initially perceived as an underpowered and incompatible replacement for Final Cut Pro 7 (it has since gotten MUCH better and I use if for a lot of professional work). For another, Apple hasn’t released a serious update to the Mac Pro since 2009 – not surprising considering it makes most of its money selling iPads and iPhones these days. The current Mac Pro was even discontinued in Europe recently. The outlook was bleak, with more and more video professionals moving to Premiere on the Mac or switching to PC altogether.

Creative professionals are disappointed and angry with Apple – no doubt about that. It’s the user base and the community that unquestionably stood by Apple and helped it survive in those dark years in the mid-nineties before Steve Jobs returned, when the company was on the verge of bankruptcy (that was, weirdly, when I bought my first Macs).

But to let the matter hopefully finally rest, Apple has announced a completely new Mac Pro design today. It’s really unlike anything we have seen so far in a pro device, and its unusual shape makes me think of its last attempt at a “pro computer” in an unorthodox shape, the G4 cube. According to Apple, they went with this shape because it allowed them to use a “unified thermal core” to get rid of a lot of individual heat sinks that are used to cool down a computer.

next-ngen-applemacprpo

Old-Mac-Pro-and-New-Mac-Pro

It’s tiny compared to the current (old) Mac Pro, and it seems to house no PCI expansion slots. Its architecture is based on Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 cores.

Thunderbolt 2 for expansion

It looks like Apple relies entirely on Thunderbolt 2 (twice as fast as the current Thunderbolt) for expansion of any kind – even hard disks (it has flash memory built in, no hard disk drive). Expansion via Thunderbolt is a great idea, yet currently, there are very few devices available for that – it is possible to put some PCI Express cards into Thunderbolt housings but the solutions are very limited at this point. This is something that video professionals are dependent on and this pre-announcement will most certainly spur accessory manufacturers to get solutions ready until the new Mac Pro is released.

1369425932402-2

3 x 4K and 2 x GPU

Graphics-wise, and that’s particularly relevant to video professionals, the new Mac Pro relies on two GPU’s, AMD FirePro. That means no NVidea cards, which are necessary to utilize the very powerful Mercury engine in Adobe Premiere and After Effects for acceleration of rendering via CUDA. Let’s hope Adobe expands it support for Mercury quickly (though they have proven in the past that adjustments to Mercury’s system specs can take quite a while).   [UPDATED BELOW – There will be Mercury support for other GPU’s other than NVidia when the new Mac Pro is out]

There are some great news for video professionals, the new Mac Pro supports up to 3 4K displays simultaneously. That’s massive for editing.

Last but not least, the new wireless standard 802.11ac Wi-Fi works via three streams, meaning it’s faster and more reliable than the current N standard.

What do you think of the new Mac Pro? Is this what you waited for as a video post production professional?

Check out Apple’s stylish online presentation of the new Mac Pro with more details here.

Watch Engadget’s hands-on video from the show floor:

 


UPDATE, some good news:

We have learned that Adobe is going to enable the Mercury engine on any OpenCL card with Premiere, and that it WILL work with the FirePro when the Mac Pro is released (click here for the forum post on CreativeCow).

Secondly, Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty has posted on the Blackmagic forum:

We have been testing with DaVinci Resolve 10 builds and this screams. Its amazing and those GPUs are incredible powerful. I am not sure what I can say as I am only going off what Apple has talked about publicly here in the keynote for what I can say right now, however there is a whole new OpenCL and DaVinci Resolve 10 has had a lot of performance work done to integrate it and its really really fast. Those GPUs are very powerful and have lots of GPU memory so this is the Mac we have been waiting for! We have lots of Thunderbolt products too so video in and out is taken care of. 

We will have more details once the guys get back from WWDC and we get some more info from Apple on what we can talk about etc.

Overall we could not be happier!

Regards,

Grant Petty
Blackmagic Design

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Guest
April 27th, 2014

we, supposed, was that will attract the neighbouring blacks.
–LINK REMOVED –>Grammy Nominations 2011<. Just when your swelling falls just a little in response towards the diuretic does not always mean you will get better.

software developing software
Guest
November 25th, 2013

If you are using a Toshiba laptop, you might find
that your laptop fails to boot your operating system totally
or can even fail to boot up completely. The Mac – Book
Air is the current laptop version of the Mac desktop and, although it is very expensive, the amount of options it gives users are
almost limitless. RAM memory is lost when shutting-down the computer, unlike storage memory.

Zamfir
Zamfir
Guest
June 20th, 2013

Are Thunderbolt external devices expensive?

Lee Vicko
Lee Vicko
Guest
June 12th, 2013

the only problem is the pile of boxes that you will have on your desk. you should look at the the true possibilities of TB2 en the data throughput of this system.. than you wil know…

D
D
Guest
June 12th, 2013

Thunderbolt 2 IS NOT twice as fast as Thunderbolt 1. Previous Thunderbolt is 10 up and 10 down. Intel just changed it to 20 up OR down. Your bandwidth is the same overall.

Seth Estrada
Guest
June 11th, 2013
Derek McCabe
Guest
June 11th, 2013
Reply to  Seth Estrada

Funny parody Seth, well done.

As a long time Mac user, it pains me to see this new Mac Pro. Yeah, the internal specs are fantastic, but zero backward compatibility. I have two towers with trayless SATA enclosures running through SAS and two Firewire Audio devices. And my 30″ monitor runs via a… um PCIe card. I guess I will just throw them all out and get the new Thunderbolt versions… even though they don’t exist yet. So $3-4K for the Mac Pro… and another $5k to replace all my external devices. Oh wait… how much for the RAM?

Guest
June 11th, 2013

Amazons already got the Mac Pro available with a price already!

http://tinyurl.com/mjm86f4

Dze1
Dze1
Guest
June 20th, 2013
Reply to  Tony Anastasi

Funny

Don
Don
Guest
June 11th, 2013

Thanx Nino, but for a video editing/coloring workflow besides the Mac Pro what other expenses would there be? …Monitor, Rade, DVD burner etc?

Ruben Kremer
Member
June 11th, 2013
Reply to  Don

Depends on your needs. If you’re going into 4K editing, you’ll need (a) 4K monitor(s).

Storage is something you’ll need no matter waht. This new Mac Pro core only has a SSD inside. All your storage needs will need to be in an external (RAID) case connected through Thunderbolt(2) – like the Promise Pegasus RAID cases.

A DVD burner is a bit passé, but I get your point. The core has no optical drives, so if you want to deliver a physical media, you’ll need to get an external recorder for that.

Don
Don
Guest
June 11th, 2013

yes is it worthwhile putting my bmc/mac purchase on hold and wait for the mac pro? and what will the cost be?

Mariano Puppo
Guest
June 10th, 2013

so, you are saying that the new mac pro is a new mac mini.? (by the way mac mini works awesome with cs6) but for big projects we need to use macpros, why no PCI slots? why I can’t add a different graphic card, or a blackmagic or whatever! can’t believe it!

Maciek
Maciek
Guest
June 11th, 2013
Reply to  Nino Leitner

Oh! That’s why it is so small :-) And additional ram connected through wifi??! ;-) Looks like there will be a market for macpro rigs ;-) Can’t wait! So exited!

Ruben Kremer
Member
June 11th, 2013
Reply to  Mariano Puppo

As Nino stated – internal expansion is no longer interesting. This new Mac Pro is exactely what it looks like, some futuristic ‘core’. All expansion will happen on the outside via the Thunderbolt2 ports, even extra graphics cards etc.

On the point of RAM – as far as we know now, it’s got 4 slots. But there are DIMMs of 32GB each available, sums up to 128GB – pretty decent. Downside: these DIMMs will probably cost around $1K each, excl. AppleTax

Chris Pilarski
Guest
June 10th, 2013

I mean it looks great – It sounds amazing – And it seems to be very fast – But the price I think won’t be nice at all.
Is it really worth waiting because I need a new editing suite.

Ruben Kremer
Member
June 11th, 2013
Reply to  Nino Leitner

I wouldn’t say that Nino … did a sum up of the components in this new little big machine. And without the R&D, motherboard(s) and its unique case — I came to a total of approx 8.5K (incl. 2 FirePro’s, 128GB RAM and 2 Xeon E5 6-core CPU’s)… it’s a rough estimation, could be less, but that’s what it would currently cost me.

Steve
Steve
Guest
August 31st, 2013
Reply to  Ruben Kremer

That’s what it will cost you to max it out, but maxing out a Mac Pro has always been expensive. The base price is going to be a small fraction of that.

The last Mac Pro had 3 or 6 GB standard, for example. The new one has *capacity* for 128 GB, so it’ll probably have 8 or 16 installed in the base model.

Also, Apple can get significant discounts because they’re buying a million at a time, and they take care of cooling and interconnects themselves. They’re not just going to be walking in to Best Buy and asking for a bunch of boxed FirePro cards and Xeon chips.

Aaron Parys
Guest
June 10th, 2013

Exciting news!!!

Tim Boydell
Guest
June 10th, 2013

sorry….4 4k displays…at once!

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