Along with a stack of new software announcements, as you’d expect from a developer conference, Apple used the platform of WWDC to unveil two new pieces of hardware; the long awaited Mac Pro and a high anticipated display, the Pro Display XDR. But you’ll need to save your pennies as these new additions to Apple’s hardware range won’t come cheap.
Apple hasn’t yet revealed official Australian pricing for the Mac Pro. But it has an opening price of US$5999 – or about $8000 once you add GST and some currency hedging margin.
The design is reminiscent of the old Mac Pro, with an aluminium body that takes the traditional tower case PC but gives it the Apple industrial design treatment.
The base model will come with an Intel 8-Core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W processor with support for up to 1TB of memory. But there will be 12, 16, 24 and 28 core options with up to 2TB of memory. Storage kicks off with a meagre 256GB SSD with support for up to 4TB of SSD – although that will require a pair of 2TB units assuming you order everything from Apple.
Graphics will be covered by a variety of options.
- AMD Radeon Pro 580X
- AMD Radeon Pro Vega II
- AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo
And there’s also a Afterburner ProRes and ProRes RAW accelerator card for boosting the processing of different codecs and playback of up to three 8K streams.
Internally, there will be eight PCI Express expansion slots so you can add extra functionality, answering the criticism of the very pretty but kinda frustrating Mac Pro this model supersedes. External ports include a pair of USB-A ports with four USB-C ports and a couple of 10Gb Ethernet ports.
What’s that all mean? A price tag of about $8,000 will get you tower PC with an 8-core processor, 256GB SSD and 32GB of DDR4 ECC memory. But it will come in a shiny case! A decent amount of storage will nudge towards $10,000 pretty quickly.
To put that in some context, an iMac Pro with an 8-core processor, 32GB of memory and a 1TB SSD, costs $7,299 locally and that includes an integrated 5K display. You’ll need to spring for a screen to use the Mac Pro.
And that Pro Display XDR Apple launched – that’s priced at an eye-watering US$4,999. By the time you apply the exchange rate, some margin for currency hedging and GST you won’t see a lot of change from $8000.
Throw all that together and you can expect to pay in excess of $20000 for a desktop set up using a Mac Pro with a decent amount of storage and the new Pro Display XDR.
I get that this combination is being pitched at a very specific niche of users. But the prices Apple is slapping on this new hardware has probably made that niche even smaller.