On December 11th in the last year, Apple officially launched the new Mac Pro on its official website in China, which is divided into two designs: tower and rack (not yet on sale). The new Mac Pro represents the first major upgrade of the device since 2013, is considered by foreign media as “Apple’s attempt to redeem the creative professionals who have fled to more powerful Windows.”
From the official website data, the new Mac Pro is equipped with a workstation-class Xeon processor up to 28 cores, equipped with a 1.5TB high-performance memory system, and eight PCIe expansion slots. At the same time, website shows that the new Mac Pro price is 47999 yuan, if you select the best configuration, then the corresponding price is 39431.
Why is it so expensive? In addition to the configuration, it is the labor cost behind it. On September 24 this year, Apple announced that the newly designed Mac Pro will be produced in Austin, Texas. This Austin-based factory has been a Mac Pro foundry since 2013, and the cost of American-made parts in the new machine is 2.5 times that of Apple’s previous generation Mac Pro.
- Who is using this expensive Mac Pro host?
No matter from the official promotion or the configuration, we can see that the launch of Mac Pro caters to creative professionals who need a lot of processing power, such as visual effects artists, musicians and filmmakers.
The Verge commented: “Since the disappointment of the un-upgradable trash can Mac Pro in 2013, creatives have been looking to Apple for a new professional-grade computer, and Apple finally delivered an expensive and powerful product this week. “
But are the new Mac Pro actually what professionals have been looking for?
Buying a Mac Pro is more like a status symbol.
From the modular design that allows flexible upgrades to the dedicated Afterburner video editing card (which purportedly eliminates the need for proxy workflows), everything about this machine is extremely extreme.
However, the price alone makes most creators exclaim “stinky”!
If you want to configure it for upgrades and gain powerful functions, you have to pay hundreds of thousands or more. Within this ultra-high budget range, it may make more sense to use Mac Pro as an investment in companies and studios. It is a bit extravagant for individuals to put it in the home or office.
From the media, we found several typical users (or pseudo-users.)
Film producer Brad Watts (Brad Watts) said that Mac Pro is for professionals who want to stay in the Mac ecosystem A real alternative to PC. He said: “In my experience, compared with Windows, the software is more optimized and efficient.”
Not only new users, but old Mac Pro users also said that the new product is “really fragrant.” Watts used his two 2013 Mac Pros currently installed and found that these machines can handle most shots, including RAW with 4.6K resolution, but as the resolution increases, they will encounter difficulties in playback.
This makes the new Mac Pro more attractive. Watts said: “Even if many people can’t use the starter pack, I do think serious studios and professionals will take advantage of it, especially to play 8K through new technologies such as Afterburner.” “Memory and storage are upgradable. It’s also great.”
In addition, medium-sized animation studios or post-production companies can also take advantage of the powerful features of the new Mac Pro. For example, for agents who must provide customers with fast visualization, this can be a valuable time saver.
William Joel, the art director of The Verge, said: “It’s not uncommon to rent a rendering machine for a large project instead of buying it, so that the scale of production can be expanded.”
- Mac Pro has also been criticized, except for the price
On the WWDC stage, Apple showed a list of developers dedicated to supporting Mac Pro and its graphics API Metal, including many companies behind 3D rendering applications, such as Octane and Redshift. These applications that used NVIDIA graphics cards for GPU rendering will be rewritten and adapted to AMD graphics cards.
Visual effects director Maschwitz believes that the audience for Mac Pro is not really creatives who really need extreme performance, but DIY enthusiasts. After all, in addition to the price, the lack of support for Nvidia cards in Mac Pro may mean that professionals continue to look for reasons to switch to PCs, such as those in 3D and visual effects.
Patrick Longstreth, VFX supervisor of shows like Adam Ruins Everything and Pen15, said that the new Mac Pro is an upgrade of the old trash can model, but it is still not enough for him to switch from the PC. “I need the best solution for heavy-duty 3D rendering and high-resolution video processing. Therefore, I am very disappointed that this new Mac lacks support for Nvidia graphics cards. With a customized PC, I can still get half the price. The price gets better results.” He said. Windows, yes!
As we all know, Apple has not sold Apple notebooks with Nvidia cards for many years, and has completely abandoned support for them in the latest version of macOS. In contrast to Nvidia cards, Apple prefers AMD’s Radeon cards, which are generally cheaper and less powerful than Nvidia’s GeForce series. Why do such cheap graphics cards sell so expensive?
This wave of operations limits the capabilities of professionals, and the lack of Nvidia driver support puts 3D rendering software developers into trouble, because their GPU accelerated renderers can usually only be used with Nvidia’s CUDA technology.
If Apple wants to continue to expand its PC market share, then Mac Pro can either provide enough value, such as shipments. But from the extreme price, obviously a little unlikely. Judging from the configuration this time, this advanced design may be to prepare for the next few years (the first Mac Pro was released in 2013, and it has been 7 years).
Then, Apple’s path may continue to follow the MacBook series of notebooks. After all, it is a bit uncomfortable for PC shipments to be sandwiched by giants. With the efforts of Windows on designer laptops and desktops, Apple’s pressure will only increase day by day. “Abandoning the car to save your handsome” may be the wisest choice-after all, Apple has died many products, and one more Mac Pro is nothing.