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Apple targets pro users with pricey Mac Pro and display

Lauren Kate Rawlins
By Lauren Kate Rawlins, ITWeb digital and innovation contributor.
Johannesburg, 04 Jun 2019
The new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
The new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.

Tech conglomerate Apple has announced its new workstation set-up, which includes the new Mac Pro, a 6K Pro Display XDR, and a specialised stand that allows the display to be rotated.

The products were unveiled during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address last night, in California. The conference is not usually used to unveil hardware; however, it was expected that it would showcase the new Mac Pro, as it was due for an upgrade.

Prices for the new Mac Pro start at $5 999 (R86 700), the Pro Display XDR starts at $4 999 (R72 250), the Pro Stand is $999 (R14 400) and the VESA Mount Adapter is $199 (R2 800). Therefore, at today’s dollar to rand rate, the whole set-up would cost a South African about R176 150, excluding import costs and taxes.

“We designed Mac Pro for users who require a modular system with extreme performance, expansion and configurability. With its powerful Xeon processors, massive memory capacity, ground-breaking GPU architecture, PCIe expansion, Afterburner accelerator card and jaw-dropping design, the new Mac Pro is a monster that will enable pros to do their life’s best work,” says Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice-president of worldwide marketing.

“Pro Display XDR is the world’s best pro display and the perfect companion to the all-new Mac Pro. With Retina 6K resolution, gorgeous colour, extreme brightness and contrast ratio, and a highly functional design, Pro Display XDR delivers the most comprehensive set of features ever offered on any display at this price point.”

Apple says its new Mac Pro has a processor with capacity to run fully unconstrained at all times. The Mac Pro can be fitted with up to 28 core Xeon processors, 56 teraflops of graphics performance and an Afterburner card.

The new Mac Pro debuts the Apple Afterburner accelerator card, featuring a programmable ASIC capable of decoding up to 6.3 billion pixels per second.

“With Afterburner, video editors using high-quality cameras that require the conversion of native file formats into proxies for easy editing can now use native formats right from the camera and decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real-time, virtually eliminating proxy workflows,” explains Apple.

The Mac Pro was designed in a stainless-steel space frame with an aluminium housing that lifts off for access to the entire system.

The 32-inch Pro Display XDR features the largest Retina display to date, offering 6K resolution with more than 20 million pixels.

Apple says the high dynamic range in its new display is better than any other display on the market, and so has called it extreme dynamic range (XDR). This means the display will better reflect what the eye sees in the real world.

“And with an amazing 1 000 000:1 contrast ratio, images will have the brightest specular highlights, super dark blacks and all the details in between,” the company said.

“Pro Display XDR uses a direct backlighting system with a large array of LEDs that produce 1 000-nits of full-screen brightness and 1 600-nits of peak brightness.”

The Pro Display XDR features edge-to-edge glass and 9mm borders in an aluminium enclosure.

The Pro Stand allows the screen to be both tilted and adjusted for height. It also allows the user to rotate the screen to portrait mode, which Apple says photo editors, Web page designers and coders will find useful. The display can also be easily removed from the stand for translocation.

All products will be available to order later this year, but it is unclear if the devices will be available to purchase in South Africa.