Expansion is the new keyword for the next iteration of the Mac Pro. Unlike it’s predecessor, which was lacking internal expansion capabilities to enable a compact but trashcan-like exterior, the new system is all about expandability.
The new Mac Pro can be configured up to four high performance AMD gpus. These offer up to 56 teraflops of graphics computing power and have 128 GB of available graphics memory. Further specifications include 12 memory slots, a total of 8 PCIe slots, and a robust power delivery system, the machine is clearly aimed at providing the most graphics and compute power available to its owner.
According to Apple, the new machine is aimed at some very graphics intensive workloads like editing three streams of 8k video, or editing thousands of audio tracks in real-time.
MPX Graphics modules
Apple is introducing a new expansion slot form factor in the new Mac Pro. The Mac Pro will contain two so-called MPX modules. The MPX module stands for Mac Pro eXpansion module. These will offer up to two 16x gen 3 PCI Express slots for additional power and Thunderbolt bandwidth. Up to 500 Watts of power is available for each MPX module and yet, amazingly, each module will be passively cooled.
World’s most powerful graphics
Apple’s new pro machine can be configured to contain up to two of the following MPX modules powered by AMD’s graphic chips:
Radeon Pro 580X
- 36 compute units, 2304 stream processors
- 8GB of GDDR5 memory
- Up to 5.6 teraflops single precision
- Half-height MPX, so an additional PCIe slot is available (double wide standard PCIe slot)
Radeon Pro Vega II
- 64 compute units, 4096 stream processors
- 32GB of HBM2 memory with 1TB/s memory bandwidth
- Up to 14.1 teraflops single precision or 28.2 teraflops half precision
- Infinity Fabric Link connection enables two Vega II GPUs to connect at up to 84GB/s
- Full-height MPX
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 28.2 teraflops single precision or 56.4 teraflops half precision
- Onboard Infinity Fabric Link connection connects the two Vega II Duo GPUs at up to 84GB/s
- Full-height MPX
Processor and memory
The new system can be configured up to an 28-core 2.5 GHz Xeon W processor consuming an eye-watering 300 Watts, requiring a massive heat sink to let it run at full speed. The new system supports up to 1.5 TB of RAM (requiring a 24 or 28 core cpu) with 6 channels.
The systems includes: two Ethernet 10Gb ports, two USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports (back), two Thunderbolt 3 ports (top), headphone jack, 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking and Bluetooth 5.0. Internally there are also two Sata ports and an USB port available, however it is unclear how drives can be installed. Apple does not offer an option to order magnetic disk drives in their configurator.
Price and availability
According to Apple, systems will be available from this Fall for a price starting from $5999 for a 8-core system and an AMD 580X MPX module.