Apple Allowed Developers to Test a Prerelease Mac Pro Hidden Inside a Metal Box

Before Phil Schiller gave the world a sneak peek of the new Mac Pro at WWDC this week, Apple allowed select developers to come to its Cupertino headquarters to test out their software on preproduction hardware.

AppleInsider spoke with employees of The Foundry, a firm that develops high end rendering software used on Hollywood productions.

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The Foundry shared with AppleInsider the story of how its team worked with the new Mac Pro in a room at Apple HQ known as the "Evil Lab" ahead of the desktop's unveiling. During the tests, the Mac Pro was entirely concealed in a giant steel cabinet, keeping its new design a mystery to The Foundry and Pixar.

"We were essentially doing a blind tasting of the machine," said Jack Greasley, MARI product manager at The Foundry. "All we could see was the monitor, and the Mac Pro was encased in a giant metal filing cabinet on wheels. Experiencing the machine in this way was actually really cool, because I can tell you that the speed and power of this machine really stands up. Mari running on this machine out of the box is the fastest I have ever seen it run."

Greasley said "some real innovation and thought has gone into what users want and need" with the new Mac Pro, and he doesn't "think pro users should be concerned" about the new machine.

Representatives from The Foundry and Pixar participated in a lunchtime session at WWDC this week, demonstrating the company's MARI software running on the new Mac Pro. The company managed to get a working copy of MARI ported to the Mac in just under a week and convinced Apple executives to give a significant block of time at WWDC to demo the software and the new machine.

The Mac Pro is expected to be released later this year.

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Top Rated Comments

YeahBuddy Avatar
143 months ago
I don't want to hear anymore "Mac Mini Pro" nonsense.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KylePowers Avatar
143 months ago
I have zero need for one, but I want one!

Will it be any good for gaming?
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chirpie Avatar
143 months ago
I don't want to hear anymore "Mac Mini Pro" nonsense.
You'd think if it's good enough for a Hollywood Studio that would sort of put the kibosh on stuff like that.

But (sigh) it's the internet, and people are happier when they're complaining.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisCW11 Avatar
143 months ago
I dream of a "Mac", period

This is a great design, which will be accompanied with a great price tag.

But the average consumer does not need Xeon's and dual workstation class GPU's. Way too many "developers" are going to buy this but people making iOS apps do not need a 12 core Xeon CPU to do the trick.

I am tired of Apple missing a market segment to build a "high-performing" consumer level desktop WITHOUT an integrated display. A lot of people think they are "pro" but they are deluded by Apple's marketing and the lack of a upper-middle tier desktop option. Apple just wants to funnel developers into an expensive desktop product.

Apple needs to come out with the "Mac", period. Not iMac, not Mac Mini, not Mac Pro, but a consumer level "high-end" desktop. And I don't want a laptop with "near" desktop performance.

Make a grey version of this using desktop Haswell CPU's, and the option to have one or two GPU's.

Fine, it will steal market away from the "pro" consumers, but it will INCREASE market presence overall. Now that services like Steam are no longer bound to PC gaming Apple is just ignoring the importance of not offering a desktop in this class without the Mini or "i" monikers.

Why not? It just makes sense. Do it now!
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G4DP Avatar
143 months ago
So basically they are saying the software is running faster?

Really, who would have thought it. A brand new computer running faster than an old one.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tcandaman Avatar
143 months ago
Awesome. I'm excited to see the price point as well
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)