Hands-On With Apple's New 2019 Mac Pro

Apple last week finally launched its long awaited 2019 Mac Pro, providing its professional user base with the high-end high-throughput modular machine they've always hoped for.

We picked up a base model ‌Mac Pro‌ and in our latest YouTube video, we unbox it and share some initial first impressions.


The ‌Mac Pro‌ arrives in an absolutely massive box weighing over 85 pounds, so getting it out of the packaging is no simple task. There are tabs, lids, velcro straps, and more to contend with, ensuring the machine is secure in its packaging.

Even out of the packaging, the ‌Mac Pro‌ is a heavy duty machine made from quality components, and that "cheese grater" design looks great in person. In reality, the lattice look is functional and meant to maximize airflow for quiet performance.

We have the base model ‌Mac Pro‌, priced at $5,999, with an 8-core 3.5GHz Xeon W processor from Intel, 32GB RAM, a Radeon Pro 580X GPU, and 256GB of SSD storage. We didn't opt for upgrades, but you can add everything from a 28-core processor to 1.5TB of RAM to 4TB of storage (soon to be 8TB), with a maxed out machine costing upwards of $52,000.

Luckily, this is a machine designed to be highly upgradeable, so most of the components can be swapped out later. iFixit gave the ‌Mac Pro‌ a repairability score of 9/10, and said it was a "masterclass in repairability," which is definitely a first for an Apple product.

We can swap out the GPU, add RAM, and take advantage of the eight PCIe slots, though upgrading the SSD will require Apple's assistance because they're tied to the machine's T2 security chip. We're going to be upgrading the RAM in our machine quite soon, so make sure to keep an eye out for that video.

Taking the casing off of the ‌Mac Pro‌ is a bit difficult because it's a tight fit and again, it's heavy, but once the casing has been removed, all of the internal components are easily accessible.

There are both single wide and double wide PCIe slots, with the half-length slot preconfigured with Apple's I/O card. The I/O card features a 3.5mm headphone jack, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and two USB-A ports. There are also two HDMI ports, a spot for the power supply, and two 10GB Ethernet ports. You'll find two additional Thunderbolt 3 ports at the top of the tower near the power button.

Going back to that lattice design, the ‌Mac Pro‌ is indeed as quiet as Apple promised. There are three fans on one side to optimize airflow, and the housing has been designed to act as a tight seal with internal ducts to maximize the thermal capacity.

The ‌Mac Pro‌ comes with a nice braided power cable, a Lightning to USB cable with the same braided design, nifty black Apple stickers, and a high-quality instruction manual. It also ships with a silver and space gray aluminum Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard, which is a design unique to the new ‌Mac Pro‌.

The ‌Mac Pro‌ is an impressively built machine, and we're excited to put it through its paces and see what it can do. Stay tuned to MacRumors for more ‌Mac Pro‌ coverage, and let us know what you think of Apple's new machine.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Caution)
Related Forum: Mac Pro

Top Rated Comments

Relentless Power Avatar
18 months ago
You forgot to mention that a cheap midrange gaming PC with a Threadripper is much, MUCH faster than this $6,000 thing.
So I take it you’re not in the creator/film industry or even a professional at all for that matter, because if you were, you wouldn’t be making a comment like this, which also leads me to believe that you’re probably not fully informed on what this machine is capable of.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nicky G Avatar
18 months ago
This thread is really off the rails at this point. Billrey, you haven't helped your point, which has merit, by taking a combative tone from the outset. It has been true for ages and ages, that if you want to build the absolute highest-spec machine possible, especially for 3D work, you are probably better off with a PC. The fact that you can use AMD or Intel processors, whichever is best at the moment, and the fact that you can use either AMD or NVIDIA GPUs, whichever is best at the moment, pretty much always has made it that a top-specced PC will beat a Mac, and sometimes do it at a price savings. None of this is new at all, and the new shiny Mac Pro doesn't change it. I mean JFC, 3ds Max isn't even available on OS X. Can we move on?

However, what also hasn't changed, is that for many pro media users, many of whom are still on Macs and will not leave Macs no matter what (and probably have plenty of good reasons for taking this stance), there is finally a new game in town, if you want a powerhouse machine. Yes, many of these people will be doing high-end photo and video work, motion gfx, audio, color, compositing, etc. etc. But the fact is, if someone's particular Mac-based workflow can benefit tremendously from having many cores, from having multiple GPUs, way more maximum (and faster) RAM, from having more interface/networking options, more internal storage, etc. etc., these new boxes are the HOTTTTT ****! That is also a fact.

I swear to god, you're on a forum for around 2 decades, and the same platform troll battles go on, and on, and on. They don't change. It's all so banal, but I guess that describes the state of the world in so many ways these days.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Awesome Avatar
18 months ago
Has nobody noticed that the article said that there were BLACK APPLE STICKERS?!?!?!? I’M ORDERING!!!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
18 months ago
I do in fact work in the film industry, and I do in fact know what I am talking about.
Are you sure?

Because you compared a Mac Pro to an iPad.... which isn’t even remotely appropriate whatsoever in comparison.

Hence your post:

An iPad Pro has more storage and basically comparable CPU performance. That is just... embarrassing.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
casperes1996 Avatar
18 months ago

You forgot to mention that a cheap midrange gaming PC with a Threadripper is much, MUCH faster than this $6,000 thing.
If a gaming PC has a Threadripper they made some wrong choices. Get Ryzen and put that money towards a better GPU instead.


An iPad Pro has more storage and basically comparable CPU performance. That is just... embarrassing.
And that's just ridiculous. An iPad can be had with more storage, but it doesn't by default. My Pro has 64GB. The Mac Pro can be configured with 8TB. But that's not even the point because most who buy this will already have a massive storage array and expect to run off of that anyway. Nobody is expected to just get the base, at least not without modding it on their own. - Plus comparable CPU performance is ludicrous. An iPad Pro may have a very impressive SoC for its form factor, but it cannot compete with a more than 200W chip.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
casperes1996 Avatar
18 months ago

The sad thing is that it CAN compete. I agree it shouldn’t, but it does. The iPhone is faster at many things than the base model Mac Pro.
In short-burst, purely sequential processing, sure. In anything that matters on a Xeon, no.


As for storage, you miss the point completely. Even if I specced up my iPad a little, I would not expect to exceed the specs of a $6,000 workstation, but it does. Not in all ways, but in terms of CPU and storage it does. And that’s the sad state of affairs for Intel’s Xeons, and the high price of the base model M.P.
It doesn't in terms of CPU, no, and in terms of storage, for the intended market, if it can hold the operating system and a bit, it's good enough, because their 42TB RAID setup is there for the rest. My iPad also has better battery life than my more expensive DSLR, and it'd be great if the DSLR had better battery life - very useful in fact - but it's not the primary point of the device, and extra batteries are sold for easy swaps which is the standard workflow expected for the device, because that quick battery swap is more important than a fixed one lasting 20% longer. - Different tools, different points of focus.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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