The Cheese Grater on Apple’s New Mac Pro May Not Be All It’s Cracked up to Be

Mac Pro Cheese Grater Credit: Winston Moy / YouTube
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Apple’s new insanely powerful Mac Pro may not be coming until September at the earliest, but the new ultra-powerful machine, combined with Apple’s return to its iconic tower design, has been the talk around more than a few water coolers since even before its original announcement.

In addition to many many discussions on the specifications of the new machine, including how much a maxed-out version could cost (answer: almost $50K), modular storage options, what new Pro apps will be able to do, and Apple’s seemingly-crazy $999 monitor stand, there’s also been talk about the new design of the front lattice, which has been nicknamed the “cheese-grater” design by some pundits.

So with a moniker like that, it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to put this idea to the test to answer the burning question that we all must have…

Will the new Mac Pro actually grate cheese?

YouTuber and maker Winston Moy decided that he just had to find the answer, so he set out to recreate the front of the Mac Pro from aluminum, milling it on his own collection of CNC machines, and documenting the whole process on YouTube from designing the initial CNC instruction set to producing the component and then trying it out on a brick of cheese.

In the design and machining itself, Moy also chose to take things a little further than Apple, asking himself “What Would Steve Jobs do?” and thereby deciding to extend the lattice right to the perimeter.

When I asked myself what Steve Jobs would do, it was clear that I couldn’t compromise on the ventilation of my cheese grater, so in that sense I’m actually improving Apple’s design by taking the time to make all these small cutouts around the perimeter.

Winston Moy, If Apple Made a Cheese Grater

Moy also explains that he chamfered the edges to match Apple’s MacBook casings, which would impact on the cheese grating capabilities, but he was striving for authenticity here, which is also why he gave it the same satin finish and anodizing as an Apple Watch, which also had the benefit of making it food safe as well as scratch-resistant.

When all was said and done, Moy put it to the test against a brick of Pecorino Romano cheese. He adds that it was necessary to use a hard cheese, as he already considered it obvious that soft cheese wouldn’t work, as the edges aren’t sharp enough and would result in the cheese “extruding it through the holes like a pasta dye.”

In the end, using the grille as a standard cheese grater sort of worked, shearing off large flakes of cheese, but it required a lot of pressure to make it work. Alternatively, putting a small stick of cheese in one of the cutouts of the grille wasn’t particularly effective, and simply shaved the cheese down to an extra-delicious densely packed ball of Pecorino. Ultimately, Moy determined that the performance of the Mac Pro as a cheese grater was “unsurprisingly disappointing” and didn’t do a good job of shaving material from flat surfaces. However, Moy did find another use for his CNC-machined erstwhile cheese grater, concluding that Apple may still have a future in expanding its product line into Bed Bath & Beyond after all.

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