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[Update 12/10/19: Apple’s Mac Pro and XDR Display are now available.]
If you’ve been chomping at the bit to get your hands on Apple’s new behemoth Mac Pro, it looks like the wait may soon be over. Although Apple hasn’t made any noticeable changes to its website, it began sending out “Save the Date” announcements over the weekend to those who signed up to be notified when it goes on sale, letting folks know that it will be available to order starting December 10.
After more than a year of teasing that a new modular Mac Pro was in the works, Apple finally debuted the new insanely powerful Mac at its Worldwide Developers Conference back in June, alongside an impressive (and expensive) new Pro Display XDR.
At the time, however, Apple only said that it would be coming “later this year,” and as the clock began to run out on 2019, many wondered when that would be.
Even now, however, Apple is continuing to be cryptic, with the new email notifications only announcing an order date, which also can’t yet be found anywhere on Apple’s website. There’s no information on when the Mac Pro may actually ship, although it’s worth mentioning that the emails don’t use the word “pre-order” — the text clearly says “Available to order December 10” which implies that orders made tomorrow should ship out as soon as they’re ready.
The new Mac Pro will start at $5,999 for the baseline configuration, which gives you an eight-core Xeon processor, 256GB SSD, and 32GB RAM. While the SSD may sound relatively paltry, the Mac Pro is clearly a machine designed to allow you to add your own storage, and Apple undoubtedly expects many users will connect external Thunderbolt arrays, although there’s plenty of room for adding more internal storage too.
Apple hasn’t released any configure-to-order pricing yet — that’ll likely show up tomorrow when the actual order page goes live — but there’s plenty of room to grow with the Mac Pro, and to spend a lot of money while you’re at it. You’ll be able to build the most powerful desktop computer in existence, with a 28-Core 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W CPU and 1.5TB of RAM. You can also go all the way up to a dual-GPU AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo that can drive up to eight 4K displays or four of Apple’s own 6K Pro Display XDR’s.
A number of estimates have suggested that you could easily spend up to $50,000 on a configure-to-order option, and that’s not including the cost of adding the displays or any other more customized peripherals like external storage arrays or your own PCI Express cards.
Apple’s new Pro Display XDR is a little bit less of a mystery, however, as it’s only going to come in a single configuration for $4,999, although Apple says you’ll be able to add a “nano-texture” matte coating for an additional $1,000. However, that price tag doesn’t include the stand, which is sold separately for $999. The Pro Display XDR is a 6K display that offers a 6016 x 3384 resolution and 1,600 nits of peak brightness, plus a P3 wide 10-bit colour gamut and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.
We’ll probably know a lot more tomorrow when the actual order page goes live, but if you think all of this sounds expensive, you’re not wrong. The starting price for Apple’s Mac Pro is in the same ballpark as what it would take to max out the specs on its new highest-end 16-inch MacBook Pro. However, while we all certainly dream of having this kind of power at our fingertips, if you’re somebody who actually needs it, chances are that you’re also in a position where you can justify the expense — the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the kind of systems that are intended to be used by folks who will be using them to make multi-million dollar feature films, in which case an ultra-powerful system like the Mac Pro is a necessary production tool.