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Is the New Mac Pro a Content Creator’s Dream Machine?

Tanner Shinnick

Just announced at Apple’s WWDC, the all-new, completely redesigned Mac Pro is stacked with heightened performance updates and new hardware features.

With this massive list of updates, this machine is poised to become the workhorse of the film production industry and a video editor’s dream. In fact, the machine was built with true professionals in mind. They partnered with companies like Adobe, RED, and Avid to meet the unique performance needs of their workflows. We’ll take a look at the features and performance of the new Mac Pro and why it may be the best machine out there for today’s content creators.

Is the New Mac Pro a Content Creator's Dream Machine? — Mac Pro

The Complete Redesign

After the lackluster reception amongst the professional industry of the 2013 revision of the Mac Pro (dubbed the “trash can”), Apple knew they had to go back to the drawing board for Pro users. But worse, the under-performing 2013 Mac Pro left Pro users feeling like Apple no longer truly cared about the needs of the working creative professional. Fortunately, Apple noticed this misstep and took corrective action. While working alongside professional content creators and developers in an effort to understand their particular needs, Apple developed this completely redesigned and modular Mac Pro. For the first time in years, professionals have once again felt that Apple truly cared about their unique needs.

At first glance, this machine is reminiscent of that of the previous tower version of the Mac Pro. After glancing at a spec sheet, you’ll quickly realize that this is one of the most powerful and exciting product announcements to come out of Apple in quite some time. Let’s take a look at what makes this machine so exciting for professional users, especially video and film professionals. 



The Power

Tech writers have already begun comparing the performance and appearance of the new Mac Pro to that of a supercar. It’s outstandingly powerful and sleek. Let’s take a look at some of the specs.

The processor of this machine is an Intel Xeon – W. It boasts anywhere from 8 cores of processing power all the way up to a whopping 28 cores, making it one of the most powerful machines out on the market today. With all of this computing power inside of this machine, it provides some really outstanding results for content creators.  

The machine’s optional Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics card also provides 2.6x faster render times from FCPX than the previous Mac Pro.

This processing power is supported by 32GB — all the way up to 1.5TB — of RAM. 

Video Usage

One of the most impressive features of the new Mac Pro for video creators is that it will essentially eliminate the need for proxy workflows. Creating proxies for your video files is a long, cumbersome process that we all wish we could eliminate. Proxies have become a necessary evil in order to have a smooth, consistent workflow. However, the new Mac Pro is looking to change that workflow.

With the introduction of AfterBurner, content creators will now be able to playback three simultaneous streams of 8K ProRes Raw video, or up to twelve streams of 4K ProRes Raw video. Because of this processing power, this will introduce faster and more efficient workflows for today’s content creators:

Introducing Apple Afterburner. Blaze through 8K video. Created to transform the workflow for film and video professionals, Afterburner allows you to go straight from camera to timeline and work natively with 4K and even 8K files from the start. No more time-consuming transcoding, storage overhead, or errors during output. Proxy workflows, RIP.

The Monitor

With all of the processing power for high-quality content, Apple also saw the need for a high-quality and high dynamic range monitor to display all of it. As a result, they introduced the Pro Display XDR. This 32 inch XHDR 6K display provides a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and is super bright with up to 1,600 nits brightness and a consistent 1,000 nits. These monitors are expertly calibrated to the truest and most perfect color possible for your projects:

Pro Display XDR is optimized to more than meet the standards of creative professionals. Every display goes through our state-of-the-art color calibration. Each of the display’s 576 LEDs is also individually calibrated and has its light profile stored. An algorithm then uses this information to determine the exact light intensity at which each LED should be modulated, in order to produce the best possible image.

Is the New Mac Pro a Content Creator's Dream Machine? — Apple Pro Display XDR Main

With this advanced set of specs and features, the new Mac Pro is poised to become the workhorse machine amongst many creative professionals. With its raw processing power, modularity, and impressive display, you’ll begin to see this tool in production houses — and in the hands of content creators — to help them meet the demand of their content. For the first time in years, it feels as if Apple has truly made a machine with the creative professional in mind. 

All images via Apple.

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