Quick 2019 Mac Pro Review: The Pros and Cons

Quick 2019 Mac Pro Review: The Pros and Cons

The 2019 Mac Pro is the third-generation model of the Pro series line of Macintosh desktop computers and workstations from Apple first announced on 3 June 2019 during the World Wide Developers Conference and released on 10 December 2019. It replaces the second-generation Mac Pro model that was first released in 2013.

The Pros of the 2019 Mac Pro: Reasons Why You Should Buy

Designed and Built for Power Use

At the heart of the 2019 Mac Pro is an Intel Xeon processor with variants ranging from an 8-core to a 28-core configuration. The 8-core variant is a 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W with 8 cores, 16 threats, Turbo Boost of up to 4.0GHz, 24.5MB cache, and support for 2666MHz memory.

The top-of-the-line 28-core variant is 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W with 28 cores, 56 threads, Turbo Boost of up to 4.4GHz, 66.5MB cache, and support for 29333MHz memory. Note that the system also comes with 12-core, 16-core, and 24-core Intel Xeon configurations.

Note that the Xeon product line from Intel is a brand of x86 microprocessors designed for power users. The Specific Xeon W variant is designed for video editors and other creative professionals because of its expanded platform capabilities for VFX, 3D rendering, complex 3D CAD, and AI development and edge deployments.

Aside from the capable CPU, the 2019 Mac Pro comes with 32GB DDR4 ECC memory for the base model that is configurable to 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC memory in 12-user accessible DIMM slots. The same base model also comes with AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU that can be configured for an AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo.

The system is also designed to exploit the advantages of SSD storage. The base capacity is 256GB, but it can be configured for an 8TB SSD storage capacity. It also supports up to 3.4GB/s sequential read and 3.4GB/s sequential write performance and storage encryption via the Apple T2 Security Chip.

Extensively Configurable System

One of the downsides of the second-generation Mac Pro was poor upgradability due to the limitations of the cylindrical design of the device. However, the third generation follows a typical tower design based on a stainless steel space frame with an aluminum enclosure that can be lifted off and give users 360-degree access to every component.

Nonetheless, another major advantage of the 2019 Mac Pro is that it is modular and easy to disassemble, thus resulting in a high configurability and reparability. There are also some step numbers and diagrams placed on the device itself to guide users. Apple also has published free repair manuals. It is currently the most upgradable Mac computer.

There are 8 PCI Express expansion slots for building high-bandwidth capabilities into the system. Specifically, there are four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one half-length slot preconfigured with the Apple I/O card.

Upgrades, replacements, and basic repairs can be performed with standard tools or even no tools at all. Because most components use industry-standard sockets and interfaces, replacements can be done in a snap. Note that the internal boards are held in place by Philips head thumb screws that can be loosened or tightened by hand while the PCI slots are locked with a single switch.

Innovative Heat Management System

Keeping the 2019 Mac Pro cool is important to take advantage of its multiple cores and professional-grade processor. For the device to reach its extensive processing power potential without overheating and damaging its hardware components, it needs an effective and efficient heat management system.

There are three large axial fans assembled as a single piece placed in front of the case and a blower in the rear to constitute the active internal cooling system of the 2019 Mac Pro. Apple has to develop these fans in-house because off-the-shelf fans can be loud

Designers of the fans also redistributed the blades. Although they remain dynamically balanced collectively, they are actually randomized in terms of their blade pass frequency or the rate at which the blades pass by a fixed position. Randomizing this lessens the harmonics, thus resulting in quieter fan operations without compromising heat management requirement.

The interior of the new Mac Pro also has two thermal zones separated by a metal plate and the motherboard. The three large fans intake air from the front, over the CPU heatsink, and expansion cards while the blower fan in the rear pulls air through the memory, internal SSD storage component, and power supply and out the back.

Note that the aluminum outer casing that seems to resemble a cheese grater is also part of the overall internal cooling system design. Its surface has holes that are actually carved as tessellated spheres on one side and another overlapping hole on the other side, thus allowing air to flow through more efficiently.

All the Advantages of the macOS System

Of course, as a Macintosh computer, another advantage of the 2019 Mac Pro centers on the pros of the macOS operating system. While this fact is debatable because other people prefer other operating systems, such as Windows, macOS has its upsides.

Users have access to a selection of free Apple-developed apps either preinstalled in the device or downloadable via the App Store. For example, there are office productivity apps such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote that are free, unlike the apps within Microsoft Office Suite, which are generally sold separately.

A simpler and cleaner user interface with a dedicated function for multitasking is another advantage of macOS. Apps are generally downloaded via the App Store and can be found in a central location called the Launchpad. Several multitasking features are native to the system, including dedicated keys and other hardware inputs such as gestures for switching between apps or workspaces.

The operating system also runs with less to zero hiccups. Apple is both a hardware designer and a software developer. The strong attention to software-hardware integration results in optimized performance. Third-party hardware components are selected based on established criteria, while third-party apps undergo tests and verifications for compatibility and security.

The Cons of the 2019 Mac Pro: Reasons Why You Should Not Buy

Ridiculously Expensive Computer System

A critical disadvantage of the 2019 Mac Pro is price. The starting price for the base model is at USD 5999.00 that includes an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, 4 8GB of memory, Radeon Pro 580X graphics, and a 256GB solid-state drive for storage.

More advanced configurations would jack up the price significantly. Estimated have pegged the price for top configuration to range between USD 35,000.00 to USD 52,199.00. Note that the topmost configuration would have the 28-core Intel Xeon W processor, 12 128GB DIMMs memory, 2x AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, Afterburner ProRes and ProRes RAW accelerator card, and a 4TB SSD storage.

Note that the configurations do not come with other essentials such as the Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, a display monitor such as the Pro Display XDR monitor, the Pro Stand, as well as productivity apps such as the Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.

Still Has Limited Upgrade Options

Remember that this computer system is the most configurable Mac device from Apple. However, there are still some limitations as to how far users can upgrade or expand their Mac Pro devices.

The internal SSD is removable. However, it is bound to the Apple T2 Security Chip, and thus, it cannot be user-replaced. The storage device is also custom-made by Apple. Hence, it cannot be replaced by typical internal SSD devices sold in the market. Users need to consider their internal storage requirements when selecting their Mac Pro configuration.

Apple has a list of approved repairs. However, it remains limited. If a user needs a replacement part that is not on the list, he or she will likely pay a significantly high amount. It is also possible that this replacement part might not be readily available in the market.

Summary of the Pros and Cons of the 2019 Mac Pro

For power users, especially video editors, graphic designers, game developers, and music producers, the third generation Mac Pro would be an ideal computer system. Of course, the flexibility of the allowable configurations provides power users with options that are fitting to their productivity and budget requirements.

The computer can still be pricey. Building a Windows-based computer for power use may still be more cost-effective, especially if the users are not fans of Apple products. Note that despite its computer that can theoretically handle immersive computer gaming, there are limited game titles available for macOS.

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