tech

Apple finally updates Mac Pro with powerful processor, new features

Apple’s new Mac Pro has casing that looks like a cheese grater that can be lifted off to swap out components including storage drives, memory chips and the graphics processor.

Apple's new Mac Pro sits on display in the showroom during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California on June 3, 2019.
Apple's new Mac Pro sits on display in the showroom during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California on June 3, 2019. (AFP)

Apple Inc. debuted a new Mac Pro desktop computer after several years of professional users complaining about the current version.

The company previewed the new Mac Pro at its annual developer conference on Monday. It looks a lot like the original version of the Mac Pro from over a decade ago that was widely praised. The new machine has casing that looks like a cheese grater that can be lifted off to swap out components including storage drives, memory chips and the graphics processor. It comes with a 28-core Intel Corp. Xeon chip, one of the fastest processors on the market, Apple said.

The computer is powerful enough to run three streams of raw 8K video. It has a stainless steel frame with handles. There's also an optional set of wheels to move the machine around. It starts at $5,999 and comes out in the fall. A new display was announced too, starting at $4,999.

The Mac Pro is not a significant driver of the company's revenue, but it's a computer that keeps important and influential customers loyal. It was long the most expensive computer in Apple's lineup, previously starting at $2,999. In 2017, that was topped by the $4,999 iMac Pro in 2017, but developers, video editors, photographers and other pro users have been asking for a desktop with the fastest processors, best graphics chips and most possible storage in a design that can be easily upgraded.

Apple announced the previous Mac Pro in 2013, but the computer was panned for not being upgradable like earlier iterations. Some said that the design, which to some looked like a trash can, focused on appearance rather than capability.

Since launching the 2013 model, the company rarely updated the device, and when it did, only included minor changes like slightly faster Intel processors. Apple executives said the previous design put it in a 'thermal corner,' meaning that it couldn't make it much faster with that form factor.