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2019 Mac Pro and alternatives

Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Single-core performance is a factor for consumers, multi-core for professionals. Your argument against ARM transition is that it somehow couldn’t handle the 8K transcoding, but then point to the iMac like it's a great value, when it couldn’t handle 8K at all, ever.
Actually, I didn't add a $2000 Afterburner or a decent graphics card to the 2019 Mac Pro price I quoted for the benchmarked computer ($14,999), either — would those be required to do 8K even with a 24-core Mac Pro and thus raise the cost further?
 


As someone who's been Hackintoshing for many years, I find the comparisons of Hackintoshes to the Mac Pro silly.

While the current state of the art in Hackintoshing is better than ever, it still takes a knowledgeable enthusiast to bring one up from scratch, and, more importantly, to maintain it. Getting that final 10% working perfectly: Continuity, Messages, etc. – is best reserved for people who consider spending hours or days on such tasks to be fun. And system software upgrades will always be something to approach with fear and redundant backups.

Consider: if the Mac Pro is for "...the tiniest conceivable sliver of a tiny percentage of the computer market", the percentage of people who build and use Mac Pro-competitive Hackintoshes is even smaller!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
And system software upgrades will always be something to approach with fear and redundant backups.
I'm pretty sure that applies to Apple's own products, as well, nowadays. :-)

I wasn't trying to argue that a Hackintosh is a great alternative to an exhorbitantly priced Mac Pro for "professional" use, unless, as you say, the buyer has a lot of time and interest in tweaking, but I honestly think that the Mac itself is more and more problematic along that same line, as demonstrated by discussions all over this website and others – due mostly to Apple pushing the pace of its changes past the point of good business sense and any kind of stability/reliability. (Apple's recent software quality problems have been widely acknowledged not just here but all over.)

Windows/Linux systems should offer viable alternatives to compare with the 2019 Mac Pro, ignoring the whole hackintosh zone and perhaps achieving greater stability (at least with Linux, though I'm not so sure about Windows).
postPerspective said:
Review: Boxx’s Apexx A3 AMD Ryzen workstation
... The system performed very well for me, and the configuration I received would meet the needs of most users. Even editing 8K footage no longer requires stepping up to a dual-socket system. The biggest variation will come with matching a GPU to your needs, as Boxx offers GeForce, Quadro and AMD options. Editors will probably be able to save some money, while those doing true 3D rendering might want to invest in an even more powerful GPU than the Quadro RTX 4000 that this system came with.

All of those options are available on the Boxx website, with the online configuration tool. The test model Boxx sent me retails for about $4,500. There are cheaper solutions available if you are a DIY person, but Boxx has assembled a well-balanced solution in a solid package, built and supported for you.
 





Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Saving money at the high end...
OWC said:
OWC Confirms 1TB of Memory in the 8, 12, and 16-Core Mac Pro!
If you were hoping to hit the 1TB level of RAM with the new Mac Pro, you were likely disappointed to see on Apple’s Mac Pro page that you couldn’t purchase the 8-core base model. Instead, you needed to upgrade three levels to the 24-core machine, costing you an additional $6,000 – twice the base price of the computer itself!

But not all is lost! We have tested and verified that with OWC memory, the 8-core Mac Pro supports up to 1TB. This is excellent news because Apple doesn’t offer that particular configuration with their memory modules. The highest they offer is 768GB, and the next jump from there is to 1.5TB for an additional $15,000. Add in the $6,000 for the necessary upgrade to the 24-core processor, and you are spending $21,000 just to hit the 1TB level of RAM with Apple.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
And system software upgrades will always be something to approach with fear and redundant backups.
I'm pretty sure that applies to Apple's own products, as well, nowadays. :-)
Speaking of which...
Eclectic Light Co. said:
What to do when a macOS update goes wrong (Catalina edition)
It happens: just when you think it’s safe to update macOS, it turns round and bites you on the bum. Instead of getting the latest, fixed and sweet-running version, Software Update dumps its ghost on you, and macOS is staggering along looking like it’s half dead. So what do you do next? ...
#applequality #catalina
 


Magic? Nah. Rack-mount Mac Pro will slide right under, sucking those dust-bunnies right into its filter. Wait. There's no filter.
Under a bed? In many cases, probably not. Apple hasn't published the tech specs of the rack version on their web pages yet, but some information leaked out of the FCC filing.
Malcolm Owen said:
Apple gets FCC approval for Mac Pro tower, and rack-mount version
One detail from the filing is that the unit measures 8.58 inches thick. In terms of a typical 19-inch-wide server cabinet, this means the rackable Mac Pro takes up 4.9U of space at 1.75 inches per "U", equating to a 5U enclosure.
I can't seem to find the width of the tower version in the docs. The rack version appears taller/wider than the tower version. It is at least 5U size. This is not near the 1U form factor that Apple's XServe was.
 



FYI:
Apple said:
I guess Santa's elves stopped by to help out Apple's support website around the 25th, because the rack version is on their website now (it wasn't in the days leading up to Christmas).
Apple said:
Rack:
21.24" x 18.98" x 8.67" 5U
Why they are putting a wireless keyboard and a mouse in the box with the rack version is a bit puzzling.... (The USB to Lightning cable is along for the ride at that point, since you have to charge them. )
 


Why they are putting a wireless keyboard and a mouse in the box with the rack version is a bit puzzling.
Agreed. I don't know what market Apple has in mind, but all of the labs where I've worked with rack-mount computers (racks of PC servers running Linux, typically), they operate headless 99% of the time. We liked to have front-panel connectivity consisting of two USB type-A ports and a VGA-type video-out. Nobody was expected to get work done over this interface, but you could quickly attach a console to it when you need to do something where remote access isn't sufficient (e.g. reinstalling the OS). We'd put a simple 17" display, a USB keyboard and mouse on each rack, with the wires hanging out the front, so they could quickly be plugged into a computer as needed.

With the Mac Pro, there are only a few Thunderbolt ports on the front. You can attach keyboard, mouse and monitor to them, but only via a docking station, which is a rather pricey thing to include in a rack for occasional use.

But Apple probably isn't targeting IT departments and server clusters. If you consider the rack mount unit for live music and video production - where you'll have a mobile rack containing a computer, A/V processors, an amplifier and power management - then Apple's configuration starts to make sense, including the wireless keyboard and mouse.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Rob Art Morgan solicited funds to buy a 2019 Mac Pro (and, no, I am not looking for that here!) and did some interesting performance tests comparing the classic Mac Pro to the new one:
BareFeats said:
https://barefeats.com/mac-pro-2019-versus-2010-adobe.html
The 2019 Mac Pro 12-Core runs Adobe Pro Apps 31% to 66% faster than the 2010 Mac Pro 12-Core with a fast AMD GPU.
BareFeats said:
https://barefeats.com/mac-pro-2019-versus-2010.html
We purposely chose the 2010 Mac Pro with a 12-Core processor running at essentially the same base frequency as the 2019 Mac Pro 12-Core tower. Would the new tower 'smoke' the old tower? Umm YES -- at least in the tests we featured here.

In terms of GPU, the 2010 was outmatched even though most apps only used one of the dual Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs in the "Duo" MPX module. But we gave it our best shot by installing a Radeon VII in the 2010 Mac Pro.

By the way, we installed the Radeon VII inside the 2019 Mac Pro just to see if it could be done easily and how its performance inside the new Mac Pro compared to a single Radeon Pro Vega II. The Radeon VII had the edge in two out of three tests -- which reinforced our choice to use it in the 2010 Mac Pro.

The 2010 Mac Pro 'tower of power' is not dead but is certainly out-classed in this round of testing.
 


Snazzy Labs tries out a bunch of expansion cards (mostly PCIe) in a 2019 Mac Pro to find that some work great, some need adapters and some only work in Windows.
YouTube said:
One disturbing discovery is that a Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD (attached via an M.2-PCIe adapter card) significantly outperformed Apple's built-in (T2-based) SSD, costs a lot less, and isn't cryptographically tied to the motherboard. That's really shameful, given the price Apple is charging for this system.

Given the fact that the PCIe-attached SSD is bootable, it sounds like the most economical solution here is to buy the Mac Pro with the minimum 256GB SSD, add a few terabytes via PCIe, and pretend that Apple's SSD doesn't exist at all.
 


Given the fact that the PCIe-attached SSD is bootable, it sounds like the most economical solution here is to buy the Mac Pro with the minimum 256GB SSD, add a few terabytes via PCIe, and pretend that Apple's SSD doesn't exist at all.
I was the one who had sent Ric the data on the Sonnet M.2 4×4 PCIe card after he had posted the details for the Pegasus, OWC and other similar solutions. Had been waiting around for the test website to be moved to live so I could link back to it for discussion to make that exact point. The folks at 9to5Mac made a video showing what you described got around 7000 MB/s read and write speeds with the Sonnet card.
YouTube said:
 


... With the Mac Pro, there are only a few Thunderbolt ports on the front. You can attach keyboard, mouse and monitor to them, but only via a docking station, which is a rather pricey thing to include in a rack for occasional use.
If you put them on a cart that you use for a whole row of racked Macs, it wouldn't be that much (even less so when priced relative to a wall of Macs). You don't need a docking station, though (unless looking for a one-cable solution). A simple USB hub and a type-C DisplayPort cable would work fine. Those Thunderbolt ports are USB ports also.
But Apple probably isn't targeting IT departments and server clusters. If you consider the rack mount unit for live music and video production - where you'll have a mobile rack containing a computer, A/V processors, an amplifier and power management - then Apple's configuration starts to make sense, including the wireless keyboard and mouse.
If that was going to be 90+% of sales, it would make some sense. I doubt it will be that high. (At places like macstadium, in-house software build farms, etc., there will probably be a healthy amount sold as 'back end' servers.)

Not only are the keyboards wireless, but Apple's keyboards (unless changed) have a one-to-one mapping. It would make more sense if the keyboard and mouse were both optional for the rack version. They could have used the cost reduction there to swap for costs for the case and rails and kept the price closer to the tower unit's. The folks who needed a keyboard/mouse would buy them. Even in the 'tower' space, there are a number of folks, even in the A/V space, who have specialized keyboards just for that workload.

I think Apple is trying to bump the volume [of keyboards/mice] sold (since it's a new color scheme) and keep their unit costs lower and the Q/A check-out and box-fill processes a bit more unified. That and scrambling to more "value" in the box to rationalize the Mac Pro prices... I suspect that many of these keyboards and mice will find a home working with some other Mac/Apple system besides a Mac Pro.
 


... One disturbing discovery is that a Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD (attached via an M.2-PCIe adapter card) significantly outperformed Apple's built-in (T2-based) SSD, costs a lot less, and isn't cryptographically tied to the motherboard. That's really shameful, given the price Apple is charging for this system.
The Samsung 970 Pro SSD is closer to Apple's pricing, in part because it uses MLC instead of TLC NAND chips (2 bits versus 3 bits per cell). This could be one of the contexts where Apple's "don't add the specs detail to the product info" may be too much dogma. Because the T2 drives are not as easy to replace, Apple should be using tech that should/could last longer. If they are, then it is closer to a reasonable trade-off value proposition.

If the T2's SSD implementation has the same endurance as the Samsung EVO drives, then, yes, they have a value proposition problem. The core problem with the Macs is that Apple is pretty silent on this (and the teardowns to chip level details on the Mac Pro haven't filled in the gaps).

The T2 is likely sitting on x4 PCIe lanes on the PCH controller. If looking for ultimate SSD speed, that isn't where you'd want to put an SSD in the Mac Pro...
Given the fact that the PCIe-attached SSD is bootable, it sounds like the most economical solution here is to buy the Mac Pro with the minimum 256GB SSD, add a few terabytes via PCIe, and pretend that Apple's SSD doesn't exist at all.
The quip in the video about removing the T2's NAND data blade module(s) and "it will work fine" I don't think is true. (This disrupts the boot process per some other reports.) Nor is it pragmatically a good idea, even if it was true – treat it more as a big "recovery drive." There still should be a 'maintenance" macOS there, if something goes deeply sideways with the Mac. If one ever needed to do a deep reset of the system, it would fall back to the default security settings. At that point, you need a macOS (and associated Apple recovery) volume there on the T2.

The T2 drive is extremely unlikely to fail if it is not used the vast majority of the time – "powered up and not used" isn't going to cause any substantive wear and damage over time.
 


... With the Mac Pro, there are only a few Thunderbolt ports on the front. You can attach keyboard, mouse and monitor to them, but only via a docking station, which is a rather pricey thing to include in a rack for occasional use....
You don't hang a pricey dock. You hang a cheap USB-C hub. If you want to roll in a cheaper screen, pick a hub with an HDMI port
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's some good real-world perspective on 2019 Mac Pro performance (via George):
Vtudio Pro said:
Mac Pro (2019) extended benchmarks [YouTube]
8 hours of non-stop testing cut down to half an hour with running commentary for you all to enjoy. Gaming, Coding, Audio Production, 3D Rendering, Coil Whine, Electricity Cost, Video Editing. Throttling. Everything Tested.

PS. I actually had to export this video using my MacBook Pro as this Mac Pro really struggled with multicam Sony A7III footage: MacBook Pro destroys Mac Pro (2019) at Video Editing

Chapters
macOS Gaming - 0:21
FFmpeg CPU Encoding - 1:49
Logic Pro Audio Production - 5:02
Thermals - 8:03
Power - 13:43
Maya 3D Modelling - 15:23
Xcode iOS Dev - 16:30
Unreal Engine Game Dev - 17:35
Final Cut Pro Video Editing - 24:02
Windows - 27:45

Test Systems
2019 Mac Pro | 8 Core Xeon | 580X Graphics
2019 15" MacBook Pro | 8 Core i9 | 560X Graphics

Pros
+ Beautiful
+ Upgradeable
+ Silent
+ Makes you feel hard

Cons
- Base model performance isn't impressive
- Bit of GPU coil whine
- High running cost
#benchmarks
 


Here's some good real-world perspective on 2019 Mac Pro performance (via George):
PS. I actually had to export this video using my MacBook Pro, as this Mac Pro really struggled with multicam Sony A7III footage:
Pointing at the Xeon W CPU is missing the point – Intel's Quick Sync is nominally part of the integrated GPU's fixed function logic, so it is more a GPU issue (and how many of those GPUs Apple ships to be 'bothered' to get this to work right).

The Polaris microarchitecture in the MPX 580X has fixed function H.264 logic – Apple (and/or AMD) just doesn't use it. The Vega 20 microarchitecture in the Vega II system has even more fixed function logic, and Apple (and/or AMD) uses it even less.

You'd think Apple would want to add more value to the AMD GPUs they put a high markup on to better the value proposition. I suspect Apple spent more time and effort on the relatively narrow gimmick of running video in/out of the T2 (and accessing latent iPhone video logic) than on getting the stuff that is there in these very high-priced GPUs to work.

Perhaps Intel does the vast majority of the grunt work for Apple in the Quick Sync case, and Apple just gets a free ride. (There are folks who have boot hacks for the 2009-2012 Mac Pro range to 'flip on' the support, so it is doable. It is simply a manner of attention to detail and effort.)

AMD also iterated on this in the latest GPUs: Video Core Next. There is a point about how the work is split up and who is tracking the insertion of support into the video driver stack of macOS over time.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Pointing at the Xeon W CPU is missing the point – Intel's Quick Sync is nominally part of the integrated GPU's fixed function logic, so it is more a GPU issue...
Do the Xeon W processors Apple uses in the 2019 Mac Pro have Quick Sync hardware? I couldn't find the answer (or any sign of that support) in a search at Intel's website. Are you saying that Apple's Xeons lack integrated GPUs and also lack Quick Sync support?
Intel Quick Sync Video - Wikipedia
Certain low-end and high-end parts (including multi-socket Xeons, and some Extreme Edition CPUs expected to be used with a dedicated GPU) do not contain the hardware core to support Quick Sync.
 


Lyman: can you please clarify a couple of points?
... Intel's Quick Sync is nominally part of the integrated GPU's fixed function logic ...
Wikipedia said:
Intel Quick Sync Video
Quick Sync was introduced with the Sandy Bridge CPU microarchitecture on 9 January 2011, and has been found on the die of Intel CPUs ever since.
Do all recent Macs use CPUs with Integrated Graphics Processors?
... There are folks who have boot hacks for the 2009-2012 Mac Pro range to 'flip on' the support, so it is doable.
Xeons don't have integrated graphics. Are these hacks about putting a non-Xeon Intel (with Quick Sync support) in the LGA1366 socket or about enabling support for a GPU card (e.g. Radeon Metal)?
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's some good real-world perspective on 2019 Mac Pro performance (via George):
Vtudio Pro said:
Mac Pro (2019) extended benchmarks [YouTube]
8 hours of non-stop testing cut down to half an hour with running commentary for you all to enjoy. Gaming, Coding, Audio Production, 3D Rendering, Coil Whine, Electricity Cost, Video Editing. Throttling. Everything Tested.

PS. I actually had to export this video using my MacBook Pro as this Mac Pro really struggled with multicam Sony A7III footage: MacBook Pro destroys Mac Pro (2019) at Video Editing
It looks like this (unsurprisingly) translates to gaming, as well, for Apple's $6000 Mac Pro with its cheap graphics card.
Snazzy Labs said:
Can You Game on a $6,000 Mac Pro?? [YouTube]
The stock Radeon Pro 580X in the 2019/2020 Mac Pro is disappointing to say the least. It’s a budget card from 2017 dressed up in a sleek new MPX format to save face and it falls short; not just for gaming but for compute as well. So what GPUs can help accomplish those tasks better. What about a new generation NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super or last-gen NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti? Apple blocked NVIDIA’s Mac web drivers in Mojave so only older Macs can use their GPUs in macOS. But will it work in Windows via Boot Camp or virtualization in Parallels or VMWare? Maybe we should try out an AMD 5700XT GPU which has killer performance for the price and is compatible with macOS?
I wonder how fast (slow) things are when you add a Pro Display XDR to the mix....

#GPU #performance #nvidia #radeon
 


Here's some good real-world perspective on 2019 Mac Pro performance (via George):
8 hours of non-stop testing cut down to half an hour with running commentary for you all to enjoy. Gaming, Coding, Audio Production, 3D Rendering, Coil Whine, Electricity Cost, Video Editing. Throttling. Everything Tested.
PS. I actually had to export this video using my MacBook Pro as this Mac Pro really struggled with multicam Sony A7III footage: MacBook Pro destroys Mac Pro (2019) at Video Editing
This video appears to be using Final Cut Pro for its testing. A few comments on that YouTube video are saying that other software (like Davinci Resolve) makes full use of the GPU, with or without Quick Sync, and does not show these problems.

It still looks bad for Apple, but it's important to know where the problem really lies - in the hardware, the OS or the application, because that's the group that needs to fix it.
 


Lyman: can you please clarify a couple of points?
Do all recent Macs use CPUs with Integrated Graphics Processors?
First, technically, the integrated GPUs are not part of the "code name of the year" CPU microarchitecture. Intel has iterated the GPU at a different cadence than the CPU, even before they got "stuck" on 14nm. They share the same chip die, so the CPU's code name tends to get used as a general reference for the whole thing, but the GPU is itself a distinct architecture. Quick Sync was introduced into the GPU, not the CPU.

There is some history and some diagrams here for the Skylake updates:
AnandTech said:
All recent Mac Pros don't have integrated GPUs. Not even older ones, and not the Xeon W in the current Mac Pro and iMac Pro. Not the Xeon E5 in the Mac Pro 2013. Not the Xeon-class processors used on the 2006-2012 Mac Pro. This isn't really a "new thing" – there were 2014-2015 era MacBook Pros that passed Mac Pros on H.264 jobs.

The bulk of Macs do have an integrated Intel GPU (and hence Quick Sync). In terms of numbers sold over the last 10 years, it is quite a large fraction.
Xeons don't have integrated graphics.
"Xeon" covers a pretty broad range of products. Xeon E3 are variants of Intel's mainstream desktop / laptop line-up and generally do have an iGPU. (Some may have it fused off, but it is there.) In the context of Xeons that Apple has used (and is likely to use in the future), yes, Xeon E5/W do not have iGPUs.
Are these hacks about putting a non-Xeon Intel (with Quick Sync support) in the LGA1366 socket or about enabling support for a GPU card (e.g. Radeon Metal)?
They are about enabling use of the functionality in the AMD GPUs. All the major GPU vendors have had media encode/decode capabilities in their GPUs over the last several years. The basic functionality that Quick Sync represents is not 'rare'. AMD, Nvidia, Imagination Tech (and Apple), Qualcomm, ARM all have coverage of the basic media codecs. The only ones that Apple seems to initialize and set up well are the Intel one and their own. Those two are in the most products, so there is large bang for the buck of doing it. However, they just need to put the right driver "glue" between the hardware and the media-decode library stack that Apple provides and link it in (and adjust for the inevitable quirks in codec coverage and parameter settings). They just don't do it.

The "hack" involves some EFI boot-time initialization before macOS gets going and some driver code that serves as the bridge "glue" to the activated hardware. For a $300-800 card and relatively low volume, perhaps that falls through the cracks. But for $2.5-5K card there is decent of amount of money there to fill in the cracks, even if it is relatively low volume.
 


Sadly, I have a client who had asked me if he should get a 2019 Mac Pro for playing Candy Crush (I am not kidding). I told him to buy a new iPad Pro. It's cheaper. And with the leftover cash, he can buy lots of in-game upgrades!

Although I expected someone to post/blog about using a 2019 Mac Pro for gaming, I was not disappointed in their perception / results. If you want to seriously game, you get a custom rig. And you can get a pretty fast PC with watercooling, 27" G-sync/Freesync, low-millisecond-refresh display and top-of-the-line GPU(s) and still have money left over.
 


It looks like this (unsurprisingly) translates to gaming, as well, for Apple's $6000 Mac Pro with its cheap graphics card.
I wonder how fast (slow) things are when you add a Pro Display XDR to the mix....
Vtiudio Pro did another video not long after (with many comments on the original one mentioning, for the type of work being done, the 580x not being a good match) with a 3rd-party Vega 64 added (for $500 AUD I believe) and ran many of the tests again and found many things doubled in performance, some things more like 15% - but they could also be CPU bound he speculated. I noted he also ran all of the tests with the original 580x still in as the primary GPU and the Vega64 as the secondary - he should run them all again with only the Vega64 to see if any of the apps improve performance (some apps aren't built to use anything but the primary GPU).

He had a similar issue in the original video when he was running things on a MacBook Pro with eGPU and wasn't seeing an improvement with some apps - especially games - he didn't have a screen connected to the eGPU, was only using the internal screen.

Here is his video with a Vega 64 added:
 


It looks like this (unsurprisingly) translates to gaming, as well, for Apple's $6000 Mac Pro with its cheap graphics card.
The base entry configuration of the Mac Pro isn't the largest segment the overall product is targeted at – for those Apple intends to sell the bulk of the Mac Pros to that configuration is a mismatch. There are several audio-focused solution spaces where the 580X is overkill (complete opposite of this gaming context). Should they pay more for a gaming card? Probably overkill for rack-mounted, software continuous integration workflow units, too, in most cases.

The "do work during the day and game at night" crowd will probably either buy a gaming card and put it in, or start off with the W5700X (when it arrives in some month(s) in the future). So perhaps +$800 for the W5700X card and $400 for 1TB SSD, and that would be the starting point for a high percentage of that submarket. If the day time work is 'paying for' the hardware, then it won't be a huge impediment.
Snazzy Labs said:
Can You Game on a $6,000 Mac Pro?? [YouTube]
Apple blocked NVIDIA’s Mac web drivers in Mojave so only older Macs can use their GPUs in macOS.
This meme of Apple blocking the web drivers I don't think actually captures the truth. Apple didn't sign the drivers. Typically when Apple doesn't sign something, it is because the developer did something outside the guidelines that Apple has set up – either explicitly broke one of the guidelines or tip-toed over the line where there is a usually a clear intent. The notion that Nvidia was innocently out selling girl scout cookies when Apple suddenly ran them over with the bus is probably more what Nvidia would like to propagate than what was really going on. Nvidia and Apple probably both have contributions as to why there are no Nvidia GPU cards in current systems....
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's Apple's 2019 Mac Pro rack mount manual:
Apple Support said:
Install Mac Pro into a rack
Mac Pro and the rail assemblies can be installed into any of the three industry standard rack types. The rails come assembled to fit into square holes, but if you remove the outer nut, the rails fit into round hole racks. To install into a threaded rack, remove the screws from the rails, then replace the screws to secure the rails to the rack. This requires a standard 3mm (1/8-inch) hex wrench and a 6mm (1/4-inch) wrench.
 


Here's Apple's 2019 Mac Pro rack mount manual:
Installing RAM means pulling this rack version completely out of the rack and standing it vertical. (I don't think they mean for this to be some hard-core, large data center favorite. It is more a workstation that is horizontally mounted in a rack.) There is a bottom cover and a top cover with different latches. The top can come off with it still on the rails. The top cover seems to have a similar power cut-off when the cover is removed as the tower has for its wrap-around case.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
As someone who's been Hackintoshing for many years, I find the comparisons of Hackintoshes to the Mac Pro silly. While the current state of the art in Hackintoshing is better than ever, it still takes a knowledgeable enthusiast to bring one up from scratch, and, more importantly, to maintain it. Getting that final 10% working perfectly: Continuity, Messages, etc. – is best reserved for people who consider spending hours or days on such tasks to be fun. And system software upgrades will always be something to approach with fear and redundant backups.
And here's another wonderful video from Quinn Nelson that really drives your point home (thanks to TKS Ose for sending me the link).
YouTube said:
Make a Mac Pro for Under $2,000!
Snazzy Labs shows the latest all-AMD Corsair Vengeance 6182 Gaming PC running macOS Catalina using OpenCore.
OpenCore looks interesting.

#hackintosh #OpenCore
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a good look at the exhorbitantly priced 2019 Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, with performance and thermal test results, cost comparisons, support issues, and more from Linus Tech Tips:
YouTube said:
I'm Returning my Mac Pro
We finally got our hands on Apple’s first new proper desktop computer in over a decade – And their most expensive computer EVER. Could it possibly justify its price tag?
Among other revelations, the Pro Display XDR's USB-C ports are super-slow USB 2 (with not enough bandwidth for USB 3 after sucking out all the data from Thunderbolt 3 needed to drive a 6K display). Wow.

And another: The $2,000.00 Afterburner card only decodes ProRes; it can't encode it.

#benchmarks #performance
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Linus Tech Tips has another really good 2019 Mac Pro video, this time showing disassembly of the processor/cooling subsystem and replacement of the stock CPU, as well as a simple 1.5TB RAM upgrade and installation of the Promise hard drive system (plus a non-Apple graphics card).

Apple's outrageous upgrade prices are compared with market prices for CPU and RAM, while you can see a lot of really nice design and accessibility details in this new tower Mac.
YouTube said:
Don't give Apple your MONEY - Mac Pro Upgrade Adventure
The Mac Pro is an EXPENSIVE computer, but you don’t have to pay the Apple Tax to get the power you need – Follow along with us and save some money by upgrading it yourself!
 


Linus Tech Tips has another really good 2019 Mac Pro video, this time showing disassembly of the processor/cooling subsystem and replacement of the stock CPU, as well as a simple 1.5TB RAM upgrade and installation of the Promise hard drive system (plus a non-Apple graphics card).
I find it interesting (from comments on the Linus Tech Tips video and iFixit's teardown) that the way to reach the CPU heat-sink screws from the front requires a long-reach T15 Torx screwdriver - much like the 16" T15 I keep on-hand for when I need to open my old Mac SE.

Apple seems to have a love for long Torx screwdrivers going all the way back to the very first Macintoshes.
 


A colleague told me that some "foley" pro studio just got 25 of these [2019 Mac Pros]. So someone is buying them (hook, line and sinker).

As far as T15 tool, I still have mine and the Mac SE case cracker!
And I have a long one for removing heat sinks from Mac Pro cheesegrater cases. And a CRT discharge tool (that friends think is a turkey temp probe! :-)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Linus Tech Tips has another really good 2019 Mac Pro video, this time showing disassembly of the processor/cooling subsystem and replacement of the stock CPU, as well as a simple 1.5TB RAM upgrade and installation of the Promise hard drive system (plus a non-Apple graphics card).
Here's a follow-up from Linus Tech Tips with interesting benchmarks of the 2019 Mac Pro with various CPUs vs. AMD-based systems, discussion of Mac Pro configuration options (and costs), graphic cards (and Display Stream Compression), and quite a bit more.
YouTube said:
Apple should have gone AMD
We reviewed Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro and came to the conclusion that it’s a machine that’s not for you. But if it IS for you, which one do you buy? Or do you buy one at all?
 


Here's a follow-up from Linus Tech Tips with interesting benchmarks of the 2019 Mac Pro with various CPUs vs. AMD-based systems, discussion of Mac Pro configuration options (and costs), graphic cards (and Display Stream Compression), and quite a bit more.
The [2019] Mac Pro is a great machine that came several years too late. As a result, it is somewhat obsolete before even being released.

AMD motherboards / CPUs that you can buy in the store now offer more PCIe lanes at twice the throughput of the current Intel architecture (PCIe 4 vs. 3). Intel has to showcase its PCIe 4 Optane drives on AMD motherboards! Granted, not everyone will need this sort of throughput, but a "halo" machine shouldn't be obsolete from the day it was released.

On top of that, the now petty dispute with Nvidia ensures that the Apple universe loses access to some of the best GPUs out there. Are Apple users really supposed to pay 2x for a graphics card that is slower than the Nvidia equivalent just because it comes in a pretty black aluminum can that integrates nicely into the Mac Pro?

What Linus mentions in the weeds (small yellow type at bottom of video) is interesting also, though. Threadripper and Ryzen are allegedly limited to 256 GB of RAM while EPYC processors make it to 2 TB. For most users, a 256GB RAM limit is not really a limitation, but high-end 8K retouchers presumably need that kind of capacity. Plus, only the $$$ 24 and 28-core [Mac Pro] CPUs can address up to 1.5 TB of RAM; the rest of the Mac Pro CPU lineup is limited to 768GB.

EPYC motherboards are also available with two CPU sockets, while Apple has limited itself to just one by virtue of the Xeon series it opted for.

Yes, AMD has heat removal issues compared to Intel, etc., but for anyone who needs to buy cost-effective big iron, the current Apple Mac Pro platform is simply not competitive. It looks pretty, though!
 


The [2019] Mac Pro is a great machine that came several years too late. As a result, it is somewhat obsolete before even being released.
AMD motherboards / CPUs that you can buy in the store now offer more PCIe lanes at twice the throughput of the current Intel architecture (PCIe 4 vs. 3). Intel has to showcase its PCIe 4 Optane drives on AMD motherboards! Granted, not everyone will need this sort of throughput, but a "halo" machine shouldn't be obsolete from the day it was released.

On top of that, the now petty dispute with Nvidia ensures that the Apple universe loses access to some of the best GPUs out there. Are Apple users really supposed to pay 2x for a graphics card that is slower than the Nvidia equivalent just because it comes in a pretty black aluminum can that integrates nicely into the Mac Pro?

What Linus mentions in the weeds (small yellow type at bottom of video) is interesting also, though. Threadripper and Ryzen are allegedly limited to 256 GB of RAM while EPYC processors make it to 2 TB. For most users, a 256GB RAM limit is not really a limitation, but high-end 8K retouchers presumably need that kind of capacity. Plus, only the $$$ 24 and 28-core [Mac Pro] CPUs can address up to 1.5 TB of RAM; the rest of the Mac Pro CPU lineup is limited to 768GB.

EPYC motherboards are also available with two CPU sockets, while Apple has limited itself to just one by virtue of the Xeon series it opted for.

Yes, AMD has heat removal issues compared to Intel, etc., but for anyone who needs to buy cost-effective big iron, the current Apple Mac Pro platform is simply not competitive. It looks pretty, though!
That AMD EPYC 64-core... 4TB memory limit, but it is a server CPU. Still... I imagine in 2 years, its price will be less than half. If cost is no option, you can save vs Intel.
TweakTown said:
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's another very good video from Linus Sebastian, looking at the pros and cons of Apple's new rackmount Mac Pro and the one type of customer it suits (vs. others it doesn't).
Linus Tech Tips said:
An EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE Mac Pro... The Rackmount Edition [YouTube]
Could this be Apple's triumphant return to the data center? No, that that's not happening. Apple is 100% laser-focused on building cloud services that actually don't even run on their own hardware, and nothing about this machine changes that... The 2019 Mac Pro is excellent for those of you who didn't know some of the tools for professional audio work, like Logic, are exclusive to macOS and macOS's low-latency handling of audio is absolutely legendary – it leaves Windows completely in the dust.
 


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