The 2019 Mac Pro
|CPU||Intel Xeon-W Cascade Lake (current release)|
|Predecessor||Power Mac G5, XServe|
|Related articles||iMac, Mac Mini, iMac Pro|
The Mac Pro is a series of workstations and servers designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Inc. since 2006. The Mac Pro, in most configurations and in terms of speed and performance, is the most powerful computer that Apple offers. It is one of four desktop computers in the current Macintosh lineup, sitting above the consumer range Mac Mini and iMac, and serves as an easily-expandable alternative to the iMac Pro.
The first generation Mac Pro was announced in August 2006. It has a rectangular tower case carried over from the Power Mac G5, and has similar expansion capabilities. It offered two Dual-core Xeon Woodcrest processors. It was replaced by a dual Quad-core Xeon Clovertown model on April 4, 2007, and again on January 8, 2008 by a dual Quad-core Xeon Harpertown model. The 2010 and 2012 revisions featured Nehalem/Westmere architecture Intel Xeon processors.
The second generation Mac Pro was announced in June 2013. Apple states that it achieves twice the overall performance of the previous model. It has a new cylindrical design and takes up less than one-eighth the volume of the previous model. It features up to a 12-core Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D series GPUs, and PCIe-based flash storage. There is updated wireless communication and support for six Thunderbolt displays through the Thunderbolt 2 ports, and an HDMI port. Reviews initially were generally positive, with caveats. Due to limitations caused by the cylindrical design, Apple was unable to upgrade the second generation Mac Pro with more powerful hardware.
The third generation Mac Pro was announced in June 2019. It returns to a tower form factor reminiscent of the first generation 2006-2012 model, but with larger and more noticeable air cooling holes. It features up to a 28-core Xeon-W processor, eight PCIe slots, AMD Radeon Pro Vega GPUs, and replaces most data ports with USB-C.
- 1 1st generation (Tower)
- 2 2nd generation (Cylindrical)
- 3 3rd generation (Tower and USB-C)
- 4 Supported macOS releases
- 5 Mac Pro Server
- 6 References
- 7 External links
1st generation (Tower)
Apple stated that an Intel-based replacement for the 2003's PowerPC-based Power Mac G5 machines had been expected for some time before the Mac Pro was formally announced on August 7, 2006 at the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).[verification needed] The iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook, and MacBook Pro had moved to an Intel-based architecture starting in January 2006, leaving the Power Mac G5 as the only machine in the Mac lineup still based on the PowerPC processor architecture Apple had used since 1993. Apple had dropped the term "Power" from the other machines in their lineup, and started using "Pro" on their higher-end laptop offerings. As such, the name "Mac Pro" was widely used before the machine was announced. The Mac Pro is in the Unix workstation market. Although the high-end technical market has not traditionally been an area of strength for Apple, the company has been positioning itself as a leader in non-linear digital editing for high-definition video, which demands storage and memory far in excess of a general desktop machine. Additionally, the codecs used in these applications are generally processor intensive and highly threadable, which Apple's ProRes white paper describes as scaling almost linearly with additional processor cores. Apple's previous machine aimed at this market, the Power Mac G5, has up to two dual-core processors (marketed as "Quad-Core"), but lacks the storage expansion capabilities of the newer design.
Original marketing materials for the Mac Pro generally referred to the middle-of-the-line model with 2 × dual-core 2.66 GHz processors. Previously, Apple featured the base model with the words "starting at" or "from" when describing the pricing, but the online US Apple Store listed the "Mac Pro at $2499", the price for the mid-range model. The system could be configured at US$2299, much more comparable with the former base-model dual-core G5 at US$1999, although offering considerably more processing power. Post revision, the default configurations for the Mac Pro includes one quad-core Xeon 3500 at 2.66 GHz or two quad-core Xeon 5500s at 2.26 GHz each. Like its predecessor, the Power Mac G5, the pre-2013 Mac Pro was Apple's only desktop with standard expansion slots for graphics adapters and other expansion cards.
Apple received criticism after an incremental upgrade to the Mac Pro line following the 2012 WWDC. The line received more default memory and increased processor speed but still used Intel's older Westmere-EP processors instead of the newer E5 series. The line also lacked then-current technologies like SATA III, USB 3, and Thunderbolt, the last of which had been added to every other Macintosh at that point. An email from Apple CEO Tim Cook promised a more significant update to the line in 2013. Apple stopped shipping the first-generation Mac Pro in Europe on March 1, 2013 after an amendment to a safety regulation left the professional Mac non-compliant. The last day to order was February 18, 2013. The first generation Mac Pro was removed from Apple's online store following unveiling of the redesigned second generation Mac Pro at a media event on October 22, 2013.
All Mac Pro systems were available with one or two central processing units (CPU) with options giving two, four, six, eight, or twelve cores. As an example, the eight core standard configuration Mac Pro 2010 uses two Quad core Intel E5620 Xeon CPUs at 2.4 GHz, but could be configured with two Hexa Core Intel Xeon X5670 CPUs at 2.93 GHz. The 2006-2008 models use the LGA 771 socket, while the Early 2009 and later use the LGA 1366 socket, meaning either can be removed and replaced with compatible 64-bit Intel Xeon CPUs. A 64-bit EFI firmware was not introduced until the MacPro3,1, earlier models can only operate as 32-bit despite having 64-bit Xeon processors, however this only applies to the EFI side of the System, as the Mac boots everything else in BIOS Compatibility mode, and operating systems can take advantage of full 64 bit support. The newer LGA 1366 sockets utilize Intel's QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) integrated into the CPU in lieu of an independent system bus; this means the "bus" frequency is relative to the CPU chipset, and upgrading a CPU is not bottlenecked by the computer's existing architecture.
The original Mac Pro's main memory uses 667 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMMs; the early 2008 model uses 800 MHz ECC DDR2 FB-DIMMS, the 2009 and onward Mac Pro use 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC DIMMs for the standard models, and 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC DIMMs for systems configured with 2.66 GHz or faster CPUs. In the original and 2008 models, these modules are installed in pairs, one each on two riser cards. The cards have 4 DIMM slots each, allowing a total of 32 GB of memory (8 × 4 GB) to be installed. Notably, due to its FB-DIMM architecture, installing more RAM in the Mac Pro will improve its memory bandwidth, but may also increase its memory latency. With a simple installation of a single FB-DIMM, the peak bandwidth is 8 GB/s, but this can increase to 16 GB/s by installing two FB-DIMMs, one on each of the two buses, which is the default configuration from Apple. While electrically the FB-DIMMs are standard, for pre-2009 Mac Pro models Apple specifies larger-than-normal heatsinks on the memory modules. Problems have been reported by users who have used third party RAM with normal size FB-DIMM heatsinks. (see notes below). 2009 and later Mac Pro computers do not require memory modules with heatsinks.
The Mac Pro had room for four internal 3.5" SATA-300 hard drives in four internal "bays". The hard drives were mounted on individual trays (also known as "sleds") by captive screws. A set of four drive trays was supplied with each machine. Adding hard drives to the system did not require cables to be attached as the drive was connected to the system simply by being inserted into the corresponding drive slot. A case lock on the back of the system locked the disks trays into their positions. The Mac Pro also supported Serial ATA solid-state drives (SSD) in the 4 hard drive bays via an SSD-to-hard drive sled adapter (mid-2010 models and later), and by third-party solutions for earlier models (e.g., by an adapter/bracket which plugged into an unused PCIe slot). Various 2.5-inch SSD drive capacities and configurations were available as options. The Mac Pro was also available with an optional hardware RAID card. With the addition of a SAS controller card or SAS RAID controller card, SAS drives could be directly connected to the system's SATA ports. Two optical drive bays were provided, each with a corresponding SATA port and an Ultra ATA/100 port. The Mac Pro had one PATA port and could support two PATA devices in the optical drive bays. It had a total of six SATA ports – four were connected to the system's drive bays, and two were not connected. The extra SATA ports could be put into service through the use of after-market extender cables to connect internal optical drives, or to provide eSATA ports with the use of an eSATA bulkhead connector. However, the two extra SATA ports were unsupported and disabled under Boot Camp. A built-to-order Mac Pro could be configured with up to 8 TB of storage (4 × 2 TB disks) or 2 TB (4 × 512 GB SSD).
|Early 2008||Early 2009,|
|Slot 4||PCIe Gen. 1.14×||PCIe Gen. 24×|
|Slot 2||16× PCIe Gen. 2||16× PCIe Gen. 2|
(2 slots wide)
The 2008 model had two PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 expansion slots and two PCI Express 1.1 slots, providing them with up to 300 W of power in total. The first slot was double wide and intended to hold the main video card, arranged with an empty area the width of a normal card beside it to leave room for the large coolers modern cards often use. In most machines, one slot would be blocked by the cooler. Instead of the tiny screws typically used to fasten the cards to the case, in the Mac Pro a single "bar" held the cards in place, which is itself held in place by two "captive" thumbscrews that can be loosened by hand without tools and will not fall out of the case.
On the original Mac Pro introduced in August 2006, the PCIe slots can be configured individually to give more bandwidth to devices that require it, with a total of 40 "lanes", or 13 GB/s total throughput. When running Mac OS X, the Mac Pro did not support SLI or ATI CrossFire, limiting its ability to use the latest "high-end gaming" video card products; however, individuals have reported success with both CrossFire and SLI installations when running Windows XP, as SLI and CrossFire compatibility is largely a function of software.
The bandwidth allocation of the PCIe slots can be configured via the Expansion Slot Utility included with Mac OS X only on the August 2006 Mac Pro. The Early-2008 and later Mac Pros had PCIe slots hardwired as in the accompanying table.
For external connectivity, the Mac Pro included five USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire 400 and two FireWire 800 (Late 2006 until Early 2008), respectively four FireWire 800 (Early 2009 until Mid 2012) ports. Networking was supported with two built-in Gigabit Ethernet ports. 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support (AirPort Extreme) required an optional module in the Mid 2006, Early 2008 and Early 2009 models, whereas in the 2010 model and later Wi-Fi was standard. Bluetooth also required an optional module in the Mid 2006 model, but was standard in the Early 2008 and newer models. Displays were supported by one or (optionally) more PCIe graphics cards. More recent cards featured two Mini DisplayPort connectors and one dual-link Digital Visual Interface (DVI) port, with various configurations of on-card graphics memory available. Digital (TOSlink optical) audio and analog 3.5 mm stereo mini jacks for sound in and out were included, the latter becoming available on both the front and back of the case. Unlike other Mac computers, the Mac Pro did not include an infrared receiver (required to use the Apple Remote). In Mac OS X Leopard, Front Row could be accessed on the Mac Pro (and other Macs) using the Command (⌘)-Escape keystroke.
From 2006 through 2012, the exterior of the Mac Pro's aluminum case was very similar to that of the Power Mac G5, with the exception of an additional optical drive bay, a new arrangement of I/O ports on both the front and the back, and one less exhaust vent on the back. The case could be opened by operating a single lever on the back, which unlocked one of the two sides of the machine, as well as the drive bays. All of the expansion slots for memory, PCIe cards and drives could be accessed with the side panel removed and no tools were required for installation. The Mac Pro's Xeon processors generated much less heat than the previous dual-core G5s, so the size of the internal cooling devices were reduced significantly. This allowed the interior to be re-arranged, leaving more room at the top of the case and doubling the number of internal drive bays. This also allowed the elimination of the large clear plastic air deflector used as part of the cooling system in the Power Mac G5. Less heat also meant less air to move out of the case for cooling during normal operations; the Mac Pro was very quiet in normal operation, quieter than the much noisier Power Mac G5, and proved difficult to measure using common sound pressure level meters. The handle on and cooling air intake configuration of the front of the case has caused Macintosh enthusiasts to refer to the 1st generation as the "cheese grater" Mac Pro.
- Mac OS X 10.4.7 and later
- Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 32-bit & 64-bit (hardware drivers are included in Boot Camp)
- Other x86 operating systems such as Linux x86, Solaris, and BSD
This is made possible by the presence of an x86 Intel architecture as provided by the CPU and the BIOS emulation which Apple has provided on top of EFI. Installing any additional operating system other than Windows is not supported directly by Apple. Though Apple's Boot Camp drivers are only for Windows, it is often possible to achieve full or nearly full compatibility with another OS by using third-party drivers.
|Model||Mid 2006||Early 2008||Early 2009||Mid 2010||Mid 2012|
|Component||Intel Xeon (Woodcrest and Harpertown)||Intel Xeon (Nehalem and Bloomfield)||Intel Xeon (Westmere)|
|Release date||August 7, 2006 
April 4, 2007 Optional 3.0 GHz Quad-core Xeon "Clovertown"
|January 8, 2008 ||March 3, 2009 
December 4, 2009 Optional 3.33 GHz Quad-core Xeon "Bloomfield"
|July 27, 2010 ||June 11, 2012|
|Model numbers||MA356*/A||MA970*/A||MB871*/A MB535*/A||MC560*/A MC250*/A MC561*/A||MD770*/A MD771*/A MD772*/A|
MacPro2,1 Optional 3.0 GHz Quad-core Xeon "Clovertown"
|Chipset||Intel 5000X||Intel 5400||Intel X58 for single CPU systems, Intel 5520 for dual CPU systems|
|Processor||Two 2.66 GHz (5150) Dual-core Intel Xeon "Woodcrest"
Optional 2.0 GHz (5130), 2.66 GHz or 3.0 GHz (5160) Dual-core or 3.0 GHz (X5365) Quad-core Intel Xeon "Clovertown"
|Two 2.8 GHz (E5462) Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Harpertown"
Optional two 3.0 GHz (E5472) or 3.2 GHz (X5482) Quad-core processors or one 2.8 GHz (E5462) Quad-core processor
|One 2.66 GHz (W3520) Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Bloomfield" or two 2.26 GHz (E5520) Quad-core Intel Xeon "Gainestown" with 8 MB of L3 cache
Optional 2.93 GHz (W3540) or 3.33 GHz (W3580) Intel Xeon Quad-core Intel Xeon "Bloomfield" processors or two 2.66 GHz (X5550) or 2.93 GHz (X5570) Quad-core Intel Xeon "Gainestown" processors
|One 2.8 GHz Quad-Core "Bloomfield" Intel Xeon (W3530) processor with 8 MB of L3 cache or two 2.4 GHz Quad-Core "Gulftown" Intel Xeon (E5620) processors with 12 MB of L3 cache or two 2.66 GHz 6-core "Gulftown" Intel Xeon (X5650) processors with 12 MB of L3 cache
Optional 3.2 GHz Quad-Core "Bloomfield" (W3565) or 3.33 GHz 6-core "Gulftown" (W3680) Intel Xeon processors or two 2.93 GHz 6-core (X5670) Intel Xeon "Gulftown" processors
|One 3.2 GHz Quad-Core "Bloomfield" Intel Xeon (W3565) processor with 8 MB of L3 cache or two 2.4 GHz 6-Core "Westmere-EP" Intel Xeon (E5645) processors with 12 MB of L3 cache|
Optional 3.33 GHz 6-Core "Gulftown" (W3680), two 2.66 GHz 6-core "Westmere-EP" (X5650), or two 3.06 GHz 6-core "Westmere-EP" (X5675) Intel Xeon processors
|System bus||1333 MHz||1600 MHz||4.8 GT/s(Quad-core models only) or 6.4 GT/s||4.8 GT/s (Quad-core models only), 5.86 GT/s(8-core models only) or 6.4 GT/s||4.8 GT/s (Quad-core models only), 5.86 GT/s(12-core models only) or 6.4 GT/s|
|Front-side bus||QuickPath Interconnect|
|Memory||1 GB (two 512 MB) of 667 MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
Expandable to 16 GB (Apple), 32 GB (Actual)
|2 GB (two 1 GB) of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
Expandable to 64 GB
|3 GB (three 1 GB) for SP quad-core or 6 GB (six 1 GB) for DP 8-core of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC DIMM
Expandable to 16 GB on Quad-core models (although expandable to 48 GB using 3rd party 3 × 16 GB DIMMs), and 32 GB in 8-core models (128 GB using 3rd party 8 × 16 GB DIMMs, OSX 10.9/Windows)
|3 GB (three 1 GB) for quad- and 6-core models or 6 GB (six 1 GB) for 8- and 12-core models of 1333 MHz ECC DDR3 SDRAM
Expandable to 48 GB on Quad-core models, and 64 GB in 8- and 12-core models (although expandable to 128 GB using 3rd party 8 × 16 GB DIMMs, OSX 10.9/Windows)
|4 GB (four 1 GB) for quad- and 6-core models or 8 GB (eight 1 GB) for 8 and 12-core models of 1333 MHz ECC DDR3 SDRAM |
Expandable to 48 GB on Quad- and 6-core models, and 64 GB in 12-core models (although expandable to 128 GB using 3rd party 8×16 GB DIMMs, OSX 10.9/Windows)
Expandable to four graphics cards
|nVidia GeForce 7300 GT with 256 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM (two dual-link DVI ports)
Optional ATI Radeon X1900 XT with 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM (two dual-link DVI ports) or nVidia Quadro FX 4500 with 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM (stereo 3D and two dual-link DVI ports)
|ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM (two dual-link DVI ports)
Optional nVidia GeForce 8800 GT with 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM (two dual-link DVI ports) or nVidia Quadro FX 5600 1.5 GB (stereo 3D, two dual-link (DVI ports)
|nVidia GeForce GT 120 with 512 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM (one mini-DisplayPort and one dual-link DVI port)
Optional ATI Radeon HD 4870 with 512 MB of GDDR5 SDRAM (one Mini DisplayPort and one dual-link DVI port)
|ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory (two Mini DisplayPorts and one dual-link DVI port)|
Optional ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory (two Mini DisplayPorts and one dual-link DVI port)
|Secondary storage||250 GB with 8 MB cache
Optional 500 GB with 8 MB cache or 750 GB with 16 MB cache
|320 GB SATA with 8 MB cache
Optional 500 GB, 750 GB, or 1 TB SATA with 16 MB cache or 300 GB Serial Attached SCSI, 15,000-rpm with 16 MB cache
|640 GB with 16 MB cache
Optional 1 TB or 2 TB with 32MB cache
|1 TB SATA with 32 MB cache|
Optional 1 TB or 2 TB SATA with 32 MB cache or 256 or 512 GB Solid State Drives
|7200-rpm SATA Hard drive||7200-rpm SATA Hard drive or 15k-rpm SAS Hard Drive||7200-rpm SATA Hard drive||7200-rpm SATA Hard drive or Solid State Drive|
|SATA 2.0 (3 Gbit/s)|
|Optical drive||16× SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)||18× SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)|
|Connectivity||Optional Wi-Fi 4 (802.11a/b/g and draft-n, n disabled by default)
2× Gigabit Ethernet
Optional 56k V.92 USB modem
Optional Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
|Optional Wi-Fi 4 (802.11a/b/g and draft-n, n-enabled)
2× Gigabit Ethernet
Optional 56k V.92 USB modem
|Wi-Fi 4 (802.11a/b/g/n)|
2× Gigabit Ethernet
|Peripherals||5× USB 2.0
2× Firewire 400
2× Firewire 800
Built-in mono speaker
1× Audio-in mini-jack
2× Audio-out mini-jack
1× Optical S/PDIF (Toslink) input
1× Optical S/PDIF (Toslink) output
|5× USB 2.0|
4× Firewire 800
Built-in mono speaker
1× Audio-in mini-jack
2× Audio-out mini-jack
1× Optical S/PDIF (Toslink) input
1× Optical S/PDIF (Toslink) output
|Dimensions||20.1 in (51.1 cm) height x 8.1 in (20.6 cm) width x 18.7 in (47.5 cm) depth|
|Weight||42.4 lb (19.2 kg)||39.9 lb (18.1 kg) (Quad core)|
41.2 lb (18.7 kg) (8-core)
|Latest release operating system||Mac OS X 10.7 Lion||OS X 10.11 El Capitan||macOS 10.14 Mojave if equipped with a Metal-capable GPU, otherwise macOS 10.13 High Sierra|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2014)
Ars Technica reviewed the 2006 Mac Pro, rating it 9 out of 10.
2nd generation (Cylindrical)
Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller presented a "sneak peek" of the completely redesigned Mac Pro during the 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. The video revealed an overhauled case design, a polished reflective aluminum cylinder built around a central thermal dissipation core and vented by a single fan, which pulls air from under the case, through the core, and out the top of the case. The only finish available is black, though a single red-finished unit was produced with Product Red. Apple states that the second generation Mac Pro achieves twice the performance of the last model. The model is assembled in Austin, Texas, by Apple's supplier Flextronics on a highly automated line. The announcement six months prior to release was unusual for Apple, which typically announces products when they are ready for market. It was released on December 19, 2013.
The cylindrical thermal core was unable to adapt to changing hardware trends and left the Mac Pro without updates for over three years, leading Apple to make a rare admission of a product's failure in April 2017 when it detailed the issues surrounding the design and promised a totally redesigned Mac Pro. The design of the second generation Mac Pro has received mixed reviews, which has been described as appearing like a "small black trash can", rice cooker, or R2-D2 or Darth Vader's helmet. On September 18, 2018, the Mac Pro surpassed the Macintosh Plus's production life record for an unchanged Mac model, with the Plus having remained on sale unchanged for 1,734 days.
The redesigned Mac Pro takes up less than one-eighth the volume of the immediately previous model, being shorter at 9.9 inches (25 cm), thinner at 6.6 inches (17 cm) and lighter at 11 pounds (5.0 kg). It supports one central processing unit (CPU) (up to a 12-core Xeon E5 CPU), four 1866 MHz DDR3 slots, dual AMD FirePro D series GPUs (up to D700 with 6 GB VRAM each), and PCIe-based flash storage. There is a 3× MIMO antenna system for the unit's 802.11ac WiFi networking interface, Bluetooth 4.0 to facilitate close-range wireless functions such as music transfer, keyboards, mice, tablets, speakers, security, cameras, and printers. The system can simultaneously support six Apple Thunderbolt Displays, or three 4K resolution computer monitors.
The second generation Mac Pro has a redesigned configuration of ports. It has a HDMI 1.4 port, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, four USB 3 ports, and combined digital Mini-TOSlink optical / analog 3.5 mm stereo mini jack for audio output. It also has a headphones mini jack (the two are distinctly selectable within the Sound System Preference panel, Output tab). There is no dedicated port for inputting audio. The system has a low-fidelity internal mono speaker. The Thunderbolt 2 ports support up to thirty-six Thunderbolt devices (six per port) and can concurrently support up to three 4K displays. This design requires two GPUs to support the seven display outputs (HDMI and six Thunderbolt). The I/O panel illuminates itself when the unit senses it has been moved to make it easier for the user to see the ports. Unlike the previous model, it has no FireWire 800 ports, dedicated digital audio in/out ports, a SuperDrive, DVI port, 3.5-inch drive bays for replaceable storage drives, or changeable internal PCIe slots. Instead, there are six Thunderbolt 2 ports to connect high-speed external peripherals, including enclosures for internal PCIe cards.
Apple's website mentions only RAM as user-serviceable, though third party tear-downs show nearly all components can be removed and replaced. A lock switch on the aluminum casing allows for easy access to the internals, as well as fitting a security lock with its own cable, and components are secured with standard screws. The flash storage and GPUs use proprietary connectors and are specially sized to fit into the enclosure. Unlike the rest of the Macintosh line the CPU is not soldered to the logic board and can be replaced with another LGA 2011 socket processor, including processor options not offered by Apple. The type of RAM modules that Apple supplies with the late-2013 Mac Pro in the default configuration are ECC unbuffered (UDIMM) on the up to 8 GB modules (shown on each module as PC3-14900E). Apple offers as an optional upgrade 16 GB modules are ECC registered (RDIMM) modules (shown on each module as PC3-14900R). The higher-capacity 32 GB modules that some third-party vendors offer are also RDIMM. The UDIMM and RDIMM module types cannot be mixed. Apple publishes recommended configurations to use.
- OS X Mavericks and later
- Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 64-bit (hardware drivers are included in Boot Camp)
- Linux via Linux installers (Boot Camp does not yet provide Linux support in the same way it does with Windows)
|Component||Intel Xeon E5 (Ivy Bridge-EP)|
|Release date||December 19, 2013 |
|System bus||DMI 2.0 or 2 × 8.0 GT/s (12-core model only)|
Optional 32GB and 64GB configurations available
|Dimensions||9.9 in (25.1 cm) height x 6.6 in (16.8 cm) diameter|
|Weight||11 lb (5 kg)|
Reception of the new design has been mixed, initially receiving positive reviews, but more negative in the long term, due to Apple's failure to upgrade the hardware specs. The performance has been widely lauded, especially handling video tasks on the dual GPU units, with some reviewers noting the ability to apply dozens of filters to realtime 4K resolution video in Final Cut Pro X. Drive performance, connected via PCIe, is also widely mentioned as a strong point. Technical reviewers praised the OpenCL API under which the machine's powerful twin GPUs and its multi-core CPU can be treated as a single pool of computing power. However, in late 2013 through early 2014, some reviewers have noted the lack of internal expandability, second CPU, serviceability, and questioned the then-limited offerings via Thunderbolt 2 ports. By 2016, reviewers started to agree that the Mac Pro was now lacking in functionality and power, it having not been updated since 2013, and it was past time for Apple to update it. Apple later revealed in 2017 that the thermal core design had limited the ability to upgrade the Mac Pro's GPUs and that a new design was under development, to be released sometime after 2017.
3rd generation (Tower and USB-C)
In April 2018, Apple confirmed that a redesigned Mac Pro would be released in 2019 to replace the 2013 model. Apple announced the 3rd generation Mac Pro on June 3, 2019 at the World Wide Developers Conference. It returns to a tower design similar to the Power Mac G5 in 2003 and the first generation model in 2006. The design also includes a new thermal architecture with three impeller fans, which promises to prevent the computer from having to throttle the processor so that it can always run at its peak performance level. It can be configured with up to two AMD Radeon Pro GPUs, which come in a custom MPX module, which are fanless and use the chassis's cooling system. Apple's Afterburner card is a custom add-on, which adds hardware acceleration for ProRes codecs. Similar to the second generation, the cover can be removed to access the internals, which features eight PCIe slots for expansion, making this the first Mac with six or more expansion slots since the Power Macintosh 9600 in 1997. Wheels can be added to the case, and it can also be purchased in a rack mount configuration. It was announced alongside the 6K Pro Display XDR, which has the same finish and lattice pattern.
The 3rd generation Mac Pro returns to a tower form factor and features a prominent lattice pattern on its front and rear. The lattice design was originally developed by Jony Ive for the Power Mac G4 Cube in 2000.
|Component||Intel Xeon W 8, 12, 16, 24, or 28 core|
|Expected Release date||December 2019|
|Memory||32GB (four 8 GB)
Expandable to 768 GB (six 128 GB DIMMs or 12 64 GB DIMMs, 8-core to 16-core), or to 1.5 TB (12 128GB DIMMs, 24-core and 28-core) by Apple
|DDR4 ECC at 2666 MHz (8-core) or 2933 MHz (12-core to 28-core)|
|PCIe SSD, two modules|
|Security Chip||Apple T2|
|Connectivity||Built-in Wi-Fi 5 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), up to 1.3 Gbit/s|
|2× 10 Gigabit Ethernet|
|Peripherals||Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C 3.1 Gen 2) supporting DisplayPort|
2× top of case, 2× rear I/O card (all models)
Additional 4× rear (single Vega II/Vega II Duo) or 8× rear (dual Vega II/Vega II Duo)
|USB 3.0 Type-A, 2× rear, 1× inside case|
2× (580X, dual Vega II/Vega II Duo)
1× (single Vega II/Vega II Duo)
|2× SATA ports inside case|
|Display support||Six 4K displays, two 5K displays, or two Pro Display XDRs (580X)|
Six 4K displays, three 5K displays, or two Pro Display XDRs (Vega II)
Eight 4K displays, four 5K displays, or four Pro Display XDRs (single Vega II Duo)
Twelve 4K displays or six Pro Display XDRs (dual Vega II Duo)
|Audio||3.5 mm headphone jack|
|Built-in mono speaker|
|Dimensions||20.8 in (52.9 cm) height x 8.6 in (21.8 cm) width x 17.7 in (45 cm) depth|
|Weight||39.7 lb (18 kg)|
Supported macOS releases
|Supported macOS releases|
|OS release||First generation||Second generation||Third generation|
|Mid 2006||Early 2008||Early 2009||Mid 2010||Mid 2012||Late 2013||Late 2019|
|10.6 Snow Leopard||10.6.4|
|10.8 Mountain Lion|
|10.11 El Capitan|
|10.13 High Sierra|
|10.14 Mojave||With Metal-capable GPU|
Mac Pro Server
On November 5, 2010, Apple introduced the Mac Pro Server, which officially replaced the Xserve line of Apple servers as of January 31, 2011. The Mac Pro Server includes an unlimited Mac OS X Server license and an Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz Quad-Core processor, with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. In mid-2012, the Mac Pro Server was upgraded to an Intel Xeon 3.2 GHz Quad-Core processor. The Mac Pro Server was discontinued on October 22, 2013, with the introduction of the second-generation Mac Pro. However, the OS X Server software package can be purchased from the Mac App Store. The 3rd generation Mac Pro announced at WWDC 2019 and scheduled for release in Fall 2019 is designed to allow for rack mounting options.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mac Pro.|
- Mac Pro – official site