|The Apple Silicon-based Mac Pro recycles the design of the 2019 version, making it a drop-in upgrade for current users.|
At the World Wide Developers’ Conference today, Apple opened the event by introducing three new Mac products. Although they missed their 2022 target date, today’s news means that the Cupertino-based company has completed the transition to their own Apple Silicon processors.
The headline news for creatives and production houses is the debut of the Apple Silicon-powered Mac Pro. This desktop features the new 5-nanometer M2 Ultra processor, with a 24-core CPU and up to 76 GPU cores and up to 192 GB RAM onboard.
For I/O, Pro users get 8 Thunderbolt 4 ports (six on the back, two on the top), and six PCIe Gen 4 slots. Two 10GB ethernet ports will be useful for grabbing large assets off a local server quickly, and two HDMI ports let the Pro use standard monitors and color-corrected displays without adapters. Like the prior Mac Pro, the latest version is available in tower and rackmount versions, and seems like it should retain compatibility with accessories as well.
Apple has also boasted of the Afterburner-like speed boost of the new Mac Pro. Afterburner was an optional, $2000, field programmable gate array card Mac Pro users could leverage for performance boosts to ProRes and ProRes RAW video. With the new M2 Ultra, Apple says the Mac Pro now has the performance equivalent to seven Afterburner cards.
The new Mac Pro starts at $6,999 and will be available for order next week.
|Retaining the design and much of the functionality of last year’s debut Studio, users can get a slight performance boost and better HDMI in the 2023 version.|
For users who don’t need all those PCIe slots, the new Mac Studio seems like a great alternative to the Mac Pro. We gave the now previous Mac Studio high marks in our review, this new model looks to update specs in all key categories. Updated with the M2 line of chips, the Studio gets M2 Max or M2 Ultra chips, an upgraded HDMI 2.1 port on the back. Apple says that in some instances, performance can be up to 4x faster for the M2 Pro, and up to 6x faster with the M2 Ultra with better media acceleration performance as well. It also picks up WiFi 6E. The new Mac Studio starts at $1,999 and will be available for order next week.
|The 15-inch MacBook Air seems like a great package for light creative work on the go.|
Finally, after years of rumors, Apple took the wraps off of the new MacBook Air with a 15.3-inch display. On paper, it looks like the M2 MacBook Air with a bigger screen, up to 18 hours of battery life, and a beefier 6-speaker sound system. At 3.3 lbs, it even stays relatively portable despite the size bump.
It still has only two Thunderbolt ports onboard, and is limited to 24 GB RAM, but as an alternative to the expensive 16-inch MacBook Pro, it looks like a good option for lighter creative work on the go. Apple also lowered the price of the 13-inch Air, putting it at $1,099. The 15-inch M2 MacBook Air starts at $1,299 and will be available for preorder today.