On the latest episode of the Mac Power Users podcast, hosts David Sparks and Stephen Hackett had the opportunity to speak with Apple product manager Doug Brooks about the all-new Mac Pro, unveiled at WWDC 2019 earlier this week.
The new Mac Pro is an absolute powerhouse with up to 28-core Intel Xeon processors, up to 1.5TB of RAM, up to 4TB of SSD storage, and the option for the “world’s most powerful graphics card” in the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II. Brooks said this performance will ensure the Mac Pro remains capable well into the future:
When we look at things like 8K workflows, that’s not the norm today. There’s definitely people doing it at the high end. But we want to make sure we’re ready for it and have the performance throughout the system to deliver on that.
To manage the heat that comes with this performance, Brooks said the new Mac Pro has a so-called “low-impedance airflow system” that moves a lot of air through the system and cools the machine “very effectively”:
The past Mac Pro tower had nine fans. We wanted to kind of simplify and make the thermal system a lot more elegant. It’s what we call a low-impedance airflow system. If you look through the heatsink… the fin spacing is pretty wide. We’re able to move a lot of air through the system, get a lot of heat exchange with these big fans… they tend to move a little slower so they don’t create a lot of noise, but can move quite a bit of air through the system to cool the system very effectively.
Brooks said that sound from the new Mac Pro under a desk measures around 10 decibels, making it quieter than an iMac Pro or the current Mac Pro on a desk, which he said are both already “virtually silent” at around 12 decibels.
Brooks also reflected on the new Mac Pro’s optional wheels:
You realize you have this thing next to you and there’s a handle there. It’s perfect to just grab… what if I just wanted to slide it out a bit to get access to the top boards or spin it around for the back. The feet have material on the bottom… it’s really easy to slide around. It’s like, what if this thing had wheels?
Apple supposedly used G-sensors to ensure that the new Mac Pro would be able to withstand reasonable amounts of shock and vibrations while being wheeled around in production trucks and other professional environments.
Another notable tidbit was that, like many other Apple products, the new Mac Pro was kept in a “stealth enclosure” during testing in Apple’s labs to ensure that its design remained a secret until it was announced. This was certainly effective, as the new Mac Pro’s design was a complete surprise.
The entire interview can be listened to on the Mac Power Users podcast at Relay.FM.