Mac Pro 2019: Read This Before You Buy It

If you haven’t already heard, Apple recently announced the 2019 Mac Pro. Besides the base model being insanely expensive, there are also a few other things you should be aware of before you consider buying the 2019 Mac Pro.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been using Apple products for over 10 years, and the thought of editing videos and images on a Windows computer isn’t all that exciting. Unfortunately, it seems that Apple may have gone too far by upsetting their pro and prosumer user base with their latest announcement.

Yes, the 2019 Mac Pro is labeled as a pro machine, but that doesn’t have to mean that the base model also has to be ridiculously overpriced and underpowered. For example, for $6,000, you get a two-year-old graphics card that retails for less than $300.

Why would you put a two-year-old, underpowered graphics card in a pro machine? How does that make any sense at all? Not to mention, only 32 GB of ram and a tiny 256 GB hard drive. If you want to edit 4K video, you will be better off with a minimum of 64 GB ram and the Vega II graphics card.

So, you are most likely looking at $8,000-10,000 for a Mac Pro that will handle 4k to 8K footage, and that price does not include a monitor. Of course, you can get the new 32-inch 6K Apple monitor for $5,000, but you will also have to purchase the stand for an additional $1,000. Imagine a $5,000 monitor that doesn't come with a stand and paying as much as the price of an iPhone for a monitor stand.

If that isn't bad enough, what about the Mac Pro using PCI Express 3? PCI Express 4 will be available in July with AMD’s new Ryzen 3 Processor as well as AMD’s next generation Navi graphics technology. AMD's new technology will be in the next PlayStation 5 and the upcoming Xbox.

In July 2019, you will also find affordably priced motherboards that support PCI Express 4, which is twice as fast as PCI 3, which you will find in the new Mac Pro in the fall. It seems like the new Mac Pro will be out of date the day it arrives.

Perhaps Apple made a mistake early on when they choose to go with Intel for the Mac Pro processor, which doesn’t support PCI Express 4 along with AMD graphics cards that are based on the previous generation AMD Vega architecture, not AMD's next-generation Navi graphics.

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section below. Has Apple gone too far in their pursuits of profits? Is the Mac Pro already obsolete before it even comes out?

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Nick Rains's picture

It's worth noting that the monitor is intended to be used as a 'reference' monitor not a general purpose monitor, it's one you buy in addition to your normal monitor. The equivalents from Sony and Canon are over $20,000. I'm pretty sure that the Mac Pro is not aimed at us mere mortals.

-hh -hh's picture

A fair observation and point, but what that really means is that PC Workstation buyers will opt to buy the Apple monitor instead of Sony/Canon/etc.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in an Apple meeting a year from now and hear just how many more Monitors they sell -vs- Mac Pro's sold ...

LA M's picture

Totally agree..

The roll-out was either botched or a missed opportunity to make clear what most of us have figured out.

Mac Pro = High End Power Users

iMac Pro = Power User Pros

iMac/Macbook/Mac Mini = Everyone else

timgallo's picture

i think you are mistaking pro-sumer(for which there is imac and imac pro), with actual professional machines that do work on different scale than freelance photographer or videographer. it is true that the basic model does not makes sense and probably nobody will buy it... i dont know why apple did that, but otherwise - its very apple-like, so does not surprise much different level pro apple users (its like with leicas, those who own them - does not scream about the pricing much, they can afford it, know what they are paying for and dont cry much. hows next generation slr leica for your taste?). still until you test it - not much to say either, it makes sense on paper. monitor too does (minus the stand, but even with it - monitor is unbelievable).

Giovanni Antico's picture

Not to mention that Apple is likely using a custom connector for the SSD in the new Mac Pro. It’s quite probable that replacements and upgrades may have to be bought from Apple directly, limiting significantly the choices for the user and rising further the Apple tax. The only other option would be buying an expansion card that will cost anyway extra money and that will occupy a PCIe slot for a standard function that should have been a given by default. Installing internal full size hard drives will be also severely limited and expensive. Big studios already working with 10Gbit NAS won’t care, but it will be frustrating having a beautiful tower that invites you to buy another external box for storage or proprietary internal raid occupying other slots, vanishing the promised advantage of having more slots then average...


LA M's picture

NO offence...but that tower is far from beautiful. The vents also look like the alienware logo

Adam Peariso's picture

If you visit Fstoppers, it's not for you.

Rodrigo Ortiz's picture

Couldn't agree more

michaeljin's picture

That's the PC game... no matter what you release when you release it, you're only months away from being "obsolete". There's no way around it whether you're Apple or anyone else. It's just a function of the speed of development (even though this has slowed down considerably from years past).

It's worth noting, however, that professional workstations are less about leveraging the newest technologies and instead choosing to emphasize reliable and proven technologies so I don't think that the choices that went into the new Mac Pro are necessarily a bad thing. Yes, there are new things coming out, but who knows what effect (if any) they'll have on stability or workflow? If you're a professional looking to spend thousands of dollars on a tool, then I think it's less important that you have the newest toys and more important that you know that the tool you're buying is going to reliably get the job done quickly with brute force, if need be.

JetCity Ninja's picture

if you were expecting to put one of these in your home, you are not the target audience. and the target audience is not likely to buy the base machine.

enthusiasts want bleeding edge since their use-case treats reliability as a luxury. pros want leading edge because reliability is a requirement.

i don't see what's so hard for people to understand.

i'm fortunate enough to be in a position where i'm planning on buying one. now, before you ask, answer this: do you own the best camera, the best camera you can afford, or the best camera <insert brand> offers for your needs?

Paulo Macedo's picture

Ahhh here I am waiting for AMD R9 3950X to hit the shelves...

Yin Ze's picture

Maybe Apple is using the NASA model of using specific items that have been battle tested but not the latest technology,

Felix C's picture

We get it that you are on a rant about Apple computers. Sorry to say, but this computer was never marketed to you or your viewers on YouTube. This is for big production companies that require three streams of 8K video. You ask why someone would buy the base model? It is someone who cannot afford all the bells and whistles at this time, but since the computer can be upgraded, it makes since to buy it now and be able to upgrade later. Much cheaper and affordable to go this way.

Lets talk about this monitor, it is also not for you or your viewers, it for video. And most of the people that buy it will be big production houses that will mount it on a VESA stand. That is what we do here where I work, including the new Samsung 8K TV.

My god, life is not centered around you and your needs, there are other people that need this type of tools. I cannot afford a Porsche 918, but I will marvel the engineering aspects of it.

Fortunately we live in a free country and nobody is holding a gun to your head. If you don't like it, don't buy it, simple enough? Or is this good click bait for your YouTube channel?

Jim Cutler's picture

Replacing my 2013 MacPro, I'm going to have to go iMac Pro OR IMac 5K. I'll be watching for the next round of upgrades there. But I am NOT buying this thing.

LA M's picture

"Not For Nuttin': but my late 2013 8 core MP is chugging along like a champ. Not a single day of downtime and it runs constantly.

Jim Cutler's picture

Hi Leigh, mine, too! It's been solid since day one. I wonder how long it will go before something deteriorates? I'm grateful that I don't have to run out now and make an immediate replacement decision.

LA M's picture

If the MP's of old are any may linger on the vine for another decade.

I might buy one or two more and make my own render farm. It's quiet enough to record audio for videos and podcasts under full load. My only real regret is that I bought the Sharp PKN 321 monitor...grossly over priced and demonstrates how a fool and his cash are soon parted.

I may upgrade the internal storage to full 1TB tho.

Andrew Eaton's picture

Lets face it, if someone want shiny apple products, they will pay the apple tax... but I think there are some very valid point about coming tech. They will probably push out another one next year to catch up and tax some fanboys some more :-]

Penn Zhang's picture

It really depends on how your workflow is, for me I really need to export a looooot raw files from Lightroom almost every day, a 28 cores CPU can save me ages, that already worth the money.

Dave Morris's picture

You are just wasting your and your readers' time.
Don't buy it. Problem solved.

Daniel Sandvik's picture

Honestly, I'm not dumb enough to buy something like this. I'd rather build something as good, or better, for a better price and have the option to upgrade it along the way, keeping it up to date.