Doesn’t the price of the Vision Pro seem quite high? It’s only a fraction of the cost of a fully upgraded Apple silicon Mac Pro, which itself is only a fraction of the price of the highest-end 2019 Mac Pro. However, there’s a rationale behind this. Now that the new Apple silicon Mac Pro orders have begun, we can access the pricing for all the customizable options, providing us with an estimate of the expenses involved in obtaining the most advanced upgrades.
Apple offers new Mac Pro buyers the flexibility to upgrade various components such as the processor, RAM, GPU, and SSD, along with the option to include an Apple Afterburner card, wheels, and additional accessories. These customizations contribute to the overall cost of the system, allowing users to tailor their Mac Pro to their specific needs and requirements.
When comparing the prices of the Intel Mac Pro from 2019 and the new Apple silicon Mac Pro, the difference can be significant.
The highest price tag for the previous-generation Intel Mac Pro in 2019 was $52,599, and this is without factoring in additional options such as an 8 TB SSD storage or expanded graphics card choices. It’s worth noting that the Apple Afterburner Card, which facilitates the offloading of ProRes and ProRes RAW video decoding, accounted for $2,000 of the overall cost.
The introduction of the new Apple silicon Mac Pro brings a fresh perspective on pricing, offering potential variations in cost depending on the desired configuration and upgrade options. It’s essential to consider these factors when comparing the prices between the Intel Mac Pro and the latest Apple silicon Mac Pro.
The all-new M2 Ultra Mac Pro offers impressive specifications and can be configured with the following high-end specifications:
- 24-core CPU: This powerful central processing unit ensures exceptional performance and multitasking capabilities, ideal for demanding tasks and resource-intensive applications.
- 76-core GPU: The advanced graphics processing unit provides exceptional graphics performance, enabling smooth rendering, graphics-intensive tasks, and high-resolution content creation.
- 32-core Neural Engine: The Neural Engine’s capabilities enhance machine learning and artificial intelligence tasks, enabling efficient processing of complex algorithms and deep learning models.
- 192 GB unified memory: The generous amount of unified memory ensures smooth multitasking, efficient data processing, and handling large datasets.
- 8 TB SSD storage: The high-capacity solid-state drive storage allows for ample space to store files, projects, and multimedia content, providing fast access and quick data transfers.
With these top-of-the-line specifications, the M2 Ultra Mac Pro is built to deliver exceptional performance and cater to the needs of professional users who require significant processing power, graphics performance, and storage capacity for their demanding workloads.
Nowadays, Apple incorporates that capability into every M2 chip they produce. However, there remains a significant difference in pricing between the highest price point of the previous-generation Mac Pro and the current offerings. The gap between the two can be described as astronomical, emphasizing the substantial shift in pricing between then and now.
The level of optimization that Apple has achieved with their Apple silicon chips for Mac hardware cannot be overstated when compared to Intel chips. However, it is worth noting that the highest-end 2019 Mac Pro had an advantage in terms of maximum RAM capacity.
In terms of memory capacity, the Intel Xeon W-powered Mac Pro could support up to 12 sticks of 128 GB RAM, allowing for a maximum of 1.5 TB of DDR4 ECC memory. This was an impressive amount compared to the new Apple silicon Mac Pro, which features 192 GB of unified memory. The 1.5 TB capacity of DDR4 ECC memory in the previous-generation Intel Mac Pro was truly remarkable and offered immense capabilities, ideal for memory-intensive tasks like running multiple applications or handling extensive data sets.
Additionally, the 2019 Mac Pro supported dual Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics cards, each equipped with 32 GB of HBM2 memory, resulting in a total of 64 GB of graphics memory. This ensured exceptional graphics performance for tasks such as rendering complex visual content or working with high-resolution videos.
I understand that the extremely high memory capacities may seem excessive for typical use cases, and I agree that the baseline performance of Macs with Apple silicon is impressive compared to Intel. It is true that there are specific use cases where having a terabyte of RAM can be beneficial, such as in data-intensive tasks or running virtual machines at an extensive scale. If it were feasible within the current chip design constraints, Apple would likely support it. However, there are practical limitations, including cost considerations, that make such high memory configurations impractical at the moment.
Regarding the cost of a fully upgraded Mac Pro, it is worth noting that the price has been significantly reduced compared to the astronomical figures of the previous-generation Mac Pro. While the specific pricing may vary depending on the configuration and optional components, a new maxed-out Mac Pro now costs less than $50,000. Apple has made efforts to make their high-end professional machines more accessible and offer value for the performance and capabilities they deliver.
Indeed, the pricing for the rack-mountable Mac Pro with the M2 Ultra chip, 8 TB of SSD storage, and 192 GB of RAM starts at $12,299, which is an increase from the base price but still significantly lower than the $50,000 mentioned earlier. This configuration also includes eight Thunderbolt ports and six PCI slots, providing ample room for modular expansion and connectivity options across all models.
Furthermore, one notable advantage of the M2 Ultra chip inside the Mac Pro is its powerful performance for video decoding. The chip’s capabilities are equivalent to seven Afterburner Cards, which were priced at $2,000 each for the 2019 Mac Pro. Considering this, the value provided by the M2 Ultra chip alone can be estimated at $14,000, showcasing the substantial benefits and cost savings associated with the new Mac Pro.
By offering such advanced features and performance at a more accessible price point, Apple aims to cater to professional users’ needs while providing excellent value for their investment.