This fall, the most potent personal computer will carry the Apple logo. At the opening of its annual developer conference, WWDC, the company has presented a new Mac Pro that will be possible to configure with processors of up to 28 cores and 1.5 terabytes of memory. A modular device designed for graphic and video editing tasks or advanced calculation that will not be precisely affordable.
It is, in some way an outstanding debt with its most loyal customers. The latest computer design, also presented at the WWDC conference in 2013, was a surprising and well-received machine but its compact cylinder-shaped design, which Apple tried unsuccessfully to manufacture in the US. Made it impossible to evolve according to better processors and graphics cards. They reached the market and eventually became a stain on the brand’s history, which owes much to the professional sector.
With the new equipment, Apple seems willing to take a spin on its relationship with the most demanding users of the platform. “We designed the Mac Pro with the users in mind that they need a modular system with the highest levels of performance, expansion possibilities and configuration options.” Said Phil Schiller, vice president of hardware for the company.
The new computer, with tower format, is capable of providing up to 1.5 kilowatts of power to its internal components but has a beneficial thermal design. That makes it as silent as an iMac. The key to its expansion capacity is the use of eight PCIe slots, four of them with double space, which allow the interior to be equipped with several graphic cards, including the usual models in the PC world.
Apple has created a special module with passive ventilation for these components, the MPX, which can be configured with two Radeon Pro Vega cards. With up to 28 teraflops of graphics performance in a single module. As there is room for two of these modules, a Mac Pro can achieve a theoretical power of up to 56 teraflops, a figure never is seen in a machine of this size.
Apple has also created specific modules and components designed for video editing. Such as Afterburner, a card that expands the video processing capacity allowing up to three 8K or 12 video signals to be processed in 4K resolution.
The whole set is up to a point portable (the equipment has a handle to move it), and wheels can also be put on it. Apple will also create versions suitable for installation in data center racks.
The price of the machine, of course, could take it away from many potential users. It will start at $5,999 and will be available in the fall.
Although it is not necessary for its use, the new equipment is combined with a new professional monitor of high price and performance. It is the Apple Pro Display XDR, a 32-inch screen and 6K resolution professionally calibrated and with HDR support. This monitor is incredibly advanced and is designed for professional environments where perfect color calibration and high brightness and contrast are a priority.
Apple will also sell a unique base that allows it to be moved and oriented easily, even vertically, but that adds $1,000 or more to the price. That said, a device possibly far from the budget of many users but not as expensive as some professional reference monitors from Sony and other brands oriented to the professional market.
THE IPAD IS BECOMING GREATER
Apple has emphasized its presentation, too, in the new professional capabilities that will mend its most advanced iPads.
The tablet has used from its first version an adapted version of the operating system of the iPhone, iOS. But as of this fall, the tablet will have its own operating system iPadOS.
In principle, it is easy to describe this change as just a name change. After all, iOS for iPad already had modifications that made it somewhat different from the mobile version.
But the change is significant and suggests that Apple wants to evolve the tablet software at a different rate. With their own developers and without the burden of a smaller screen and more limited forms of interaction.
This first version of iPadOS is the test. Starting from the same base, Apple has created an operating system with more advanced functions. The most interesting, possibly, is the possibility of having floating windows inside the iPad screen — the new forms of multitasking work that simplify jumping between applications or having several open simultaneously on display.
Some new gestures and shortcuts allow you to cut and paste texts or select files much more naturally and quickly. And support, finally, for USB-connected memories, including the possibility of transferring photos from a camera directly connected to software editing Photos like Lightroom.
The Apple tablet can now also function as an external monitor for Mac computers connected via a USB-C cable or wirelessly. This works, called Sidecar, also allows an iPad to function as a drawing tablet in a design program. The new version of the operating system reduces the latency of this accessory to only 7ms. Much better than many professional accessories.
THE DARKEST IOS
The new version of Apple’s mobile operating system (and this also affects the iPhone, not just the iPad) will be characterized by a new dark mode that transforms the appearance of menus and applications.
Some of the system’s applications, such as Reminders or Health, will undergo profound design changes to make them more complete and Apple put even new emphasis on privacy with particular functions.
The operating system, for example, can now create alternative email addresses for users who hide their tel address and thus avoid receiving spam from certain services or applications. Users can give specific applications permissions to accept the position only once, and the security cameras compatible with HomeKit will be able to process the video locally to detect people or objects.
Apple Watch and AppleTV will also have important news this fall. The first will add new digital spheres, support for independent apps and a monitoring function of the menstrual cycle. Apple TV will now include multi-user support and the ability to use Xbox and Playstation controllers to play games.