Apple Drops Prices on High-End Storage Upgrades for iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro

Alongside a refresh of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro this morning, Apple has also dropped the price on high-end storage upgrades across the Mac lineup. This includes the iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and even the soon-to-be-discontinued Mac Pro.


For the most part, 1TB SSD upgrades have dropped by $200 on the iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini; and 2TB SSD upgrades have dropped by $400 on the Mac mini and MacBook Pro. The ultra high-end 4TB SSD upgrade for the MacBook Pro has dropped by $1400.

For the iMac Pro, 2TB SSD upgrades have been marked down by $200, while the 4TB SSD upgrade has dropped by $1200.

The updates continue into the old Mac Pro as well, with the 1TB upgrade dropping by $200. Apple has also removed the 64GB RAM option for the Mac Pro from its store, and made this model only available in 16GB and 32GB options.

Head to Apple.com to see more of the changes to high-end upgrades on the Mac.

Related Roundups: iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, iMac Pro

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macOS Catalina Brings Back Expansion Slot Utility App Ahead of Mac Pro Launch

macOS Catalina, currently available to developers and public beta testers in a beta capacity, revives the defunct Expansion Slot Utility app ahead of the launch of the Mac Pro.

The Expansion Slot Utility app is designed for managing and configuring PCI cards, and its return is clearly meant for the Mac Pro, which has a total of eight PCIe expansion slots that Mac users can work with.


The Expansion Slot Utility app was discontinued years ago following the launch of the 2008 Mac Pro but the new 2.0 version is back for the modular Mac Pro.




Signs of the Expansion Slot Utility app are hidden in the second macOS Catalina beta, and when the Mac Pro becomes available at some point this fall, Mac Pro users will be able to take advantage of the utility.

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Apple’s New Mac Pro Won’t Be ‘Made in USA’ as Production Reportedly Moving to China

While the current Mac Pro has been manufactured in Texas since it was released in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports that the new Mac Pro unveiled earlier this month will be assembled by Quanta Computer in China.


Quanta is said to be ramping up production of the new Mac Pro at a factory near Shanghai, and given lower wages and closer proximity to other Apple suppliers in Asia, the Chinese manufacturing is expected to cost Apple less than it would to make the computer in the United States.

Quanta already assembles some Apple products, including the Apple Watch. The shift to Chinese manufacturing would allow Apple to avoid many of the issues its U.S. suppliers have faced in assembling the Mac Pro stateside.

Here's a video of how the current Mac Pro is made in the United States:


In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said "final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process," adding that the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in the United States and includes some U.S.-made components.

As a high-end, powerful workstation for professionals, the Mac Pro is not a high volume product for Apple, but where it is manufactured is notable given the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. President Donald Trump has urged U.S. companies to manufacture products domestically.

Trump's administration has increased tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports and he has threatened to impose tariffs on $300 billion more goods, including many Apple products. Apple has warned that these tariffs would reduce its economic contributions and threaten its global competitiveness.

The all-new Mac Pro is an absolute powerhouse with up to 28-core Intel Xeon processors, up to 1.5TB of ECC RAM, up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics with 64GB of HBM2 memory, and eight PCIe expansion slots for maximum performance, expansion, and configurability.

The new design includes a stainless steel frame with smooth handles and an aluminum housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system. The housing features a unique lattice pattern to maximize airflow.

Apple says the new Mac Pro will be released in the fall, starting at $5,999.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Tags: China, Quanta
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Apple Says New Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR Are Coming in September

Apple at WWDC 2019 last week unveiled its long-awaited redesigned Mac Pro along with a new Pro Display XDR. At the time, Apple said both products will be available to order in the fall, without providing a more specific timeframe.


Apple has since updated its website following the end of WWDC, however, revealing that the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are "coming in September." This date is listed on Apple's homepage in a lightbox that pops up after clicking on "notify me" under each product, although only in the United States.



The all-new Mac Pro is an absolute powerhouse with up to 28-core Intel Xeon processors, up to 1.5TB of ECC RAM, up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics with 64GB of HBM2 memory, and eight PCIe expansion slots for maximum performance, expansion, and configurability.

The new design includes a stainless steel frame with smooth handles and an aluminum housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system. The housing also features a unique lattice pattern, which has already been referred to as a cheese grater, to maximize airflow and quiet operation.

Apple's Pro Display XDR is a 32-inch 6K monitor with a P3 wide color gamut and true 10-bit color support, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and a super-wide, off-axis viewing angle.

The new Mac Pro starts at $5,999, while the Pro Display XDR starts at $4,999 with an optional $999 stand.

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New Mac Pro is Quieter Than iMac Pro, Has Optional Wheels, and Was Kept in Top-Secret ‘Stealth Enclosure’

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.

Image: The Verge

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.

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How to See What the New Mac Pro Would Look Like on Your Desk

Shortly after unveiling its much-anticipated redesigned Mac Pro on Monday, Apple added a fun augmented reality feature on its website that allows anyone to check out what it would look like if the machine took pride of place on their own desktop.


Simply navigate to the Mac Pro or Pro Display XDR web page on Apple's website using your iPhone or iPad, and then tap the "See Mac Pro in AR" (or "View in AR") link to launch the augmented reality tool on your device.

Give it a few seconds to load, and you should see two options at the top of the screen. The "Object" mode lets you use your fingers to zoom and rotate a detailed 3D render of the new Mac Pro or Apple's accompanying pro-level display on your screen.

Alternately, press the "AR" button to engage your iPhone or iPad's rear camera, and then point your device at the location where you want to preview the expensive hardware – on your desk, on the floor, or anywhere you like.


The new Mac Pro starts at $5,999 with an eight-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of ECC RAM, AMD WX 7100 graphics, and 256GB of SSD storage, and will be available to order in the fall. Apple's new 32-inch 6K display named the Pro Display XDR will also be available in the fall starting at $4,999.

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Apple Envisioned New Mac Pro’s ‘Cheese Grater’ Design Years Ago

Following the reveal of its much-anticipated Mac Pro redesign at WWDC 2019 on Monday, a handful of reporters met with Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller and other executives to learn a bit more about the powerhouse machine.

Apple's all-new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR via The Verge

Ina Fried of Axios has provided a few key takeaways from the conversation:
  • Apple's vision for the new Mac Pro's design changed some and it took somewhat longer than it was anticipating.
  • The circular cutouts on the front and back of the new Mac Pro are made by machining out spheres from the solid aluminum chassis. This particular aspect of the design was floating around in Apple's design labs before the new Mac Pro was even on its roadmap.
  • For those who missed the news, Apple is planning a rack-mounted version of the Mac Pro with a different chassis appropriate for a data center. Apple says this version will be available in the fall.
  • The new Pro Display XDR was "front and center" to Apple and is designed to rival so-called reference monitors that can cost over $10,000.
Other tidbits may surface from other reporters who attended this press briefing, in which case we'll update this post.

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Roundup: First-Look Impressions of the New Mac Pro

At WWDC today, Apple unveiled its much-anticipated Mac Pro redesign, and following its keynote the company offered journalists some brief time with the machine – although admittedly nobody was allowed to use or even touch it.


With that in mind, we've highlighted some of the more interesting quotes from those who were lucky enough to get up close with Apple's most powerful Mac to date.

Unsurprisingly given the "hands-off" nature of the preview, TechRadar opined on the aesthetics of the redesigned Mac Pro:
For those that were unconvinced about the previous Mac Pro's design, this is far more industrial. Designed to be modular, the Mac Pro's leanings are far more traditional with the combination of brushed aluminum and heat sink holes festooning the outer shell.

It's brutal and says 'this is for working on, not to look good'. It can be rack mounted, and you can screw wheels on the bottom to move it around an office or studio.

Image credit: TechRadar

TechCrunch was less impressed with the look of the new Mac Pro, and questioned the "cheese grater" industrial design choice.
It’s uncanny how much this thing looks like a cheese grater. Of course, this isn’t the first time the Pro has looked like that; A well-liked previous iteration had a grater-esque style, but this new one takes things much further. There are of course some thermal benefits to having a perforated case, but surely there are other ways to accomplish that.
Gripping the handle on top of the Mac Pro and lifting the lid exposes the internal components, and Engadget noted how this makes the internals "relatively accessible" compared to the previous design.

One of the machine's biggest selling points -- aside from its sheer graphical and compute performance, of course -- is how relatively accessible the internal components will be. (Fun fact: Lifting the handle automatically shuts down the machine so that you don't electrocute yourself or anything.)

Image credit: Engadget

As for the display, Engadget said:
Five minutes in a crowded pit is not long enough to judge on the quality of the display. That said, it's certainly striking. 6K is all well and good, but it's HDR where Apple's efforts push new ground. The company says its panel can hold 1000 nits of brightness across the panel indefinitely -- VESA only requires a 1,000-nit "full-screen flash" to put a panel its highest DisplayHDR 1000 tier.
The Verge chose to focus on the sheer power of the new Mac Pro, which is heavily geared towards video, music, and photo editing.
"Demo" is a bit of a misleading word in this case, as we weren’t actually allowed to touch the machines or run any kind of real-world tests. But we were able to see the new Mac Pro running software like Logic, Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro X. By all accounts, it seems like even the base version of the Mac Pro is among the most powerful creative production and editing machines Apple has ever concocted.

Here at WWDC 2019, the company set up a live professional photo shoot equipped with an iPad Pro to get live preview shots straight from the camera and editing on a MacBook Pro wired up to the new Pro Display XDR in portrait mode (using the $1,000 stand that you’ll have to buy separately). The workflow looked pretty flawless, showing off the Pro Display XDR’s HDR capabilities and high-nit brightness when it’s used as the foundation for RAW photo work like this.

Image credit: The Verge

The new Mac Pro starts at $5,999 with an eight-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of ECC RAM, AMD WX 7100 graphics, and 256GB of SSD storage, and will be available to order in the fall. Apple's new 32-inch 6K display named the Pro Display XDR will also be available in the fall starting at $4,999.

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Adobe and Other Developers Are ‘Incredibly Excited’ About New Mac Pro

Apple today unveiled its long-awaited Mac Pro redesign at WWDC 2019. Following the keynote, Apple has published a press release highlighting positive feedback from pro app developers like Adobe, Pixar, and Autodesk.


Adobe is "incredibly excited" about the new Mac Pro, according to its vice president of 3D and immersive technologies Sebastien Deguy:
We're incredibly excited about the new Mac Pro, which represents a strong commitment from Apple towards creatives working in 3D. We've already started porting the Substance line of tools, as well as Dimension, to Apple's new graphic API Metal to fully take advantage of the immense power the new Mac Pro hardware offers and empower 3D creatives in unprecedented ways.


Pixar:
We are thrilled to announce full Metal support in Hydra in an upcoming release of USD toward the end of the year. Together with this new release, the new Mac Pro will dramatically accelerate the most demanding 3D graphics workflows thanks to an excellent combination of memory, bandwidth and computational performance. This new machine clearly shows Apple is delivering on the needs of professionals at high-end production facilities like Pixar.
Autodesk:
Autodesk is fully embracing the all-new Mac Pro and we are already working on optimized updates to AutoCAD, Maya, Fusion and Flame. This level of innovation, combined with next-generation graphics APIs, such as Metal, bring extremely high graphics performance and visual fidelity to our Design, Manufacturing and Creation products and enable us to bring greater value to our customers.
More quotes can be read on the Apple Newsroom.

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Tag: Adobe
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Apple Reveals All-New Mac Pro With Up to 28-Core Processor and 1.5TB of RAM, Starting at $5,999

Apple today at WWDC 2019 unveiled its all-new Mac Pro with up to a 28-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 1.5TB of ECC RAM, and more.


The all-new Mac Pro features a stainless steel frame and handles with up to 300 watts of power and a "massive" heatsink that can run fully unconstrained at all times.


The new Mac Pro has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack. PCI expansion has returned to the Mac Pro, with eight internal PCIe slots, four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one additional half-length slot for an I/O card.

The new Mac Pro will start at $5,999 with an eight-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of ECC RAM, AMD WX 7100 graphics, and 256GB of SSD storage.

Apple also introduced a new 32-inch 6K display named the Pro Display XDR for $4,999.


More details to follow…

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