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Apple’s new Mac Pros to ship in December at just under 3K

Apple provides details on new Mac Pro, ships in December


Apple announced today that its new, long-awaited Mac Pro desktop workstation will ship in December of this year. It is hard to believe it is that close!


Perhaps the most important news delivered today beyond the ship date is the price. The new Mac Pro will start at an impressively low 2,999.USD. Importantly, it appears Apple has three different options for the AMD FirePro twin GPUs inside the impressive machine. These options include the AMD FirePro D300, D500 and D700 GPUs.

The base model will ship with not one but two AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, plus a single 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon (latest Intel E5 kit), plus 12 GB of DRAM and 2 GB of VRAM among the twin GPUs. It will also start with 256 GB SSD (solid state drive).

The Verge is reporting that another configuration for additional grand (3,999.USD will come with a 6 core CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and twin D500s.

GPU Architecture

One of the most important considerations we will get at the heart of in the near future is if the twin GPUs can work together to draw an OpenGL window, via an alternative A-B frame render technique. In essence, one GPU is responsible for all even numbered pixels and the other GPU is responsible for all odd numbered pixels. This is the same technique used by CPUs and GPUs today to render out to finished photorealistic renderings but in this case it would involve interactive OpenGL based rendering.

01 - The new Mac Pro. At 2,999.USD it will debut as one of the most expensive Mac Pros ever but clearly the most powerful.

01 – The new Mac Pro. At 2,999.USD it will debut as one of the most expensive Mac Pros ever but clearly the most powerful.

Today CPU cores divide the pixel space up and divide and conquerer the screen. With the new Mac Pro we expect the twin GPUs to innovate and work together to do essentially the same thing but for “interactive OpenGL” based rendering. The technique should be similar to how AMD’s Crossfire technology works for games but importantly different as well. The rendering requirements for games versus pro apps is vastly different because the latter employs high poly count models as normal and desired.

Schiller spoke in summary today about the new Mac Pro but did include some great customer stories with positive news about the machine’s performance, with the most impressive customer story coming from film editing.

02 - The Mac Pro's twin GPU architecture is one of its most impressive features but it is not clear how users will ever upgrade GPUs with such integral cards.

02 – The Mac Pro’s twin GPU architecture is one of its most impressive features but it is not clear how users will ever upgrade GPUs with such integral cards.

It’s important to note that Apple’s reference numbers to the D300, D500 and D700 AMD GPUs don’t have direct equivalents over at AMD’s website. “D” in this case may stand for “dual” and the number we are not sure of.

The fastest GPU for FirePro graphics is currently the W9000. There is also a W7000 and W5000 but no W3000. So we cannot jump to conclusions and relate the D700, D500 and D300, respectively, to any currently listed products by similar series method. When we learn more we will be sure to post.

Update: 22 Oct 2013

It has come to our attention that there is clearly no such products at AMD now that use the designations D300, D500 and D700 for GPUs of any kind. We have posted some explanations below in the Comments section. Login and tell us what you think? Will this be your next CAD or 3D workstation? How does a price tag of starting at 3K suit you?

Reader Comments

  1. #CAD Apple’s new Mac Pros to ship in December at just under 3K

  2. Apple’s designations for the GPUs in the new Mac Pro are D300, D500 and D700. It is not clear if these are unique designations for GPUs based on existing kit or all new kit from AMD. I bet the former.

  3. The new Mac Pros top out with 12 GBs of GDDR5 memory. This corresponds to two FirePro W9000 cards, each with 6 GB of VRAM.

  4. Importantly, the memory bandwidth (384-bit) and total bandwidth (528GB/sec) correspond to the W9000. So it seems the D700 is perhaps a version of the W9000. If the D300 and D500 are also 384-bit than perhaps what Apple has done is is simply scale the GPU video ram. However that doesn’t compute as logical.

    The D300 has 2 GB each (4GB VRAM total), based on Schiller’s slide today. The D700 will each be 6 GB (12 GB VRAM total). So the question is, does the D500 have 3 or 5 GB each (6 or 8 GB VRAM total)?

    The Verge reports a variant of the machine will feature 16 GB of main memory, a FirePro D500 of unknown cram and a 6-core Xeon for just 3,999.USD. That price and the entry level price mentioned today sound crazy low for equal of the W9000. We shall wait and see….


    Apple has posted its specs on the new Mac Pro. We were close below. Very scalable and flexible BTO configs. Take a look at the link above. Basically you chose to start with a quad-core or 6-core and build up from there.

  6. Schiller says midway thru that “if you know what D300’s cost and high speed flash you are actually super impressed with this pricing…”

    How can we know what D300s cost Phill? There is no product lit at AMD on these?

Comments are closed.


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