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This is one of 4 articles dedicated to Apple’s Mac Pro and iMacs:

1. Choose the best Apple iMac 21.5″
2. Choose the best Apple iMac 27″
3. Choose the best Apple iMac Pro
4. How to choose the best Apple Mac Pro (this article)

Who is the Apple Mac Pro ideal for?

1. Do you want one of the most reliable computers available on the market?
2. Do you want the most powerful computer currently available from Apple?
3. Do you want a computer that’s excellent all around?

That’s the Apple Mac Pro for you.

It’s a computer that’s solid, reliable, powerful, with multiple expansion slots and ports.

What can the Apple Mac Pro do for you?

– Audio/photo/video/3D/VR with outstanding performance.
– Handle many VMs without any problem
– Web browsing
– Office work (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
– Emails
– Listen to and record music
– Watching TV/movies from local files or streaming.
– Connecting multiple external monitors.
– Pretty much any task that you can ask for.

Why choose the Mac Pro?

– Plenty of options to configure: CPU, GPU. RAM, storage, Afterburner, etc.
– High-end CPU performance: Up to 28 cores Intel Xeon workstation-class CPUs offer performance that pros expect.
– Up to 1.5TB of RAM, with 12 RAM slots
– Support for one, two, or four GPUs, with four GPUs providing up to 56.8 teraflops and 128GB of HBM2 memory, plus the bandwidth to drive twelve 4K displays or six Pro Display XDRs
– Apple’s Afterburner: a PCIe x16 ProRes and ProRes RAW hardware accelerator card, which can support up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW, up to 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW, and up to 16 streams of 4K ProRes 422
– 8 PCI Express slots, allowing you to add extension cards
– Up to 8TB of SSD storage on the boot drive. You can always add more of course.
– Storage is encrypted by the Apple T2 Security Chip.
– Four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the base model with the Radeon RX 580, 8x Thunderbolt 3 ports on models with a single Radeon Vega II or Vega Duo, 12x Thunderbolt 3 ports on models with two graphic cards
– HDMI and Displayport outputs
– Support for the Apple 32″ XDR 6K display
– Modular design: Slide off the aluminum housing with the twist of a handle.
– 1400W power supply can handle upgrades without any issue.
– Powerful enough to handle highly demanding photo/video/3D/VR apps and heavy files
– It’s an Apple PC: mac OS, Siri, iCloud, many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
– Solid aluminum chassis
– Two 10Gb Ethernet port
– Bluetooth 5.0
– WiFi 5 802.11ac with MU-MIMO support
– 90 Days of Free Telephone Support from Apple
– Excellent customer service
– Upgrading the CPU, RAM, GPU and storage is possible
– Included wireless keyboard and mouse

Why you might not want the Apple Mac Pro: Cons

– No card reader
– High cost
– No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
– 1 year warranty is surprisingly short for such a premium product. You can extend it with AppleCare though.
– Getting used to macOS if you’ve never used it before.

How to Choose your Apple Mac Pro

What you need to know:

The 6 differences between all the Mac Pro:

1. Choose between five levels of CPU performance:

From the lowest to highest performance:
Name, number of core, number of threads, Base frequency/Turbo frequency/Max Turbo 3.0 frequency
– Intel Xeon W-3223: 8 Core / 16 threads 3.5/4.0/4.2GHz
– Intel Xeon W-3235: 12 Core / 24 threads 3.3/4.4/4.5GHz
– Intel Xeon W-3245: 16 Core / 32 threads 3.2/4.4/4.6GHz
– Intel Xeon W-3265M: 24 Core / 48 threads 2.7-4.4-4.6GHz
– Intel Xeon W-3275M: 28 Core / 56 threads 2.5-4.4-4.6GHz

More cores mean higher performance in demanding applications such as the Adobe suite, 3D, video and VR.

2. Choose between five levels of graphic card performance

There are five options available to you, in order of performance, from slowest to fastest:
1. AMD Radeon Pro 580X 8GB : 5.6 Teraflops single precision, 2304 SPs, 36 compute units, 8GB of memory
2. AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32GB: 14.1 Teraflops single precision: 4096 SPs, 64 compute units, 32GB of memory
3. 2x (Two) AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32GB: 28.2 Teraflops single precision: 8192 SPs, 128 compute units, 64GB of memory
4. AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo 64GB: 28.2 Teraflops single precision: 8192 SPs, 128 compute units, 64GB of memory
5. 2x (Two) AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo 64GB: 56.4 Teraflops single precision: 16384 SPs, 256 compute units, 128GB of memory

For pretty much any use outside of photo editing, video editing, 3D, VR, heavy rendering, scientific calculation, and the like, the base option, the Radeon Pro 580X 8GB, is more than enough.

On the other hand, for photo or video editing, 3D rendering and VR, stepping up to at least the Radeon Pro Vega II 32GB would be wise.

For highly demanding 3D rendering, scientific calculation, etc. opting for a single AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo 64GB will offer more performance.

For the ultimate performance, you can get two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo 64GB, for a total of 128GB of graphic memory.

3. With or without Afterburner?

Do you use your Mac Pro for video editing?

No? Don’t get an Afterburner card and skip this section.

Yes? Highly consider the Apple’s Afterburner card to accelerate your workload.

Apple’s Afterburner is a PCIe x16 ProRes and ProRes RAW hardware accelerator card for Final Cut Pro X, QuickTime Player X, and supported third-party apps.

Unique to the Mac Pro, Afterburner allows you to go straight from the camera to a timeline and work natively with 4K and 8K files, all without needing to transcode video or create proxy workflows.

With a frame rate of 30 fps, the Afterburner card supports up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW, up to 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW, and up to 16 streams of 4K ProRes 422, meaning you can free up your CPU cores to enable even more creative effects and processing.

4. Choose between 32, 48, 64, 96, 192, 256, 384, 768GB or 1.5TB of memory (RAM)

4GB_RAM_macbook_airYou have the choice between 32, 48, 64, 96, 192, 256, 384, 768GB or 1.5TB (1536GB) of memory.

How much do you need?

It depends on what you intend to do with your Mac Pro.

I would recommend checking the requirements of the programs that you intend to use. See what the users of said program end up recommending.

Are you a power user, wanting to run multiple heavier programs (audio/photo/video/3D) at once, work with virtual machines, very large data files, like to multitask and have no time to lose? 64GB or even 192GB GB would the wiser option then.

If you are running VMs or simply need all the RAM that you can get your hands on, 256GB and more is possible.

If you intend on keeping your Mac Pro for many years, going with more memory than you need right now is a good idea, seeing as memory usage keeps increasing, with newer versions of programs using more and more memory.

Keep in mind that it is possible to upgrade the memory in the Mac Pro, but unless have experience working on computers, I would recommend getting the right amount of RAM to begin with.

Note that the 1.5TB (1536GB) RAM option is only available on the Mac Pro with the 24 or 28 cores CPU.

5. Five storage capacities:
256GB, 1, 2, 4 or 8TB

Unsure about how whether you want 256GB, 1, 2, 4 or 8TB of storage?

Read our article on How to choose the right SSD storage capacity and pay less for your computer to figure it out.

Leave a comment at the end of this article if you have any questions.

6. With feet or with wheels?

While it makes no difference in performance, you can choose to have your Mac Pro equipped with feet or wheels.

Be default, I recommend it with feet, seeing as this is the least expensive option.

Summary: Skip to the recommendations

8 Cores CPU:

Without Afterburner card:

With Afterburner card:

12 Cores CPU:

Without Afterburner card

With Afterburner card

16 Cores CPU:

Without Afterburner card

With Afterburner card

24 Cores CPU:

Without Afterburner card

With Afterburner card

28 Cores CPU:

Without Afterburner card

With Afterburner card

Prices for B&H as of July 31st 2020. Note that I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Apple Mac Pro Late 2019

50 recommended CPU/GPU/ With or without Afterburner configurations:

From the least powerful to the most powerful model:

Is it safe to buy an Mac Pro from B&H Photo Video instead of the Apple Store? 

B&H Photo Video is an Authorized Apple Reseller. That means B&H has received authorization from Apple to sell Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc. This is great for you because B&H prices are generally much lower than the Apple Store. Items ship promptly and you receive the same warranty as if you had made the purchase at the Apple Store. In fact, you still receive all the benefits of the Apple Store (classes, Genius Bar access, etc.) when you buy from B&H Photo Video. So really, the only difference between buying from B&H and the Apple Store is that with B&H you will probably save a lot of money!

1. Eight Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $5,999.00 at B&H

2. Eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $8,399.00 at B&H

3. Eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $11,199.00 at B&H

4. Eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $11,199.00 at B&H

5. Eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM)

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $16,799.00 at B&H

6. Eight Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $7,999.00 at B&H

7. Eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $10,399.00 at B&H

8. Eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $13,199.00 at B&H

9. Eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $13,199.00 at B&H

10. Eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM), Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $18,799.00 at B&H

11. Twelve Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $6,999.00 at B&H

12. Twelve Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $9,399.00 at B&H

13. Twelve Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $12,199.00 at B&H

14. Twelve Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $12,199.00 at B&H

15. Twelve Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM)

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $16,799.00 at B&H

16. Twelve Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $8,999.00 at B&H

17. Twelve Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $11,399.00 at B&H

18. Twelve Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $14,199.00 at B&H

19. Twelve Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $14,199.00 at B&H

20. Twelve Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM), Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $19,799.00 at B&H

21. Sixteen Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $7,999.00 at B&H

22. Sixteen Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $10,399.00 at B&H

23. Sixteen Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $13,199.00 at B&H

24. Sixteen Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $13,199.00 at B&H

25. Sixteen Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM)

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $18,799.00 at B&H

26. Sixteen Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $9,999.00 at B&H

27. Sixteen Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $12,399.00 at B&H

28. Sixteen Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $15,199.00 at B&H

29. Sixteen Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $15,199.00 at B&H

30. Sixteen Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM), Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $20,799.00 at B&H

31. Twenty-four Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $11,999.00 at B&H

32. Twenty-four Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $14,399.00 at B&H

33. Twenty-four Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $17,199.00 at B&H

34. Twenty-four Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $17,199.00 at B&H

35. Twenty-four Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM)

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $22,799.00 at B&H

36. Twenty-four Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $13,999.00 at B&H

37. Twenty-four Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $16,399.00 at B&H

38. Twenty-four Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $19,199.00 at B&H

39. Twenty-four Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $19,199.00 at B&H

40. Twenty-four Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM), Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $24,799.00 at B&H

41. Twenty-eight Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $12,999.00 at B&H

42. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $15,399.00 at B&H

43. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $18,199.00 at B&H

44. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $18,199.00 at B&H

45. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM)

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $23,799.00 at B&H

46. Twenty-eight Core CPU, RX 580X 8GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $14,999.00 at B&H

47. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $17,399.00 at B&H

48. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II 32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $20,199.00 at B&H

49. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 1x Vega II Duo 2x32GB, Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $20,199.00 at B&H

50. Twenty-eight Core CPU, 2x Vega II Duo 2x 32GB (128GB VRAM), Afterburner Card

Configure the RAM and storage: Starting at $25,799.00 at B&H

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on how you can choose the best Apple Mac Pro for your needs.

Do you have any feedback or any questions? Are you unsure which model is the best one for you?

Please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.