Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles (upbeat techno music) - All right, we're finally doing it. We're reviewing the Mac Pro and the Pro XDR display. The Mac Pro is Apple's new high performance modular Mac tower for pros. Pro pros, actual professionals. This isn't Air Pods pro, fancier and more expensive. This is pro. You're gonna use this thing for making TV shows, producing music, building apps, stuff where you need all the power you can get. And the back story is that Apple basically forgot about this market for a long time. In 2013, it announced the previous Mac Pro, the round computer that we affectionately called the trashcan. It didn't update it forever and then after a lot of consternation about the future of the Mac, Apple admitted in 2017 that is had gotten the thermal design wrong and was gonna start over. Then we waited for another two years and now we've got this Mac Pro, the big dog, the most powerful Mac ever made. It's basically what people were asking for, it's a big tower, it's modular, you can spec it with a variety of processors and graphic cards, it's got a bunch of slots, a headphone jack, you can basically do anything with it. And let's be honest, the Mac Pro has actually been out for a little while and a lot of our friends out there on YouTube have been testing it. And all those videos are great, but that means to add to the conversation, we've gotta do something a little bit different. And then there's the problem, which is that the Mac Pro is endlessly configurable. You can buy the base model for $6,000 or you can spec it all the way out to $54,000 with a 28-core processor and two dual GPUs. So just picking a Mac Pro to review is a challenge. There's no way to pick a single configuration that's best for everyone, but we have an advantage. The Verge is part of Vox Media, and we know a lot of people here who work on fancy media projects. Just a couple floors below us, there's an entire team of people making Netflix and Hulu shows. We've got huge daily podcasts that come out, people here work on print magazine design, and of course The Verge's own art and video teams make illustrations and motion graphics for our site and YouTube all day long. So, we called everyone and asked them to use the Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR to do their jobs. - Hi, my name is Murilo Silva I'm the director of post production technology here at Vox. - Hi, I'm Estelle Caswell, I'm a senior video producer at vox.com. - I'm Stevie Remsberg and I'm an art director at New York Magazine. - My name's Grayson Blackmon, I'm Senior Motion Designer at The Verge. - My name is Noam Hassenfeld, I'm a reporter/producer for Today Explained, which is Vox's daily podcast. - I've been building and maintaining post production facilities for about 16 years. Before I was here at Vox I was at a facility that did all the color work for "Game of Thrones." - I've worked on the Netflix "Explained" series, but you probably know me from my music series "Earworm," on Vox's YouTube channel. - The winner is the most feared song in jazz explained by Vox. - [Grayson] There was a time where if you watched TV, you probably saw a commercial I worked on. - All right, step one, we still have to configure a Mac Pro. - We wanted a machine that we will realistically use in our day to day. Specs are only half the story here because like most people, we also have to stay within a price range that makes sense for our business, which in this case was about $17,000. We felt 16 cores at 3.2 gigahertz was a sweet spot in terms of price performance for Adobe Premiere and After Effects. And of course, the dual Radeon Pro Vega two video cards to help crunch those GPU effects. At the price point we selected, we should be able to handle heavy editing workflows, raw footage in real time, and pretty decent color work in Resolve. We kept the RAM pretty modest, but did invest in an Afterburner card, which we probably won't use very much, but we really wanted to see how it performs. - So, that's our Mac Pro. Spoiler alert, we also bought a Threadripper PC to compare it to. One, two, three. We'll get back to that. So, how does this thing perform? - [Stevie] This is not faster than it would take me to do on my computer, just FYI. I use a 2019 iMac. I'm a heavy user of InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, and I dabble in After Effects if I'm attempting to make a GIF. It didn't feel faster at all. I was working off a server via VPN, so it's possible that was slowing things down, but I got the spinning ball often. I mostly just worked in InDesign and Photoshop as I normally would, but honestly, my current setup works fine for what I do. I rarely experience any issues with slowness. - Currently, I use a 2019 iMac and I mostly work in Premiere Pro and After Effects, though sometimes I dip into Logic and Photoshop. In After Effects, previewing comps with just a handful of effects can be laggy, so typically, I preview comps in a half or a quarter quality when I'm trying to work super fast. I was hoping that when I tested out the Mac Pro, I wouldn't have that issue, but I ran into the same problems that I do on my iMac at home. Like if I move a shape, all of a sudden, the picture will go from super clear to like incredibly pixelated. And the only way to get rid of that is to render the scene and play it. And the fact that it happened on this computer is pretty crazy. - I use a 2017 MacBook Pro. I have to work pretty fast on "Today, Explained." Sometimes I only get a couple hours to turn around a project. But, I don't think the Mac Pro would help me do my job any better than I currently do it. All the programs that I use run just as fast on my current computer as they do on the Mac Pro, so there's really no point in getting a Mac Pro for me at my current job. But, if I were working on a much more intensive, maybe lush project with a hundred, two hundred tracks, I think the Mac Pro could make a difference. - At The Verge, I work on a late 2015 iMac. Womp, womp. I work primarily in Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and Cinema 4D. Deadlines are one of the biggest factors for me. Rendering can take a really long time, especially when working in 3D. I didn't notice any playback slowdowns, so in that regard, I guess it's much faster than my normal workstation. We created an animated illustration using Cinema 4D that we would have otherwise been unable to make. Having 32 threads meant that rendering using the CPU was much faster than my old iMac. The biggest thing was the individual apps themselves would be slow. In Photoshop, I tried to save a PNG and it took forever. Illustrator was also slow. Finding a use case that really pushed the GPUs was a challenge, especially because at the time I was using the computer, none of Adobe's software was optimized to use them. - Did you catch that? None of Adobe's software was optimized to use the GPUs. That's it.