52K Mac, We’re Not Talking About the RAM Here!

When you think of what $52,000 can buy, you probably think of things like a high-end luxury car (like a Tesla), a boat, or maybe a 5-star trip around the world. Regardless, the last thing you’d probably want to spend $52K on is a computer!

Well, Apple Inc. is back in the news with it newest—and most expensive—product yet.

The all new Mac Pro is set to be available for pre-order starting next Tuesday.

However, this machine might not enjoy the same “early adopter” success that say a new iPhone does. Don’t get me wrong, the specs on this machine are astounding*:

  • Up to a 28-Core Intel Xeon W processors
  • Up to 1.5TB (that’s TERABYTES!) of DIMM RAM, running at 2933MHz
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphic cards (configurable with up to four GPUs) Up to 8TB of SSD storage
  • Tons of the latest, most powerful PCI expansion slots and others
  • Tons of USB 3, Thunderbolt, and Ethernet ports
  • And the most powerful WiFi (A/C) and Bluetooth (5.0) available

*Note: These specs are based on the most expensive configuration options.

This machine is a monster! But that’s not all…

Gotta love that “Cheese Grater” design. Apple, you’ve done it again!
That’s not enough colors! Sorry Apple! LOL!

If you want THE most powerful monitor to go with this Macintosh behemoth, you’ll be looking at the Pro Display XDR. And it too is a monster!

It’s a 32-inch Retina 6K display capable of presenting over a billion (that’s BILLION with a B) colors!

Now given the fact that human beings can only perceive an estimated 10 million colors, what would the remaining 990,000,000 colors be used for?

Oh, and let’s not forget the $1000 dollar monitor stand that caused quite a stir at the WWDC (i.e. World Wide Developers Conference where Apple announces all its new products) earlier this year.

All told, this system (and we haven’t even gotten into the peripherals) at its most maxed out configuration can set you back more than $52,000. Which puts this system well out of the reach of most freelance VFX artists, professional graphic designers, videographers, and audio engineers to name a few. In other words, this is not a tool for artists. I’m not even sure if it would be a tool for well-established VFX studios such as Digital Domain, ILM, Drawn by the Light, Double Negative, or Hydraulx to name a few. In fact, Digital Batman’s friends who work in the VFX in LA all tell me that they do not commonly use Macs for work on blockbuster tentpole films such as Avengers, Alita: Battle Angel, or Star Wars—all owned by Disney by the way. They all use PCs/Windows.

There was a time when SGI (i.e. Silicon Graphics, Inc.) workstations were the norm in the VFX industry during the early aughts. But that time has long past. VFX artists use PCs; though some use Macs but not this gargantuan Mac Pro—at least not at this time.

Whatever market Apple is targeting here with this system, it’s not apparently clear. Perhaps it’s meant for the pure sciences such as weather pattern modeling or astrophysics. Maybe Apple is attempting to disrupt the market with an over-the-top product much like Telsa’s new Cybertruck (see my post for a discussion on that). Or maybe Apple is simply trying to show the world that they are the world’s greatest personal computer manufacturer lock, stock, and barrel.

Who knows?

All I can say is that my 2012 Mac mini still runs just fine even seven years later. My wife and I have produced countless professional marketing collateral and graphic designs with it, used it to build tons of highly-dynamic graphically-based websites, and edited on it high-definition broadcast quality videos.

And we only paid a little over $1300 for it.