Another year, and another delivery from Mac into the market with huge steps up in performance and processing. This time we’re looking at their flagship line with the Mac Pro. Costing up to $6,000, these systems cut no corners in delivering some of the most powerful technology Mac has ever released. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what makes the 2023 systems special, and what this boost in performance can mean for users who look to their devices for raw graphical horsepower.
A Cohesive Design
Unlike their PC counterparts which focus on discrete components, Apple’s major systems like the Mac Pro tend to rely on system-on-chip designs. These SoCs are highly specialized, and when designed well can help increase the speed of communication shared with different hardware components. While SoCs don’t allow hardware upgrades, they also produce fewer issues with drivers and hardware incompatibility, meaning a smoother experience overall for users.
In the new Apple Pro, the SoC includes a graphical processing unit. With this approach, the Apple Pro lacking an upgrade path has been turned into an advantage with this premium line, driving Apple to install an incredibly powerful solution that will satisfy pros for years to come.
Productivity and Gaming
Mac Pros don’t skimp on components or cost, and when looking at power use and benchmark performance, their place as workstations is without question. Tests routinely demonstrate Mac can’t be beaten when measuring power consumption versus compute capabilities, and while we don’t have benchmarks on the new systems yet, such strong patterns indicate this will likely remain true.
In the world of interactive experiences, Mac games are also highly performant with big standouts appearing in the realm of online browser games. These titles are built on HTML5 and related technologies, which gel perfectly with Macs’ focus on streamlined builds, power, and convenience. It doesn’t hurt that Mac systems also tend to offer higher-quality screens, with their famous Retina displays offering more depth than what standard PC builds can offer.
The only caveat here is that Macs can’t quite measure up when it comes to the most demanding desktop titles, at least in terms of frame rate. Tests on games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider show the most expensive Macs falling well behind cheaper PC options, at least when run natively. That said, the ability of Macs to stream games perfectly well over systems like Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate makes this essentially a non-issue.
Whether creating movies or playing games, the visuals and capabilities of the new Mac Pro are destined to be some of the best that Apple has built yet. For those with the budget, don’t overlook what this platform can accomplish, and how flexible it can be in work, entertainment, and casual use. It’s just a shame that Apple hasn’t yet provided a gamepad solution to jump into games with, but until it does, a Sony DS4 is still a great choice that works well and is officially supported by iOS systems.