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28-Core Apple Mac Pro with AMD Radeon Pro Vega II

Using macOS Catalina is like wearing a hair shirt with ants inside while having a root canal. Other than that it is just a bowl full of cherries, coming out the other end. I am adjusting, but it has sure sucked a ton of time.

I have some preliminary insights on 28 CPU cores vs 16 CPU cores, and on AMD Radeon Pro Vega II vs AMD Radeon Pro 580X. If you want the scoop pronto before buying a Mac Pro, then engage me in consulting.

Things are pretty much as I thought and predicted: diminishing returns even on the best written software as in specifications are pretty much bullshit as far as determining gains. But the good news is that there are gains, and they can be substantial with some tasks.

I expect to amortize the absurd cost delta over the next 3-4 years. It *is* kind of cool having a machine that is whisper quiet and is just about impossible to max-out for CPU usage.

2019 Mac Pro configuration: overview
2019 Mac Pro configuration: memory
2019 Mac Pro configuration: expansion slot utility

Storage

Below, I use five OWC Thunderbay 4 units for most of my storage, though I also have one OWC Thunderbay 6 unit (6 bays instead of 4), and OWC has an 8-bay OWC Thunderbay 8 coming. Nearly all of the capacity is for backups as I am moving to a 100% SSD main storage approach.

Display

Below, I am currently using the LG 27MD5KB-B 27" UltraFine 16:9 5K IPS Monitor shown below along with my trusty NEC PA302W. The LG 5K is excellent and a BIG practical plus is that it breaks out 3 high-speed USB-C ports, which solves a thorny problem off too few USB ports on the Mac Pro.

My desired display setup includes the Apple Pro Display XDR and most likely the NEC PA311D, but that’s a financial bridge too far just yet. The NEC PA302W remains critical to my work however, for its low pixel density; see Too-High Pixel Density on 5K and 8K Displays Impedes Image Assessment.

 

OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

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YEE HAH!



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OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

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Tiny, bus-powered, rugged, compact!


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OWC Accelsior 4M2 PCIe SSD
6000 MB/sec!
Mac or PC.


Ideal for Lightroom, Photoshop, video.
Capacity up to 16TB!
Thunderbolt 4 Dock

Thunderbolt 4 hub and ports!

Any Mac with Thunderbolt 3.



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