The Mac Pro includes the fast and the furious (or what is Afterburner)

In fact includes. Not only in default and as an option, for $ 2,000. Afterburner PCIe card accelerator to process the video, whose title translates as “afterburning chamber” – one of the many wonders of the new Mac Pro, with this card it really “enables the fast and the furious”. She’s even more “not for everyone” than the Mac Pro, but I think she deserves to know about it. One of the sites, quite loyal to Apple related to this monster mixed. Two weeks before the opening pre-orders for the Mac Pro, they conducted a survey on “What do you expect from a Mac Pro?”, offering five choices.

Inside the Mac Pro is not less beautiful than the outside

The fifth option was “against all”, in the sense of “other.” The remaining four options, and what some of the voters some of them have chosen, here below:

  • I do not know what to expect from him – 27%;
  • It will be a failure – 26%;
  • Everything will be fine – 20%;
  • It will be no better than what already is – 19%.

I then chose the first answer, but now, perhaps, inclined to the third. Including this optional afterburner. In June, one of technical on all cylinders journalists are not seen to be sympathetic to Apple has named this card “part from an alien spaceship”, through which managed to break away in the future, at least for a few years. But the author himself said that everything is much more prosaic, but no less amazing.

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Why you need Afterburner

In short, this little device, if enabled in the PCIe slot Mac Pro last acquires the ability to encode up to three streams of video in 8K 8K ProRes or ProRes RAW, not diverting to this very costly work processors (CPU and GPU) the Mac Pro. Or 12 streams of 4K ProRes/ProRes RAW. Currently, this is all that can Afterburner, but since it is a FPGA (field programmable vector matrix), it can be taught other tricks. In the marketing description of this map invites those who would like to do this “contact the developers”, apparently referring to the Australian company Atomos, which has partnered with Apple since Steve jobs. Like, API and documentation for developers promise to publish.

Afterburner at the presentation of Apple

By the way, the formats of Apple ProRes and Apple ProRes RAW for 12 years, is widely used in the industry, was developed jointly by Apple and Atomos. ProRes 422 in 2007, in 2009, ProRes 4444, and several of their variations, in subsequent years. Interest of Steve jobs to technology, video processing is not accidental (he was the head and owner of Pixar, these days it is an Autonomous division of Disney with its own Studio), and after a long break Apple returns this furious a complicated business. Afterburner was developed jointly by Apple and Atomos, and it’s really something beyond. To what extent this collaboration has taken Apple a question. Those who think iPhone something frivolous, and the Apple company produces toy computers for secretaries and blondes with claims, still do not believe that Apple can fully participate in something like that. I could, but as was the case in this case is still unknown.

On the same day when Apple announced the Mac Pro, Apple Pro XDR Display and, among other stuff relevant to them, Afterburner, company Atomos has released Atomos HDR display Neon with very similar, possibly identical just, a map. So this time Apple engineers really could be waiting in the wings and in the role of students-trainees in the decade when the iPhone was Apple something gone and lost. In the past six months, Apple has increasingly been nice to surprise me.

Read also - How is created the new Mac Pro

How to use afterburner

Caution. Like any aircraft, especially for military purposes. Why is that in civil aviation the fast and the furious does not apply. Ships crawl slowly across the sky like flies in the heat. But – jokes aside. The Mac Pro can be installed up to three of these cards, all the necessary software included in the package. In the online Apple store is already the place where such a map can be bought separately from the rest, for the same $ 2,000, but so far neither buy nor order it. In the Configurator Mac Pro, you can choose only one such map.

Other photos yet — no one has bought this thing

Manual (surface) describes the procedure to install this map: it should be installed in PCIe slot number five. If it is already in use in slot number three. If busy and the slot – in slot number four. Some magic and dancing with tambourines? No, just not all slots are the same, and practice by yourself to include these cards in the Mac Pro configuration will begin in just a few weeks, possibly months. It is a theory. And that can get out in the real world, and where it all will lead, we don’t know. Those who Apple has provided a few (units) c Mac Pro 8-core W-Xeon – professionals in various fields, including in one in which there is a sense to install in the Mac Pro that card. Those who have had it installed (by Apple engineers), was delighted. Claims they had.

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