Earlier this month, Apple hosted the annual developer conference, WWDC, in San Jose. In the opening ceremony, in addition to launching developer-focused software, Apple also introduced two notable hardware, Mac Pro 2019 and Pro Display XDR screen.
Mac Pro 2019 and Pro Display XDR screen
The new Mac Pro will occupy the highest position in the Mac line. Its predecessor, the 2nd generation Mac Pro, was released in 2013, also known as the Trash Mac Pro, although very beautiful and unique but failed in sales. The circular cylinder design replaces the easy-to-upgrade, modular case design that Apple has been doing for decades. Although sleek and compact, the Mac Pro 2013 has too little space for upgrades.
Early Mac Pro next to Mac Pro 2013
In 2017, Apple apologized to users and admitted that the design of the Mac Pro 2013 was not optimal. "Apples" also revealed that they are developing a brand new Mac Pro with modular design.
And that's the Mac Pro model we saw earlier this month. Mac Pro 2019 brings the rectangular case back design and inspired by many previous Apple products. This is also one of the final products of Design Director Jony Ive before he announced his departure from Apple on Thursday (June 27).
Invite you to learn more details of the design of Mac Pro 2019, the last legacy that Jony Ive left for Apple:
Shell and chassis
At first glance, we will only notice the large stainless steel handles and brackets protruding.
On the top side, there is a semicircle lock with the task of helping you separate the shell from the chassis. This operation is very simple, you just need to flip the lock up, turn the circle around in a clockwise direction to unlock it and then hook it into the semi-circle key to lift the shell up.
After the casing is removed, the entire internal components are accessible, replaced, added or repaired as needed. There are no snails or mounts, everything, everything is simple but works smoothly and easily.
The entire casing is made of aluminum which is cut by CNC machine, stained and smoothed by sandblasting method. It is very durable and can stand on the table when not mounted on the chassis. However, its front and back are cut holes in a special way to help air flow through. We will talk more about this later.
Inside, all components are directly attached to the polished stainless steel frame. Handles and brackets are part of the entire chassis and they protrude from the casing to help the Mac Pro stand on a flat surface and easily move when needed.
This is not the first time Apple has used the design method of attaching all components to the frame and enveloping with a single cover.
The Power Mac G4 Cube, released in 2000 and died in 2001, is the first Mac computer to have this design. Components inside the Cube can be easily accessed by turning it upside down and pulling it out with the handle.
Heat dissipation on the 2019 Mac Pro is also inspired by an old Apple product Power Mac G5. This rectangular case computer model released in 2003 is even more like cheese cheese than Mac Pro 2019.
Inside the G5 is divided into 4 different radiator zones by using air-conditioned partitions and plastic panels. In each area, a slow-speed fan will draw in air from the front and pass through the components, through the heat sink. Then the hot air will be pushed back.
At that time, the G5's design was considered a breakthrough compared to its competitors, which basically had only one large heat sink.
Separating large spaces into small areas helps each area to be monitored and cooled separately. The fan will only need to spin when the specific device in the area it is responsible for is hot. Thanks to this design, the computer will produce less noise and the cooling capacity is also more efficient.
On Mac Pro 2019, Apple uses a metal plate they call the Sea wall and the motherboard itself to divide the space inside into two heat sinks. The larger area at the front of the board will be equipped with 3 large air intake vents from the front, passing through the CPU radiator and expansion card sections then going outside from behind.
In the opposite area, a blown fan will bring the cool air through RAM, SSD and power before pushing out.
The screen base costs USD 1,000
Despite its high price, it is undeniable that Apple's stand-up Pro Stand is a technical masterpiece. It looks simple, but inside its armrests there are joints that can change the position easily while vertically while keeping the viewing angle parallel to the original position. The screen is also easily attached to the Pro Stand base by magnet and can be rotated horizontally when needed.
Cheap screen mounts often make users uncomfortable when unstable or difficult to adjust to the right place. Creating a minimalist, sleek base, but it must be solid and easy to move the screen is not easy and of course the price of such products is not cheap.
The Pro Display XDR screen is also not the first Apple product to have a stand with such a swing arm. iMac G4 was launched in 2002, the first flat screen iMac, with a screen connected to the hemispherical body with a blow arm. The arm is so strong that Apple advises users to use it as a handle if they need to move the iMac G4.
Ventilated grid like a "cheese cell"
The front and rear design of the Mac Pro 2019 ventilation grille and behind Apple's Pro Display XDR screen received mixed opinions. Many people think that it looks too bad. Those who suffer from syndrome are afraid to look at it.
But some people think it's pretty, it looks like the sculptor's work and architect Erwin Hauer. However, it would be wrong to think that Apple created this design only for beauty.
One of Erwin Hauer's works
Apple decided to choose this design because it was useful while ensuring aesthetics. It solves a problem that Apple has encountered with the palm rest on the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro in 2008. Basically, Apple has found a solution to how to eliminate most of the plate. metal without affecting its structure.
"This part of the palm rest is the backbone of the entire product. Normally, when you have a palm rest and still cut a big hole (for the keyboard), the durability and structural integrity will be broken. We found that instead of a big hole, creating a series of small holes would help ensure the integrity of the structure. ", Jony Ive shared in an interview.
Basically, instead of cutting a big hole for the keyboard (like on previous Macs), on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 2008, Apple cut the individual holes for each key. The rest of the frame between keys helps preserve the structure of the rest of the projection.
Apple uses a similar approach to the vent section on the Mac Pro 2019. A spherical grinding head array arranged in hexagons will cut each side of the aluminum plate in a staggered position. The intersection of the spherical cuts will create space for air circulation. This cutting process removes 50% of aluminum sheet material but the remaining structure is durable, and breathable.
The method that Apple offers to handle all problems while ensuring the functionality of the product is the most effective is really subtle.
Obviously to optimize the air flow through and the durability of the Apple structure, it has to go through a long, hard test to find the depth of the spherical cut, the level of interference between the cuts of the two sides, the ratio of the diameter of the space in the middle … I don't know how many times Apple experts had to try to get the best specs.
The first Mac computer with wheels
Not everything on Mac Pro 2019 is inspired by past devices. This is really the first Mac computer to support wheels. Apple has designed a set of stainless steel rotating wheels for those who want to use them to replace the stand.
With this new Mac Pro, Apple has come back to do what they do best by balancing the standard formulas and what they have tried with new technology and techniques.
This computer model may not be for the majority of users, but it reaffirms Apple's commitment to the desktop segment. However, sadly, it was like a farewell to design legend Jony Ive when he recently announced his departure from Apple.