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Apple unveils powerful Mac Pro for video editors

Apple’s new power workstation goes where no other computer goes before: it can live edit RAW 8K video – and it can live edit three video streams simultaneously.

Click below to read more about the new Mac Pro.

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Apple has introduced a new Mac Pro, a redesigned workstation for pros who want to push the limits of what a Mac can do. Designed for maximum performance, expansion, and configurability, the new Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world’s most powerful graphics card. It also introduces Apple Afterburner, an accelerator card that enables playback of three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video simultaneously.

“We designed Mac Pro for users who require a modular system with extreme performance, expansion, and configurability,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With its powerful Xeon processors, massive memory capacity, groundbreaking GPU architecture, PCIe expansion, Afterburner accelerator card and jaw-dropping design, the new Mac Pro is a monster that will enable pros to do their life’s best work. Pro Display XDR is the world’s best pro display and the perfect companion to the new Mac Pro. With Retina 6K resolution, gorgeous color, extreme brightness and contrast ratio, and a highly functional design, Pro Display XDR delivers the most comprehensive set of features ever offered on any display at this price point.”

Apple provided the following information:

Tremendous Processor Power and Massive Bandwidth

Designed for customers who demand the ultimate in CPU performance — for workflows like production rendering, playing hundreds of virtual instruments or simulating an app on a dozen iOS devices at once — Mac Pro features powerful Xeon processors up to 28 cores, with 64 PCI Express lanes for tremendous performance and massive bandwidth. It also provides over 300W of power along with a state-of-the-art thermal architecture to allow the processor to run fully unconstrained all the time.

Enormous Memory Capacity and Expansion

For pros working with large projects, analyzing huge data sets, or running multiple pro applications, the Mac Pro provides enormous memory capacity to meet needs as they grow. Featuring a six-channel memory architecture and 12 physical DIMM slots, the new Mac Pro allows for a massive 1.5TB of memory, the most ever available in a Mac. And with eight PCI Express expansion slots, which is twice that of the previous-generation Mac Pro tower, pros can customize and expand their system in ways never before possible in a single workstation.

World’s Most Powerful Graphics Architecture

For pros animating 3D film assets, compositing 8K scenes, and building complex 3D environments, graphics performance is more important than ever. That is why Mac Pro features the world’s most powerful graphics card and up to 56 teraflops of graphics performance in a single system. Its groundbreaking graphics expansion architecture, the Apple MPX Module, features Thunderbolt integration and over 500W of power, both firsts for any graphics card on the market. And for super quiet operation, the MPX Module is cooled by the Mac Pro system thermals.

Mac Pro graphics options start with the Radeon Pro 580X. Mac Pro debuts the Radeon Pro Vega II, featuring up to 14 teraflops of compute performance and 32GB of memory with 1TB/s of memory bandwidth, the highest of any GPU. Mac Pro also introduces Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, which features two Vega II GPUs for an incredible 28 teraflops of graphics performance and 64GB of memory, making it the world’s most powerful graphics card. Mac Pro can accommodate two MPX Modules so customers can use two Vega II Duos for a staggering 56 teraflops of graphics performance and 128GB of video memory.

Introducing Apple Afterburner, a Powerful Accelerator Card

The new Mac Pro debuts Afterburner, featuring a programmable ASIC capable of decoding up to 6.3 billion pixels per second. With Afterburner, video editors using high-quality cameras that require the conversion of native file formats into proxies for easy editing can now use native formats right from the camera and decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real time, virtually eliminating proxy workflows.

Performance to Transform the Pro Workflow

With up to 28 core Xeon processors, 56 teraflops of graphics performance and the groundbreaking Afterburner card, the new Mac Pro delivers performance that will transform pro workflows. A number of pro app developers are seeing amazing results that have never been possible in a single workstation.

Maxon’s Cinema 4D is seeing 20 percent faster GPU render performance, when compared to a Windows workstation, and maxed out with three NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 graphics cards.

For additional performance results for the all-new Mac Pro, see apple.com/mac-pro

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IFA 2019: Dell puts 10th gen Intel Core in laptops

Ahead of IFA, Dell has announced its consumer portfolio with new form factors and the addition of 10th Gen Intel Core processors to its current XPS and Inspiron portfolio. It is likely that the devices will go on display at IFA 2019 in Berlin at the beginning of September.

Click below to read more about the updated portfolio.

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Dell says its latest consumer portfolio refresh can deliver performance gains needed for compute-intensive, demanding, multi-thread workloads, while still handling 4K content efficiently. In doing so, Dell says it gives heavyweight performance in a thin, light and portable design.

XPS 13

The refreshed XPS 13 will be available in the USA on 27 August, along with some of the models housing Intel 10th Gen Core U series processors, while i7 hexacore models will be available in October.

With the new Killer AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset, wireless connectivity is three times as fast as the previous generation. Along with Dell CinemaColor, Dolby Vision and an optional 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge display, the XPS 13 will remain eye candy for those glued to their screen. 

The XPS will be available with either Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the latter serving as the foundation of the XPS 13 developer edition, now in its 9th generation. Ubuntu versions also mean lower cost due to not having to pay for Windows bundled with the computer. 

Inspiron 14 7000

With the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors, Dell says it is putting premium materials and performance to its Inspiron line with the introduction of the new Inspiron 14 7000 ultralight laptops. Weighing under 1.1 kg, this impressively portable design was achieved through introducing a lightweight yet durable magnesium alloy chassis.

It features a new lid-open sensor, Connected Modern Standby and fingerprint reader built into the power button. The system signs on securely and starts in a flash. The stylish laptop features all-around narrow borders with 100% sRGB colour coverage, great for mobile multitasking.

For more specs, details, pricing and availability, follow Gadget on Twitter.

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Acer’s latest Chromebook means serious business

The latest Acer Chromebooks for business have arrived in South Africa. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the Acer Chromebook 715.

Click below to read the review.

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The Chromebook market has been perceived as very consumer-focused, until the recent introduction of management tools for Chrome OS.

To complement these corporate management tools, Acer has released the Chromebook 715, aimed at the business person that works in the cloud, in South Africa.

The unit we reviewed contained an Intel Core i5-8250U, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. All of this was housed in a sturdy aluminium body. 

On the left side, the computer features a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, a standard USB Type-A port, and a headphone jack, while on the right it has a Kensington Lock, another USB Type-C port just for connectivity and a microSD card slot. 

When open, the narrow bezelled 15.6″-inch display has a Full HD resolution for crisp lettering in documents. The wide colour gamut also ensures that colours are accurately represented on screen. 

The keyboard features a first for Chromebooks: a num-pad. This is especially useful for those working with spreadsheets on Google Sheets or Excel Online, or accountants working in web apps like Xero.

The overall design of this computer shows the professional look Acer was going for with a business-facing Chromebook. It has a grey aluminium body, which looks heavy, but comes to a mere 1.8kg. It’s much lighter than it looks for an almost 16″ laptop.

The performance is great and switching between web apps is fast. This is thanks to the embedded i5 processor, which doesn’t make as much of a noise as its Windows counterparts.

The computer isn’t for the “slashie”: those who run their personal and business lives on the same device. As a result, games don’t run on the computer because it doesn’t run applications. This asserts the device’s status as a purely business-focused device.

Apart from the hardware features, the computer is handled via the lightweight Chrome OS. 

Chrome OS is Google’s answer for those who only work with web apps, and don’t want their computer’s performance hindered by unnecessary apps. With the increasing power offered from web apps, the computer application as we know is likely to disappear eventually. 

With Google’s Apps for Work platform, the Chromebook lends itself to the same admin management tools that exist on other platforms. 
The integrated 45 Wh battery may seem small but operates for around 9 hours, thanks to the lightweight software and good battery management.  

Overall, for those who want a no-nonsense approach to computing, the Acer Chromebook 715 may be their best next device. However, its pricing at R7,999 may deter those who would expect to pay less.

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