Intended for a very specific audience, Apple’s Mac Pro clearly doesn’t have a reasonable price for an average person. However, the features it has are not present on an average workstation. When it launched in December, one of these was Apple’s Afterburner accelerator for video decoding, which was only available with the purchase of a new Mac Pro. Recently, however, the company made the card available for download. purchase separately.
The Apple Afterburner Card is an FPGA-based PCIe 3.0 x16 card that accelerates the decoding of video streams encoded using the ProRes and ProRes RAW video codecs. ProRes is commonly used throughout the Mac video editing ecosystem, including Final Cut Pro X, QuickTime Player X and numerous third party programs. Once installed in the Mac Pro PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, an Afterburner card can support playback of up to 6 streams of 8K ProRes RAW or up to 23 streams of 4K ProRes RAW, which, suffice to say, is incredibly useful in post video – production industry.
Unfortunately, while Apple is making the card freely available for purchase, its system requirements have not changed. In particular, it is officially supported only in the Mac Pro 2019. So, at least officially, the owners of the 2011 Mac Pro and Hackintosh are out of luck. However, it will be interesting to see if hackers can make it work on other systems, since the real support pin is macOS itself.
The Apple Afterburner Card is available directly from Apple for $ 2,000.
Sources: Apple, Mac 9to5