What you need to know

  • The macOS Catalina beta 2 has revealed more information about the new Mac Pro.
  • Apple is reviving the Expansion Slot Utility app to make it easier to configure the computer.
  • This app was not available on the last gen Mac Pro as it was not configurable.

Apple ushered some major changes with the Mac Pro and though it gave us a lot of information regarding it at its WWDC unveiling, we are still learning some new details about it thanks to the second beta of macOS Catalina. First spotted by iOS developer Stove Moser, we learned about the revival of the Expansion Slot Utility app.

Catalina (macOS 10.15) Beta 2 includes some new details on the new 2019 Mac Pro (Mac7,1). The Expansion Slot Utility app lives again! The app, now updated to version 2.0, wasn't compatible with the previous 2013 Mac Pro since it didn't have user replaceable PCI slots. The app icon which used to be the default app icon has been replaced with an image of the new 2019 Mac Pro (with the default feet, no wheels). New strings included in the app indicate that the user will be alerted when cards in the Mac Pro are not in an optimal configuration and will give the user suggestions on where to move a particular card. Also one of the file names includes a reference to 'J160' which is most likely the codename for the 2019 Mac Pro (J90 was the codename for the 2013 Mac Pro). The application of course doesn't open on my MacBook Pro but I did find some assets that have to do with card slots and covers.

That explains how the Mac Pro will handle swapping out slots and cards with its configurable design. Moser also stumbled upon possilbe configurable names and new Pro Display XDR art work that illustrate how macOS will relay its vertical or horizontal placement, which you can do through the infamous $999 stand.

Finally, in a display related framework, I found the landscape and portrait artwork used for the new Apple Pro Display XDR. This artwork is used in Display preferences window to show which monitor is in use.

We'll continue to learn more as Apple releases more macOS betas throughout the summer and we get closer to the release of the Mac Pro in the fall.

Everything you need to know about the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR