About the Afterburner accelerator card for Mac Pro (2019)

Apple Afterburner is an accelerator card for Mac Pro (2019), created to enhance Apple ProRes and ProRes RAW workflows for film and video professionals.

What does Afterburner do?

Afterburner accelerates decoding and playback of multiple streams of ProRes and Pro Res RAW video files.1

What are the main benefits of using Afterburner?

  • Play back multiple streams of ProRes and ProRes RAW in resolutions such as 8K.2

  • Free up Mac Pro (2019) CPU processors (up to 28 cores) for additional processing and effects.

  • Faster transcoding and sharing of ProRes and ProRes RAW projects and files.

Which Apple apps can use Afterburner?

Any Apple application that plays back ProRes or ProRes RAW files can take advantage of the capabilities of Afterburner. This includes Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor, and QuickTime Player.

Can third-party apps use Afterburner?

Third-party app developers may include support for Afterburner. Contact the developer for information.

What codecs are accelerated by Afterburner?

Afterburner accelerates all ProRes and ProRes RAW codecs.

Does Afterburner accelerate ProRes or ProRes RAW encoding?

Afterburner accelerates ProRes and Pro Res RAW decoding and playback.

How do I install Afterburner

You can buy a Mac Pro with Afterburner pre-installed and ready to use.

You can also buy Afterburner separately and install it in Mac Pro (2019) yourself. You can install Afterburner in any full-length PCIe slot in Mac Pro, but for best performance Apple recommends installing Afterburner in slot 5. If slot 5 is occupied, install Afterburner in slot 3. If both slots 3 and 5 are occupied, then install Afterburner in slot 4.

How many Afterburner cards can I install in a Mac Pro (2019)?

Up to three Afterburner cards will provide increased performance of ProRes and ProRes RAW decoding

How should I configure the CPU of my Mac Pro (2019) if I plan on installing Afterburner?

Afterburner decodes ProRes and ProRes RAW content, which reduces the load on the CPU, freeing CPU resources for other processing and effects. So, when configuring the CPU of your Mac Pro, take into account the processing demands of your projects, workflows, and the other applications you use.

How should I configure the graphics card (GPU) of my Mac Pro (2019) if I plan on installing Afterburner?

Afterburner decodes ProRes and ProRes RAW content. However, demosaicing frames of ProRes RAW is handled by the GPU. If you use ProRes RAW files, you should also consider graphics processing performance.

Do Thunderbolt expansion chassis support Afterburner?

Afterburner is supported in Mac Pro (2019) and is not supported in Thunderbolt expansion chassis.

Does Boot Camp support Afterburner?

Afterburner decoding acceleration is available in macOS and is not available when using Windows with Boot Camp.

How does Afterburner interact with the built-in graphics card (GPU) or with an external graphics processor (eGPU)?

Afterburner accelerates decoding of ProRes and ProRes RAW files, but does not affect GPU or eGPU performance.

1. Afterburner does not accelerate interlaced ProRes media.
2. Through optimizations in Final Cut Pro that leverage Afterburner and the multiple cores on the Mac Pro, a 28-core Mac Pro with Afterburner can play back six streams of 8K DCI ProRes RAW at 29.97 fps or 23 streams of 4K DCI UHD ProRes RAW at 29.97 fps in full quality. Testing conducted by Apple in November 2019 on preproduction 2.5GHz 28-core Intel Xeon W-based Mac Pro systems with 384GB of RAM and dual AMD Radeon Pro Vega II graphics with Infinity Fabric Link and 32GB of HBM2 each, configured with Afterburner and a 4TB SSD. Tested on macOS Catalina with Final Cut Pro 10.4.7.

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