Apple's Mac Pro Afterburner Card is now available for standalone purchase
Those who held off on the Afterburner card to save money can now upgrade at their convenience — Apple has made the card available to purchase on its own.
The Mac Pro Afterburner Card comes with a $2000 price tag. While the card has been available when purchasing a Mac Pro, Wednesday marks the first day that the card has been available as a discrete purchase.
The card is now able to be preordered through Apple's online store, with an expected delivery date between March 30 and April 3.
Afterburner is a card for the Mac Pro that is designed for use in video production. Rather than relying on the processor or graphics cards, the Afterburner takes over for some tasks, specifically those relating to video encoding and decoding, freeing up the rest of the system components to perform other tasks.
The Afterburner card is built to accelerate ProRes and ProRes RAW codecs, namely the encoding and decoding of the codecs, which is a processing-heavy task in most cases. Apple claims the card is capable of handling up to six streams of 8K ProRes RAW video simultaneously at 30 frames per second, making it extremely useful for video editors working at the highest possible level.
On less demanding video specifications, it is able to work on up to 23 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video at 30 frames per second, or at 4K ProRes 422, up to 16 video streams.
In terms of compatibility, Apple advises it will work with ProRes and ProRes RAW codecs in Final Cut Pro X, QuickTime Player X, and "supported third-party apps," though at this time it is unclear what these will be.