What Is Apple Afterburner Card? And What Does It Do?


One of the unique peculiarities of the new Mac Pro is the support for the Apple Afterburner card. According to Apple, it is an accelerator card that is currently available only on the Mac Pro (2019) that enhances the ProRes and ProRes RAW workflows, and will be useful for video editing professionals.

What Is Apple Afterburner Card? And What Does It Do?


The company explains that the card accelerates video files decoding and playback of multiple streams while using ProRes and ProRes RAW footage.

Pros Of Afterburner Card

According to Apple, it helps while editing high-resolution (8K) videos by freeing up the CPU processors that can be used for other tasks. And it also enables faster transcoding and sharing.

As of now, the Afterburner card is compatible apps made by Apple like the Final Cut Pro X, Motion, Compressor, and QuickTime Player. The company does confirm that third-party apps can also utilize the Afterburner card. However, as of now, there is no information on which third-party apps actually support it.

A Mac Pro (2019) equipped with an Afterburner card can playback 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. This test was done on a Mac Pro with 28-core Intel Xeon W processors, 384GB of RAM, and 64GB of AMD Radeon Pro Vega II with 4TB storage.

How To Get Afterburner Card?

The availability of the Afterburner card is limited to the Mac Pro (2019). One can buy or Mac Pro with a pre-installed Afterburner card or it can be purchased separately from Apple and can be installed on the Mac Pro. The company suggests that the card must be installed in either slot 3 or slot 5 full-length PCIe slot in Mac Pro. If either of the slots are available, then it can also be installed on slot 4.


The company has a dedicated web page that explains how to install the Afterburner card. Not just one, the Mac Pro can support up to 3 Afterburner cards at the same time. However, it does not work in Windows with Boot Camp.

Apple Afterburner Card Price

A single Apple Afterburner card will cost $2,000 and a total of three will cost $6,000. The card can be ordered from Apple.com. As of now, there is no information on the pricing of the Afterburner card in India.

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