Expansion Slot Utility Makes a Comeback with macOS Catalina on Mac Pro

At the WWDC 2019, Apple finally unveiled the long overdue Mac Pro. Now it is discovered that the macOS Catalina comes with Expansion Slot Utility, a feature that was disbanded in 2008. The Expansion Slot Utility feature was found in the second developer beta of macOS Catalina. The tool allows users to manage PCI expansion options present on the Mac Pro.

Apple started offering Expansion Slot Utility on early Mac Pros but ditched the feature in 2008. The reason for this was that the 2008 model didn’t come with a configurable PCIe setup and instead featured fixed assignments.

Apple has bought back the Expansion Slot Utility on the new Mac Pro and has also decided to offer Expansion Slot Utility. The tool was first spotted by Steve Moser and Guilherme Rambo on Twitter. The app will allow Mac Pro users to manage PCI cards and assign bandwidth as per their requirement. This setup will allow users to prioritize the use of computing prowess to certain tasks like graphics processing.

The latest Mac Pro comes baked in with eight PCI-express slots. It is worth noting that PCI support will allow you to use existing PC hardware and add peripherals like sound cards and GPU’s. The new Mac Pro starts at $5,999 and is aimed at advanced users wanting a powerful workstation. Speaking about the price, the top of the line Mac Pro is expected to cost a cool $50,000.

Our Take

The main purpose of adding a PCI Expansion card to a motherboard is to let users add new hardware. With Mac Pro, you can update hardware like video cards, network cards, recording cards and much more. The Expansion Slot Utility will allow you to prioritize and channel computing power. If you are uploading a large video file it might be better to turn up the power to Network card. The PCI expansion will let Mac Pro users edit 3x8K streams or even 12x4K streams simultaneously without a hiccup.