Mac Pro: new models with Apple and Intel silicon in the works

Mac Pro: new models with Apple and Intel silicon in the works

Here are the key features and changes that have been rumored for the next Mac Pro. […]

Apple’s Mac Pro was introduced in 2019, and updates usually come out in small steps – new graphics options here, SSD module upgrades there, and so on. But the Mac Pro will undergo a major update once Apple releases its own System on a chip (SoC) for the workstation. This article keeps track of the reported updates for the Mac Pro, so check here if you want to know what might be coming.

2022 Mac Pro: design and sizes

The current Design of the Mac Pro was introduced in 2019, but we can observe some Changes when Apple introduces the Mac Pro, Apple silicon. According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, the Mac Pro, which uses Apple’s own SoC, will be half the size of the current Mac Pro, will have an aluminum case and could be reminiscent of the Power Mac G4 Cube.

Power Mac G4 Cube

The revamped Mac Pro might remind people of the Power Mac G4 Cube (c) Apple

Gurman also reports that Apple will not discontinue the current design of the Mac Pro and that the company will update it with Intel processors. This model will be available along with the new Apple SoC Mac Pro.

2022 Mac Pro: Apple Silicon

According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, the Mac Pro could be available with Apple silicon with 20 or 40 compute cores, with the former having 16 performance cores and four efficiency cores (Apple’s code name for this SoC is Jade 2C-Die) and the latter 32 performance cores and eight efficiency cores (code name Jade 4C-Die). Considering that the rumored 14 – and 16-inch MacBook Pro could have a 10-core SoC with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores, could it be that Apple takes the MacBook Pro SoC and builds two or four of them into the Mac Pro? That remains to be seen.

In the short term, Apple will have both Intel processors and Apple silicon available in the Mac Pro. Details on which Intel processors Apple will upgrade were not disclosed.

blankMac Pro 2019 Pro Display XDR (c) IDG

2022 Mac Pro: Intel Silicon

While Apple has promised to switch to its own silicon within two years, Tim Cook has also promised to continue supporting Macs with Intel chips. For the Mac Pro, that could mean an updated model with new processors. After Brendan Shanks discovered hints of Intel’s Ice Lake processors in the Xcode 13 beta on Twitter, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman confirmed that Apple is indeed working on an update for the Intel Mac Pro. We assume that this is a model with the existing design, but a faster processor and possibly updated graphics.

2022 Mac Pro: Graphics

The Apple Silicon Mac Pro will use the graphics on the SoC instead of AMD graphics cards, according to Gurman. The graphics could have 64 or 128 compute cores-that’s a huge increase over the eight graphics cores in Apple’s M1 SoC used in the Mac mini, 24-inch iMac, MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The Intel-based Mac Pro models will continue to use AMD graphics, but no reports have surfaced that address possible upgrades, if any. Also, it is not known how long Apple will continue to sell Macs with non-Apple silicon.

2022 Mac Pro: RAM and Specs

The current Intel Mac Pro offers up to 1.5 TB of DDR4 ECC memory in 12 user-accessible DIMM slots, but the unified memory in the M1 Macs is quite different. The memory of the M1 MacBook and iMac is not simply soldered to the motherboard, but directly integrated into the chip, which makes it faster and more efficient. However, we don’t know if Apple will take a similar approach to Mac Pro. The users who want such a machine demand customization options that MacBook and Mac mini users do not necessarily need, so it is possible that Apple will offer slots like the old Macs.

But more likely is a dramatic rethink of what constitutes a Pro desktop. The unified memory is a big part of what makes the M1 Macs so fast, but tying the memory to the chip would drive up the purchase price significantly. The Mac Pro starts already at 6.499 euros, but if you buy the RAM through Apple, it could increase the price by up to 14.000 euros. So if Apple doesn’t allow aftermarket storage, it will probably also limit build-to-order options at checkout.

Apple currently offers up to 8TB of storage in the Mac Pro, and we expect the storage options to remain the same. The ports probably won’t change either, since Apple already has four USB ports (two Thunderbolt 3 and two USB 3) and a pair of Ethernet ports. However, the Mac Pro has eight PCIe x16 slots that support many different types of PCIe cards, so you can easily add more ports. We assume that Apple will allow expansion slots on an M1 Mac Pro, but compatibility is a question.

2022 Mac Pro: price and release

The current Mac Pro starts at 6.499 Euro, and we anticipate that the Apple-silicon-based Mac Pro will remain at this price point. The prices of Apple’s M1 Macs have not changed much compared to their Intel predecessors, so the new Mac Pro will almost certainly be a super-high-end device for professionals. Rumor has it that it will be released sometime in 2022 and we expect a WWDC announcement that also featured the 2019 and 2013 model. There’s a slim chance we’ll get a first look at this year’s show, but it’s more likely that the unveiling is still a year away.

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