If there’s one product everyone wants to see in 2023, it’s the redesigned Mac Pro with Apple silicon. And a new report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg makes things even more interesting with a mix of good news and bad news.
First the good news. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Gurman says the new Mac Pro will “will retain one of its hallmark features: easy expandability for additional memory, storage and other components.” Expandability is the biggest question surrounding the new Mac Pro, as Apple’s Mac chips use unified memory that isn’t upgradeable after purchase. It’s not clear what Gurman means by “other components,” but the current Mac Pro includes eight slots for various third-party PCIe cards.
Now for the bad news. Apple has reportedly shelved its plans for an “M2 Extreme” chip that would have fused four M2 Max chips together. Gurman says Apple made the decision during testing due to “both the complexity and cost of producing a processor” so large and complex.
So the top-end configuration of the Mac Pro will now likely be only slightly better than the highest-end Mac Studio, with 24 CPU cores, 76 GPU cores, and up to 192GB of memory. That’s still obviously an insanely fast machine, but the M2 Extreme chip was rumored to blow it away with 48 CPU cores and 152 GPU cores. As Gurman points out, the lack of ultra-high-end performance may disappoint Apple’s most demanding users who have been waiting over a year for the new Mac Pro.
Gurman says Apple had planned to introduce the new Mac Pro in 2022, but “multiple changes to its features, a significant shift in the company’s plans for high-end processors and a potential relocation of its manufacturing” have pushed back its timeline. He does not speculate on when it will arrive, but it will presumably make its debut at WWDC or a standalone Mac event in the fall.
The current Intel-based Mac Pro was launched in December 2019 and has had few revisions since then. It starts at $5,999, nearly the same as a maxed-out Mac Studio.