By Dan Moren
April 4, 2017 5:46 AM PT
The Mac Pro isn’t dead—just sleeping
Note: This story has not been updated for several years.
Rumors of the death of the Mac Pro have, it seems, been greatly exaggerated.
Talking to a few outlets, including Daring Fireball and BuzzFeed, Apple executive tag team of marketing chief Phil Schiller, software head Craig Federighi, and hardware engineering leader John Ternus, dished on the future of the high-end Mac, as well as (surprise!) what’s been done today to create a stop gap.
Here’s the story as related by John Paczowski of BuzzFeed:
“We are completely rethinking the Mac Pro,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing said during a recent roundtable with a handful of reporters at the company’s Machine Shop hardware prototyping lab. And it won’t just be the computer. “Since the Mac Pro is a modular system, we are also doing a pro display. There’s a team working hard on it right now.”
Modularity appears to be the name of the game here. As Federighi told the assembled reporters, “we designed ourselves into a bit of a corner” with the 2013 Mac Pro, which ended up being not as upgradeable as pro customers would have liked. In theory, as John Gruber points out, this modular design means the new Pro “can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and … should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis.”
Details on the rest of the Pro design are sparse at the moment, other than Apple has made it clear that these things take time and the new machine won’t ship this year. But perhaps next year in Cupertino?
Meanwhile, the current Mac Pro gets a speed bump, taking the $2999 model to 6 Xeon cores from 4 and dual AMD G500s from G300s; the $3999 model jumps to 8 cores from 6 and to dual AMD D800 GPUs from G500s. But everything else, down to the ports, stays the same for now.
Gruber also adds the tantalizing tidbit that new iMacs, aimed in part at the pro market, are inbound later this year.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]
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