The all-new modular Mac Pro was unveiled at the WWDC keynote with some jaw-dropping specs. But naturally, the price point Apple shared was for the base model and didn’t give any hints about how pricey upgrades might be. Now, The Verge has done some digging to estimate what a maxed out Mac Pro setup might cost.
The base Mac Pro comes with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of RAM, and just 256GB of SSD storage for $5,999.
Apple will also offer top tier specs that include a 28-core Intel Xeon processor, 1.5TB of RAM, 4TB of SSD storage, two AMD Radeon Vega II GPUs, and Apple’s custom Afterburner accelerator card.
The Verge decided to do some research on how much all of those upgrades might cost and the numbers could hit over $50,000 by the time you include the Pro Display XDR and other add-ons.
1.5TB of RAM
The estimate put 12 sticks of DDR4 ECC RAM at just shy of $18,000.
The easiest thing on our shopping list is RAM. The new Mac Pro has 12 user-accessible DIMM slots that take DDR4 ECC memory. For the maximum of 1.5TB of RAM, we need 12 128GB sticks of RAM; at roughly $1,388.99 each, that rings up to a whopping $17,867.88 for memory. But just imagine: with $18K of RAM, you might even be able to keep three whole Chrome tabs open at once!
4TB SSD storage
Another relatively simple cost to estimate here, unless Apple decides to charge more than the $2,400 that it does for the iMac Pro, which could happen. The Verge estimates $2,400 as the minimum cost.
This one’s easy: Apple charges $2,400 to upgrade its iMac Pro to 4TB of storage, so we can extrapolate that it’ll probably charge the same to upgrade the Mac Pro to the same. It’s not clear whether this storage is user upgradable or not (especially considering that it’s encrypted by Apple’s T2 chip, which implies some hardware level integration on Apple’s end), so we’ll take Apple’s far pricier number as the minimum here for now.
28-core Intel Xeon W processor
It’s not yet known exactly what processor Apple will put inside the new Mac Pro, but The Verge feels like the Xeon W-3275M is close to what it will end up with at a bit under $8,000.
Next up: we need the best CPU we can get: in this case, a 2.5GHz, 28-core Intel Xeon W processor that can Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz, with a 66.5MB cache and support for up to 2TB 2933MHz memory. Now, Apple doesn’t specify what 28-core Xeon processor it’ll be shipping with the Mac Pro, but looking at Intel’s product database, the closest option out there is the Intel Xeon W-3275M, which the company lists a recommended customer price for of $7,453, which we’ll assume to be the bare minimum here. Now Apple’s processor probably isn’t the W-3275M (Apple lists a much higher cache size, to start), but the rest of the specs are pretty close.
Twin AMD Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs
Because these were just announced, the cost is a bit up in the air, but the estimate uses Nvidia’s Quadro RTX GPU as a comparison and pegs the minimum cost to be at $12,000, with it potentially going as high as twice that to $24,000.
Assuming AMD prices the Vega II similarly to Nvidia’s professional grade Quadro RTX offerings, though — the Quadro RTX 6000, for instance, cost $6,300 new with only a little more raw compute than Apple’s promising here — we’ll say Apple’s solution will cost at least $12,000 for the whole quad-GPU package. Add the MDX Modules and Apple’s markup, though, and we wouldn’t be totally surprised if it was double that.
Apple’s Afterburner card
Technically this is an optional accessory, but it comes from Apple so I’m including it here. No idea how much it’ll cost, though.
Pro Display XDR
Apple’s new professional display starts at $5,000, but that’s without the optional stand or nano-textured glass. Both of those upgrades cost $1,000 each, so a maxed out Pro Display XDR comes in at $7,000.
Even if the maxed out modular Mac Pro comes in on the cheaper side of The Verge’s estimate (say $12k for the upgraded GPUs instead of $24k) and you don’t opt for Apple’s Afterburner upgrade, this setup could top $50,000. On the other hand, if it leans toward the pricier end, it’s possible it could land over $60,000.