While Apple is in the midst of transitioning its Mac lineup to Apple Silicon, there is still one more Intel-powered Mac reportedly in the works. As first spotted by Brendan Shanks on Twitter, the first beta of Xcode 13 includes a new reference to scalable Intel Ice Lake Xeon processor support, seemingly destined for a future Mac Pro update.
Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple had “discussed” using Intel processors in a future Mac Pro update. This comes as the company is also developing higher-end Apple Silicon chips destined for the Mac Pro. In a January report, Mark Gurman wrote:
Apple is also working on a pair of new Mac Pro desktop computers, its priciest Mac machines that don’t come with a screen included, the people said. One version is a direct update to the current Mac Pro and will continue to use the same design as the version launched in 2019. Apple has discussed continuing to use Intel processors for that model rather than moving to its own chips.
In a post on Twitter today, Gurman doubled down on this claim and said that “Apple has indeed been working on an update to the Intel Mac Pro.”
The reference found in Xcode 13 beta 1 is to Ice Lake SP, which is Intel’s newest Xeon Scalable processor. Apple currently uses Intel Xeon W processors in the Mac Pro, so this would represent a notable boost in performance.
With this piece of evidence, it does indeed seem likely that Apple is prepping one last Intel update for the Mac Pro, which is its most expensive and most versatile Mac. Apple said in June of 2020 that the Intel to Apple Silicon transition would take around two years to complete. The first M1-powered Macs were released in November of 2020.
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