Turns out John Ternus wasn’t kidding when he said “that leaves just one more product to go: Mac Pro, but that’s for another day”. Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, had just unveiled the Mac Studio, the most powerful Apple silicon machine at the time. The line served to reassure Mac Pro customers that the best was yet to come.
More than a year later, however, a Mac Pro running on Apple Silicon is still yet to come. The wait is compounded by the fact that the current Mac Pro running on Intel Xeon chips was introduced in 2019, and that machine was the long-awaited course correction for the 2013 Mac Pro.
Would-be Apple Silicon Mac Pro customers aren’t completely left in the dark on what’s been happening behind the scenes, though. Thorough reporting from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has tracked the progress of Apple’s top-tier desktop Mac since the beginning of Apple’s transition from Intel processors to its own custom chips.
The most ambitious form of Mac Pro was said to be a 48 CPU core and 152 GPU core machine powered by a so-called Apple M2 Extreme chip, which would essentially be a dual M2 Ultra chip, an updated version of Apple’s top-tier M1 Ultra chip.
Plans for that Mac Pro were eventually scrapped, however, and we haven’t seen even a Mac with even a single M2 Ultra chip. That’s partly because the Mac Studio introduced by Ternus in March 2022 hasn’t been updated. Apple’s Mac Studio is the only machine that offers an “Ultra” chip so far.
Apple reportedly scaled back its Mac Pro ambitions after facing roadblocks with the version it envisioned. RAM and storage expandability would reportedly still set it apart from the Mac Studio. Mac Pro could even be the only machine to use an M2 Ultra, easily making it more powerful than the Mac Studio.
But like Ternus said, the Mac Pro is a product announcement for another day. Apple’s official position is that it will exist, just not when.
Apple’s next keynote event is set for just over a month away on June 5, and the long-rumored mixed reality headset is expected to be previewed. There could even be the first-ever 15-inch version of the MacBook Air.
However, Mark Gurman does not expect Apple to unveil the next Mac Pro nor does he anticipate a Mac Studio update during the keynote. Mark Gurman reports to MacRumors that he expects the Mac Studio to receive an M3 Ultra for its first update. As for the Mac Pro, that may be something only Ternus can tell us.
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