Mac Pro Overview Updated December 2, 2021

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303 'Mac Pro' stories

January 2011 - December 2021


After letting the Mac Pro become stagnant since 2013, Apple has finally unveiled the new version. In early 2017, Apple made a handful of announcements regarding the product. The company explained that it is rethinking its Mac Pro approach and plans to unveil a new modular model sometime in the future.

The company admitted that its 2013 model approach hasn’t been as upgradable in practice as it had hoped.

At some point [Apple] came to the conclusion that the 2013 Mac Pro concept was fundamentally flawed. It was tightly integrated internally, which allowed for some very nice features: it was small and beautiful (a pro machine that demanded placement on your desk, not under your desk) and it could run whisper quietly. But that tight integration made it hard to update regularly. The idea that expansion could be handled almost entirely by external Thunderbolt peripherals sounded good on paper, but hasn’t panned out in practice. And the GPU design was a bad prediction. Apple bet on a dual-GPU design (multiple smaller GPUs, with “pro”-level performance coming from parallel processing) but the industry has gone entirely in the other direction (machines with one big GPU).

Phil Schiller acknowledged that the 2013 Mac Pro had not been well received by many pros, and it was this that had led to the radical rethink.

With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call “completely rethinking the Mac Pro”. We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.

As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.

In the interim, we know there are a number of customers who continue to buy our [current Mac Pros]. To be clear, our current Mac Pro has met the needs of some of our customers, and we know clearly not all of our customers. None of this is black and white, it’s a wide variety of customers. Some… it’s the kind of system they wanted; others, it was not.

In the meantime, we’re going to update the configs to make it faster and better for their dollar. This is not a new model, not a new design, we’re just going to update the configs. We’re doing that this week. We can give you the specifics on that.

The CPUs, we’re moving them down the line. The GPUs, down the line, to get more performance per dollar for customers who DO need to continue to buy them on the interim until we get to a newly architected system.

At WWDC 2019 Apple offered the first look at its new Mac Pro. The new version is a return of the cheese grater design from a generation previous.

Apple says the new Mac Pro was designed with easy access to its components. There are stainless steel handles for modularity, all internal components mount to the frame with 360-degree components.

Mac Pro Specs

  • 300 watts of power, runs fully unconstrained
  • 2933MHz ECC memory, 12 DIMM slots
  • 8 internal PCI slots, four double-wide slots, three single side slots
  • Half-length slot populated with two TB3 ports, audio jack, two USB A ports, two 10Gb Ethernet ports
  • Up to 1.5 terabytes of RAM
  • Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores
  • Apple designed a PCI connector with a second PCIe connector and power
  • Multiple graphics options; can configure with options such as Radeon Pro Vega II
  • Two GPUs connected via Infinity Fabric Link, 5X faster than PCI bust
  • Apple built a brand new card called Afterburner for video editing, 6 billion pixels per second. 3 streams of 8K, 12 streams of 4K

Mac Pro Pricing

The new Mac Pro starts at $5999 for 8-core, 32GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. If you include all of the upgrade options, it can reach a $50,000 price point.

Mac Pro Release Date

The Mac Pro was released in December of 2019.

Mac Pro Stories Today

Apple is requesting the reinstatement of exclusions from tariffs on the Apple Watch and several Mac Pro components that are imported from China. Apple currently pays a 7.5% tariff on Apple Watches imported from China, and seven key Mac Pro components face a 25% tariff. The policy was originally initiated under the Trump administration.

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Mac Pro Stories November 18

Jony Ive has long talked about the idea of an all-glass iPhone, dubbed “a single slab of glass” – and the company has now been granted a patent for a potential design, along with a glass Apple Watch and Mac Pro tower.

The illustration of the all-glass iPhone is the most detailed, showing displays on both sides, as well as functional touchscreen buttons on the edges …

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Mac Pro Stories November 8

With September and October Apple events out of the way, there are still some unannounced but eagerly anticipated Apple products to come by some point next year.

The September event saw the company announce the iPhone 13 lineup, Apple Watch Series 7, iPad mini, and the iPad 9. October’s Unleashed event added the long-awaited 14- and 16-inch M1 MacBook Pros, AirPods 3, and new HomePod mini colors.

But that still leaves us waiting for a number of as-yet unannounced products …

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Mac Pro Stories October 18

After today’s “Unleashed” event, Apple added even more M1 Macs to its lineup as it continues its two-year transition to Apple Silicon. Despite today’s expansion, there are a few Macs that still run Intel chips being sold by Apple. Here they are.

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Mac Pro Stories August 3

Apple has rolled out three new graphics card modules for the Intel-powered Mac Pro today. The new graphics card modules include the Radeon Pro W6800X MPX Module, the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX Module, and the Radeon Pro W6900X MPX Module.

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Mac Pro Stories July 26

Apple’s not quite done with Intel just yet. According to leaker Yukki_AnS, the next Mac Pro will feature Intel Ice Lake Xeon W-3300 workstation CPUs. This is not the first time we’ve heard that Apple will still launch another Mac with an Intel chip…

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Mac Pro Stories June 13

At WWDC19, Apple the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR were the last hardware introduced in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Focusing on the “pro” market, both of the products have been praised for their power and utility.

According to a Reddit user, Apple removed from its YouTube channel the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR video announcement. Although this doesn’t mean something is about to happen, here’s what we know of Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR’s future.

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Mac Pro Stories June 8

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.

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Mac Pro Stories June 2

Apple Silicon Mac Pro concept imagines open-air expansion slots

An Apple Silicon Mac Pro concept provides an unusual take on one of the most controversial aspects of the two most recent designs – should expansion units sit inside or outside the machine?

Mac Pro Stories May 18

In a fresh report from Bloomberg today, we’ve got new details on what we’ll likely see as Apple Silicon expands to the rest of the Mac lineup. Apple is said to be working on an all-new Mac Pro with 40 cores, a higher-end Mac mini, and more.

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Mac Pro Stories March 30

Along with Apple filing a patent for a reconfigurable solid-state MacBook keyboard today, the company has seen a host of other patents approved. One of the most interesting means future iPhones (and any other Apple device) could be made using the Mac Pro’s 3D cheese grater design.

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Mac Pro Stories July 1, 2020

Apple today began selling a new Radeon Pro W5500X MPX Module for Mac Pro, offering users another GPU option. This new module comes as a cheaper choice to the Radeon Pro W5700X MPX Module, which was introduced in April this year.

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Mac Pro Stories May 28, 2020

One of the best things about the Mac Pro, besides its beautiful design, is the fact that it can be upgraded. Nearly every part of the Mac Pro can be upgraded and enhanced after purchase, making for a machine that can be customized to meet the various needs of creative professionals.

If you’re looking to supercharge your Mac Pro, then OWC provides upgrades that will not only speed up your Mac, but save you lots of money in the process. Watch our hands-on video as we explore OWC’s cost-saving RAM and the OWC Accelsior 4M2 PCIe SSD. expand full story

Mac Pro Stories May 21, 2020

Adobe Premiere Pro beta gains Apple Afterburner Card support on Mac Pro

After recently adding native support for ProRes RAW in Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects and Media Encoder, Adobe has added support for Apple’s Afterburner card in beta builds of Premiere Pro.

As noted by MacRumors, the Apple Afterburner Card will accelerate ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 video codec decoding in Adobe’s NLE, supplementing other hardware to aid performance. ProRes RAW acceleration is not yet available in the beta.

Mac Pro Stories May 12, 2020

How hard is it to kickflip a skateboard made with $700 Mac Pro wheels? This YouTuber found out…

Apple’s Mac Pro Wheels are a $400 upgrade if you buy them when you’re configuring the machine but if you want to buy them after? That runs a cool $700. We’ve seen lots of fun had around the sky-high price and minimal utility of these computer wheels but now YouTuber Braille Skateboarding has taken things to the next level with a functioning Mac Pro Wheel custom skateboard.

Mac Pro Stories April 18, 2020

Apple this week officially started selling replacement kits for Mac Pro feet and wheels. Now, our first look at the $700 Mac Pro Wheels Kit in the wild has emerged. Head below for a close-up look at what you get for that price.

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Mac Pro Stories April 16, 2020

Months after the launch of the Mac Pro, Apple has finally made available the Radeon Pro W5700X MPX Module GPU option during the build-to-order process. The Navi 10-based GPU is a nice addition for video editors working with high quality 10-bit footage. expand full story

Mac Pro Stories April 15, 2020

An aggressively priced iPhone SE isn’t the only new hardware coming from Apple today. Apple is also selling replacement kits for Mac Pro feet and wheels, and they’re aggressively priced in a totally different way.

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Mac Pro Stories March 18, 2020

Apple makes Mac Pro Afterburner Card available as standalone purchase

Sneaking in with the major product releases today, Apple has started selling its Mac Pro Afterburner Card as a separate purchase.

Mac Pro Stories March 13, 2020

A report from AppleInsider shines a light on how Apple’s staff are not adequately trained and prepared to deal with Mac Pro problems. Their production Mac Pro started exhibiting issues, but found the Apple support experience less than satisfactory.

In a clear case of Apple Stores not being ready to service the Mac Pro effectively, the report describes how one Apple Store Genius tried to power the machine by plugging a MacBook PRO USB-C charger into one of the Mac Pro’s Thunderbolt ports.

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Mac Pro Stories March 2, 2020

The Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR reviews continue to flow in. The latest review comes from The Verge, and it offers a detailed look at Apple’s latest Pro-grade hardware in the real world.

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Mac Pro Stories February 24, 2020

Earlier today, Apple published a new white paper offering detailed information about the newest Mac Pro. Hidden in this document is the news that the Mac Pro wheels will, at some point, be available as a standalone purchase.

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Apple has made two incredibly thorough white papers available today covering the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. These “Technology Overview” documents highlight the inner workings of both of Apple’s newest pro-grade pieces of hardware.

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Mac Pro Stories February 7, 2020

What does it take to use 1TB of Mac Pro RAM? Try 6,000+ Chrome tabs

Chrome is known for being a fast and responsive browser and along with that, it’s also notorious for slurping up lots of your machine’s RAM. In a hilarious turn of events, Jonathan Morrison has seen Chrome running thousands of tabs on his Mac Pro eat up over 1.2TB of RAM.

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