Mac Pro Overview Updated April 11, 2017

Mac Pro

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194 'Mac Pro' stories

January 2011 - April 2017


Designed solely for professional users — but visually appealing to everyone else — the Mac Pro ($2,999 and up from the Apple Store) is the Ferrari of Apple computers. It originally debuted as the Power Mac G5 in 2003, updated internally and renamed Mac Pro in 2006, then completely redesigned in 2013. Dark gray with a cylindrical shape that lets fans breathe upwards and downwards, the Pro is only 9.9″ tall, 6.9″ in diameter, and 11 pounds in weight. That’s one-eighth the volume of its predecessor, transforming the former all-encompassing tower into a hub for any Thunderbolt or USB devices that you want to connect externally.

Sold in 4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-core versions, the Mac Pro includes a minimum of 12GB of RAM and 256GB to 1TB of flash storage. A single Mac Pro can power up to three 4K displays or six Thunderbolt displays at once, boasting four USB 3 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, two Ethernet ports and an HDMI 1.4 port, plus 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4 wireless. You have to supply the monitor(s), keyboard, and mouse or trackpad yourself.

Each new Mac Pro comes standard with dual AMD FirePro graphics cards, but the computer is highly customizable. Even the base model computer is powerful enough for those who need to process large videos, music tracks, and photograph collections, but the real power is in the upgraded models with additional cores, RAM, and storage.

2017 Mac Pro announcements

In early 2017, Apple made a handful of announcements regarding the Mac Pro. The company explained that it is rethinking its Mac Pro approach and plans to unveil a new modular model sometime in the future.  However, the new modular Mac Pro isn’t expected into 2018 at the earliest, with some reports claiming we might be waiting until 2019.

 

Specific details regarding Apple’s new Mac Pro aren’t explicitly clear at this point, but the company seems to have reimagined its plans altogether, which comes as good news for those in the Pro market.

Mac Pro Stories April 6

AAPL: 143.66

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When Apple revealed on Tuesday that the current Mac Pro will not see a major update and instead an all-new modular Mac Pro is being developed, the company stopped short of saying just when that decision was made and how long ago the new project started.

Apple said the modular Mac Pro won’t be available in 2017, but didn’t explicitly promise the new machine would be ready next year. OSNews managing editor Thom Holwerda believes the project actually started “only a few weeks ago” and won’t be complete as soon as we may expect.

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Mac Pro Stories April 4

AAPL: 144.77

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In a very uncharacteristic move for Apple, the company today decided to address recent concerns among its pro market and pre-announce an all-new, rethought Mac Pro in the cards for next year at earlierst. Less exciting is the spec bumps that make the current lineup more affordable in the meantime, and the company also added in confirmation that new iMac models are coming later this year. But is Apple’s pre-announcement for new Mac Pros enough to address pro concerns?

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Apple is famously one of the most secretive companies in the world. It believes in what Steve Jobs called the ‘magic’ of the surprise reveal. The ‘one more thing’ presentation style pioneered by Steve is so much a part of Apple’s DNA that it has a stock phrase it uses to answer questions about its product plans: ‘We do not comment on future products.’

It’s hard to imagine Apple would ever take a different approach. Today it did.

It not only revealed future product plans a year in advance – something so out of character it’s hard to believe it really happened – but it also did something else Apple almost never does: it admitted to a mistake.

Sure, none of the three Apple execs present ever used that word, but the mea culpa is clear …

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Many of us wondered whether the Mac Pro line was dead, but Apple has told Daring Fireball’s John Gruber and others that it is continuing development on its high-end desktop, and will after this year be releasing a ‘completely rethought’ model with a modular design intended to make the machine more upgradable.

Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. 

The company is also updating the existing Mac Pro today – and will be making new Apple Displays to go with the future model, along with new pro-focused iMacs …

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Mac Pro Stories January 12

AAPL: 119.25

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A German visual designer has come up with a concept for a next-generation Mac Pro that sees the trashcan design extended into a larger oval shape, sitting somewhere between the original and new Mac Pro in size.

Those arguing that Apple needs to offer both older and newer ports would have no complaints at this machine, which combines four USB 3 ports and the same number of Thunderbolt 2 ones with no fewer than 16 USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports …

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Mac Pro Stories December 20, 2016

AAPL: 116.95

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When Apple unveiled its latest MacBook Pro models, making particular reference to their ability to drive multiple 4K and 5K monitors, some wondered whether the company was readying itself to exit the desktop market – as it has already done for displays.

Even Apple’s own employees appeared to share this concern, with one asking on the company’s internal Apple Web system ‘Are Mac desktops strategic for us?’.

Tim Cook was quick to offer reassurance, stating that the desktop market was ‘very strategic’ for Apple, and that the company has ‘great desktops in our roadmap.’ There were, though, a couple of problems with this assurance …

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