If you were disappointed with Apple placing aesthetics over utility on its Mac Pro line, you’re not alone. The tech giant itself admitted recently that they, too, realized they took the wrong direction but promised to completely rethink the machine with Apple-branded pro displays. The thing, though, is it may not hit the shelves anytime soon.
According to Apple, the decision to move ahead with a revamped version was made “in recent months” with development starting “only a few weeks ago.” Unfortunately, it is unclear how long it will take to complete the product. But given a rough estimate of the length of time it normally takes to develop a project, the company says it could ship sometime in late 2018 or 2019.
In the meantime, here’s what we can expect from the all-new Mac Pro 2018 model.
We can recall that the processors in the current Mac Pros are configurable up to 3.5GHz for a six-core option, 3.0GHz for an 8-core option, and 2.7GHz for a 12-core option. To make up for the disappointment the existing models made, Apple will more likely boost these numbers–perhaps, offer an option of 14 or 18 cores. However, the clock speeds could also possibly be the same with the processors themselves being faster instead.
Users specifically expect the late Skylake (Xeon E3-1585 v5) or the new Kaby Lake ( Xeon E3-1205 v6) processors to be included in the specs.
The existing Mac Pro has six Thunderbolt 2 ports, which means it can be connected to up to three 4K displays. Apart from that, there’s also 4 USB 3 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 1.4 Ultra HD, optical digital audio output/analog line out minijack, headphone minijack with headset support, and a built-in speaker. We’d likely see the same ports in the successor, although rumors have it that there could be more Thunderbolt ports in the form of USB-3.
When Apple launched the Mac Pro, AnandTech noted it turned to long-time partner AMD to supply GPUS for the machine. As a refresher, the Mac Pro features dual workstation-class GPUs: the Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each in the Quad-Core version, and Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each in the 6-Core model. There’s also a build-to-order option of the Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each (an extra £540).
However, there’s a huge chance Apple would ditch AMD in the Mac Pro 2018 after the GPU received negative feedback from the community. The company revealed some of the user complaints were about the faulty cards and how they could have gotten it fixed free of charge.
In their recent roundtable with the media, Apple also admitted that it took the wrong approach to its graphic implementation in the cylindrical Mac Pro. It gave the impression that the new Mac Pro will accommodate the way GPUs are currently designed, resulting in better handling of 3D graphics, video, and virtual reality software. It has yet to disclose how exactly they will do that, but we think a change could be on the cards for the Mac Pro GPU.
The current Mac Pro includes 256GB of flash storage. While that’s already enough for some users, for content developers, that’s too small. MacWorld states at least 1TB is ideal, but it’s expensive. So, a 512GB SSD would probably be a good start.
Many fans hope that the next generation of Mac Pros will be configurable to more than 64GB. That might be sound a lot but it’s worth noting that some Dell workstations can accommodate up to 1TB of DDR4 RAM. To compare, the current Mac Pro models offer only 12GB RAM in the Quad-Core model and 16GB in the 6-Code model as standard. There’s an option to add 32GB or 64GB RAM at the point of purchase but that would cost another £360 and £1,080, respectively.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes with 16GB RAM as standard, so it makes sense for Apple to also update its entry-level Mac Pro to match that.
Since Apple admitted that the current structure of the Mac Pro is impractical, we can expect a redesigned Mac Pro in the future. Apple hasn’t shared a lot of details on the new Mac Pro, although it did promise a modular design that will allow professional users to keep it up to date with new hardware on a regular basis.
What are your expectations from the upcoming Mac Pro 2018? Sound off in the comments below!