Apple’s Mac Pro hasn’t had a update in over 3 years, the last spec update was back in December 2013 which is shortly after the iPhone 5s and 5c were launched. So today Phil Schiller, who is the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple revealed to John Gruber, who hosts the Darin Fireball Apple podcast that the company is in the process of “completely rethinking Mac Pro” – which is very good news for a lot of photographers and video editors out there.
The problem with the 2013 Mac Pro is the lack of adaptability, quite a few users did complain about this when it launched. Compared to the previous generation this was a downgrade, Apple did justify this on stage comparing the size and while it is amazing that the cylindrical model is so small compared to the so called “cheese grater” tower Mac Pro, that doesn’t really matter as much as a laptop or iPad for volume and weight. User generally stick the Mac Pro under a desk, meaning size isn’t as important.
More power, same price
The older base model was $2,999 / £2,999 and came with a quad-core Xeon Intel CPU and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards. Apple has now deleted this lower end model and shifted the range down a notch, meaning for the same money you can now get a six core CPU with dual D500 graphics cards. Also the 8-core model with the D800 graphics is now $3,999 / £3,899 although this one does show as unavailable at the time of writing.
Phil Schiler did mention that the new desktop won’t be available this year, but it will be a fully modular machine with the ability to easily swap out the CPUs and GPUs. Also a new high end (possibly 4K or 5K) pro monitor is in the works.
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.