It’s been nearly four years since Apple’s current Mac Pro was announced at WWDC in June 2013. To the delight of Mac geeks such as ourselves, Apple have announced a revamped Mac Pro is in the works, and pricing on existing high-end Mac Pros is set to come down.
Rumours on what we can expect from Apple’s redesigned Mac Pro abound, but we may have to wait a while to see exactly what we’ll be getting our hands on come launch day.
When will it arrive?
Apple are keen to make this new model the best that it can be, and that’s going to take some time. The current timeframe suggests a 2018 launch, at the earliest.
“We have a team working hard on it right now,” says Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple. “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.”
About the spec
Of course, we can’t say for certain, but the rumour mill has been churning out some pretty exciting stuff about what we can expect from the new Mac Pro. Rumours suggest that the new model will feature a modular design accommodating high-end CPUs and GPUs. We could be looking at a next-generation Intel Xeon E5 processor, and more RAM in the entry-level version if Apple follow what they’ve done with the MacBook Pro, which ships with 16GB as standard.
For a professional audience, it would be good to see a higher capacity of storage available than the 256GB PCIe-based flash storage found in current Mac Pro models. Looking at graphics cards, AMD revealed their new FirePro W-series in 2014, or there’s their Fury platform that could be a contender for the new machine.
In terms of ports, the current Mac Pro has six Thunderbolt 2 ports, four USB-3 ports, Dual Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 1.4 UltraHD and a combined optical digital audio output/analogue line out mini-jack. The new model will probably include more Thunderbolt ports in the form of USB-3, and perhaps traditional Mac Pro users will get their wish of PCI slots to add faster SSDs and better video cards.
Current pricing on Mac Pro models
If you can’t wait until 2018 for a new model, Apple have announced that pricing on the higher-end Mac Pros will be coming down in the meantime. The entry-level 6-core Intel Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs and 16GB memory option is now available for £2999. The higher-end model now sits at £3899, with an 8-core processor and a dual D700 GPUs.
While we’re definitely excited for a long-awaited update on the Mac Pro, the existing model is still a powerful desktop option for creatives. With a potentially long wait ahead of us for the redesign, do you think it’s worth investing in the 2013 machine now prices have dropped? Let us know in the comments.
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