Apple Says All-New Modular Mac Pro With Apple-Branded High-End Pro Display Coming After 2017

Apple today reshuffled its Mac Pro configurations and pricing, marking the first "update" to Apple's pro-oriented desktop computer in over three years. Apple also confirmed it is working on a "completely rethought" Mac Pro with Apple-branded pro displays that will launch at some point beyond this year.

mac pro display
The former $3,999 model is now the $2,999 base model, while the previously built-to-order 8-core model with dual D700 GPUs is now the high-end stock configuration for $3,999. Both models are equipped with 256GB PCIe-based flash storage, four USB 3.0 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The former quad-core model with dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs and 12GB of RAM now has 6-cores with dual D500 GPUs and 16GB of RAM, while the 6-Core model with dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs is now 8-cores with dual D700 GPUs and 16GB of RAM. There are no other hardware changes—not even Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Meanwhile, Apple said an all-new Mac Pro will be a high-end, high-throughput modular system that will "take longer than this year" to complete. It will be accompanied by an Apple-branded external display in at least one size, essentially marking the return of the discontinued Thunderbolt Display.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller via Daring Fireball:

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.

Apple said that Mac desktops represent roughly 20 percent of overall Mac sales, with the Mac Pro accounting for only a "single-digit" percentage of Mac sales, perhaps as justification for the elongated refresh cycle. 1,202 days had passed since the last Mac Pro update, per the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.

Apple also suggested that the "trash can" design of the current Mac Pro has restricted its ability to truly upgrade it.

Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi via TechCrunch:

I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will. We designed a system that we thought with the kind of GPUs that at the time we thought we needed, and that we thought we could well serve with a two GPU architecture… that that was the thermal limit we needed, or the thermal capacity we needed. But workloads didn’t materialize to fit that as broadly as we hoped.

Being able to put larger single GPUs required a different system architecture and more thermal capacity than that system was designed to accommodate. And so it became fairly difficult to adjust. At the same time, so many of our customers were moving to iMac that we saw a path to address many, many more of those that were finding themselves limited by Mac Pro through a next generation iMac.. And really put a lot of our energy behind that. [But,] while that [upgraded iMac] system is going to be fantastic for a huge number of customers — we want to do more.

It isn't often that Apple pre-announces new products in its pipeline, but there were growing concerns that Apple no longer cared about professional users, and this is the company's way of proving otherwise. Schiller reiterated that Apple is committed to the Mac and has "great products" planned for the future.

We’re committed to the Mac, we’ve got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we’ve got great products planned for the future, and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers.

Apple's repriced Mac Pro configurations are now listed on its online store, but the 8-core model is "currently unavailable."

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: Mac Pro

Top Rated Comments

Chicane-UK Avatar
63 months ago
They finally did something, and gave Pro customers news on a roadmap. About. freaking. time.
Score: 80 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oblivious.Robot Avatar
63 months ago
This should make a lot of people at Macrumors happy, right?

Attachment Image
Score: 75 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cambookpro Avatar
63 months ago
Think the more exciting news is Schiller saying it'll be modular and upgradeable:


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.
The Mac is not dead.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sfwalter Avatar
63 months ago
Now Apple this is courage. You like to be very secretive. This must have been hard to swallow. Telling your users (and competitors) about future plans.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
skwood Avatar
63 months ago
Bit late for April Fools guys
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Appleaker Avatar
63 months ago
Wow.... This is unexpected. Is it a delayed April fools post?

Although I have said many times that there is a truly new Mac Pro, new iMacs, and Apple displays in the works. I guess this is confirmation to doubters.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...