Apple's Newest Mac Pro Turns Five Years Old Today

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Apple's last update to the Mac Pro, as reflected in the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.

Mac Pro from 2013 to present

Apple released the second-generation Mac Pro on December 19, 2013, starting at $2,999, and it remains that price today after some reshuffling of configurations despite having over five year old hardware, including up to a 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 64GB of ECC RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs.

Last year, during a roundtable discussion about the Mac Pro with John Gruber and a few other reporters, Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi admitted that the current Mac Pro's so-called "trash can" design has a limited thermal capacity that doesn't always meet the needs of the most demanding workflows:

I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will. We designed a system 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. 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 a Mac Pro through next generation iMac. And really put a lot of our energy behind that.

Fortunately, the long wait of 1,826 days and counting for an all-new Mac Pro should finally be over by the end of next year.

Last year, at the same Mac Pro roundtable discussion, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller revealed that the company is "completely rethinking the Mac Pro," with work underway on a new version that will be Apple's "highest-end, high-throughput desktop system" designed for its "demanding pro customers."

Schiller said the new Mac Pro will be a "modular" system and accompanied by a new Thunderbolt Display successor:

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.

Apple briefly reiterated its plans in a press release about the iMac Pro in December 2017:

In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design, as well as a new high-end pro display.

It isn't often that Apple pre-announces new products in its pipeline, but there were growing concerns the company was no longer focused on professional users, to the point of Schiller apologizing to and reassuring customers:

If we've had a pause in upgrades and updates, we're sorry for that — what happened with the Mac Pro — and we're going to come out with something great to replace it.

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.

In April, Apple confirmed that the new Mac Pro will be released in 2019, but it didn't say exactly when in the year.

Mac Pro from 2006 to 2012

There is some debate as to how "modular" the new Mac Pro will truly be, but many are hopeful that Apple will return to a truly upgradeable tower design like 2006 to 2012 models of the Mac Pro, which can be opened with a lever on the back. Others will be quick to dismiss that idea as wishful thinking.

Apple has yet to preview the design, features, tech specs, or pricing of the new Mac Pro, details that will very likely be held until WWDC 2019 in June or another Apple event at some point next year, so we'll have to keep waiting for now.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
23 months ago
Apple gives zero ****s about the Pro market. No one needs five years to update a computer. Especially one made out of standard components you can buy from intel + nvidia/amd + samsung etc. Sorry.
Score: 75 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
If I were Apple, i would just reuse the old cheese grater design, update some of the ports to Thunderbolt 3, color it space gray, and call it a day. People will be happy, and Apple just saved a ton of money. Let Ive design the next iPhone or something. :D
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
I'm pretty sure professionals would be perfectly fine if they dust off the cheese grater design, and maybe make it space grey. They're less concerned about "oooo shiny" than consumers are.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
Deleted.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
All those waiting for a 2019 Mac Pro are going to be disappointed. It won’t be truly modular, it won’t feature Nvidia GPUs (important for a huge part of the pro market) and it’ll cost an absolute bomb.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago

Who needs a Mac?
The next iPhone XI Pro will have a size of iPad Mini.
And iPads already replaced Macs.
:p

iPads are for people who don't do work :D
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Rumor Report Card: Assessing the Accuracy of Leaks After Apple's Event

Friday September 18, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
Apple hosted its virtual "Time Flies" event this week, where it introduced four new products, including the Apple Watch Series 6, lower-cost Apple Watch SE, a 10.9-inch iPad Air with an all-screen design, and an updated 10.2-inch iPad with a faster A12 Bionic chip. As expected, there were no new iPhones, which are believed to be coming in October instead. Apple also announced that it will be ...

Epic Games Announces 'Fortnite: Save the World' Will No Longer Be Playable on macOS

Friday September 18, 2020 4:50 am PDT by
Epic Games has announced that "Fortnite: Save the World" will no longer be playable on macOS, after Apple terminated Epic Games' developer account. Fortnite has been in violation of the ‌App Store‌ rules since August 13, when it introduced a direct payment option that skirted Apple's in-app purchase system by allowing payments directly to ‌Epic Games‌. Shortly after Epic blatantly...

Deals: Cellular Carriers Introduce First Offers on Apple Watch Series 6 and SE

Friday September 18, 2020 7:43 am PDT by
With the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE today, cellular carriers have now introduced special offers for these new wearable devices. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Starting with AT&T, if you buy one Apple Watch Series 3, Series...