At WWDC20, Apple promised to complete its transition to Apple silicon inside Macs in two years. It missed that deadline, and the company is yet to reveal a replacement for its 2019 Intel Mac Pro.
A new report details the reason behind the delay in the next Mac Pro’s launch. It also sheds light on why, contrary to initial rumors, Apple won’t launch a version powered by an upcoming processor that’s essentially four M2 Max processors merged together, sometimes called the M2 Extreme.
M2 Extreme Mac Pro may not see the light of the day
In his latest Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman claims Apple was working on an M1-based Mac Pro. It would have featured a chip combining four M1 Max into one. However, the Mac Studio featuring a dual M1 Max chip, a.k.a M1 Ultra, launched first. Apple pushed the launch of the Mac Pro to the M2 generation. It would have used an M2 Extreme chip, which would have packed 2x M2 Ultra chips for some serious horsepower.
Rumor suggests the M2 Ultra will feature 24 CPU cores, a 76-core GPU and 192GB RAM. In the M2 Extreme configuration, it would come with 48 CPU cores, 152-core GPU and up to 384GB RAM.
But that top-end version has supposedly been dropped. According to Gurman, “The company made the decision because of both the complexity and cost of producing a processor that is essentially four M2 Max chips fused together. It also will help Apple and partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. save chip-production resources for higher-volume machines.”
Price was another concern, as the M2 Extreme Mac Pro could cost over $10,000. This would have made it a niche machine that found limited takers, making it hard to justify its development cost.
Now, the Apple silicon-based Mac Pro is expected to use an M2 Ultra chip. It will set itself apart from other Macs not with processor power but by providing a wide range of options to easily upgrade the memory, storage and other components.
The machine should launch sometime in 2023. Unlike the current Mac Pro, Apple plans to manufacture its successor in Vietnam.
New MacBook Pros coming in early 2023
Contrary to rumors, Apple did not launch the M2 Pro/Max MacBook Pros this year. Gurman claims they will now launch in early 2023. Additionally, he says Apple is working on M2 and M2 Pro-powered versions of the Mac mini.
Lastly, the company is working on a high-end iMac Pro, but its development is running behind schedule for the same reasons as the Mac Pro.