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Why the Mac Pro lacks upgradable RAM and support for eGPUs


2023 Mac Pro with Apple M2 Ultra
The 2023 Mac Pro has an inescapable limitation.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The just-launched 2023 Mac Pro lacks features considered critical for workstations: upgradable RAM and support for eGPUs. But this isn’t Apple blindly making an error — it’s an inescapable fact of the M-series’ unified memory architecture.

The limitation isn’t new: it’s been known since the M1 processor was announced. But Tuesday’s release of a top-tier macOS workstation shines a spotlight on the problem.

For those who weren’t paying attention back in 2020, here’s an explanation of why RAM upgrades and plug-in GPU aren’t an option for the 2023 Mac Pro.

Apple remains committed to completely dumping Intel chips


Why the Mac Pro might lack upgradable RAM and eGPUs
The 2023 Mac Pro won't be simply the 2019 model with an M-series processor. But it is expected soon.
Image: Cult of Mac

A high-level Apple executive says an upgraded Mac Pro is on the way, even if he did so in a backhanded way.

The company’s VP of Worldwide Product Marketing said in an interview that his company has “a clear goal to transition fully to Apple silicon.” That’s an oblique reference to the Mac Pro, the only macOS computer still running an Intel processor. A replacement with an Apple M-series chip could be out in mere weeks.

Apple’s chipmaker pours $3.5 billion into Arizona plant


TSMC chip wafer
TSMC is investing heavily in an Arizona plant that will make chips for Apple and other companies.
Photo: TSMC

TSMC is going large with its Arizona plant. The Taiwanese company that makes processors for almost every type of Apple device committed itself to putting $3.5 billion into its U.S. subsidiary. And that’s only part of the eventual cost.

Apple has already promised to use chips made at the plant.

As 3nm processors go into production, Apple’s chipmaker looks ahead to 2nm


TSMC 7nm processor
Apple chips keep shrinking, which makes them more efficient.
Photo: TSMC

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company began cranking out chips using its new 3nm process Thursday at its Tainan plant. But, never one to rest on its laurels, TSMC is already laying the groundwork for 2nm processors.

Apple is expected to be among the first companies to benefit from the cutting-edge chips, which will be faster while requiring less power.

Apple commits to buying chips from TSMC’s Arizona plant


Apple might get cutting-edge 3nm processors in 2022
TSMC will start producing advanced 3nm processors for Apple in a factory in Arizona.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that his company will buy processors made in Arizona by TSMC, which currently produces Apple’s most sophisticated chips primarily in Taiwan.

Plus, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company revealed that it will pour even more billions into Arizona by adding a second chip factory in the state.

Mac enters third year of two-year transition to Apple chips


Mac enters third year of two-year transition to Apple chips
The Mac Pro still runs on Intel. It's overdue for Apple silicon... whatever the chip gets named.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

At the launch of Apple silicon in 2020, the Mac-maker committed itself to a two-year transition away from Intel processors. Today marks the first day of year three of that transformation but the Mac Pro still uses Intel chips. Apple missed its deadline.

There has not even been a mention from Apple of a replacement macOS workstation with an M-series processor. A few leaked details are all we have.

Next Mac Pro chip could be 4x more powerful than M2 Max


Logic Pro X on 2019 Mac Pro
The upcoming Mac Pro needs to be very powerful to outmatch the current model.
Photo: Apple

The M-series processor in the upcoming Mac Pro desktop will reportedly give it a dramatic speed boost. It could be “at least” 2x or 4x as powerful as Apple’s upcoming M2 Max chip for high-end MacBooks.

The previous Pro desktop is the last in Apple’s product lineup still designed around an Intel chip. Apple is allegedly building processors that can beat it.

Apple explains why Stage Manager is not coming to non-M1 iPads


Why the best iPadOS 16 features are limited to M1 iPads
You can't have iPadOS 16's Stage Manager multitasking system without one of the capabilities of the M1 processor.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Many of the best features of iPadOS 16 like Stage Manager are only coming to the M1 iPads. This angered a lot of non-M1 iPad users since they believe Apple is intentionally trying to limit the feature to newer devices.

The company has now provided an in-depth technical explanation behind Stage Manager not coming to older iPads.

iMac with M3 processor could be out much sooner than expected


Apple M3 processor
The wait for the Apple M3 processor could be shorter than expected.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Apple M2 processor hasn’t yet been released and the first report of an M3-based Mac is already out. It could launch as soon as 2023.

This might be an indication that Apple will release new versions of its Mac/iPad chip more quickly than it has until now.

Apple’s chipmaker counting on blazing-fast 2nm processors in rivalry with Intel


TSMC looks ahead to super-speedy 2nm processors
2nm processors made by TSMC will be faster while using less power than today's 5nm iPhone and Mac chips.

iPhones will continue getting smaller, faster and more efficient processors for years to come. TSMC, the company that manufactures all Apple’s chips, says it should be able produce processors in 2025 that are an amazing 2nm. These should make today’s fastest Macs and iPhones look like slugs in comparison.

Rival Intel is working hard to keep up. It says it’ll pass TSMC in a few years – but it’s missed plenty of similar self-imposed deadlines over the years.