| Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: Original Mac Pro packs serious Intel power


Mac Pro
The original Mac Pro took productivity to new levels.
Photo: Apple

August 7: Today in Apple history: Original Mac Pro packs serious Intel power August 7, 2006: Apple unleashes the first Mac Pro, a high-end desktop computer that completes the company’s transition from PowerPC to Intel processors.

Built for computation-heavy tasks like 3D rendering and professional audio and video editing, the quad-core, 64-bit Mac Pro serves as a replacement for the Power Mac G5 (from which it borrows its aluminum “cheese grater” design).

The Mac Pro we all want is 6 years away — at least


Mac Pro with Pro Display XDR
The Mac Pro with Pro Display XDR
Photo: Apple

An anonymous tipster has bad news for the Mac Pro: Apple apparently has no plans to keep working on the scrapped chip that would have doubled the machine’s power. Development on Apple silicon is reportedly set all the way through the M5 generation.

There’s a beacon of hope, though. Multi-die packaging — technology being developed that could see the light of day around the M8 chip — eventually might give the Mac Pro the power it deserves. However, at Apple’s current pace, that’s at least six years away.

Enter to win a leather MacBook folio from Harber London [Cult of Mac giveaway]


This handmade full grain Leather Case will make a great companion for your Macbook.
This handmade full-grain leather case will make a great companion for your MacBook.
Photo: Harber London

We’ve got an exciting giveaway this week in partnership with Harber London! One lucky winner will have the chance to score a sleek leather laptop folio that’s perfect for a MacBook (or other laptop between 11 inches and 16 inches). How cool is that?

You’ll be spoiled for choice with four classic colors to choose from: tan, black, navy and deep brown. And trust us, this genuine full-grain leather folio ages beautifully over time, giving it a stylish and unique look no matter which color you go for. Plus, starting at just $132 and with free tracked delivery, it’s a steal. But it’s even better if you win!

Did Apple accidentally make Mac Pro unnecessary?


2023 Mac Pro with Apple M2 Ultra
2023 Mac Pro with Apple M2 Ultra
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple’s latest Macs are powerful and versatile. So much so that some people wonder if anybody will want the top-of-the-line Mac Pro desktop, even with its new M2 Ultra chip.

A new report found an audience for the top desktop lacking, given the capabilities of Mac Studio and MacBook Pro. But others suggest Mac Pro is here to stay.

New Macs’ benchmarks blow us away [The CultCast]


The Mac Studio specs make us swoon (and question the Mac Pro's raison d'être. We talk new Macs on our Apple podcast, The CultCast (episode 599).
The Mac Studio specs make us swoon (and question the Mac Pro's raison d'être).
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The M2 Ultra chip gives the new Mac Studio and Mac Pro incredible powers, the first benchmarks show. And the new 15-inch MacBook Air doesn’t look too shabby, either. In fact, it seems like the ultimate Mac laptop for most people.

Also on The CultCast:

  • We’ve got a great travel charger from Ugreen in this week’s giveaway.
  • Erfon uncorks an update on the untimely death(?) and possible rebirth of his beloved original HomePod.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Mac Studio vs. Mac Pro: Which is right for you?


Mac Studio vs. Mac Pro: Which is right for you?
There are fewer differences between Mac Pro and Mac Studio than you might think.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The 2023 Mac Pro starts at $7,000, while a similarly configured 2023 Mac Studio is $4,000. The potential savings has people questioning whether they really need the Pro to get the job done.

Let’s compare these professional-grade desktops to see how they stack up. You might be surprised at how similar they are, given how very different the two designs are.

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.

New Mac Pro, Mac Studio and 15-inch MacBook preorders start arriving


2023 MacBook Air, Mac Studio and Mac Pro
Apple's most powerful Macs are now on sale.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s 2023 Mac Studio, Mac Pro and 15-inch MacBook Air are now reaching customers. Announced at WWDC23 last week, the new Macs went up for preorder soon after.

Customers who placed their orders early have already started receiving Apple’s latest Macs. If you didn’t place your order already, you can currently grab one with a $50 discount!

It’s not too late to order 15-inch MacBook Air for launch day pickup [Updated]


MacBook Air 15 inch from Apple WWDC23
The 15-inch MacBook Air is the largest consumer-oriented notebook Apple has ever offered.
Photo: Apple

The first 15-inch MacBook Air was a highlight of WWDC23, but it was a bit overshadowed by other announcements. Perhaps that’s why Apple still has units ready to be preordered for pickup on launch day, June 13.

The same is true for the upgraded Mac Studio with M2 Pro or M2 Ultra processors. And the first Mac Pro with Apple silicon is also sold out on launch day.

M2 Ultra Mac Pro proves twice as fast as Intel Mac Pro — at half the price


Apple M2 Ultra processor from WWDC23
Apple's M2 Ultra powers the 2023 Mac Studio and Mac Pro.
Photo: Apple

Benchmark scores of Apple’s M2 Ultra indicate the new chip runs up to 20% faster than its predecessor, the M1 Ultra. And the comparison between the latest chip and the Intel processor in the 2019 Mac Pro proves even more dramatic.

You can configure the 2023 Mac Studio, which Apple unveiled during the WWDC23 keynote, with the M2 Ultra. And this bruiser of a chip is the only option you get when buying the new 2023 Mac Pro.