Smaller Mac Pro with Apple Silicon to join Mac mini refresh in 2022

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 31
An Apple Silicon version of the Mac Pro is on the way, a report predicts, with Apple also expected to release an updated Mac mini in 2022.




Apple is pushing to release Apple Silicon hardware to replace Intel-based Macs as part of an aggressive two-year transition schedule. It seems that 2022 will see Apple complete the shift, with it finally offering a high-end Mac aimed at enterprise users.

According to predictions made in Mark Gurman's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg on Sunday, a new Mac Pro running Apple Silicon will launch in the year. Gurman reckons that the model will be a smaller counterpart to the existing Mac Pro design, while also packing considerable performance gains from using Apple's own chip design.

Gurman says the Mac Pro version of Apple Silicon will include a chip with up to 40 cores in the CPU, along with a 128-core GPU. Previously, Bloomberg claimed the Apple Silicon Mac Pro would use 20-core or 40-core CPUs, as well as 64-core and 128-core GPU options.

It was also claimed by Gurman in August 2021 that Apple will "barely hit its two-year timeline" for the Apple Silicon transition.

Early leaks put the size of the updated Mac Pro as being smaller than a G4 Cube, with the compute unit on the bottom and a heat sink on the top. However, there have been few other claims about its design other than its size.

Alongside the new Mac Pro, Gurman also believes a new Mac mini is on the way. Previous rumors have pointed to a radical design update to the model, including a thinner frame, with a "plexiglass-like" top panel, and color options.

Port options are thought to include a mix of USB 4 and USB-A, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and a magnetic circular power connector. An upgrade of chip from the M1 is also anticipated, to either an M1 variant like the M1 Pro or M1 Max, or to a new generation such as the "M2."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    A Mac Pro would pretty much require a M2 processor with graphics cores that include hardware ray tracing if it is to compete with professional solutions from NVIDIA and AMD. The summer/fall time frame is right for the M2 to be released and Apple now has a hardware compatible ray tracing SDK. It will be exciting to see what Apple can do in the rapidly evolving field of high end GPUs.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    A Mac Pro would pretty much require a M2 processor with graphics cores that include hardware ray tracing if it is to compete with professional solutions from NVIDIA and AMD. The summer/fall time frame is right for the M2 to be released and Apple now has a hardware compatible ray tracing SDK. It will be exciting to see what Apple can do in the rapidly evolving field of high end GPUs.
    Agreed. It will likely offer an M2 Max Quad or Octo as options. Maybe M2 Max Duo on the low end. 

    An octo would mop the floor with anything that comes out in that time frame, likely until the m3 version. 

    The Mac Pro is the ultimate machine. Nothing should be able to top the higher tiers. 
    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 36
    cg27cg27 Posts: 169member
    A Mac Pro would pretty much require a M2 processor with graphics cores that include hardware ray tracing if it is to compete with professional solutions from NVIDIA and AMD. The summer/fall time frame is right for the M2 to be released and Apple now has a hardware compatible ray tracing SDK. It will be exciting to see what Apple can do in the rapidly evolving field of high end GPUs.
    Agreed. It will likely offer an M2 Max Quad or Octo as options. Maybe M2 Max Duo on the low end. 

    An octo would mop the floor with anything that comes out in that time frame, likely until the m3 version. 

    The Mac Pro is the ultimate machine. Nothing should be able to top the higher tiers. 
    Unless they introduce a Mac Max.
    tenthousandthingswatto_cobraravnorodom
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Seeing the reference to the G4 Cube made me feel both old and sad. 

    I loved my Cube; I had no need to expand it, but the fanless design meant it was quiet as a tomb. My office was in my bedroom then, but I could have the Cube on all night and it never made a peep. Back then, Windows desktop units often used cheap fans built with even cheaper bearings, and some fans could be heard in the background of a phone call. But the Cube made no noise at all, and the G4 chip in its day was pretty frisky. 
    williamlondonJWSCpatchythepiratewatto_cobramcdavedewmeStrangeDaysdocno42
  • Reply 5 of 36
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,120member
    A Mac Pro would pretty much require a M2 processor with graphics cores that include hardware ray tracing if it is to compete with professional solutions from NVIDIA and AMD. The summer/fall time frame is right for the M2 to be released and Apple now has a hardware compatible ray tracing SDK. It will be exciting to see what Apple can do in the rapidly evolving field of high end GPUs.

    Agreed, on a GPU of this scale (128 Apple GPU cores * 128 ALUs per core = 16384 unified shaders) I'd really like to see their take on a hardware accelerated ray tracing solution. And maybe something like DLSS, that second on-die Neural Engine that isn't userspace available maybe?  


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 36
    oscargoscarg Posts: 18member
    Further photos reveal that the M3 Max Pro Plus includes a shrubbery maze and koi pond.
    JinTechlkruppdewmeTRAGrobabafastasleeproundaboutnowMplsP
  • Reply 7 of 36
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,682member
    A Mac Pro would pretty much require a M2 processor with graphics cores that include hardware ray tracing if it is to compete with professional solutions from NVIDIA and AMD. The summer/fall time frame is right for the M2 to be released and Apple now has a hardware compatible ray tracing SDK. It will be exciting to see what Apple can do in the rapidly evolving field of high end GPUs.
    Possible, but unlikely, and definitely not required. 

    More likely is multiple M1 Max dies for this year's Pro desktop machines. 
    docno42
  • Reply 8 of 36
    I think we’ll see an M1 Mac Pro before the M2 comes out, or maybe an announcement at the same time. There will be four release/refresh stages for macOS devices (I posted this in the Air thread as well):

    [1] Each generation of Macintosh Silicon will appear first in the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. Both will be silent masterpieces of technology with minuscule failure rates, with no fan, utterly reliable. 

    [2] Next come the iMac and the MacBook, with the colors and the same silicon as the Air and Mini. These are consumer Macs, with lower prices and higher failure rates.

    [3] Then the MacBook Pro gets its refresh with the new Pro and Max configurations. 

    [4] Finally, the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro complete the cycle, with multiple dies and GPU advances. Depending on what they do with the Mac Pro, this stage could be split into two phases.

    All of this takes place over a cycle of about 18 months, with some flexibility built into it. Apple Silicon will not make promises it can't keep. It won't be like clockwork, and it won't be an annual cycle. macOS, however, will stay on an annual cycle, because it has to keep up with more than just changes in the M series, but that doesn't mean the hardware will.
    edited January 3 fastasleep
  • Reply 9 of 36
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,682member
    I posted something like this in the Air thread as well. I think we’ll see this Mac Pro before the M2 comes out. There will be four release/refresh stages for macOS devices:

    [1] Each generation of Macintosh Silicon will appear first in the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. Both will be silent masterpieces of technology with minuscule failure rates, with no fan, utterly reliable. 

    [2] Next come the iMac and the MacBook, with the colors and the same silicon as the Air and Mini. These are consumer Macs, with lower prices and higher failure rates.

    [3] Then the MacBook Pro gets its refresh with the new Pro and Max configurations. 

    [4] Finally, the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro complete the cycle, with multiple dies and GPU advances. Depending on what they do with the Mac Pro, this stage could be split into two phases.

    All of this takes place over a cycle of about 18 months, with some flexibility built into it. Apple Silicon will not make promises it can't keep. It won't be like clockwork, and it won't be an annual cycle. macOS will stay on an annual cycle, because it has to keep up with more than just changes in the M series, but that doesn't mean the hardware will.
    Even if it's not exactly that, I agree with the main idea -- small first, big later when process yields improve.

    I suspect the timeline for the first generation was disrupted a bit by COVID. The fact that it's over a year since the M1 was introduced and we still likely haven't seen the full lineup (waiting now for the multi-die Pro desktop version) is hopefully going to be an anomaly. Hopefully the 'normal' pattern will be that the full lineup is refreshed in less than 12 months. 
  • Reply 10 of 36
    blastdoor said:
    I posted something like this in the Air thread as well. I think we’ll see this Mac Pro before the M2 comes out. There will be four release/refresh stages for macOS devices:

    [1] Each generation of Macintosh Silicon will appear first in the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. Both will be silent masterpieces of technology with minuscule failure rates, with no fan, utterly reliable. 

    [2] Next come the iMac and the MacBook, with the colors and the same silicon as the Air and Mini. These are consumer Macs, with lower prices and higher failure rates.

    [3] Then the MacBook Pro gets its refresh with the new Pro and Max configurations. 

    [4] Finally, the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro complete the cycle, with multiple dies and GPU advances. Depending on what they do with the Mac Pro, this stage could be split into two phases.

    All of this takes place over a cycle of about 18 months, with some flexibility built into it. Apple Silicon will not make promises it can't keep. It won't be like clockwork, and it won't be an annual cycle. macOS will stay on an annual cycle, because it has to keep up with more than just changes in the M series, but that doesn't mean the hardware will.
    Even if it's not exactly that, I agree with the main idea -- small first, big later when process yields improve.

    I suspect the timeline for the first generation was disrupted a bit by COVID. The fact that it's over a year since the M1 was introduced and we still likely haven't seen the full lineup (waiting now for the multi-die Pro desktop version) is hopefully going to be an anomaly. Hopefully the 'normal' pattern will be that the full lineup is refreshed in less than 12 months. 
    There’s little doubt the MacBook Pro release was delayed, and likely the iMac Pro (or whatever, the larger iMac) as well.

    Maybe it’s just my age showing, but I have a really hard time imagining a 12-month refresh cycle for Mac hardware, even if the pandemic didn’t exist. I think Intel got itself into serious trouble with its inflexible, clockwork model as the realities of science collided with their marketing. Apple had a front-row seat for that… 
    williamlondonblastdoorroundaboutnow
  • Reply 11 of 36
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    The sooner Apple completes the transition to Apple Silicon the sooner developers will be compelled to update their warez to support it.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,682member
    blastdoor said:
    I posted something like this in the Air thread as well. I think we’ll see this Mac Pro before the M2 comes out. There will be four release/refresh stages for macOS devices:

    [1] Each generation of Macintosh Silicon will appear first in the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. Both will be silent masterpieces of technology with minuscule failure rates, with no fan, utterly reliable. 

    [2] Next come the iMac and the MacBook, with the colors and the same silicon as the Air and Mini. These are consumer Macs, with lower prices and higher failure rates.

    [3] Then the MacBook Pro gets its refresh with the new Pro and Max configurations. 

    [4] Finally, the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro complete the cycle, with multiple dies and GPU advances. Depending on what they do with the Mac Pro, this stage could be split into two phases.

    All of this takes place over a cycle of about 18 months, with some flexibility built into it. Apple Silicon will not make promises it can't keep. It won't be like clockwork, and it won't be an annual cycle. macOS will stay on an annual cycle, because it has to keep up with more than just changes in the M series, but that doesn't mean the hardware will.
    Even if it's not exactly that, I agree with the main idea -- small first, big later when process yields improve.

    I suspect the timeline for the first generation was disrupted a bit by COVID. The fact that it's over a year since the M1 was introduced and we still likely haven't seen the full lineup (waiting now for the multi-die Pro desktop version) is hopefully going to be an anomaly. Hopefully the 'normal' pattern will be that the full lineup is refreshed in less than 12 months. 
    There’s little doubt the MacBook Pro release was delayed, and likely the iMac Pro (or whatever, the larger iMac) as well.

    Maybe it’s just my age showing, but I have a really hard time imagining a 12-month refresh cycle for Mac hardware, even if the pandemic didn’t exist. I think Intel got itself into serious trouble with its inflexible, clockwork model as the realities of science collided with their marketing. Apple had a front-row seat for that… 
    To clarify -- I meant that there would be no more than a 12 month delay from the introduction of the low end M# chip to the highest end M# of that generation. I don't mean that there will be just 12 months between generations. In other words, I don't mean M2 and then 12 months later M3. I mean M2 and then within 12 months, M2 Max^4 (or whatever they call the highest end pro desktop part). 

    In terms of time between generation (eg, M2 to M3) I'm guessing about 18 months. 
    tenthousandthings
  • Reply 13 of 36
    blastdoor said:
    blastdoor said:
    I posted something like this in the Air thread as well. I think we’ll see this Mac Pro before the M2 comes out. There will be four release/refresh stages for macOS devices:

    [1] Each generation of Macintosh Silicon will appear first in the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. Both will be silent masterpieces of technology with minuscule failure rates, with no fan, utterly reliable. 

    [2] Next come the iMac and the MacBook, with the colors and the same silicon as the Air and Mini. These are consumer Macs, with lower prices and higher failure rates.

    [3] Then the MacBook Pro gets its refresh with the new Pro and Max configurations. 

    [4] Finally, the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro complete the cycle, with multiple dies and GPU advances. Depending on what they do with the Mac Pro, this stage could be split into two phases.

    All of this takes place over a cycle of about 18 months, with some flexibility built into it. Apple Silicon will not make promises it can't keep. It won't be like clockwork, and it won't be an annual cycle. macOS will stay on an annual cycle, because it has to keep up with more than just changes in the M series, but that doesn't mean the hardware will.
    Even if it's not exactly that, I agree with the main idea -- small first, big later when process yields improve.

    I suspect the timeline for the first generation was disrupted a bit by COVID. The fact that it's over a year since the M1 was introduced and we still likely haven't seen the full lineup (waiting now for the multi-die Pro desktop version) is hopefully going to be an anomaly. Hopefully the 'normal' pattern will be that the full lineup is refreshed in less than 12 months. 
    There’s little doubt the MacBook Pro release was delayed, and likely the iMac Pro (or whatever, the larger iMac) as well.

    Maybe it’s just my age showing, but I have a really hard time imagining a 12-month refresh cycle for Mac hardware, even if the pandemic didn’t exist. I think Intel got itself into serious trouble with its inflexible, clockwork model as the realities of science collided with their marketing. Apple had a front-row seat for that… 
    To clarify -- I meant that there would be no more than a 12 month delay from the introduction of the low end M# chip to the highest end M# of that generation. I don't mean that there will be just 12 months between generations. In other words, I don't mean M2 and then 12 months later M3. I mean M2 and then within 12 months, M2 Max^4 (or whatever they call the highest end pro desktop part). 

    In terms of time between generation (eg, M2 to M3) I'm guessing about 18 months. 
    Oh, I see, of course. Makes sense. 
    blastdoorroundaboutnow
  • Reply 14 of 36
    HrebHreb Posts: 25member
    Free from the need to support a modular GPU there's not much need for getting very many watts of power in and out of your workstation, so Apple can repeat all the mistakes of the 2013 Mac Pro.
    williamlondontht
  • Reply 15 of 36
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,252member
    A Mac Pro would pretty much require a M2 processor with graphics cores that include hardware ray tracing if it is to compete with professional solutions from NVIDIA and AMD. The summer/fall time frame is right for the M2 to be released and Apple now has a hardware compatible ray tracing SDK. It will be exciting to see what Apple can do in the rapidly evolving field of high end GPUs.
    Judging by how the A15 performs, I don't think M2 Pro chips make much sense.  The big competition starts in 2023 so expect this year to be plain.

    A Mac Pro would pretty much require a M2 processor with graphics cores that include hardware ray tracing if it is to compete with professional solutions from NVIDIA and AMD. The summer/fall time frame is right for the M2 to be released and Apple now has a hardware compatible ray tracing SDK. It will be exciting to see what Apple can do in the rapidly evolving field of high end GPUs.
    Agreed. It will likely offer an M2 Max Quad or Octo as options. Maybe M2 Max Duo on the low end. 

    An octo would mop the floor with anything that comes out in that time frame, likely until the m3 version. 

    The Mac Pro is the ultimate machine. Nothing should be able to top the higher tiers. 
    4-die seems to be the limit, 6-die will be ridiculously large, there's no point for that.  depending on the silicon, I assume 4-die will top out at 48+16.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,252member
    I think we’ll see an M1 Mac Pro before the M2 comes out, or maybe an announcement at the same time. There will be four release/refresh stages for macOS devices (I posted this in the Air thread as well):

    [1] Each generation of Macintosh Silicon will appear first in the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. Both will be silent masterpieces of technology with minuscule failure rates, with no fan, utterly reliable. 

    [2] Next come the iMac and the MacBook, with the colors and the same silicon as the Air and Mini. These are consumer Macs, with lower prices and higher failure rates.

    [3] Then the MacBook Pro gets its refresh with the new Pro and Max configurations. 

    [4] Finally, the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro complete the cycle, with multiple dies and GPU advances. Depending on what they do with the Mac Pro, this stage could be split into two phases.

    All of this takes place over a cycle of about 18 months, with some flexibility built into it. Apple Silicon will not make promises it can't keep. It won't be like clockwork, and it won't be an annual cycle. macOS, however, will stay on an annual cycle, because it has to keep up with more than just changes in the M series, but that doesn't mean the hardware will.
    The 16" MacBook Pro will get two dies, the cooling is sufficient.  I've been figuring out the thermals and I'm confident it will.  You also need to consider the package as well as the power requirement, too.  4-die needs a much bigger package with at least 500-600 watts of PSU, I doubt that's what the new iMac Pro wants to be.
    edited January 3
  • Reply 17 of 36
    I expect the Mini to get the base M2 with an option for up to 32GB RAM. That’s it.  No mythical headless Mac. It will remain a consumer device.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    I expect the Mini to get the base M2 with an option for up to 32GB RAM. That’s it.  No mythical headless Mac. It will remain a consumer device.
    Agree, hope you’re right about the memory, generally I think a Mini Pro is unlikely because most people who can afford that silicon will just get a MacBook Pro or an iMac Pro.

    There’s a place for the Mini between the Air and the iMac. Not so much when it comes to the higher end. 
    edited January 4
  • Reply 19 of 36
    thttht Posts: 4,390member
    Early leaks put the size of the updated Mac Pro as being smaller than a G4 Cube, with the compute unit on the bottom and a heat sink on the top. However, there have been few other claims about its design other than its size. 

    Alongside the new Mac Pro, Gurman also believes an updated Mac mini is on the way. Previous rumors have pointed to a radical design update to the model, including a thinner frame, with a "plexiglass-like" top panel, and color options. 
    I think people should take note that Prosser's rumors have been fairly off last year, and Gurman has been vague not offering anything really specific. The Apple Silicon iMac 24 was rumored to be a cross between the Pro Display XDR and an iPad, at least by Prosser who has made renders according to what he's seen or been informed of. I think that that was a big miss by him. The iMac 24 isn't even close to that rumor. Constant thickness and colors were the only hits. The chin is something that is really hard to miss from a leaked drawing. The big features of the PDXDR is the magnetic latch to its stand and the machined hole pattern in the back, and it's non-existent in the iMac 24. Maybe it will come in the large iMac, but for the iMac 24, it doesn't really resemble the pre-announcement rumor.

    The Mac mini (with M1X) rumor and renders show a thinner Mac mini case with plexiglass top and without any vents. The 4 lozenge shaped vertical holes are presumed to be TB4 ports but they look too close to each other to be ports. They actually look like vent holes. If they are vent holes though, it means this leaked Mac mini shell won't have TB4 ports. So, something weird is going with the rumor.

    Then the Mac Pro rumor has varied from about half the size of the 2019 Mac Pro to something less than the size of the G4 cube, which would be about 1/5th the Mac Pro. A lot of unknown here other than smaller.

  • Reply 20 of 36
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,252member
    I expect the Mini to get the base M2 with an option for up to 32GB RAM. That’s it.  No mythical headless Mac. It will remain a consumer device.
    Agree, hope you’re right about the memory, generally I think a Mini Pro is unlikely because most people who can afford that silicon will just get a MacBook Pro or an iMac Pro.

    There’s a place for the Mini between the Air and the iMac. Not so much when it comes to the higher end. 
    an 8+2 chip isn't that powerful, barely a pro chip by any means.  M2 will likely see similar bottlenecks, I don't know there's any LPDDR5 that can do 16GiB on a single die.
    edited January 4
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