Apple hints at new Apple Silicon Mac Pro during its latest keynote

in macOS
During its March "Peek Performance" event, Apple teased an upcoming refresh of the Mac Pro -- but the iMac Pro may be gone forever.

Apple Mac Pro
Apple Mac Pro

Apple unveiled a new Mac Studio device at its event Tuesday, packing its powerful M1 Ultra chip in a smaller and relatively affordable form factor.

At the end of the keynote, Apple senior Vice President of Hardware engineering John Ternus said that the introduction of the Mac Studio leaves just one product yet to make the transition to Apple Silicon -- the Mac Pro.

The Mac Pro is currently the only Mac that Apple still sells with an Intel processor. Ternus confirmed that Apple was working on a successor to that device, but said that a public conversation about it would wait for "another day."

Apple's language here strongly suggests that the Mac Pro refresh will include some type of M-series chip, and probably not Intel chips like some rumors have suggested. Of course, Apple could offer both an Apple Silicon and Intel Mac Pro, but its hint on Tuesday strongly suggests that the former is more likely.

Previous rumors about a Mac Pro chip suggest that it could feature up to 40 processing cores and 128 graphics cores. While the M1 Ultra is the most powerful chip in Apple's current lineup, it tops off at 20 processing cores and 64 graphics cores.

In other words, the Mac Pro will feature an even more powerful M-series chip than any of its other Macs. Realistically, such a powerful Mac would really kill any need to debut a more powerful Intel-based Mac. An Apple Silicon Mac Pro would also cap off the two-year transition to first-party chips.

What about the iMac Pro?

Apple iMac Pro
Apple iMac Pro

Apple's hint that there's only one more Intel machine to make the jump to Apple Silicon doesn't leave much room for the iMac Pro.

Recent rumors indicate that Apple is working on a 27-inch iMac successor with an Apple Silicon chipset. Based on current information, it's likely that the device will be a replacement for both the 27-inch iMac and the iMac Pro, which are both currently discontinued.

However, Ternus's comment that there's only one more Mac in the Apple Silicon transition doesn't rule out a 27-inch iMac refresh. Apple doesn't currently sell any type of iMac in that form factor, so a larger Apple Silicon-equipped iMac will fit in a currently unfulfilled slot in Apple's lineup.

There's debate about whether the device will be more of a successor to the iMac Pro or the 27-inch iMac. Apple could go the iMac route and debut a colorful -- but powerful -- iMac that negates the need for a Pro-focused all-in-one. Or it could use the Pro moniker and ditch the 27-inch iMac as a standalone device.

Either way, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that the iMac refresh will arrive sometime in 2023.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 10
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 891member
    iMac Pro is gone... left the building!
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Why would anyone even want an iMac Pro now? The Mac Studio and Studio Display with integrated camera and audio seems to fill that need with a really good price/performance ratio. And at least you can upgrade to a different Mac in the future and keep the monitor.

    I noticed there is no 27" iMac on the Apple website now. (Given how Apple trashed the performance of the current 27" iMac in todays keynote, can't say as I blame them). I'd be curious to see if the M1 iMacs will become available in a ~27" version.  The AIO concept is still attractive for a lot of general needs, so maybe a larger monitor iMac version with the same CPU/RAM options as the 24" will show up in the near future. Similar to how the internals of the 14" and 16" MBP are pretty much the same.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,549member
    It's a roll-your-own iMac 27" solution for the foreseeable future.

    1. Latest Mac mini velcro'd to the back of a Studio Display = Standard iMac 27".
    2. Mac Studio velcro'd to the back of a Studio Display = iMac Pro 27".

    If you have the desk space, omit the velcro.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    tiger2tiger2 Posts: 31member
    Count me as super disappointed there was no 27” - 32” iMac. I could get the new 27” display with a Mac Mini, but really dislike the idea of separate units. No way I could justify the cost of the display and a Mac Studio. The cheapest version of both works out to $3600!

    Gotta believe they will add the larger iMac. Hopefully before 2023. What could possibly take so long?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    xyzzy01xyzzy01 Posts: 138member
    Any other screens with a camera available? If one can get a non-Apple screen and a Studio, that might be an attractive combo... the screen is 2800 USD here (Norway), and that's more than I'd put in a screen. The possibility of getting a bigger one or wider one is also attractive.

    (that said, my current 27 iMac is a beast, and the ability to run Windows VMs is more important than more performance - so I'm not switching for some time yet)
  • Reply 6 of 10
    tiger2 said:
    Gotta believe they will add the larger iMac. Hopefully before 2023. What could possibly take so long?
    My guess is that production capacity for 27-inch 5K screens has been a limiting factor. For whatever reason, the various manufacturers of monitors haven't found much consumer interest in 27-inch 5K screens. (There are plenty of 27-inch monitors out there, but they're 4K.) Lately, the only 27-inch 5K screens on the market have been Apple's (in the form of the Intel-based 27-inch iMac, obviously not a standalone monitor) and the LG UltraFine 5K Display. Assuming that LG is Apple's supplier for the 27-inch iMac's screen, and perhaps now for the new Apple Studio Display's screen, it could be that there's only one factory making these 27-inch 5K screens.

    I ordered an LG UltraFine 5K Display in November 2021 and it didn't arrive until mid-January 2022. Could have been a pandemic-related component shortage … or it could also have been that production capacity was being used for something else — perhaps what we now know as the new Apple Studio Display.

    Now that the last Intel-based 27-inch iMac has been discontinued, perhaps that production capacity will be available for a future Apple silicon-based 27-inch iMac.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,105member
    Clearly Apple knows exactly how many 27" iMac Pros it has sold compared to other Mac desktop models.

    The biggest reason they cancelled it is because they thought the product had a bleak future in the lineup just like the way they canned the original full-sized HomePod.

    Presumably Apple has prototypes of many different M1-powered 27" iMac Pros in their labs and they simply decided against *ALL* of them. It's not like they're going to cancel the Intel model then come back later and say, "Hey, maybe we should consider an Apple Silicon iMac Pro?!?"

    When Apple got serious about Apple Silicon development (my guess is 6-7 years ago) they sketched out a product roadmap and put a big *RED* question mark on the 27" iMac Pro. 
    edited March 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I suppose the sensible thing for Apple to do, from the customer's point of view, would be to offer a replacement board with an M family processor.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    ...and that is for the Mac Pro of course.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    ... I'd be curious to see if the M1 iMacs will become available in a ~27" version.  The AIO concept is still attractive for a lot of general needs, so maybe a larger monitor iMac version with the same CPU/RAM options as the 24" will show up in the near future...
    I hope so... I'm the target audience for that machine.  I like (but want to upgrade) my current iMac... but do NOT want to go to a smaller screen.
    I'd happily pay a bit more for an iMac, rather than cobbling together a third party screen with a MacMini... it just looks nicer on the desk.

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