A new Mac Pro is coming, confirms Apple exec

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  • Reply 21 of 60
    puiz666puiz666 Posts: 22unconfirmed, member
    Maybe don’t put falsehoods in headlines, thank you 
    s.metcalf
  • Reply 22 of 60
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,221member
    charlesn said:
    Appletron said:
    I think there are a number of factors here that explain the lack of action on the Mac Pro:

    1. It's perhaps Apple's smallest slice of the pie... it's almost a rounding error in their financials. So it's not a high fiscal priority.

    And that there is exactly the problem with Apple today. 
    They stopped innovating and designing great computers to make customer's lives better first -
    Blah, blah, blah... excuse me, but the entire tech buying WORLD, which has made Apple the most successful tech company in the history of tech companies, begs to disagree. Apple is, by orders of magnitude, the tech company that has weathered the tech downturn best, owing no doubt, to halting innovation and making computers that help make the lives of its customers worse. Those are always great selling points! But hey, you can join the Apple Cassandra support group that has been saying this same tired thing for 30-odd years. 
    Apple has weathered downturns because of iPhone. Otherwise what nearly happened to Apple in the early to mid nineties would have happened in the last ten years.
    s.metcalf
  • Reply 23 of 60
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,461member
    Apple exec makes evasive statements about undisclosed products. Shocker! The highest end product is always going to be the most challenging one to build, not the least because of the expectations (unrealistic or otherwise). Apple is taking its time to build a product that it thinks will be worth putting into the marketplace… otherwise why do it? It will never be what fanboy imaginations can dream up because of engineering and financial realities. It can still be a great product with a solid target market. And it may take a while for it to materialize.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 60
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,287member
    I didn’t read anything in his statement that confirms a new Mac Pro is coming. You say in the headline that he “confirms” it. Then the body of the article says they dropped a hint. That’s not confirmation.

    I also don’t like his statement about performance. A Mac Pro should be all about performance. Otherwise, why even make the thing? Efficiency be damned. I want to fry eggs on the case while the machine crunches data as fast as possible.
    edited March 2023 dewmewatto_cobras.metcalf
  • Reply 25 of 60
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,681member
    I agree that this interview had no confirmation that a new a Mac Pro is imminent. However, I have no doubt the Mac Pro will be updated. Apple dumped a lot of time and resources redesigning it, even go so far as to create a Pro Workflow group within the company to work with professionals in certain core fields. Not to mention developing their MPX modules and the Afterburner card. This was all done while they were also planning to transition the Mac to ASi, so I find it difficult to believe the Pro was not designed with that in mind.

    Everyone assumes Apple will just use an M3 Ultra or the rumored M3 Extreme, but an SoC like either of those is antithetical to what's actually needed in a system like the Mac Pro which is expandability; components need to be easily replaceable and upgradable.

    This might be a tell…
    What is next for Apple Silicon? Borchers says that instead of looking at the specific chipsets, the company tends to look at the product, the whole package.

    This may allude to the Mac Pro having something completely different from the M-series SoCs. A more traditional system; discrete CPU, GPU, memory, PCI-E slots, a new T-series SoC that contains the other blocks; ISP, NPU, media engines, Secure Enclave, etc.


    edited March 2023 roundaboutnowmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 60
    r_marir_mari Posts: 12member
    Apple's Mac Pro could run GPUs on PCIe slots.
    But someone - and it won't be Apple - has to write drivers to allow the GPUs to work with MacOS.
    Who is going to do this work???  AMD?  nVidia?

    Since the GPU is not on the Apple Silicon System-on-a-chip die, it will be generally slower than Apple's on-chip GPU.
    But, at least you can run a GPU.  And if the GPU is a beast powerful enough, perhaps it can make up the speed difference compared to the Apple on-chip GPU.

    In regard to RAM.  Apple could add a memory controller to run external RAM like a huge cache.
    Obviously the bandwidth is going to be slower than using Apple's on-chip RAM.  It can never be used as working RAM
    since it will be too slow.
    But at least it is expandable --- perhaps to 2 TB of external RAM.
    The Apple Silicon On-Chip RAM is the working RAM. It will fetch data from the external RAM/cache when necessary.
    Apps can be preloaded, or offloaded when not being used to the external RAM.
    Of course, one problem with 2TB of RAM is that you have to store 2TB of data from the RAM every time you turn the Mac to sleep or turn it off
    so that the Mac Pro can wake up instantly. 

    danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 60
    We have a clear goal to transition fully to Apple Silicon. ... and that's something we intend to do.”

    Maybe it’s best to take this at face value. Most of the takes here (including my own) and elsewhere, positive and negative, are reacting to things not said.

    But what if “and that’s something we intend to do” means exactly that: they haven’t succeeded, but they are working on it. Anand Shimpi also alluded to something like this, when he said, “If we’re not able to deliver something compelling, we won’t engage, right? ... We won’t build the chip.”

    Both of these statements are about as close as we’re going to get to Apple saying the M1 Extreme wasn’t built because it wasn’t able to do what the Mac Pro needed it to do. The jury is still out on whether the same can be said for the M2 Extreme, but we’ll know that soon enough. Taken together, these two interviews seem to suggest the rumor may be true, and the Mac Pro will have to wait for the M3.

    Neither suggests, however, that Apple has given up on building Apple Silicon for the Mac Pro. Both explicitly say the opposite. 
    edited March 2023 programmerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 60
    I’ll also add, on the good news side, that the these two interviews, taken together, also point to the M2 Mac Studio sooner rather than later.

    Shimpi’s remarks about “cadence” combined with the way Borcher addresses the product line (“from the MacBook Air to all the way up to the Mac Studio”) could indicate those are the products that will get every M-series iteration. So leaving the Mac Pro off that list could indicate it won’t be on the same regular cadence as the rest of the Mac line. 
    programmerwatto_cobras.metcalf
  • Reply 29 of 60
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,461member
    r_mari said:
    Apple's Mac Pro could run GPUs on PCIe slots.
    But someone - and it won't be Apple - has to write drivers to allow the GPUs to work with MacOS.
    Who is going to do this work???  AMD?  nVidia?

    In regard to RAM.  Apple could add a memory controller to run external RAM like a huge cache.
    Obviously the bandwidth is going to be slower than using Apple's on-chip RAM.  It can never be used as working RAM
    since it will be too slow.
    But at least it is expandable --- perhaps to 2 TB of external RAM.

    I’ve been saying this is a possibility for a while.  And they have the software in the OS to do this already — the virtual memory system.  Paging to/from a RAM disk has been done before, and over PCI-E it is quite fast.  The instant on requirement would mean needing to also write the data to flash, but this too isn’t hard to implement.  The M2 Max scales to 96GB RAM, so the Ultra would be at least 192, which is a very large working set.

    Another possibility, mentioned in the thread about the compute module, is that the unit of expandability could be the SoC.  Let the user expand cpu, GPU, RAM by adding M-series processors on pci-e cards, and provide grid compute software.

    Will they do these things?  Time will tell.  With a SoC as their basic building block though, they need to approach the Mac Pro differently than in the past, or accept that they will be limited by what their SoC can do.  The Mac Pro is primarily about a big case with slots… it doesn’t necessarily have to out perform the Studio.

    tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 60
    ApplePoorApplePoor Posts: 290member
    Was looking at my old saved links last night. This one is very interesting:

    https://www.sonnettech.com/home.html

    Scroll own a bit and see a Mac Studio inside an expansion chassis that can have up to three full length PCIe cards. Maybe this is an economy Mac Pro?
    edited March 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 60
    techconctechconc Posts: 275member

    While Borchers did not discuss this directly, integrating certain core technologies right into the Apple Silicon processors also had a downside. It ultimately meant that Apple abandoned the ability to address GPUs that aren't in the Apple Silicon die -- though it's possible that may change in the new Mac Pro.
    I don't think Apple sees this as a downside.  Rather this is Apple's direction by design.  Realistically, all that matter is that Apple provides a scalable solution.  The Mac Pro product is for people that need all the processing power that money can buy.  It's not for common users.  I also think Apple is going to have to redefine what we expect from such a machine in terms of expandability, etc.

    blastdoor said:
    mfryd said:
    I think the author of this article is reading too much into Bob Borchers' statement. While Apple may very well be working on an Apple Silicon based Mac Pro.  I don't think Bob Borchers' statement speaks to that issue.

    "Taking the entire product line to Apple Silicon" might mean that any Mac model with an Intel processor will be discontinued.  This doesn't seem to be a statement that every Mac model will survive the transition.

    Consider that taking the iMac to Apple Silicon involved dropping the 27" model.   


    I think it's true that what he said is consistent with multiple interpretations, including yours. 

    BUT -- it's also true that at the introduction of the Mac Studio last year they specifically said the Mac Pro would come later. Of course they can change their mind and cancel it, but I think the cumulation of statements suggests an Apple Silicon Mac Pro is more likely than not. 

    Rather than the Mac Pro, the thing that I find interesting is his reference to the Mac Studio. I've been wondering if the Mac Studio might be a one-and-done model that would disappear when the Mac Pro arrives (kind of like the iMac Pro was). But his name-checking the Mac Studio makes me think it might survive. 
    Exactly.  Except for the Mac Studio part...

    According to the rumors, Apple has ditched their plans (at least for this generation) of a double Mx Ultra chip... something like M2 Extreme.  Who knows why... maybe technical limitations, maybe yield issues, etc.  Anyway, according to early rumors that perfectly nailed the M1 series of chips, that was their original plan.  Now, rumors suggest the Mac Pro will top off with an M2 Ultra chip.  If that's true, it leaves the Mac Studio in question.   I have an M1 Max Mac Studio.  It's a great machine and I can definitely see a need for a device like this that sits above the Mac mini.  However, an M2 Ultra Mac Studio and Mac Pro would seem to be awkward.  

    My guess is that future Mac Studio machines will just get the Mx Max chips.  The Ultra chips will likely be for the Mac Pro series.  I don't think Apple wants to update the Mac Studio before the Mac Pro comes out.  They don't want to steal the thunder from that release.  I just hope Apple somehow has plans to scale the Mac Pro beyond an M2 Ultra level of performance.  There is no reason a machine like that has to be focused on efficiency over performance. 

    cpsro said:
    I suggest reading this thoughtful article by Michael Simon posted at Macworld today.
    https://www.macworld.com/article/1528303/mac-pro-apple-silicon-transition-release.html
    Why... nothing particularly useful in that article. 

    dewme said:
    cpsro said:
    I suggest reading this thoughtful article by Michael Simon posted at Macworld today.
    https://www.macworld.com/article/1528303/mac-pro-apple-silicon-transition-release.html
    I guess I’m not the only one who didn’t see anything in Bob Borcher’s statements that qualifies as a “Confirmation” that this article boldly proclaims. Thanks for the link. 
    I'm not sure what people are really expecting an Apple exec to say about a future product that hasn't been announced yet.  The very fact that Apple is still acknowledging that the Apple Silicon transition isn't yet complete should tell you everything you need to know.  The Mac Pro now the only device that hasn't made the transition.  At the M1 Ultra release Apple stated that was it for the M1 line and that the "Mac Pro" was "for another day".   It's coming.  Rumors say this month.  Realistically, WWDC would be the latest.  Sit back, relax, grab some popcorn...  
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 60
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,681member
    r_mari said:
    Apple's Mac Pro could run GPUs on PCIe slots.
    But someone - and it won't be Apple - has to write drivers to allow the GPUs to work with MacOS.
    Who is going to do this work???  AMD?  nVidia?

    Since the GPU is not on the Apple Silicon System-on-a-chip die, it will be generally slower than Apple's on-chip GPU.
    But, at least you can run a GPU.  And if the GPU is a beast powerful enough, perhaps it can make up the speed difference compared to the Apple on-chip GPU.

    In regard to RAM.  Apple could add a memory controller to run external RAM like a huge cache.
    Obviously the bandwidth is going to be slower than using Apple's on-chip RAM.  It can never be used as working RAM
    since it will be too slow.
    But at least it is expandable --- perhaps to 2 TB of external RAM.
    The Apple Silicon On-Chip RAM is the working RAM. It will fetch data from the external RAM/cache when necessary.
    Apps can be preloaded, or offloaded when not being used to the external RAM.
    Of course, one problem with 2TB of RAM is that you have to store 2TB of data from the RAM every time you turn the Mac to sleep or turn it off
    so that the Mac Pro can wake up instantly. 


    Apple already writes their own AMD drivers for macOS. And macOS already supports discrete GPUs. And ASi Macs already support PCI. There's only one reason dGPUs aren't supported on ASi yet, Apple doesn't want to support them yet. I have a feeling the next major release of macOS will support* them again as the Mac Pro will need it, which means I wouldn't expect a new Mac Pro until Fall.

    *Although it is possible they'll only add support for dGPUs in the Mac Pro.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 60
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,681member
    mfryd said:
    I think the author of this article is reading too much into Bob Borchers' statement. While Apple may very well be working on an Apple Silicon based Mac Pro.  I don't think Bob Borchers' statement speaks to that issue.

    "Taking the entire product line to Apple Silicon" might mean that any Mac model with an Intel processor will be discontinued.  This doesn't seem to be a statement that every Mac model will survive the transition.

    Consider that taking the iMac to Apple Silicon involved dropping the 27" model.   



    That system was replaced by the Mac Studio. Consider the following...

    The Intel 27" iMac was dropped when the Mac Studio was released.
    The Intel Mac mini was dropped when the M2 Pro mini was released.
    The Intel Mac Pro has not been dropped, because they haven't released a replacement... The Mac Studio was not meant to replace it.

    That's not to say we won't see another large iMac. I believe the M1 Pro/Max was not what they wanted to put in a larger iMac. Just as the M1 Pro never made it into the mini. I'd be willing to bet we will eventually see a larger iMac with Mx Pro, and possibly Mx Max.

    We're supposedly getting a larger MacBook Air soon. Maybe they'll also finally release an M2 iMac and alongside it, a larger iMac with M2 Pro/Max?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 60
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 217member
    “We have a clear goal to transition fully to Apple Silicon. ... and that's something we intend to do.”

    Maybe it’s best to take this at face value. Most of the takes here (including my own) and elsewhere, positive and negative, are reacting to things not said.

    But what if “and that’s something we intend to do” means exactly that: they haven’t succeeded, but they are working on it. Anand Shimpi also alluded to something like this, when he said, “If we’re not able to deliver something compelling, we won’t engage, right? ... We won’t build the chip.”

    Both of these statements are about as close as we’re going to get to Apple saying the M1 Extreme wasn’t built because it wasn’t able to do what the Mac Pro needed it to do. The jury is still out on whether the same can be said for the M2 Extreme, but we’ll know that soon enough. Taken together, these two interviews seem to suggest the rumor may be true, and the Mac Pro will have to wait for the M3.

    Neither suggests, however, that Apple has given up on building Apple Silicon for the Mac Pro. Both explicitly say the opposite. 
    We need to remember that this is Apple.  They will likely continue the "Mac Pro" product name, but that doesn't mean it will be anything like any previous Mac Pro.  Nor does it tell us anything about the features that the product might have.   I think it is likely that any new Mac Pro will have a lot of computing horsepower.  Other than that, everything is speculative.

    Remember, the trash can Mac Pro?   It was a powerful machine, but other than that, it wasn't quite what people expected a Mac Pro to be.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 60
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 280member
    Pretty skimpy evidence for the assertion in the lede.

    Remember two things: (1) Apple employees never, ever discuss unreleased products in publishable interviews, and (2) unless or until it's released, we have no idea what an Apple Silicon-based Mac Pro (or equivalent) might look like, just as we had no idea what the current Mac Pro would look like before the WWDC keynote in 2019. (The closest Apple comes to breaking prime directive (1) would be the "background" interview where two or more Apple execs sit down with a chosen publication/site's editor(s) so the latter have a story with which to lead when the official release occurs. But those interviews are only given with the understanding that the interviewers won't jump the gun.)

    I realize that future product rumors are the stock in trade of industry watchers/columnists/sites like this, but they rarely provide enough correct information to use in strategizing funding and scheduling future purchases, for either businesses or individuals. The one exception appears to be specific information on features and pricing for new iPhone models as their official release approaches. For all the "pirated" CAD drawings and speculation about camera systems earlier rumors report, it's generally in the weeks preceding the releases that reliable information becomes available. Is there any reason to believe that Apple is not behind those rumors?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 60
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,904member
    keithw said:
    It’s not that apple can’t address GPUs not in the due, it’s that performance is lost when doing a pci-e type of setup. So they choose not to. 

    Be interesting to see how they solve that with either a multiple m series SOC connection network or a new SOC. 

    This simply isn't true. I'm getting very high GB6 Metal numbers (194703) with my eGPU on a 6 year-old iMac Pro, connected through a Thunderbolt 3 connection. The M2 Ultra MAY be faster than this with the on chip GPUs, but so far, the M1 Ultra is not.
    But it is true. Those “very high” numbers would be even higher if the GPU were on the SOC. 

    So you’re getting decent performance, but not in an efficient way and apple is all about NOT wasting performance. 

    Also, as a side note - not related to this discussion, but related to your post, it’s now widely known that the M1 Ultra suffered a memory design bottleneck that prevents it from fully utilizing its potential. That has been addressed and the M2 ultra will not suffer the same fate. It’s all but certain the m2 ultra performs waaaaay better in comparison to m2 ultra than m2 max does with M1 Max. 
    edited March 2023 tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 60
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,957member
    charlesn said:
    Appletron said:
    I think there are a number of factors here that explain the lack of action on the Mac Pro:

    1. It's perhaps Apple's smallest slice of the pie... it's almost a rounding error in their financials. So it's not a high fiscal priority.

    And that there is exactly the problem with Apple today. 
    They stopped innovating and designing great computers to make customer's lives better first -
    Blah, blah, blah... excuse me, but the entire tech buying WORLD, which has made Apple the most successful tech company in the history of tech companies, begs to disagree. Apple is, by orders of magnitude, the tech company that has weathered the tech downturn best, owing no doubt, to halting innovation and making computers that help make the lives of its customers worse. Those are always great selling points! But hey, you can join the Apple Cassandra support group that has been saying this same tired thing for 30-odd years. 
    Hear, hear! Apple has been making PCs for 47 years now, and people like dear Appletron have been complaining about them not innovating the entire time. Yaaaawn
    watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 38 of 60
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,957member
    charlesn said:
    Appletron said:
    I think there are a number of factors here that explain the lack of action on the Mac Pro:

    1. It's perhaps Apple's smallest slice of the pie... it's almost a rounding error in their financials. So it's not a high fiscal priority.

    And that there is exactly the problem with Apple today. 
    They stopped innovating and designing great computers to make customer's lives better first -
    Blah, blah, blah... excuse me, but the entire tech buying WORLD, which has made Apple the most successful tech company in the history of tech companies, begs to disagree. Apple is, by orders of magnitude, the tech company that has weathered the tech downturn best, owing no doubt, to halting innovation and making computers that help make the lives of its customers worse. Those are always great selling points! But hey, you can join the Apple Cassandra support group that has been saying this same tired thing for 30-odd years. 
    Apple is a consumer tech company. They are not the most innovative engineering company of all time. Their engineers aren’t winning Nobel prizes in Physics as other American engineering companies have in the past. Anyone who thinks that consumer products are the cutting edge of technology is ignorant of the subject.
    Likewise claiming CE products aren't utilizing cutting edge technology is also silly. There is a lot of tech that goes into building an iPhone or MacBook that consumers have literally no idea about. The various substrates in Apple displays is one of them. Apple Silicon is another. 

    Innovation is not limited to nuclear physicists. 
    watto_cobramuthuk_vanalingamStabitha_Christie
  • Reply 39 of 60
    ApplePoorApplePoor Posts: 290member
    I wonder if my Mac Studio Ultra (128GB and 8TB SSD) is a one trick pony like my 2013 trash can Mac Pro was? I just checked and the BTO times are getting longer (nearly a month out)..

     I was able to upgrade the 2013 Mac Pro to 128GB of Ram and a 2TB SSD. For lots more money, the video and processor cards could also be upgraded by OWC.

    The Sonnet xMac Studio/Echo III with a 3U rack mount enclosure has a Thunderbolt to PCIe expansion system with three PCIe slots (one x16 and two x8 slots) and these can be full height cards for about $1,649.99 plus shipping and taxes. Perhaps one of their desktop expansion would work?

    https://www.sonnettech.com/product/thunderbolt/pcie-card-expansion-systems.html

    So depending on the work being done, the current Mac Studio is not exactly a slouch machine and it is based upon the Apple silicone. It is currently capable of power that exceeds the base current Mac Pro by quite a margin.

    So with a little research, one can find ways to expand the current Mac Studio capabilities with off the shelf products for much less money than a upgraded current Mac Pro.

    It is not all bad in Apple land.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 60
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,638member
    ApplePoor said:
    So depending on the work being done, the current Mac Studio is not exactly a slouch machine and it is based upon the Apple silicone
    Let me tell you a funny story, my friend. When the Honda Element first came out, since it was called "Element", I was considering getting a matching license plate containing a periodic table element's name, and since I'm an IT guy, I was thinking of getting the customized plate with "Silicon", which is both an "element" and an IT pun. But I'm glad I didn't, because when I surveyed my friends on the idea, several of them thought the word was pronounced "silicone." And then I realized that many/most people would have interpreted that as a joke about plastic surgery for women. And even now in 2023, I find that most non-technical people still don't know the difference.

    I'm also surprised that most people still don't know the difference between "blond" and "blonde". We've been using those words very regularly for a hundred years, and most people still don't know the difference. So I doubt that "silicon" and "silicone" will be correctly differentiated by the public for the next 50+ years.
    watto_cobrah2pmuthuk_vanalingamtechconc
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