Apple had a M1 Mac Pro, but decided to wait for M2 Extreme

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited July 26
Mark Gurman provided some details about unreleased Apple products in a new interview, suggesting a M1 Mac Pro isn't coming, and the Mac mini won't see a redesign.

The rumored new Mac Pro with M1 has been reportedly scrapped
The rumored new Mac Pro with M1 has been reportedly scrapped


Gurman normally reports for Bloomberg where he provides leaks and rumors from his insider sources. For example, he recently shared details about the rumored "Pro" Apple Watch Series 8 in his "Power On" newsletter.

The interview was hosted by YouTube channel Max Tech, where Gurman discussed some of the exaggerated controversies that the interviewers originally started surrounding the M2 MacBook Air. As the interview continued, Gurman shed some light on unreleased Apple products that won't be released.

"I don't think there will be a redesign to the Mac mini," said Gurman. "I actually don't know where the rumors of a redesign came from. I think those are also going to be spec bumps."

Rumors of a new Mac mini originated from the controversial Jon Prosser. His leak history was accurate for some time, but has come into question thanks to a few major misses like a flat-sided Apple Watch or an iPhone without a camera bump.

After the Mac Studio was revealed, it seemed that Apple would no longer announce a redesigned Mac mini. A Mac Pro with M1, however, remained in the rumor mill until very recently.

The rumored new Mac mini design may never be announced
The rumored new Mac mini design may never be announced


"They also had an M1 Mac Pro, ready to go months ago," continued Gurman. "But I guess they scrapped that to just wait for the M2 pro version."

Rumors had originally assumed the Mac Pro would be announced during WWDC with an M1 variant, perhaps higher than the M1 Ultra. That didn't pan out, and now, with the existence of the M2 processor, the Mac Pro may not arrive for a long time.

Gurman believes the Mac Pro with "M2 Extreme" could be announced by the end of 2022, but wouldn't be released until mid-2023 at the earliest. Apple could also announce new iPad Pros with M2 and more in the same time period.

The full interview is available on the Max Tech YouTube page. Gurman shares repeated information about future AirPods and Apple Watch models and the state of Apple given the economy.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,012member
    It really doesn't make sense for Apple to release a M1-based product, other than for the iPad (again), when the M2 has been released. That said, Apple really needs to make sure the M2 design really works withe least amount of heat so the normal fans and heatsinks will work. Once the M2 was released, nobody in their right might would have purchased an M1 Mac Pro or updated M1 Mac mini, they'd just wait a year to get the upgraded versions. 
    Alex1Nmaximarawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 67
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,223member
    Redesigning the Mini, well to what end? It’s got lots of ports, though one on the front would be nice. It matches the Studio form so there’s constancy there. No reason to do a (costly) redesign when what they have really works well. It would be fun to see, but to what purpose? They aren’t going to add upgradeable SSDs and RAM.
    entropyswilliamlondonAlex1Nblastdoormaximarawatto_cobramacseekerbryan_swain72
  • Reply 3 of 67
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,395member
    I think Apple recognized the M1 Ultra, as powerful as it is, wasn’t going to be the nuclear weapon they intended. So the Studio was developed in a short space of time and bridges the gap. The M1 Ultra has since shown itself to not take full advantage of its potential and so we wait for M2 Ultra and “Extreme.”

    Probably 3nm. 

    The M series Mac Pro needs to be a mic drop. 
    edited July 26 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 67
    designrdesignr Posts: 740member
    I think Apple recognized the M1 Ultra, as powerful as it is, wasn’t going to be the nuclear weapon they intended. So the Studio was developed in a short space of time and bridges the gap. 
    I'm skeptical of this. I suspect Mac Studio was quite intentional.

    I think Studio was designed for a specific purpose and segment of the market. It's the in-between the full-blown Mac Pro and a Mac Mini (and alternative to an iMac Pro).

    williamlondon9secondkox2Alex1Nmike1spherictenthousandthingsbaconstangmaximarawatto_cobrabryan_swain72
  • Reply 5 of 67
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,405member
    DAalseth said:
    Redesigning the Mini, well to what end? It’s got lots of ports, though one on the front would be nice. It matches the Studio form so there’s constancy there. No reason to do a (costly) redesign when what they have really works well. It would be fun to see, but to what purpose? They aren’t going to add upgradeable SSDs and RAM.
    I was really hoping that Apple would release a redesigned Mac mini - up until the Mac Studio landed on center stage. The Mac Studio is essentially everything that I had hoped the Mac mini would eventually become. It’s the Max mini I was hoping for. 

    With the lack of post purchase upgrades and with zero internal expansion capability (it’s a sealed box) the Mac Studio is effectively a massive upgrade to the Mac mini but still a long away from the Mac Pro.

    So yeah I’m also wondering why Apple would put a whole lot of effort into a radical redesign of the current Mac mini. They just have to find a way to keep it up to date while still slotting it into a price-performance gap that doesn’t infringe on the base Max Studio. The next mini will be the Air of the Mac product line. 

    All this adds up to the notion of a “prosumer” expandable Mac that pulls in some of the expansion and upgradable features of the Mac Pro being nothing more than a pipe dream. There’s probably still a remaining niche for a beefier iMac, but Apple isn’t giving us any hints about their intentions in this area. 




    Alex1Nwatto_cobraretrogusto
  • Reply 6 of 67
    DAalseth said:
    Redesigning the Mini, well to what end? It’s got lots of ports, though one on the front would be nice. It matches the Studio form so there’s constancy there. No reason to do a (costly) redesign when what they have really works well. It would be fun to see, but to what purpose? They aren’t going to add upgradeable SSDs and RAM.
    I would like to see a space gray color option, and it could be thinner. I like the way the render looks, but I’m not sold on the MagSafe connector because it will likely not be moved around much anyway.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 67
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,350member
    At this point, for a Mac Pro, if the M1ultra and M2ultra is what they've got, perhaps they could create a grid computer with up to four motherboards in one computer. And make a special version of Mac OS that handles this seamlessly. Using the grid power for render cues, and massive computational stuff. If they wanna leap ahead, I have a feeling maybe M2ultra alone might not be insane enough to compete head on with the competition when it comes to this level of maxed out dedicated work stations?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 67
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,395member
    designr said:
    I think Apple recognized the M1 Ultra, as powerful as it is, wasn’t going to be the nuclear weapon they intended. So the Studio was developed in a short space of time and bridges the gap. 
    I'm skeptical of this. I suspect Mac Studio was quite intentional.

    I think Studio was designed for a specific purpose and segment of the market. It's the in-between the full-blown Mac Pro and a Mac Mini (and alternative to an iMac Pro).

    We will see if they still sell it in 3-5 years. 

    I suspect it’s a stopgap while we wait for a truly impressive Mac Pro and a viable large iMac. 
    danoxcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 67
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,182member
    Release something other than a Laptop or a Mac Mini Apple?
  • Reply 10 of 67
    thttht Posts: 4,507member
    The big issue for Apple is really how willing they are going to compete in the workstation market with a 1.5 kW box. 

    That’s what the 2019 Mac Pro is and at minimum, I think they need to have that much compute in the box. Not only do they need to have a 20+64 (M1 Ultra), a 40+128 SoC ( or M2 equivalent), they need to be able to put 4 or 5 of them in a 1.5 kW box, with flexibility for 4 3.5” HDDs, and lots of PCIe cards. 

    They really don’t need a new box. Just use the 2019 Mac Pro box, develop an interface for 32 to 64 PCIe lanes, and go. But their product marketing folks are quite… focused. 
    tenthousandthingscornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 67
    JP234JP234 Posts: 227member
    There's a fragmentation risk here to Apple. the risk is fragmentation causing supply/demand imbalance. With Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Studio and Mac Pro all competing with each other for consumer dollars. this happened during the John Sculley era, and Apple wound up eating $700 million worth of unsaleable product. It's easy to see the the Apple Silicon Mac Studio and iMac cannibalizing a large number of potential Mac Pro sales. Conversely, a more powerful M2 Mac Mini could chip away at Mac Studio sales. But then Jobs said, in reference to the iPhone cannibalizing the  "Never be afraid of cannibalizing yourself. If you don't cannibalize yourself, someone else will,"

    Guess you know which one of us is a legendary and transformative figure in 20th century America. Not to mention multibillionaire.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 67
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,224member
    Why do we need a Mac Pro? We already have it, it's called Studio Ultra. 


    designrwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 67
    Fidonet127Fidonet127 Posts: 387member
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    designrbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 67
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,516administrator
    JP234 said:
    There's a fragmentation risk here to Apple. the risk is fragmentation causing supply/demand imbalance. With Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Studio and Mac Pro all competing with each other for consumer dollars. this happened during the John Sculley era, and Apple wound up eating $700 million worth of unsaleable product. It's easy to see the the Apple Silicon Mac Studio and iMac cannibalizing a large number of potential Mac Pro sales. Conversely, a more powerful M2 Mac Mini could chip away at Mac Studio sales. But then Jobs said, in reference to the iPhone cannibalizing the  "Never be afraid of cannibalizing yourself. If you don't cannibalize yourself, someone else will,"

    Guess you know which one of us is a legendary and transformative figure in 20th century America. Not to mention multibillionaire.
    This had more to do with the company's approach at big-box retail, where a single LC model had about 20 different SKUs and labels, that varied between vendors.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 67
    techconctechconc Posts: 237member
    rob53 said:
    It really doesn't make sense for Apple to release a M1-based product, other than for the iPad (again), when the M2 has been released. That said, Apple really needs to make sure the M2 design really works withe least amount of heat so the normal fans and heatsinks will work. Once the M2 was released, nobody in their right might would have purchased an M1 Mac Pro or updated M1 Mac mini, they'd just wait a year to get the upgraded versions. 
    There is going to be a continuous cycle.  The pro models will always follow the base models for a chip design.  It's the same with Intel.  The Xeon chips are always about a generation behind their desktop class chips.  The point being, if you take that position, you will always be waiting for the next thing.

    I think Apple recognized the M1 Ultra, as powerful as it is, wasn’t going to be the nuclear weapon they intended. So the Studio was developed in a short space of time and bridges the gap. The M1 Ultra has since shown itself to not take full advantage of its potential and so we wait for M2 Ultra and “Extreme.”

    Probably 3nm. 

    The M series Mac Pro needs to be a mic drop. 
    The "Ultra" is and will still likely be the low end of the Pro configuration.  The higher end will effectively be 2 Ultra modules or maybe "extreme" as Gurman calls it.  I think the real question is whether Apple is able to make it user scalable with something like Apple branded video cards, etc.  To your point, the GPU in the M1 Ultra didn't scale to its potential.  Looks like a hardware / engineering problem.  That's likely why they scrapped the M1 based Mac Pro machine.  Hopefully, this will be corrected for the M2 series of Ultra / Extreme chips. 

    Also, no the Studio is not a stop gap.  It's more like a "mini Pro" in lieu of a 27" iMac. 

    tht said:
    The big issue for Apple is really how willing they are going to compete in the workstation market with a 1.5 kW box. 

    That’s what the 2019 Mac Pro is and at minimum, I think they need to have that much compute in the box. Not only do they need to have a 20+64 (M1 Ultra), a 40+128 SoC ( or M2 equivalent), they need to be able to put 4 or 5 of them in a 1.5 kW box, with flexibility for 4 3.5” HDDs, and lots of PCIe cards. 

    They really don’t need a new box. Just use the 2019 Mac Pro box, develop an interface for 32 to 64 PCIe lanes, and go. But their product marketing folks are quite… focused. 

    I agree that they likely need some form of PCI expansion, but I don't agree that it needs 3.5 HDD options at this point.  Especially for a high performance pro machine.  If you were talking about a "prosumer" type of box, I might agree, but not for the high end pro machines.
    spherictenthousandthingsbaconstangwatto_cobrabryan_swain72
  • Reply 16 of 67
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,742member
    I wonder if the M1 Mac Pro got squeezed between supply chain disruptions and marketing considerations. That is, I wonder if after the initial M1 Macs were released, all subsequent M1 Macs ended up delayed by 3-6 months for reasons that had nothing to do with ASi. Meanwhile, ASi development continued more or less on schedule, resulting in a situation in which a delayed M1 Mac Pro would be coming out at the same time as Macs based on M2 Pro/Max. That could depress sales of the Mac Pro and generally look weird. 

    So, apple decides to just wait for M2 ultra^2 for the Mac Pro. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 67
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,182member
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    Designing the SOC and the OS to go with it is the difficult part, see all the other companies scrambling to design and make chips as a answer to what Apple has done, it appears to be marketing decisions (what slots in here or where) getting in the way of releasing computers.

    All of the Mac range of computers need to be released at the same time at each SOC M1, M2, M3 level upgrade, overlapping isn’t going to work. Apple had trouble with Intel’s schedule, it’s a shame now that Apple is in charge they are having internal marketing release trouble with themselves with their own chip.

    One more thing the performance of the M2 at low wattage is utterly ridiculous when compared to the Intel and AMD chips, where are the SERVERS? What is Apple waiting for Jerry Jones? The Fourth season of Ted Lasso? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf9sjtv3LYs Incredible!.
    edited July 27 williamlondondewme
  • Reply 18 of 67
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,807moderator
    DAalseth said:
    Redesigning the Mini, well to what end? It’s got lots of ports, though one on the front would be nice. It matches the Studio form so there’s constancy there. No reason to do a (costly) redesign when what they have really works well. It would be fun to see, but to what purpose? They aren’t going to add upgradeable SSDs and RAM.
    It only uses about half the space internally, in the following video at 3:15 when the fan is removed, the entire bottom-right of the box is empty space:



    It has a 150W power supply but draws at most 40W. They just reused the Intel design, which was intended for 120W of power.

    It could easily be half the size it is now, even if they decide to add a Pro chip. If it's just half the height, it doesn't do a whole lot but if it has a smaller footprint, that's beneficial.
    blastdoor said:
    I wonder if the M1 Mac Pro got squeezed between supply chain disruptions and marketing considerations. That is, I wonder if after the initial M1 Macs were released, all subsequent M1 Macs ended up delayed by 3-6 months for reasons that had nothing to do with ASi. Meanwhile, ASi development continued more or less on schedule, resulting in a situation in which a delayed M1 Mac Pro would be coming out at the same time as Macs based on M2 Pro/Max. That could depress sales of the Mac Pro and generally look weird. 

    So, apple decides to just wait for M2 ultra^2 for the Mac Pro. 
    When leakers get predictions wrong, they often say that the product was scrapped. In 2010, Gurman said Apple would release a 15" Air, then said it had manufacturing issues and would launch in 2012. Then it just doesn't get mentioned again.

    It was clear when the Max chip launched that it only had one edge connector to add another chip so the only option they had was 2x Ultra chips with a different connection than UltraFusion. I don't see how an M1 Mac Pro was ready to go then scrapped, it sounds like a made up story. The leakers only had details of the Mac Studio a week before launch so it sounds more like they just didn't know anything about what was happening.

    A 3nm Ultra will be in the region of 40TFLOPs. Two of these is 80TFLOPs, same as an Nvidia 4090 and this exceeds the 2019 Mac Pro. This would fit into an 8" Cube. The majority of Mac Pro buyers are in the middle price range and this would meet that price point while offering more performance than the $20k+ 2019 Pro. Significantly more performance for video editing.
    tenthousandthingsthtfastasleepFidonet127watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 67
    techconctechconc Posts: 237member
    danox said:

    ...
    All of the Mac range of computers need to be released at the same time at each SOC M1, M2, M3 level upgrade, overlapping isn’t going to work. Apple had trouble with Intel’s schedule, it’s a shame now that Apple is in charge they are having internal marketing release trouble with themselves with their own chip.

    One more thing the performance of the M2 at low wattage is utterly ridiculous when compared to the Intel and AMD chips, where are the SERVERS? What is Apple waiting for Jerry Jones? The Fourth season of Ted Lasso? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf9sjtv3LYs Incredible!.
    Your comment is quixotic and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how chip design works.  Do you think Intel intentionally kept their Xeon chips a generation behind their desktops?

    Generally, it works like this.  You have a team building the new technology for things like the CPU and GPU cores.  Those cores are used with the most simplistic and highest volume chips the company makes.  Why?  They are easier to debug and they produce the highest rate of return for the company.  The A series chips will always be the leading indicator for where Apple is going with their technology.  Then, they scale this out to bigger and better chips like the Mx, Mx Pro, Mx Ultra, etc.  Meanwhile, concurrently, they're working on their next technology for their CPUs and GPUs.  On occasion, you might get something like media encoders showing up on a later M series chip first just because that's when the technology was ready. 

    As for servers, Apple is not in the server business and they don't sell their chips to others to use.  The server market will eventually move away from Intel, but it largely has to happen on the desktop first.  Why?  Because people develop on the desktop and then deploy to the cloud.  Right now, the cloud is driven by the popularity of the desktop architectures, despite the obvious advantages of moving to ARM based solutions. 
    williamlondonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 67
    thttht Posts: 4,507member
    techconc said:
    tht said:
    The big issue for Apple is really how willing they are going to compete in the workstation market with a 1.5 kW box. 

    That’s what the 2019 Mac Pro is and at minimum, I think they need to have that much compute in the box. Not only do they need to have a 20+64 (M1 Ultra), a 40+128 SoC ( or M2 equivalent), they need to be able to put 4 or 5 of them in a 1.5 kW box, with flexibility for 4 3.5” HDDs, and lots of PCIe cards. 

    They really don’t need a new box. Just use the 2019 Mac Pro box, develop an interface for 32 to 64 PCIe lanes, and go. But their product marketing folks are quite… focused. 
    I agree that they likely need some form of PCI expansion, but I don't agree that it needs 3.5 HDD options at this point.  Especially for a high performance pro machine.  If you were talking about a "prosumer" type of box, I might agree, but not for the high end pro machines.
    For the 3.5" HDD, I was basically referring to the Promise Pegasus MPX modules. 4 HDD in a 4-wide PCI slot card. Not talking about having dedicated HDD bays. There's nothing technically stopping someone from making a 2x wide PCIe card with 2 HDD drives either. As long as spinning drives are like an order of magnitude cheaper per TB than solid state drives, there is going to be a need for HDD, and having them internal would be a feature of a big box. 20 TB HDD for $500 or less right now.

    The 2019 Mac Pro industrial design is very good imo. Just continue using it and only change the internal design in accordance to the expansion architecture they want to have. There are things they need to do to be competitive with a Mac Pro. Putatively, a product in the workstation market that can both go on top of desks and in racks, and would be able to address a wide range of workflows. So, >1 TB RAM capacity, large internal storage capacity, and flexibility to cover different types of work. I think it needs to continue to have 8 PCIe slots, and PCIe 4 is the minimum for a big box in 2023. How Apple enables large >1 TB memory and 40 to 60 PCIe lanes with their chip, memory and IO architecture has been a subject for debate for awhile.

    The "easy" solution is to not offer >1 TB of RAM, but only 256 GB (with two M1 Ultras connected together), and to only have something like 20 PCIe 4 lanes for PCIe slots, or perhaps no PCIe slots at all. Like an uber Mac Studio. I don't think they can sell that and everyone will recognize it as a downgrade from the 2019 model. They may try, but I think it will fail. They tried the highly focused workstation product strategy with 2013 Mac Pro, and the 2017 iMac Pro, and it wasn't very successful. The 2022 Mac Studio is like this too, but perhaps has the saving grace of starting at $2000. The Mac Pro can't be a vertical product where it basically is a high end FCP machine.

    I have half a thought that they should create a specialized RAM slot. Something with 400 GByte/s bandwidth, and can go up to 2 TB of RAM. It would be like the MPX slots where it is effectively 2 PCIe x16 slots in series, but architected only for main memory, with lower latency and higher bandwidth. It would have a heatsink on it like the Mac Pro Afterburner card. With the Mac Studio being an integrated, vertical product. If it was able to support the same expansion modules as the Mac Pro, it would have in driving down costs for both machines. SSDs are also heading down the path of needing active cooling, so an SSD card with a heatsink will be inevitable too. So, an SSD PCIe card that looks like an Afterburner card seems inevitable too.


    fastasleepwatto_cobra
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