Maxed-out Apple Silicon Mac Pro costs 1/4 what a maxed Intel one did

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited June 2023
Time has a way of humbling our demands for technological advances, and in 2019, a maxed-out Mac Pro would set you back $53,000. Today, Apple announced a long-awaited update to the pro-level desktop computer, with more impressive specs and a much more modest price tag.




As we did in 2019, we set out to customize the Mac Pro with the most ridiculous components available just to see what it would cost consumers.

And ridiculous they are, as a fully-loaded Mac Pro comes with the brand-new M2 Ultra chip with a 24-core CPU, upgraded 76-core GPU, and 32-core neural engine.

Apple's upgraded Mac Pro now supports up to 192GB of unified memory, and you bet we added it to our load out. Additionally, we chose the largest storage available at 8TB of SSD space.

Specs for the fully-loaded Mac Pro.
Specs for the fully-loaded Mac Pro.

We added the stainless steel frame with wheels for the final build because if you have a pro-level computer, you need it on wheels, obviously. That little addition will set you back $400, as it did for the seventh-generation Intel Mac Pro.

With everything said and done, the 2023 M2 Ultra Mac Pro comes in at $12,199 before tax and without a display.

For Apple's display technology, expect to spend an additional $1,599 -- at least. And the Mac Pro can support up to eight simultaneous displays, meaning you'll be forking out more for visuals than computing power.

While that seems like an astounding amount of money for a computer, when compared with our 2019 build, it's pretty affordable for the target market, not even twice the base price of $6,999.

In 2019, our build consisted of several performance components, such as graphics cards and afterburners. Those components now live in Apple's dedicated silicon, the M2 Ultra, with performance that eclipses Intel-based Macs.

Of course, you could also include the Magic Trackpad, Final Cut Pro, and Logic Pro pre-loaded for an additional $650 for a total of $12,847.98. Regardless of added software or accessories, you're still getting a pro-level computer for less than what it would cost you to buy a used Honda Civic.

A fully-loaded Mac Pro can be in your home by the end of June, and using your Apple Card will land you 3% cash back, lessening the blow. A little.

Don't forget to check back with AppleInsider frequently, as we constantly update our price guide to reflect the best deals on Mac Pros.

Read on AppleInsider
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Perhaps the maxed out price of the new AS Mac Pro is 1/4 the price of the old Intel Mac Pro, but it also maxed out at a relatively paltry 192 GB RAM, but the old Mac Pro could have 1.5 TB RAM.

    In the cases where you have large enough data sets, the new AS Mac Pro has selected itself out of the running. The SSD isn't nearly as fast as actually having RAM even in the best-case scenario. If all your data is streamed and processed linearly, the amount of RAM required tends to be lower, assuming you don't need to keep too many things streamed with a large enough context.

    It's likely that with the kinds of data sets where it is larger than will fit in a new AS Mac Pro, it's not too feasible trying to partition the processing over multiple machines, so buying 4 of them isn't a bargain in that use-case.

    Apple clearly is content with limiting their potential market for their halo Mac. This is a logical result.
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamdarkvadersloaah
  • Reply 2 of 36
    mikethemartianmikethemartian Posts: 1,428member
    Doesn’t have very many upgrade options.
    williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 3 of 36
    swordpenswordpen Posts: 3member
    For a certain subset of professionals (such as myself), the new Mac Pro is a bargain. There is only an $500 price difference between a Mac Pro and Mac Studio in this apple for apple configuration:

     - Mac Pro tricked out with 9TB RAM w/ dual-slot NVME PCI-e card populated with qty (2) 4TB NVME slabs = $7500 + $700
     - Mac Studio with 8TB RAM w/ qty (3) TB3 PCI-3 enclosures = $6200 + $1500

    In the Pro the NVMEs will be able to run at full speed instead of 2700GB/s. And they can be RAIDed reliably — I no longer trust spreading that kind of RAID across two enclosures any longer.

    Cannot wait for mine to arrive!
    williamlondonjrfunkxixod_2killroy
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Doesn’t have very many upgrade options.
    You can do quite a bit with 64 Gen 4.0 PCIe lanes, even if it doesn't support graphics cards.
    williamlondonkillroy
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Doesn’t have very many upgrade options.
    You can do quite a bit with 64 Gen 4.0 PCIe lanes, even if it doesn't support graphics cards.
    You can’t add 1.5TB of ECC memory.
    williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 6 of 36
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 315member
    "Maxed-out Apple Silicon Mac Pro costs 1/4 what a maxed Intel one did"

    Do you mean 'once did' ?

    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 36
    williamlondonwilliamlondon Posts: 1,379member
    Doesn’t have very many upgrade options.
    You can do quite a bit with 64 Gen 4.0 PCIe lanes, even if it doesn't support graphics cards.
    You can’t add 1.5TB of ECC memory.
    Are you in the market for that?
    killroy
  • Reply 8 of 36
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,426member
    So…. Can you put co-processing cards — like GPUs — in those pci slots or are they only for fast SSD storage?
    darkvader
  • Reply 9 of 36
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,903member
    blastdoor said:
    So…. Can you put co-processing cards — like GPUs — in those pci slots or are they only for fast SSD storage?

    I wonder if people still want to use Nvidia cards in this thing? I remember when the last one came out there were people in video editing/coloring/graphics that were disappointed at the continuing lack of Nvida support. I thnk they wer only interested in the cards as GPUs for specific apps - not for feeding displays.
    darkvader
  • Reply 10 of 36
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,927member
    I was wondering how many posts it would take before someone bleated “B-b-but no 1.5TB RAM option?”.
    I’d love to know what proportion of Mac Pros were even upgraded beyond 256GB RAM (stats & error reports would have revealed this).

    Shame about no 3D compute module.
    williamlondonSkeptical
  • Reply 11 of 36
    xixoxixo Posts: 449member
    this is a very impressive item at a very impressive price point

    but - i have experienced apple dodging responsibility for new apple gear defects too many times for me to ever buy 'new' retail apple hardware again

    i've been quite happy buying used apple gear on ebay and craigslist, etc.

    in about a year, after engineering works out the kinks and releases the rev 1.2 version, then I could possibly be tempted to buy a used M2 Mac Pro . . .
    darkvaderwilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 36
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member
    Less RAM, no GPU upgrades.

    NOT impressed.  Honestly not even sure why Apple bothered.
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 36
    thedbathedba Posts: 771member
    xixo said:

    but - i have experienced apple dodging responsibility for new apple gear defects too many times for me to ever buy 'new' retail apple hardware again
    Just wondering how Apple ever dodged its responsibility on new gear?
    You have a couple of weeks to return the item if it doesn't meet your needs for whatever reason and a whole year without Apple Care to fix any issues that may arise.

    xixo said:

    i've been quite happy buying used apple gear on ebay and craigslist, etc.

    Makes sense from an economic perspective and if your current gear can tough it out for another year or so.

    xixo said:

    in about a year, after engineering works out the kinks and releases the rev 1.2 version, then I could possibly be tempted to buy a used M2 Mac Pro . . .
    What kinks does it need to work out? It's an M2 Ultra, successor to the M1 Ultra, inside a much bigger chassis with more possibilities to add SSD cards, sound gear etc.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    thedbathedba Posts: 771member
    Doesn’t have very many upgrade options.
    You can do quite a bit with 64 Gen 4.0 PCIe lanes, even if it doesn't support graphics cards.
    You can’t add 1.5TB of ECC memory.
    Are you in the market for that?
    Great question. Wonder if you're ever going to a get an answer for this? 
    Not just a simple "yes" or "no" but actual use cases where 1.5 TB of RAM are really necessary. 
    killroywilliamlondonSkeptical
  • Reply 15 of 36
    thedbathedba Posts: 771member
    darkvader said:
    Less RAM, no GPU upgrades.

    NOT impressed.  Honestly not even sure why Apple bothered.
    Maybe because the Intel Mac Pro was getting old and not selling, thus no longer making sense in keeping it in the lineup.
    Perhaps putting an M2 Ultra in the chassis with expandability slots for added SSD's or peripherals was the only thing possible at this very moment.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 36
    killroykillroy Posts: 279member
    blastdoor said:
    So…. Can you put co-processing cards — like GPUs — in those pci slots or are they only for fast SSD storage?

    It was shown in the all the cards that are supported. A lot of them are audio and video in cards. And a those 16 Lane Double wide PCIe 4 slots only need Drivers for GPU cards.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    killroykillroy Posts: 279member
    darkvader said:
    Less RAM, no GPU upgrades.

    NOT impressed.  Honestly not even sure why Apple bothered.

    No GPU upgrades yet. 2 16 Lane Double wide PCIe 4 slots only need Drivers for GPU cards
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 36
    Perhaps the maxed out price of the new AS Mac Pro is 1/4 the price of the old Intel Mac Pro, but it also maxed out at a relatively paltry 192 GB RAM, but the old Mac Pro could have 1.5 TB RAM.

    In the cases where you have large enough data sets, the new AS Mac Pro has selected itself out of the running. The SSD isn't nearly as fast as actually having RAM even in the best-case scenario. If all your data is streamed and processed linearly, the amount of RAM required tends to be lower, assuming you don't need to keep too many things streamed with a large enough context.
    Yet it's much faster, "For reference DDR5-4800 is about 56GBps. That's about 220GBps of bandwidth in a quad channel configuration like in a server. The Mac Pro has 800GBps of memory bandwidth, so it's almost 4x the bandwidth of some fast DDR5."

    The second point is that the CPU and GPU can work on the same dataset in 
    memory without needing to transfer data between the system memory and the graphics card memory, which is of course faster and more efficient.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,922member
    thedba said:
    Doesn’t have very many upgrade options.
    You can do quite a bit with 64 Gen 4.0 PCIe lanes, even if it doesn't support graphics cards.
    You can’t add 1.5TB of ECC memory.
    Are you in the market for that?
    Great question. Wonder if you're ever going to a get an answer for this? 
    Not just a simple "yes" or "no" but actual use cases where 1.5 TB of RAM are really necessary. 
    The key word there being "actual", not theoretical, use cases.
    thedba
  • Reply 20 of 36
    williamlondonwilliamlondon Posts: 1,379member
    darkvader said:
    Less RAM, no GPU upgrades.

    NOT impressed.  Honestly not even sure why Apple bothered.
    Were you in the market for a new Pro or are you being your typical negative nelly self and just posting shit like always?
    macxpressSkepticalzonenarwhalJWSC
Sign In or Register to comment.