Apple updates Mac Pro, confirms new model with modular design and pro displays due in 2018

Apple’s Mac Pro, last updated in December 2013, is receiving a spec-bump with faster Intel chips and other updates. The current Mac Pro model with a quad-core Xeon chip and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics now has a faster processor with six cores and dual D500 GPUs for $2,999. The $3,999 six-core model with dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics now comes with eight CPU cores and dual D800 GPUs.

Other than the faster Intel chips and updated AMD graphics, there are no other hardware changes. The ports have remained the same, meaning you still have your Thunderbolt 2 ports but no USB-C (and so no support for the LG UltraFine 5K display).

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, told Daring Fireball’s John Gruber that the company is in the process of “completely rethinking Mac Pro”.

They’re working on a modular pro desktop that will let customers easily swap CPUs and GPUs with high-end ones.The Cupertino firm is also working on Apple-branded displays aimed at pro users that will launch at some point next year.

Here’s Phil’s statement in full:

We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.

As part of doing a new Mac Pro—it is, by definition, a modular system—we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.

In the interim, we know there are a number of customers who continue to buy our [current Mac Pros]. To be clear, our current Mac Pro has met the needs of some of our customers, and we know clearly not all of our customers. None of this is black and white, it’s a wide variety of customers. Some… it’s the kind of system they wanted; others, it was not.

In the meantime, we’re going to update the configs to make it faster and better for their dollar. This is not a new model, not a new design, we’re just going to update the configs. We’re doing that this week. We can give you the specifics on that.

The CPUs, we’re moving them down the line. The GPUs, down the line, to get more performance per dollar for customers who DO need to continue to buy them on the interim until we get to a newly architected system.

Mac desktops account for about one-fifth of overall Mac sales. As for Mac Pros, these machines represent a “single-digit percentage” of all Mac sales combined, said Apple.

What do you guys make of this?

Source: Daring Fireball