RUMOR: Apple close to updating Mac Pro

“Apple is close to finally updating the Mac Pro,” Steve Lo reports for M.I.C. Gadget.

“Intel will be moving to its Ivy Bridge platform in April, and this will solve heating issues. How does it do that? Well, with its 22nm (extremely efficient) manufacturing process, it is very efficient in operation in comparison to the previous Sandy Bridge,” Lo reports. “More importantly, the old transistor types are gone, and replaced by ‘tri-gate’ transistors. According to our sources, those transistors are 30%+ more efficient with heat dissipation.”

Lo reports, “Basically, we are going from two high performing 6 cores, to two even higher performing 8 cores. The updated chipset will also help the performance greatly over the previous generation.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. It is my understanding that 22 nm versions of the Xeon processors in the Mac Pro are still many months away.

    The new E5 Xeons that are coming out in April are designed in 32 nm technology.

  2. I doubt there will be a new form factor, it will likely use it’s existing one for as long as it keeps selling enough to warrant keeping it around. I think it will be updated and sold. Even though it only sells a fraction of other Macs, they developed and sold it back when Macs sold a fraction of their current numbers and made a profit.

    It does not need to make iPad sales figures to be worth the continued investment of a speed bump. Don’t expect a wholesale redesign, however.

        1. @twilightmoon: Spark’s speculative statement is opinion and should be interpreted as such.

          That being said, Spark has essentially echoed Apple’s successful strategy for every other consumer product it sells: making every next generation product smaller is one key differentiating factor that gains more customers.

          A Mac Pro external chassis style update wouldn’t hurt, but the more critical factor to drive new sales is price. That’s difficult to accomplish as long as Intel continues demanding tall premium prices for Xeon processors.

          That’s why so many of us are wonder why it’s taking Apple so long to introduce a mid-range tower that doesn’t include the Xeon but does offer some internal expansion, especially for GPU.

      1. I doubt that. A Mac Pro is the size it is for expandability purposes. I don’t see Apple moving away from the Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro line up for desktops anytime soon. Now that the Mac Mini has Thunderbolt, it in theory makes it expandable as well (once more TB devices are on the market).

        I’d guess that most pros that buy Mac Pros currently, would not like one that couldn’t support as many internal drives.

  3. Though this is just a rumor, I hope it is based upon reality. We use Mac Pros in our business and prefer them.

    I agree with ‘twilightmoon’ – I’m thinking the form factor will remain the same. There’s no need to use resources to redesign something that is as elegant as the current design.

    1. It’s not just a matter of whether or not the new design would sell well, it’s whether it would sell enough more to justify the expense of using their very limited supply of engineers on the project. They could come up with something more elegant, but what other project would they have to pull engineers off to do so?

  4. Hardware Overview:
    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro4,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 8 MB
    Memory: 6 GB
    Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s

    I’m ready when Apple is.

  5. It will be a real blessing to get new Mac Pro availability. Let’s face it, a fully pimped iMac is pretty impressive, but it’s not a patch on what a 2012-spec Pro unit could do.

    Yes, only a small % of people want a Pro. But that small % is the leading creative/scientific user base and it’s important Apple looks after them.

    1. It’s not just the Pros, the Mac Pro makes a great home server or a great desktop if you need lots of internal storage.

      Maybe some are keen on cluttering their setup with external Hard Drives- Thunderbolt or not (Apple, are you listening?), I am not. All 4 drive bays and the second optical bay have 1.5 or 2TB Hds. I also am quite happy with my LED Cinema- with an iMac you lose a perfectly good display just to get a new CPU or GPU.

    2. I suspect there are a fairly significant number of developers within Apple itself who prefer a Pro, too. It does not need to be a large % of the total Mac base to make sense to sell. All it has to do is sell a certain specific raw total, which I’m fairly comfortable assuming its well above that amount.

      The real issue is Apple has a limited number of engineers to spread around. They very carefully must pick and choose what projects they want them on that really need the attention. Focus is a major component of their overall success. It’s great to be able to talk about hiring more engineers, but there’s a limit to how many you can add, and how fast you can add them and maintain that razor sharp company wide focus.

      1. A company with $100 Billion banked during a recession can afford to hire whomever it needs to get the job done.

        The market I think Apple is missing would like a compact tower that would allow for Graphics card swaps and easy HD upgrades without the Xeon CPUs and massive power supply. They could keep the current design shrunken for Core CPUs instead of Xeons, and no second optical bay for a slightly lower price. I do not buy Pros for the Xeon CPU, but rather for the flexibility and upgradability combined with the internal storage options.

        It’s also nice to be able to quickly open your computer and dust out the inside in mere seconds.

  6. Apple is sitting on roughly $100,000,000,000 in cash and cash equivalents and they may have to carefully allocate the limited supply of engineer time to get the MP out? If so, why?

    Apple could either hire a few more permanent ones or contract the expertise for about the equivalent cost of a pack of chewing gum for the average person. (This is paraphrasing something said about Bill Gates many years ago)

  7. I am still using my early 2008 Mac Pro, which came with 1 Xeon CPU, 2GB of memory, a small HD and a cheap video card, and here is what I have added so far:
    – 1 more Xeon CPU
    – 18GB total memory
    – 256GB SSD as system/boot drive
    – 2x1TB HD in RAID 0 for data
    – another dedicate drive for Time Machine
    – ATI Radeon 5870
    – USB 3.0 and eSATA expansion card

    Now name another Apple product that has any upgrade potential. I’ll be really disappointed if they don’t keep the Mac Pro line.

  8. The newest iMacs are substantial enough for the ‘prosumer’ and I think the Mac Pro will get this one update before being discontinued.

    On the software end the ‘next step’ naturally is to merge iOS and OSX in some fashion. It may be one or more iterations from now but I predict Apple will remove access to the fille system in OSX.

  9. For the really serious animators and data grinders, what alternatives do they have. High end PC’s cost as much or more than a Mac Pro and they are chained to (cough cough) Windows. Consider the BMW M-5. It’s expensive and serves the needs of a small percentage of all BMW owners. It is however an important part of the BMW stable. It serves the need of a limited number if buyers and is manufactured in limited numbers. The BMW line would be poorer if it disapeared. So it goes with the pro.

  10. NEW Mac Pro with new Ivy Bridge tri-gate DUAL 8 Core chips + Thunderbolt YES!
    But, I think there’s room for a new Mac Pro Alum Cube that is HALF of Mac Pro Tower: The Mac Pro Soho ( Small Office Home Office ) Aluminum Cube.
    ONE 8 Core Chip / Half the internal drives (2) / 1 slot loading optical drive / One Graphics Card bus slot / SAME DRAM expandability / 2 Thunderbolt – 1 Firewire800 – 2 USB / same audio I/O/ Wireless keyboard & mouse.

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