Apple may be prepping a Mac Pro refresh for early 2016

“In late 2013, Apple updated the Mac Pro,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “The refreshed system offered substantial performance improvements over the prior-generation model as a result of much newer internals as well as a completely revamped and a novel industrial design.”

MacDailyNews Take: It was completely new. The words “updated” and “refreshed” do the Mac Pro an injustice. Apple completely reinvented the workstation.

“The late 2013 Mac Pro uses Intel’s Xeon E5 v2 processor family, also known as Ivy Bridge-EP. When the current Mac Pro launched, these were Intel’s most powerful workstation processors,” Eassa writes. “About a year later, Intel launched its Xeon E5 v3 processor family, known as Haswell-EP. These chips are built on the same 22-nanometer manufacturing technology that the Xeon E5 v2 chips are, but the chips include enhanced CPU cores and more of them.”

Apple's revolutionary Mac Pro
Apple’s revolutionary Mac Pro

 
“This leads me to believe that Apple plans to update its Mac Pro lineup whenever Intel moves to a new manufacturing technology (‘ticks’ in Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ cadence), skipping the architectural updates on a given manufacturing technology,” Eassa writes. “If true, this means a new Mac Pro is coming early next year… The current Mac Pro can be configured to include processors starting with four CPU cores going all the way up to 12 CPU cores. Broadwell-EP is expected to come in configurations sporting up to 22 CPU cores, which opens the door for substantial processor improvements at all Mac Pro price points. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No brainer. The only question is: Will Apple actually offer Mac Pro models with up to 22 cores?

SEE ALSO:
What’s next for Mac Pro graphics cards? – August 13, 2014
First impressions: Apple’s new Mac Pro – June 20, 2014
Hardware.Info reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Revolutionary, Apple reinvents the workstation – June 17, 2014
Houston Chronicle reviews Apple Mac Pro: Unmatched by any Windows system – March 12, 2014
Review: Apple’s $3999 6-core Mac Pro is an impressive computer – February 26, 2014
Ars Technica pro reviews Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro: Powerful, but it isn’t always a clear upgrade – January 28, 2014
T3 Mac Pro review: Unboxing, hands-on, and first impressions – December 20, 2013
ITProPortal reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: One of the best premium desktops we’ve ever tested – January 14, 2014
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Stunning, astonishing, Editors’ Choice – December 27, 2013
The New York Times reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Deeply futuristic; extremely, ridiculously fast and powerful – December 26, 2013
The Verge reviews Apple’s new Mac Pro: Unlike anything the PC industry’s ever seen – December 23, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple’s new Mac Pro: In a league of its own – December 23, 2013
The first 24 hours with Apple’s new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 (with video) – December 20, 2013
T3 Mac Pro review: Unboxing, hands-on, and first impressions – December 20, 2013
Apple’s powerful new Mac Pro a good value; far from the most expensive high-end Mac or high-end PCs – December 20, 2013
CNET hands on: Apple’s radically reimagined Mac Pro is a powerhouse performer – December 20, 2013

32 Comments

  1. It won’t matter what they do to the hardware unless they fix the OS. I have three Macs which can’t maintain a wifi connection – one being a brand new MacBook. My Mac Pro looks very silly with a 20m blue Ethernet cable draped over the desk and running around the furniture.

    1. Sunbeam; I’m using a ASUS AC-3200 router connected to a Time Warner Cable modem and NEVER drop a wireless connection on my Mac equipment- MBP, (2) iPads, (2) Apple TV, (2) Mac Mini, (6) or my Windows machines…….

    2. Agreed with the wifi problems. I need to constantly either change wifi connections (alternate between normal and 5 GHz or disconnect and reconnect) in order to maintain a connection.

    3. You can use an AirPort Express as a wireless bridge and connect the Ethernet output to your Mac. That is one way to get better wireless speeds on older Macs that cannot be upgraded because Jony likes closed boxes.

    4. Im using a netgear nighthawk router with my mac pro (2013)
      A macbook pro brand new various iPhones An iMac iPads and 3 apple tv’s and never have any dropped connections ever. I would seriously look at your router. Also check with various apps available to see if your wifi is getting stepped on by the neighbors wifi, and work and moving your channels to the most unused ones. There is a great resource at smallnet builder .com that is super for tuning up your wifi network and getting all of the problems resolved.

    5. Absolutely correct. I have a $3000 mac pro that can’t retrieve IMAP email consistently due to the multiyear fail despite Federighi’s promise to fix mail. And photo; and iTunes; and app store. Meanwhile today Cook gets $58 million for riding what’s left of steve’s legacy.

  2. It has already been way too long without an update of these machines. Why on earth would anyone buy one right now? It has two-year-old technology inside it for the same price as it sold for 2 years ago.

    1. It has technology that few people are willing to pay for (e.g. Thunderbolt) and lacks technology that most people want (e.g. drive bays, industry-standard video cards, optical drive, etc.).

      1. Even Thunderbolt 2 is nearly not as fast as PCIe 3 16X solutions on PC workstations unfortunately. I’ve been teetering on the Mac Pro vs PC workstation brink for my pro work. I rather like the big box approach as opposed to small & stylish but powerful with fewer options. Wish Apple still offered both but not gonna happen.

    2. As a gamer I’m dying inside, and starting to think about getting an Origin PC. I need something with a real dedicated graphics card. I can’t even hit minimums on Apple’s top of the line right now for the latest stuff.

  3. The problem is not the hardware- it is the stupid form factor.

    Some of us could not give a shit about the industrial design but care a lot about internal storage and standardized cards where we can upgrade and mod the Mac without paying a King’s ransom.

    It is pretty fucked up when a Thousand Five Hundred Dollar Mac has low grade vampire video and software on the Mac App store will not run on it with no way to upgrade it. Apple charging the prices they do for soldered in memory and vampire video is damn near criminal.

    Hell, I’d take a Quad Core i7 Mac Mini with a decent graphics card right now. That trashcan is a flop and has killed Mac Pro sales along with their unannounced, out of the blue, fuckup of FCP Studio.

    Like Steve said, some will want cars and some will want trucks. A Mac Pro is a heavy duty truck and it does not have to be pretty, but it does need to be flexible, functional, reliable and repairable.

    1. I gotta disagree with ya man. I don’t know your needs but since you said fcpx I assume you mean video. Which your dead wrong on man. I’ve been using the Mac Pro and fcpx and motion and cinema 4d for graphics and I have had a much better time then I had with any old Mac Pro. You can plug in raids that can go faster than anything you can get internally, the dual gpus are work horses that allow real time play back of hard driven 3d simulations and the ssd internal writes at 900mb/s which is still some of the best out there. Thunderbolt 2 is great for connecting to almost anything else you need and it allows the developer of those products to build it as big as they need it instead of having to fit it in an old case.

      1. Can you plug in four nVidia Tesla GPU cards to run scientific CUDA code in parallel on them?

        Hint: No.

        The new Mac Pro is a nice machine if it meets your needs, but it leaves professionals with higher end computing needs with no option from Apple at all.

        1. To that, I would say you could try thunderbolt connected video cards, but I know that’s a bit less than optimal. I would say the big draw back is not having more than 2 video cards internally, but so far it hasn’t been too much a problem for me yet. Also, with metal coming out in el capitan that might help your algorithms. I can’t really speak for those kind of things though, just video and 3d graphics.

        2. Exactly. I used FCP for my own stuff- not for profit. I have other computing needs that are not served by Vampire Video (Intel HD or Iris/IrisPro Graphics) and a wad of cables to myriad devices on expensive Thunderbolt connections.

          There is a need and desire by many for a Mac that meets these requirements.

          High Grade CPU- not a consumer grade laptop chip.
          Fast System Bus
          User expandable memory, connection and Graphic card slots.
          Internal storage
          Plenty of connections

          My existing Mac Pro added USB 3 (for a 4 Disc ProBox) for a simple 3rd party card that installed in minutes. Same for HDMI. It has 6 internal HDs: 1 in each of the regular bays and 2 SSDs in the 2nd optical bay.

          No hydra of cables and wall warts all over the place and I can change Graphics cards road memory in minutes. No iMac or Mac mini can match that nor can the Trashcan.

          The Trashcan is a nice computer- it is just not suited to the needs of many in that end of the market. Plenty of us are not film editors but have need for something more flexible and powerful than sealed unites designed for a quick trip to the trash heap.

  4. Broadwell-EP may not happen. Sure, Intel has claimed that it will ship in quantity in the first calendar quarter of 2016, but there have been hints that it might not happen.

    Broadwell turned out to be both a significant problem for Intel to get out the door and a minor capability improvement over Haswell. To illustrate how little Intel thinks of Broadwell, it was barely mentioned in any of the announcements so far for Skylake. Indeed, most of the comparisons Intel has made in their press and IDF conferences with Skylake have been against Haswell not Broadwell. It’s almost as if Intel is pushing Skylake out the door as fast as possible to get people to skip over, and forget, Broadwell.

    Further, in recent months Intel has shown charts that go from Hazwell to “Haswell Refresh” to Skylake for their EP (Xeon) class chips. What that really means is anyone’s guess (for those of us not directly part of Intel).

    Also, Apple will likely want to get things like Thunderbolt 3 into the next iteration of the Mac Pro — and such things are closely tied (not exclusively tied) to Skylake. While Apple *could* integrate next generation connectivity (like TB3), memory, and PCIe lanes into a Broadwell-EP based system, it would be much easier with Skylake.

    The issue with waiting until Skylake-EP chips are shipping in quantity is that it is likely not to happen before this time next year or maybe even later — unless Apple and other workstation providers really push Intel to get those chips out the door.

    So while all of us who use Mac Pros want a major upgrade today, if Apple waits on Skylake we likely won’t see such a thing until the third or fourth calendar quarter of 2016 or later. If Intel does ship Broadwell-EP chips (or that strange “Haswell Refresh” set of chips) and Apple does use them as soon as they can, we *might* see them late in the first calendar quarter of 2016. But then, such a system would only be a half step to a Skylake based system.

    And just to take this a step further, between Skylake and Cannonlake Intel has inserted the half step of Kaby Lake, for which, at the moment, Intel does not seem to be planning EP variants. So, Apple may be skipping another generation of Intel chips in the future too.

  5. Still on old trusty 5,1 2010 Mac Pro upgraded forr less than 750 USD to 6core X5680 / 64gigs RAM / MSI R9 280X 3GB graphics / Plextor M6s SSD system drive and battery of four 2TB WD Black HDD’s for files. Most impressive upgrade is Samsung SM 951 PCI-E drive for Photoshop / FCPX scratch disk with 1300 Mbps read / write speed. It works like a charm.

    2010 Mac Pro is still a gold investment. It gives me 80% of 2013 Mac Pro power for 30% of investment.

    2013 Mac Pro is not for me – its too expensive and not upgradeable as I need. Maybe Hackintosh is an option
    Sorry Apple, Mac Pro is not disposable like iPad or iPhone.

  6. Apple needs to broaden their horizons with the Mac Pro tower. It’s too specialized towards customers with very specific needs.

    If you want to sell more Mac Pros, you need customizability, internal expansion, and, dare I say it, even appeal to gamers who use Macs.

    If you wish to conquer the “Hackintosh” market, you need to be more open.

  7. Apple would make a lot of people happy by dumping the Trashcan and upgrading the prior Mac Pro with the latest processor and memory.

    Need slots for Tesla, SSD, and whatever we want to add.

    Let an actual engineer upgrade the Mac Pro instead of a fashion designer.

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