2017-04-05 01:40:58 UTC
With Apple-Branded Pro Displays Coming After 2017
Apple today reshuffled its Mac Pro configurations and pricing,
marking the first "update" to Apple's pro-oriented desktop
computer in over three years. Apple also confirmed it is
working on a "completely rethought" Mac Pro with Apple-branded
pro displays that will launch at some point beyond this year.
The former $3,999 model is now the $2,999 base model, while
the previously built-to-order 8-core model with dual D700 GPUs
is now the high-end stock configuration for $3,999. Both
models are equipped with 256GB PCIe-based flash storage, four
USB 3.0 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, and dual Gigabit
The former quad-core model with dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs
and 12GB of RAM now has 6-cores with dual D500 GPUs and 16GB
of RAM, while the 6-Core model with dual AMD FirePro D500
GPUs is now 8-cores with dual D700 GPUs and 16GB of RAM.
There are no other hardware changesnot even Thunderbolt 3
Meanwhile, Apple said an all-new Mac Pro will be a high-end,
high-throughput modular system that will "take longer than
this year" to complete. It will be accompanied by an
Apple-branded external display in at least one size,
essentially marking the return of the discontinued
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller via Daring Fireball:
"With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process
of what we call "completely rethinking the Mac Pro."
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
Apple said that Mac desktops represent roughly 20 percent
of overall Mac sales, with the Mac Pro accounting for only
a "single-digit" percentage of Mac sales, perhaps as
justification for the elongated refresh cycle. 1,202 days
had passed since the last Mac Pro update, per the MacRumors
Apple also suggested that the "trash can" design of the
current Mac Pro has restricted its ability to truly upgrade
Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi via
"I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a
thermal corner, if you will. We designed a
system that we thought with the kind of GPUs
that at the time we thought we needed, and that
we thought we could well serve with a two GPU
architecture that that was the thermal limit
we needed, or the thermal capacity we needed.
But workloads didn't materialize to fit that as
broadly as we hoped.
Being able to put larger single GPUs required
a different system architecture and more
thermal capacity than that system was designed
to accommodate. And so it became fairly
difficult to adjust. At the same time, so many
of our customers were moving to iMac that we
saw a path to address many, many more of those
that were finding themselves limited by Mac Pro
through a next generation iMac.. And really put
a lot of our energy behind that. [But,] while
that [upgraded iMac] system is going to be
fantastic for a huge number of customers we
want to do more."
It isn't often that Apple pre-announces new products in
its pipeline, but there were growing concerns that Apple
no longer cared about professional users, and this is the
company's way of proving otherwise. Schiller reiterated t
hat Apple is committed to the Mac and has "great products"
planned for the future.
"We're committed to the Mac, we've got great
talent on the Mac, both hardware and software,
we've got great products planned for the future,
and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac
is a core component of the things Apple delivers,
including to our pro customers."
Apple's repriced Mac Pro configurations are now listed on
its online store, but the 8-core model is "currently