As part of Apple’s transition to Apple Silicon, the company is hard at work on a new Mac Pro behind closed doors at Apple Park – and rumours suggest it’ll be impressively fast.
While it wasn’t revealed by the end of 2022 as expected, whispers suggest we don’t have much longer to wait for the reveal of the new ultimate desktop Mac. Here’s all there is to know about the new Mac Pro (2023) right now, including release date rumours and leaked specs.
When will the new Mac Pro be released?
Apple is keeping tight-lipped on the release date of the new Mac Pro, but we do know that the Mac Pro has fallen behind schedule according to Apple’s initial plan to transition its entire Mac range to Apple Silicon by the end of 2022.
This makes the fact that Apple took the surprising step of teasing the release of the Mac Pro at its March 2022 event even more surprising. Talking about the transition to Apple Silicon, Tim Cook teased that the new Studio “join[s] the rest of our Mac lineup, making out transition nearly complete, with just one more product to go, Mac Pro. But that is for another day.”
While it looked like a WWDC launch could be possible, largely thanks to tweets from concept artist Ian Zelbo, it didn’t happen – although the MacBook Air 2022 with M2 did.
It was a similar story at Apple’s September event that saw the announcement of the iPhone 14 range alongside various models of Apple Watch and AirPods Pro 2.
So when exactly will the Mac Pro make an appearance? It’s 2023 now, after all.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, we don’t have much longer to wait. Taking to Twitter in mid-January 2023, the reporter suggests that Apple is currently testing a new Mac Pro running macOS 13.3. Given the fact that macOS 11.3 was released in April 2021 and macOS 12.3 followed in March 2022, it’s likely that macOS 13.3 will be released in March or April.
This could coincide with the reveal of the new Mac Pro, with the release of the software and the high-end hardcore at the same time. It’s what Apple tends to do with iPhones and iOS, and Apple Watch and watchOS, so it’s not an alien idea.
With that said, we’ll likely see the announcement and subsequent reveal of the new Mac Pro sometime in Spring 2023.
How much will the new Mac Pro cost?
The Mac Pro sits pretty as the most expensive Mac that Apple makes, with the current base model starting at £5,499/$5,999 and going all the way up to an eye-watering £47,079/$52,199 for the top-spec model.
Of course, it’s not a Mac for the general public. It’s designed for movie studios, animation studios and other big-budget creative businesses, making the price a little more understandable.
Those hoping for a reduction in price with the Mac Pro (2023) will likely be disappointed; while other Apple Silicon upgrades aren’t any more expensive than their Intel counterparts, they’re not any cheaper either. That means the new Mac Pro will likely launch at around the same £5,499/$5,999 as the current model, but we’ll update this section if we hear differently.
What to expect from the Mac Pro (2023)
While we’re still some time away from the potential release of the new Mac Pro, the rumour mill is already churning away, giving us an idea of what to expect from the next-gen kit.
Apple Silicon chipset
The main driving factor behind the next Mac Pro update is the transition to Apple Silicon, so it’s safe to say that the new Mac Pro will sport an Apple-made chipset – and rumours suggest it’ll far surpass the capabilities of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets in the redesigned MacBook Pro range.
While Bloomberg claimed that Apple was initially working on a dedicated high-end “M2 Extreme” chipset with 48 CPU cores and 152 GPU cores, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggested in January 2023 that Apple has scrapped plans for the M2 extreme among “complexity and cost concerns.
Instead, according to the reporter, the new Mac Pro will sport a new M2 Ultra chipset, along with a design that enables users to upgrade components like RAM and storage at a later date – essentially a return to the OG Mac Pro concept.
The M2 Ultra is said to support up to 24 CPU cores, 76 GPU cores and 192GB of unified RAM – though the latter is quite the downgrade compared to the 1.5TB of RAM supported by the current model. There’s also concern over GPU performance considering the current model can house up to four internal graphics cards.
There’s no word yet on RAM and SSD options, but that’ll likely come as we creep ever closer to its release.
An overhauled design
Apple’s current Mac Pro was released to general ridicule back in 2019, with many internet memes comparing the high-end Mac to a cheese grater. With that still relatively fresh in our minds, surely Apple would want to overhaul the design to something a little less… cheese-grater-y this time around.
While early rumours indicated that this could be the case – hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser claimed Apple was working on a Mac Mini-esque design – subsequent rumours suggest we’re going to see a much more familiar design with the next Mac Pro.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new Mac Pro will retain a similar design as it offers “easy expandability for additional memory, storage and other components”, though the adoption of Apple Silicon suggests it could be slightly smaller than its predecessor.