According to Wikipedia the Mac Pro line is a series of Intel Xeon based workstation and server computers manufactured by Apple Inc. The Mac Pro, in most configurations and in terms of speed and performance, is the most powerful computer that Apple offers. It is the high-end model of the three desktop computers in the current Mac lineup, the other two being the iMac and Mac Mini. There are two generations of Mac Pro with the third to be released next year.
The first-generation Mac Pro has a rectangular tower case which outwardly resembles the last version of the Power Mac G5, and has similar expansion capabilities. The first Mac Pro offered a dual Dual-core Xeon Woodcrest processors. It was replaced by a dual Quad-core Xeon Clover town model on April 4, 2007, and again on January 8, 2008 by a dual Quad-core Xeon Harper town model. The 2012 Mac Pro is largely based on a model that was announced on July 27, 2010. It features Nehalem/West mere architecture Intel Xeon processors. These CPUs offer optionally twelve processing cores. The machine itself at its most evolved is able to accommodate up to four 2 TB hard disk drives or 512 GB solid state drives, as well as the ATI Radeon HD 5770/5870 GPU units, one per slot.
The second-generation design of Mac Pro was announced at the 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) opening keynote on June 10, 2013. Apple states that the new Mac Pro achieves twice the overall performance of the last model. The redesigned Mac Pro takes up less than one eighth the volume of immediately previous model, being shorter (9.9 inches (25 cm)), thinner (6.6 inches (17 cm)) and less massive (11 pounds (5.0 kg)). The machine supports one central processing unit (CPU) (up to a 12-core Xeon E5 CPU), four 1866 MHz DDR3 slots, dual AMD FirePro D series GPUs (up to D700 with 6 GB VRAM each), and PCIe-based flash storage. There is updated wireless communication and support for six displays.
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In April 2017, Apple confirmed that a new redesigned Mac Pro will be released in 2018 or 2019 to replace the 2nd generation Mac Pro.
So it won’t ship until 2018, but if you’re one of those people or know someone who has been toiling away with a machine that hasn’t received an update since 2013, good things are coming.
According to latest reports and in an intriguing briefing with the press, the senior VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller basically told a group of journalists that Apple was sorry for not doing anything with the Mac Pro.
Also that Apple will be releasing a new Mac Pro with a modular design that will accommodate the latest generation of GPUs, CPUs a touch more modern than the 22nm Intel Xeon E5-1680 V2 that shipped in 2013, and a new external display. None of these parts will arrive until 2018, although Apple confirmed that it would be updating the Mac Pro’s configurations later this year.
The external display won’t be a touch screen, which will be of interest to those who were intrigued by Microsoft’s Surface Studio. The redesigned Mac Pro will also be walking away from a dual GPU design, which Apple’s VP of hardware engineering John Ternus said was limiting for users.
One of the pitches made for the Mac Pro was development for heavy 3D applications, virtual reality and GPU-intensive workloads, something the current iteration of the Mac Pro doesn’t do well. Daring Fireball noted an Apple executive saying that software developers could be the largest “pro” audience (pro users being those who use a “pro” level application, like software editing, video creation and so forth at least a few times a month), although the Pro was the third most popular device among that audience. On top of that, the split between Mac laptops and Mac desktops was around 80/20, which is a decent figure given the marketing weight and brand loyalty of the Macbook line.
Whatever is coming next from Apple will have the expandability desktop users demand, but it certainly sounds like some of the clutch Apple design may be sacrificed in the process.