The company this week told a small group of journalists that it's working on new iMac and Mac Pro desktop computers, both of which are said to be aimed at pro users. Apple did not add USB C or Thunderbolt 3 to the mix, it's only a small spec update. However, it has been more than three years since the last Mac Pro was released so the company may be anxious that some professional users feel abandoned. - Apple is also updating the existing Mac Pro today - and will be making new Apple Displays to go with next year's model, along with new pro-focused iMacs. But there was a third less-obvious message to pro users in Apple's unusual press briefing, as Daring Fireball's John Gruber points out.
The company discontinued the Thunderbolt Display line previous year, and rumors suggested that Apple will soon launch a display that will incorporate a graphics processing unit that could aid with GPU-intensive tasks on a MacBook. It largely wasn't well-received.
While the professional-oriented Mac Pro has gone without receiving much attention for several years now, Apple on Tuesday announced a refresh that substantially upgrades the machine's internal components for 2017, while maintaining the same cylindrical form-factor of the 2013 Mac Pro models. That spokesperson declined to answer further questions, such as to what extent the next Mac Pro will be customizable or how macOS might have to change to support more configurations than ever. No exact dates have been set for the product releases.
Apple's base-model Mac Pro, which previously featured a quad-core Intel Xeon CPU, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, and 12 GB of DDR3 RAM, has been replaced with an upgraded base-model featuring a hexa-core (6-core) Intel Xeon E5 CPU, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, and 16 GB of DDR3 RAM for the same price of $2,999. He claims the future Mac Pro will be "modular" in design.
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At the time of launch the Mac Pro was a major redesign of the most powerful machine Apple made - a small black cylinder that was created to cool itself while making minimal noise.
So for the Apple fans, you can expect another announcement on the products in the future to give more details and information on the release date or dates for each line. 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. That is the 6-core and dual GPU and the $3999, 8-core and dual GPU model is now out of stock.
Apple did not commit to a 2018 Mac Pro, but there is a good amount of hope that this new Mac Pro Apple is talking about will come in 2018, and is not a product that is years away.