As 2021 draws to a close, Apple’s two-year transition to its own silicon is halfway through. In addition, one of the few products that still doesn’t have a revision is the Mac Pro.
Another one that isn’t part of the Mac silicone transition, but users are looking for more affordable options is the Pro Display XDR. Both of these products were introduced by Apple during WWDC19 and were intended for the most demanding users.
Here’s a summary of Apple’s plans for Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
In November 2020, Apple began a two-year transition to its own silicon, but it’s unclear whether the Mac Pro will get Apple’s own M-series chip or stay a little longer with Intel’s processor.
In May, Bloomberg announced that Apple was working on a brand new 40-core Mac Pro. The 20-core chip would also work with 64- and 128-core GPU options.
Codenamed Jade 2C-Die and Jade 4C-Die, the redesigned Mac Pro is planned to come in 20 or 40 variations of the computer core, consisting of 16 high-performance cores or 32 high-performance cores and four or eight high-performance cores. Chips would also include options with 64 or 128 graphics cores. The computer core has a maximum of 28 cores offered by today’s Intel Mac Pro chips, while higher-end graphics chips would replace parts now produced by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Regarding his design, Bloomberg says that “it is expected to look like a smaller version of the current design”.
Since then, there have been no other rumors about what the Mac Pro will look like or have. Although, by the end of October, a leak Dylandkt, which has built its reputation on Apple’s data leak over the past year, has shared some information about a possible new iMac or iMac Pro that could be launched in the first half of 2022.
Although these are different products, his information could help him understand what might follow:
Dylan believes this new iMac Pro will have a base model configuration of 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD memory, just like the new MacBook Pro. Also, users will be able to choose between M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
Since this new iMac could come in a similar base model configuration as the new MacBook Pro (16GB RAM / 512GB SSD) – and the current Mac Pro starts with 64GB RAM – Apple may be waiting for the end its two-year transition to introduce an even more powerful chip that can handle everything advanced users will need.
Not only that, the company also has to face the time to make sure that most professional software is also 100% ready to take advantage of its own silicon. For now, the M1 Max chip on the MacBook Pro has proven to be able to compete with the company’s Afterburner, which helps users get even better video performance for the most demanding workflows.
What about Pro Display XDR?
In July, 9to5Mac exclusively announced that Apple is working on a new external display with a dedicated A13 chip and Neural Engine.
The new display is being developed under the code name J327. According to sources, this screen will have Apple’s SoC, which is currently the A13 Bionic chip – the same one used in the iPhone 11 line. 9to5Mac In his report, Filipe Espósito explained why this could be a big deal for Pro Display XDR users:
Having a CPU / GPU built into the external display can help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer’s internal chip.
Apple could also combine the power of the screen SoC with the Mac’s SoC to provide even more performance to perform intensive graphics tasks. Another option is to use this SoC to add some smart features to the Pro Display XDR, such as AirPlay.
Not only that, but a Bloomberg a report earlier this year states that Apple is also working on a new external monitor that will not be as fancy as the Pro Display XDR, but should cost much less:
A cheaper monitor would have a screen tailored more to consumers than for professional use and would not have a brightness-contrast ratio as a premium offering. Apple last launched a consumer monitor called the Thunderbolt Display in 2011 for $ 999, but discontinued it in 2016.
9to5Mac’s Filipe Espósito wrote an article in June saying that Apple should return its Cinema Display:
“While I don’t expect Apple to make the Pro Display XDR more affordable, the company should reconsider the return of Cinema Display as an alternative for regular users. It doesn’t have to have a 32-inch 6K screen with super HDR or Mini-LED, but it can have above-average quality with macOS integration that only Apple can.“
When do you think Apple will introduce the new Mac Pro and the new Pro Display XDR? Do you think you will need that much power or is the current choice of M1 Macs enough? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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