Mac Pro 2018: essential information
The Mac Pro 2018 has been a long time coming. A year ago, Apple teased the first refresh to its desktop computer since 2013. More recently, in December 2017, the company reminded us that an overhaul to the Mac Pro was still in the works.
So when will the new Mac Pro 2018 be released? What will it cost? What will it look like? And what specs can we expect? Here’s what we know…
When will the Mac Pro 2018 be released?
There are no solid dates, yet, as to when the new Mac Pro 2018 will be on sale. Apple hasn’t confirmed a launch date, but a summer 2018 launch is widely anticipated, with industry commentators betting on a preview – at least – being shown at Apple’s WWDC 2018 event in June.
However, Apple has previous when it comes to previewing products at WWDC and not actually launching them until December of that year.
And according to OSNews, it might not ship until early 2019.
What Mac Pro 2018 specs can we expect?
What will be under the hood of Apple’s first dedicated desktop since 2013 is, so far, largely unknown. What we do know is that it will feature a modular and upgradeable design.
“In addition to the new iMac Pro,” Apple wrote in its December 2017 press release, which announced the new iMac Pro, “Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design, as well as a new high-end pro display.”
If it’s going to be possible to upgrade the new Mac Pro, the computer will have to work with a large variety of off-the-shelf parts – at least ‘off-the-shelf’ for business pros or IT managers, as our sister site TechRadar speculated.
Reports have also claimed that an 8K (7680 x 4320) resolution display has been in the works at Apple, and that the machine might launch with one of Apple’s new T series of co-processors inside.
MacWorld, meanwhile, has looked to the iMac Pro for insight into what might be in store for the new Mac Pro’s processors.
“The iMac Pro is shipping with 8-, 10-, 14-or 18-core Xeon W processors. So we can certainly expect to see an 18-core option for the new Mac Pro, or maybe even more, perhaps 20- and 22-core options could be available. Maybe even 28 cores or 32-cores could be on offer,” it says.
“The processors Apple is using with the iMac Pro will max out at 4.5GHz with Turbo Boost - that's on the 3.0GHz 10-core model. The 8-core 3.2GHz model will offer 4.2GHz Turbo Boost, and the 14-core 2.5GHz model and 18-core 2.3Ghz models will both offer 4.3GHz Turbo Boost. We expect to see similarly impressive numbers for the Mac Pro.”
Alternatively, the new Mac Pro could be set for a new processor generation. Cascade Lake is pegged to follow Purley – or, depending on the launch date of the Mac Pro, another option could be the 2019-expected Cannonlake Xeon.
Graphics-wise, while it’s possible that the Mac Pro might - like the iMac Pro - ship with AMD’s Radeon Vega range, there’s speculation that Apple might look to another graphics card manufacturer.
How much will the Mac Pro 2018 cost?
There’s currently no pricing available for the new Mac Pro, but we can look to the current Mac Pro for clues.
The existing model - which hasn’t been notably updated since 2013 - will set you back a huge $2,999, £2,999 or AU$4,899 to start. (Component upgrades push that up by $1,000, £900 and AU$1,600, respectively.)
TechRadar speculates that given how long it’s been since the previous update, “it would be unwise for Apple to drive the asking price any higher”.
But, as the site also points out, if the upgradeable aspect of the new Mac Pro is true, users will no longer be forced to reply on Apple for upgrades – which will likely be reflected in the new pricing.