The Mac Pro 2019 has been a long time coming. Over a year ago, Apple teased the first refresh to its desktop computer since 2013.
Mac Pro: key info
Many predicted it would be released in the summer or towards the end of 2018, but those dates came and went, and still no Mac Pro. More recently, the company has confirmed that an overhaul to the Mac Pro is going to be released in 2019.
So when exactly will the new Mac Pro 2019 be released? What will it cost? What will it look like? And what specs can we expect? Here’s what we know…
Mac Pro 2019 release
When will the Mac Pro 2019 be released?
2019 has now begun, and we're still waiting for an official release date from Apple. Some are predicting a mid-year release, while our friends at TechRadar predict it dropping at.... pretty much any time. Keep an eye on this post for all the latest news.
Mac Pro 2019 specs
What Mac Pro 2019 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 latest 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, it seems likely that the Mac Pro 2019 will ship with AMD’s Radeon Vega range, but there’s also still speculation that Apple might look to another graphics card manufacturer.
In September 2018, reports circulated that an 8K (7,680 x 4,320) resolution display was in the works at Apple. This would be fantastic news for creatives. Not surprisingly, the same reports also suggested the new Mac Pro wouldn't have a touchscreen. For more on the specs we expect, see the rumours section below.
Mac Pro 2019 cost
How much will the Mac Pro 2019 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 rely on Apple for upgrades – which will likely be reflected in the new pricing.
Mac Pro 2019 wish list
What we want to see in Mac Pro 2019
Speculating about the price is all well and good, but when it comes to capabilities we've got a list of things we'd love to see within the Mac Pro for 2019. Are you listening, Apple?
Increased internal expansion
TechRadar has already pointed out that the last Mac Pro was lacking in the storage department, so fingers crossed that Apple sorts this out for the 2019 model. We're hearing words like 'modular' getting thrown about, which makes us hope that the tech giant has answered our prayers on this one.
Another gripe in TechRadar's Apple Mac Pro review was that is didn't offer a dual-processor option. Given that there are plenty of video editors out there who are chomping at the bit for quicker rendering and encoding power, this looks like an easy way for Apple to win over buyers.
Keyboard and mouse included as standard
Remember in 2013 when the Mac Pro shipped without a Magic Keyboard or Magic Mouse? Yeah, we don't want that to happen again. Give us everything we need to get going, Apple, we want to enjoy the Mac Pro 2019 the second it's delivered.
iOS apps on Mac Pro
The idea of including iOS apps on a Mac computer has been kicking around for a while now, and it's something that's really grown on us. Imagine running your favourite iPhone and iPad apps on your desktop, it would be a user-experience dream come true.
Mac Pro 2019 rumours
Mac Pro 2019 rumours and leaks
Official news ahead of the release of the Mac Pro 2019 is few and far between. Apple is notorious for remaining tight lipped ahead of product launches and this is no exception. So what can we glean from the whispers currently circulating around cyberspace?
Well, the Mac Pro 2019 is set to use an Apple-designed ARM-based co-processor, just like the iMac Pro currently does. On top of this, the release date for Intel's new 10-nanometer "Sunny Cove" Xeon chips has raised eyebrows. Slated for release later this year, it's hoped that these chips could be ready to roll out with the Mac Pro.
In a rare moment of admission, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller has apologised for the pause in upgrades and updates. To this end it's strongly suspected that the Mac Pro 2019 will be better designed to accommodate future upgrades and higher-end hardware. This will be a welcome change to previous models which had designed themselves into a corner when it came to leaving room for upgrades.
Either way, Apple appears to be committed making the Mac Pro 2019 the most high-end system it offers. It's also thought to accommodate production for VR and high-end cinema projects. This could be bolstered by a 27" display with 5K resolution, but as with so many of these rumours, only time will tell if they turn out to be true.