In this video, I'll be telling you the specs, features, and rumored release date of the new 2015 / 16 Mac Pro! Including a Skylake processor, fast AMD FirePro graphics and even a Lightning port, the rumored Pro sounds like a great desktop workstation. But when will it be released? Or will it even be released at all?
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PARTIAL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:
Hi, it's HandyAndy Tech Tips here, and Apple's Mac Pro hasn't been shown much attention lately. The current 2nd generation model
was released way back in December 2013, so that's almost two years ago now, and it hasn't been updated since. Now why is this? Well, it might simply be the fact that Apple doesn't think of themselves as a company that makes professional workstations - they're very focused on the consumer market and, honestly, if you compare the profit they make from iPhones and iPads with the revenue from the Mac Pro, you might find that there's really no incentive for them to develop a new high-end PC.
But that doesn't change the fact that the Mac Pro is still really highly valued amongst professional content creators. Video editors love it, and the amount of expansion that it provides, with six Thunderbolt 2 ports, is unparalleled in any other Mac. So the question remains: after 23 months, will Apple ever update their workstation? Well, according to some rumours that have been circulating, the answer is.. maybe.
So what would the spec sheet look like? Well, let's start with the CPU. The current Mac Pro has Intel's Xeon E5 V2 processors, which are configurable with up to 12 cores and 30MB of L3 cache. This sounds pretty good, but according to MacWorld, it's going to get even better, with Intel's new Broadwell and Skylake-based Xeon processors offering an improved architecture, faster graphics and support for more RAM - up to 64GB of it, in fact. MacWorld also
reports that, when the Xeon v4 launched back in June, it was described as being "ideal for video transcoding", so it sounds like it closely fits the requirements of the Mac Pro.
Now of course, if you're going to do video transcoding, it's good to use GPU accelleration, which brings us to the next part of the specs: dedicated graphics cards. MacWorld has claimed that both the AMD FirePro W7100 and W5100 may find their way into the Mac Pro. These are great cards - just taking a look at the W7100 for a minute, it has 8GB GDDR5 memory, a peak of 3.3 teraflops in single precision mode, and a new multimedia engine that apparently offers HD video encoding that's 12x faster than real-time. Wow.
And talking about faster, the new Xeon processors have DDR4 memory controllers, so we can expect some ultra fast RAM in the new Mac Pro. Now, DDR4 can theoretically support up to 512GB of RAM on a single DIMM, but I don't think we'll be seeing that any time soon. Instead, MacWorld hopes that the base-level quad core model will have at least 16GB RAM, which is certainly better than the 12GB in the current quad core Pro.
So all of the rumours that I've told you sound quite believable, right? So far, so good. But what if I were to tell you that Apple is thinking of including a Lightning port on the new Mac Pro. Sounds far-fetched? Well, it will apparently be used to provide compatibility to the new wave of headphones, like these Phillips M2Ls, which use a Lightning connector to digitally transfer music from the device they're connected to. Now of course, the Mac Pro
will also have other, more standard ports, and these might include Thunderbolt 3 and perhaps USB Type C as well.
So, they're the rumoured specs and features. But what we all want to know is: when will the new Mac Pro be released? Well, Apple might have given us a clue, but it's come from a very unlikely place. A couple of days ago, the owner of a blog called Pike's Universum discovered a reference to a new model of Mac hidden deep within OS X El Capitan. The codename he found was AAPLJ951, which is quite similar to the AAPLJ90 codename of the current Mac Pro. Also, as you can see, the new Mac comes with quite a few USB ports - more than could probably be expected on any other type of Mac.
So, all that can be really said at the moment is that, if a new Mac Pro is going to be launched, it will be within the lifespan of OS X El Capitan. Now I'm aware that that's a big timeframe, spanning more than a year, and I'd really like to be more specific, but unfortunately we just don't have enough information to closely predict the release date at the moment.