With 2021 coming to an end, Apple’s two-years transition to its own silicon is halfway over. With that, one of the few products that still lack a revision is the Mac Pro.
Another one that isn’t part of the Mac silicon transition but users are eager to have a more affordable option is the Pro Display XDR. Both of these products were introduced by Apple during the WWDC19 and were aimed at the most demanding users.
Here’s a roundup about Apple’s plans for the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
It was in November of 2020 that Apple started the two-years transition to its own silicon, but it’s been unclear whether the Mac Pro will receive Apple’s own M series chip or will stay a bit longer with Intel processor.
In May, Bloomberg reported that Apple is said to be working on an all-new Mac Pro with 40 cores. A 20-core chip would also be in the works with GPU options with 64 and 128 cores.
Codenamed Jade 2C-Die and Jade 4C-Die, a redesigned Mac Pro is planned to come in 20 or 40 computing core variations, made up of 16 high-performance or 32 high-performance cores and four or eight high-efficiency cores. The chips would also include either 64 core or 128 core options for graphics. The computing core counts top the 28 core maximum offered by today’s Intel Mac Pro chips, while the higher-end graphics chips would replace parts now made by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
About its design, Bloomberg says it is “expected to look like a smaller version of the current design.”
Ever since that, there’s no other rumor regarding what the Mac Pro will look like or feature. Even though, by the end of October, leaker Dylandkt, who has been building his reputation regarding Apple leaks over the past year, has shared some information about a possible new iMac or iMac Pro that could launch in the first half of 2022.
Although these are different products, his information could help understand what could come next:
Dylan believes this new iMac Pro will have a base model configuration of 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, just like the new MacBook Pro. Also, users will have the option to choose between the M1 Pro and the M1 Max chips.
Since this new iMac could come in a similar base model configuration as the new MacBook Pro (16GB of RAM/512GB SSD storage) – and the current Mac Pro starts with 64GB of RAM -, it’s possible that Apple will wait for the end of its two-years transition to introduce an even more powerful chip that can handle all the power users will need.
Not only that but the company also has to run against time to make sure that most of the professional software is also 100% ready to take advantage of its own silicon. As of now, the M1 Max chip on the MacBook Pro has proven that it can compete with the company’s Afterburner that helps users get even better video performance for the most demanding workflows.
What about the Pro Display XDR?
In July, 9to5Mac exclusively reported that Apple has been working on a new external display with a dedicated A13 chip and also Neural Engine.
The new display is being developed under the codename J327. According to sources, this display will have an Apple-made SoC, which right now is the A13 Bionic chip — the same one used in the iPhone 11 lineup. 9to5Mac Filipe Espósito explained in his report why this could be a big deal for Pro Display XDR users:
Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could 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 display SoC with the Mac’s SoC to provide even more performance for running intensive graphic tasks. Another possibility is to use this SoC to add some smart features to the Pro Display XDR, such as AirPlay.
Not only that but a Bloomberg report earlier this year said that Apple is also working on a new external monitor that won’t be as fancy as the Pro Display XDR, but it should cost much less:
The cheaper monitor would feature a screen geared more for consumer than professional use and wouldn’t have the brightness and contrast ratio of the top-tier offering. Apple last launched a consumer-grade monitor called the Thunderbolt Display in 2011 for $999 but discontinued it in 2016.
9to5Mac’s Filipe Espósito wrote in June an article saying that Apple should bring back its Cinema Display:
“While I don’t expect Apple will make the Pro Display XDR more affordable, the company should reconsider bringing back Cinema Display as an alternative for regular users. It doesn’t have to feature a 32-inch 6K display with super HDR or Mini-LED, but it can have above-average quality with the macOS integration that only Apple can do.“
When do you think Apple will introduce a new Mac Pro and a new Pro Display XDR? Do you think you’ll need that much power or the current selection of the M1 Macs is enough? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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