What Mac Studio and the M2 chip reveal about the future 2022 Mac Pro

When Apple announced its plans to migrate its computer platforms from Intel processors to its own custom-made Apple Silicon chips, there was much discord over whether the company would be able to compete with Intel and, indeed, with AMD.

Over time, Apple has shown that it is capable of building powerful chips, as seen in the Mac M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra in Mac Studio. In addition to providing power and CPU cores, it also wins the integrated graphics section against Intel solutions.

However, what about Apple’s Mac Pro workstation? What will be the configuration of these new machines in order to break all the performance molds established so far by chips?

Will Apple be able to surprise with the performance that its new Apple Silicon chips can offer within this very professional range? We answer this and many other questions about what’s to come in the most professional Mac Pro builds, now that we meet the MacBook Air with M2.

Apple M2 chip present in the 2022 MacBook Air

In fact, the announcement of the new generation of M2 chips that Apple has carried out during this year’s WWDC 2022 event, tells us where the Mac Pro news could go, with a solution whose performance compared to chips M1 is significant in terms of CPU and GPU.

We recommend you also consult the article on which MacBook to buy in 2022.

What Apple Silicon chip will be in the Mac Pro?

Apple concluded its event on March 8 by saying that now it only remains to update a Mac in the line of transition to Apple Silicon, clearly referring to the Mac Pro. So, yes, without a doubt, the Mac Pro will have its adapted version at some point in the future. year.

In fact, at the launch of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini with the configurations of the new Apple M1 chips, followed by the 2021 iMacs and iPad Pros, already suggested where the shots would go in terms of performance.

Now that after the celebration of WWDC 2022 we have seen the arrival of the new M2 chip, it seems that there will be no going back and the most professional Apple Mac Pro equipment will be based at least on the recently shown M2 chip, and not on the M1 previous generation.

Apple Mac Pro

With great probability, Apple will decide to evolve the current M1 Max and M1 Pro models and offer a much more powerful chip for its flagship computer that is based on the M2, which could translate into M2 Max and M2 Pro editions.

Apple set an estimated time of two years for the complete transition, and although considerable progress has been made in some product ranges, at the moment the equipment considered Mac Pro is the only one that has not received any integration of Apple Silicon chipsets .

New Mac Pro release date

A probable reason why we will have to wait longer is the fact that Apple desktops and high-end laptops involve a considerably complex development, at the cooling level, as we have already seen in the latest development of Mac Studio .

That is why Apple has chosen to exhaust the time that had initially been imposed for two years until the transition was completely completed (remember that with a global pandemic in between). In any case, everything indicates that at some point in 2022 we will see this powerful machine.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said in a Power On newsletter in August 2021 that Apple is on track to meet its November 2022 deadline for the Apple-powered Mac Pro. Another tweet from analyst Ming Chi Kuo suggests that the Mac Pro and iMac Pro will not arrive until 2023.

Mac Pro 2019 compared to M1 Ultra

During the Studio Mac unveiling on March 8, Apple made the following claims about its Mac Studio with M1 Ultra compared to Mac Pro.

  • Up to 90% faster CPU performance compared to Mac Pro with 16-core Xeon
  • Up to 60% faster CPU performance compared to Mac Pro with 28-core Xeon
  • Up to 80% faster GPU performance compared to Mac Pro with Radeon Pro W69 00X

The high-end Mac Pro offers a 28-core Xeon along with the Radeon Pro W6900 graphics which is the best graphics option in the Mac Pro right now. In this way, the Mac Studio is certainly superior to the Mac Pro according to Apple’s own claims.

Taking this into account, a Mac Pro equipped with these cores and graphics would make the Mac Studio a financially bargain machine for all the potential it offers.

Mac Pro 2022: Design and sizes

The Bloomberg report we mentioned earlier had a great gem of information on the new Mac Pro: it will apparently be “half the size of the current Intel chipset-based PC.”

That report says: “Apple engineers are currently developing a new Mac Pro that would be half the size of the current model.” Nor we are sure that a much more compact size is a wise decision, in order to be able to carry out later updates of the configuration.

One of the biggest problems with the 2013 Mac Pro was that Apple designed it in such a way that it became impossible to upgrade. So when the 2019 Mac Pro launched, it was no surprise that it was bigger (and more like the pre-2013 Mac Pro).

It would be strange to see Apple go back to a smaller form factor because of those issues, in a desktop form factor where there’s no benefit to a smaller or larger tower.

There’s a suggestion on Bloomberg that “it’s not clear if that Mac will replace the current Mac Pro, or if it’s an add-on model. Apple’s chip designs could help the company reduce the size of its equipment due to greater energy efficiency.”

But Apple’s current Mac Pro is large, in part, to accommodate the ability to swap out or add new extra storage drives, such as graphics cards, thumb drives, and more.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that the Mac Pro using Apple’s own SoC will be half the size of the current Mac Pro, with an aluminum case that might remind people of the Power Mac G4 Cube. He also claims that Apple would not discontinue the current Mac Pro design, upgrading it with Intel chips.

2022 Mac Pro: Processor

Those Mac users targeted by the Mac Pro will be interested in the machine’s new capabilities. Will Apple be able to make a processor to rival Intel’s workstation processors, also known as the Intel Xeon family?

Currently, the iMac Pro offers 18 cores, while the Mac Pro offers up to 28 cores. Both machines have the Intel Xeon processor, a model that comes from use in business environments or workstations.

By comparison, AMD offers up to 64 cores for some of its high-end chips for PC configurations. gaming for games. A report of Bloomberg In December, he stated months ago that the new processor for the Mac Pro will offer 32 cores.

If we were to assume that Apple could combine two M2 Ultras inside it, we could see a 40-core CPU. This is related to a report 2020 Bloomberg report stating that the new processor Apple is working on for the Mac Pro will offer 32 high-performance cores.

The M1 Ultra has 20 cores: 16 are high-performance cores and 4 are high-efficiency cores. Transferred to the current M2 and in the absence of being able to have final performance conclusions, it seems that the combination of two of these M2 Ultra could generate 32 cores or more of high performance and 8 of high efficiency.

Mac Pro 2022: Graphics

Graphics are another area of ​​interest for anyone looking to purchase a high-end Mac like the Mac Pro. As we discuss in this article: Details of Apple’s Silicon graphics plansApple’s new GPUs will use tile-based deferred rendering technology.

This tile-based deferred rendering (TBDR) architecture will clearly be more efficient than current methods, and could well rival current graphics solutions offered by Nvidia and AMD.

However, according to the December 2020 Bloomberg report, the Mac Pro could get 64 and 128 core graphics processing. “Apple is working on more expensive graphics upgrades with 64 and 128 dedicated cores, according to Bloomberg.

To cite one example, Apple says that the GPU in the M2 can run 2.3 times faster than “the latest Windows laptop chip” and “matches its peak performance at the same level of power.”

Like the M1, the M2 is based on a 5-nanometer manufacturing process. It has over 20 trillion transistors inside (25% more than the M1), an 8-core CPU, and up to a 10-core GPU.

Apple M2 news map

What do all these technical figures amount to? Well, Apple claims that the CPU performs better by 18% better than the M1, while on the GPU side, the M2 is 35% faster at handling graphics.

Mac Pro 2022: RAM and specifications

Current Mac Pros with Intel processors offer up to 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC memory in 12 user-accessible DIMM slots, but the unified memory on M1 Macs is quite different. For starters, RAM isn’t just soldered to the motherboard of the MacBook and iMac M1, it’s built into the chip.

This makes it faster and more efficient. However, we don’t know if Apple will take a similar approach in the Mac Pro. Users who want such a machine prefer more customization options than MacBook and Mac mini users, so it’s possible that Apple will offer slots like those of the Macs of yesteryear.

Apple currently offers up to 8TB of storage on Mac Pros, and we expect storage options to remain the same. Ports likely won’t change either, as Apple already has four USB ports (two Thunderbolt 3 and two USB 3) and a pair of Ethernet ports.

However, the Mac Pro has eight x16-sized PCIe slots that support many different types of PCIe cards, so you can easily add more ports. We assume that Apple will allow expansion slots in a Mac Pro M1, but we will have to wait to see the type of compatibility allowed.

The new silicon also features a 40% faster 16-core Neural Engine, capable of nearly 16 trillion operations per second. It can also support 100GB/s memory bandwidth.

Mac Pro 2022: Prices

It is unlikely that the new macpro cheaper than it is today, with prices starting at €6,499 for the most basic entry-level model. However, it is possible that if the company introduces a smaller model, we could see lower prices.

You may be interested in reading the article on why Apple Silicon’s plans are a threat to Intel and AMD.