Apple says new Mac Pros and iMacs are coming

Apple says new Mac Pros and iMacs are coming

Apple this week disclosed to a number of outlets, including John Gruber of Daring Fireball, that the company has not forgotten about its demographic of small but influential professional users. Quite the opposite, Apple says it's already working on a brand-new Mac Pro that will feature a modular design, thereby addressing one of the longstanding complaints surrounding the company's current Mac Pro.

In the interim, Apple also revealed—at long last—that it will be upgrading the current Mac Pro's internals, thereby giving users a little bit more bang for the buck.

Specifically, the entry-level Mac Pro will feature 6 Xeon CPU cores and dual G500 GPUs, while the pricier $3,999 model will feature 8 CPU cores and dual D700 GPUs. While these spec upgrades aren't groundbreaking, it's a nice gesture from Apple given the Mac Pro hasn't changed one iota since Apple originally introduced the machine back in June of 2013.

With respect to the forthcoming changes to the Mac Pro, Apple executives took some time to address the limitations of the current design. To this point, Apple's Craig Federighi said the following of the 2013 Mac Pro design:

I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will. We designed a system with the kind of GPUs that at the time we thought we needed, and that we thought we could well serve with a two GPU architecture. That that was the thermal limit we needed, or the thermal capacity we needed. But workloads didn’t materialize to fit that as broadly as we hoped.

Being able to put larger single GPUs required a different system architecture and more thermal capacity than that system was designed to accommodate. So it became fairly difficult to adjust. At the same time, so many of our customers were moving to iMac that we saw a path to address many, many more of those that were finding themselves limited by a Mac Pro through next-generation iMac. And really put a lot of our energy behind that.

While Phil Schiller hesitated to say the recent Mac Pro design was a mistake, he did seem to concede that the design was short-sighted. To Apple's credit, though, the company admits that changes need to be made, and it is enacting steps to roll out a Mac Pro that creative professionals can actually get behind.

"We’re not going to get into exactly what stage we’re in," Schiller said, "just that we told the team to take the time to do something really great. To do something that can be supported for a long time with customers with updates and upgrades throughout the years."

Revamped iMacs

Aside from new Mac Pros on the horizon, Apple also said that the company is also working on revamped iMacs with professional-oriented configurations. This was also warmly received by Mac users, especially given many professional users in recent years have started working more heavily on tricked out Mac systems as opposed to pro-labeled machines such as the Mac Pro and the MacBook Pro.

As for Apple's long-forgotten Mac Mini, Apple said the machine remains important to Apple, but the company didn't disclose any details about where it fits on Apple's product roadmap. Incidentally, Apple also relayed that the breakdown between desktop and laptop sales is about 20/80.

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