Pro users are already unhappy with the upcoming Mac Pro
It’s not a good time to be a fan of Apple’s Mac Pro. Bad news followed bad news in recent weeks, and now pro users are expressing their frustration about Apple’s plans for the future.
Just yesterday, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman claimed that the upcoming revision of Apple’s powerful computer will lack user-upgradable graphics options. Rumors followed that the next Mac Pro would come without an M2 Extreme chip, upgradeable memory, or a new design. And it’s safe to say that users are not happy.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
In response to Gurman’s latest news on Twitter, photographer Enrico Teofilo claimed that the lack of user-updatable graphics was a problem “Total error”, before adding, “PCIe support and large amounts of user-upgradable RAM are essential for people interested in buying a $50,000 rack-mountable Mac.”
The problem is that every Apple silicon chip that goes into the Mac Pro is what’s called a system-on-a-chip, which combines the CPU, GPU and memory into a single unit. This means that none of the components can be upgraded after purchase, which can be an issue in an industry where workloads are increasing rapidly and computers need to be upgraded to keep up.
Teofilo’s storage concerns stem from previous reports that said the Mac Pro could “start” with 192GB of RAM – far less than the 1.5TB that the current Mac Pro can take advantage of. Even with the faster unified memory offered by Apple silicon chips, the difference can still be huge.
“Dead in the Water”
Dutch Dimension, on the other hand, was clear and said that the next Mac Pro will be “dead in the water” if the rumors are true. The report unfavorably compared Apple’s graphics efforts to those of Nvidia and questioned why professional users would spend so much money on a computer that could not compete with competing offerings.
Another point of contention was the issue of costs. Twitter user Alice_comfy speculated that the Mac Pro’s M2 Ultra chip could offer graphics performance roughly the same as Nvidia’s RTX 3090, which is perhaps twice as fast as the graphics in Mac Studio’s M1 Ultra chip. “I can’t imagine that at five-figure prices this is a big winner,” they noted.
Leaving her dead in the water. A bug for all but a tiny fraction of power users. Really what would be the point of the massive cost when the AS GPU is so far behind the best of nVidia.
– Dutch Dimension (@DimensionDutch) January 26, 2023
Other users were a little more hopeful, with Consultant Joe Okubo This suggests that one way around the graphics deficit would be for Apple to offer eGPU expansion cards to boost performance. At the moment, however, there are precious few eGPU rumors for the Mac Pro, and it is not even known if these solutions will work with Apple silicon chips.
Perhaps the most direct response came from @goodo1dday, who stated that there would be a lack of graphics improvements “beat the point” of a modular Mac Pro. “Bring back the trash can design,” they suggested. After all the hate it’s gotten, we never thought we’d see anyone in favor of the return of 2013’s cylindrical, totally non-modular Mac Pro, but here we are.
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