Apr 11, 2017 11:26 PM EDT
Apple is "rethinking" the Mac Pro design to embrace VR with NVDIA's monster Titan Xp and possibly push for Thunderbolt 3 adoption. As Apple opts for more power, it is still standing by Steve Jobs' dislike for touchscreen even though Microsoft has done it with the Surface Studio.
Last week, Apple was uncharacteristically chatty led by SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller. Schiller spoke with journalists and tech pundits on the future of the Pro brand particularly rethinking the Mac Pro.
The computer has had no significant upgrades since the 2013 model and it has been left behind when it comes to Pro features and innovations. However, Apple will be changing that, though not anytime soon until 2018 with shipments commencing by 2019.
Schiller reveals that Apple is going for a modular Mac Pro and even throws in an added external display. The Cupertino-based giant has finally acknowledged the varying needs of the Pro users starting with regular updates. This is very true for software developers, which is a rapidly growing user base of the Mac.
The major redesign of a "rethought" Mac pro will start with its dual-GPU architecture and its cooling system. There is no room for a single large GPU to do heavy workloads like VR or 3D graphics in a cinematic production as examples. It is clear that a major overhaul is needed to accommodate a single top-end GPU and its thermal requirements.
Though 2018 is still far away and the computing world could still radically change, here are a few specs expected on the overhauled Mac Pro. It will most likely go for a CPU that can go from 4 to as much as 20 cores. It will also have the top-end GPU like the newly released beast from NVIDIA, the Titan Xp.
NVIDIA just announced the integration of the GTX 10-series in the Mac Pro plus an upcoming beta Pascal drivers. Mac users may finally be able to experience added horsepower no longer limited to the Maxwell architecture. Also included in Apple's plan is an integration of the iPad Pro in the Mac Pro, 9to5Mac reported.
Meanwhile, aditional storage is a must-have among many Pro users so 4 RAM slots will set a good standard. Moreover, the Mac Pro is expected to have a fast SSD card and several Thunderbolt 3 ports for expansion, The latter may mean spending a few more hundred bucks, which is justifiable in Apple's "highest end highest throughput" device, Ars Technica reported.
All these powerful internals will be placed inside a relatively small, sleek Mac Pro. In doing so, the Apple computer may finally widen its user base as compared to the less powerful 2013 model. There are also talks that Apple may go radical with the bleeding-edge DDR5 technology or Intel's Optane SSD.
It is too early to say with launch still more than a year away. However, Apple has already dispelled the adoption of the touchscreen, which is not a top requirement by the Pros. Moreover, there will be compromises in the hardware design just to adopt the feature that was launched in the Microsoft Surface Studio. Instead, Apple employs a savvy marketing strategy by ensuring Pros get multiple gadgets and strengthen Apple's ecosystem further.
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