Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says Apple is testing an all-new Mac Pro boasting a new M2 Ultra chip. However, the Cupertino firm has apparently abandoned its plans for a high-end “M2 Extreme” configuration.
In the latest edition of his newsletter on Sunday, Gurman said the Mac Pro with the M2 Ultra chip will be available with up to a 24-core CPU, up to a 76-core GPU, and at least 192GB of RAM. Gurman expects the new model to be expandable, allowing for additional memory, storage, and other components to be inserted.
The M2 Ultra chip is destined to have some serious specifications for professional users, including up to 24 CPU cores, 76 graphics cores and the ability to top out the machine with at least 192 gigabytes of memory.
An M2 Extreme chip would have doubled that to 48 CPU cores and 152 graphics cores. But here’s the bad news: The company has likely scrapped that higher-end configuration, which may disappoint Apple’s most demanding users — the photographers, editors and programmers who prize that kind of computing power.
The company made the decision because of both the complexity and cost of producing a processor that is essentially four M2 Max chips fused together. It also will help Apple and partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. save chip-production resources for higher-volume machines.
Moreover, there are concerns about how much consumers are willing to spend. Using the highest-end M1 Ultra chip pushes the Mac Studio up to $5,000 — only $1,000 less than the current Mac Pro. That’s $3,000 more than the M1 Max Mac Studio.
“Based on Apple’s current pricing structure, an M2 Extreme version of a Mac Pro would probably cost at least $10,000 — without any other upgrades — making it an extraordinarily niche product that likely isn’t worth the development costs, engineering resources, and production bandwidth it would require,” he wrote.
The current Intel-based Mac Pro was released in December 2019 and starts at $5,999 in the United States.