Apple is starting over from scratch with the next instalment of the Mac Pro, and that explains why we've been waiting so long: the last Mac Pro release was in December 2013 (though it was announced in June of that year). But things are about to change.
When is the new Mac Pro coming out?
According to TechCrunch, Apple has confirmed the new Mac Pro will be released in 2019.
How much will the new Mac Pro cost?
It’s Apple’s usual style to introduce new hardware updates at the same price as the previous generation, but this is more tricky when you’re talking about kit that costs several thousand pounds and has some significant jumps in its specification. Still, the Mac Pro was - and still is - expensive, so we wouldn’t like to see Apple push the price significantly higher.
The current Mac Pro starts at £2,999/US$2,999 with a 3.5GHz Intel Xeon E5 hexa-core processor, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, 256GB of flash storage and dual AMD FirePro D500 GPU. A 3GHz octa-core version costs £3,899/$3,999. That’s just for the PC itself, and you’ll still need to buy your monitor and other peripherals separately.
The newer iMac Pro, which includes the display of course, starts at £4,899/$4,999.
It remains quite the beast, but it’s getting very long in the tooth - and the fact is most people really don’t need to spend this amount on a PC. The Mac Pro is a machine for people who need workstation-level performance, and that is not most consumers.
For consumers who just want more power than what they have now, we’ve rounded up some of the best Windows desktop PCs, machines that are easily capable of VR and intensive gaming, in this separate article. Two of our top 10 cost less than a grand; the most expensive machine in our chart is £1,675. Consider whether you really need the power of a Mac Pro before you splash out more money than you need to.
New Mac Pro specification rumours
Back in 2016 when the new Mac Pro was heavily rumoured, it was expected that it would feature 10 USB ports (up from four USB and six Thunderbolt), but Apple may instead opt for 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 which can accommodate USB-C. Another change might be to add a Lightning connector to allow headphones to be plugged in for hi-res audio.
The processor will obviously get a bump up to the current generation, and we’d expect to see more - and faster - RAM. Storage, too, should get an upgrade, given that 256GB (admittedly upgradable) will be rapidly consumed by those working with very large files.
We've heard very little since - until now. TechCrunch claims Apple will start from scratch on the design, so we should see something quite different to the garbage-can-shaped PC of old. The image at the top of this page is a concept by Benjamin Monnoyeur.
The Mac Pro will be developed under the guidance of a new Pro Workflow Team at Apple, led by John Ternus. It has brought in all types of creatives who will understand what the Mac Pro needs to be from a user point of view.
Want to learn more about the new Mac Pro? Check out our in-depth guide on our sister site Macworld.