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New Mac Pro 2016 release date, specs & new features rumours

Karen Haslam | June 24, 2016
El Capitan code hints at new Mac Pro

Many professional Mac users are still using old Mac Pros from pre 2012 mainly because they are easily upgradable, with options for larger capacity drives (2TB or 4TB or more). You can even get a 12-core 3.46GHz processor in the older model that could give the newer, 2.7GHz 12-core processor in the 2013 Mac Pro a run for its money. As for video card options, the old Mac Pro has many more.

Those who did upgrade to the 'new' trashcan-like Mac Pro are also finding that the need for multiple expansion cards and external drives are cluttering up their desks, where previously these extras could be neatly concealed inside the Mac Pro chassis.

For all Apple's claims about it being a powerful machine, it appears that the Mac Pro is just not considered a professional workstation by the intended market.

Incidentally, Apple has been granted a patent for the Mac Pro, specifically for the structure and organization of internal components and external interfaces for a compact computing system, according to a report on Patently Apple.

New Mac Pro 2016 specs

Currently there are two standard Mac Pro models available along with various build-to-order options:

Quad-Core and Dual GPU: 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor; 12GB1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory; Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM each; and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage.

6-Core and Dual GPU: 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor; 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory; Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each; 256GB PCIe-based flash storage.

It seems likely that Apple will update the Mac Pro with the next generation Intel Xeon E5 processor described above, we may also see more RAM in the entry-level version, now that the 15-inch MacBook Pro range ship with 16GB as standard. We'll go into more detail below.

Ports

The current Mac Pro sports six Thunderbolt 2 ports, which means this Mac can be connected to up to three 4K displays.

There's also 4 USB 3 ports; Dual Gigabit Ethernet; and an HDMI 1.4 UltraHD, as well as a combined optical digital audio output/analog line out mini-jack; headphone mini-jack with headset support; HDMI port supports multi-channel audio output and a built-in speaker.

Code in the El Capitan beta actually suggests that the next generation Mac Pro will offer 10 USB 3.0 ports. Currently there are 4 USB 3 ports and 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro.

We think that it would make more sense if Apple adopts Thunderbolt 3 on the Mac Pro - this standard of Thunderbolt supports USB Type-C and offers 40Gbps transfer speeds, so Mac PRo users would get the best of both worlds. Thunderbolt 3 offers double the speed of USB 3.1, which is only 10Gbps.  

 

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