Apple today introduced the new M2 Ultra processor as it completed its Apple silicon transition with the launch of the new Mac Pro. As with the M1 Ultra, it’s a very big chip that needs tremendous cooling.
As such, the Mac Pro has the same design as the previous model with a stainless-steel frame and “cheese grater” aesthetic. But inside, the Mac Pro is all new, with a 24-core CPU/76-core GPU M2 Ultra processor and twice the starting memory and storage as the Intel model. It’s configurable up to 192GB of RAM and has six open gen 4 expansion slots for audio/video, networking, and storage cards.
As expected, the Mac Pro doesn’t support user-upgradeable RAM or graphics. It has a starting price of $6,999, a thousand dollars more than the Intel model. However, this model has the performance of seven Afterburner cards built-in, an upgrade that previously added $2,000 to the cost of the machine at checkout.
The Mac Pro has twice as many Thunderbolt ports as before, with six on the back and two on the top, as well as three USB-A ports, two HDMI 2.1 ports that support up to 8K resolution and up to 240Hz frame rates, two 10Gb Ethernet ports, and a high-impedance headphone jack. Like the Intel model, you can configure it with a set of wheels for an additional $400 at purchase.
Also getting an update is the Mac Studio, which received its first refresh since its 2002 debut. It now includes an M2 Max or M2 Ultra processor with Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and HDMI 2.1 for the same $1,999/£2099 starting price. the machine has the same design as before, with front-facing ports and a Mac mini-like footprint.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.