The Apple Silicon Mac Pro
The M2 Ultra Mac Studio provided Apple with a nice segue into the last Mac to make the transition to Apple Silicon — the ultra-powerful Mac Pro.
Surprisingly, Apple hasn’t cooked up an even higher-end chip for this. Instead, the Mac Pro packs in the same M2 Ultra chip as the Mac Studio, which means the same performance out of the box. However, as Engineering Program Management Director Jennifer Munn noted, some pro users need ultimate performance with room for internal PCI expansion — precisely the kind of market the Mac Pro has always served.
There’s also no M2 Max option — every new Mac Pro will come with an M2 Ultra as the sole chip configuration. While the Intel Mac Pro required an Afterburner card to get the best graphics performance, the M2 Ultra delivers the performance equivalent of having seven Afterburner cards installed, with the ability to ingest 24 4K camera feeds and encode them to ProRes in real-time.
Despite reports over the years that Apple would go with a Mac Pro Cube style design, the new Mac Pro looks nearly identical visually to the 2019 Mac Pro — only the internals have changed for the sake of the new M2 Ultra. That’s not surprising, as this one is all about providing room for expansion; there are six open PCI Gen 4 expansion slots inside, plus eight Thunderbolt ports — four more than the Intel Mac Pro. The new Mac Pro starts at $6,999 and can be ordered today and will be available next week.