When Apple unveiled its insanely powerful new Mac Pro last spring, it showcased a powerhouse of a machine that not only boasted impressive hardware specs, but also marked a return to the more traditional form factor of Apple’s ultra-high-end professional-grade desktop Macs — something that many users had been clamouring for, and Apple had been promising to deliver on ever since it had made the ill-fated choice to put form too far ahead of function with its poorly-received 2013 cylindrical Mac Pro design.
What Apple didn’t share much specific information on was exactly when this new Mac Pro would arrive, beyond a vague “fall” timeframe. While an early leak on Apple’s website suggested a September release, now that September has come and gone, it’s obvious that wasn’t accurate, although it’s unclear whether Apple’s plans were ever that ambitious, or it was merely a slip-up on the company’s part. However, this understandably made some users question whether the Mac Pro would make it for a fall release at all.
While most of the news this fall has been dominated by the hope of new noise-cancelling AirPods Pro, Apple’s much-rumoured 16-inch MacBook Pro, and of course the launch of Apple TV+, it seems that Apple has still been quietly plugging away on its new behemoth desktop Mac, and if a new report is to be believed, it’s release may finally be just around the corner.
Apple hasn’t pulled any punches with the new Mac Pro, which will start at $5,999 in its “base” configuration — an eight-core Intel Xeon CPU, 32 GB of RAM, Radeon Pro 580X graphics, and 256 GB of SSD storage. However, that’s just the entry point, and those who want to trick it out to the max can easily spend well into the five figures by going up to an 18-core Xeon CPU, 1.5 TB of RAM, a 4TB SSD, and AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics with 64 GB of HBM2 memory — not to mention everything else that can be added thanks to the eight PCI Express slots and up to four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
An ‘Imminent’ Release
According to one of MacRumors sources, Apple has updated its Mac Configuration Utility that’s used by authorized technicians to add instructions for how to place the new Mac Pro in “DFU mode.”
The application itself has long been available for service technicians and is used to pair up components like the logic board to Apple’s T2 security chip found in its iMac Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook models. The option for the new Mac Pro, however, suggests that it’s basically ready to go and will be released very soon.
Apple has of course promised that it will come this year, and with only two months left, time is running out. Unlike Apple’s consumer products like AirPods and iPhones, however, the Mac Pro isn’t something Apple is likely to be concerned about releasing in time for the holiday shopping season — this is a Mac for high-end professionals and is unlikely to be on too many people’s Christmas lists.
No Stage Time
While some had expected Apple to hold another event this month in order to formally unveil the new Mac Pro, it looks like that won’t be happening, since Apple understandably has its hands full with the debut of Apple TV+ and all of the events that are surrounding its new original content lineup. However, Apple already told us everything we need to know about the new Mac Pro last spring, so there’s little point in holding another event for the sake of its release, especially when Apple can go with boutique-style media briefings like it did with the 2017 iMac Pro. Although the actual release of that particular model slipped into January of the following year, Apple held press briefings in mid-December.
With the Mac Pro, however, it seems much more likely that Apple is planning to keep its promise and get it out by the end of 2019, which we’re sure is welcome news to a huge number of professionals who have been looking forward to a return to Apple’s modular and upgradeable design. Plus, since it’s not tied to an actual press event, the new Mac Pro could be announced via press release any day now.