avatarby John CallahamApril 4, 20170 comments


The Mac Pro desktop PC from Apple may have a cool case design, but it launched way back in late 2013. Many Mac fans who also use the PCs for serious work have been wondering if Apple had abandoned the Mac Pro in favor of its MacBook Pro notebooks. However, the company claims it is committed to the Mac platform for work, and it is rolling out a new hardware refresh for the Mac Pro now, with the promise of a major relaunch for the PC in 2018.

Starting today, you can purchase the Mac Pro with a 6-core Intel Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, and 16 GB of memory for $2,999.  You can also spend $3,999 and get a Mac Pro with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, dual D700 GPUs and 16GB of RAM. However, in a chat with BuzzFeed, Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, admits that the design of the current Mac Pro, even though it has a neat looking cylindrical black case, was way too hard for its owners to upgrade the hardware inside. He stated:

We wanted to do something bold and different. What we didn’t appreciate completely at the time was how we had so tailored that design to a specific vision that in the future we would find ourselves a bit boxed in — into a circular shape.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, has confirmed that the company is working on an all-new version of the Mac Pro, along with new pro displays. but they won’t be out anytime soon. He claims the future Mac Pro will be “modular” in design. While that’s pretty vague, we would hope that means it will allow for easy upgrades of parts like hard drives, CPUs, GPUs and RAM. Traditionally Apple desktop computers have allowed this kind of flexibility, with the 2013 Mac Pro being the first time Apple strayed from this direction. So a return to form makes a lot of sense.

It’s rare that Apple admits to mistakes, but the company does seem to know now that the Mac Pro’s issues with hardware upgrades may have kept it from becoming a bigger sales hit, even with its innovative design. Hopefully the 2018 edition of the Mac Pro will combine a cool look with easy upgrades.