New Mac Pro 2023 — everything we know so far

Mac Pro 2019
(Image credit: Future)

The Mac Pro is the last computer from Apple that has yet to get the Apple Silicon treatment. In its current guise, it uses an Intel Xeon processor and hasn’t been updated since 2019. 

So we believe it’s due for a complete refresh, and judging by some of the rumors that are bubbling, a new Mac Pro could finally arrive this year. 

There’s not a vast amount of solid information to go off, with MacBook-based rumors mostly holding the limelight when it comes to Apple’s macOS machines. But we'd not be surprised if the rumor mill starts to churn as we draw closer to WWDC 2023. So with that in mind, here’s what we know so far about the new Mac Pro 2023.

Mac Pro 2023 potential release date  

The current Mac Pro arrived in December 2019, but this can't really be used as a clue to release cadence. Given the professional element of the Mac Pro, we’d expect a newer version to potentially line up with WWDC 2023, where features for the next version of macOS could be linked to professional workflows and thus a new pro desktop Mac. 

So we predict a reveal of the new Mac Pro 2023 at some point in the summer. But there’s scope for the Mac Pro to arrive in October, launching after the rumored iPhone 15, and arriving at the same time when we’d expect to see new iPads, especially those that could make use of the latest Apple M2 chips

As we’re talking about Apple here, you can expect the unexpected when it comes to the Mac Pro. Given the Mac Studio is a rather powerful desktop computer, one could argue that Apple might quietly drop the Mac Pro altogether. 

Mac Pro 2023 potential price 

Don't expect the Mac Pro 2023 to be cheap. The current Mac Pro starts at $5,999 / £5,499 / AU$9,999. So expect the next Mac Pro to be in the same price range, unless Apple is able to realize some savings by dropping Intel chips in favor of its own silicon. 

Mac Pro 2023 design  

Mac Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

There’s not been much in the way of hints as to what the Mac Pro 2023 will look like. But Bloomberg reporter and regular Apple tipster Mark Gurman has claimed that Apple will stick with the ‘cheese grater’ design of the current Mac Pro. 

That’s not a bad thing, as the Mac Pro has a rather striking look compared to other professional-grade desktops. The modularity of the current Mac Pro allows it to be upgraded with relative ease, so we’d like to see that continued in the 2023 model. 

Equally, there’s always scope for Apple to change the design, particularly as the likely use of Apple Silicon could yield different ways to arrange components. 

Mac Pro 2023 specs  

Apple Silicon

(Image credit: Apple)

As we mentioned, it’s extremely likely Apple will make use of one of its in-house designed chips. What’s not so clear is what form that chip will take. 

Right now we have the M1 Ultra as the most powerful slice of Apple Silicon found in the Mac Studio, then the M2 Pro and M2 Max follow in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro machines. 

Given the high-end professional focus the next Mac Pro is likely to have, it could even have a whole new version of Apple Silicon, one that specializes in crunching through things like multiple 4K video workloads or demanding coding processes. 

Mark Gurman had touted a so-called M2 Extreme chip as one potential option, likey with it offering more CPU and GPU cores than other M2 chips before it. But it’s not been mentioned much, and thus its existence is in doubt. If the Extreme chip does come to fruition in the form of two M2 Ultra chips fused together, then we could see a piece of silicon with 48 CPU cores and 152 GPU cores. 

Gurman more recently suggested a lower-priced Mac Pro could start off with an M2 variant of the M1 Ultra, sporting 24 CPU cores and 76 graphics cores. 

Given the scope for more space and thus more cooling, even if Apple simply makes use of an upgraded or tweaked version of its existing silicon lineup, it could further push the voltages going over the chips to boost their performance without succumbing to heat. This is just speculation on our part but is backed up by speculation from Gurman, who noted that the big difference the Mac Pro will offer over a Mac Studio is the addition of better cooling.

The current Mac Pro tops out at 768GB of DDR4 ECC memory, so expect the next Mac Pro to come with equal amounts of RAM or even more. That RAM is likely to be DDR5 RAM. However, M-series chips use Unified Memory Architecture, which, in simple terms, could see the Mac Pro use less memory but be more efficient with what it has. Either way, expect the Mac Pro to have masses of memory bandwidth. 

Storage in today’s Mac Pro goes from a paltry 512GB to 8TB of SSD space. We suspect Apple could drop the 512GB option and start at 1TB, with storage scaling back up to at least 8TB. Pure speculation here, but we’d not be surprised if Apple found some way of speeding up the movement of data in and out of storage and into RAM and the processor. 

One slightly concerning rumor is that Gurman claimed the next Mac Pro could lack upgradable GPUs and RAM. Given the unified nature of Apple Silicon chips, this makes some sense. But the potential loss of a removable CPU/GPU module could be a bit offputting for some professionals.

Mac Pro 2023 outlook  

Paris, France - Nov 26, 2021: People inside Apple Computers Store with new Mac Pro workstation with Apple XDR display

(Image credit: Hadrian/Shutterstock)

By its very nature, the Mac Pro is a niche device unlikely to ever find its way into the home of the average consumer. But it’s still an exciting device, showing what could arguably be described as super high-end PC, with the scope for innovations to filter down to more everyday computers. 

The new Mac Pro 2023, if it is indeed due to make a debut this year, doesn’t seem set to be a revolution in design. But it could be a real showcase for how much power can be had from Apple’s own chips, and set a standard for others to follow. 

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.