Apple plans to refresh Mac Pro, launch set for 2018

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It made a big bet on system architecture with the most recent Mac Pro, and as big bets can - painfully - be, it turned out to be a bad one. - Apple is also updating the existing Mac Pro today - and will be making new Apple Displays to go with next year's model, along with new pro-focused iMacs.

Apple spilled the beans by inviting a handful of writers to its Mac Product Realization Lab in Cupertino where they met with Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and John Ternus who is the vice president responsible for Mac hardware engineering.

In addition, the company intends to launch a new "pro" version of the iMac, its more midrange desktop computer. And for that, we're sorry to disappoint customers who wanted that, and we've asked the team to go and re-architect and design something great for the future that those Mac Pro customers who want more expandability, more upgradability in the future.

This means that Apple is "completely rethinking" the Mac Pro and an all-new design for the desktop device is now in the works. If any good did come out of this, it's that they did provide a small roadmap for what to expect for the months ahead; new iMacs this year and a completely redesigned Mac Pro sometime next year.

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Apple itself compounded that by being among the first to embrace Thunderbolt 3 with its USB-C connector: the 5K display it collaborated with LG on for the new MacBook Pro, for instance, won't work with the current Mac Pro.

But don't get too excited just yet, because as Schiller pointed out, "you won't see any of these products this year". Both models have also been updated with dual AMD FirePro D500 and D700 GPUs, instead of the dual AMD FirePro D300 and D300 GPUs they've used since 2013, respectively.

Every Apple user - professional users specifically - has known for a long time the situation with Apple's most powerful Mac, the Mac Pro, had become entirely untenable. "We designed a system that we thought with the kind of GPUs that at the time we thought we needed, and that we thought we could well serve with a two GPU architecture". Within the news shared through Daring Fireball were also mentions of a new pro iMac coming later this year and a vague reference to possibly new Mac mini hardware. The company on Tuesday held a roundtable discussion at its headquarters with an extremely select number of publications, with the aim to communicate its intentions to Mac Pro users. Apple has overhauled its laptop computers in the previous year, but didn't acknowledge its desktop lines, leading to some consternation that they were being neglected, or perhaps even abandoned. In addition, they'll be releasing a new external display - something it had previously opted out of.

"I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will", said Apple's Craig Federighi while speaking to a select group of journalists at its corporate headquarters. Hopefully the redesigned Mac Pro will make professional macOS users satisfied.

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