Apple Plans M2 Ultra Mac Pro with No Extreme Design

The latest Apple rumors suggest that Cupertino is developing the next generation Mac Pro tower and will rely on the M2 Apple SIlicon chip in an ultra configuration, rather than a quad pro-based “extreme” configuration.

As the last Mac awaits transition to the Apple Silicon architecture, many professionals were looking forward to the most powerful Apple Silicon CPU ever made to be the answer for the most demanding of applications including advanced 3D Modeling, CGI, and other visual effects.

According to Apple Insider, an M2 Extreme CPU would have two Ultra chips merged together using the same inter-chip UltraFusion technique as the M1 Ultra chip did with Pro Chips in the Mac Studio. It could have offered a CPU with up to 48 cores and 152 GPU cores.

Image Credit – Apple

However, the scuttlebutt is that Apple will instead opt for a design similar to the M1 Mac Ultra CPU which merges two pro chips. As the M1 Ultra Mac Studio will attest, that can still be pretty powerful and high performing, but not as high octane as the rumored Extreme configuration.

The report cites Mark Gurman’s recent “Power On” newsletter piece that states that ongoing production problems have caused the development cost of an M2 Extreme design to be delayed and the cost to create a quad ultra fusion type chip to be untenable.

Gurman also said that Apple didn’t see professionals willing to pay the price for such a powerful, yet expensive platform considering the rapid-fire pace of computer development these days.

Gurman’s article also states that Apple was already in the final development of an M1 Mac Pro, but when the M2 chip became ready, Cupertino decided to hold off in the hopes of releasing an M2 Extreme instead. Now, even those plans are scrapped.

As such, Apple has opted for a more workable M2 Ultra design, which can be implemented relatively quickly and at a low cost since the chips are easier to create.

The M2 Ultra Chip Mac Pro will have half the core capability, topping out at 24 CPU cores and 76 GPU cores, with up to 192 Gigabytes of unified RAM memory.

Gurman goes on to state that along with the M2 Ultra Mac Pro, Apple is testing a next-generation M2 Pro Mac Mini, and M2 Pro and M2 Max versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro for launching in 2023.

And while it is a disappointment that users probably won’t see an extreme MacPro with a dual M2 chip design at its heart, they can always hold out hope that their existing Mac Studios will be able to handle the workflow until conditions are more favorable for it to come down the road.

As is always the case with technological development, only time will tell.

[source: Apple Insider]

Order Links:

  • M1 Ultra Mac Studio (B&H)
  • Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro M2, Space Gray (B&H)

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