Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro refresh could feature a new processor which offers up to 48 CPU cores and 152 GPU cores, according to an email newsletter by Bloomberg’s Marc Gurman. In his weekly bulletin ‘Apple insider’ Gurman dubs the unannounced new processor the M2 Extreme, but there will be Mac Pro machines with M2 Ultra processor options too, he says.
Here in late 2022 the professional and content creator segment targeted by Apple Mac Pro computers may be feeling a little left behind. While lower-rung desktop Macs, MacBooks and even iPads have been reinvigorated with Apple Silicon, Mac Pros are still Intel architecture-bound (max 24 CPU cores). However, Apple has a mammoth step lined up for the Mac Pro, if Gurman’s reporting turns out to be accurate.
Describing the new Apple Mac Pro with M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme options, the Bloomberg contributor said that the high-end machine “will include chip options that are at least twice or four times as powerful as the M2 Max.” The M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme will offer 24 and 48 CPU cores and 76 and 152 graphics cores, respectively. Buyers will also be able to configure systems with up to 256GB of RAM, it is alleged.
Adding some seasoning to his report, Gurman says he has seen evidence of the Mac Pro with M2 Ultra in active testing at Apple. The particular configuration which was tested had a processor with 24 CPU cores, split between 16 performance cores and eight efficiency cores. It also boasted 16 GPU cores and 192GB of system RAM. This Mac Pro was claimed to be running MacOS Ventura 13.3, which is based on a mainstream release that has only just become available (opens in new tab).
The first Apple M2 processor was released this summer, offering up to 8% more performance in multi-threaded CPU-focused tasks, and up to 35% more performance in graphics workloads, compared with the Apple M1. Apple developed the M1 family with the release of the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips, and it is expected to build up the 5nm M2 range similarly, and further.
The pinnacle of the Apple M1 range, the M1 Ultra, came packing a 20-core CPU, and 64-core GPU. Perhaps Apple didn’t think that was enough for a Mac Pro refresh. Now, thanks to Gurman’s report, we have solid indications about how the new M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme will make the new Mac Pro an appealing upgrade for creative pros.