Apple unveiled the new Mac Pro on Monday, but as with Mac Studio, it’s hard to tell what’s changed. Like the Mac mini, the Mac Pro is identical on the outside to its predecessor, and you’ll need to open it up to see what’s changed.
The most obvious difference is the lack of a graphics card. The Intel Mac Pro featured discrete graphics and shipped with an AMD Radeon RX 5500X MPX module that occupied one or two of the eight PCIe slots, depending on the configuration. Without this impressive module, the Mac Pro looks completely empty.
You can also see the price difference. The Apple Silicon Mac Pro actually costs a thousand dollars more than the Intel model, starting at $6,999. Reason for the price hike: more memory (1TB vs 256GB) and RAM (64GB vs 32GB) and the inclusion of Afterburner-level performance that cost $2,000 over the Intel model. Add all that and Apple will tell you that you are actually saving about a thousand dollars.
In the high end, the Mac Pro costs about a quarter of the price of Intel’s most expensive model. This is mostly down to a general lack of upgrade options – aside from RAM and storage, the only graphics upgrade is the M2 Ultra with a 76-core GPU for an extra $1,000. Oh, and you can still get a wheel kit for your Mac Pro for $400 at purchase or $699 after.
There are six open PCI slots inside the Mac Pro (two x16 slots and four x8 slots), but only the most experienced users will be able to fill them. Apple limits Apple Silicon Mac Pro audio and video to I/O, network, and memory cards. Considering the Mac Pro already has a pair of 10Gbps Ethernet ports and up to 8TB of storage, as well as HDMI support for resolutions up to 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 240Hz, variable refresh rates, HDR, and multi-channel audio, there’s a lot missing. Mac Pro. Except, well, about $40,000 for upgrades.