48-core CPU, 160-core GPU, 384GB RAM
We don’t yet know exactly what Apple has planned for the upcoming Apple Silicon Mac Pro model, but Macworld has been doing some speculating, based on extrapolating from the M1 journey.
It suggests that next year might see the release of an M2 Extreme chip, to power a new Mac Pro …
After years of speculation about Apple dropping Intel chips in favor of its own ARM-based chips for the Mac, we saw the start of that transition in 2020 with the M1 chip in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and 24-inch iMac.
This was followed in 2021 by the M1 Pro and M1 Max, available in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, and then 2022 saw the M1 Ultra which made its debut in the new Mac Studio.
July saw Apple begin the cycle again with the next generation of Apple Silicon, the M2 in the all-new MacBook Air. We’re expecting to see new MacBook Pro models perhaps as early as later this month, with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.
It’s been reported that Apple’s array of superlatives doesn’t end at the Ultra, and that we will also see an M2 Extreme chip.
M2 Extreme chip
Macworld points to the M1 approach of Apple effectively doubling up each chip to form the next one. On this basis, we can extrapolate a likely spec for an M2 Extreme. It suggests that the line-up might look like this:
- M2: 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, up to 24GB RAM
- M2 Pro (predicted): up to 10-core CPU, up to 20-core GPU, up to 48GB RAM
- M2 Max (predicted): up to 10-core CPU, 40-core GPU, up to 96GB RAM
- M2 Ultra (predicted): 24-core CPU, 80-core GPU, up to 192GB RAM
- M2 Extreme (predicted): 48-core CPU, 160-core GPU cores, up to 384GB RAM
Bloomberg previously suggested that a slightly more modest 40-core chip was in the works for the upcoming Mac Pro.
Codenamed Jade 2C-Die and Jade 4C-Die, a redesigned Mac Pro is planned to come in 20 or 40 computing core variations, made up of 16 high-performance or 32 high-performance cores and four or eight high-efficiency cores. The chips would also include either 64 core or 128 core options for graphics. The computing core counts top the 28 core maximum offered by today’s Intel Mac Pro chips, while the higher-end graphics chips would replace parts now made by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Apple is also headed toward a 3nm process, which would allow even higher transistor densities, but it’s as yet unclear when these might arrive – though one recent report did suggest that a 3nm process might come to Macs ahead of the iPhone 15.
Likely headed for the Mac Pro
Whether 40-core or 48-core, it’s likely that the M2 Extreme is destined for the Apple Silicon Mac Pro. This long-awaited machine is expected to land next year.
Apple was originally said to have been planning an M1 Mac Pro, but decided instead to wait for the M2 chips.
2023 Mac Pro concept: Cade Lin