Apple updates Mac Pro specs, promises redesigned model

After more than three years, Apple's most powerful Mac has finally been updated. An even bigger redesign will follow.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng
2 min read
Watch this: Apple tweaks Mac Pro, says new desktops coming

The cylindrical Mac Pro hasn't seen much change in more than three years.

Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Mac Pro fans will finally get their wish. They just need a little patience.

Apple confirmed Tuesday that it is working on a big refresh of the Mac Pro, its powerful desktop computer for professionals. However, that won't happen until next year. If you can't wait, Apple has also boosted the specifications on the current model. Separately, the company said it will update the iMac all-in-one desktop computer later this year.

Buzzfeed and a handful of other publications were the first to report on the Mac Pro update.

A new Mac Pro would mark the first big change in more than three years for the machine, which is notable for its cylindrical design and the fact that it's made in the US. In the last few years, Apple has focused more of its attention on its better-selling iPhone and new initiatives like the Apple Watch. It finally got around to updating the MacBook Pro laptop last year.

But the Mac Pro has a base of loyal users -- typically graphic artists or others who need a lot of horsepower for professional purposes -- and many felt left out in the cold.

While there's no word on exact timing, the company is "completely rethinking the Mac Pro," Phil Schiller, head of marketing for Apple, said in an interview with publications including Buzzfeed. He said it will be a modular system that can easily be upgraded, and he teased that a new display will arrive alongside the desktop.

That's a key point since the current Mac Pro can't be upgraded -- something that Craig Federighi, Apple's head of software, has conceded is a limitation for the product.

The current version of the quad-core Mac Pro costs $2,999, while the six-core version costs $3,999. Apple said the lower-end version will get six cores in the update, while the higher-end model will get eight cores. Both will also get a boost in memory.

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