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Apple to launch a half-sized Mac Pro resembling a modernized Power Mac G4 Cube

To match the continued rollout of Apple’s custom-made M-series chips, the company is working on some radical redesigns of its popular desktops. Those include both a new iMac and not one but two distinct Mac Pro models, according to Bloomberg.

The first is the smaller one. It will be a direct successor to the Intel-powered Mac Pro, and will, surprisingly, continue to use Intel’s silicon. If true, this probably explains why AMD CEO Lisa Su appeared upbeat at CES despite Apple’s nascent transition to its own silicon.

“We expect to see more specialization as we go forward over the next couple of years, and it enables more differentiation,” Su told reporters. “But Apple continues to work with us as their graphics partner. And we work with them.”

Current Intel-powered Mac Pros rely on AMD’s Radeon graphics, and this partnership will likely continue if Apple does in fact release an updated Intel-based Mac Pro this year. The updated Mac Pro will likely sport the same cheese grater design found on the current model.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This second model is a quite a bit more interesting. Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman says it could resemble a “modern-day Power Mac G4 Cube.”

The second Mac Pro model is said to be powered by a very high-end Apple-made ARM-based processor. Consistent with prior rumors, this model is said to be about half the size of the current Mac Pro and will feature an aluminum exterior.

In the past, we’ve heard that Apple has been working on a processor with as many as 32 high-performance cores and up to 16 or 32 graphics cores. However, there is a report that Apple is also working on high-performance computing silicon with as many as 64 or 128 cores, and such a processor could likely take on AMD’s Threadripper Pro processors that are on the market today.

It’s unclear when the new Mac Pro will launch, but the powerful new ARM-based silicon is expected to debut in 2022.

Apple Pro Display XDR
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The iMac, which hasn’t been redesigned since 2012, will also be getting a fresh look.

Aesthetically, the new iMac will come in slimmer models and eschew the metal chin on the bottom to take on a design that’s more reminiscent of Apple’s pricey Pro Display XDR monitor. The overhauled all-in-one will, of course, be powered by Apple’s own M-series processor.

The new iMac is said to take on a new, angular design language consisting of a flat back instead of a curved rear. It’s believed that Apple will launch two new iMac models — code-named J456 and J457 — that will replace the current 21.5- and 27-inch models sold today, Bloomberg stated, citing unnamed sources.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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