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The Mac Pro refresh is coming. So why wasn’t it at Apple’s event today?

Apple’s September 2022 event is over, and like most of its events around this time of year, Apple focused on the iPhone 14, AirPods Pro 2, and new Apple Watch Ultra. We didn’t see the updated Mac Pro, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but the clock is definitelty ticking for Apple to deliver on a promise.

The company said in April that a Mac Pro with Apple Silicon is on the way, and when Apple first started transitioning, it said the transition would be complete in two years. We didn’t hear about the Mac Pro at Apple’s September 2022 ‘Far Out’ event, and that might mean Apple won’t deliver a Mac Pro this year.

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Apple's new Mac Pro sits on display in the showroom during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).
Brittany Hose-Small/AFP via Getty Images

The Mac Pro is in desperate need of an update, and all eyes were focused on WWDC 2022 for an announcement. Apple promised to deliver an update in April of this year, and the annual conference seemed like the perfect platform to launch a new high-end desktop. But we didn’t get an announcement at Apple’s developer-focused event, and we still don’t have any word on when that announcement could come.

A Mac Pro with Apple Silicon isn’t just about Apple delivering on its promise. The Mac Pro has been a staple in creative industries like film and audio production for years, but it has lost a lot of favor in the last two revisions. That’s because hardware is moving a lot faster than Apple can keep up with. Even with the modular MPX design of the current Mac Pro, we’ve only seen a few add-in GPUs and no upgrade paths for the CPU. RAM and additional MPX cards have largely faltered, too, with the same modules available now that were available at launch.

Right now, the Mac Pro is an incredibly expensive paperweight (maybe a cheese grater if you really want to get creative). Since the launch of the MacBook Air M1, it was clear that Apple’s silicon works wonders for performance and efficiency. Chips like the M1 Ultra only further that, offering top-class performance in apps like Premiere Pro. That’s what the Mac Pro needs right now.

M1 Ultra chip compared to AMD Ryzen.
Image source: Max Tech

Even late last year, the M1 Max and M1 Pro were able to outperform the Mac Pro, and that was inside a laptop. It wasn’t close, either, with the laptops finishing a render in around a fourth of the time as the Mac Pro strapped with an Intel Xeon processor. That doesn’t bode well for a workstation that costs $6,000 at least and well over $20,000 at most.

We didn’t get an announcement or tease for the Mac Pro at Apple’s September event, but there’s still time left in the year for the desktop to launch. For the past two years, Apple has hosted a fall event focused around Macs, and we could see a similar event this year. It’s important to keep in mind that Apple doesn’t always host these events, though, so we might not hear any news until spring 2023.

As for what we’ll see in the machine, it’s tough to say outside of the fact that it will come with Apple silicon. The company has already introduced its M2 processor, and rumors point to the Mac Pro potentially using a multi-die configuration with multiple M2 chips.

A close-up of a Mac Pro lit in red.
Alessio Zaccaria on Unsplash

Industry insiders say there is an M2 Extreme in the works, sporting 128 graphics cards and a total of 40 CPU cores. This could be similar to the M1 Extreme, essentially bonding together two M2 Ultra chips. We only have the base M2 right now, though, and Apple hasn’t confirmed any details.

The Mac Pro wasn’t the only product Apple skipped out on during its September 2022 event. We didn’t see any news on the M2 MacBook Pro, joining a list of products Apple didn’t announce at its “Far Out” showcase.

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