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Apple could announce its most powerful chip yet at WWDC 2023

Tantalizing new rumors are cropping up ahead of Apple’s upcoming WWDC 2023 keynote. This time, we’re hearing more about the future of Mac desktops, and it seems that the things Apple’s got up its sleeve are going to give its competitors a serious run for their money.

According to the latest reports, Apple is readying two new Mac desktops equipped with the M2 Max and the (yet unreleased) M2 Ultra chips. The M2 Ultra certainly sounds exciting, but some people might still be disappointed by the news, and it’s all because of the device that will receive the upgrade.

The Apple Studio Display alongside a Mac Studio computer on a desk.

The scoop comes from a reliable source of all things Apple, meaning Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Gurman claims that Apple is currently testing two new desktops and that we’ll be hearing more about them during WWDC 2023. The good news is that these PCs are likely to offer a significant upgrade over their predecessors, but the bad news is that we’re still not seeing a new Mac Pro.

The two new Macs are codenamed “Mac 14,13” and “Mac 14,14.” Both are said to utilize the M2 Max chip, which we’ve already seen in the latest MacBook Pros. Just as a refresher, that chip comes with a 12-core CPU and a 30-core GPU, and it can also support up to 96GB of memory.

Up until now, the M2 Max was the best that Apple had to offer, but Gurman reports that the company is about to usher in the M2 Ultra. Apple’s own chips tend to double their specs with each new variant, so it should come as no surprise that the M2 Ultra is said to sport a 24-core CPU, a 60-core graphics card, and a massive 192GB of RAM. There might also be an even better version of the M2 Ultra that adds an extra 16 GPU cores, for a total of 76 cores.

According to Gurman, the M2 Max and the new M2 Ultra are said to supercharge a new version of the Mac Studio. It makes sense, seeing as the current (and only) version comes with the M1 Max and M1 Ultra. This portable computer continues to be aimed at professionals and should breeze through video editing, rendering, and encoding.

Aside from the Mac Studio, Apple is rumored to be working on a 15-inch MacBook Air, although there’s no way that device will receive the M2 Ultra chip. Instead, 9to5Mac speculates that the 15-inch MacBook Air might launch the upcoming M3 chip. There might also be a 13-inch MacBook Pro in the works, also powered by the M3 chip. These M3 Macs are unlikely to launch before the end of the year, though.

A top-down view of the Mac Mini.
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The M2 Ultra chip appears to be intensely powerful — it will certainly top the list of Apple’s best processors. However, for Apple to — once again — overlook the Mac Pro in order to refresh the Mac Studio is certainly an interesting choice. The Mac Studio is barely a year old, having been launched in March 2022. Even if the new model arrives in the fall, it’ll still be just a year and a half. Meanwhile, the last version of the Mac Pro was launched in 2019.

Is Apple finally killing the Mac Pro for good or is it simply delayed? Only time will tell.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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