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Mac Pro gets boosted, but all eyes are on the Mac Studio

The day after Apple’s big announcements, the company has given its base model Mac Pro a hardware boost with the computer now starting at 512GB of internal storage, plus the introduction of the AMD Radeon Pro W5500X graphics chip while maintaining starting price of $6,000.

The update pertains to both the tower and rack Mac Pro models, but is it enough to take people’s eyes off of the brand new Mac Studio? Not likely.

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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 previously included 256GB of internal storage as a base and featured a Radeon Pro 5800X graphics card. You can also customize the Mac Pro with an AMD Radeon Pro W6600X graphics for an extra $300, MacRumors noted.

While an improvement overall, this makes for a rather pricey and dubious update, especially coming on the heels of everything that was announced at Apple’s “Peek Performance” event yesterday.

Apple showcased its latest proprietary Apple Silicon chip, the M1 Ultra. The chip features a 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, 32-core NPU, and a media engine among its primary specs. The new M1 Ultra is set to power the Mac Studio desktop, which was also announced at the recent Apple Spring event for a starting price of $3,999.

Paired with Studio Display, which has a starting price of $1,999, Apple’s latest computer setup is roughly the same price as the Mac Pro, which was first released in December 2019 and still runs the Intel Xeon processors.

And yet, Apple made specific comparisons between the Mac Studio and the Mac Pro, showing just how much more powerful it is. That puts the Mac Pro, even with today’s updates, a difficult purchase.

However, a Mac Pro update featuring Apple Silicon is still in the timeline. Apple has yet to share any details about that product beyond that it’s being worked on. The company is clearly not leaving Mac Pro enthusiasts in the dust, but this recent upgrade doesn’t feel like enough to justify a purchase of the Mac Pro before the official Apple Silicon update.

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