Back in December 2013, Donald Trump had still not announced his candidacy for the US presidential election and the word ‘Brexit’ had barely been muttered. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but one thing that had remained the same is Apple’s Mac Pro product line, which has gone without an upgrade for almost four years.
However, now, at last, the tech firm has responded to accusations of neglect by announcing a limited refresh of the machine. The bad news is that a new model will not be available until 2018 at the earliest, but at least the Mac Pro is now back at the forefront of Apple bosses’ minds.
Engineering chiefs have revealed that the next big Mac Pro release will be ‘completely rethought’, in an apparent admission that the original model had backed them into a ‘thermal corner’ from which they could not escape. The radical design, with its cylindrical ‘trash can’ appearance, had focused on making it possible to use multiple graphics processing units (GPUs) to try and help out with complex tasks, whilst cooling the interior and making as little noise as possible.
However, the emphasis from component-makers has been on introducing parts which make the most of a single GPU’s output, giving out more heat. “The way the system is architected, it just doesn’t lend itself to significant reconfiguration for somebody who might want a different combination of GPUs,” said Apple’s hardware chief John Ternus, quoted by Techcrunch.
The limited refresh has seen a more powerful CPU (central processing unit) added to models, along with dual GPUs. While it is hardly ground-breaking, the update should partly satisfy professional users who felt their needs were not being met as they wait for the overhauled version to appear at some point after the end of the year.
In a further bid to brighten the spirits, Apple has also announced that a refreshed version of the iMac will be released in 2017. One reason why the Mac Pro update had been put on hold is thought to be the rise in iMac users, with more and more people now preferring the all-in-one computers.
There have been no specific details about what the new iMac will be all about, but the new models are likely to be aimed mostly at professionals and have added turbopower. Apple executives have also promised that the new model will have Pro customers in mind.
The Californian tech giant had been criticised for not shipping its new model MacBook Pro laptops with more powerful graphics cards when they were released in October 2016
It remains to be seen what other big changes happen to the world before the new revolutionised Mac Pro becomes available, but it should come as a relief that Apple haven’t forgotten about desktop computers quite yet!