Despite its decision of transitioning the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and other popular Mac products to in-house M1 silicon, Apple’s relationship with Intel hasn’t entirely been severed yet.
That’s according to a story shared by MacRumors, which discussed reports claiming that Apple is still planning to release at least one more Mac that will leverage Intel processors. Not surprisingly, that would be the Mac Pro, Apple’s cheese-grater-like workstation/server series that traditionally leverages powerful chips such as the Xeon to meet the demands of artists, designers, and other professionals.
“[…] there are reasons even beyond performance that are likely influencing Apple’s decision,” MacRumors theorized. “Apple silicon chips run on an entirely different architecture than Intel-based Macs. On Apple silicon Macs, Apple uses Rosetta 2 to automatically and seamlessly translate apps built for Intel computers to run on Apple silicon.”
“While Rosetta 2 works for the majority of customers, Apple may be wanting to hold out a little longer to ensure the translation technology is more mature before allowing its most high-end professional and demanding customers to use it. By offering an Intel Mac Pro alongside an Apple silicon powered option, Apple can buy itself a little more time before completing its transition to its own chips.”
Apple’s current Mac Pro can be powered with a handful of chip options that range from a 3.5 GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W all the way to a 2.5 GHz 28-core alternative that adds $7,000 to the overall price. They can also be outfitted with up to 768 GB of DDR4 ECC memory and various Radeon Pro GPUs, such as the W6800X Duo.