Apple Explains Why Its $6,999 Mac Pro Doesn’t Support Third-Party Graphics Cards

Image: Apple

Apple executives have offered an explanation as to why its new Mac Pro computer, which features seven PCIe expansion slots and Apple’s new M2 Ultra SoC (system-on-a-chip) with 24-core CPU, 60-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine, doesn’t include support for third-party graphics cards. “Fundamentally, we built our architecture around this shared memory model and that optimization,” John Ternus, Apple SVP for hardware engineering, explained to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber after the blogger asked whether there were technical barriers that led to the Mac Pro having slots that were aimed at compute rather than video. “And so, it’s not entirely clear to me how you bring in another GPU, and do so in a way that’s optimized for our systems,” Ternus went on to say, pointing out that it simply wasn’t a direction that Apple’s engineers wanted to pursue. Apple’s new Mac Pro, which is available beginning today alongside the new 15-inch MacBook Air and Mac Studio, starts at $6,999 but appears to cost over $12,000 when fully maxed out through its configurator.

From an Apple press release:

The new Mac Studio features M2 Max and the new M2 Ultra chip to deliver a huge boost in performance and connectivity in a stunningly compact design that lives right on the desk. Mac Studio features up to 192GB of unified memory, which is 50 percent more than before. It’s now up to 6x faster than the most powerful Intel-based 27-inch iMac, and up to 3x faster than the previous-generation Mac Studio with M1 Ultra. With the new Mac Studio, any pro can build the studio of their dreams.

Mac Pro combines the unprecedented performance of Apple’s most powerful chip, M2 Ultra, with the versatility of PCIe expansion for those demanding workflows that need it. Up to 3x faster than the previous-generation Intel-based Mac Pro,5 the new Mac Pro also features up to 192GB of unified memory to take on demanding workloads other systems can’t even process. With the arrival of Mac Pro featuring M2 Ultra, the transition of the Mac lineup to Apple silicon is now complete.

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