While taking screenshots of Apple’s “Scary Fast” event video for an article this week, I noticed something in Johnny Srouji’s lab: The four $7,000 Apple Pro Display XDRs that were prominently positioned around the room weren’t hooked up to Mac Pros—they were powered by Mac Studios.
Assuming those machines are top-of-the-line models with M2 Ultra processors, 192GB of RAM, and 8TB of storage for $8,799, Apple is basically admitting the Mac Pro—which costs $11,799 with the same specs as the Mac Studio—is a waste of space and money.
Apple updated the Mac Pro at WWDC in June with an M2 Ultra processor to replace the Intel model from 2019. However, while the new chip brought a tremendous speed boost, the switch to Apple silicon also took away the ability to upgrade the memory and graphics after purchase. That means the only real benefit of the Mac Pro is expansion slots for audio and video I/O, networking, and storage cards.
But at the very least, you’d think the engineers would at least use them at Apple Park. After all, they have access to any Mac they want, yet they opted for Mac Studios instead of Mac Pros. And it’s hard to blame them. The Mac Studio is small enough to fit under a display and has a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports and an SDXC card slot card slot on the front for easy access. (Though to be fair, the Mac Pro does have two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the top of the case.)
It’s hard not to wonder how long the Mac Pro will be made. It was a niche machine before the Mac Studio came along and now there are fewer buyers then ever—if any. After all, even Apple doesn’t want one.