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macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 5, 2014
Just curious. I've been holding out, but not sure if I should get this or the Mac Mini.

Will it cost $3000?


macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2018


macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
The Peninsula
I think it will range from like $3,500 to $25,000 depending on the customization.
Note that a Z8 adds $59.3K just for the upgrade to 1.5 TiB of RAM, for a system cost of $83K. If the MP7,1 tops out at $25K it will be a toy compared to the Z-series.
Last edited:


macrumors 6502a
Apr 4, 2015
I think it'll start at $6499, but it will be very generously equipped to start.

10 or 12 core starting processor, some version of Xeon SP (not Xeon W, because they want access to processors with more cores than iMac Pro and possibly to dual-processor options, which means the big socket). They may well get ahold of semi-custom Xeon SP SKUs that eliminate the 4 and 8 way multiprocessor possibilities, but are less expensive than fully-enabled Gold and Platinum chips. Intel is already doing this with the recently pre-announced 28-core hyper-enthusiast chip (that's not going to be an 8-way capable, $10,000 chip like the Xeon Platinum it's based on). It'll be interesting to see what Intel charges for that chip...

Navi based graphics significantly outperforming the Vega 64 in the top iMac Pro.

Probably 2 TB SSD standard, with 4 and 8 TB options. I'm hoping for M.2 PCIe SSD slots in addition to the standard T2-controlled SSD. They won't let us boot from anything but an Apple-supplied SSD, but they may very well allow user-added storage drives.

48 GB minimum RAM - Xeon SP is 6 channels, so 6x8 GB DIMMs is probably the minimum configuration.

How high will it go? I think it'll clear $20,000 easily in a maximum configuration, and how much higher it can go will depend on a few design decisions by Apple.

1.) Is it dual processor capable? If it is not, the maximum processor upgrade could be as little as a $5000 upcharge to get from 10-12 cores to 28. If it is, there will certainly be over $10,000 in potential processor upgrades, probably close to $15,000 (dual 28-cores).

2.) What will be the maximum graphics offering be, and does it support dual graphics? If all the graphics offerings are in entry-level to midrange workstation territory, we don't know what the Vega and Navi ranges will look like, but I could see the maximum (single) card being only a $1500-$2000 upgrade. If they offer either really high-end or dual graphics, it could be much more... HP offers up to ~$7000 graphics cards on the Z6, and it'll happily take two of them...

3.) What's the RAM capacity? It could have 6, 12 or potentially (in dual-processor models only) even 24 RAM slots. Apple could support only up to commonly available 32 GB ECC DIMMs, or they could also support much rarer 64 GB DIMMs. If it's a very conservative 6 slot design that accepts only 32 GB DIMMs, the maximum RAM upgrade could be 6x32 GB DIMMs - somewhere around $3600 for 192 GB (getting an iMac Pro to 128 GB is $2400 - this is simply 1.5x for 6 channels). On the other extreme, it could accept something like HP's $59,000 RAM upgrade to 1.5 TB

If all the upgrade possibilities are at their most conservative, it's still something like a $22,200 machine when maxed out. $6500+$5000 (processor)+$1500 (graphics)+ $3600 (192 GB RAM)+$5600 (8 TB SSD - I simply doubled the iMac Pro's upgrade cost to 4 TB).

If they support all of the craziest possible upgrades, there are theoretical configurations over $100,000!!! $6500+$15,000 (dual 28-core CPUs)+$15,000 (dual ultra high-end graphics) + $60,000 (1.5 TB RAM) +$5600 (8 TB SSD).

Will Apple actually sell any of those configurations? Maybe, maybe not - if they sell any of the real monsters over $30,000 at all, it'll be a very small number, almost entirely in Hollywood.

Another interesting question is what user expandability will be... What will Apple let us avoid the Apple Tax on? Here are some (hopefully educated) guesses... From most to least likely.

User-accessible RAM slots: 90% (most likely 12, reasonable chance of only 6, outside chance of 24 in dual-processor models). RAM will certainly not be soldered, but there is a small chance it's hiding behind "service tech only" screws or heat sinks.

Add your own internal storage: 75% (either 2 or 4 M.2 PCIe storage slots in addition to a required T2-connected SSD). The chances of being able to replace the primary SSD yourself are lower, and that will certainly require a part bought from Apple.

Replaceable AMD graphics (custom boards): 65% (either users or service personnel have a better than 50-50 chance of being able to switch graphics cards or perhaps add dual graphics - these will not be standard PC-type PCIe GPUs - they have to output over the built-in TB3 ports, rather than the card's backplane, and there will be NVidia-proofing).

PCIe x4 slot(s): 50% (won't be fast enough nor support enough power for graphics, but there's a decent chance of a slot or two for your audio interface without resorting to an external box).

Replace the processor or add a second: 30% (depends on cooling system - much higher chance OWC or some other upgrade shop unofficially figures out how to do it). If there's a dual-CPU option at all, it may well be factory-only, not least because it could be a modified motherboard, power supply or both.


macrumors 68020
Jul 21, 2004
The thing with GPUs and PCIe slots is that before, we needed PCIe slots to add things like USB3 cards and AV interfaces. Now that USB3 is on the system and AV cards are going external and TB3, the main reason we want PCIe slots is to add and upgrade GPUs. Giving us slots but not allowing GPUs to be used on them is pretty pointless and defeats the point of us wanting slots to begin with.

And with the AV cards we used to a PCIe card plus an external box for interfaces etc. With TB3, we still have that external box minus the cards, and I can easily take it on the road with me and use it on a laptop.


macrumors 68030
Jun 5, 2013
With TB3, we still have that external box minus the cards, and I can easily take it on the road with me and use it on a laptop.

We have an external box that can't capture 8k footage, the way a pci card can.

As to price, it'll cost the same as an iMac Pro for the same hardware, but you'll get some sort of configurability as a tradeoff for not getting a display with it.

There will be no option of "give apple less money than you'd give them for an iMac Pro, and go buy a monitor from someone else".


macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2015
Base model probably in the ballpark of the iMac Pro base configuration, with options that clearly set it apart from the iMP all the way up from that. I expect the Mac Pro to have some feature that gives it a leg up in any config - dual CPU and/or another attempt at dual GPU as part of the base design perhaps.

At any rate - 3000? That's barely a decent MBP configuration these days.


Nov 24, 2002
Tejas Hill Country
Everyone keeps pointing to the iMac Pro for pricing insights into the Mac Pro, but I think the recent Mac Mini refresh tells us at least as much. The fact that you can spec up a Mac Mini to 64gb of RAM, 10gbit ethernet, and 2TB of storage implies that there will not be a low-end configuration of the new Mac Pro like we've seen in past generations. The people in 2013 who were buying the base 6 core Mac Pro are going to find out that they are no longer in the Mac Pro target audience. Apple expects them to buy a top-spec Mac Mini now (which isn't crazy, really).

I think the Mac Pro is going to start at an eye-watering base price, but as @danwells speculates, it will be very generously equipped to start.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2015
Well it would make sense to offer 'entry level' options to satisfy most of the potential user base. If you start at 6k or whatever and move up from there - who's going to buy these machines? I don't think Apple sees themselves in the highend-niche/visualization business at all.

Do they even have any software in that space where people don't blink at system prices in the 5-digits?


macrumors 65816
Jan 17, 2008
They need it to be around $2999 for base model. And, remember that this is a "modular" Mac Pro. So, a base model can hit $2999. And, then more $$$ is needed to acquire the "modular" part of it, which I assume would be around $2000, with a similar GPU in the base Mac Pro, thus creating a 2-GPU system, like the 2013 nMP. But, this $2k "modular box" is a closed box similar to the Black Magic eGPU. Except, it doesn't use TB3! Apple has invented a new connector that doesn't limit its bandwidth for GPU cards. Thus, the $2k asking price. There is a $3K bigger "modular" box that has a bigger PSU, 2-4 PCIe slots and can fit an Nvidia RTX Titan card (sold separately). This is an empty box though and is $3K. Pick your poison!
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macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2015
What would the differentiator be between the 'entry level' Mac Pro and the top-spec Mac mini?

A builtin GPU (-module) and the number of possible CPUs/cores. Also the RAM ceiling. Basically - with the MP you will have an upgrade path.


macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2015
Portland, Ore.
I would guess $2999 for base as well. Maybe $3999. They're going to want to sell you the new monitor and upgrades too, so I can't see them pricing the base too high.
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