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While Apple is rapidly transitioning its Mac lineup from Intel processors to its own Apple silicon, it's worth highlighting as 2021 wraps up that the relationship between Apple and Intel hasn't been entirely severed as reports indicate Apple still has one more Intel-based Mac in its pipeline that's yet to be released.

Intel-Not-Mac-Pro-Feature.jpg

With the Mac Pro, Apple is not expected to entirely transition its most powerful Mac to Apple silicon yet, as we're expecting at least one new ‌Mac Pro‌ to feature an Intel chip. Apple is working on two new Mac Pro machines, one featuring an entire redesign, and another that will feature the current design with updated internals.

Apple silicon has proven itself to be a worthy competitor to even some of Intel's best portable processors, but it seems that Apple is not yet entirely confident enough to transition the Mac Pro, a desktop-class professional workstation used by animators, photographers, Hollywood insiders, and more, to Apple silicon.

For its Intel-based Mac Pro, we're expecting the desktop to feature Intel's Xeon Scalable processor, which Intel says has "advanced performance, security, efficiency, and built-in AI acceleration to handle IoT workloads and more powerful AI."

It may seem odd that, amid the transition of its MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac lines to Apple silicon, Apple would release another Mac with an Intel chip, but there are reasons even beyond performance that are likely influencing Apple's decision. 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.

jon-prosser-mac-pro-mini.jpg

As for the redesigned Mac Pro, expected sometime next year, it may feature up to 32 high-performance cores and up to 128 graphics cores. Some reports have suggested the new Mac Pro could be equipped with two or four dies of the M1 Max chip for ultra-high performance.

Article Link: Macs With Intel Processors Still Coming Amid Transition to Apple Silicon
 
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sw1tcher

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Jan 6, 2004
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It may seem odd that, amid the transition of its MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac lines to Apple silicon, Apple would release another Mac with an Intel chip, but there are reasons even beyond performance that are likely influencing Apple's decision. 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.
It takes courage to admit Apple silicon and Rosetta 2 aren't perfect. :p
 

jonblatho

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Jan 20, 2014
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I get the feeling that if Apple intended to release any additional new Intel-based Macs, they’d have done so before the end of this year. Perhaps they intended on doing one more Intel-based Mac Pro refresh in January 2021 when the report from which this article stems was published but opted to cancel it.

Releasing an Intel-based Mac Pro refresh too close to the Apple silicon-based redesign, especially if the former remains available for purchase after the latter is announced, might read as a lack of confidence in the latter.
 

TheYayAreaLiving 🎗

macrumors demi-goddess
This might be your last chance to prove yourself to Apple. Otherwise… all the best in the future.

Meanwhile, Intel was throwing shades at Apple.


D0D602B4-D9AA-4F92-9F90-192BDA1B41C1.jpeg
 

kirbyrun

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Jul 26, 2009
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I get the feeling that if Apple intended to release any additional new Intel-based Macs, they’d have done so before the end of this year. Perhaps they intended on doing one more Intel-based Mac Pro refresh in January 2021 when the report from which this article stems was published but opted to cancel it.

Releasing an Intel-based Mac Pro refresh too close to the Apple silicon-based redesign, especially if the former remains available for purchase after the latter is announced, might read as a lack of confidence in the latter.
Yeah, I agree. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but releasing anything more than a spec-bumped Intel Mac at this late date feels like an admission of inferiority…and extremely un-Apple-like.

(Edit: Because "un" and "in" are not the same!)
 
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softtree

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2021
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Another thing is a lot of the real "Pro" software is going to take years, if ever, to transition to arm architecture. Doesn't make sense to give pros an arm based machine if all they're going to do is run x86 programs on it for the foreseeable future, no matter how good the compatibility layer is.
 

Andres Cantu

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May 31, 2015
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If that machine comes out in late 2022, and Apple supports their macs for an average of 7 years (plus two years of security updates), then we’re looking at the 2029 macOS 20.0 release as the last one that will support Intel.

Makes sense why Tim said they would support Intel macs “for years to come”.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Sep 26, 2017
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Makes sense, really. Anyone buying that kind of configuration probably has very specific and critical software in mind. If Apple releases Mac Pros for both architectures next year, that would buy time for such software companies to transition from x86 to AS without making their customers bug test software in a production environment. Even just being the last Intel Mac, we don’t know how long it might stay in production. The Trash Can Mac Pro ran for many years with no significant design changes, and this last Intel Mac might do the same in order to keep a niche customer base with deep pockets.
 

Spock

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Jan 6, 2002
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I don't think its a bad idea for Apple to continue to sell Intel based machines for application and hardware support, especially on a machine like the Mac Pro. I am just not sure if Apple Silicon is ready to replace the Xeon in the Mac Pro just yet. But I am anxious to see what it can do without as much power and heat restraint they have had to engineer with the portables and desktops like the iMac and Mac mini. Imagine how powerful Apple Silicon could be be if it had the huge power supply and cooling system of the current Mac Pro.
 

JonathanLevine

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2021
15
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I just hope at some point Apple decides to make an Apple Silicon Mac that’s still user upgradeable. I know a lot of the power of Apple Silicon comes from RAM & SSD being integrated with the CPU & GPU, but the ability to upgrade things like RAM & SSD would be really appealing, especially if it was a cheaper machine like a larger Mac mini or something. Would love a machine like that.
 

jz0309

macrumors 603
Sep 25, 2018
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This is very relevant news. There are many businesses reliant on software that won't be ported to M1 anytime soon.
This has been reported on probably half a dozen times already, and Apple hasn’t released any new Intel macs for what now, 18 months?
Whoever wants to buy those, I’m happy for them, but there aren’t a lot of businesses that are going to carve out for these machines, and yes, I understand that some need those configs… it still makes it old news
 

munpip214

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2011
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I’m guessing they will have a high end iMac Pro that will have dual M1Max as an option until they can come up with something even more powerful. In the meantime using Intel for Mac Pro seems reasonable.
 

Bandaman

Cancelled
Aug 28, 2019
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So those will sell for 10k+, which is fine, and they will sell 3 of them…
Slow news day, needing more clicks?
What do you mean slow news day and needing more clicks? It’s LITERALLY Apple news. Not only do people whine when they post non-Apple news, now people are getting picky with what kind of Apple info they DO post. Gee, maybe they should just shut down their site since it doesn’t cater to your sophisticated standards … or whatever. :rolleyes:
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
4,253
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An Intel based MacPro needs a new socket to accommodate the new Xeon chips, which then needs a new logic board design. Unless this was already ready to go, another Intel Mac Pro it isn't happening and they'll continue to just sell the existing 2019 models with updated GPUs to cater to the market.
 
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blazerunner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2020
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Goooood….Makes my Hackintosh Viable for years to come ?
Yes, but... Alder Lake with P-Cores and E-Cores makes thing a bit complicated. Would be great if Apple did something to the OS to address the E-Cores and how they're assigned.
 
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