Will this be the processor of the next Mac Pro?

Will this be the processor of the next Mac Pro?

Well-known leaker YuuKi_AnS (as reported by MacRumors colleagues), said Apple could use Intel Xeon W-3300 series “Ice Lake-SP” CPUs for its next generation Mac Pro. Additionally, three other sources have also said that Apple's next high-end desktop workstation will use Intel's “Ice Lake-SP” Xeons instead of custom “Apple Silicon” SoCs. Obviously, we remind you that for the moment it is only rumor.

Credit: Apple As you surely already know, the Cupertino company has introduced over the past few months a line of new entry-level desktop and notebook computers based on its System-On-Chip M1, while high-end machines equipped with Apple Silicon SoCs are expected to arrive by the end of the year. However, it seems that the company is not yet ready with custom SoCs suitable for Mac Pro and, precisely for this reason, has decided to use Intel's Xeon W-3300 series "Ice Lake-SP".

Intel has yet to formally introduce its Xeon W-3300 series CPUs, but from unofficial reports we expect the top-of-the-range model to have up to 38 cores with frequencies up to 4.0GHz and around 57MB of cache. When it comes to performance, these processors will offer tangible benefits over the Cascade Lake microarchitecture-based Xeon W CPUs currently featured on the Mac Pro model launched in 2019.

But performance and core count alone may not be the only reasons Apple has chosen to employ Intel Xeon W-3300 series CPUs over its SoCs. Intel's architecture offers performance, scalability and flexibility - a particularly important combination for workstations. For example, Apple customers who require ProRes and ProRes RAW processing acceleration can use the FPGA-based "Afterburner" accelerator. In addition, those who need 3D graphics acceleration can get a high-end custom AMD Radeon Pro with up to two GPUs.

There are also simple and affordable ways to increase memory capacity (up to terabytes per socket in the case of Ice Lake-SP) and storage capacity to meet the unique needs of certain users. While Apple's SoC approach allows for great low-power performance, it's unclear how good it is for workstations and how scalable, flexible (and cheap) and expandable the platform is.

At the beginning of this one. Bloomberg reported that Apple would upgrade its Mac Pro with another Intel chip, without providing further details. The article also stated that Apple was working on a smaller version of its Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. Last month, a software developer discovered that Xcode 13 beta (Apple's integrated development environment for macOS and other platforms) contained support for Intel's Ice Lake-SP processors. Hardware support in Xcode means Apple is heavily considering using it and has appropriate devices in its lab. However, this does not offer certainty that Apple will actually proceed with a commercial product.

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