Wednesday April 5, 2017 7:23 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has informed its authorized resellers that the Mac Pro's new 8-core stock configuration will be available to order by the end of April. Until then, Apple said the model can be created by selecting the 6-core option and using the configure-to-order options to match the 8-core model's upgraded tech specs.
Packaging changes are likely the only reason why the 8-core model is currently unavailable as a stock configuration to resellers and customers, given that the base model customized with an 8-core processor and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs for the same price currently ships in 1-3 business days on Apple.com.
Apple adjusted its Mac Pro configurations and pricing yesterday. The former 6-core model with dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs and 16GB of RAM for $3,999 is now the $2,999 base model, while the previously configure-to-order 8-core model with dual D700 GPUs and 16GB of RAM is now the high-end stock configuration for $3,999.
Apple listed the new Mac Pro configurations on its online store on Tuesday, but the 8-core model is currently unavailable for customers to order. Apple's website briefly said the 8-core model would be available in "30 business days," somewhat in line with the end of April, but that estimate was quickly removed.
Apple has discontinued the previous base model, equipped with a quad-core Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, and 12GB of RAM.
The bigger news is that Apple said it is working on a "completely rethought" Mac Pro featuring a modular design. The all-new Mac Pro, which won't launch until at least next year, will be Apple's highest-end, highest-throughput system, and it will be accompanied by a new Apple-branded pro-focused external display.
Apple also said that it is working on new iMac models that will be unveiled later this year, but it remained tight-lipped about what to expect. It is rare for Apple to pre-announce future products in this manner, but it was a welcomed response to concerns that Apple was no longer focused on professional users.
Given that the current Mac Pro still has over three year old hardware, prospective buyers should weigh the price drop against the old tech before purchasing the computer. Some professionals might consider waiting for the completely redesigned and modular Mac Pro launching at some point after 2017.
Apple has also made Mac Pro build-to-order processor and GPU upgrades much more affordable for pro users who need higher-end specs than the base machines provide.
Upgrading the new 3.5GHz entry-level 6-core Mac Pro to the 3.0GHz 8-core processor now costs $800, while upgrading to the 2.7GHz 12-core machine costs $2,000. Prior to today, the 8-core upgrade was priced at $1,500, and the 12-core upgrade was priced at $3,000.
GPU upgrades are also more affordable. With the 6-core machine, upgrading from the stock dual AMD FirePro D500 to the FirePro D700 now costs $200, an upgrade that was previously priced at $600. The GPU upgrade isn't necessary on the new stock 8-core machine, as it ships with the D700s.
RAM and flash storage upgrade pricing has not changed, however. It continues to cost $400 to upgrade to 32GB RAM and $1,200 to upgrade to 64GB RAM. 512GB flash storage is available for $200, and the 1TB flash storage upgrade costs $600. Prices on flash storage were lowered back in October alongside the launch of the new MacBook Pro.
All in all, a maxed out Mac Pro machine with a 12-core processor, 64GB RAM, 1TB flash storage, and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs will now cost $6,999 instead of $9,599.
The Mac Pro lineup has not gained any refreshed or updated hardware -- all that's changed is configuration and price. The machines continue to use Ivy Bridge E Xeon processors, dual AMD FirePro GPUs, and Thunderbolt 2.
Apple's reconfigured Mac Pros are available starting today from the online Apple Store and Apple retail stores. The 6-core model can be purchased immediately, but the 8-core model is listed as "currently unavailable."
Today's price drops come ahead of a promised overhauled Mac Pro that will be introduced sometime after this year. Apple is working on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro system that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.
Tuesday April 4, 2017 10:19 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Following a surprise Mac Pro update today, Apple has now listed the repriced models on its online store. Essentially, this is just a pricing adjustment: the former $3,999 model is now the $2,999 base model, while the previously built-to-order 8-core model with dual D700 GPUs is now the high-end stock configuration.
The base model Mac Pro with a 3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, and 16GB of RAM is available to purchase now for $2,999 online and at select Apple Stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, and select other regions. Online orders ship in as little as one business day.
The higher-end model with a 3.0GHz 8-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs, and 16GB of RAM is listed as "currently unavailable" online, with no purchase button yet. Just moments ago, the model was listed as available in "30 business days," but Apple has removed that timeframe.
Today's reshuffling raises the entry-level Mac Pro to a 6-core processor with 16GB of RAM for $2,999, compared to the former base model with a quad-core processor and 12GB of RAM. Likewise, Apple used to sell a high-end 6-core Mac Pro for $3,999, but has today bumped that model to 8-cores for the same price.
There are no other hardware changes to either model, but upgrade pricing for built-to-order configurations is now cheaper. Upgrading from 6-core to 8-core or 12-core, for example, used to be $1500 or $3000 respectively, but it is now $800 or $2000 respectively. AMD FirePro graphics upgrades are likewise cheaper.
Apple also announced that it is working on a "completely rethought" version of the Mac Pro, as well as a pro display that works with the system, but Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller admitted that "you won't see any of those products this year."
Tuesday April 4, 2017 8:16 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
In the midst of a flood of reveals and announcements surrounding the Mac Pro and iMac, Apple today gave a hint as to what the upcoming Mac Pro will be able to accomplish for high-end, professional users. Although little information was given about the revamped Mac Pro, Phil Schiller described it as the "highest-end" desktop system the company has created yet, and that it will be "designed for our demanding pro customers."
TechCrunch asked Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, what the boost in the "pro" aspect of the Mac Pro will mean for the company's power users. In response, Federighi mentioned software capabilities in the virtual reality space, as well as tasks centered on high-end cinema production.
I ask who, exactly, the pro customers are that needed the more powerful GPU in a Mac Pro most.
“There’s certain scientific loads that are very GPU intensive and they want to throw the largest GPU at it that they can,” says Federighi. “There are heavy 3D graphics [applications] or graphics and compute mixed loads. Those can be in VR, those can be in certain kinds of high end cinema production tasks where most of the software out there that’s been written to target those doesn’t know how to balance itself well across multiple GPUs but can scale across a single large GPU.”
Virtual reality is a noticeable shortcoming of Apple's current Mac Pro line, as well as its iMac desktop computers. Although Federighi doesn't go into any more detail about how VR support might function on the Apple ecosystem -- including which headsets will be supported, and what software will take advantage of VR -- it's an interesting tidbit of information regarding the upcoming Mac Pro line launching sometime after this year.
In regards to virtual reality and augmented reality, in recent reports Apple has been more closely aligned with development on the latter technology, which doesn't require a cumbersome headset and can be used with technology already on modern smartphones, as it was in Pokémon Go. Still, specific hardware has been rumored to be in the pipeline by Apple, most recently including an Apple-branded pair of AR glasses that would connect to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision," but they're predicted to be far from launch.
Rumors currently suggest that Apple's AR glasses could launch in 2018, but any news regarding an Apple-branded VR headset have been quiet for over a year. As such, it's likely that the upcoming Mac Pro will support third-party VR headsets from companies already in the market.
Tuesday April 4, 2017 5:24 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple today reshuffled its Mac Pro configurations and pricing, marking the first "update" to Apple's pro-oriented desktop computer in over three years. Apple also confirmed it is working on a "completely rethought" Mac Pro with Apple-branded pro displays that will launch at some point beyond this year.
The former $3,999 model is now the $2,999 base model, while the previously built-to-order 8-core model with dual D700 GPUs is now the high-end stock configuration for $3,999. Both models are equipped with 256GB PCIe-based flash storage, four USB 3.0 ports, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The former quad-core model with dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs and 12GB of RAM now has 6-cores with dual D500 GPUs and 16GB of RAM, while the 6-Core model with dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs is now 8-cores with dual D700 GPUs and 16GB of RAM. There are no other hardware changes—not even Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Meanwhile, Apple said an all-new Mac Pro will be a high-end, high-throughput modular system that will "take longer than this year" to complete. It will be accompanied by an Apple-branded external display in at least one size, essentially marking the return of the discontinued Thunderbolt Display.
With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call "completely rethinking the Mac Pro." We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.
As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.
In the interim, we know there are a number of customers who continue to buy our [current Mac Pros]. To be clear, our current Mac Pro has met the needs of some of our customers, and we know clearly not all of our customers. None of this is black and white, it’s a wide variety of customers. Some… it’s the kind of system they wanted; others, it was not.
In the meantime, we’re going to update the configs to make it faster and better for their dollar. This is not a new model, not a new design, we’re just going to update the configs. We’re doing that this week. We can give you the specifics on that.
The CPUs, we’re moving them down the line. The GPUs, down the line, to get more performance per dollar for customers who DO need to continue to buy them on the interim until we get to a newly architected system.
Apple said that Mac desktops represent roughly 20 percent of overall Mac sales, with the Mac Pro accounting for only a "single-digit" percentage of Mac sales, perhaps as justification for the elongated refresh cycle. 1,202 days had passed since the last Mac Pro update, per the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.
Apple also suggested that the "trash can" design of the current Mac Pro has restricted its ability to truly upgrade it.
Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi via TechCrunch:
I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will. We designed a system that we thought with the kind of GPUs that at the time we thought we needed, and that we thought we could well serve with a two GPU architecture… that that was the thermal limit we needed, or the thermal capacity we needed. But workloads didn’t materialize to fit that as broadly as we hoped.
Being able to put larger single GPUs required a different system architecture and more thermal capacity than that system was designed to accommodate. And so it became fairly difficult to adjust. At the same time, so many of our customers were moving to iMac that we saw a path to address many, many more of those that were finding themselves limited by Mac Pro through a next generation iMac.. And really put a lot of our energy behind that. [But,] while that [upgraded iMac] system is going to be fantastic for a huge number of customers — we want to do more.
It isn't often that Apple pre-announces new products in its pipeline, but there were growing concerns that Apple no longer cared about professional users, and this is the company's way of proving otherwise. Schiller reiterated that Apple is committed to the Mac and has "great products" planned for the future.
We’re committed to the Mac, we’ve got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we’ve got great products planned for the future, and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers.
Friday December 30, 2016 10:02 am PST by Juli Clover
With the launch of the iPhone 7 and MacBook Pro, 2016 has been a mixed year for Apple. The iPhone 7 was released without a headphone jack, an unpopular choice that's now been somewhat ameliorated by the launch of the AirPods, and the MacBook Pro has been plagued by battery issues, graphics problems, and complaints about the high price of the device.
Apple also saw its first decline in iPhone sales in 2016, but 2017 could potentially turn things around for the company. We're expecting the biggest iPhone revision we've seen since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in 2014, plus we're also expecting major iPad changes, refreshed desktop Macs, and software improvements.
iPhone 8 - September 2017
Rumors about the 2017 iPhone started ramping up before the iPhone 7 was even released, so there's a lot of information out there, and at this point, quite a bit of it conflicts, so it's difficult to get a clear picture of what Apple is planning for the iPhone's 10th anniversary.
If you read all of the rumors and suss out some common themes, there are a few concrete details that hint at what likely to see in the next-generation iPhone. We're assuming it's going to be called the "iPhone 8" due to design changes that are more radical than we'd expect for an "iPhone 7s," but it's entirely possible Apple will go with another name.
It looks like there's going to be at least three iPhone models, and one of those will have an OLED display. It's sounding like we're going to get one premium OLED iPhone somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 inches, with either a flexible curved display that wraps around the edges like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or an edge-to-edge display more in line with the current design of the iPhone 7.
Tuesday December 20, 2016 6:22 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple is preparing modest updates to its Mac lineup for next year, including new iMac models with USB-C ports and new AMD graphics chips, and "minor bumps" in processing power for 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models, according to Bloomberg.
Mac fans shouldn't hold their breath for radical new designs in 2017 though. Instead, the company is preparing modest updates: USB-C ports and a new Advanced Micro Devices Inc. graphics processor for the iMac, and minor bumps in processing power for the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro. Cue the outrage.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo likewise said new iMacs will launch in the first half of 2017 in a research note shared earlier this year, while current iMac models have not been updated in 434 days per our Mac Buyer's Guide, so updates to Apple's consumer desktop lineup would be unsurprising. USB-C ports on new iMacs would likely double as Thunderbolt 3 ports akin to the new MacBook Pro.
Apple designers are also said to be exploring standalone keyboards with a Touch Bar and Touch ID for desktop computers. The report claims Apple will decide whether to release the keyboards depending upon how well the touchscreen strip and fingerprint scanner are received on new MacBook Pro models released a few months ago. Apple's current Magic Keyboard was released in October 2015.
Meanwhile, some Apple engineers have reportedly raised the possibility of moving Mac Pro production back to Asia, as these people believe the supply chain workers have the "required skills" for "ambitious" products. Apple currently assembles the Mac Pro in Texas as its only "Made in USA" computer, but the professional-oriented desktop machine has not been updated in three years.
Three years on, the Mac Pro is ripe for an upgrade with its chips and connector ports lagging rival products. Because of the earlier challenges, some Apple engineers have raised the possibility of moving production back to Asia, where it's cheaper and manufacturers have the required skills for ambitious products, according to a person familiar with those internal discussions.
President-elect Donald Trump recently said he will offer Apple incentives to bring manufacturing back to the United States, including a "very large tax cut" and reduced regulations. Apple CEO Tim Cook himself has said the majority of its products are made in China because the U.S. workforce has a smaller number of individuals with the "vocational kind of skills" needed.
Overall, the article suggests the Mac is "getting far less attention than it once did," partly due to "a lack of clear direction from senior management, departures of key people working on Mac hardware, and technical challenges."
Apple, for its part, told employees it has "great desktops" in its roadmap. Cook said the desktop is "very strategic" to Apple because the performance desktops can provide is "really important" to a lot of people and "critical" for others. He says the current iMac is the best desktop Apple's ever made and its 5K display is the best desktop display in the world. The fate of the Mac Pro and Mac mini is less clear.
Monday December 19, 2016 3:23 pm PST by Husain Sumra
In a post to an employee message board obtained byTechCrunch, Apple CEO Tim Cook assured employees that the company is still committed to the Mac and that "great desktops" are coming. Apple's desktop computers haven't seen an upgrade in at least 433 days.
Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we’re committed to desktops,” Cook wrote. “If there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that.”
Cook says that the desktop is "very strategic" to Apple because the performance desktops can provide is "really important" to a lot of people and "critical" for some people. He says the current iMac is the best desktop Apple's ever made and its 5K display is the best desktop display in the world.
In regards to its future roadmap and how Apple employees can help push the company forward, Cook says that "you can rarely see precisely where you want to go from the beginning." Instead, Cook argues that "pulling strings" to see what's coming next is one of Apple's strengths, noting that the creation of Apple Watch led to the creation of ResearchKit, which lead to the creation of CareKit. Cook concludes the post by saying the company doesn't do things for a return on investment, it explores new things because it's exciting and might lead somewhere.
The lack of refreshed Mac hardware can be attributed to a combination of Apple waiting on chipmakers and suppliers to ship their new products and the Cupertino Company's renewed focus on iPad.
Apple's desktop Macs haven't seen upgrades in over a year. The iMac's last update was 433 days ago, the Mac Mini's last update was 795 days ago and the Mac Pro's last update was 1,097 days ago.
Tuesday December 6, 2016 6:02 am PST by Joe Rossignol
When looking at the current state of the Mac lineup, the new MacBook Pro is the only model Apple has updated over the past seven-plus months. Even the latest MacBook Pro models required a 527-day wait, which was considerably longer than the average of 320 days between previous MacBook Pro refreshes.
A glance at our own MacRumors Buyer's Guide shows the new MacBook Pro is the only Mac currently listed with a "Buy Now" status, as all other models beyond the 12-inch MacBook have not been refreshed for significant periods of time. The longest overdue is the Mac Pro, last updated 1,084 days ago.
• iMac — 420 days ago
• MacBook Air — 638 days ago
• Mac mini — 782 days ago
• Mac Pro — 1,084 days ago
The lack of updates can be at least partially attributed to Apple having to wait on chipmakers and suppliers such as Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, each of which follow their own product roadmaps, although that cannot be the only reason given Skylake processors are now readily available for update-deprived Macs.
A lack of meaningful updates to several Macs this year impacted Apple's bottom line, as Mac revenue has declined for four consecutive quarters year-over-year. The declines have worsened each quarter, starting with a 3% drop in Q4 2015 and progressing to a 17% drop in Q3 2016, according to Strategy Analytics.
Apple investors now await the company's first quarter earnings results to see if the new MacBook Pro models will be able to reverse that trend.
Conversely, after several down quarters, the iPad has experienced a mostly upward trajectory over the past year, thanks largely in part to the iPad Pro's higher average selling price. Apple's tablet revenue is now stable on a year-over-year basis, after dipping as low as -21% one year ago.
Strategy Analytics senior analyst Eric Smith attributes the stabilizing effect to Apple's renewed focus on iPads. He said Apple entered the 2-in-1 tablet market with the iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard right in time to renew growth and capitalize on growing enterprise demand in the future.
Recognizing that Microsoft was changing the computing device market, Smith said Apple "pretty much forgot about Mac" in order to attack the 2-in-1 tablet segment with the release of iPad Pro models over the past year.
"Apple has been a master of cannibalizing its own business before other companies do so in a major way," Smith told MacRumors. "Apple let iPad slide until it became clear that Microsoft was changing the computing device market. It refocused on iPad with the Pro series and pretty much forgot about Mac to attack the 2-in-1 segment."
Apple's move was rather effective, as iPad market share has stabilized at 22% over the past two years after declining for the previous four years. But it would seem it took a change in stance to get there as, in the past, Apple essentially dismissed the idea of releasing a tablet-notebook hybrid.
During a 2012 earnings call, when asked to comment on why the MacBook Air and iPad would not eventually converge, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that combining the products would result in compromises. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator but those won't be pleasing to the user," he said.
By contrast, earlier this year Apple released a TV ad called "What's a Computer?" that positions the iPad Pro as a computer. "Imagine what your computer could do if your computer was an iPad Pro," the tagline concludes.
Likewise, Cook said the iPad Pro is a notebook or desktop computer replacement for many people. "They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones," he added. "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?"
In the post-PC era, it is perhaps unsurprising that Apple's attention has shifted more towards the iPhone—and by extension, the iPad. But many faithful customers are hoping Apple will eventually turn its sights back to the Mac, following what some critics believe was a disappointing MacBook Pro update amid an aging lineup of Macs.
Tuesday November 1, 2016 4:23 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Following its "Hello Again" Mac event last week, Apple quietly dropped the prices on higher-capacity storage upgrades across its Mac lineup. 512GB and 1TB SSD build-to-order upgrade options for the MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, and 2015 MacBook Pro are now priced up to $200 less, bring the costs in line with upgrade options on the new MacBook Pro models.
Prior to the event, 512GB storage upgrade options were priced at $300-$400 for most entry-level machines, while a 1TB upgrade was priced at $800 to $900. With the price drop, upgrading to 512GB of storage costs an extra $200-$300, while upgrading to 1TB costs $600-$700.
On the higher-end 13-inch MacBook Air, for example, the default 256GB SSD option can be upgraded to 512GB for $200, $100 less than it cost earlier this year.
New Mac Pro storage prices. Previous prices were $300 and $800.
Upgrading the entry-level 27-inch iMac to 512GB of flash storage previously cost $500, but the price has dropped to $400. Upgrading the mid-range iMac 27-inch iMac to 512GB or 1TB of storage used to cost $400 or $900, respectively, but prices are now at $300 for the 512GB upgrade and $700 for the 1TB flash storage upgrade. On the most expensive 27-inch iMac, upgrading to 1TB storage now costs $100 less.
On the high-end Mac mini, prices have dropped to $200 for the 512GB flash storage option and $600 for the 1TB flash storage option, and the same prices are available on both Mac Pro models, a savings of $100 for 512GB and $200 for 1TB.
For 2015 MacBook Pro models, the 15-inch MacBook Pro storage upgrade options are also priced at $200 for 512GB and $600 for 1TB, down from $300 and $800. Upgrade options for the 13-inch machine are new and are priced somewhat higher at $200 for 256GB, $400 for 512GB, and $800 for 1TB.
Much to the disappointment of many Mac users, the MacBook Pro was the only machine to see an update at Apple's fall event. The iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini have not seen a refresh, and no new machines are expected before the end of the year.
While an iMac refresh is rumored for the first half of 2017, there's no word on when the Mac Pro and the Mac mini, both of which have not been refreshed in several years, could receive updates. Apple is also expected to phase out the MacBook Air, replacing it with the MacBook and the MacBook Pro.
Thursday April 7, 2016 8:27 am PDT by Chris Jenkins
Major graphics processing providers AMD and Nvidia are set to unveil new GPU products this year featuring Global Foundries' 14 nm FinFET and TSMC's 16 nm FinFET Plus processor nodes, respectively, allowing for significant improvements in graphics performance.
AMD's "Polaris" and Nvidia's "Pascal" architectures both utilize the latest FinFET silicon processes and will represent the first GPU process node change since 28 nm GPUs debuted in 2011. Both AMD and Nvidia skipped the intermediate 20 nm node, elongating the typical release cycle of consumer graphics processors.
While TSMC had traditionally provided multiple process offerings within a node, including one specifically tailored to higher power applications such as GPUs, the company found that the traditional planar geometries of its 20 nm node gave the firm less differentiation with its normal set of tweaks, rendering it a poor candidate for power hungry GPUs.
In a statement released earlier this year, AMD claimed that the new 14 nm Polaris GPUs will offer over double the performance per watt of their 28 nm predecessors. This news also confirmed AMD's use of Global Foundries' 14 nm FinFET process, rather than TSMC's 16 nm process, which Nvidia will use. While AMD confirmed the use of TSMC for its higher power product offerings, any products developed from that process node would be destined for the Mac Pro only, as Apple has traditionally used mobile GPUs for its notebook and iMac product lines.
The new FinFET process nodes promise a big performance jump for AMD's Polaris architecture
Product launches for these new GPUs are expected to occur around the summer timeframe. While Nvidia introduced its massive new Tesla P100 graphics card just this week, one rumor pegs the broader launch of the company's GeForce Pascal line around the time of Computex, which takes place from May 31 to June 4.
In addition to the new process nodes, both new architectures are expected to utilize a variety of new high-speed memories such as GDDR5x and HBM2, which promise improved memory bandwidth and memory size, in HBM2's case. AMD has already previously successfully launched a product utilizing a new 3DIC memory technology with their debut of the "Fury" line in 2015.
Though GPU rumor cycles tend to focus on desktop products, AMD's CEO stated that both desktops and laptops featuring the new Polaris GPUs are expected to launch before the back to school season. Apple has traditionally alternated between GPU offerings from both AMD and Nvidia when it comes to its product lines, with AMD owning the wins for the latest iterations of both the 27-inch iMac and MacBook Pro lines.
The MacBook Pro in particular is due for an update, and rumors have suggested new models could arrive at WWDC in June, but it is unclear whether Apple would be able to feature the upcoming GPUs within that timeframe. Apple has sometimes been very quick to incorporate the latest technology from its partners, but other times as waited quite some time before upgrading. Updates for the 27-inch iMac are less imminent, as the line was just upgraded to Intel's latest Skylake processors in October.
Friday February 5, 2016 8:15 pm PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple today launched a new Repair Extension Program that addresses video issues on some late 2013 Mac Pro models, according to an internal notice obtained by MacRumors.
Apple has determined that graphics cards in some late 2013 Mac Pros, manufactured between February 8, 2015 and April 11, 2015, may cause distorted video, no video, system instability, freezing, restarts, shut downs, or may prevent system start up.
Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair eligible Mac Pro models affected by the video issues free of charge until May 30, 2018. Apple lists a turnaround time of about 3-5 days.
Apple says both graphics cards must be replaced on Mac Pros exhibiting any of the problems listed above. AMD's FirePro D500 (high-end model) and D700 (built-to-order) GPUs are affected. AMD's FirePro D300 GPU on the base Mac Pro is not listed.
Customers can book an appointment with the Genius Bar at an Apple Store or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their Mac Pro is eligible for coverage. Unlike Apple's voluntary recall of some international AC wall adapters last week, Apple is unlikely to publicly announce this repair program on its support website, but it may contact some customers directly.
A lengthy Apple Support Communities topic was posted about Mac Pro video issues in February 2015, and it has since amassed nearly 3,500 views and 50 replies from affected users. One customer claimed Apple agreed to replace his Mac Pro's graphics card after he contacted the company's support team about the issue.
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