Apple has finally introduced its Apple Silicon Mac Pro. It is still a performance powerhouse, but most “Pro” users should get a Mac Studio instead.
Approximately two and a half years into a two-year transition period, Apple has rolled out the last of its Mac catalog to be moved over to Apple Silicon. The Mac Pro, the final desktop to be sold by Apple sporting an Intel processor, has finally moved over to Apple’s own chip designs.
However, a bit of that Mac Pro magic has been diluted over the years.
Mac Pro review – Design
When Apple makes a major change to its Mac Pro, it has been accompanied in the past by a massive change in appearance. The 2023 update is the polar opposite.
Mac Pro with 16-inch MacBook Pro for scale
From the outside, the desktop version of the M2 Mac Pro looks just like the 2019 Intel Mac Pro. There’s a good reason for that: Apple didn’t make any real external changes to the Mac Pro at all.
It’s still got the signature “cheese grater” front and back to the aluminum housing, formed from a series of hemispherical gaps in a lattice. To the front, the lattice covers the entire front, while the back has a carved out section for ports and connectivity.
On the bottom of the case, standard, four feet — although you can buy wheels at a $499 premium if you need to move the Mac Pro around frequently. Buy them at purchase though, if you want to avoid a $200 premium on top of the $499.
If you don’t get them at purchase, consider OWC’s Mac Pro wheels for $299. They do the same thing, but attach to existing Mac Pro feet instead of replacing them and work just as well.
As it has always been except for one model, there are two handles as part of its main frame. Apple decided that the sharpened aluminum needed to go also two generations ago, so that’s nice.
Also on the top is the unit’s power button and indicator, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a lever that you can twist to pull the outer enclosure off.
Mac Pro review – handle and power
With the enclosure off, you gain access to the internals of the Mac Pro, including all upgradable sections. You’ll also get a good look at the three fans at the front, used to draw air in and through the Mac Pro enclosure.
Since Apple is using the same case, it’s also the same size as before, at 20.8 inches tall, 17.7 inches long, and 8.58 inches wide. It has managed to lose some weight since its first iteration, with it now still tipping the scales at a lighter but still significant 37.2 pounds.
Of course, just like last time, you can get a rack-mountable version, designed to slot into 5U of space but retaining the same styling as the tower version. That model is 20.8-inches long, 8.58 inches wide, and 17.7 inches deep, and also lost a tiny amount of weight to hit 37.9 pounds.
For a Mac intended for the workplace, Apple’s not going to go out of its way to disrupt something that obviously works for their intended market. It’s just that Apple narrowed down who the target market is with this release.