In its keynote this morning, Apple teased its next-generation Mac Pro, due out later this year. Based on Ivy Bridge E, the new system will ship with two AMD FirePro GPUs with up to 4096 SPs and capable of delivering 7 TFLOPS of peak FP performance. 

We got a close look at the chassis, which is 1/8 the size of the current Mac Pro. You lose any hope for internal expansion, but Apple outfitted the machine with three Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt 2 controllers to enable expansion via external storage and external Thunderbolt 2 expansion chassis options. Apple won't make any of its own Thunderbolt 2 expansion chassis, but you can expect that others will fill that void. With 20Gbps up/down on Thunderbolt 2, you should have enough bandwidth for any PCIe expansion.

Internally there are four DDR3 memory slots, as well as what looks like a proprietary PCIe SSD connector (I don't think it's M.2 unfortunately). Both GPUs are technically removable, but at least one is mounted as the same card as the PCIe SSD. Apple is putting every single PCIe lane available to use on the new Mac Pro. 

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  • xinthius - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Gotta move with the times, it's the 10s now ;)
  • name99 - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Really. THAT's your analysis?
    Perhaps you'd like to further enlighten us as to how no-one would call a computer "pro" if it doesn't have a punch card reader attached to it, or can't support at least four floppy drives?

    The world moves on. Criticize the RAM expansion if you have a valid case. Criticize the TB expansion. But don't waste our time with some pathetic cri de coeur about how computers no longer look like they did when you were a youngster and everything was skittles and roses.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    2 words: cable hell. I know you youngin's don't have an appreciation for it right now, but having your disk drive, your modem, and your tape drive all external was a lot less fun than it sounds. The specific peripherals have changes over time of course, but the concept is the same. Core components that are rarely (if ever) replaced should be inside, where they are protected and move with the computer.
  • Dman23 - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    But as a Pro user, aren't you always upgrading your internal components to the latest and greatest hardware, wether that be a new Graphics Card or a faster SSD Card or heck, even a faster Optical Drive bay (if there is one)?? This whole "cable hell" thing is crap in my opinion. I'm old enough to remember desktops / workstations that had a lot of the capabilities of the computer outside, i.e. the modem, optical drive, and that was NEVER a problem for me. Yes, it might now look great and be a clean looking as say an All-In-One Desktop like an iMac but let's be real here, pro users have never really cared about how things look on a desktop. All they care about is Performance and if the new Mac Pro and TB2 are up to snuff, then who cares about a few extra cables.
  • Freakie - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    I don't know a "pro" who doesn't care about peripheral cable hell. Everyone I know much prefers everything to be contained because peripherals are things that get changed so frequently that having to go through many cables to access the ports on your computer is extremely annoying. From what I've seen, people want as much as possible to be INSIDE the computer, which is where we get things memory card readers PCIe wireless cards that you can buy in form factors that integrate into the chassis. Having to connect storage through outside cables is particularly incredibly annoying. Pros have enough clutter as it is, it's ridiculous to start taking parts out of the computer and connecting them through ports to the outside...
  • Dman23 - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    I have to agree with Joel here. Also, being a Pro user I like the ability to easily Rig my system based on the amount of Graphics Power my system needs and if TB 2 can my it even easier, due to its modular design, to swap out an older graphics card with a better more robust graphics card then what is the problem here?? To me it gives the convenience of of Plug-N-Play that you get with USB , with the power and throughput (which now is @ 20Gps both ways on TB2) you get with Thunderbolt. To me... it's a winner.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    TB 2 has the same aggregate bandwidth at 1, it must merges two channels into one. Tomshardware found it limited even midrange GPUs.
  • darkcrayon - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    How much would that limit more "Rendering" based applications though? It still might be more than enough bandwidth for GPUs used in that configuration (in fact people have done that with Mac Minis - used a thunderbolt to PCI expansion chassis for After Effects GPU accelerated rendering).
  • coder543 - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Do we know what type of FirePros they will be? Hopefully GCN based.
  • xinthius - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Judging by the number of steam processors they are GCN based.

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