Forthcoming Mac Pro Unlikely to Support PCI-E GPUs

BY Dave Johnson

Published 26 Jan 2023


A recent report revealed that the forthcoming Mac Pro might not support GPU PCI-E cards nor include user-upgradeable RAM. 

In 2019, Apple announced a new Mac Pro design with an extensive modular and upgradeable design that had several macOS enthusiasts salivating. 

Besides accepting Xeon processors of up to 24 cores, users can upgrade the computer with up to 64 PCI Express lanes and 1.5TB of high-performance memory. There are also APX Modules that can be configured with six different GPUs alongside eight PCIe expansion slots.  

The best thing about the Mac Pro is you can upgrade the entire component after purchase. But the future iteration of the desktop could change that. 

Earlier in the month, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that the next Mac Pro model would not feature user-upgradeable RAM, and the reason is not far-fetched. Unlike the current Intel-based model, the memory will now be tied directly to the M2 Ultra’s motherboard. 

Now Gurman is doubling down on his previous report. 

Next Mac Pro to Lack User Upgradeable GPUs

Earlier today, Gurman reported another possible limitation of having an Apple Silicon chip on the Mac Pro. According to the Bloomberg journalist, the forthcoming Mac Pro model may lack user-upgradeable GPUs alongside the non-upgradeable RAM. 

Since the current Apple Silicon Macs don’t have external GPU support, users are stuck with whatever configuration they purchase from Apple. That said, Gurman believes the new Mac Pro’s GPU will be powerful — with up to 76 cores. 

“That will leave storage as the main user-upgradeable component in the new Mac Pro, which will have the same design as the current, Intel model,” says Gurman. “The big difference between a Mac Pro and a Mac Studio — in addition to M1 Ultra to M2 Ultra — should be performance from more cooling.”

In July 2022, Mark Guman predicted that Apple would announce an M2 Mac Pro at the end of the year. He further claimed that the computer would not be available until 2023. 

Although the announcement never happened, several tech journalists still expect Apple to unveil an M2 Mac Pro this year.