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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  • CalaverasGrande - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - link

    you must be using that quantum math, because the price of the new Mac Pro is unknown.So any "fraction" of that price would only be a probability.
    Besides the myth of the Apple tax has been disproven many times.
    Reply
  • NeBlackCat - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    Cool. Reply
  • rs2 - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    Meh. The specs are useless if you can't play games on it. And with that OS and those graphics cards, you generally can't. Reply
  • ElvenLemming - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    If you want to play games, you are in no way the target market. Reply
  • DaTanMan - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    There is indeed something odd about seeing a circular/cylindrical computer chassis... Kudos for packing that much hardware inside a case that small and being able to manage all that heat, but a prismatic case makes more sense imo. Reply
  • Shinshin - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Is the fact that the new Mac Pro does not have any internal expansion slots means that Thunderbolt 2 expansion devices will not be limited to storage/monitors???
    For example an AMD GPU as a Thunderbolt device.
    Reply
  • coder543 - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Theoretically this should have more bandwidth than PCIe 3.0, so yes. Reply
  • coder543 - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Or not. Nevermind. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    What? No it shouldn't. Thunderbolt 2 is 20Gb/s, mind the little b. PCI-E 3.0 is 15.75 GB/s, big B. Multiply the latter by 8 to compare. Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Depends how you define that. GPUs normally use 16x slots. A 16x PCIe 3.0 slot provides about 126 gigabits of bi-directional bandwidth, and a 16x PCIe 2.0 slot provides about 64 gigabits. Thunderbolt 2.0 provides only 20.

    That said, it's still a decent chunk of bandwidth, and there are lots of things you can do with a GPU that aren't as concerned with bandwidth.

    It's worth noting that Thunderbolt isn't limited to storage and monitors today. There are a variety of peripheral adapters available, some multi-connector docks, at least one company is working on a thunderbolt GPU box, etc.
    Reply

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