As reported by Bloomberg, Apple is working on several new high-end Mac desktop computers with top-of-the-line Apple Silicon processors. The new features are currently being tested ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which starts next week.
The new Mac models, internally named Mac 14.13 and Mac 14.14, will run on the M2 Max processors introduced in January, as well as the new M2 Ultra chip. The latter is expected to replace the current M1 Ultra model used in the Mac Studio, a top-of-the-line desktop computer that was introduced in March 2022.
The new computers are part of Apple’s strategy to refresh the Mac lineup to attract consumers amid declining sales in the computer industry. High-performance desktop models are critical to Apple’s professional user base, which includes video editors and graphic designers. In addition WWDC, Apple’s annual conference for developers, is just around the corner, and these machines may be of great interest to them, as they are needed to build applications.
According to sources, one of the desktop computers tested at Apple is equipped with an M2 Max processor with 8 high-performance cores for demanding tasks, 4 efficiency cores and 30 graphics cores. These specifications match those of the MacBook Pro equipped with the M2 Max processor. In addition, this machine has 96GB of RAM and runs macOS 13.4, the latest version of the Mac operating system released earlier this month.
The second computer under test uses the yet-to-be-announced M2 Ultra chip, which significantly increases performance with 24 computing cores, effectively doubling the power of the M2 Max model. The processor also contains 16 high-performance cores, 8 energy-efficient cores and 60 graphics cores. Apple is testing this chip in configurations with 64, 128 and 192 GB of memory.
The M2 Ultra processor is also expected to offer a more powerful variant with 76 graphics cores, double the maximum 38-core configuration of the current M2 Max chip, according to Bloomberg.
The M2 Ultra was originally designed for a future variant of the high-end Mac Pro desktop computer, which still uses Intel processors, as an exception to Apple’s three-year program to switch its computers to in-house processors.
The timing of the release of the new Mac Pro remains uncertain, since more than a year ago Apple only said that the updated model would appear “one day.” Inside the company, the future Mac Pro, equipped with its own chips, was called the Mac 14.8. That means the latest desktops being tested are stand-alone machines, possibly new iterations of the Mac Studio currently offered in configurations with the M1 Max and M1 Ultra.
In April, Bloomberg reported that two new Mac Studio updates were in the works. Apple is also working on a 15-inch version of the MacBook Air, future 13-inch MacBook Air models and a 15-inch model equipped with a 3-nanometer M3 processor. A lower-end 13-inch MacBook Pro and an iMac with a next-generation chip are also planned.
At the developer exhibition, which will begin next Monday, June 5, Apple will present the long-awaited mixed reality headset. The company will also showcase software updates for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, including several new Mac models.
Another development that points to new releases to come is that Apple plans to expand its trade-in program to more types of Mac computers, offering gift cards starting next Monday. The program includes the 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the existing Mac Studio model. Such a move is usually a signal that new models of Apple computers are on the horizon.