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Apple's Mac Pro claims a quiet spec bump Radeon Pro W5500X GPU, 512GB SSD

Mac Pro
Mac Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's base model Mac Pro has more storage and a better GPU than before.
  • New Mac Pros ship with 512GB of storage at the bottom end of the lineup.
  • Mac Pro now comes with a Radeon Pro W5500X GPU as standard.

Apple has quietly spec-bumped the aging Mac Pro, giving it more graphical power and more SSD storage in the base model.

The move, which comes after Apple announced the powerful Mac Studio, means that the entry-level Mac Pro is now more capable than ever while retaining its existing $5,999 asking price. The updated model now comes with 512GB of SSD storage as well as a Radeon Pro W5500X GPU from AMD.

Previously, the base Mac Pro came with just 256GB of storage and a Radion 580X GPU and the updated model applies to both the free-standing and rack-mounted versions of the workstation.

While Apple announced the Mac Studio during its March 8 event, it also gave a nod to the Mac Pro by saying that it was the last remaining machine still waiting for its Apple silicon refresh. While we don't yet know for sure what that will entail or when it will be announced, expectations are that the machine will pack a chip even more capable than the new M1 Ultra — potentially even fusing two of them together to offer performance the likes of which we have yet to see.

While the updated GPU and storage for the base Mac Pro are obviously welcome, it's still a hard sell considering the power and specifications offered by the Mac Studio machine Apple just announced. Even fully maxed out, that machine won't cost much more than this Mac Pro and will offer considerably better performance. The Mac Studio is the best Mac Apple has ever made ... until the new Mac Pro arrives, of course.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.