After a three-year transition, the move from Intel Macs to Apple silicon-powered machines is now complete after the Mac Pro finally made the switch at WWDC 2023 on June 5. The new Mac Pro sports an M2 Ultra chip, and it's already shaping up to be something of a speed demon.
That's according to early benchmark tests that appear to have put the new M2 Ultra through its paces, using the Geekbench benchmarking system as a method of performance testing. In those benchmarks, the M2 Ultra performed admirably, and it's worth remembering that this same chip is also available in the cheaper M2 Ultra Mac Studio, too.
But just how fast is this new Mac Pro? Assuming those M2 Ultra figures are accurate, it's around twice as fast as the fastest Intel Xeon Mac Pro that was available prior to WWDC's refresh. And that's impressive.
I am speed!
The new benchmarking results mean that any Mac powered by an M2 Ultra just became the best Mac you can buy in terms of raw performance. That's probably no surprise to anyone. But the distance by which the M2 Ultra outperforms the Xeon W chip found in high-end Intel Mac Pros is eyebrow-raising.
Stats spotted by MacRumors have the M2 Ultra Mac Studio (remember, the Mac Pro now has the same chip) scoring 2,837 in single-core testing and 21,730 in Geekbench's multi-core test. To put that into perspective, the Intel Xeon W with 28 cores managed an average of around 10,380 — a figure that is very much left in the shade by Apple silicon.
While the M2 Ultra Mac Pro costs a whopping $6,999 in its base configuration, the $12,999 asking price of the old model when upgraded to the Xeon W is almost double and somehow manages to make the new model look like a bit of a bargain.
Still, there's one thing the old Mac Pro still boasts that the new one can't match — support for expandable RAM and additional GPU cards, something that will no doubt mean the Xeon Mac Pro will have a home in some settings for years to come.
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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.