Apple has reportedly postponed plans to make an ‘Extreme’ version of the M-series chip, which was supposed to equip the next-generation Mac Pro. Tentatively called the M1 or M2 Extreme, the processor was to be four times more powerful than the M1 Max processor, and twice as powerful as the massive M1 Ultra installed in the Mac Studio.
Originally, the company was supposed to launch the M1 Extreme processor with an update to the Mac Pro, thus ending the era of Macs returned by Intel processors. But that didn’t happen, and the company opted for M2-series processors. That’s how we started hearing rumors that the M2 Extreme processor could debut in late 2022 in the long overdue Mac Pro.
Apple reportedly plans to pack up to 48 CPU cores and 152 GPU cores into the M2 Ex chipextreme. For comparison, AMD’s most powerful offering — the Threadripper 3990X — is armed with 64 CPU cores and 128 threads. But if we are to believe the M1 Ultra, its brother Extreme would have set fire to the powder.
However, plans for the M2 Extreme have been shelved, it seems. According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Apple “probably scrapped this high-end setup». The company decided to do this because of the complexity of manufacturing such a powerful processor. Apple apparently wants to redirect its chip manufacturing resources to more mainstream processors that sell in greater numbers.
The next Mac Pro follows the path of the Mac Studio
The other reason mentioned in the report is the high cost of manufacturing the “Extreme” chip, which are essentially four M1 Max processors put together. According to Gurman’s rough estimates, the price of a Mac with an M2 Extreme is in the $10,000 range. That’s a lot of money to spend on a niche machine aimed solely at creative professionals, with no serious gaming benefits.
According to Gurman, the upgrade to the M2 Extreme-powered Mac Pro was shaping up to be a “niche product that probably isn’t worth the development costs, engineering resources, and production bandwidth it would require.” . Instead, Apple reportedly decided to pack an M2 Ultra chip into the next-gen Mac Pro, putting it in the same computing power bracket as the current Mac Studio.