Macs in Chemistry

Insanely Great Science

WWDC hardware rumour 3. MacPro


With the Apple WWDC just around the corner it is fun to look at the current hardware rumours. The latest MacPro was first disclosed at the WWDC in 2013 and so it perhaps is due for an update. That said I’m currently using a MacPro as the desktop workhorse for my work and I’m really impressed, to be honest I can’t see a compelling need for extra performance.

Intel's Xeon E3-1200 V4 (Broadwell) and the equivalent E3-1200 V5 (Skylake) Xeon processors have been launched, and so an upgrade to the CPU would seem to be an obvious step. GPU provides a more interesting discussion, the existing MacPro has either Dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics processors with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each or dual AMD FirePro D700, each with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. However Nvidia introduced a new GPU the Tesla P100, based on its new Pascal architecture and targeted at high-performance computing.

Currently there are 4 USB ports and 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro, I’m finding the Thunderbolt 2 ports are unused so the rumours suggesting 10 USB 3.0 ports seem plausible, but Thunderbolt 3 must be included surely?

One thing I’d like to see is the RAM increased, currently the MacPro can accommodate a maximum of 64GB (four slots of 16GB), I’ve managed to max that out on numerous occasions.

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