“Being able to put larger single GPUs required a different system architecture and more thermal capacity than that system was designed to accommodate," said Apple’s Craig Federighi in April 2017 while speaking to reporters. "And so it became fairly difficult to adjust.”
Apple won't make that same mistake again with the all-new Mac Pro, which will arrive in 2019. “We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It’s not something for this year,” Tom Boger, Apple senior director for Mac hardware product marketing, in an interview with. “In addition to transparency for pro customers on an individual basis, there’s also a larger fiscal reasoning behind it.”
Apple previously said that the professional workstation would arrive in 2018.
The wait for the Mac Pro has been agonizing for some, but the company was at least able to appease a significant segment of its professional users with the release of the iMac Pro in 2017. That machine has a 27.5-inch 5K display and is configurable with AMD Radeon Pro Vega GPUs, up to an 18-core Intel Xeon W processor, up to 128GB DDR4-2666 memory, and up to a 4TB SSD.
It's widely expected that the Mac Pro, with its [presumed] more generous thermal tolerances will be able to accommodate even beefier hardware including multiple processors to handle more demanding workloads.
“We’re getting a much deeper understanding of our pro customers and their workflows and really understanding not only where the state of the art is today but where the state of the art is going," added Boger. "And all of that is really informing the work that we’re doing on the Mac Pro and we’re working really hard on it.”
With all the talk about Apple's [rumored] intention to dump Intel processors for its future computing products, it may not be completely out of picture for the Mac Pro to be powered by Apple-designed ARM processors. Stranger things have happened, but it's an interesting idea to entertain when it comes to Apple's hardware future.