WWDC 2023: Apple tests new high-end Macs with M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips | Tech News

WWDC 2023: Apple tests new high-end Macs with M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips

Apple Inc. is testing a pair of new high-end Macs and their accompanying processors ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference next week, suggesting that it’s nearing the release of professional-focused desktop computers.

| Updated on: Jun 01 2023, 09:45 IST
WWDC 2023: 15-inch MacBook Air coming! Wonder tech or not? Check likely specs
1/6 According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, WWDC 2023 could see the launch of a new 15-inch MacBook Air, alongside other launches. This means that Apple could announce a 15-inch addition to its range of one of its best-selling laptops this year. (Unsplash)
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2/6 The 15-inch MacBook Air will join the MacBook lineup and will be placed between the 13.6-inch MacBook Air and the 16-inch MacBook Pro. According to Gurman, the new MacBook Air could have the same internals as the 13-inch version, apart from a bigger 15.2-inch display. Disappointed?  (Unsplash)
3/6 The new MacBook Air is expected to get the Apple M2 chip under the hood, instead of the M3 chip, which Apple could be keeping reserved for next year’s MacBooks, as per the reports. Therefore, it is not likely to get the M3 chipset for now. Definitely a bummer! (Unsplash)
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4/6 That the gadget is actually coming is clear from the fact that, apart from Gurman, several other Apple analysts such as Ming-Chi Kuo and Ross Young have also hinted about the MacBook Air launch. (HT Tech)
5/6 Moreover, the 15-inch MacBook Air could get a 1080p webcam, improved speakers, MagSafe charging, and a function key row. It could give consumers an option for a larger but more affordable MacBook for those who prefer a bigger display but cannot afford the pricey MacBook Pro. Finally, some relief! (Apple)
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6/6 It should be noted that all the details about the rumoured 15-inch MacBook Air are based on unofficial reports, and thus should be taken with a grain of salt. Only the official announcement from Apple will reveal actual details about the device, which is expected to at the WWDC 2023 starting from June 5. (HT Tech)
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Apple tests new high-end macs ahead of WWDC 2023. (Bloomberg)

Apple Inc. is testing a pair of new high-end Macs and their accompanying processors ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference next week, suggesting that it's nearing the release of professional-focused desktop computers.

The company is planning two new Mac models — labeled internally as Mac 14,13 and Mac 14,14 — that run the M2 Max processor announced in January and a yet-to-be-unveiled M2 Ultra chip. That second processor would replace the M1 Ultra model currently featured in the Mac Studio, a high-end desktop announced in March 2022.

The new computers are part of an effort to overhaul the Mac line and attract consumers during a sluggish stretch for the computer industry. Powerful desktop models remain key to Apple's appeal among professional users, such as video editors or graphic designers. The company also is just days away from WWDC, its annual gathering of developers who rely on such machines to build apps.

A representative for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment.

The first desktop computer in testing is running an M2 Max processor with eight high-performance cores — components for the most demanding tasks — as well as four efficiency cores and 30 graphics cores. Those are the same specifications featured in the MacBook Pro with the M2 Max. This particular machine also includes 96 gigabytes of memory and is running macOS 13.4, the version of the Mac operating system that was just released earlier this month.

The second machine in testing has what is labeled as an M2 Ultra chip, which the company's hasn't yet announced. That component, which sports 24 processing cores, doubles the performance of the M2 Max model. The chip includes 16 high-performance cores and eight efficiency cores, as well as 60 graphics cores. The company is testing it in configurations with 64 gigabytes, 128 gigabytes and 192 gigabytes of memory.

The M2 Ultra chip will also include a more powerful option, with as many as 76 graphics cores, doubling the 38-core maximum found in the current M2 Max chip, Bloomberg has reported.

The M2 Ultra chip was initially designed for a future version of the high-end Mac Pro desktop. That machine currently still runs Intel Corp. chips — a holdout in Apple's three-year effort to use homegrown processors in its computers.

Apple has been vague about when a new Mac Pro is coming. It said more than a year ago that an updated model would arrive “another day.” Inside Apple, the future Mac Pro with in-house chips has been labeled Mac 14,8. That suggests that the latest desktops in testing are different machines, such as new versions of the Mac Studio, which is currently offered in M1 Max and M1 Ultra configurations.

Bloomberg reported in April that two new Mac Studio updates are in the works. Apple has also been developing a 15-inch version of the MacBook Air, along with future iterations of the 13-inch MacBook Air and 15-inch model with a 3-nanometer M3 processor. And it's planning a low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro and an iMac with the next-generation chip.

Next week's developer expo kicks off Monday with the debut of Apple's much-anticipated mixed-reality headset. The company also will unveil updates to the software that runs on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac. The presentation will include multiple new Mac models as well.

In another sign that new machines are coming soon, Apple is planning to start letting customers trade in more types of Macs for a gift card next Monday. The Macs that Apple will begin accepting: the M2 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the current Mac Studio. Such a move typically heralds that new versions are on the way.

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First Published Date: 01 Jun, 08:59 IST