Rumor: Apple to ship new Mac Pro desktops with six-core Intel Xeon CPUs

The expected refresh of Apple's Mac Pro line of high-performance desktop PCs early next year may include the use of Intel Xeon six-core processor.

The expected refresh of Apple's Mac Pro line of high-performance desktop PCs early next year may include the use of Intel Xeon six-core processor, according to a new rumor.

The website Hardmac reports from an inside source that Apple is testing the dual-socket, six-core "Gulftown" Xeon chip in its next-generation Mac Pro desktop. The Core i9 chip is expected to boost performance and lower power consumption, according to the report.

The 32-nanometer chips offer 12MB of shared L3 cache and Hyper-Threading technology that allows it to process 12 threads at once.

"Apple usually doubles the processors in its high-end professional workstations, so it's possible the new Mac Pro system could have a total of 12 cores," AppleInsider writes.

The refresh is expected in Q1 2010.

More tech takeaways from the unconfirmed rumor:

  • The new Mac Pro will have a modified motherboard with a 10Gbit/second Ethernet port.
  • It will support 8GB and 16GB RAM modules (currently: 4GB), allowing for up to 128GB memory.
  • Apple may have, for a brief amount of time, exclusive use of the new Xeon CPU. (The last two Mac Pro revisions also had first dibs for their respective chips.)

The current Mac Pro, announced earlier this year, has Nehalem Xeon processors.

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