Rumor: Future Macs Pro may use Xeon “Gulftown” chips for some time exclusively

New Intel Xeon processors expected to launch suggests new Mac Pro launch in early second quarter

As sales of desktops were not very good during the last fiscal quarter, the expectation of news from Apple in this area from the coming weeks is very high. The most recent rumors point to the launch of a new Mac Pro soon, as Intel is about to launch its new Xeon octo-core, based on the Nehalem EP architecture.

Mac Pro

Although many are betting on much more behind this update than just the processor, information obtained by Fudzilla indicate that the new chips expected to be launched during this month will only be available for sale from March 29. Thus, it is speculated that the new Mac Pro will be available at a later date, since it is difficult to believe in a simultaneous release.

In fact, it is official that the new processors are much faster than the previous ones, being able to score up to 160 points in tests performed with floating point operations (floating point), against 90 of the current four-core Penryn chips, that is, the increase in performance of at least 77.8%. It is estimated that they will be available in four models, with speeds of clock ranging from 2.66 to 3.2GHz.

The top-of-the-line model (3.2GHz) has a suggested price of US $ 1,557 – considering only the assembly of a system from scratch – and has 8MB of cache (for each pair of cores) and the new Quick Path Interconnect with bandwidth up to 6.4GB / s. As I mentioned before, it replaces the front-side bus, offering more space for data flow between machine components and allowing a greater amount of cache per core pair than the maximum currently offered (6MB).

Apart from its pair of processors, it is not known what else Apple can include in the hardware of the new Mac Pro. While no concrete rumors appear, I found in the forums of MacRumors a topic detailing the specs that will possibly be behind Apple's most expensive desktop. Of course, the source is purely speculative, but it suggests some items indicated by Rafael in the last poll we conducted, such as two FireWire 3200 ports in place of 400, Dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet and more robust graphics options, such as the GeForce GTX 280 with 1GB of memory or up to four ATI Radeon 4670 GPUs – allegedly confirmed by configuration files found on Mac OS X.