The updated Apple Mac Pro desktop has gone on sale, complete with a choice of quad- and hexacore Intel processors. Announced at the end of July, the new Mac Pros start from $2,499 - for a single 2.8GHz quadcore Xeon, 3GB of RAM and a 1TB hard-drive - while single-chip hexacore machines using Intel's 3.33GHz Xeon bump that to $3,699.
It's been a while since we've seen a significant refresh to Apple's Mac Pro desktop range, and so a rumor regarding what overwhelming components the company might slot inside is certainly timely. According to Hardmac's sources, Apple intend to outfit the Mac Pro with a 6-core, 12-thread Intel Xeon (Gulftown) processor, built on 32nm processes and with 12MB of shared cache. The hexacore CPUs will be accompanied by up to 128GB of RAM and a 10Gbit/s ethernet port.
That will be thanks to a newly modified, custom mainboard with support for 8GB and 16GB memory modules. Early testing of the CPUs, at least, have indicated that the hexacore Xeon requires less power than a current-gen quadcore Xeon of the same 2.4GHz clock-speed.
Apple's updated 2010 Mac Pro line was a long time coming, but it certainly addressed would-be buyers' key complaint: the choice of processors. Now offering everything from a single Intel Xeon through to a pair of six-core chips, the new Mac Pro range claims to be "the most powerful, most configurable Mac ever." We've had a dual-processor quadcore Mac Pro on the SlashGear test bench for a couple of weeks; check out our full review after the cut.
It's not just new iMacs that Apple have outed this morning; the company has also announced updates to its Mac Pro range with the much-anticipated quad- and hexacore Intel Xeon processors. While the basic configurations include quad-core CPUs as standard, up to two 2.93GHz 6-core Intel Xeon X5670 processors can be specified, along with up to four 512GB SSDs, an ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB of memory, and up to 32GB of DDR3 memory. Meanwhile there are now two Mini DisplayPort ports as standard.
We've been keeping an eye on the Apple Store all morning, and sure enough it's been taken offline for "updating". There's been no shortage of rumors and leaks regarding what we can expect to see lining the shelves later on today, but most likely are updates for the Mac Pro and iMac.
All eyes may be on the iPhone 4 right now (or, more accurately, on its chubby little signal strength meter and whereabouts your fingers are in relation to the antenna) but that doesn't mean we'll bypass a good Mac Pro rumor. According to one of Hard Mac's "better sources", Apple is preparing for a Mac Pro refresh at the end of the summer, to hopefully tap into the "back to school" period. Meanwhile they'll be swiftly followed by an iMac refresh.
Rumors of Apple's Mac Pro Intel hexacore refresh taking place in mid-March saw the leaked date come and go, leaving us - and, more importantly, the video and media pros waiting to upgrade their Apple desktops to the latest processors - still none the wiser as to when the flagship desktop line might be updated. Now, according to information apparently from Intel's distribution network, it seems possible that Apple could announce the new Mac Pro models at WWDC 2010.
Further details on Intel's upcoming hexacore Xeon processors have emerged, suggesting that the chips will form their own flagship line rather than replacing the existing quadcore processors. Hardmac has heard that the hexacore chips will initially be in short supply - kicking off with the 3.33GHz Core i7-980X in March 2010 - and will be expensive, too; $999 for the i7-980X.
Remember all the talk of a hexacore Apple Mac Pro refresh back in October? Apple were tipped to have secured exclusivity of Intel's upcoming top-spec Core i7 processor, with a significant system update - up to 128GB of memory, for one thing - suggested. According to Hardmac's sources, the fateful launch date is in fact March 16th, with the potent desktop using the new Intel Xeon Core i7-980X processor.
The six-core Core i7-980X clocks in at 3.33GHz, though thanks to Intel's TurboBoost system it can be safely overclocked to 3.6GHz. Hardmac reckon that the slightly slower version of the processor, the Core i7-970X clocked at 3.2GHz, won't arrive until later on.