New iMac and Mac Pro models could ditch optical drives

Apple refreshed its line of notebooks at WWDC in June, but the Mac Pro and iMac were left out of the festivities. Apple later confirmed that updates for both machines were on the way, and now Apple Insider has discovered references to new models after digging around inside some configuration files. When examining the Boot Camp files, references to several unreleased Mac Pros and iMacs were discovered, with the specific model numbers listed in a place that indicates they may not come with optical drives.

Two models in the Boot Camp files point to the MP60 (MacPro6,x) and IM130 (iMac13,x), the sixth-generation Mac Pro and 13th-generation iMac. Apple Insider references Tim Cook's email to a customer regarding the future of the Mac Pro, speculating that Apple could remove optical drives entirely to shift professional customers into new high-speed solutions like USB 3.0 and ThunderBolt.

The iMac is also due for a refresh, although the iMac 13,2 model has cropped up before in Geekbench benchmarks. That reveal a machine sporting Intel's latest desktop Ivy Bridge processor along with 4GB of RAM. The benchmark result could have been fabricated, however. John Poole, a curator of user submitted scores to the service, says that some results have come through in the past from  Hackintoshs bearing the iMac 13,2 number.

Apple Insider notes that the removal of the optical drive from the iMac makes more sense, allowing additional space inside the machine for components, or letting designers slim down the chassis. According to sources, Apple is said to have worked on two models internally that slim down the current design, bringing them closer to modern day LED TVs. Overall the move away from optical drives makes sense: the company doesn't include an optical drive with the MacBook Air, and dropped the optical drive on the next-generation MacBook Pro in order to slim down the laptop.