The rumor mill is churning out more good news today. A Mac Pro refresh might be right around the corner.
ZDNet reports that it has received information from tipsters claiming that Apple will release new Mac Pro models next Tuesday, adding a hexacore Core i7-based model to its lineup.
“I’m getting tips in from sources who claim that Apple is set to revamp its high-end Mac Pro line, adding a ‘hexacore’ Core i7-980x model to the line up. All information points to this happening next Tuesday, March 16th.”
Some confusion has arisen over what chips Apple will use in its next-generation Mac Pro. Hardmac has been keeping a close eye on Mac Pro developments, and has been talking up Intel’s hexacore Core i7-980X as the next chip for the Mac Pro as cited in today’s ZDNet report. That processor is reportedly scheduled to be launched next Tuesday, coinciding with rumors of Apple’s Mac Pro refresh.
Apple, however, has typically used server-branded Xeon chips in its Mac Pro line, and Intel is also expected to debut a number of new Xeon 5600-series chips on that day. In particular, the Xeon X5680 rumored for release on Tuesday is very similar in many respects to the Core i7-980X and could also be a candidate for inclusion in the Mac Pro.
I’ve been thinking about building my own Core i5 or i7 PC to run some Windows-only programs I have, instead of relying on Parallels on my MacBook Pro. It amazes me the current price difference between Apple’s Mac Pros and similarly equipped Dells and HPs. If Apple adopts Core i7 instead of Xeon in the new Mac Pro, hopefully that translates to a lower price at the store. Apple’s current pricing structure just isn’t justifiable or sustainable.
Now where’s that Quad-core 17″ MacBook Pro…
Update: This is why I’m not going to track too many rumors on this blog – MacRumors has received a report from AppleInsider that the Mac Pros will be refreshed “by June” with Intel’s new 5600 series Xeon processors (not the Core i7). AppleInsider is also reporting that 27″ Apple Cinema Displays will be released alongside the new Mac Pros and will resemble the 24″ Displays released in October 2008.