updated 10:35 am EST, Tue February 2, 2010
Gulftown Xeon and new Mac Pro just weeks away
Talk of a Mac Pro with six-core Xeons gained support Tuesday with rumors that Apple could launch the workstation ahead of Intel's own news. Although Intel wouldn't launch the Gulftown architecture processors until March, Apple is suspected by MacBidouille of having the option of using new Xeons anywhere from within a few days to 15 days of Intel's wider release, opening the door to a launch between mid-February and early March.
Which Xeons would make the cut aren't known, though the French site mistakenly conflates the Core i7-980X with new Xeons. Although it shares the Gulftown platform and the six cores, the i7 is intended for enthusiasts and lacks support for both dual-processor mainboards as well as the registered and often faster RAM usually required. Most industry watchers expect at least one six-core Xeon at the same time as the i7-980X but also anticipate different clock speeds and features.
Apple has a history of getting early access to Xeons and had access to the first 3GHz dual-core Xeon as well as prompt launches close to or even just before competitors like Dell and HP.
Aside from a processor update, tradition suggests Apple is likely to upgrade its video cards and could take advantage of the Radeon HD 5800 series for upgrade options as well as possible GeForce 300- or 400-series cards.