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Intel Leaks Point to Mac Pro Updates Early Next Year?

Digitimes is reporting that “sources at server makers” are pointing to a first quarter 2009 launch for Intel’s new Nehalem class (Xeon 5500, 3500) CPUs.

core i7The two last Mac Pro updates Apple unveiled were on January 8, 2008, and April 4, 2007. MacRumors’ Buyer’s Guide has more information. Apple has recently squashed any rumors by announcing “no new products before the holidays.” However Intel’s roadmap, specifically with their server class chipsets, could point us to intelligently reason that Apple’s Mac Pro line would adopt these new, more powerful CPUs.

Currently, Apple’s Mac Pro uses Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Harpertown” processors, and they max out at 3.2Ghz. It only seems like a natural progression for Apple’s top of the line desktop workstations to adopt the new Xeon CPUs Intel unveils, which will be equipped with Core i7’s QuickPath architecture. A comprehensive list of benchmarks and reviews by TheInquirer can be found here.

“The faster Xeon 5500 line will be dominated by quad-core chips and should be headlined by a 3.2GHz, 130-watt Xeon W5580. Its Level 2 cache will drop from 12MB to 8MB but should be offset by Core i7’s QuickPath architecture, which reduces the lag in accessing memory and peripherals. It should cost about $1,600 in batches of 1,000 for computer suppliers,” Electronista explains.

Xeon 5500 series: quad-core W5580 (3.2GHz), X5570 (2.93GHz), X5560 (2.8GHz), X5550 (2.66GHz), E5540 (2.53GHz), E5530 (2.4GHz), E5520 (2.26GHz), E5506 (2.13GHz), E5504 (2GHz) and dual-core E5502 with prices at US$1,600, US$1,386, US$1,172, US$958, US$744, US$530, US$373, US$266, US$224 and US$188 in thousand-unit tray quantities.
Xeon 3500 series: Intel will launch three CPUs: quad-core W3570, W3540 and W3520 priced at US$999, US$562 and US$284.

As noted above, Apple’s Mac Pro does not have a consistent record for being released early in the year. However, seeing as how its most recent update was early January 2008, the information unveiled today can be correlated with the possible adoption by Apple’s workstations in the first quarter of 2009. Some have speculated that Macworld ‘09 could be a launching pad for the new machine. Last year, Apple unveiled the updated Mac Pro during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), even though Macworld was only a week away.

Interestingly, in January 2009, Macworld and CES will overlap. CES runs from January 8-11 and Macworld runs from January 5-9. A product announcement prior to Macworld seems unlikely. However, stealing some of CES’ thunder could become a favorite past-time for Cupertino, so we’ll see in January.

Comments [7]

7 Comments to “Intel Leaks Point to Mac Pro Updates Early Next Year?”

Foa @ November 13th, 2008 at 10:48 am
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I’ve been on the fence about purchasing a lower end Mac pro, but I’m not sure whether I can make the plunge or not. I think we’re going to see a rumor about every possible device being released at Macworld. So, saying “I’ll wait until Macworld” is kind of like…. useless.

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johnL @ November 13th, 2008 at 11:06 am
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You’re not the only one Foa. I have been secretly praying for an update soon. You could always check out the special deals site:

here ya go, http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals

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LovelyQ @ November 13th, 2008 at 1:32 pm
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I just hope this doesn’t keep them so astronomically expensive. Apple should at the same time be working towards lowering the price. A big hurdle for many people to get over with the Mac Pro is the price-tag.

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Aviv @ November 13th, 2008 at 3:42 pm
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Very true LovelyQ… So very true. Not everyone can shell out the premium bucks for a tower that can grow and expand with them over the years.

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Ender @ November 17th, 2008 at 10:29 am
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Yes, I came across funds to update my 4 year old G5 but I’m going to wait, as well. If I bought now, I know I’d be kicking myself the beginning of next year.

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Bill D. @ December 11th, 2008 at 1:57 pm
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Count me as another person waiting to see what is introduced at Macworld. I do a lot of video editing and encoding. I would love to see a Mac Pro using 8 cores with hyper-threading on each core for the same price or less as the current line. Running 16 simultaneous threads would speed up video encoding a lot. On the other hand, if the price goes up or the performance goes down, I’ll be quickly searching for a leftover 2008 Mac Pro. I need the machine yesterday, so I’m anxiously counting the days until Macworld.

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Paul @ January 2nd, 2009 at 4:23 am
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4 more days to go…. We all hope that the Mac Pro will be updated with a new dual socket mother board hosting the new Intel processor. My feeling tells me that it will be announced at MWSF 09 but will only be available later in Feb. or March/april… Here is an interesting link: http://silveradosys.blogspot.com/2008/12/mwsf-2009-predictionsthe-new-mac-pro.html

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