27" Cinema Display, 12-Core Mac Pro in June?
Apple is reportedly preparing to finally bring out the long-awaited refresh of the Mac Pro line in June, using Xeon processors rather than the Core i7 Extreme Edition chips
that have been previously rumored. Sources have told AppleInsider
that the new Mac Pros should drop in June, along with a new Apple Cinema Display based on the monitor from the 27-inch iMac.
The new Mac Pro will use hexacore Xeon 5600 processors, and AppleInsider
quotes its source as being "stern" that the new Core i7 chips, which would be cheaper but require a redesign of the motherboard to support the new chipset's memory bandwidth requirements, won't be used. The Xeon 5600 is based on the new "Westmere" architecture, which is Intel's 32 nanometer die-shrink of the existing Nehalem architecture used in the current crop of Mac Pros. That means that the chips can be dropped into the existing dual-CPU motherboard, which will allow for dodeca-core
Mac Pros, running at 2.66, 2.8, 2.93, and 3.33GHz speeds.
Now that the iMac 27-inch display problems have apparently been solved, Apple will be releasing a new 27-inch LED Cinema Display based on the backlit 16:9 ratio monitor. The screen's 2560x1440 resolution approaches the image quality of the existing 30-inch monitor's 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. According to AppleInsider's source, the separate display has been in the labs for some time under the code name "K59," but Apple had been waiting for the cost to drop. After months of volume purchases of the large panels for its wildly popular iMac, Apple has apparently gotten the deal it wants.
June 2010 would make 15 months after the last update of the Mac Pro line. The delay is being blamed on Intel, which won't release the new Xeons for another month and a half. Apple has traditionally had priority access to Intel's latest chips, with the current Mac Pros having sported Nehalem-based Xeons before intel had even officially announced them.