Next-gen Mac Pro Using Next-gen Intel Gulftown?

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According to some rumors and a leaked slide or two, the Mac Pros are destined to get a much needed refresh in the form of the as-yet-unannounced Intel Core i7-980X. These same leaked slides show the next king of Intel’s performance crown coughing up six physical cores with hyperthreading for a grand total of 12 threads.  Eeesh, AMD.

Of course, AMD’s had their own six-core Opteron chips out for awhile, targeting their server line of units – one of the few arenas in which they’ve managed to more than stay competitive with bigger rival Intel.  AMD’s promised to bring that tech down to consumer levels with the Thuban architecture, but it’s not going to have the same cache levels as the Core i7 variant and, it’s sad to say, it probably won’t come out first, either.

So what does this i7-980X look like?  Six cores, twelve threads.  12MB L3 cache, with 256KB L2 cache per core and 64KB of L1.  32nm processing technology married to an integrated memory controller and tri-channel DDR3 memory.  As the stats suggest, it’ll be an LGA1366 product.  More interesting, however, is that it’s looking like it’ll be a Core i7, product, not part of Intel’s upcoming Core i9.  Interesting, inded.

 

Of course, what does any of this have to do with Apple?  Well, Apple’s been rumored to be testing some of these new Xeon Gulftown-based chips, which puts it right up this alley.  The Mac Pros are in desperate need of a refresh – there’s almost little point in picking one of them up at this point with how great a value the iMacs, replete with Core i7 processors, have become.  A Mac Pro with not just one but two of these chips, however, will certainly push past anything Apple’s all-in-one offers – 12 cores and 24 threads?  Yes, please.

 

 

via PCOnline (translated from the Japanese)

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