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Mac Pro hexacore and dodecacore coming in June?

I give it a 50/50 chance for an updated hexacore Mac Pro (6 cores) to be released on June 7th or 8th. If not then, Apple’s priorities are likely elsewhere (iPad, iPhone), and August might not be an unreasonable estimate. The Mac Pro is after all the lowest volume consumer product that Apple sells.

Which CPU?

Apple has multiple CPUs to choose from, which means we could see anything from a single-CPU quad-core CPU at 3.46GHz to a dual-CPU 12-core at 3.33GHz, and other possible flavors as well.

The interesting question is whether the fastest CPUs will be used, because they draw up to 130 watts each, which raises power dissipation issues as well as being very expensive even as parts by themselves. I deem use of those CPUs very unlikely.

Revised design?

As much as I’d like to see an improved design (eg more drive bays and all running 6Gb/sec SATA, USB 3, BluRay), I deem this low odds, especially given the recent MacBook Pro Core i7, which really got no new treatment other than graphics and CPU.

Performance gains?

I’m skeptical that we’ll see much in the way of performance gains, and for once it’s likely that the memory speed won’t change, though there is some chance it could go to 1333MGhz up from 1066Mhz, for increased bandwidth which will have essentially zero impact for most users.

If a 3.33GHz model can be purchased for the former price of a 2.66GHz mode, then that’s a 25% increase in value. But since a 3.33GHz model is already available, there’s really not much performance upside for 95% of users.

Discounts on older stock

Remember, when the new models do become available, there will be some nice discounts on older stock, so the actual performance gains are worth understanding, something I intend to investigate thoroughly, especially for a variety of photo application. Please see the refurbished page, and thank y0u for buying through those links.

 

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