According to The Inquirer, Intel’s Sandy Bridge E server chips (also known as the Xeon E5) series are set to debut this week.
The chips have been in the distribution channel for several weeks now (according to the report). This means that manufacturers planning to utilize the chips, will be able to get them up and running. There are rumors that Apple may use these chips in an updated version of the Mac Pro.
At the moment, the benchmarks have still not been released. However, the Xeon E5 chips are said to be a large improvement over the chips found in the current Mac pro, which has not been updated since the middle of 2010. Apple’s competitors like Dell have already begun announcing products based on the new chip, meaning that Apple could be ready with Mac Pro updates as well in the near future as Apple would not want stay behind competitors.
Apple is also likely to take advantage of the 6-core and 8-core E5 2600 series chips for its dual-processor Mac Pro configurations. Apple may focus on the quad-core and 6-core E5-1600 chips for its lower-end single-processor models. Apart from the new processors it seems that Mac Pros will witness many other upgrades in near future. The switch back to NVIDIA graphics cards and moving away from the AMD based graphic cards found in the current models, are some of the examples.
A Mac Pro update is also based on Apple deciding whether or not the line is worth keeping alive.Sometime back, there were reports that Apple was questioning the future of the Mac Pro line, while taking a look at whether it should continue offering the professional-level workstation as sales have continued to decline and shift towards notebook machines. The current specifications have become outdated as Apple and other tech companies have waited for Intel to release updated processors.