New Mac Pro to feature Thunderbolt, USB 3, Intel Xeon E5

10 June, 2012 by Karen Haslam
AAA
News

Apple may be about to revive the neglected Mac Pro: a new set of specs have appeared adding weight to reports that a new Mac Pro will launch at WWDC.

New features look set to include Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, an Intel Xeon E5 processor, SATA III/SAS connectivity, and more.

Thunderbolt, introduced about a year and a half ago, is a high-speed connector technology co-developed by Apple and Intel. It is considered a faster alternative to USB 3.0, with transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps (gigabits per second). A full-length, high-definition movie can be transferred from an external storage device to a laptop in less than 30 seconds.

Despite Apple’s promotion of Thunderbolt on all its Macs, bar the Mac Pro, it looks set to add USB 3.0 to the Mac Pro, and other Macs including the MacBook Pro. USB 3 offers speeds of up to 5Gbps, 10 times that of USB 2.0.

According to M.I.C Gadget, who claims to have seen the new spec for the new Mac Pro, codename K5B, Apple has opted for Intel Xeon E5 series processors rather than the Ivy Bridge processors because they “handle voltage far worse than their 32nm Sandy bridge brethren”.

The report also claims that SATA III/SAS connectivity will now be native. This is good news for those wishing to add solid state drives and external boot drives.

PCIE3 to be native which is better for RAID arrays, video cards. There will be 40 lanes per socket, rather than the usual 36.

The Chinese site claims the Mac Pro’s onboard memory controller will be moved to the CPU. The link between the CPUS will be faster, up to 8GT/s, it says. M.I.C Gadget also states that Apple could offer octa-core CUPs as a build to order option.

Memory will be upgraded from 1,333mhz to 1,600mhz to allow for 25 per cent more memory with 8 physical memory lanes, according to the report.

Don’t expect a new rack-mountable Mac Pro, it’s just not a profitable market for Apple. “Apple does not wish to be present in the enterprise market as the units sell very poorly in comparison to the other products they sell,” claims the report.

The Mac Pro was last upgraded in July 2010, when Apple announced models with up to 12 processing cores based on Intel’s Xeon server chips.

While the legitimacy of the report can be called into question, it will certainly excite Mac users clamoring for a Mac Pro update.

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