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Mac Pro 'hexacore' Xeon Core i7 debuts Tuesday?

ZDNet is reporting that the next iteration of the Mac Pro will be unveiled next Tuesday, March 16th. Their sources indicate that Intel's new 'hexacore' Core i7-980x chip, which is also expected to be launched next Tuesday, will be in that machine.

Code-named "Gulftown" the 32nm, six-core i7-980X will be labeled as the i7x ("Extreme Edition"). It will be the first dual-socket, six-core processor from Intel. With 6 cores and 12 threads, a dual-configured, i7-980X Mac Pro will sport 12 physical cores and 24 logical cores with a top frequency of 3.33GHz.

Excluding the minor speed bump in December, the Mac Pro has not been updated for over a year. In December we reported on the leaked Core i7-980X specs. Two months later, HardMac reported that the new i7x Mac Pros could be delivered in February. With the launch of the i7-980X on Tuesday combined with HardMac's sources indicating a Mac Pro refresh that day as well, the i7x seems like a lock for the updated Mac Pro. However, as MacRumors points out, Apple has typically used server-branded Xeon chips in its Mac Pro line, and Intel is expected to debut a number of new Xeon 5600-series chips on Tuesday as well, notably Intel's 2010 flagship chip – the Xeon X5680.

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