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Next-Generation Mac Pro to Receive Temporary Exclusive of Six-Core 'Gulftown' Processor?

Hardmac reports that an early 2010 revision to Apple's Mac Pro may see the inclusion of Intel's forthcoming six-core "Gulftown" processor as a temporary exclusive prior to the full mass release of the processor in the second quarter of 2010.

This Xeon is an evolution of those already powering Mac Pro 2009 with some new features:

- 6 cores and 12 threads for each CPU.
- 12 MB of shared cache instead of 8 MB today.
- 32-nm engraving vs. 45 nm today.
- Power consumption of future hexacore Xeon 32 nm will be slightly lower than the one of current quad core Xeon engraved at 45 nm.

The report's source also indicates that the Mac Pro will see the addition of 10 Gbit Ethernet connectivity and support for 8 GB and 16 GB RAM modules, pushing total RAM capacity to an astounding 128 GB.

Hardmac is unsure whether use of the Gulftown processor, to be branded Intel Core i9 and be part of Intel's Xeon 5600-series, would extend to the entry-level Mac Pro model or whether Apple will continue to use lower-level quad-core processors in those machines.

It is not unusual for Apple to receive early access to Intel's latest processor for use in the Mac Pro, with the most recent instance being the current generation, which received Nehalem processors prior to them even having been announced by Intel.

Related roundup: Mac Pro