Apple Buying Up High End Penryn Processors?
The Inquirer reports on rumors circulating around Tokyo about Apple's interest in high end Penryn processors for their upcoming Mac Pros.
According to the rumors, Apple has "pre-booked" all the top (3.2GHz) Penryn bins for this year, leaving only "minimum quantities" for other big vendors. The 3.2GHz Penryn Xeon ("Harpertown") processors offer a faster 1600MHz bus and 12MB of L2 cache. The quad-core processors could provide Apple with an upgrade path for their current Mac Pro line which has not seen major upgrades since August of 2006. Apple did introduce the 8-core Mac Pro in April of 2007, but left the existing models untouched.
By incorporating these new processors, Apple could increase the top speed Mac Pro to 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz front side bus (up from 1333 MHz). This would not be the first time Apple would have "exclusive" use of an otherwise unreleased Intel processor. The introduction of the 8-core Mac Pro used a 3.0GHz Xeon chip that was otherwise unannounced at that time. Similarly, the Penryn Xeon processors were not expected to reach 3.2GHz based on early reports.
The new Intel Penryn Xeon processors are due in November 2007.