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Mac Pro Suitable Nehalem (Core i7) Processors Due in 1st Quarter 2009

Digitimes reports that Intel is planning on launching the Xeon 5500 and Xeon 3500 series of server CPUs in the first quarter of 2009. These new processors are based on the Nehalem architecture which has been officially branded as Core i7.

According to Digitimes, Intel will launch ten CPUs for the Xeon 5500 series with the high end topping out as a quad-core W5580 running at 3.2GHz. Processor speeds of the remaining 9 models range from 2GHz to 2.93Ghz.

Apple has traditionally used the Xeon server-class processors for their Mac Pro line. The current Mac Pro uses the Xeon ("Harpertown") 5400 series processors and is due for an update. Despite comparable clock speeds, the Nehalem-based processors have been shown to offer clock-for-clock performance improvements up to 29%.

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