Mac Pro to Use Custom Intel CPU? More Details on Mac Mini and Time Capsule

Over the weekend, we heard rumors that Apple will be delivering new Mac minis and Mac Pros in the late July/early August timeframe. Now, MICGadget claims to have new information about these upcoming desktop refreshes and Time Capsule/Airport devices. Much of the information we've seen before, but they do offer some interesting additional notes of interest.

As expected, the new Mac mini will be receiving Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge processors. As a side effect of this upgrade, the new Mac minis will end up using Intel's HD integrated graphics rather than an NVIDIA solution. This should be no surprise as Apple has made this same compromise in their low-end MacBook Pros using the recent Sandy Bridge processors.

macproCurrent Mac Pro design

As for the Mac Pro, MICGadget is also claiming that the new MacPro will be come in a "rack-mountable" design in their new server version to help replace the Xserve. We've heard this before as well, but they are also claiming that Apple will be using a "unique CPU" developed for the Mac and not seen in the PC.

Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt are coming to the new Mac Pro, and at the same time, an unique CPU will be developed for Mac. This unique CPU is not seen in PC.

Early MacRumors commenters in the Mac Pro/Mac mini rumor discussion pointed out that Mac Pro-suitable Sandy Bridge processors aren't known to be available in time for the late July/early August timeframe. The use of a custom CPU would explain away this discrepancy. Apple and Intel have a close relationship and are Intel has been known to supply Apple with custom CPU parts in the past. The original MacBook Air also used a custom part that was available only to Apple for a period of time.

As for the Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme, MICGadget claims that the devices are newly designed with better heat dissipation than previous models. They claim that the new TimeCapsule has a lower TDP and low power consumption hard drive using Apple firmware, while the AirPort Extreme has improved signal strength with six antennas built in. Finally, they echo previous claims that the Time Capsule will serve as a caching system for software updates in Lion and iOS 5.

MICGadget has not previously published many original rumors, so their reliability is unknown. The custom Mac Pro CPU, however, rumor fits in nicely with the previous Mac Pro and Mac Mini release timeframe.

Related Roundups: Mac Pro, Mac mini
Related Forums: Mac Pro, Networking, Mac mini

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Firmware

Tuesday May 28, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released new firmware update for both the Lightning and USB-C versions of the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 6F7, up from the 6B34 firmware released in November. Apple does not provide details on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware beyond "bug fixes and other improvements," so it is unclear what's new in the update. Apple does not give...
maxresdefault

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman...
wwdc 2024 main image feature

Apple Confirms Time for June 10 WWDC Keynote, Shares Full Schedule

Tuesday May 28, 2024 10:21 am PDT by
Apple today shared details on the schedule that it has prepared for the 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference, which is set to take place from June 10 to June 14. While WWDC always includes a keynote, Apple has confirmed that it will be held on June 10 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple is expected to announce iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15, tvOS 18, watchOS 11, and visionOS 2, and at this time,...
Apple iPhone 15 Pro lineup Action button 230912

Apple Green-Lights iPhone 16 Pro Display Production

Tuesday May 28, 2024 5:13 am PDT by
Samsung Display and LG Display have been granted approval for mass production of OLED screens for Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro models, Korea's The Elec reports. Both suppliers apparently received approval earlier this month, paving the way for the commencement of mass production of screens for the iPhone 16 Pro models. While Samsung Display will supply OLED screens for all four iPhone 16...
iPad Pro Landscape Apple Logo Feature

Apple Says Future iPads Could Feature Landscape Apple Logo

Monday May 27, 2024 6:31 am PDT by
French website Numerama interviewed three senior Apple employees about the new iPad Pro models that launched earlier this month. While the discussion did not reveal many new details, it did mention one potential change for future iPads. While the Apple logo on the back of iPads is positioned so that it appears upright in vertical orientation, the devices are often used in landscape...

Top Rated Comments

Prallethrin Avatar
169 months ago
Perhaps "timed-exclusive" would be a better term than "custom".

To design and fab a custom part, especially in small quantities is hideously expensive. This is probably just Intel giving Apple first dips on upcoming tech, eg. Thunderbolt - you know for publicity; it also helps that Apple doesn't ship crazy amounts when it comes to desktop/laptop products so Intel's "just starting up" manufacturing process can keep pace.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paradox00 Avatar
169 months ago
Are there current benchmarks that compare the C2D with nVidia graphics vs. the combine Intel SB?

I know little about graphics so I hope someone can explain the comparisons between the two. Wouldn't taking a step back in graphics for the sake of integration be stupid?

Simple question, if the mini has the new Sandy Bridge processor (graphics combined) will there be less graphical power then the intel's with the nVidia chip?

Hope for an honest and straightforward answer, I would really like to be informed not harassed.

NVIDIA doesn't make integrated graphics chipsets for i3/i5/i7 chips, so if Apple wants to upgrade the processor they have to switch back to integrated Intel graphics. They'd obviously want to keep NVIDIA integrated graphics, but it's just not possible. Apple basically held out as long as they could. There are discrete graphics options of course, but those cost more and need more space.

The NVIDIA and Intel integrated graphics aren't that different anymore. Minor graphics downgrade for major CPU upgrade.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ferazel Avatar
169 months ago
The custom Mac Pro processor is probably just a custom Sandy Bridge desktop chip that allows for multi-socketed motherboards. I seriously doubt it is as extreme as an entirely new architecture (like ARM).

Or it may just be that Apple is going to release a desktop chip in their single-CPU towers and save quite a bit of cost and upgrade the multi-processors later. The advantage that a Xeon vs. Desktop variant is relatively minor. As I said elsewhere, a bigger speed boost to the system overall would be to include a quality SSD instead of paying to get a very minor speed increase from the CPUs.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bafflefish Avatar
169 months ago
They ability to deny the hackintosh community. With a custom CPU, assuming Intel will seel the CPU only to Apple, it'll be increasingly difficult to load a hackintosh kernel etc.
Not really. Because 1) Apple will continue to use regularly production-run Intel processors in the MBPs, the MB, the MBA, the iMac, etc., 2) Apple has to maintain "legacy" support for older Intel processors and chipsets they used to allow people to upgrade, thus allowing the Hackintosh community to take advantage of this, and 3) as long as Apple is using X86 systems, it won't be *that* difficult to modify OS X to run on a custom system.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lesser Evets Avatar
169 months ago
I love the MacPro case design, but, owning one, I can see how they could easily compress everything even further. It's a space hog because of the need to kill heat, I think. Can't wait to see how the revision turns out, assuming rumors are true. Once the drives go SS and optical bites it, these machines will be half their current size, easily.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
localoid Avatar
169 months ago
Custom CPUs could mean the end of Hackintoshes. If Apple gets custom CPUs with custom instructions - they could make it virtually impossible to run Apple OSX on affordable, configurable hardware.

It's not about adding options, it's about locking things down.

Perhaps, but for that to work Apple would have to drop support for existing Macs that use standard, off the shelf Intel CPUs.

Given the small number of successful Hackintosh installs, I doubt Apple is that worried about them. Look at extremely small Psystar's sales figures, for example. What was it? A few hundred sold?

A good many people might be interested in going the Hackintosh route. Some of them might actually try. Some will succeed, but become frustrated with being unable to deal with updates, etc. A few will run them successfully. I really don't see it being something the masses will ever be able to easily master, and thus the number will likely never be huge.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)