Mac OS X 10.7.3 Beta Drivers Reveal Evidence of New Mac Pros

macproShortly after the initial Mac OS X 10.7.3 Beta build was released to developers, Netkas noted that he had found traces of new video drivers for an upcoming AMD graphics card. The site lists a series of function names referencing the codename "Tahiti".

"Tahiti" is the codename for AMD's upcoming 28nm desktop graphics cards which are due in January 2012.

The new Tahiti series should end up with Radeon HD 7xxx branding and as it will come in XT and PRO flavours. It’s kind of safe to assume that Radeon HD 7970, codename Tahiti XT will be the fastest single chip card from AMD while the Radeon HD 7950 will be codename for the Tahiti PRO product.

MacGadget.de points out that this must have been put in place for the Mac Pro, as it's the only Mac that still uses desktop-class graphics cards (translation):

The presence of these drivers suggests that Apple will release the aforementioned graphics chip with the next-generation Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is the only Mac-series, which are used in desktop graphics chips. In all other Macs GPU Mobile versions can be found.

While it's possible Apple could just be building in support for existing Mac Pros, that's not the way Apple usually works. Apple typically introduces new graphics card support alongside each new product revision. Unfortunately, even if the presence of these drivers proved that Apple had been working on a new Mac Pro, it still doesn't mean Apple will be releasing them.

The previous rumors have suggested that Apple had already developed a new version of the Mac Pro but the company wasn't sure if they were going to release it. The expected January release of the new AMD graphics cards do line up nicely with the Q1 2012 expected availability of suitable Intel Xeon chips for the new Mac Pros.

Apple last updated the Mac Pro over 15 months ago in July, 2010.

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Top Rated Comments

PeterQVenkman Avatar
165 months ago
Even the 3GS has outsold most newer Android models.

NPD: iPhone 3GS Outsold Every Android Smartphone in Q3
Nov. 15th ET, 2011

Apple’s iPhone 4 was the top selling phone in the world for its entire reign at the top of Apple’s iPhone product line, but according to market research firm NPD, even Apple’s iPhone 3GS outsold every Android smartphone on the market.

In a release, the company said that the top five phones of the third quarter, which ended in September, were:

Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 3GS
HTC EVO 4G
Motorola Droid 3
Samsung Intensity II

I'm so glad we can pollute the one mac pro article on here with more iPhone talk. It's a refreshing change of pace from all the other iphone talk.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
firestarter Avatar
165 months ago
This. Let's just face facts. Which, by the way, are neither lost on the industry, nor on Apple (and especially not lost on retailers.)

The "Pro" niche that uses these workstations is dying out. As more and more power is fit into smaller and smaller form factors, there is less need for these aluminum monstrosities. They can (and are) gradually being replaced by more cost-effective, smaller and more compact devices that are slowly (and already are) taking over the tasks formerly the specialty of these big boxes.

This was an inevitability. All you need to do is keep an eye on the long-term trends.
They can still produce them without them being their main priority. Apparently they still see the line as being able to generate a profit.

The point of the thread about a month ago regarding the possible discontinuation of the line was that it wouldn't be particularly surprising (and certainly understandable) if that was to occur.
Just admit you are wrong. Not too hard, eh? :rolleyes:
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lone Deranger Avatar
165 months ago
Best news posted on Mac Rumors since months. Please let this be true!! :apple:
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
derbothaus Avatar
165 months ago
This can't be. Mac Pro is DEAD!!! :rolleyes:
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smulji Avatar
165 months ago
seems like apple has alot to do in 2012, its like every product line is due for a redesign / big update

mac pro -> obviously
iphone 5 -> obviously
Imac -> Needs redesign
Macbook Pro -> Needs redesign
Macbook Air -> ???
Ipad 3 -> seems like its due for a substantial update

Explain to me why the iMac NEEDS a redesign. The current design is still beautiful.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
firestarter Avatar
165 months ago
We don't actually know when Mac Pros will hit final production, what will happen when they will, or it might never happen and the line will get a serious redesign or whole re-thinking. But you can bet all your Apple gear that Mac Pros are way down the priority list for Apple. The line doesn't can half as much as it used to, primarily because the market has changed.

The only thing that's for certain *LTD* is that you'll be banging the fanboi drum and proclaiming that Apple were absolutely correct, whatever happens.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)