The Core i7- 980X Extreme Edition runs at 3.33GHz, whilst supporting 12 simultaneous threads (two per core) and has a massive 12MB of cache. The current Extreme Edition processor, the Core i7-975, runs at the same clock speed, but it has only four cores (eight threads) and a smaller 8MB of Level 3 cache.
This means the new Mac Pro will have a stonking specification and should feature record-breaking performance for Apple’s top of the range computers. Price-wise its likely that Apple will have negotiated some deal with Intel to bring the price of the CPU down from the reported $970 – $999 range. How this will translate into actual retail prices will of course depend very much on the actual specification of the other components. PC (Windows boxes) are retailing in the $5,500 plus range, so don’t expect the top of the range model to be cheap! The current 8-core model starts at $3,299.00, so expect the 12-core to start somewhere in the region of $3,500 – $3,750. However, in view of the current economic climate it may be that Apple will wish to reduce these prices. In the past they have sometimes upped the spec but kept the price the same or close to the existing range.
Certainly, Apple doesn’t seem to have lost interest in its Mac range, despite all the interest in the iPad and the iPhone. Rumours have it too that we can expect a new iPhone (4G?) this summer, so they are obviously keeping their engineers and fabrication partners busy!
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