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Intel's six-core, 12-thread Gulftown CPU could debut in Apple's Mac Pro

by Parm Mann on 15 October 2009, 12:36

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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We managed to take a good look at Intel's Gulftown processor - a 32nm chip based on the Westmere architecture - back at last month's IDF, but there's still no mention of pricing or availability.

However, French website is now suggesting that the hexa-core chip could make its first appearance as part of a refreshed Mac Pro line up from Apple. According to the site's sources, Apple will launch its new Mac Pro early in 2010, and, in addition to the hexa-core Intel part, the system will be available with 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 8GB/16GB memory modules - pushing the maximum installed memory limit up to 128GB.

Given Apple's tendency to offer dual-CPU Mac Pro systems, we'd expect to see an offering equipped with some form of dual-socket board, making for a whopping 24 total cores.

Need a refresh on Gulftown itself? The ultra-high-end desktop part features a total of 12 cores - that's six physical and six virtual, per CPU. Using a smaller fabrication process, the part is able to keep within a 130W TDP and is said to feature 12MB of L3 cache. Derived from the 45nm Nehalem architecture, Gulftown will feature a QuickPath Interconnect, support for tri-channel memory and it'll slot into existing X58 motherboards equipped with an LGA 1366 socket - making it a useful upgrade for Core i7 "Nehalem" users.

Intel hasn't yet confirmed the name by which Gulftown will reach the market, but we've previously suggested that it could be branded as a Core i9 part.

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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I would lose all faith in humanity if this happened.:stupid:
I'm sure they've done something similar before…..
iPod, iMac, … i3, i5, i7, i9. It all makes sense now. Intel and Apple are just having one giant unholy love-in.
I'm sure they've done something similar before…..

Exactly. Makes no odds really, it'll be available elsewhere soon enough.
10GB Ethernet……didn't even realise it was a spec! Just checked out the prices of 10GB switches and almost had a heart attack…