However, French website macbidouille.com 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.