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Intel's Six-Core 'Gulftown' processor revealed, possibly headed to Mac Pro

Performance numbers of Intel's new six-core Xeon were prematurely revealed by Polish website PCLab, showing strong increases in performance for the chip rumored to be in the next iteration of the Mac Pro.

Hardmac reported that test and performance results of Intel's new 6-core Xeon chips code-named "Gulftown" were briefly featured on PCLab before being taken down at the request of Intel. According to the test results, the new chips are nearly 50% faster than the previous quad-core Xenon during parallel tasks, and use up to 50% less power.

This chip will, according to sources, be featured in future Mac Pro models that could arrive as early as the first quarter of 2010. The "Gulftown" chip will be sold under the Core i9 name and will be Intel's first six-core, dual-socket processor. The 32 nanometer chips feature 12MB of L3 cache. If paired with another chip, as Apple usually does in its high-end workstations, the processors will offer 12 physical and 24 logical cores.

In a previous story, Hardmac reported that the new Mac Pro will have a modified motherboard with a 10Gbit/second Ethernet port and will support 8GB and 16GB RAM modules, allowing for a maximum of 128GB of RAM. The report also stated that it is likely that Apple would have short-term exclusive use of the i9 processor. Apple has enjoyed short-term exclusivity during the release of the previous two Mac Pro lines.