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Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 10:57 am PT (01:57 pm ET)

Potential Mac-bound Intel Ivy Bridge chips to launch at end of April

A slew of mobile and desktop CPUs from Intel's forthcoming Ivy Bridge lineup are set to launch on April 29, potentially signaling when Apple could refresh some of its Mac lineup.

The new Ivy Bridge chips are due to be announced the fourth week of April, according to CPU World. The news comes as Apple's slimmer 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros are said to be in production ahead of an anticipated launch.

It was said that the new quad-core-only Ivy Bridge processors will officially be announced between April 22 and April 28, and will officially go on sale April 29.

The debut of the chips will reportedly be preceded by Intel's announcement of new Z77, Z75, H77 and B75 chipsets. Review embargoes on the boards are also expected to lift on that day.

In the high-end quad-core Core i7 range, the 3720QM, 3820QM and 3920XM mobile processors each with Intel's HD 4000 integrated graphic. They will be clocked at 2.6GHz, 2.7GHz and 2.8GHz standard and will cost $378, $568 and $1,096, respectively.

All three quad-core Core i7 laptop chips will be quad-core processors with 8 threads. The two higher-end chips will feature 8 megabytes of L3 cache while the Core i7-3720QM will have 6 megabytes. The Core i7-3720QM and Core i7-3820QM will have 45 Watt TDP, while the more powerful Core i7-3920XM will run at 55 Watt TDP.

MacBook Lineup

An illustration of Apple's notebook lineup planned for the 2012 calendar year.


Both the 3820QM and 3720QM chips were previously rumored to make their way into Apple's MacBook Pro lineup. AppleInsider revealed in February that Apple plans to radically redesign its MacBook Pro lineup this year with thinner and lighter designs modeled after the highly successful MacBook Air.

The three Core i7 quad-core mobile processors will be joined on April 29 by a total of 9 desktop processors in the Core i5 and Core i7 range, with all but one sporting base clock speeds over 3GHz, according to the report.

The list of processors also includes mobile dual-core chips in the Core i5 and Core i7 range, with a total of eight dual-core mobile CPUs ranging from 1.8GHz to 2.9GHz. They are expected to debut later, on June 3, and could be suitable for a new MacBook Air refresh.

On the low-end Core i3 line, there is one mobile CPU, the 3217U with two cores and a frequency of 1.8GHz, but it is not expected to arrive until the third quarter of 2012.

Mac-bound Ivy Bridge CPUs were originally expected to launch on April 8, but the launch was said to have been delayed. One rumor from earlier this month suggested Apple plans to launch a thinner 15-inch MacBook Pro in April featuring Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs.