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Apple nears XServe, Mac Pro Intel switch

Woodcrest, Conroe inside

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Apple will use Intel's upcoming 'Woodcrest' server processor - due to ship as the Xeon 5100 series - in the x86-based version of its XServe rackmount server, an online report has claimed. The upshot: the Power Mac G5 will become the last Mac to get the Intel treatment, shipping with a Core 2 Duo chip inside a month after the new XServe debuts.

So claims a ThinkSecret report. Its sources suggest Apple will ship the Intel-based XServe in July, a month after Woodcrest's launch, and the Mac Pro in August.

It has long been suggested that Apple would wait for the 64-bit Core 2 Duo chip - aka 'Conroe' - for its desktop workhorse Mac. The Power Mac went 64-bit when Apple and IBM introduced the PowerPC G5 processor, and Apple undoubtedly wants to maintain 64-bit support for its pro customers. The Core Duo chip found in the MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini is a 32-bit part.

In April, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said Woodcrest would ship in June, followed a month later by Conroe. Until that point, it had been assumed Conroe would appear first, allowing Apple to ship Mac Pros before x86 XServes. Either way, Apple should be able to transition its entire computer product lines to Intel CPUs well ahead of its self-imposed late 2006 deadline.

Otellini also said 'Merom', the 64-bit mobile processor due to ship as the Core 2 Duo too, as the 5000 and 7000 series - Conroe will be the 6000 series - in August. MacBook Pro update in September, anyone? ®

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