Ive now read umpteen rumors that the Mac Pro refresh is expected any time now, like......right this second. All the rumors consider it a foregone conclusion that Apple will use the 6-core 32nm Gulftown processors. Comparing Gulftown processors to the Nehalem chips currently in use in todays Mac Pros: Nehalem: 45nm, 4-cores, 731 million transistors, 8MB L3 cache, max memory modules 4GB, max RAM 32GB Gulftown: 32nm, 6-cores (50% more), 1.17 billion transistors (more than 50% more), 12MB L3 cache (50% more), max memory modules 16GB, max RAM 128GB, higher performance at equivalent clock speeds, faster memory throughput, 10Gbit Ethernet, up to 50% more power savings vs. Nehalem The Gulftowns are ready now, so it seems Apple no longer has first rights to use them before Windows PC makers -- or its because Apple might not use this processor at all (theory). Apple and Intels relationship was so close at one point, youd expect them to get a joint checking account. But its possible that Apples use of the ARM design in its iPod touch, iPhone and iPad in lieu of Intels Atom processor may have soured the relationship (theory). Apples argument to Intel for having first crack at new processors might have gone like: Oh, our Mac Pros sell in such low numbers, there wouldnt be supply constraints as with a high-volume PC maker (theory). Then I read this: http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100305/tc_pcworld/inteltolauncheightcorenehalemexthismonth The article says Intel will release the chip later this month [March]. So a 45nm, 8-core Nehalem processor is set to be released at the end of this month -- and now Im all confused. Given that the Mac Pro line is refreshed about once a year, would Apple want to have a 6-core Mac Pro out for a whole year while an 8-core processor floats around in the marketplace the whole time -- possibly giving Apple a competitive disadvantage at the high-end? The Nehalem-EXs specs include: 45nm engraving process 8-cores 24 MB L3 cache 2.3 billion transistors Though based on the Nehalem architecture, not the higher performance Gulftown architecture, Intel describes the 8-core Nehalem-EX as its fastest processor to date I suspect, however, that even with the Nehalem-EXs 45nm engraving process and being a generation behind the Gulftown architecture, this chip will command a high price, and may be too costly for a consumer/prosumer machine like the Mac Pro. It may be too expensive for use in anything but a high-end server (theory). Or, because of the same things I just described, this chip will be LESS expensive than one using the newest generation Gulftown design and fabbed using the 45nm process (theory). With this added confusion, I need the rumor sites to get on the stick and dig up some dirt on the forthcoming Mac Pro! I know that the iPad is eclipsing almost all news about the rest of Apples product lines, but Pro users need information, too!