updated 01:50 pm EDT, Sun June 19, 2011
Mac mini and Mac Pro may get Sandy Bridge in month
Sources told Brian Tong Sunday afternoon that new Mac minis and redesigned Mac Pros should arrive either in late July or early August. The historically accurate CNET staffer was given only a few details but was told they would use both Sandy Bridge-era Intel processors and Thunderbolt ports. August was more likely for the two, he heard, and both would appropriately come preloaded with Lion.
While unconfirmed, they come from the same contacts that accurately called a launch for the current-generation iMacs near late April or early May.
The Mac mini update is expected to be relatively conservative and use notebook-optimized Core i3 or i5 chips with more storage and possibly more RAM in tow. Mac Pros, however, would get the first substantial redesign of a pro desktop at Apple in eight years with a narrower enclosure better-suited to rackmounting as well as doubled-up drive bays. It may be waiting on Intel to deliver upcoming Xeon E5 chips to get a meaningful speed upgrade, although these have informally been slated for the fall.
Apple is widely believed to be holding new Macs until Lion to ease the release process and make sure that every new system is on the same page going into the holidays. New MacBook Airs may be the first to ship with a late June shipment start for a July release.