updated 06:00 pm EDT, Mon June 20, 2011
Mac Pro, Mac mini, AirPort rumors detailed
An unusual plethora of rumors Monday night provided possible details of the new Mac Pro and other near-term Apple updates. The pro tower will supposedly get a "unique CPU" along with its more rackmountable case. What that would entail wasn't said by MICGadget's purported informants, though it's more likely to involve early access to the Xeon E5 due this fall than a genuinely rare processor.
The design may lose some of the rapid expansion features of the Mac Pro in order to reach the smaller size. Drives might be removable but wouldn't be hot-swappable, and the power supply wouldn't be easily replaced. Insiders supposedly backed the idea of a late July or early August ship date.
Mac minis may get less expensive, the tips mentioned. NVIDIA's custom GeForce 320M chipset for Apple reportedly cost Apple as much as $40 more per unit, giving Apple a large amount of headroom to lower the price in switching to Intel's now relatively quick integrated hardware. The Sandy Bridge upgrade would arrive at the same time as the Mac Pro.
Some possible information has emerged for the new AirPort routers as well. The Time Capsule flagship would have a new design to eliminate the overheating problems that crept up in earlier models. It would have a newer, more efficient cooling system and a 'green' hard drive to reduce the heat and power draw. Versions with 1TB of storage might be phased out in favor of 2TB alone.
AirPort Extreme routers would get better cooling as well, but would also get new features to bring it up to speed with modern routers. It would have a 3x3 antenna array to provide the 450Mbps Wi-Fi speed available to 2011 Macs and get the option of creating a guest network that allows Internet access but no link to the local network.
Both devices would get caching of device updates, according to the rumor.
All of the assertions are unconfirmed apart from supporting earlier stories.