New Macs with Ivy Bridge, Retina display to launch at WWDC?

The new 2012 Ivy Bridge Mac range might be coming soon, to a store near you, according to a couple of recent hints.

Details, revealed by benchmarking site Geekbench, point to a "MacBookPro9,1" — current MacBook Pros are designated "MacBookPro8,1", internally. Powered by Intel's Ivy Bridge chip, Core i7-3820QM quad core running at 2.7GHz, the name and number seem to indicate a successor to Apple's current 13-inch Pro laptop.

However, MacRumors believes that since the i7-3820QM processor runs at 45 watts, it's more likely to surface in the beefier 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro units.

Another Geekbench benchmark page appears to tip-off an upcoming iMac. With the name and number "iMac13,2", the new model indicates a 27-inch iMac. Powering the new iMac is Intel's Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770 quad-core chip, clocking in at 3.4GHz.

How do we know this information is legit?

These types of benchmarks have appeared in Geekbench's database in the past, before the new machines actually hit the market. MacRumors considers it feasible that the results are for actual Macs, slated to launch sometime soon. Geekbench has been on the money with such predictions in the past, according to CultofMac, which noted that the benchmark site revealed specs on the 2010 MacBook Pro, two months before its debut.

Price drops from the store Best Buy in the US may be another sign that new Macs are on the way. The retailer has trimmed prices on the entire Mac line-up, including the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro and Mac Mini.

The price cuts range from just US$30 for a Mac Mini to US$200 for a Mac Pro. Any efforts to trim prices across the board is usually a sign that retailers are trying to clear out current inventory, in anticipation of new products in the pipeline.

Still more rumours on the Mac come courtesy of 9to5Mac.

Referring to "trusted sources in Apple's supply chain", the site says that Apple is prepping a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with an ultra-thin design, high-resolution Retina display and USB 3.0 ports.

Recent reports floated the idea of a Mac hybrid, a model that would combine the power of the MacBook Pro and the light and thin design of the MacBook Air. But 9to5Mac's sources discount those reports, claiming instead that the new 15-inch computer would stick with the current design of the MacBook Pro and add the ultra-thin body.

However, it's the Retina display that seems to be hogging the spotlight, on the rumoured new Mac.

Taking a page from the new iPad, the display on the new Mac was described by the sources as "jaw dropping" and "definitely the most important Mac innovation, in years".

No launch date has been revealed or confirmed for the new Mac models. But some sources expect the latest line-up to debut around June, sometime close to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).


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