Everyone’s expecting Apple’s digitally downloadable OS X Lion to magically appear on Thursday this week, and we’ve heard plenty about new MacBook Airs to coincide with Lion’s launch, but what’s this about new Mac Pros?
No, not MacBook Pros—those were just refreshed in February 2011—but yes, Mac Pros, Apple’s monster metal multicore desktops. Their last makeover happened in August 2010, when Apple packed in bigger hard drives, faster graphics cards and speedier Intel Xeon processors.
(PHOTOS: A Brief History of the Computer)
9to5Mac says the Mac Pro wasn’t due to be updated until late July or early August, but unearthed four new Mac Pro models, indicating Apple’s planning to ship earlier than expected—as early as this week.
The models break into part number classifications “ultimate,” “better” and double up on “best.” They reportedly feature redesigned enclosures (think narrower and rack-mountable—9to5Mac predicted 5-inches wide by 19-inches tall in April), zippier 16-core processors (the current Mac Pros top out at 12 core CPUs) and of course, the Thunderbolt interface, Intel’s new high-speed all-in-one data link.
[UPDATE: Looks like 9to5Mac jumped the gun, and we’re getting new a white MacBook and Mac Minis soon, not Mac Pros]
Like the rumored MacBook Airs (two 11-inch, two 13-inch, memory and processor updates) the Mac Pros are expected to ship with OS X Lion preinstalled. And while it’s a lot to pack into a single launch day, word is we’ll see both Airs and Pros this Thursday, when (or is that still if?) Lion finally appears.
What about the Apple TV-sized Mac Minis? They’re due for an update soon (the last was in late June 2010), possibly as soon as this week, to include new processors and the Thunderbolt interface.
MORE: OS X Lion Likely Out Next Week, New MacBook Airs to Follow
Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.