As Chris Rawson noted in today's rumor roundup, there are some fascinating indications that new Macs may be on the way to an Apple Store near you.
Geekbench is a cross-platform processor benchmarking tool that is used to provide numbers on the relative capabilities of computers with various CPU / GPU combinations. The results end up being posted on the site and are available for browsing, so it was a bit of a surprise when figures showed up for what appear to be a new MacBook Pro and iMac powered by Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors.
The MacBook Pro is listed on Geekbench as a previously unknown "MacBook9,1" with an Ivy Bridge Core i7-3820QM running at 2.7GHz. The benchmark number of 12252 is about 17 percent better than the number generated by an existing Core i7 MacBook Pro. The "iMac13,2" shows a Core i7-3770 desktop chip clocked at 3.4GHz pumping out a Geekbench score of 12183 -- probably lower than it should be due to only having 4 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM installed.
Engadget notes that the scores are roughly equivalent to what they've seen for benchmarks on other platforms running the Ivy Bridge processors -- a bump in the speed, but nothing earth-shatteringly big. While benchmark results can be faked, MacRumors says that the various motherboard identifiers and special Mountain Lion build number are consistent with past practices.
MacRumors also points out that premature benchmark results have shown up in the Geekbench database before, just prior to the release of new equipment from Apple. While all rumors should be taken with a very large grain of salt, there's a possibility that the next-generation MacBooks and iMacs are just around the corner.
Another Mac site, 9to5Mac, is also stating that they've pulled code from the latest Mountain Lion beta that appears to show that the Ivy Bridge MacBook Pros will come with USB 3.0 complementing the Thunderbolt high-speed external bus and a new NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU. 9to5Mac also postulates that a new 15" MacBook Pro will arrive complete with a Retina display. Whatever the truth may be, it's refreshing to see that some glimmer of new Mac models is beginning to excite the Mac faithful.