MacRumors.com's Arnold Kim writes that a few of the participants in his website's forum are eagerly awaiting the arrival on March 29 of a new Nehalem-based Intel Xeon processor -- suitable for use in the fastest Mac Pro desktops.
What do these new chips bring to the table? Raw power: TechRadar found that 2.8GHz Nehalem Xeon processors scored a SPECfp benchmark of 160, compared to the current Penryn-based Xeon processors that scored just 90.
Kim makes a good point -- part of the reason we haven't seen much movement lately in the Mac Pro line is because of the popularity of Apple's notebook lines: something Apple admitted in its first-quarter conference call on January 21. What that means for the final release date of any new Mac Pro models is anyone's guess.
Once the processors are available for sale, anecdotal evidence would suggest it's just a matter of time before Apple includes them in new Mac Pro models. That's not a guarantee, though.
Last year, when Apple last updated the Mac Pro line, they offered a single highly-customizable build-to-order option, rather than a range of trim levels.