Report claims a 10-core Intel i9 Mac Pro is coming before Apple silicon

2019 Mac Pro
2019 Mac Pro (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report says a 10-core Intel i9 Mac Pro is mentioned in new macOS code.
  • The switch to an i9 chip would mean a move away from Intel Xeons.

Apple will launch a new Mac Pro powered by Intel one last time, according to a new report. That report says that code found in the latest macOS 11.4 RC update references an unannounced Mac Pro with a 10-core Intel i9 chip inside.

The reference was spotted by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser.

... a reference to an unreleased 10-core Intel i9 processor has been discovered by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser in the latest macOS Big Sur 11.4 RC update, released yesterday.

The same report correctly notes that an iMac with a similar Core i9 chip processor was found in benchmark results in July last year. The 24-inch iMac has already switched to Apple silicon, pushing MacRumors to suggest that the new Intel chip must be for use inside a Mac Pro. However, we don't yet have a 27-inch iMac refresh – so it's possible. even if it's unlikely, that this i9 chip could still find its way into an iMac.

The switch to an intel i9 processor in a Mac Pro that has historically dealt exclusively in Xeon chips would be a surprise, although never say never with today's Apple. It could allow for a lower barrier to entry in terms of price point at the very least.

Apple announced its switch to Apple silicon last year with a two-year target for having completed the transition to its own chips. There is still plenty of time to go before that timescale runs down.

Speaking of that 24-inch iMac, it goes on sale this week. Here are the best iMac deals you'll find today.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.