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Apple Computer is expected to present replacements for the PowerMac computer at its Worldwide Developers Conference in August. The new computers are expected to be called Mac Pro and feature dual-core Core 2 Duo or Intel Xeon 5100-series processors.

According to web-sites – AppleInsider and ThinkSecret – dedicated to Apple Computer’s products, there are going to be several models of Mac Pro available: entry-level will feature dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo or even Extreme processors, whereas higher-performance machines will use Intel Xeon 5100-series chips. It is also projected that the new desktops from Apple will have cases, which design is different compared to the PowerMac machines.

Apple had reportedly contracted a design team at Intel to help design mainboard for the forthcoming Intel-based PowerMac computers. The reason why the Cupertino, California-based computer company decided to ask Intel’s help is aggressive transition to x86 processors: the company had to develop hardware for the new iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook and Mac mini products launched in the first months of 2006.

The first formal showcasing will be carried out by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs during the demonstration of Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” – the company’s next-generation operating system – during the annual Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California, which kicks off on August 7 and lasts till August 11, 2006.

While it is clear that Apple was expecting high-performance Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessors for the launch of its workstation-class Apple Mac Pro desktops, the new “Leopard” system may have improved Rosetta software, which allows applications developed for IBM Power processors to run on x86 chips. While generally performance degradation because of Rosetta was negligible, in the high-end market any performance decrease is unacceptable.

Apple Computer did not comment on the news-story.

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