So this is interesting. The Gulftown is a 32 nm hexacore chip due about Q2 of 2010 from Intel. It uses Westmere cores rather than Nehalem cores, the same as Intel’s earlier Dunnington hexacore model. Unlike Dunnington, however, the 6 cores are native, not just 3 dual cores stapled onto one piece of silicon.
A Mac Pro with 12 cores and 24 threads of execution at 2.4 GHz would be an impressive piece of desktop equipment. Almost certainly 10Gb Ethernet and 8 or 16 GB RAM module support would be needed to keep the cores fed.
If Apple had exclusive use of the chip for any serious length of time, it would either quickly dominate the power user market segment or force the competition to adopt an alternative: AMD’s Thuban.
We currently do not know if all future Mac Pro models will be using this hexacore Xeon or if Apple will keep quad core XEon for the entry level model. This could decrease significantly the price of the first Mac Pro, and maybe convince some Mac users desperately waiting for a Mac Pro mini to finally get one. It is also unclear if the enclosure will be modified or not.