OS X 10.7.3 Beta Hints at New Mac Pro Models

Apple’s Mac Pro may be getting a long awaited refresh, assuming developers are reading the hints tucked away in the OS X 10.7.3 beta correctly. The beta version of the OS update includes references to an ATI video card code named “Tahiti” tucked away in the ATIRadeonX3000 driver file, which would give a new Mac Pro model even more powerful graphics processing than current models.

netkas.org said the name “Tahiti” is a code name for ATI’s next generation AMD-based video cards, and may be the upcoming high-performance 7900-series.

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The Mac Pro was last updated in July 2010, making the current configuration well over a year old.

The long interval between updates has to reports claiming Apple is questioning whether or not to continue selling its pro-level tower computer, especially since processors like the Core i7 are available, and Thunderbolt ports offer a potential alternative to the Mac Pro’s built-in expansion slots.

Referencing new AMD video cards doesn’t, however, necessarily mean new Mac Pros are on the way. Apple could simply be adding support for the upcoming cards as a build-to-order option, or developers might be misinterpreting what the references in the driver files mean.

Since Apple doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation, don’t expect any answers to the mystery video driver references from Cupertino.