(Sorry, it’s another geek post. Feel free to skip. I’ll post you another pretty picture shortly.)

In January – if things have gone well with SciCast – I’ll be needing some more processors. Last year I munged 100 films through my dual-core MacBook Pro; this year we’re expecting (hoping for?) rather more films, and the poor little laptop isn’t going to cope. Mac Pro ahoy.

Trouble is… we’re also due new Mac Pros. “Don’t Buy – Updates soon” shouts MacRumors. In bold red, no less. Then there are mutterings about new Apple desktops next Tuesday… or perhaps the following Tuesday… no wait, that’s Veteren’s Day… maybe Tuesday 18th.

OK, so the thing is: the next Intel processors are out on 17th. They’re called ‘Core i7‘ (don’t blame me, I don’t make this rubbish up). And they’re shaping up to be extremely spiffing for things like, oh, I don’t know – compressing video. That sort of thing. The sort of thing I’m going to be doing a lot of, come January.

Jackpot, right?

Well… no. This first bunch of Core i7 chips are two- or four-core units, but as far as I can tell they’re built exclusively for single-socket systems. That is: a maximum of four cores. Compare and contrast with the current Mac Pro, which packs two four-core chips.

My guess, therefore, is that we’ll see new iMacs on 18th, and either a new Mac mini or no mini at all (ie. end of line). The Mac Pro replacement, however, I expect will wait until MacWorld in January. Uh-oh.

MacWorld runs January 5th-9th, and for the end of that I’ll be in Reading running a stand at the ASE conference. So there’s a slim chance that new Pros will be announced on Monday 5th, will be ‘immediately available’, and that I thus might be able to get my hands on one during the week of 12th. Cutting it awfully fine, but…

Not going to happen, is it? They’re going to be announced in January, to ship in February. Bet you.

Oh, drat.