Pike’s Universum has published a “list of specifications/upgrades for Apple’s next-generation iMacs,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “There’s one part of the specification list that’s worth doing a sanity check on — the main processor.”

“Today, Apple’s iMacs can be configured with Intel’s Core i5 chips, the middle-of-the-pack within Intel’s Core processor lineup, or Core i7 chips, the cream of the crop,” Eassa writes. “This new rumor claims that, instead of using Intel’s Core chips, Apple will use Intel’s Xeon E3 processors. Despite the fancy-sounding name, Intel’s Xeon E3 chips are little more than Intel’s Core processors with a few additional capabilities enabled — namely, support for ECC memory and vPro technology.”

“I suspect that, if Apple really does shift its iMac line to Xeon E3 processors and away from Intel’s traditional Core processors, it would be doing the shift mainly for ECC memory support,” Eassa writes. “If Apple’s goal is to position the iMac — and indeed, the Mac itself — as a “professional” platform, then the use of Xeon E3 processors with ECC memory makes perfect sense.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We doubt they’ll call “iMac Pro,” but the top-of-the-line iMac certainly could be “pro” in many ways for some portion of mac-using professionals.

We hope Apple reserves the name “Mac Pro” for a truly extensible Mac.