Intel briefly reveals data on potential 2017 iMac, Mac Pro Kaby Lake processors

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
A document briefly available from Intel's website intended for system manufacturers like Apple has shed some light on new Kaby Lake processors suitable for desktop computers that could be used in a new iMac or Mac Pro, but still shows no sign of the long-overdue Kaby Lake quad-core laptop processors.




The documents for partner companies, first spotted by Anandtech show 11 quad-core processors that are expected in the first quarter of 2017. Included in the lineup are seven Core i5 models, three Core i7 processors, and a single Xeon E3 v6 chip.

The chips are faster than the Skylake Processors they replace, showing 200 MHz higher base frequencies across processors likely to be used in the iMac. Turbo speeds are not known at this time, nor is the thermal design profile -- but the TDP isn't expected to change much if at all given that the new line of processors is made with the same 14nm process as the Skylake family is.

Kaby Lake and the iMac

At present, the Retina iMac line, last refreshed on October 13, 2015 utilizes the i5-5675R or i7-5775R processors on the low end 21.5-inch model, and the i5-6500, i5-6600, or i7-6700K processors in the 27-inch model.

Corollary processors in the new Kaby Lake family for the 5K iMac processors are the i5-7500, the i5-7600, and the i7-7700K, respectively.

The new i5-7500 processor is a quad-core processor, running at 3.4 GHz, versus 3.2 GHz in the Skylake version. Similarly, the i5-7600 should run at 3.5 GHz, 200 MHz faster than the 3.3 GHz in the Skylake i5-6600.

The i7-7700K is a quad-core, eight-thread processor, running at 4.2 GHz, versus 4.0 in the Skylake i7-6700K in the iMac.

Also added to Kaby Lake is Intel's Speed Shift v2 technology, that cuts the amount of time required for the chip to throttle up to 10ms, versus 30ms.

The Mac Pro is way overdue

The new E3-1205v6 processor is a 3.0GHz processor -- but beyond that, the number of cores and threads is not known at this time. Intel currently has no Xeon processors in the "v6" Kaby Lake family.

The 2013 Mac Pro utilizes the E5-1620, E5-1650, E5-1680, or E5-2697, all based on the "v2" Ivy Bridge technology that is at this point several generations old. Given how the Xeon line progresses, there is no specific predecessor to compare the new model number to.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,490member
    None of these specs blew me away. People blame Apple but it's easy to see intel is the one slowing Mac development. 

    edit: My fingers didn't know which keys to press this morning, sorry for typos.
    edited November 2016 williamlondontallest skildysamoriapalominerepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 68
    irelandireland Posts: 16,539member
    Intel need to pull their finger out.
    williamlondondysamoriapalominerepressthispscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 68
    ireland said:
    Intel need to pull their finger out.
    LOL.  That's an interesting way of putting it!

    repressthis
  • Reply 4 of 68
    Intel is becoming an anchor for Apple. I know Apple producing an ARM-based iMac most likely will not happen, but it would be a way for Apple to begin unraveling the binding that Intel has on Apple's innovation.
    iphonenickblastdoorration alrepressthis
  • Reply 5 of 68
    The Xeon E3 v6 series uses socket 1151 so it tops out at 4 cores. Apple will not make a Mac Pro using this CPU as a 4-core entry model because then they would have to design a completely different motherboard for the models with more than 4 cores.
    In fact Intel always launches their consumer CPUs earlier than the enterprise CPUs, and the Xeon E5 v4 was released just in March, and v5 (Skylake-EP) is rumoured for 1H 2017 (see e.g. http://wccftech.com/intel-skylake-e-lga-3647-hexa-channel-memory/) with a new socket LGA 3647. Jumping to v6 but being limited to 4 cores makes no sense.
    Releasing an updated Mac Pro any time before 1H 2017 is probably not likely, since they would have to make a major redesign for the new socket in 1H 2017 anyway.

    The current Mac Pro is a very unusual design choice because the space constraints limits the setup to one CPU. This would mean that the CPU model doesn't have to have  support for dual CPUs. Apple uses E5-1xxx v2 series for the lower end but Intel probably figures users with high performance requirements may want to use dual-CPU machines so they limited the E5-1xxx v2 to 8 cores, forcing Apple to use the E5-2xxx v2 series for the 10 and 12-core models.
    The E5-1xxx v4 still has max 8 cores, while the E5-2xxx v4 goes all the way up to 22 cores. E5-2xxx v5 is rumoured to have up to 26 cores!
    (It will also support 6 channels of DDR4 memory, which is completely unnecessary in the Mac Pro form factor.)

    It will be interesting to see what 2017 brings.
    rob53ration alai46repressthismacplusplusewtheckmandysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 68
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,001member
    If I am Apple, I would skip Kaby lake processor and go straight to 10nm Cannonlake processor to be released 2H2017 for Spring-Summer 2018 Macbook pro upgrade with no compromises. Some leaked info suggests Cannonlake SoC that integrates 4/6/8 cores and Converged Coherent Fabric (CCF) which acts like a NorthBridge plus on chip voltage regulator. Long shot but Apple is better of controlling their processor destiny for Macs like iPhone.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 7 of 68

    Question:  How many Apple A10X* chips would it take to emulate a Xeon?

    * Assuming A10X : A10 roughly equivalent to  A9X : A9

    edited November 2016 ai46SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 68
    Give it 3 or 4 years and Macbook Pro's will be running ARM chips IMO.
    palominenetrox
  • Reply 9 of 68
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,490member

    Question:  How many Apple A10X* chips would it take to emulate a Xeon?

    * Assuming A10X : A10 roughly equivalent to  A9X : A9

    I thought you would know. There are many people wondering the same thing but from what I've seen recently, there's a question about multitasking and other things that Apple hasn't necessarily incorporated into their A-series designs. If Apple wanted to try an A-series Mac (wouldn't surprise if they already have), I'd imagine they'd start with at least four A10X CPUs (so 8 full speed CPUs and 8 half speed?) as well as the 6? GPUs in each for a total of 24 GPUs and see whether they could get them to run together. I doubt the A10X GPUs would compete with the existing Mac Pro GPUs but who knows, maybe they would. 

    As for Windows virtualization, I remember seeing W10 being available on ARM (maybe just a wish) so if it is or will be people won't have that excuse to bash Apple about moving to ARM.
  • Reply 10 of 68
    wood1208 said:
    If I am Apple, I would skip Kaby lake processor and go straight to 10nm Cannonlake processor to be released 2H2017 for Spring-Summer 2018 Macbook pro upgrade with no compromises. Some leaked info suggests Cannonlake SoC that integrates 4/6/8 cores and Converged Coherent Fabric (CCF) which acts like a NorthBridge plus on chip voltage regulator. Long shot but Apple is better of controlling their processor destiny for Macs like iPhone.
    Aren't you the one I told yesterday that Cannonlake is not going to be available until 2018 at the earliest? And only in the 5W and 15W variants? 

    As for iMacs/Minis and such, I'd keep an eye on AMD's Raven Ridge platform. 
    edited November 2016 son3
  • Reply 11 of 68

    Question:  How many Apple A10X* chips would it take to emulate a Xeon?

    * Assuming A10X : A10 roughly equivalent to  A9X : A9

    Not sure there is any way to answer the question. The specific Xeon, the operation type, and the amount of emulation overhead are just a couple of major factors. And then there's real world and actual OS usage and then application usage in the emulated environment. Or you might be able to demonstrate something but with too many footnotes to be useful for straightforward comparison.

    That said, it'll be interesting to see how Apple and Intel do respond to the bottleneck. It's really hard to remain subject to someone else's product cycle. Apple can drive hardware innovation in a lot of their best sellers but reliance on Intel processors ties Apple to Intel's roadmap for a few of their major products.
    edited November 2016 dysamoria
  • Reply 12 of 68
    tmaytmay Posts: 1,719member
    Pylons said:
    The Xeon E3 v6 series uses socket 1151 so it tops out at 4 cores. Apple will not make a Mac Pro using this CPU as a 4-core entry model because then they would have to design a completely different motherboard for the models with more than 4 cores.
    In fact Intel always launches their consumer CPUs earlier than the enterprise CPUs, and the Xeon E5 v4 was released just in March, and v5 (Skylake-EP) is rumoured for 1H 2017 (see e.g. http://wccftech.com/intel-skylake-e-lga-3647-hexa-channel-memory/) with a new socket LGA 3647. Jumping to v6 but being limited to 4 cores makes no sense.
    Releasing an updated Mac Pro any time before 1H 2017 is probably not likely, since they would have to make a major redesign for the new socket in 1H 2017 anyway.

    The current Mac Pro is a very unusual design choice because the space constraints limits the setup to one CPU. This would mean that the CPU model doesn't have to have  support for dual CPUs. Apple uses E5-1xxx v2 series for the lower end but Intel probably figures users with high performance requirements may want to use dual-CPU machines so they limited the E5-1xxx v2 to 8 cores, forcing Apple to use the E5-2xxx v2 series for the 10 and 12-core models.
    The E5-1xxx v4 still has max 8 cores, while the E5-2xxx v4 goes all the way up to 22 cores. E5-2xxx v5 is rumoured to have up to 26 cores!
    (It will also support 6 channels of DDR4 memory, which is completely unnecessary in the Mac Pro form factor.)

    It will be interesting to see what 2017 brings.
    Well done; here's a link that I found from last year:

    https://www.nextplatform.com/2015/05/26/intel-lets-slip-broadwell-skylake-xeon-chip-specs/

    Something that caught my eye;

    "The UPI interconnect between the processors will have two or three channels per processor socket, which is consistent with QPI ports of the Xeon E5 (two) and Xeon E7 (three) chips; the speeds of the UPI ports run at 9.6 GT/sec or 10.4 GT/sec, which is not much different from the top speeds available with QPI today. What makes UPI different from QPI is not clear, but it may have to do with a slightly more efficient protocol that can also be extended out to other peripherals such as flash or coprocessors such as FPGAs. This is what IBM has essentially done with its Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface, or CAPI, on the Power8 processors, and Intel was hinting earlier this year that it could modify QPI to speak to things other than Xeon sockets."

    Flash using UPI might be kind of a big deal performance wise.
    ration alewtheckman
  • Reply 13 of 68

    Question 2:  Would it be to any practical advantage to augment whatever Xeons are available now (and in the future) with A10X (or later chips) in a Mac Pro?

    Question 3: Would it be practical to use IBM Power9 Chips to emulate Xeons with or without A10X chips?


    IBM Takes Aim at Intel With Upcoming Power9 Chips

    Company engineers were at the Hot Chips 2016 show in Cupertino, Calif., this week to talk about Big Blue's upcoming Power9 processors, which are scheduled to hit the market next year and promise a broad range of capabilities that will make the architecture attractive for an array of workloads, from hyperscale data centers to machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).
    They reiterated many of the key assets of Power9, from its new architecture that will offer up to 24 processing cores and its ability to run with a wide array of accelerators like GPUs, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for faster performance to embracing such technologies as Nvidia's NVLink 2.0 and PCI Express 4.0.

    http://www.eweek.com/servers/ibm-takes-aim-at-intel-with-upcoming-power9-chips.html

    1st
  • Reply 14 of 68
    tmaytmay Posts: 1,719member
    wood1208 said:
    If I am Apple, I would skip Kaby lake processor and go straight to 10nm Cannonlake processor to be released 2H2017 for Spring-Summer 2018 Macbook pro upgrade with no compromises. Some leaked info suggests Cannonlake SoC that integrates 4/6/8 cores and Converged Coherent Fabric (CCF) which acts like a NorthBridge plus on chip voltage regulator. Long shot but Apple is better of controlling their processor destiny for Macs like iPhone.
    I agree, but being the optimist, I expect to see Cannonlake in a MBP at this time next year, which would mitigate the complaints about memory. I suspect that Apple targeted the new MBP for Cannonlake when they started, but fell back to Skylake when the roadmap was delayed. 
  • Reply 15 of 68

    Question:  How many Apple A10X* chips would it take to emulate a Xeon?

    * Assuming A10X : A10 roughly equivalent to  A9X : A9

    Not sure there is any way to answer the question. The specific Xeon, the operation type, and the amount of emulation overhead are just a couple of major factors. And then there's real world and actual OS usage and then application usage in the emulated environment. Or you might be able to demonstrate something but with too many footnotes to be useful for straightforward comparison.

    Mmm...  Maybe a better way to ask the question:  Since Apple owns the hardware and the OS (and drivers?) -- would it be practical to build a Mac Pro or high-end iMac that emulates x86 code that would run Pro Apps (including 3rd-party) at increased performance over Xeons?

    That said, it'll be interesting to see how Apple and Intel do respond to the bottleneck. It's really hard to remain subject to someone else's product cycle. Apple can drive hardware innovation in a lot of their best sellers but reliance on Intel processors ties Apple to Intel's roadmap for a few of their major products.
    Exactly!

    edited November 2016 ewtheckman
  • Reply 16 of 68
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,158member
    tmay said:
    wood1208 said:
    If I am Apple, I would skip Kaby lake processor and go straight to 10nm Cannonlake processor to be released 2H2017 for Spring-Summer 2018 Macbook pro upgrade with no compromises. Some leaked info suggests Cannonlake SoC that integrates 4/6/8 cores and Converged Coherent Fabric (CCF) which acts like a NorthBridge plus on chip voltage regulator. Long shot but Apple is better of controlling their processor destiny for Macs like iPhone.
    I agree, but being the optimist, I expect to see Cannonlake in a MBP at this time next year, which would mitigate the complaints about memory. I suspect that Apple targeted the new MBP for Cannonlake when they started, but fell back to Skylake when the roadmap was delayed. 
    Doubt it. From what I've been told from others on this thread & from what I've looked up, even Coffee Lake won't support 32GB on 13" / 15" (Touch Bar models) because it's a 14nm successor to Kaby Lake, not the 10nm successor to Cannon Lake. Because of that, it doesn't support LPDDR4 RAM. That means both Touch Bar MBP models may have to wait for Intel's Ice Lake processors due out in Late 2018 / early 2019 to get 32GB RAM.

    http://wccftech.com/intel-14nm-coffee-lake-10nm-cannonlake-2018/


    edited November 2016
  • Reply 17 of 68
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 107member
    The PC market is rapidly changing, in part because Intel has slowed down. I think the larger factor is just that most people don't really need a faster computer anymore, so they keep their existing computers for a lot longer. I used to get a new computer every year, but my current computer is four years old and still doesn't feel slow (added a SSD).

    Lots of nerds complain about this, but Apple has exactly the right idea. They're slowing down their release cycles because the vast majority of people are slowing down their purchases, and the current crop of computers is fast enough. Personally, at the current speeds, Skylake (just bought a 15" MBP) is plenty fast for everything I do, and I'd rather have either lighter weight or longer battery life. I probably won't buy my next computer for four or five more years, at which point Apple will probably have something new and cool for me to buy.

    The only real issue I see is the Mac Pro, which truly is behind the times in every way. I suspect Apple will be completely changing the design as the current one isn't much of a Pro computer anyway.
    palomineewtheckmandysamoria
  • Reply 18 of 68
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,158member
    dws-2 said:
    The PC market is rapidly changing, in part because Intel has slowed down. I think the larger factor is just that most people don't really need a faster computer anymore, so they keep their existing computers for a lot longer. I used to get a new computer every year, but my current computer is four years old and still doesn't feel slow (added a SSD).

    Lots of nerds complain about this, but Apple has exactly the right idea. They're slowing down their release cycles because the vast majority of people are slowing down their purchases, and the current crop of computers is fast enough. Personally, at the current speeds, Skylake (just bought a 15" MBP) is plenty fast for everything I do, and I'd rather have either lighter weight or longer battery life. I probably won't buy my next computer for four or five more years, at which point Apple will probably have something new and cool for me to buy.

    The only real issue I see is the Mac Pro, which truly is behind the times in every way. I suspect Apple will be completely changing the design as the current one isn't much of a Pro computer anyway.
    I don't know how credible they are but Macworld UK says a Mac Pro update is coming end of November (per their sources)

    http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/mac/new-mac-pro-release-date-rumours-uk-mac-pro-2016-tech-specs-new-features-3536364/
    williamlondon
  • Reply 19 of 68
    Question:  How many Apple A10X* chips would it take to emulate a Xeon?

    * Assuming A10X : A10 roughly equivalent to  A9X : A9
    I wonder if we won’t see scalable chipsets in the future while we bridge the gap between transistors that can’t get any smaller and q-bits or whatever we have to use next. Need more processing power? Buy a stick of CPU to plug in next to your stick of RAM!
  • Reply 20 of 68
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,710member
    Intel is becoming an anchor for Apple. I know Apple producing an ARM-based iMac most likely will not happen, but it would be a way for Apple to begin unraveling the binding that Intel has on Apple's innovation.
    Give us a break. Your ilk said the same thing about the  IBM/Motorola Power PC and the 6502 before that (why oh why did Woz choose that CPU? Answer: It was cheap). Somebody is always a boat anchor for Apple and if Apple would just follow your advice all would be well. I think I’ll put my faith in Apple engineers who actually know what’s going on in the CPU world.
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