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Intel 6-core i7-powered Mac Pro rumored to launch this month

post #1 of 207
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Intel's new Core i7-980X and Core i7-970 six-core desktop processors are set to debut in March, but could see an early release on Apple's Mac Pro systems in a matter of weeks, according to a new report.

Citing multiple sources, Hardmac reported Tuesday that the partnership between Intel and Apple might allow for the new six-core processors to debut in Mac Pro desktop machines earlier than other hardware. If true, it wouldn't be unprecedented -- the last two revisions of the Mac Pro line had the first crack at their respective chips.

"So, if Apple and Intel are still engaged in a tight partnership, Apple might have the exclusivity of such CPU (as for the Nehalem Xeon) for a couple of days or weeks," the report said. "So, if you are waiting for [a] new Mac Pro to change your current model or purchase your first Mac Pro, then get ready after the second-half of February, it should come within the next three weeks."

The report also speculates the new hardware will be based on Mac-edition Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards.

Reports of a Core i7-980X-based Mac Pro have lingered for months. The "Gulftown" architecture, 32nm processor has a clock speed of 3.33GHz and is expected to arrive on the open market in March. The chip is the first dual-docket, six-core processor from Intel.

The new 32 nanometer chips have 12MB of L3 cache, and six cores with 12 threads for each CPU. Apple usually doubles the processors in its high-end professional workstations, so it's possible the new Mac Pro system could have a total of 12 cores and 24 threads. The new hardware could be released sometime in the first quarter of 2010.



The last major refresh to the Mac Pro equipped it with its Nehalem Xeon processors, with a high-end eight-core Mac Pro offering two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 chips. Earlier this month, Apple quietly upgraded that to a potential maximum 2.93GHz eight-core system.


post #2 of 207
A new DIX-CORE Mac Pro x 2 = 24 threads

Hard to imagine the outright speed of such a beast especially if anyone can afford to fill it with 64G of RAM.
I think my major hurdle will be the price, however, (drawing a fairly long bow here) maybe the iPad entry price is a portend of Apple's 2010 pricing? But I doubt it very much.
My Dual 2.5 G5 is starting to show its age in many ways but credit where it's due - its never missed a beat. You gotta luv them Apples
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post #3 of 207
I know it's been asked thousand times before, but dear Apple – please stop insist only using the Xeon processors from Intel!

Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.
A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?

I know – ain't gonna happen.

Sounds good with that ATI card though.
post #4 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The report also speculates the new hardware will be based on Mac-edition Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards.

If this is accurate, then Apple will be on the ball this time around. 5850 for the bottom end and 5870 for the top end would be a great line up.
post #5 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by a Martin View Post

I know it's been asked thousand times before, but dear Apple please stop insist only using the Xeon processors from Intel!

Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.
A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?

I know ain't gonna happen.

Sounds good with that ATI card though.

The Xeons don't cost any more than their corresponding i7 equivalents. However, only the 3XXX series (single socket) have i7 equivalents. For dual socket processors Apple needs to take advantage of the pricier 5XXX series; there's not other option from Intel.
post #6 of 207
Really looking forward to this new machine, as well as a 64-bit version of Luxology Modo for the Mac.

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post #7 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

If this is accurate, then Apple will be on the ball this time around. 5850 for the bottom end and 5870 for the top end would be a great line up.

Unbelievable - the 'old' 4870 has around 950M transistors

The 5870? - more than 2.0B (2,150,000,000) transistors - uurrrrgggghhhh
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post #8 of 207
i was talking with our HP rep a few weeks ago about when the new Proliants will ship with the new chips and he said early March. so expect Apple to be early again.

few years ago we paid $40,000 for a server with 32GB of RAM. last month's pricing was $13,000 for a proliant with 36GB RAM and $15000 for a server with 72GB of RAM. we're waiting until the new CPU's ship to replace the servers we bought that had 32GB of RAM
post #9 of 207
When is the MBP update coming? Really planning on getting a new/first laptop and I'm shooting for a 15" MBP. I'm waiting for both the funds, and the next MBP refresh though since it's been several months or more since the last MBP refresh.

Right now I have a single CPU early 2008 Mac Pro. I upgraded it to 6GB of RAM, and the wife has been playing Sims 3 on it. I'm really stunned at how this game just kills this machine. It's really sad. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no budget for both a new MBP and a new Mac Pro. No big deal though, I figure my Mac Pro has at least a couple of good years left in it.
post #10 of 207
When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!
post #11 of 207
Great news!
Awesome, powerful new Mac Pro's only a month away!

Unfortunately Adobe CS5 probably wont be fully optimised and ready to harness all that power until 18+ months later when CS6 arrives by which time an even better workstation will have been released. If we're lucky we might only have to wait 9 or so months for Final Cut Studio to be properly optimised.

I'm getting tired of buying top of the line machines for top dollar only to discover that the software is the real bottleneck behind fully utilising all the processing, RAM and video power my new machine has to offer.

There has been a huge annoying gap between the availability of 64 bit processors and the availability of completely optimised 64 bit ready OS's and software. Hopefully this starts to improve.

Think I'll hold onto my Mac Pro 2008 + 32gb ram a little longer, at least until I've had the opportunity to fully take advantage of all its RAM and CPU power, even if only for a short while before upgrading again.

On the plus side, at least slow software to hardware development means your current investment lasts longer. Man did I get value for money from my old G5 with regards to how long it was used before various intel software was ready and 'up to scratch' enough to justify a hardware upgrade which would show any real performance benefit.
It allowed me to skip the whole first generation of Intel Mac Pro.
post #12 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!

I hear you but it's petty hard to imagine an improvement. I just popped in a new DVD drive in mine and I am always amazed at the brilliance of the design and quality of the beast. The job was done in two minutes without a single tool other than the small screw driver to change the DVD out of the holder. I just don't like carrying it too far!
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post #13 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzExige View Post

A new DIX-CORE Mac Pro x 2 = 24 threads

Hard to imagine the outright speed of such a beast especially if anyone can afford to fill it with 64G of RAM.
I think my major hurdle will be the price, however, (drawing a fairly long bow here) maybe the iPad entry price is a portend of Apple's 2010 pricing? But I doubt it very much.
My Dual 2.5 G5 is starting to show it's age in many ways but credit where it's due - it's never missed a beat. You gotta luv them Apple's

The problem is there are very few apps that are going to be so well multithreaded to handle 24 threads (even if you have several apps running at once). 12 cores, boy, that's a LOT.
post #14 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzExige View Post

My Dual 2.5 G5 is starting to show it's age in many ways but credit where it's due - it's never missed a beat. You gotta luv them Apple's

Same here. I've had my 2.5 G5 for 6 years now, it's a great box. It's starting to get end of life'd with apps going Intel only, but I'll probably keep it running in the basement as a ftp/iTunes server when I finally upgrade. While it was pricey when it came out, it has served it's purpose and worth every dime.

Kevin
post #15 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Right now I have a single CPU early 2008 Mac Pro. I upgraded it to 6GB of RAM, and the wife has been playing Sims 3 on it. I'm really stunned at how this game just kills this machine. It's really sad. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no budget for both a new MBP and a new Mac Pro. No big deal though, I figure my Mac Pro has at least a couple of good years left in it.

Umm... it's the GPU. You can play Sims 3 with a 2ghz Intel Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM and 9400M @ 1024x768-ish resolution.

What GPU do you have?
post #16 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by a Martin View Post

Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.
A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?

I know ain't gonna happen.

We WANT the kick-ass processors, it's the size of the damn BOX that's a killer!

If Apple sold a MacPro midi: same processors, same RAM slots, 2 PCI slots (I'd settle for one), 2 drive bays (I'd settle for one) and one optical bay!

As it is, I simply have NO space in my apartment/office for a MacPro, so I'm forced to settle for a MacBook Pro.

This all falls in the FIRMLY ain't-a-gonna happen department.
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post #17 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

...Right now I have a single CPU early 2008 Mac Pro. I upgraded it to 6GB of RAM, and the wife has been playing Sims 3 on it. I'm really stunned at how this game just kills this machine. It's really sad. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no budget for both a new MBP and a new Mac Pro. No big deal though, I figure my Mac Pro has at least a couple of good years left in it.

You've got a GREAT machine there, why do you need to change it? Just get Snow Leopard, and an ATI 4870 512MB card.

You're probably playing the game at very high resolutions on the 2600XT 256MB GPU and that is "killing the game".

Trust me. Your Mac Pro, 6GB of RAM, Snow Leopard, and ATI 4870, that will take you into the end of 2011 easily. Even if you are running Windows (Win 7 64bit recommended) and playing PC games.
post #18 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I hear you but it's petty hard to imagine an improvement. I just popped in a new DVD drive in mine and I am always amazed at the brilliance of the design and quality of the beast. The job was done in two minutes without a single tool other than the small screw driver to change the DVD out of the holder. I just don't like carrying it too far!

I'm not sure what they could change on the outside. The do keep making the internal layout a little better.

With any luck we'll get USB3.0, otherwise we'll have to wait until 2011 and it won't bode well for USB3.0 in the next MBP release.
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post #19 of 207
This represents an interesting question. Will they be shipping all further socket 1366 chips with two quick path links and ditching the xeon moniker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a Martin View Post

I know it's been asked thousand times before, but dear Apple please stop insist only using the Xeon processors from Intel!

Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.
A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?

I know ain't gonna happen.

Sounds good with that ATI card though.

The xeon 3500 and core i7 900 series are the same chip with the same price. Xeon 5500 is a xeon 3500/core i7 with a second quickpath link.
the 5500 chipset is the consumer x58 with a second quick path link and a second socket.

The single socket Mac Pro is already the machine you describe and they could sell it for much less than they do. Then why don't that? First, they protect the computer they want you to buy (and really don' care if you don't like said computer), the iMac. Second, they understand thee things. a) they have a monopoly. b) its really expensive to change platforms and for some pros it might not be possible. c) because of a&b they can charge whatever they want and the customer will have little choice but to pay it.
post #20 of 207
Dear Apple,

I'm very happy to see that you are scheduled to use a very capable 6 core i7 in the upcoming Mac Pro. It is a true testament to your engineering capabilities. That said, where is the headless iMac that we have been asking for? Seriously, many aspiring pros can't afford the $2,499 entry point on the lowest end Mac Pro. What happened to the days where I could pick up a Power Mac (yes, they were Power Macs back then) for $1799 or even $1499?

Oh well... I guess you will only get my Mac mini money for now.
post #21 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

The problem is there are very few apps that are going to be so well multithreaded to handle 24 threads (even if you have several apps running at once). 12 cores, boy, that's a LOT.

Heh, BOINC will take care of that. :-) And graphics chip will crunch some work as well.
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post #22 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The report also speculates the new hardware will be based on Mac-edition Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards.

This would be cool, but there is no evidence that 10.6.3 has support for 5800 series ATI cards. It would be highly unusual, though not entirely unheard of, for the Mac Pro to ship with a custom kernel to add this kind of support.
post #23 of 207
My only issues with the case of the Mac Pro is that it is too big and too heavy. I'd love to see it sized down but it's a minor thing.
post #24 of 207
wow, that would be a nice one to have for my editing.
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post #25 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!


I wouldn't mind either if Apple choose to redesign it's case ... like take the second dvd player away and shave that space off. Make the case smaller and lighter over all.
post #26 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

You've got a GREAT machine there, why do you need to change it? Just get Snow Leopard, and an ATI 4870 512MB card.

You're probably playing the game at very high resolutions on the 2600XT 256MB GPU and that is "killing the game".

Trust me. Your Mac Pro, 6GB of RAM, Snow Leopard, and ATI 4870, that will take you into the end of 2011 easily. Even if you are running Windows (Win 7 64bit recommended) and playing PC games.

Actually, I've got the GeForce 8800 GT in my Mac Pro. I opted for the upgraded video knowing that I would be playing games on it. The video card runs everything pretty great in Windoze like Fallout 3, and Dragon Age. It really doesn't seem like a video lag issue, because at times the video is just smooth. Sometimes though it's real laggy, almost like what you see in MMOs, and god forbid I pause the game and have it running in the background. Pretty much brings everything else like Safari, Mail, iTunes, etc. (normally all running all the time) to a crawl. I've already disabled Time Machine when I play to eliminate disk contention. Anyone still think the video card is the source of the performance problems here, or are there other suggestions/ideas? Any help would really be greatly appreciated.
post #27 of 207
Was wondering when the socket/chipset compatible Core i series would drop into the MacPro.

Expect a Sub $1600 MacPro! Same thing they did with the PowerMac back in the day to take care of the complaints above.
post #28 of 207
Bring on the 6-core!
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post #29 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Actually, I've got the GeForce 8800 GT in my Mac Pro. I opted for the upgraded video knowing that I would be playing games on it. The video card runs everything pretty great in Windoze like Fallout 3, and Dragon Age. It really doesn't seem like a video lag issue, because at times the video is just smooth. Sometimes though it's real laggy, almost like what you see in MMOs, and god forbid I pause the game and have it running in the background. Pretty much brings everything else like Safari, Mail, iTunes, etc. (normally all running all the time) to a crawl. I've already disabled Time Machine when I play to eliminate disk contention. Anyone still think the video card is the source of the performance problems here, or are there other suggestions/ideas? Any help would really be greatly appreciated.

Do you performance issues with other apps?

My daughter plays Sims 3 on our C2D iMac without performance issues. Sims 3 is buggy though. I still haven't been able to download and install the updates. It always barfs before finishing. I've given up.
post #30 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRC View Post

Bring on the 6-core!

Just wondering. Are you blown away yet?
post #31 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by svnipp View Post

Actually, I've got the GeForce 8800 GT in my Mac Pro. I opted for the upgraded video knowing that I would be playing games on it. The video card runs everything pretty great in Windoze like Fallout 3, and Dragon Age. It really doesn't seem like a video lag issue, because at times the video is just smooth. Sometimes though it's real laggy, almost like what you see in MMOs, and god forbid I pause the game and have it running in the background. Pretty much brings everything else like Safari, Mail, iTunes, etc. (normally all running all the time) to a crawl. I've already disabled Time Machine when I play to eliminate disk contention. Anyone still think the video card is the source of the performance problems here, or are there other suggestions/ideas? Any help would really be greatly appreciated.


the game might be optimized for DirectX and the OS X OpenGL port may have performance issues. Don't keep up with these things as much, but in the last 5 years MS has added a lot of nice features into DirectX where a graphics card has to be specially engineered to take advantage of them
post #32 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

My only issues with the case of the Mac Pro is that it is too big and too heavy. I'd love to see it sized down but it's a minor thing.

Apart from redesigning the feet to make the Mac Pro rack mountable, I don't know if Apple has many options to change the size of this case.

The 5.25" drive bays basically define the width of the case and even if they flipped the orientation vertically, the full length PCI Express cards also claim a certain amount of room.

Perhaps most importantly, the case needs to have adequate room and proper airflow for cooling. You really don't want to reduce the size of the case at the expense of increased heat-related problems (or a louder fan).

Anyhow, I think forty pounds is reasonable for a professional caliber workstation.
post #33 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

My only issues with the case of the Mac Pro is that it is too big and too heavy. I'd love to see it sized down but it's a minor thing.

Its actually pretty small for its class. That being said, Would be nice that if Ive ever gets over his aversion to redesigning the Mac Pro, to have separate cases for the single and dual socket machines.
post #34 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!

Why change perfect design? Housing is great and functional. The internal design has gotten better with the last iteration where you can pull out the CPU boards and clean the dust from giant heat sinks easily, reducing overall system noise.

Changing a good thing for the sake of change usually leads to poorer design and functionality.

The Mac Pro case design is classic, timeless. It does not need change.

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post #35 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!

I don't want them to change the case! Every time I walk into my machine room and see 7 of those beautiful aluminum monoliths stacked horizontally into the rack I get a little thrill. And the 5 Xserve RAIDS next to them are pretty sweet as well.

I don't want to mess up that visual continuity with some random new design. I likes my Mac Pro visual continuity.
post #36 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I just don't like carrying it too far!

Mine has not move 1mm since it arrived as the IT dept bolted it and the 30" cinema to the desk for safe keeping.

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post #37 of 207
Probably my biggest compaint with the Mac Pro is that they put a single processor MB in the case if you order the single processor system. No option to add the second processor and seriously bump the power down the road. This was seriously annoying to me, but it didn't prevent me from buying the system. Oh well.
post #38 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Mine has not move 1mm since it arrived as the IT dept bolted it and the 30" cinema to the desk for safe keeping.

Speaking of, the 30" ACDs are much more in need of a technological overhaul before a cosmetic change to the Mac Pro takes place.
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post #39 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Speaking of, the 30" ACDs are much more in need of a technological overhaul before a cosmetic change to the Mac Pro takes place.

Yeah inside but the style is still very similar to the new 27" isn't it?

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post #40 of 207
New Mac Pro's are all good and well but can they PLEASE also give us a 27" Apple Display???

I realize it's not their core market but they are really lagging in the monitor department...
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