or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Are we actually just waiting for the 8 core processors?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are we actually just waiting for the 8 core processors?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Is Apple skipping the 6 core, and waiting for the 8 core?

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archi...090526comp.htm

It seems Apple has had the opportunity for a while to introduce the 6 core chip...but hasn't.. So I'm guessing we're waiting for the 8 core chips...

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post

Is Apple skipping the 6 core, and waiting for the 8 core?

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archi...090526comp.htm

It seems Apple has had the opportunity for a while to introduce the 6 core chip...but hasn't.. So I'm guessing we're waiting for the 8 core chips...

Any thoughts?

Nah, Nehalem EX is too expensive and already out too - that preview article is from May 2009. The EX chips were available in April:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03...lem_ex_launch/

If Apple were sticking with Intel then they'd be going with the 3500/6500 series Xeons, which are also out now.

The Phenom X6 1090T interest me because it benchmarks higher than the current entry Mac Pro quite significantly while costing the same and because AMD have scrapped the 4P tax, the higher end models could be turned into a 4P machine (think 4 x 12-core chips = 48 physical cores).

Look at the top geekbench score with a 64-core Intel machine:

http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/top

That will be an expensive server but the second one down is a dual 6-core 5600-series Xeon (hackintosh of all things). When hackintoshes are significantly outperforming the highest end machines, it's a good indication that the lineup needs an update.

3 Mac Pro models would be good:

option 1: Phenom 1090T X6
option 2: dual 12-core Opteron
option 3: quad 12-core Opteron

Then add in a high-end AMD 5000-series GPU. A 48-core Opteron should outperform a 12-core 5600-series machine but if the price of that is too high then they just need to hurry and get the 5600-series Mac Pros out.
post #3 of 27
That would be LightPeak hardware.

LightPeak is due out in the second half of the year so if you are waiting for a Mac Pro it should come soon. Well hopefully the problem is this hardware will result in a major overhaul of the motherboard, implementing a new architecture. In otherwords it ships when ready.

I'm sort if with Marvin here with respect to wanting to see Apple adopt more AMD hardware. However I don't see that happening on the Mac Pro. It would be a big risk for Apple in many ways. Not the least of which is their obvious close relationship with Intel on new hardware like LightPeak.

However intel has bent a lot of manufacture over the barrel with Arrandale so Apple needs to literially cover its behind. Thus I can see Apple using AMD hardware in an XMac and in the laptops/Mini. Especially on the low end machines where AMDs Fusion line could give Apple significant advantages. Fusion in the Mini and MacBooks could work out good for everybody. At the midrange an XMac allows Apple to introduce AMD hardware without risk to the iMac or Mac Pro.

In any event Fusion is the real draw for future products from Apple. AMD is the only manufacture that can offer such hardware. Further the coming Fusion products are just the beginning AMD has real interesting plans here with the GPU growing into a much more capable partner to the i86 cores.

In any event back to your question, I'd say in the next couple of months we should see a new Mac Pro that is a major overhaul from the current one. New tech will play a major role in this new release.


Dave
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am waiting. I have a first gen 8 core 3ghz.. it's time for an upgrade! It's just taking sooo long...but I'll just have to be patient. It's not life or death for me on upgrading.. I would just like to soon.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That would be LightPeak hardware.

LightPeak is due out in the second half of the year so if you are waiting for a Mac Pro it should come soon. Well hopefully the problem is this hardware will result in a major overhaul of the motherboard, implementing a new architecture. In otherwords it ships when ready.

I'm sort if with Marvin here with respect to wanting to see Apple adopt more AMD hardware. However I don't see that happening on the Mac Pro. It would be a big risk for Apple in many ways. Not the least of which is their obvious close relationship with Intel on new hardware like LightPeak.

However intel has bent a lot of manufacture over the barrel with Arrandale so Apple needs to literially cover its behind. Thus I can see Apple using AMD hardware in an XMac and in the laptops/Mini. Especially on the low end machines where AMDs Fusion line could give Apple significant advantages. Fusion in the Mini and MacBooks could work out good for everybody. At the midrange an XMac allows Apple to introduce AMD hardware without risk to the iMac or Mac Pro.

In any event Fusion is the real draw for future products from Apple. AMD is the only manufacture that can offer such hardware. Further the coming Fusion products are just the beginning AMD has real interesting plans here with the GPU growing into a much more capable partner to the i86 cores.

In any event back to your question, I'd say in the next couple of months we should see a new Mac Pro that is a major overhaul from the current one. New tech will play a major role in this new release.


Dave

Finally, a post from Dave that sounds like his old self again.

Balanced. Well reasoned and constructive.

I haven't lost all hope for a 'trimmed' pro design x-Mac. Using AMD and a decent gpu option.

Though the prices for the 'pro' with it's workstation cheap ass 'old when introduced' consumer 9500GT card, ooops, 120...are insane...I look forward to the pro update...with interest. Add in the 27 incher and it's going to be pricey. I 'reckon' £3000 to get the entry model, plus gpu option plus monitor. I don't see that being good value vs the iMac's 27 inch screen, decent gpu and cpu update that should follow it? We'll see. I'm just star gazing.

Not that I need it at the moment. My iMac is going fine in the meantime.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Finally, a post from Dave that sounds like his old self again.

Balanced. Well reasoned and constructive.

That is because I'm totally chilled out due to the long holiday weekend. The desire to wring neck and pound people into the ground is gone, it is good to be away from work!
Quote:

I haven't lost all hope for a 'trimmed' pro design x-Mac. Using AMD and a decent gpu option.

Niether have I. With sales actually going up and the consumers need for more storage going up the time is ripe for an expanded Mac lineup. Let's just hope Apple sees this our way.
Quote:

Though the prices for the 'pro' with it's workstation cheap ass 'old when introduced' consumer 9500GT card, ooops, 120...are insane...I look forward to the pro update...with interest. Add in the 27 incher and it's going to be pricey. I 'reckon' £3000 to get the entry model, plus gpu option plus monitor. I don't see that being good value vs the iMac's 27 inch screen, decent gpu and cpu update that should follow it? We'll see. I'm just star gazing.

I've never really understood Apples lack of interest in GPUs. However I'm hopeful based on the way Apple has been willing to sharply increase GPU performance on things like the Mini. Further they are even stressing the importance of a good GPU themselves. That along with the continued support of OpenCL has me thinking that Apple finally gets it. So just maybe we will see a decent GPU in the next Mac Pro.
Quote:
Not that I need it at the moment. My iMac is going fine in the meantime.

Lemon Bon Bon.

I continue to be impressed by the iMac line. I honestly see it as a good value. Well like all Apple products at the time of release they are very good values. For me though I'd likely have to set up a server to have enough storage space. Setting up a server actually might be my next computer expense, but this is likely to be a Linux machine. Mainly because Apple really doesn't haves god server offering.


Dave
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That is because I'm totally chilled out due to the long holiday weekend. The desire to wring neck and pound people into the ground is gone, it is good to be away from work!

Niether have I. With sales actually going up and the consumers need for more storage going up the time is ripe for an expanded Mac lineup. Let's just hope Apple sees this our way.

I've never really understood Apples lack of interest in GPUs. However I'm hopeful based on the way Apple has been willing to sharply increase GPU performance on things like the Mini. Further they are even stressing the importance of a good GPU themselves. That along with the continued support of OpenCL has me thinking that Apple finally gets it. So just maybe we will see a decent GPU in the next Mac Pro.


I continue to be impressed by the iMac line. I honestly see it as a good value. Well like all Apple products at the time of release they are very good values. For me though I'd likely have to set up a server to have enough storage space. Setting up a server actually might be my next computer expense, but this is likely to be a Linux machine. Mainly because Apple really doesn't haves god server offering.


Dave

Work related. I might have guessed. For a long while you seemed like Melgross with hypertension. It was getting to the point where even Mel' seemed mellow compared to your postings... Your job must be stressful...heh.

More vacations.

As for the desktops. It's the same old for me.

As a UK buyer, I along with Marv', feel hard done to.

iMac's screen makes it good value. Great screen. But the C2D is out of date. So are the gpus. Wayyy past their prime. They're ok. But so is alot of old tech. Apple need to include some cutting edge tech to go with their cutting edge prices.

Gpus? I don't understand it either. This is the same company that began the initiatives to offload OS processes and screen drawing onto the Open GL part of the card. Yet, skimp on Vram. Offer 'mainstream' cards that are out of date (ie based on older tech') at launch and keep them forever and don't even allow us the option of 'bumping'/upgrading them due to a closed system approach. It's a cynical practice to make us wait 18 months for an upgrade. The gpus continue to be an area of weakness. With a 'it'll do' attitude on 'it won't do' prices.

Pro. Hmm. Ever since Apple started bumping up the prices with the G5 and pounded them higher with the move to Intel, I've been skeptical about the so called 'pro'. Where to start? Lack of LCD updates and we have an expensive, solitary 24 inch model. Stingy ram as standard. Stingy hd as standard. Not expensive components now. Yet Apple still want us to pay through the nose. Use of Xeons. Little performance advantage over cpus in PCs less than half their prices. Old when introduced (9500GT tech...bleh...) 'mainstream' cards included in a 'flag ship' product that purports to be a 'workstation'. Semantics? Well. Apple want us to pay 'worksation' prices for something that doesn't have workstation components eg GPU. And is out performed now by Hackintoshes that can be cobbled together for a fraction of the price. There are six core AMD systems over at overclockers that cost Less than £1k with a decent, modern gpu. And you could buy two of these, network them for your 3d rendering/modelling and still have change before you acquire Apple's entry Mac 'pro'. (Takes breath.*)

That aside. Light peak is interesting. A gpu shift should be coming. And six core sounds good and all.

But the entry price will be about 2k. About 2.3k for a 'low end' dual model. Then probably close to a grand for Apple's 27 inch LED monitor. That's 3.3k. Then £300 for a gpu that should be standard on any 'pro' above £2k. I'm guessing you're looking at £3.5k. Put that in yer dollars and weep I guess. That's alot of money for me. I'd love to pull the trigger. Not sure I can justify it. But some may well feel they can.

I think it's getting to the point with 'towers' that unless Apple puts out a 'mini-tower' then alot of Apple fans like myself will just think sod it...and throw together a 'Hackintosh.' It's got to be easier than earning 3.5k. :P

Meanwhile. The iMac range should get a gpu update. *looks. And the quad cores that should have come as standard will make their way down the range. eg i5 low end. i7 'high end'. ie some kind of 'side grade' ie 'old performance' that's been available for ages. And is already way out of date.

Maybe I can buy this year's pro or imac update in next year's sale? :/

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #8 of 27
You know. I wonder if the iMac will get the 6 core AMD in a future update?

If the iMac had that, any decent gpu...that would be my next machine and I'll trade this one in.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #9 of 27
I do admire alot of the work Apple does on the OS, software side which they virtually give away for free.

The iPad is a landmark machine. Price wise. It's way better value than the mac mini!!! And it has a free keyboard and screen...and wayyyy more apps available for it.

The iPhone 4 is state of the art (and on order. I'm no.60 on a waiting list...) :/

And I'm excited about where Apple going going generally.

But I've never been a big fan of their desktop policy.

Which stinks of cynicism and greed. But hey, people are buying them. They must be great value... :/

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #10 of 27
I'd love to see a smaller Mac Pro. I refuse to believe they can't make the thing smaller. They've gone to great lengths to make every other thing they produce smaller, and yet the Mac Pro is still this monstrosity on my desk. If I didn't need the 8 cores for 1080 HD editing, I'd have downgraded. I've tried doing it on my brother's iMac and thanks, but no thanks. I'll keep my 8 cores. I dread the thought if the next Mac Pro still being in the same massive enclosure though.

The problem I have is that my GPU is dying. I'm pretty sure it's overheating, and there's nothing I can do to cool it down. It gets to the point where the whole screen tears into little pieces and there's literally nothing that can be done but a reboot to fix it. I want to replace my GPU, but there's nothing out there that will work that doesn't cost a fortune for old tech. Short of buying an AC unit and figuring out a way to hook it up to the GPU, I'm basically waiting for a Mac Pro upgrade. When the replacement cost for my GPU is literally half of a new Mac Pro, why would I NOT upgrade?

As an added bonus, I'll take my old Mac Pro out and punch a few holes in it with my 30.06 before bringing it into the Apple Store for recycling. That ought to make their day.
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

The problem I have is that my GPU is dying. I'm pretty sure it's overheating, and there's nothing I can do to cool it down.

It's maybe just dusty. You just shut it down, unplug it, pull the lever at the back and the side opens. Just get something to blow air into it like an airbrush or similar. If it's the X1900XT, they were well known for getting dust blocking the cooling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

When the replacement cost for my GPU is literally half of a new Mac Pro, why would I NOT upgrade?

As an added bonus, I'll take my old Mac Pro out and punch a few holes in it with my 30.06 before bringing it into the Apple Store for recycling. That ought to make their day.

You shouldn't have to do that. You should be able to get an 8800GT for it fairly cheap:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...or_mac_us.html

Then you can sell it on eBay for a decent amount of money. Certainly don't just dump an 8-core Mac Pro, that's just throwing a lot of money away ($1000 at least).
post #12 of 27
Brian: buy a PC card for way less, and flash it.
post #13 of 27
Marvin, I routinely "Dust-off" the inside of my MacPro. It's a habit I picked up while deployed in the Middle East. Because of your suggestion, I went the extra step and actually pulled the GPU out (it's the NVidia Quadro FX 4500) and used the air on it from every angle. Only the slightest bit of dust came out (and the card was rather hot to touch). I bought this card in particular because it got such good ratings and reviews. I never would have thought I'd have this issue coming from the very top end GPU they offered at the time. I use the air on everything inside and reinstalled everything. It's working fine, but I'm not pushing it at all. The problem is, I'm in the Seattle area and we're used to the weather (and our houses) being around 60 degrees ambient temp. We're now at the beginning of our "three weeks of summer", and when it gets up to 80 inside the house, the Mac Pro just can't handle the temps (or more specifically, the Nvidia card can't).

So here are a couple of questions. I've been a Mac user now since OS X came into being, and I've loved it every step of the way. That said, I've never seen any kind of tweaks that Mac Pro users can use to increase the RPM's of the internal fans (especially the fan right in front of the GPU), though I have seen these tweaks for my Macbook Pro. Perhaps something like that could assist the GPU in cooling better. Know of any apps that tweak the fans inside the Mac Pro?

Her are the "signs and symptoms" of the GPU issues. The first thing you notice is stuck pixels. They aren't really stuck, but they look that way. If I pull up a movie to watch, the black bars are literally filled with green, blue, and red pixels that ought to be black. They never are the same ones, so I know they aren't stuck. The second thing that happens, occurs when I'm taxing the GOU (but only moderately). I'll watch a movie in iTunes. Admittedly, I'm using a 30" cinema display at full resolution, but it ought to handle that. The movie will be playing fine then the whole screen will go black. That lets me know that we have the whole tearing thing going on. I'll CMD+Q iTunes and there's the whole screen completely ripped to shreds. It looks like confetti. If you've never seen what it looks like when the whole screen tears, it's really interesting. There's literally nothing that can be done to fix it other than a reboot. That's what I've been living with. I wish Nvidia would stand behind their top of the line products and swap it out for me (because it's obviously not something I've done to their card. It's their card acting up all on its own.) but I know that's a dream.

Thank you for the suggestion with the 8800GT. I wasn't aware that it was available for the MacPro 2,1. I'll call them up and confirm it because it seems that only a couple of cards are available for this particular Mac Pro.

1337_5L4Xx0R, thanks for the suggestion about the PC card and flashing it. You're talking to someone that doesn't do that sort of thing though. I've spend the vast majority of my life as a firefighter. If you need a hole in your roof, a door ripped from its hinges, or a car turned into a convertible in less than 15 minutes, I'm your guy. When it comes to "flashing" a PC card, I wouldn't even know where to begin, much less be confident that I could do it correctly.
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

Know of any apps that tweak the fans inside the Mac Pro?

I use the following app:

http://www.lobotomo.com/products/FanControl/

It says Macbook Pro at the top but it works in other machines too. You set what temperature you want the machine to sit between and it will run the fans as fast as it needs to get the machine to that temperature.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I use the following app:

http://www.lobotomo.com/products/FanControl/

It says Macbook Pro at the top but it works in other machines too. You set what temperature you want the machine to sit between and it will run the fans as fast as it needs to get the machine to that temperature.

Thanks for that. We'll see if this helps. I really do appreciate the help.

Now back on topic. I would love to see 8 cores dropped into the Mac Pro. Here's a question for the uneducated. If we're no longer after the whole, "fastest GHz" thing anymore, and are instead, focused on more cores to do the work, why does Apple not take the cheapest multi core chips they can get and just put four or six physical chips on a motherboard? It seems to me that if they can put two Xeon chips in my Mac Pro, they can just as easily put in four. With Grand Central Dispatch, there ought to be huge gains when it comes to multithreaded apps, correct?

I like seeing people talk about AMD chips in the Mac Pro. Why not? Could you imagine how fast rendering would be on a Mac Pro with four chips at six or eight cores apiece? It'd be awesome.

I really hope they change the enclosure. I need more power than the iMac can provide, and there's literally nothing in between the iMac and the Mac Pro. These things are just too big in my opinion. They shrink every other product they have, but when it comes to the Mac Pro it's just as huge as the ones in 2000! Jonathan Ive needs to shrink the Mac Pro, or if they refuse to do that, they need to start dropping more than two chips into the thing. It seems to me that they aren't really going after "Pro" at all, but are settling for amateur.

The one thing that suggests they might be doing something substantial with this next Mac Pro is the fact that we haven't seen updates yet. It might be a clue that someone in Apple really does care about the Mac Pro, but they certainly haven't been going with top of the line stuff recently. It seems to me that if Steve doesn't care about a product (I seriously doubt he cares about the Mac Pro at all, aside from revenue generation) it simply gets pushed off to the side. It's obvious that mobile macs are his thing, and macs that can actually do some work are pushed off to the recesses of the basement and are all but forgotten by Steve.

It'd be great to see Steve take a personal interest in the Mac Pro. If they are going to do the whole, "More cores are better" thing, then they ought to knock it out of the park with four or six chips with multiple cores each. If the thing has to remain huge (because that's "the way it's always been"), then we ought to really utilize the space for all we can.
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

If we're no longer after the whole, "fastest GHz" thing anymore, and are instead, focused on more cores to do the work, why does Apple not take the cheapest multi core chips they can get and just put four or six physical chips on a motherboard?

It's because of power usage and the price of 4P capable chips. Intel charge a premium for these, plus their chips are expensive already. AMD on the other hand scrapped their 4P tax this year:

http://blogs.amd.com/work/tag/4p-tax/

and they do indeed have affordable lower speed server chips. The problem is that the performance needs to justify the cost.

Currently the dual processor Mac Pro with the 4-core 2.93GHz processors cost 2 x $1386 = $2772. This is for 8 cores, 16 threads.
You can buy a 4P capable Opteron 6168 1.9GHz 12-core processor for $744 so 4 x $744 = $2976 and this gets you 48 physical cores.

So 48 AMD 1.9GHz cores are around the same price as 8 Intel 2.93GHz cores.

Even if Intel's cores are 4x faster than AMD's then it's still 48 cores for AMD vs 36 for Intel although the AMD one would likely draw more power. But I doubt the Intel one would outperform them by that much - it's not too much of a stretch though because they are very fast. Plus, if Apple used the AMD chips, they might get some discounts on some great cards like the 5870, which has now recently got driver support in OS X and has over 500 GFLOPs of double precision compute performance.

A 48-core Opteron with a 5870 would be a superb machine for compute performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Green View Post

It seems to me that if Steve doesn't care about a product (I seriously doubt he cares about the Mac Pro at all, aside from revenue generation) it simply gets pushed off to the side.

Yeah, I feel that way too but there are a number of factors to consider. Apple use the 3500/5500 Xeons just now and the only upgrade available that is priced reasonably is to the 3600/5600 series and the performance won't be 2x faster or whatever.

In order for people to justify selling their old Pro and moving to the new one, there really needs to be a bigger reason than 25% faster. For some people, that might be significant but not a lot.

Final Cut Pro hasn't been updated for a while and although there have been snippets of OpenCL usage here and there, it's not been nearly as much as it could be and Apple have been maintaining their OpenCL compatible GPU options for the past two years or so. Intel chips don't support it and Apple aren't using the new i-series chips because of this.

So if I were to make a guess about a possible significant upcoming release, it would be the above AMD Mac Pro running a fully OpenCL-compatible Final Cut Studio with the Radeon 5870 or Geforce 480. That would be worth waiting for because if they can pull that off, it will mean no more hours long encoding times from FCP.
post #17 of 27
All I can guess is that an epic redesign is on the way. Barring that, I think Apple might be sending a strong message about their 'pro' mac and its future. Who knows; maybe they are cool with Hackintoshes for this segment.

As for 48 processors, I think the laws of diminishing returns might kick in hard after 12 cores or so. But 'pro' apps are often threaded well, and Apple does ship many of them itself. I know Mental Ray supports at least 8 cores so that is my 'magic number' besides which I'm sure I could trick a Mac into running multiple instances via Dr. Queue on a loopback device, or VMWare, or similar. Render farm in a box.

Wait, i'm thinking out loud.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post

As for 48 processors, I think the laws of diminishing returns might kick in hard after 12 cores or so.

To some extent - certainly on a single machine because you have limited amounts of RAM but some processes will benefit greatly from it and I think 3D is one of them so long you as avoid raytracing as much as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post

I know Mental Ray supports at least 8 cores so that is my 'magic number' besides which I'm sure I could trick a Mac into running multiple instances via Dr. Queue on a loopback device, or VMWare, or similar.

The 8-core thing is a license restriction. Most render engine developers had a license restriction up to a certain number of cores so that if you were rendering on a farm, you'd buy a license per machine. Some of them are coming to the realization that this restriction is going to cause issues on single machines with many cores as you would have to buy and run multiple licenses on the same box.

Some Renderman engines like PRMan switched to an unlimited license last year:

https://renderman.pixar.com/products...threading.html

"Why is Pixar announcing unlimited threading?
Current and future multi-core processors continue to increase in size and potential performance, and Pixar has invested heavily in threading RenderMan® to take advantage of this expanding capacity. We also believe that a new license model is necessary to reflect the realties of current technology trends, a model that is both flexible and adaptable and not limited by the specifics of any particular hardware platform. Unlimited threading addresses all of these requirements and is easy to understand and administer."

"An existing RenderMan license (RPS v14.0, RMS v2.0, RfM v3.0) can use up to 4 threads per license, with thread-sharing possible between license invocations in some cases. On a four-core processor you might allocate these four threads in several ways: rendering one frame using 4 threads, 2 frames simultaneously using 2 threads each, or 4 frames at the same time using 1 thread. (Memory permitting)
The simpler new unlimited threading model (RPS v15.0, RMS v3.0, RfM v4.0) will allow each license to use any number of threads."

So they let you use as many cores in a machine but not across machines. In a business model, it may be more cost-effective to have machines with 48-cores with 32-64GB RAM and a single render license vs 6 x 8-core machines with 4-8GB RAM and 6 render licenses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post

Render farm in a box.

That's pretty much it and an awesome marketing angle. The definition of a renderfarm keeps moving of course and Pixar are above the 3000 computer mark and probably in the 50-100 TFLOPs area with 5-10TB RAM and 1-2PB of storage so a single machine with 1-2TFLOPs double precision (counting 48 CPU cores + high-end GPU) with 32-64GB RAM and say 8TB storage still has a long way to go.

However, that's compared to modern renderfarms, not to renderfarms that made movies 2 decades ago. They said when they re-rendered Toy Story for 3D, it took just 1/24th of a second per frame:

http://industrialarithmetic.blogspot...-story-3d.html

As opposed to one every 30 seconds way back so they have improved by a factor of 1000. So yeah, a current single machine of the mentioned spec would fall within that and rival the renderfarm used to make Toy Story 2 or thereabouts but still qualifies as a renderfarm in a box.

You start to hit limits on data transfer mostly in a single machine for that kind of task but if the render engine can split the frame into as many buckets and store the required data in RAM sufficiently then it should still greatly benefit the artists working on the content as they can pull up preview frames much more quickly.
post #19 of 27
One of the reasons Apple doesn't go with huge numbers of cores is because OSX itself is (or at least was a couple of years ago) a dog at multithreading. It has serious bottlenecks above 4 cores or so that made running larger core counts pointless. I don't know how or if Apple has addressed parallelism in OSX, but that has always been a problem with Mach.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by randian View Post

One of the reasons Apple doesn't go with huge numbers of cores is because OSX itself is (or at least was a couple of years ago) a dog at multithreading. It has serious bottlenecks above 4 cores or so that made running larger core counts pointless. I don't know how or if Apple has addressed parallelism in OSX, but that has always been a problem with Mach.

I thought that's why Grand Central was developed.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I thought that's why Grand Central was developed.

Don't feed the trolls. They're on a strict diet of FUD.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Don't feed the trolls. They're on a strict diet of FUD.

I was wondering how someone could be so ignorant on GCD and OS X, then I looked at the post count. D'oh
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I was wondering how someone could be so ignorant on GCD and OS X, then I looked at the post count. D'oh

Grand Central is a parallel computation framework. Please, do explain how it fixes substandard (from a parallelism point of view) locking schemes in OSX's I/O, IPC, Process, and other subsystems. It doesn't do you much good to efficiently spawn a hundred GPU cores running vector computations if you can't get all that data back to disk. Apple never did have a big iron mentality, if they did they wouldn't have used Mach, they'd have started with any of the several variants of Linux that SGI, IBM, Cray, et al were developing for multi-hundred core applications.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by randian View Post

Grand Central is a parallel computation framework. Please, do explain how it fixes substandard (from a parallelism point of view) locking schemes in OSX's I/O, IPC, Process, and other subsystems. It doesn't do you much good to efficiently spawn a hundred GPU cores running vector computations if you can't get all that data back to disk. Apple never did have a big iron mentality, if they did they wouldn't have used Mach, they'd have started with any of the several variants of Linux that SGI, IBM, Cray, et al were developing for multi-hundred core applications.

But that's not what you said.

Let me refresh your memory:"One of the reasons Apple doesn't go with huge numbers of cores is because OSX itself is (or at least was a couple of years ago) a dog at multithreading."

But hey, I give you credit for trying to move the goal posts to a more defensible position. Keep up the good work! Its obvious you are a master at trolling.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

But that's not what you said.

Let me refresh your memory:"One of the reasons Apple doesn't go with huge numbers of cores is because OSX itself is (or at least was a couple of years ago) a dog at multithreading."

But hey, I give you credit for trying to move the goal posts to a more defensible position. Keep up the good work! Its obvious you are a master at trolling.

No goalposts have been moved. Parallel computation is but a subset of multithreading. Efficiently doing large parallel computations on disjoint data sets is easy. Saving your results efficiently without locking contention killing you is hard. That's why I'm talking about I/O and IPC: they're the bottlenecks in OSX, which GC doesn't address.
post #26 of 27
It would seem to me that Apple would be well aware of any such constraints and are also looking toward the future of computing when determining how they are working with OS X. They know that all of their apps are going to go 64-bit. They know that all of their apps are going to require far more resources than they ever did before because technology is advancing. This isn't new to any of the folks in Cupertino.

I think that more cores are the way of the future. I think we're going to see far more than two chips per computer. I still remember the first time I heard that Apple was dropping two chips into their Mac Pro. It blew my mind. Now, here I am in 2010, using a Mac Pro that's already a couple of years old, and I've got 8 cores at my disposal at 3 GHz apiece. I've got 13 GB of RAM to give it some elbow room as well. It stands to reason that in a few years time, I'll look back on this Mac just like I currently look back on my 600 MHz G3 iBook with 2 GB of RAM in it. We're progressing.

If Apple goes with AMD and significantly steps up the amount of cores available to OS X, then it stands to reason that they are also looking into making the OS handle that capacity the very best way possible. I'm not someone that deals with these issues, but I know those people at Cupertino get paid a buck or two more than I do in order for them to make those decisions. I know that I love using my 8-cores as opposed to my brother's 2-cores when it comes to even simple things like editing HD 1080i footage in iMovie. I don't think Intel is really looking to make our lives easier with their pricing schemes. I think AMD is going to be where it's at when it comes to getting the most cores for our buck.

I think in a few years I'll look back and wonder how it is that I was able to get anything done with just 8 cores.
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Reply
post #27 of 27
I very much like Phenom X6 1090T because its benchmarks is higher. Because its current entry Mac Pro is quite significantly while costing is same. AMD have scrapped the 4P tax, the higher end models could be turned into a 4P machine.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Are we actually just waiting for the 8 core processors?