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Intel reportedly shipping next-gen Thunderbolt controllers expected in new Macs

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Chipmaker Intel has begun shipping its second generation of Thunderbolt controllers, which are believed to be bound for Apple's upcoming Mac releases, according to a new report.

Vr-Zone claimed on Thursday to have received confirmation that Intel is "finally shipping" the controllers, codenamed "Cactus Ridge." The report also said that a "handful" of PC motherboards had been delayed because of the controllers, while noting that it was a "minor issue."

The publication expects the controllers to make their way into upcoming iMac and MacBook Pros. New Mac Pro systems could also add Thunderbolt support, though the future of Apple's professional line of desktops remains uncertain.

Intel will reportedly offer two Thunderbolt solutions for its next-generation Ivy Bridge chips. The 12x12mm DSL3310 controller chip has two lanes of PCI Express bandwidth and uses 2.1W of power, while the DSL3510 provides four PCI express lanes and draws 2.8W.

"The DSL3510 can also be used for daisy chainable devices and as such it would be a lower cost, smaller and more power efficient alternative to the original Light Ridge or CV82524 chipset," the report noted.

Author LG Nilsson speculated that Apple will most likely use the DSL 3310 for its notebooks and the DSL 3510 for its desktop systems. The addition of support for multiple DisplayPort inputs on the DSL3510 could allow the chip to interface with both discrete and integrated graphics, according to the report.

A third controller, DSL2210, is a cheaper alternative that could be used for external storage devices. The chip, however, doesn't support daisy chaining.\t


Source: VR-Zone


The arrival of the next generation of Thunderbolt controllers may provide further evidence that Apple is on the verge of releasing new laptops. Multiple authorized resellers have run low on supplies of the company's 15-inch MacBook Pros ahead of the expected launch of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors.

Intel launched the Thunderbolt technology last February alongside Apple's early 2011 MacBook Pro models. More than a year later, Apple's competitors are gearing up to release their own Thunderbolt-equipped ultrabooks as early as this quarter.

Future plans for Thunderbolt include the addition of optical cables that will accommodate longer lengths and eventually faster speeds. Intel has also voiced commitment to support the PCI-Express 3.0 standard, which will feature a bit rate of up to 8 gigtransfers per second.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 37
What is it with these Intel codenames? What's next, "Dry Gulch"?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #3 of 37
I think it was a little misleading with the " though the future of Apple's professional line of desktops remains uncertain" statement when you just finished saying that "New Mac Pro systems could also add Thunderbolt support". Here is the situation. Apple hasn't refreshed the MacPro because they have been waiting for a new processor that makes sense for them to upgrade to. Obviously, Thunderbolt is missing from the current MacPro, so I would be safe to say that it is of course going to be added. Didn't Apple mention that they were to refresh the MacPro this year? The only thing I feel is that it might make sense for Apple to make the MacPro system something that could be rack mountable like a server, since a lot of the professionals in the Audio/VIdeo production have rack systems that they install ProTools rigs, portable studio rigs, etc. It would make sense that they make a rack mount system. I personally would love to see them add an optional redundant power supply and some other redundancy to make it also a VERY serious workstation as well as being able to be more like a real server with slots, since Apple left the XServe market, this could serve (no pun intended) as a great high end workstation AND a nice rack mounted server with one box. But that's my observation.
post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Apple hasn't refreshed the MacPro because they have been waiting for a new processor that makes sense for them to upgrade to.

That's out now, though.

Quote:
Didn't Apple mention that they were to refresh the MacPro this year?

No.

Quote:
The only thing I feel is that it might make sense for Apple to make the MacPro system something that could be rack mountable like a server It would make sense that they make a rack mount system.

The number of Mac Mini that you can fit in the same space as a Mac Pro are, what, 12x as powerful?

Quote:
since Apple left the XServe market, this could serve (no pun intended) as a great high end workstation AND a nice rack mounted server with one box.

They left that market for a reason. I don't see them coming back.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #5 of 37
I'm confused by this because I thought the controller was being built into the Light Peak chip. Could someone set me straight here?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

What is it with these Intel codenames? What's next, "Dry Gulch"?

Greg Giraldo might have a few ideas to offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I think it was a little misleading with the " though the future of Apple's professional line of desktops remains uncertain" statement when you just finished saying that "New Mac Pro systems could also add Thunderbolt support". Here is the situation. Apple hasn't refreshed the MacPro because they have been waiting for a new processor that makes sense for them to upgrade to. Obviously, Thunderbolt is missing from the current MacPro, so I would be safe to say that it is of course going to be added. Didn't Apple mention that they were to refresh the MacPro this year? The only thing I feel is that it might make sense for Apple to make the MacPro system something that could be rack mountable like a server, since a lot of the professionals in the Audio/VIdeo production have rack systems that they install ProTools rigs, portable studio rigs, etc. It would make sense that they make a rack mount system. I personally would love to see them add an optional redundant power supply and some other redundancy to make it also a VERY serious workstation as well as being able to be more like a real server with slots, since Apple left the XServe market, this could serve (no pun intended) as a great high end workstation AND a nice rack mounted server with one box. But that's my observation.

If you expect people to read your posts making it human readable would help.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post




If you expect people to read your posts making it human readable would help.

Don't be pedantic.

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

Don't be pedantic.

Paragraphs would be helpful.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #8 of 37
This tells me that possibly Apple has been waiting for this new Thunderbolt technology to launch the new Mac Pro's which would be considerably smaller without the need for extra hard drive space but maintain the same power at a lower price because the customer would need to buy their own storage options.
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Paragraphs would be helpful.

I'm trollin, they hatin...

Still I think he had some interesting thoughts despite the lack of 'return' usage.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

This tells me that possibly Apple has been waiting for this new Thunderbolt technology to launch the new Mac Pro's which would be considerably smaller without the need for extra hard drive space but maintain the same power at a lower price because the customer would need to buy their own storage options.

Oh dear heavens no

I didn't think about that

"The new Mac Pro."

One hard drive bay.
One double-wide PCIe slot, taken up by the double-wide GPU.
Eight Thunderbolt.

Buy the rest.

Like fun I will.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh dear heavens no

I didn't think about that

"The new Mac Pro."

One hard drive bay.
One double-wide PCIe slot, taken up by the double-wide GPU.
Eight Thunderbolt.

Buy the rest.

Like fun I will.

Buy an iMac.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

Buy an iMac.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

Don't be pedantic.


Pedantically speaking, it would be pedantic of me to point out how not using paragraphs is improper, but my point was that it's not easily read thereby making it a post people are more likely to pass over.

Now the writer has no obligation to heed my advice, nor did I say that it's a requirement. It's just merely a suggestion as I assume the point of writing in a public forum is that it's read by the public.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Pedantically speaking, it would be pedantic of me to point out how not using paragraphs is improper, but my point was that it's not easily read thereby making it a post people are more likely to pass over.

Now the writer has no obligation to heed my advice, nor did I say that it's a requirement. It's just merely a suggestion as I assume the point of writing in a public forum is that it's read by the public.

I keed, I keed.

What I meant to say was that Apple wouldn't be struggling with tower market share if they started licensing Mac OS X to Samsung!
post #15 of 37
2 Watt? That's a lot for a single I/O chip in a laptop.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

I keed, I keed.

What I meant to say was that Apple wouldn't be struggling with tower market share if they started licensing Mac OS X to Samsung!

Only fanbois care about marketshare. Apple will eat your babies for profit, however. (although image and exclusivity are more relevant, and "user experience..." actually we could all, likely enough, think of 10 good reasons why apple won't license their OS, but all of those come back to profit eventually.)
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Only fanbois care about marketshare. Apple will eat your babies for profit, however. (although image and exclusivity are more relevant, and "user experience..." actually we could all, likely enough, think of 10 good reasons why apple won't license their OS, but all of those come back to profit eventually.)

Yeah, since I bought an iPhone, I grew more popular and started getting invited to parties. What those suckers don't realize is that I am secretly texting from my Android smartphone when I rush to the restroom every 10 minutes or so.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh dear heavens no

I didn't think about that

"The new Mac Pro."

One hard drive bay.
One double-wide PCIe slot, taken up by the double-wide GPU.
Eight Thunderbolt.

Buy the rest.

Like fun I will.

For Apple to get serious about the new Mac Pro they need 2 or 3 dedicated x16 slots for GPGPUs chained together and if that gives an option for RackMount or a larger container with redundant power, water cooling and the rest, so be it.

If they did that and opened up a box for 128GB RAM they would own the high end workstation market in 1 quarter.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Intel will reportedly offer two Thunderbolt solutions for its next-generation Ivy Bridge chips. The 12x12mm DSL3310 controller chip has two lanes of PCI Express bandwidth and uses 2.1W of power, while the DSL3510 provides four PCI express lanes and draws 2.8W.

The addition of support for multiple DisplayPort inputs on the DSL3510 could allow the chip to interface with both discrete and integrated graphics, according to the report.

Intel has also voiced commitment to support the PCI-Express 3.0 standard, which will feature a bit rate of up to 8 gigtransfers per second.

Multiple displayport inputs wouldn't affect the fact that Mac Pro PCI GPU outputs couldn't go on the outside of the machine so if there's a redesign, then it's still likely a significant change from what we have now.

Using PCIe 3 could boost bandwidth in Thunderbolt up to double where it is right now and this will be in Ivy Bridge:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/09/...i-express-3-0/

40Gbps per port (20 up, 20 down).

Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar

2 Watt? That's a lot for a single I/O chip in a laptop.

Each port provides up to 10W of power too so a bus-powered device on a laptop could draw a lot of power vs a 2.5W USB port. It'll only draw that when in use though.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The number of Mac Mini that you can fit in the same space as a Mac Pro are, what, 12x as powerful?

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post

2 Watt? That's a lot for a single I/O chip in a laptop.

Not necessarily.

I assume that the chip isn't drawing significant power if it's not in use. If you need it, though, the benefits of TB would justify a couple of W.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post


Yes, it's much more expensive, but that only means you can get a set of Mac Mini of the same power or same price as the Mac Pro and fit them in a much smaller space.

Or were you mocking the idea of server rooms full of Mac Mini?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yes, it's much more expensive, but that only means you can get a set of Mac Mini of the same power or same price as the Mac Pro and fit them in a much smaller space.

Or were you mocking the idea of server rooms full of Mac Mini?




Known in the trade as a smash volley.

I think your stack 12 minis in the space of the Mac Pro's footprint is an interesting suggestion.

Didn't Apple themselves put a picture of Mini vs Pro footprint comparisons themselves?

If the entry Mini ever goes 'quad' then you can essentially buy...1, 2, 3, 4...Mac Mini's for £2000.

That would be...4, 8, 12, 16 cores...

Stick a 8 gigs in each one...that's 8, 16, 24 (count with me...) and 32 gigs of ram.

1 TB in each one. 1, 2, 3, 4 TBs...

GPUs aren't great in each one...but the whole grid could have one external GPU thunderbolt gpu from MSI when they go on sale.

How do you put all that power to purpose? Mini 3D render farm? Pre-compute and parcel the data into Open CL chunks?

The power of X-Grid via Open CL?

I'm not Apple. They'd know what to do better than me.

*looks at the picture. That's a lot of minis...

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 #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Author LG Nilsson speculated that Apple will most likely use the DSL 3310 for its notebooks and the DSL 3510 for its desktop systems.

How are laptops supposed to replace desktop systems if laptops continue to receive less functional or less powerful components?
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

How are laptops supposed to replace desktop systems if laptops continue to receive less functional or less powerful components?

They don't know what they're talking about. The MBPs had the 4 lane variant of TB, the MBA used the 2 lane. If the new ones are smaller than the old, expect all Apple products to use the 4 lane variant.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post



Known in the trade as a smash volley.

I think your stack 12 minis in the space of the Mac Pro's footprint is an interesting suggestion.

Didn't Apple themselves put a picture of Mini vs Pro footprint comparisons themselves?

If the entry Mini ever goes 'quad' then you can essentially buy...1, 2, 3, 4...Mac Mini's for £2000.

That would be...4, 8, 12, 16 cores...

Stick a 8 gigs in each one...that's 8, 16, 24 (count with me...) and 32 gigs of ram.

1 TB in each one. 1, 2, 3, 4 TBs...

GPUs aren't great in each one...but the whole grid could have one external GPU thunderbolt gpu from MSI when they go on sale.

How do you put all that power to purpose? Mini 3D render farm? Pre-compute and parcel the data into Open CL chunks?

The power of X-Grid via Open CL?

I'm not Apple. They'd know what to do better than me.

*looks at the picture. That's a lot of minis...

Lemon Bon Bon.

In order for this configuration to be taken seriously, Apple would have to use it themselves in their own massive data centers. Bt the way, the purpose of having redundant, hot swap power supplies and hard drives is so the server continues to operate after a power supply or hard drive fails. And so the failed components can be replaced without bringing down the server. Saying a Mac Mini is cheap enough for companies to buy 2 or more does not address the redundancy issue because someone still has to manually disconnect the failed system, bring the spare system online, and possibly reconfigure system settings + transfer critical files over.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Didn't Apple themselves put a picture of Mini vs Pro footprint comparisons themselves?

I made one a while ago that shows you can fit about 30 in the same space with 2 in the middle:



It takes 4x quad-core Minis to rival the processing power of the 12-core Mac Pro though so the 30-Mini setup would only be 7.5x the power in the same space.

In terms of price, 7.5x 12-core is $6200 x 7.5 = $46,500, 30 x Mini Server = $30,000.

The power consumption and heat output are the real kickers:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2836
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3468

The Mac Pro is 145-285W with 494-972BTU/h
The Mini is 10-85W with 34-290BTU/h

The Mac Pro sucking up 145W at idle is terrible for server use. With both maxed out (4x Mini vs 1x Pro), they are fairly even. The quad-i7 likely produces more heat than the C2D listed but the power usage is in the same region.

They can even do VPS setups on the Mini. They could fit 4 buyers at $20/m on one Mini and pay for the hardware in a year.

For redundancy, they would of course simply use a controller so that if anything went wrong with one Mini (not just the PSU), the service stays up.

The previous picture is using the old Minis, the new ones look much nicer, are half the height and don't need a power brick:

http://www.macminicolo.net/facility.html

950 Minis hosted there so somewhere between $0.5-1m worth of hardware.

As Apple themselves pointed out, a Mini with dual SSD outperforms a quad-XServe with SAS drives.

Smaller is the way forward and Thunderbolt is a key element to this. When you think about Thunderbolt as PCI, Apple has effectively placed a PCI slot on an 11" Macbook Air.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I made one a while ago that shows you can fit about 30 in the same space with 2 in the middle:



It takes 4x quad-core Minis to rival the processing power of the 12-core Mac Pro though so the 30-Mini setup would only be 7.5x the power in the same space.

In terms of price, 7.5x 12-core is $6200 x 7.5 = $46,500, 30 x Mini Server = $30,000.

The power consumption and heat output are the real kickers:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2836
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3468

The Mac Pro is 145-285W with 494-972BTU/h
The Mini is 10-85W with 34-290BTU/h

The Mac Pro sucking up 145W at idle is terrible for server use. With both maxed out (4x Mini vs 1x Pro), they are fairly even. The quad-i7 likely produces more heat than the C2D listed but the power usage is in the same region.

I still don't understand your logic. While a few people might benefit from rackmountable mac pros, it's not really for the purpose of mounting many of them as a server cluster. If they wanted server hardware, why not just buy 2U type units to populate the rack? If they're going the route of many low power machines, how does this hold up against other similar solutions? You should be able to get them without any kind of integrated graphics for such a thing as the current ones wouldn't support OpenCL if it's used at all. How would this compare in terms of cost and efficiency vs. atom socs or GPGPU clusters? ARM will probably go after this market in the near future as well. Anyway... you're clearly sold on minis, but it's a leveraged solution rather than one that's really designed for such use. Cooling would be a factor as well given that the temps these can reach aren't really approved for 24/7 use.

QUOTE=Marvin;2095093]

The previous picture is using the old Minis, the new ones look much nicer, are half the height and don't need a power brick:

http://www.macminicolo.net/facility.html

950 Minis hosted there so somewhere between $0.5-1m worth of hardware.[/QUOTE]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

As Apple themselves pointed out, a Mini with dual SSD outperforms a quad-XServe with SAS drives.

That's because the XServe sucked . It was a really poor effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Smaller is the way forward and Thunderbolt is a key element to this. When you think about Thunderbolt as PCI, Apple has effectively placed a PCI slot on an 11" Macbook Air.

Keep in mind there are different thunderbolt chips. The Air uses a lower bandwidth chip, and speeds aren't expected to increase prior to 2014-2015. Even then it may not be as significant as you might hope. Thunderbolt basically enables transfer capacity that you couldn't get on a laptop or without dedicated hardware prior to this, yet it's a step backward on display bandwidth because of the way it piggybacks data. I wish this was not the case.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

If they wanted server hardware, why not just buy 2U type units to populate the rack? If they're going the route of many low power machines, how does this hold up against other similar solutions?

The only options that run a Mac OS are the Pro and Mini and the Mini is better. I don't think PC towers would do much better in performance per dollar as Intel sets the price for the CPUs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

How would this compare in terms of cost and efficiency vs. atom socs or GPGPU clusters? ARM will probably go after this market in the near future as well. Anyway... you're clearly sold on minis, but it's a leveraged solution rather than one that's really designed for such use. Cooling would be a factor as well given that the temps these can reach aren't really approved for 24/7 use.

The theoretical reasons why Minis aren't good for this don't matter as they are in real-world use 24/7. I do think ARM will take over some server share eventually but not soon. x86 will hold its own due to software compatibility for now and the Mini is a good option. It is affordable, easy to setup and install and easy to replace.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The only options that run a Mac OS are the Pro and Mini and the Mini is better. I don't think PC towers would do much better in performance per dollar as Intel sets the price for the CPUs.

I was suggesting that for heavier server use, I'm not sure this presents a great solution relative to typical rackmount units.

I'm not sure how they're dealing with cooling. They may not be pushed close to their limit, which would help. The appeal to ARM is similar to that of building from atom based nodes. Assuming software compliance, that could work. I have to wonder how many people (or businesses) really run Mac OSX based servers these days.
post #31 of 37
Even Ford eventually replaced the model T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh dear heavens no

I didn't think about that

"The new Mac Pro."

One hard drive bay.
One double-wide PCIe slot, taken up by the double-wide GPU.
Eight Thunderbolt.

It might not be that bad. I actually see a greater use of PCI Express slots. For example Intel just announced their PCI-E SSD, Apple has Anobit in their pocket for a solution there.

Sadly I suspect we will be looking at a new approach to GPUs. That to support video over TB.
Quote:
Buy the rest.

Like fun I will.

Everyone needs to relax until the Pros replacement arrives. The technology is there to make a far better machine if Apple is up to it.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post



Known in the trade as a smash volley.

I think your stack 12 minis in the space of the Mac Pro's footprint is an interesting suggestion.

Didn't Apple themselves put a picture of Mini vs Pro footprint comparisons themselves?

If the entry Mini ever goes 'quad' then you can essentially buy...1, 2, 3, 4...Mac Mini's for £2000.

That would be...4, 8, 12, 16 cores...

Stick a 8 gigs in each one...that's 8, 16, 24 (count with me...) and 32 gigs of ram.

1 TB in each one. 1, 2, 3, 4 TBs...

GPUs aren't great in each one...but the whole grid could have one external GPU thunderbolt gpu from MSI when they go on sale.

How do you put all that power to purpose? Mini 3D render farm? Pre-compute and parcel the data into Open CL chunks?

The power of X-Grid via Open CL?

I'm not Apple. They'd know what to do better than me.

*looks at the picture. That's a lot of minis...

Lemon Bon Bon.

Just having two of them stacked on my desk thunderbolted together... would tickle the crap outa me!
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

For Apple to get serious about the new Mac Pro they need 2 or 3 dedicated x16 slots for GPGPUs chained together and if that gives an option for RackMount or a larger container with redundant power, water cooling and the rest, so be it.

If they did that and opened up a box for 128GB RAM they would own the high end workstation market in 1 quarter.

For 2 or 3 dedicated GPUs, they'd need to increase the power allowed on the PCI slots and the PSU. A single GTX 580 will use 250W. Right now, the slots are only given 300W max as the internal PSU is 1,000W. The CPUs draw 285W at maximum load.

128GB RAM is already available for the current Mac Pro:

http://blog.macsales.com/13028-owc-a...aximum-offered

These moves would make the Mac Pro more expensive and possibly bulkier. While this may satisfy the handful of people with >$4k to spend, there's a far bigger crowd that could use an affordable mini tower.

I'd like to see them go with just a single 6-core/12-thread CPU and a single high-end GPU and cut the PCI slots altogether in favour of 6x Thunderbolt ports.

If they could use a cube design, I think it would be a big hit but no bigger than 8" cubed. They could no question build a machine at about 14" x 14" x 8" but a cube has a really nice uniform appearance and would work well for server use.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Sadly I suspect we will be looking at a new approach to GPUs.

I don't see the sadness.

Sure, SoCs bang for buck are going through the roof each year. The new iPad being a wonder of power and slender design. Astonishing all round. ('Star Trek' tech' in my book. *Thinks back to the 8 Bit wars...) And next year, a faster dual processor or quad core cpu and the PS3 graphics class Rogue kick the iPad into another performance realm which should have Mac's noted the upstart's power.

That's the super integrated approach.

But looking at the popularity of laptops and svelte designs...eg Air, Mini and iMac (where Apple appears to live and breath...)...there's sufficient bang for the buck. But if you want to take the 'hub' behind it's design limits then you can add ram, thunderbolt HD, SSD...and yes, I don't see any reason....why that doesn't include the external GPU.

The PC is a pretty modular thing anyhow. It always has been. Stick another HD in or out. Doesn't it matter if the GPU is in or out like the HD? Same with the monitor. It's either built in...or externally attached. *Shrugs. Be nice to augment your gpu power if you're a mini, iMac or laptop.

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.)

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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.)

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post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'd like to see them go with just a single 6-core/12-thread CPU and a single high-end GPU and cut the PCI slots altogether in favour of 6x Thunderbolt ports.

I'd like that machine. How much? £1495. With Apple display. £2300?

Or it could be a top end 'iMac Pro'?? £2k all in.

Quote:
If they could use a cube design, I think it would be a big hit but no bigger than 8" cubed. They could no question build a machine at about 14" x 14" x 8" but a cube has a really nice uniform appearance and would work well for server use.

Aye. 8 inch cubed... If they could get a 6 core in that with a decent GPU...I'd be all over it. *Wet dream.

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 #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I'd like that machine. How much? £1495. With Apple display. £2300?

Or it could be a top end 'iMac Pro'?? £2k all in.

Well, knowing that Apple inflated their margins $500 and cutting the materials and engineering down by removing the components could save say $200-300, we'd be looking at $800 flexibility on top of the $300 chip they already use in the entry Pro. This allows them to use any chip up to $1100 and still come under their current entry price.

Unfortunately, Intel's options and prices really aren't all that great no matter what way you go.

For example, if you get the following 6-core Xeon:

http://ark.intel.com/products/64591/...-GTs-Intel-QPI)

you'll score maybe 8 in Cinebench but with a 6-core i7 from 2010, which is cheaper:

http://ark.intel.com/products/47932/...-GTs-Intel-QPI)

you can score closer to 9. This still makes a $6k 12-core Mac Pro better value as it's all Sandy Bridge.

Now, if Intel made an Ivy Bridge 2012 6-core i7, it would rival the current 8-core Mac Pro for $2499 - essentially giving you a 2010 8-core Mac Pro + 27" Cinema display for the price of the entry quad Mac Pro. Chain up 3x Ivy Bridge Minis and you beat the 12-core E5 for $5500. Saves $700 and you get a free $1,000 screen.

Apple is in quite a tough position with the Pro right now. They can't ignore Thunderbolt so they have to redesign it but Intel hasn't given them good enough options to make it worthwhile.

Keeping the dual-CPU option gives users who opt for it better value but users who opt for single CPU worse value and vice versa. I'd side with the lower-end for the volume and shrink it down. Next year will bring 10-core/20-thread chips so plenty to make it worthwhile over a quad-i7.
post #37 of 37
Interesting comments.

Oh for a desktop i7 6 core. I'd like to think my next iMac will have 6 cores in it. I'm still another year or so out from another iMac purchase.

I thought we'd be headed towards consumer 6 or even 8 core chips by now. Still, I guess the quads have gotten faster and the turbo boost they do is pretty cool as well.

The pricing on the 6 core Xeon should see a Mac Pro well capable of hitting a £1495 price point with an APple monitor to buy of around £2300 all in. Hmm. Historically, Apple towers have been better value than that. That would have you £650 ahead of the top end iMac. Hardly a paradigm shift. I think the days of paying over £2k just to get a powerful tower are over. Dual CPU workstation is one thing. But £2045 just to get on the ladder is ridiculous. If that was for the entry dual cpu Pro then it would be 'ok.' But I think Apple should have 3 single cpu towers in the £1k to £1600 price range. Duals starting at £1800-ish and going higher.

If someone has waiting for Sandy they may as well wait for Ivy Iron if that brings 10 core chips with 20 threads.

But I guess some folks out there are gagging for an update and will pounce on whatever Apple release.

I wonder if Apple will give us something radically different. A product that would create value added, modular and volume and performance incentives.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...=1#post2095931

Interesting posts by Junkyard as well.

The concept seems to fit in with what many posters would like. AKA, a re-factored 'Pro' more in keeping with Apple in 2012.

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
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