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Woodcrest to power Apple's next-gen Mac Pro desktops

post #1 of 226
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Apple Computer has selected dual-core Xeon server processors from Intel Corp. to power its next wave of high-performance professional Mac Pro desktops, AppleInsider has confirmed.

The 64-bit chips -- formerly code-named "Woodcrest" and officially unveiled by Intel last month as the Xeon 5100 series -- pack a 4MB L2 cache and run at speeds of up to 3.0GHz on a 1333MHz front-side bus.

Though the chips are almost architecturally identical to Intel's upcoming line of Core 2 Duo Extreme desktop processor (code-named "Conroe"), they differ in that they'll utilize the company's new Land Grid Array (LGA) 771 socket and also allow for multiple processor configurations.

Apple plans to take advantage of Woodcrest's multi-processor capabilities by offering versions of its upcoming Mac Pro professional desktops that will sport two of the dual core chips, people familiar with the Mac maker's plans have said. The new systems, which will succeed the Power Mac G5 at the forefront of the company's product matrix, will also be available in a single processor configuration for a substantially reduced cost, those people have since revealed.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is expected to showcase the new computers early next month as he demonstrates Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" -- the company's next-generation operating system -- during the annual Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Calif.

The new Mac Pro desktops will represent the last of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's personal computer systems to transition from IBM's PowerPC-based processors to Intel's chips. And sources who have crossed paths with pre-production units claim they will rival, if not exceed in speed, the most powerful personal computer systems on the market today.

As Apple began development of the Mac Pro last October, it turned to Intel's Oregon division for the expertise in constructing a logicboard capable of housing a dual-processor Woodcrest configuration (or in other words, a graphics powerhouse sporting a total of four cores of processing power). Initially, it appeared that the two companies had aspirations of developing a radically compact board design, but they later settled on one approximately the same size as those found in Apple's current Power Mac G5 systems.

In addition to being the fastest of Intel's chips suited for a personal computer system, Woodcrest is also the first family of microprocessors to utilize Intel's "Core" microarchitecture. The architecture includes an advance cache technology that allows one core of a dual-core processor to use the entire memory reservoir while the other core is idle. It also supports a feature called "Smart Memory Access" that can hide memory latency and bottlenecks, as well as "Wide Dynamic Execution," which widens the execution core and allows for more instructions per cycle.

Apple's decision to base the Mac Pro on Woodcrest rather than Conroe may also help the company further diversify its four primary Mac product lines as the holiday shopping season rolls around -- offering the potential for each line to differentiate itself from the others via a unique Intel chip variant.



Specifically, Apple may choose to updates its iMac consumer desktops with "Conroe" processors and its MacBook Pro professional notebooks with "Merom" chips, while continuing to build the consumer-oriented MacBook around "Yonah." Of course, Apple will also continue to offer its entry-level Mac mini desktop, which is currently available with either a dual-core and single-core "Yonah" chip.

Apple last updated its Pro desktop computers in October of 2005, when it introduced the Power Mac G5 Quad along with updated Power Mac G5 Dual models.
post #2 of 226
A product line that makes sense. Man I hope this comes to pass. This lineup would fill most user's needs appropriately.
post #3 of 226
yep, this line of product good, hopefully there will be good price difference as well to difference in config ...

one Mac Pro model with Single Xeon CPU as well ...

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post #4 of 226
So how much do you think these babies will cost? 2 dual cores at 3.0 ghz each sounds expensive....
post #5 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by shanmugam
yep, this line of product good, hopefully there will be good price difference as well to difference in config ...

one Mac Pro model with Single Xeon CPU as well ...

That's the part I don't get. A Mac Pro with a single dual-core processor at $2000 has to be at least 2.67 GHz to not look dumb next to the Conroe-based Dell PCs. And having 2 x 2.0 is cheaper than having 1 x 2.67. Unless that single Xeon model is gonna be $1600 or something.
post #6 of 226
I don't even want to think about how much woody pros will cost. The Conroe iMacs are what interest me.
post #7 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by solsun
So how much do you think these babies will cost? 2 dual cores at 3.0 ghz each sounds expensive....

Not only will they be the fastest on planet earth, they will be the most expensive.

YIKES!!
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post #8 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by solsun
So how much do you think these babies will cost? 2 dual cores at 3.0 ghz each sounds expensive....

G5s were apparently not cheap either. I don't expect much of a price hike, if any. I think the 3 current models can go all Quad for the current price points with a decent margin for Apple.
post #9 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by ZachPruckowski
That's the part I don't get. A Mac Pro with a single dual-core processor at $2000 has to be at least 2.67 GHz to not look dumb next to the Conroe-based Dell PCs. And having 2 x 2.0 is cheaper than having 1 x 2.67. Unless that single Xeon model is gonna be $1600 or something.

I expect it'll be clear enough to consumers that one is a different processor than the other; you know how well Apple's segmentation works: unless that person is a pro who actually needs Woodcrest power, it's unlikely they'll even get beyond a Conroe iMac in the store.

That said, I think this opens the door for a Conroe Mac sub-Pro between $1499 and $1999, perhaps in addition to the Conroe iMac.

Oh, and I would expect the 2x3.0ghz Woodcrest configuration to cost upwards of $3499, probably around $4000 given Apple's traditional 30% margins minimum at the high-end.
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post #10 of 226
Finally some news on the Mac Pro. This is all good news. I can't wait until Monday, August 7. Only 26 days to go, but who's counting?!
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post #11 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by shanmugam
yep, this line of product good, hopefully there will be good price difference as well to difference in config ...

one Mac Pro model with Single Xeon CPU as well ...

I believe we will see an ALL QUAD CORE lineup for the Mac Pro.
  • 2x2GHz starting at $2200
    2x2.33GHz starting at $2700
    2x2.67GHz starting at $3500
2x3GHz will be offered as a BTO option for $500.

The above prices will include built-in RAID 0,1 support, 1GiB RAM, 16X double layer super drive, >=250GB SATA II hard drive, and a low to mid-end graphics card. High end graphics will be optional.
post #12 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by mwswami
I believe we will see an ALL QUAD CORE lineup.

I doubt it -- it'd be overkill.

Just for comparison's sake, a 3ghz quad-core (dual-core dual-processor) Xeon workstation from Dell will currently run you $3400. And that's the low-end of the Xeon spectrum, too. They go up to 3.73ghz.
post #13 of 226
Glad to here that the product matrix increasing looks like it will break down this way. Yonah, Merom, Conroe, Woodcrest. I'm hoping to get my hands on a Mac Pro in the coming year and a Conroe powered one left more to be desired. I plan on running multiple OSes and some demanding apps simultaneously, so the more power to work with the better.

Hopefully the new mobos follows with a new case configuration as well. A wider array of options that pros have been missing since the days of cases sized like the 9500-9600: multiple drives, an array of video cards, more expandability. This is Apple's shot at showing that they can build nice yet more flexible machines on the new architecture.

Curious to see if new x-serves will be out soon too. The workplace is moving house to grow in the fall and some shiny new servers in the mix would be just lovely.
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post #14 of 226
I don't know if it's overkill because of the specs given, but I do know Steve's view of "Let people will pay for what they'll pay for."

Anyone notice how the price of the quads went up (PPC) when they were announced? People bought them.

Now that the Intels will scream-- people will buy. The prices are going to go up-- not because Apple is trying to milk consumers, though. Consumers are supposedly taken care of by fast imacs and such. The pro macs are going to be the cheapest workstations on the market. This is abolut business. Target-- Dell, HP, the other M$ sycophants...


My $.0095.
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post #15 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes
I doubt it -- it'd be overkill.

Just for comparison's sake, a 3ghz quad-core (dual-core dual-processor) Xeon workstation from Dell will currently run you $3400. And that's the low-end of the Xeon spectrum, too. They go up to 3.73ghz.

The 3.73GHz version is not Woodcrest - it's the Xeon 5000 series. Woodcrest (5100 series) tops out currently at 3GHz.

I configured a 2x2GHz Dell a little while back for about $2100. Currently due to short supply Dell has a big markup on 5100 series processors. For example they are selling the 3GHz model for $1250. It's price (for 1000+ units) is suppose to be around $850. Of course Dell (and so should Apple) gets about 40% off as volume discount as well ...
post #16 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by mwswami
I believe we will see an ALL QUAD CORE lineup for the Mac Pro.
  • 2x2GHz starting at $2200
    2x2.33GHz starting at $2700
    2x2.67GHz starting at $3500
2x3GHz will be offered as a BTO option for $500.

Ouch...nobody's gonna buy a products from a lineup with those price tags.

2x2.33 for 2700?
2x2.67 for 3500? sheeesh.

2x2.33 costs Apple at most $1000.
2x2.67 costs Apple at most $1350.

With the other components, these things wouldn't be cost Apple more than $2000 and $2350 at *most*.

The markup would be ridiculous. Nobody would buy these machines. Remember that Apple now competes with other PC manufacturers.
post #17 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Ouch...nobody's gonna buy a products from a lineup with those price tags.

2x2.33 for 2700?
2x2.67 for 3500? sheeesh.

2x2.33 costs Apple at most $1000.
2x2.67 costs Apple at most $1350.

The markup would be ridiculous. Nobody would buy these machines.

These prices are very competitive. If fact, they may be too conservative for the low end ... Try configuring a similar machine at Dell or Boxx ....
post #18 of 226
Funny how some of you set yourselves up for high prices. For the record, I originally expected quads across the entire line...

Forget 2.0 ghz anything. That number is older than dirt, back with the original G5. Get that outta here.

Quad 2.3 Woodcrest $1999.

Quad 2.6 Woodcrest $2499

Quad 3 ghz Woodcrest $3299

This will finally get the ProMac sales above 100K per quarter -- Enjoy!

PS -- Maybe a single 2.3 in there for $1599.
post #19 of 226
Since when did we pay what something is really worth? Geez-- if we did, a Dell could mean a 120% rebate.
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post #20 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by mugwump
Funny how some of you set yourselves up for high prices. For the record, I originally expected quads across the entire line...

Forget 2.0 ghz anything. That number is older than dirt, back with the original G5. Get that outta here.

Quad 2.3 Woodcrest $1999.

Quad 2.6 Woodcrest $2499

Quad 3 ghz Woodcrest $3299

This will finally get the ProMac sales above 100K per quarter -- Enjoy!

PS -- Maybe a single 2.3 in there for $1599.

For the record I think the speeds are right but the price will be $2199/$2799/$3499 for the 2.3/2.66/3.0 respectively. That still makes them cheaper compared to other Woodcrest workstations
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post #21 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by mugwump
Forget 2.0 ghz anything. That number is older than dirt, back with the original G5. Get that outta here.

I am a systems software developer and I like the 2x2Ghz option because it gives me good concurrency at a very cheap price ($315/Socket). Speed of the processor is less important to me. Of course, I may be in the minority ...

Quote:
Originally posted by mugwump
PS -- Maybe a single 2.3 in there for $1599.

For a single socket (2 cores) machine, its better to go with Conroe - it will save you hundreds of dollars in cheaper motherboard, CPU, and memory.
post #22 of 226
The thing I really like about apple going intel is it will impossible to prevent processor upgrades (from within the same family of CPU's) in the towers. Who knows, Apple might themselves offer upgrades down the line?
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post #23 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Thereubster
The thing I really like about apple going intel is it will impossible to prevent processor upgrades (from within the same family of CPU's) in the towers. Who knows, Apple might themselves offer upgrades down the line?

Oh trust me...Apple can and may solder the CPU to the board. In fact, they may do this now just to spite you. I'll blame you if it happens.
post #24 of 226
I can't see Apple starting Mac Pro prices at more than $1999. That would leave a huge gap between it and the iMac. It'd make more sense to have a lineup split between Core 2 Duos and Xeon 5100s: two of each kind occupying the lower and upper spectrums. As an example:

$1799: 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
$2299: 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo
$2999: Dual 2.66 GHz Xeon
$3999: Dual 3 GHz Xeon

You'd thus have workstations for regular users who just want more flexibility and power than an iMac, and serious iron for the people who need to render 2K video or otherwise handle very scary tasks.
post #25 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
As Apple began development of the Mac Pro last October, it turned to Intel's Oregon division for the expertise in constructing a logicboard capable of housing a dual-processor Woodcrest configuration (or in other words, a graphics powerhouse sporting a total of four cores of processing power). Initially, it appeared that the two companies had aspirations of developing a radically compact board design, but they later settled on one approximately the same size as those found in Apple's current Power Mac G5 systems.

If this same-size thing is true, then

Unless it's the same size with lots more options, then
post #26 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by mugwump
Funny how some of you set yourselves up for high prices. For the record, I originally expected quads across the entire line...

Forget 2.0 ghz anything. That number is older than dirt, back with the original G5. Get that outta here.

Quad 2.3 Woodcrest $1999.

Quad 2.6 Woodcrest $2499

Quad 3 ghz Woodcrest $3299

This will finally get the ProMac sales above 100K per quarter -- Enjoy!

PS -- Maybe a single 2.3 in there for $1599.

I really hope Apple goes for marketshare and for moving as many folks on the legacy PPC platform over to Intel ASAP.

These prices are fair and reasonable, but similar to the power of the MacBook for a great price, I hope Apple follows suit.

Specifically, I hope we see:

$1999
$2399
$2999

Getting the top of the line below 3 grand does a lot psychologically for folks who will spend more, but not a lot more.
post #27 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Ouch...nobody's gonna buy a products from a lineup with those price tags.

2x2.33 for 2700?
2x2.67 for 3500? sheeesh.

2x2.33 costs Apple at most $1000.
2x2.67 costs Apple at most $1350.

With the other components, these things wouldn't be cost Apple more than $2000 and $2350 at *most*.

The markup would be ridiculous. Nobody would buy these machines. Remember that Apple now competes with other PC manufacturers.

What's more ridiculous is you're forgetting:

Manufacturing Costs
Sales
Marketing
Company Overhead
Software Development
Testing
etc, etc, etc.

Yes, you can build a computer cheaper yourself. That's not the point. Apple makes about 22-26% on a computer from a gross margin perspective.
post #28 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by BWhaler
What's more ridiculous is you're forgetting:

Manufacturing Costs
Sales
Marketing
Company Overhead
Software Development
Testing
etc, etc, etc.

Yes, you can build a computer cheaper yourself. That's not the point. Apple makes about 22-26% on a computer from a gross margin perspective.

I haven't forgotten anything. Let me repeat for you...Apple is up against Dell and other computer manufacturers now.

Apple can get the 2.66 chips for 650 each...1300...plus board and 1GB RAM: 500...plus video card: 200...plus everything else: 400. 2400*1.25=3000

3500/2400 = 1.46!!! Are you going to pay that much premium?

I'm being extremely fucking modest with these prices. I'd be fuckin' suprised if Apple didn't get much better prices on the chips and board.

Remember that the board dev is outsourced. I think the software dev is covered quite well with the 129 bucks Apple is charging every 18 months. Don't forget the poor suckers that buy .mac for 99. The rest can be covered by ridiculously marked up products such as the Cinema Displays.

Whole different ball game now that Apple is with Intel...remember that.
post #29 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Whole different ball game now that Apple is with Intel...remember that.

Often claimed and always proved wrong.

They said all consumer Macs would get cheaper with the Intel switch. They didn't. Now you're saying the pro desktop will get cheaper with the Intel switch. It won't.
post #30 of 226
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post #31 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
Often claimed and always proved wrong.

They said all consumer Macs would get cheaper with the Intel switch. They didn't. Now you're saying the pro desktop will get cheaper with the Intel switch. It won't.

I never said they'd get cheaper. I said Apple would become more competitive. Here's a yes or no question for you...is Apple competitive with its iMac Core Duo and MacBooks?
post #32 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
is Apple competitive with its iMac Core Duo and MacBooks?

Yes, just as competitive as they have been with the iMac G5 and iBooks and PowerBooks.
post #33 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
I haven't forgotten anything. Let me repeat for you...Apple is up against Dell and other computer manufacturers now.

Apple can get the 2.66 chips for 650 each...1300...plus board and 1GB RAM: 500...plus video card: 200...plus everything else: 400. 2400*1.25=3000

3500/2400 = 1.46!!! Are you going to pay that much premium?

BUT ...... Apple customers already pay these prices. The current PowerMac configurations are priced at $1999, $2499, and $3299. I added $200 on top of that for improved components like better processors and more memory ...
post #34 of 226
Here's how I think Apple's lineup is going to pan out.

Desktop All in one
iMac Integrated Graphics (merom)-low end consumer
iMac dedicated graphics (merom)-high end consumer

Desktop headless
Mac Mini (merom) low end consumer
Mac/Mac Media (conroe) prosumer
Mac Pro (Woodcrest) professional

Server
xserve (woodcrest)

Notebook (all merom)
Macbook 13.4
Macbook Pro 15"
Macbook pro 17"

Displays:
Apple Cinema with iSight
17" $349
20" $599
24" $899
30" $2099
post #35 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Oh trust me...Apple can and may solder the CPU to the board. In fact, they may do this now just to spite you. I'll blame you if it happens.

They could get away with that when they were PPC machines, although they haven't ever done it.

However, now as a "PC" manufacturer (applies 'anti-flame') I am not sure this would be a good move, if ever.

Soldering a CPU to a pro-level machine can have severe impact on warranty and service costs. You don't solder your 2 most expensive components together if you can help it.

Z
post #36 of 226
Something like this.

Desktops
Mac mini (Merom) $499
SuperDrive Mac mini (Merom) $699
17-inch iMac integrated (Conroe) $899 edu / $999 regular
20-inch iMac dedicated (Conroe) $1399
23-inch iMac dedicated (Conroe) $1899
Dual Mac Pro (Woodcrest) $2099
Dual 2 GB Mac Pro (Woodcrest) $2499
Quad Mac Pro (Woodcrest) $2999

Laptops
MacBook mini in 2007 (Merom) $799
White MacBook (Merom) $1099
White SuperDrive MacBook (Merom) $1299
Black SuperDrive MacBook (Merom) $1499
15-inch MacBook Pro (Merom) $1899
15-inch MacBook Pro (Merom) $2299
17-inch MacBook Pro (Merom) $2599

Servers
Dual Xserve (Woodcrest) $1999
Quad Xserve (Woodcrest) $2999
Quad Xserve Cluster Node (Woodcrest) $2499
Xserve RAID $4999

Cinema Displays with iSight
20" $599
23" $899
30" $1799
post #37 of 226
A.) My plans to buy a MacBook Pro seem to keep getting pushed back further and further...

B.) Apple's 20" LCDs are definately going to need to be reduced in price. Viewsonic and Dell both have competative 20" wide screen monitors selling for between $300-400. I'm hoping Apple a % off all of their LCD monitors. They aren't the only ones with 30" LCDs now. Time for them to get more competative.
post #38 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Kerrum
A.) My plans to buy a MacBook Pro seem to keep getting pushed back further and further...

You buy a computer when you need it. Not before, not after. Thinking that there will be a point where you will be completely satisfied with its specs, and where it couldn't possibly get better, is fooling yourself, plain and simple.
post #39 of 226
Apple has a nice chance here to not screw users over, and here's how:

make it so every Mac Pro ships with two CPU sockets, and so that the end user can add a CPU or change out the CPU chips, as their needs, wallet and schedule dictate.

It wasn't possible with G5 due to the exotic and delicate cooling mechanism.

But the average Joe can pop Woodcrest CPU's into a socket on a PC motherboard.

If Apple deliberately leaves the second socket off of the low-end or midrange model's logic board - preventing a later upgrade of adding a matching processor or putting in two brand new processors - that's going to look bad.


Unrelated comment:

if I'm not mistaken, Woodcrest processors require FB-DIMM memory, which could push up system pricing a bit, but could also really raise the roof on RAM capacity in the box:

http://www.crucial.com/promo/index.a...p_intel_fbdimm

Conroe doesn't require FB-DIMM but Conroe doesn't do dual socket either.
post #40 of 226
Pls chucker.

The new intels are cheaper than older ppc macs, if u take in consideration that almost all models are dual processor, lots more power, faster ddr ram and about the same prices....
And if u load a dell with all the bang and wisthles an Apple have, it will cost u the same or a bit more.
Not to mention the OX X and iLive by far the best software u can get out there.

Macs arent expensive. that's a fact.

Dells are inexpensive but they got damaged soon and the parts are not cheap.
unless u buy complete care that is extra $$$$$$$$$$.
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