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Ripe in Cupertino: an Apple with 8 cores

post #1 of 184
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Exclusive: Apple Computer is prepping a lavish new version of the Mac Pro that will boast nearly twice the brawn of existing models and form the centerpiece of the company's high-performance professional desktop line, AppleInsider has learned.

Thus far, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has offered only a single retail configuration of the Mac Pro desktop, a quad-core system featuring two 2.66GHz dual-core Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" processors. It sells for $2500, but can be custom configured with two 3.0GHz dual-core chips for an additional $800.

Since introducing the Mac Pro in August, Apple has received "very, very positive" feedback from both customers and analysts, chief operating officer Tim Cook said during a recent company conference call. However, he noted that there's still some hesitation among customers to purchase the high-end desktop ahead of Adobe's Creative Suite 3.0 launch.

Due by late March, Creative Suite 3.0 will be the first versions of the industry leading graphics suite to run natively on Apple's new Intel Macs, allowing individual applications to take full advantage of the new Mac architecture, rather than operate under Apple's Rosetta compatibility layer. But with just over five months to go before roll-out, Apple knows its professional customers, which account for 15 - 20 percent of its Mac business, may need a little short term purchasing push.

People familiar with the Mac maker's plans say it plans to drop jaws and strike awe with a new king of speed, a super-charged Mac Pro featuring a total of eight cores of processing power. The systems, which resemble the quad-core Mac Pro externally, will house two of Intel's forthcoming quad-core Xeon 5300 series "Clovertown" chips inside its chassis, those people say.



While it's unclear precisely when Apple plans to take the wraps off the new eight-core Mac, those familiar with the company's plans have indicated an introduction could take place any time after mid-Nov. As previously reported, it's around that time that Intel will officially launch its quad-core Xeon line, which in addition to Clovertown will also include a single processor variant code-named "Kentsfield."

Of the four Clovertown chips that have turned up on Intel price lists, only two fit the bill as potential candidates for the new systems due to their 1333MHz, 64-bit dual independent frontside buses and 8MB Level 2 cache.

Inte's Pat Gelsinger shows off the Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series at the fall 2006 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The Xeon X5355 runs at speeds of 2.66GHz per core and will retail in lots of 1000 for $1172 each. Meanwhile, the Xeon E5345 runs at 2.33GHz per core and will cost considerably less, making it the ideal candidate for the default configuration of the eight-core Mac Pro. At just $851 a piece, the 2.33GHz carries the same price tag as the 3.0GHz dual-core Woodcrest Xeon currently available to quad-core Mac Pro buyers.

As it stands, the release of the eight-core Mac Pro hinges on both Intel and Apple. But following Intel's mid-Nov. quad-core Xeon launch, the ball should be completely on Apple's side of the court. It'll be strictly a marketing decision from there, say insiders, as the Mac maker wrapped up hardware preparations for this brawny beast during the tail-end of the back-to-school season.
post #2 of 184
Lovely, particularly for video, 3D, and scientific pros.

The next step will entail waiting for software to be optimized to take advantage of these monsters.
post #3 of 184
from the MHZ race to the Core race, soon it will be 16 core desktops, then 32 core desktops etc..

32 core of goodness for Word processing!
post #4 of 184
I don't care.
I want a Mac box that is between the Mac Pro and Mini. Similar power to the iMac, but upgradeable, expandable.

,dave
post #5 of 184
The magical thing behind the idea of increasing cores is that the computer can truly become a hub for other devices including dumb terminals.

One day, the need for multiple computers in a house will disappear. Just as business' went from mainframes with dumb terminals to desktop PCs, they will go back to a few PCs with dumb terminals that feed off them.

Ok...so I'm exaggerating when I say someone won't want multiple computers within a single household but I'm simply saying that it would be entirely possible with an 8-core or 16-core or 32-core computer to share the CPU-time to dumb terminals around the house. Instead of paying 2000+ for a computer, you'd be paying 200 for a terminal.
post #6 of 184
How do you think how this will affect the Mac Pro line?

Two dual-core and two quad-core offerings and adjustment in pricing for the current ones? I imagine the beast at the top will run a pretty penny.

I was wondering what would be happening to the Pro line since I'm thinking near or just past the holidays for a purchase. It's a bit early since the current line hasn't really collected any dust but it'll take me till then to make the proper purchase.
2.66ghz Mac Pro - 5gb / 830gb / 7300gt 256mb
1ghz Tibook - 1gb / 60gb / 9000 64mb
iPhone - 8gb

netbanshee.com
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2.66ghz Mac Pro - 5gb / 830gb / 7300gt 256mb
1ghz Tibook - 1gb / 60gb / 9000 64mb
iPhone - 8gb

netbanshee.com
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post #7 of 184
Intel is know to drop chip prices down 20% during a specific period etc.. I wonder if Apple will pass the savings down to the consumer or just keep that 20%
post #8 of 184
Posted under Thursday's news. Must not be on EST then.
post #9 of 184
From a GHz perspective I think it's funny that Apple is finally at 3.0 GHz and now the rumors have it that they will go below what the G5 topped at. I know I know that these chips are much faster but from a buying stand point I think it will leave some a little confused if these did indeed ship
post #10 of 184
What I would like to know, is if all major apps (non Apple mostly) being worked on right now are being written to take advantage of multiple cores hence forth...
post #11 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by netbanshee

How do you think how this will affect the Mac Pro line?

Two dual-core and two quad-core offerings and adjustment in pricing for the current ones? I imagine the beast at the top will run a pretty penny.

I was wondering what would be happening to the Pro line since I'm thinking near or just past the holidays for a purchase. It's a bit early since the current line hasn't really collected any dust but it'll take me till then to make the proper purchase.

Mac Pro Dual (Xeon 5100/5300)
base model dual-dual 2.66 $2499
better model dual-quad 2.33 $2999
best model dual-quad 2.66 $3499
2GB FB-DIMM RAM standard, ATI X1900XT (or newer) standard

Mac Pro Single (Conroe/Kentsfield)
base model dual 2.66 $1499
better model quad 2.40 $1699
best model quad 2.66 $1999
1GB DDR2-800 RAM standard, nVidia 7300GT (or newer) standard

@ MacWorld SF January 2007
post #12 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes

I don't care.
I want a Mac box that is between the Mac Pro and Mini. Similar power to the iMac, but upgradeable, expandable.

,dave

yes.
i don't want overkill.
just a Core 2 Duo/Extreme Mac Cube.

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post #13 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa

What I would like to know, is if all major apps (non Apple mostly) being worked on right now are being written to take advantage of multiple cores hence forth...

That is the key question. No use having all of those cores unless your apps can exploit them.
post #14 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman

From a GHz perspective I think it's funny that Apple is finally at 3.0 GHz and now the rumors have it that they will go below what the G5 topped at. I know I know that these chips are much faster but from a buying stand point I think it will leave some a little confused if these did indeed ship


It might be a different story if it were the iMac or the MacBook, but I think most people that would be considering the Mac Pro understand what having eight cores means, regardless of GHz
post #15 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybaritic

That is the key question. No use having all of those cores unless your apps can exploit them.

Exactly, and I do not know how many pro apps out there take advantage of multiple cores. PS from what I understand takes advantage of 2...I think.
post #16 of 184
I'm going to wait for the 64 core Mac Pros. Yeah, one core for every bit in the 64-bit operating system.
post #17 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugodrax

from the MHZ race to the Core race, soon it will be 16 core desktops, then 32 core desktops etc..

32 core of goodness for Word processing!

But think of it. You can write 32 letters at once!

Actually, I hope it does come out in November so that I can order in January, after Macworld. That will give it some time for the bugs to be squashed after the first run.

I don't mind the case being the same, but I hope there are some other improvements as well.
post #18 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by netbanshee

How do you think how this will affect the Mac Pro line?

Two dual-core and two quad-core offerings and adjustment in pricing for the current ones? I imagine the beast at the top will run a pretty penny.

I was wondering what would be happening to the Pro line since I'm thinking near or just past the holidays for a purchase. It's a bit early since the current line hasn't really collected any dust but it'll take me till then to make the proper purchase.

Unless the machine has other structural differences inside to accomodate other features, it should be added as an upgrade, as the 3GHz is now.

They could offer a dual quad upgrade at 2.66, and 2.33.

Then a dual dual at 3, 2.66, and 2.33.

The dual core chip speeds might have been raised at the time though. Intel was somewhat obscure about that. The speeds were set to go up by the end of the year as of a few months ago, but I haven't read anything about it since. It was thought to depend on what AMD was offering by then.

It would be interesting if the quad cores were an additional line on top of the duals.
post #19 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa

What I would like to know, is if all major apps (non Apple mostly) being worked on right now are being written to take advantage of multiple cores hence forth...

You would have to call all of the developers to find that out.

It would be more difficult for some apps than others to take advantage of more than two cores.
post #20 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa

Exactly, and I do not know how many pro apps out there take advantage of multiple cores. PS from what I understand takes advantage of 2...I think.

So far, yes. But they are working on it.
post #21 of 184
Throw in a built-in Blu-ray drive,...I'm your huckleberry.
post #22 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix

Mac Pro Dual (Xeon 5100/5300)
base model dual-dual 2.66 $2499
better model dual-quad 2.33 $2999
best model dual-quad 2.66 $3499
2GB FB-DIMM RAM standard, ATI X1900XT (or newer) standard

Mac Pro Single (Conroe/Kentsfield)
base model dual 2.66 $1499
better model quad 2.40 $1699
best model quad 2.66 $1999
1GB DDR2-800 RAM standard, nVidia 7300GT (or newer) standard

@ MacWorld SF January 2007


$1499.... stop trying to get us excited
post #23 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by marzetta7

Throw in a built-in Blu-ray drive,...I'm your huckleberry.

OT

Thank the gods for Val Kilmer in Tombstone. My fav line of the movie.
post #24 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix

Mac Pro Dual (Xeon 5100/5300)
base model dual-dual 2.66 $2499
better model dual-quad 2.33 $2999
best model dual-quad 2.66 $3499
2GB FB-DIMM RAM standard, ATI X1900XT (or newer) standard

Mac Pro Single (Conroe/Kentsfield)
base model dual 2.66 $1499
better model quad 2.40 $1699
best model quad 2.66 $1999
1GB DDR2-800 RAM standard, nVidia 7300GT (or newer) standard

@ MacWorld SF January 2007

If they did that I'd cry tears of joy. But all I really want to see is a nice base at 1499 or 1600(even if used Core 2 Duo Extreme) ad then a 2499 base mac pro.

Then it's all gravy, everyone is set and I can edit my movie on the cheap. If it started at 1499 I'd probably config it up to 1699 and call it a day.
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post #25 of 184
More brain. Less brawn is the quote you're looking for.
post #26 of 184
It took a while
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post #27 of 184
For DNA sequence analysis the Quad core take a day or so to do some computations (using 4 cores), 8 would be sweet for the guy doing this work down the corridore
post #28 of 184
Why don't they just sell an interfacethat would allow two or three or four or (you get the picture) MacPros to interconnect and make a mini cluster? If a super computer can be configured from 1100 Macs, why can't you configure 3 Macs and get that much power?

 

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post #29 of 184
I’m all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. It’s also disrespectful to consumers.

I don’t have a Mac pro, but I’d be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???
post #30 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

I’m all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. It’s also disrespectful to consumers.

I don’t have a Mac pro, but I’d be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???

They did this last year. iMac and PowerBook was updated in Nov 2005, three months before the replacement was announed. It was under three months that the iMac was replaced with CD, four before the 15" was replaced with the 15" MBP. There wasn't much of an outroar that I remember. Mac Pro would be updated about three or so months after its introduction. The processor is just a drop-in part anyway, only a little harder to drop in than the 750GB drive just added to the configurator.
post #31 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

Im all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. Its also disrespectful to consumers.

I dont have a Mac pro, but Id be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???

Honestly, What's the problem here? Your going to cry because apple is keeping on the cutting edge of technology? It is a shame we would want others to be behind in technology just because of our own jealously.

From it software to its hardware Apple is about making the best product possible. There is no shame in that.
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post #32 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

I’m all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. It’s also disrespectful to consumers.

I don’t have a Mac pro, but I’d be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???

It's not about "respect," it's about advancements in technology.. We're in a whole different ballgame now than we were with IBM.. From here on out, we will be seeing upgrades as soon as the underlying technology becomes available... If it's every three months, so be it.. If Apple doesn't put Intel's latest chips in it's machines, someone else will.. I'd rather see Apple leading the game than say Dell or HP.
post #33 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

Im all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. Its also disrespectful to consumers.

I dont have a Mac pro, but Id be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???

Nonsense. You buy a machine when you need it and you pick the machine that meets your expectations. A faster, better, cheaper machine arriving a month or even just a week later doesn't change the fact that what you bought was clearly already good enough for you, or else you wouldn't have bought it.
post #34 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by netbanshee

How do you think how this will affect the Mac Pro line?

Two dual-core and two quad-core offerings and adjustment in pricing for the current ones? I imagine the beast at the top will run a pretty penny.

I was wondering what would be happening to the Pro line since I'm thinking near or just past the holidays for a purchase. It's a bit early since the current line hasn't really collected any dust but it'll take me till then to make the proper purchase.

It may just be a BTO upgrade, much the same way that they currently offer a single standard system, then you decide what upgrades / downgrades you want.
post #35 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

Im all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. Its also disrespectful to consumers.

I dont have a Mac pro, but Id be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???

This is me disagreeing with you.

1) Apple *probably* won't release an upgrade until early 2007... I mean look at how long it took them to incorporate C2D into their product line.
2) Apple will likely offer it as an upgrade option. Like the article says, the current low-end model is the same price as a 3.0 GHz upgrade, the high-end $300 more than that.
3) In order to compete on a higher level with the likes of Dell and HP, Apple must begin offering upgrades at the rate at which they are available. You don't see Dell sitting on their hands when there is a new processor. They announce a product the next day, practically. Of course, I appreciate the quality testing that Apple does, but seriously, the time they take... is unwarranted.

-Clive
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post #36 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister

Why don't they just sell an interfacethat would allow two or three or four or (you get the picture) MacPros to interconnect and make a mini cluster? If a super computer can be configured from 1100 Macs, why can't you configure 3 Macs and get that much power?

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post #37 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

Im all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. Its also disrespectful to consumers.

I dont have a Mac pro, but Id be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???


welcome to the world of Intel chips. I thought this would happen, I predict about 2 or 3 of these updates per year, maybe more, which I think is awesome. All this upgrading means a bigger used market and cheap used mac's.
post #38 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

Im all for faster machines, but an update to a Mac that was just introduced two months ago strikes me as poor planning, silly, or both. Its also disrespectful to consumers.

I dont have a Mac pro, but Id be very unhappy if I did and then read this story... Sure, we expect and wants Macs to be updated... once a year seems reasonable... but two or three months later? ???

First of all, get over it. Technology marches on. If a buyer is so sensitive about being on the bleeding edge they can do their own Internet "research" and determine when Intel is likely to have the next round of chips available for Apple to drop into their top-of-the-line machines. Given all the whining about how Apple updates so slowly, I don't want to hear any crap about how they update too quickly. Sheesh.


Second, doubling the core count (especially with this first chip from Intel) doesn't come cheaply and don't expect it to be swapped into the current lineup for free. These things are actually 2 chips in one package so the pricing has to account for doubling the die count and the effort required to wire them together and mount them in the same package. The rest of the machine might not change, but they aren't going to appear at the current prices so they aren't likely to replace the existing lineup. More options is good.

Third, for those people wondering what apps take advantage of >2 (or >4, or whatever) cores... it is a classic technology chicken-and-egg problem. Happens all the time. Software developers can't afford to write software speculatively for hardware that is going to show up some day, and they certainly can't test against it. They can take a design approach that is more likely to be scaleable, depending on their problem domain and how smart they are. So there are probably a few applications around already that will leverage lots of cores, but they won't be tuned ideally for them (of course some software never gets that kind of tuning, but if somebody needs that many cores they are probably concerned about tuning). Most of the software doesn't currently leverage this many cores, then again most software doesn't need to and never will. In between there are apps that could but don't, and over time they will be improved to do so or replaced by developers who can capitalize on the new hardware as their chance to break into the market.

So in short, don't worry about it... buy the machine, rejoice in the glory of an octomac, and be happy as the software catches up (again). The OS will also move to take advantage of greater numbers of cores because Apple knows that the future holds more cores, not less.
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post #39 of 184
I just checked and baygbm is well done. No pink whatsoever.
post #40 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five

This is me disagreeing with you.

1) Apple *probably* won't release an upgrade until early 2007... I mean look at how long it took them to incorporate C2D into their product line.
2) Apple will likely offer it as an upgrade option. Like the article says, the current low-end model is the same price as a 3.0 GHz upgrade, the high-end $300 more than that.
3) In order to compete on a higher level with the likes of Dell and HP, Apple must begin offering upgrades at the rate at which they are available. You don't see Dell sitting on their hands when there is a new processor. They announce a product the next day, practically. Of course, I appreciate the quality testing that Apple does, but seriously, the time they take... is unwarranted.

-Clive

Clive, actually the time Apple took for C2D was completely warranted.. Until now, there simply were not enough C2D chips available from Intel..
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