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Dell beats Apple in unveiling 8 core Xeon workstations

post #1 of 57
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Dell, Inc. said Wednesday it's the first PC maker to market with workstations that feature Intel Corp.'s new quad-core processors, beating longtime-rival Apple Computer whose Mac Pro professional desktops have yet to make the jump from dual-core chips.

The world's second-leading PC manufacturer said customers can now configure its two-socket Dell Precision 690 and Dell Precision 490 workstations with two new Quad-Core Intel Xeon chips, delivering a total of 8 processing cores and performance gains of up to 54 percent on multi-threaded applications.

"Dell prides itself not only on being first to market with technology, but first to deliver exceptional value to the customer while helping to reduce costly complexity in their environment," said Brad Anderson, senior vice president, Dell Product Group.

Bare bones dual-core Dell Precision 690 and 490 models start at just $2,399 and $2,149, respectively, but require a minimum investment of $4,392 and $5,348 when configured with two quad-core Xeons running at 1.86GHz -- the only variant of Intel's new quad-core Xeon that it offers.

The Round Rock, Texas-based PC manufacturer also announced the addition of Quad-Core Intel* Xeon*processors to its two-socket Dell PowerEdge 1900, 1950, 2950, 2900, SC1430 and 1955 blade models. Prices start at $1,599, $1,599, 1,699, $1,049 and $1,799 respectively.

Customers may begin to place orders for Precision and PowerEdge quad-core computers beginning today, but Dell says shipments of those systems may be delayed by more than two weeks.

Meanwhile, Apple Computer is also expected to soon introduce a version of its Mac Pro professional desktop systems that will also boast 8 cores via two Intel Quad-Core Xeon chips. People familiar with the Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker's plans have said to expect an announcement any time after the first half of November.

Apple's Mac Pro is a relatively new system, having been introduced just this past August. It's currently available in a single $2,499 configuration that packs two 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 fully-buffered ECC memory, a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB of GDDR2 SDRAM and a 250GB Serial ATA (3Gb/s) hard drive running at 7200 rpm.

The Mac Pro can also be configured with up to two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors through the company's online store.
post #2 of 57
While no doubt 8 are better than 4 for certain apps, if these new chips are limited to 1.83 GHZ the question is whether money wouldn't be better spent on two 3 GHZ duo core chips. Let the testing begin.
post #3 of 57
Dell customers can can now reinstall Windows XP twice as fast as before.
post #4 of 57
Nope. I'm sure that installer is single threaded, so...
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priaptor

While no doubt 8 are better than 4 for certain apps, if these new chips are limited to 1.83 GHZ the question is whether money wouldn't be better spent on two 3 GHZ duo core chips. Let the testing begin.

The Clovertons are not limited to 1.6GHz/1.83GHz, there are also 2.33GHz and 2.66GHz models. More than likely the 1.6 and 1.8 are the only speeds that they can so far get decent yields on. I have read elsewhere that the 2+GHz Clovertons may not appear until 2007. My bet is Apple won't update the Mac Pro until then.
post #6 of 57
DELL WINZ LOL!

Gee, for such a big company, they have a real inferiority complex.
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post #7 of 57
uh...these aren't shipping yet. they're only announced, and you can PRE-ORDER.

Dell hasn't done crap yet except issue a press release and flip a switch in their online store.
post #8 of 57
Coming from a guy who use to work on PCs for 10 yrs...

Dell may have unveiled it first, but the biggest hang-up is of course windows XP. after spending 3 yrs with Mac OS X, I can definitely see an overall perfmance difference, and my guess is, I'll notice a difference from 8 cores rather than 2(my current machine)

I work at an engineering firm, they're all on PC. If you were to secretly switch out my Dual Dual-Core (Quad) Xeon 3.2 with an Octo Dell workstation, I can say that without a doubt I wouldn't notice a performance gain.

What I'm getting at really is, with the PC realm, the hardware technology is there (except hard drive technology)... it's the Operating System that is in dire straits.

I give all the credit in the world to PC hardware... I just don't think it's OS gives it justice... we'll see with Vista aka MAC OS V
post #9 of 57
I'll hold off on upgrading from my old dual G5 until Apple makes the entire Mac Pro line 8 core. By then, pretty much everything I use should be Universal, too.
post #10 of 57
Hahaha... They guarnateed that they won't be shipping until at least November 22nd. My guess? They'll be lucky to get it out the door by the end of 2006.

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post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Dell, Inc. said Wednesday it's the first PC maker to market with workstations that feature Intel Corp.'s new quad-core processors, beating longtime-rival Apple Computer whose Mac Pro professional desktops have yet to make the jump from dual-core chips.

The world's second-leading PC manufacturer said customers can now configure its two-socket Dell Precision 690 and Dell Precision 490 workstations with two new Quad-Core Intel Xeon chips, delivering a total of 8 processing cores and performance gains of up to 54 percent on multi-threaded applications.

Bare bones dual-core Dell Precision 690 and 490 models start at just $2,399 and $2,149, respectively, but require a minimum investment of $4,392 and $5,348 when configured with two quad-core Xeons running at 1.86GHz -- the only variant of Intel's new quad-core Xeon that it offers.

That's a lot of cores but that's a lot of money too.

I don't think I would pay any extra for an Octo workstation. I'd just get a "basic" quad and upgrade to Octo when the chip costs go down in a few years. I have maxed out a Quad but what I was doing was running a LIveType simulation, encoding HDTV recording to iPod resolution, playing an HD recording and recording over the air HD. It had like 7% CPU power left and didn't feel the least bit sluggish compared to a system with little to no CPU load.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by domerdel

Coming from a guy who use to work on PCs for 10 yrs...

Dell may have unveiled it first, but the biggest hang-up is of course windows XP. after spending 3 yrs with Mac OS X, I can definitely see an overall perfmance difference, and my guess is, I'll notice a difference from 8 cores rather than 2(my current machine)

I work at an engineering firm, they're all on PC. If you were to secretly switch out my Dual Dual-Core (Quad) Xeon 3.2 with an Octo Dell workstation, I can say that without a doubt I wouldn't notice a performance gain.

What I'm getting at really is, with the PC realm, the hardware technology is there (except hard drive technology)... it's the Operating System that is in dire straits.

I give all the credit in the world to PC hardware... I just don't think it's OS gives it justice... we'll see with Vista aka MAC OS V

That's correct. The client version of Windows is not good at scaling beyond 4 cores. as it's being discontinued, it likely won't be upgraded to do so.

I'm wondering just how Vista is in that catagory. I would imagine the two Home versions won't work with more than two cores, and that if they do at all, they won't gain much.

The real question here though, is will there be a difference in performance between the Professional versions? I haven't seen anything written on this.

If there is, it will be good for Apple. Fortunately, we only have one client version. Those few claiming that Apple should also have a "home" version as MS does, simply don't understand the complexity, and confusion, it would cause
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak

I'll hold off on upgrading from my old dual G5 until Apple makes the entire Mac Pro line 8 core. By then, pretty much everything I use should be Universal, too.

You might wait a fair while for that. They will likely stick one in at the top end, as the high speed chip now is only 2.66 GHz.

Unless they came out with a seperate line for them, which I doubt.
post #14 of 57
8 cores! w00t!!!
post #15 of 57
If I have 7,000 processors, 800 TB of RAM, and 500 Petabytes of hard drive space... will my computer finally be able to do my job for me?
post #16 of 57
So when is the quad core mini coming out????
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post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe

If I have 7,000 processors, 800 TB of RAM, and 500 Petabytes of hard drive space... will my computer finally be able to do my job for me?

I'm sure it will make my typing and webpage reading alot faster!!!
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post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe

If I have 7,000 processors, 800 TB of RAM, and 500 Petabytes of hard drive space... will my computer finally be able to do my job for me?

It depends. Are you capable of doing it now?
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

It depends. Are you capable of doing it now?

Barely... but more to the point, my job is managing computers. I don't think I'd trust it to another computer. Ya know... HAL 9000, Skynet, etc....
post #20 of 57
8x1.what gig?

I'd rather have four cours at 3 gig.

I thought the 2.66 was going to hit by the end of the year? Hmm. And for the price? Good luck Dell.

I'll wait until Apple does it properly with their Octo machine. Seems like Dell are doing the old Apple pre-order routine.

Apple are doing more of the 'shipping today' thing.

When 8x2.66-ish arrives. Then I may get excited. And only if it's at the price point of the current 3 gigger.

Maybe it might take longer than thought to arrive. Maybe next Summer at the latest. Thought they were going to make it before Christmas. This 'low' clock is a little disappointing.

I wonder how it will bench in something like Lightwave...

Lemon Bon Bon

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post #21 of 57
you guys understand the incestuous relationship between software and hardware manufacturers, right? that software is made to use up whatever hardware is available - faster hardware is made--et cetera et cetera?

that you can do just as much work with Mac OS 8.5, 256mb of RAM and an old copy of Word as you can with Mac OS 10.5, 2Gb of RAM and Word 2004?

suckers. get off the rat treadmill.
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe

Barely... but more to the point, my job is managing computers. I don't think I'd trust it to another computer. Ya know... HAL 9000, Skynet, etc....

We are Colosus We are Guardian.....
post #23 of 57
Quote:
suckers. get off the rat treadmill.

If you're talking about 'Word'? I couldn't argue...

But for stuff like 3D...

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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post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by donebylee

So when is the quad core mini coming out????

LOL! Exactly.

Actually, what's going to happen is that everyone's going to want the same performance of an 8-core MacPro crammed into the MacBook and if it's a dime over $999 they'll cry fowl and say they're disappointed in Apple's MacBook offering.

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post #25 of 57
Personally I didn't think Apple was even going to move to 8 cores with kensington, or clovertown. I was thinking they would hold off until the next gen which is supposed to follow these in the first quarter of the 2007 which had an ODMC, and 8 cores on one die, not 2x4 cores on one chip. I hope Apple does skip this round. The few months wait until MWSF seems like a better solution, and great venue to announce a better product than the competition rather than having 2 months with a half ass'ed 4+4 dual 8 core machine that is suddenly surpassed by a true Dual 8 core processor system. Because you know Apple wont update the Mac Pro twice in a 3 to 4 month span.
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post #26 of 57
all your core are belong to dell!!11!!
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe

Barely... but more to the point, my job is managing computers. I don't think I'd trust it to another computer. Ya know... HAL 9000, Skynet, etc....

It would never work! The original computers would rebel, they'd see the new computer as not having a true/detailed understanding of their real role and refuse to co-operate - all without actually understanding why they were switched on in the first place

McD
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post #28 of 57
The b'stards, they killed of my PPC with GHz and now say parallelism is the way forward!!

D'you think this obsession with multi-core chips will undermine the whole idea of benchmarks (grading systems by their performance in unrealistically singular tasks when few people actually use them in that way). As those benchmarks are changed, to bring broader factors like responsiveness into play, will anyone be surprised when the old PPCs creep back up the charts?
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post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave

D'you think this obsession with multi-core chips will undermine the whole idea of benchmarks (grading systems by their performance in unrealistically singular tasks when few people actually use them in that way). As those benchmarks are changed, to bring broader factors like responsiveness into play, will anyone be surprised when the old PPCs creep back up the charts?

I would be surprised because I don't see much difference in responsiveness between the machine architectures, under load or not. The thing that's most important to me is quiet while still being powerful. Mac Pro is a lot quieter than the PMG5s that I have owned, and aren't whiny under load, unlike my G5s.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Dell beats Apple in unveiling 8 core Xeon workstations

This is the most rediculous headline EVER. Is this a race? No... Like some guy is standing by thinking, "soon as I can get my hot little hands on 8 core I'm buying one. I don't care who makes it."

It's going to be available at the same time anyway.... so who gives a rats ace?
post #31 of 57
Apple will wait until the octo they want is ready. I assume they will offer it as the top of the line.
They wont use 2 processors as Dell does on the 690 in order to reach the 8 cores. Since Apple managed to offer a better design in order to give more space to HHD and the memory raiser cards they wont go back and redesign its tower. They will just wait for the Octo they think its the rigth choice.
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.

8x1.what gig?

I'd rather have four cours at 3 gig.

I thought the 2.66 was going to hit by the end of the year? Hmm. And for the price? Good luck Dell.

I'll wait until Apple does it properly with their Octo machine. Seems like Dell are doing the old Apple pre-order routine.

Apple are doing more of the 'shipping today' thing.

When 8x2.66-ish arrives. Then I may get excited. And only if it's at the price point of the current 3 gigger.

Maybe it might take longer than thought to arrive. Maybe next Summer at the latest. Thought they were going to make it before Christmas. This 'low' clock is a little disappointing.

I wonder how it will bench in something like Lightwave...

Lemon Bon Bon

Everyone does the pre-order thing.

It's just that as Apple now uses the same technology, we pay more attention to those other companies than we did before.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulyssespdx

you guys understand the incestuous relationship between software and hardware manufacturers, right? that software is made to use up whatever hardware is available - faster hardware is made--et cetera et cetera?

that you can do just as much work with Mac OS 8.5, 256mb of RAM and an old copy of Word as you can with Mac OS 10.5, 2Gb of RAM and Word 2004?

suckers. get off the rat treadmill.

Actually, you can't.

The subset of work that you can do with Word 5.1 on the old machine might be as fast as that same sub-set on a modern machine, because those basic functions don't require much power, but you can do vastly more with the new software and hardware.

You could say the same thing about any old program, but it wouldn't be true either.

PS 2.5 seemed fast back then. But, 9 runs much faster on a new machine, and does far more.
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker

Personally I didn't think Apple was even going to move to 8 cores with kensington, or clovertown. I was thinking they would hold off until the next gen which is supposed to follow these in the first quarter of the 2007 which had an ODMC, and 8 cores on one die, not 2x4 cores on one chip. I hope Apple does skip this round. The few months wait until MWSF seems like a better solution, and great venue to announce a better product than the competition rather than having 2 months with a half ass'ed 4+4 dual 8 core machine that is suddenly surpassed by a true Dual 8 core processor system. Because you know Apple wont update the Mac Pro twice in a 3 to 4 month span.

We won't see those 8 cores on a die for a while yet. Apple must remain competitive.
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by plokoonpma

Apple will wait until the octo they want is ready. I assume they will offer it as the top of the line.
They wont use 2 processors as Dell does on the 690 in order to reach the 8 cores. Since Apple managed to offer a better design in order to give more space to HHD and the memory raiser cards they wont go back and redesign its tower. They will just wait for the Octo they think its the rigth choice.

And just when do you expect this "rigth choice" to become available, looking at Intel's roadmaps, of course?
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulyssespdx

you guys understand the incestuous relationship between software and hardware manufacturers, right? that software is made to use up whatever hardware is available - faster hardware is made--et cetera et cetera?

that you can do just as much work with Mac OS 8.5, 256mb of RAM and an old copy of Word as you can with Mac OS 10.5, 2Gb of RAM and Word 2004?

suckers. get off the rat treadmill.

You have a bit of a point, but like hell would I use a Mac OS that's pre-X. If someone can put up with still using it, more power to them. In that vein, there was a word processor for Windows 3.1 that suited my needs better than just about anything made since, but I don't think anyone would stick to the old system.

I really don't want to hear about some lame duopoly conspiracy hypotheses.

One thing you seem to ignore is that web standards change a lot, so you would need to upgrade your web programs about every year.
post #37 of 57
I believe the quad-core chips Intel is about to release is pin compatible with the dual-core chips that are in the Mac Pro so there is no reason why Apple could not add quad-core chips to the ala-carte list of options. The problem with the quad-core chips the Mac Pro could get is all the cores will share one connection to the chipset which creates a bottleneck.

Tigerton, on the other hand, will allow each core to have it's own connection to the chipset so it will not have that bottleneck, but it will require a new motherboard design which means Apple will have to make a decision. Either continue to sell the Quad Mac Pro in addition to the Octo Mac Pro so they get sales from people that will pay/can afford a Quad Mac Pro, but not an Octo Mac Pro, or go all Octo and hope sales are high enough to offset any lost sales from people who won't pay/can't afford an Octo Mac Pro.

If I was going to buy a Mac Pro I would get the 3.0 GHz Quad now and wait for Tigerton before getting an Octo.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.

If you're talking about 'Word'? I couldn't argue...

But for stuff like 3D...

Lemon Bon Bon

Or video, me I use Final Cut Express. Faster is better
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post #39 of 57
Quote:
beating longtime-rival Apple Computer whose Mac Pro professional desktops

I didn't know that Apple was a rival of Dell?!
From what I have seen, the two companies have very few customers who would x-shop them.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts

I believe the quad-core chips Intel is about to release is pin compatible with the dual-core chips that are in the Mac Pro so there is no reason why Apple could not add quad-core chips to the ala-carte list of options. The problem with the quad-core chips the Mac Pro could get is all the cores will share one connection to the chipset which creates a bottleneck.

Tigerton, on the other hand, will allow each core to have it's own connection to the chipset so it will not have that bottleneck, but it will require a new motherboard design which means Apple will have to make a decision. Either continue to sell the Quad Mac Pro in addition to the Octo Mac Pro so they get sales from people that will pay/can afford a Quad Mac Pro, but not an Octo Mac Pro, or go all Octo and hope sales are high enough to offset any lost sales from people who won't pay/can't afford an Octo Mac Pro.

If I was going to buy a Mac Pro I would get the 3.0 GHz Quad now and wait for Tigerton before getting an Octo.

We've known this for a while. Anand did a piece on it a while ago.

http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2832&p=3
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