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Intel leaks details of Mac Pro-bound Xeon chips

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Intel Corp. plans to launch its Penryn-based quad-core Xeon family of microprocessors on November 11, which may provide Apple with an opportunity to boost the specs of its high-end workstations ahead of the holiday shopping season.

A posting to the Santa Clara-based firm's reseller website briefly revealed launch plans for seven of the new Xeon chips -- the successors to those used in Apple's Mac Pro desktops -- before it was abruptly removed. The chip family, codenamed Harpertown, will range in speeds from 2.0GHz to 3.16GHz.

Each of the new processors will sport a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 80 watts, pack 12MB of Level 2 cache, and run on a 1333MHz front-side bus. The only exception is the high-end 3.16GHz chip, which was listed with a TDP of 120 watts.

According to the information listed on Intel's reseller site, the new chips will fetch between $209 for the 2.0GHz model to $1,172 for the 3.16GHz variant. In the sweet spot of the Xeon lineup -- where Apple has historically chosen its standard Mac Pro processors -- lies a 2.83GHz model priced at $690.

Penryn, the next iteration of Intel's Core 2 micro-architecture, will signify a shift by the chipmaker to 45-nanometer fabrication process. Both desktop and mobile Penryn chips are also in the works, though Intel has not yet provided any indication of their precise release dates.

Apple last updated its Mac Pro line of professional workstations in April when it added an 8-core configuration via two quad-core Xeon "Clovertown" chips. However, its entry level system with two dual-core "Woodcrest" processors has gone without an update since last August.
post #2 of 34
Holy cow!
post #3 of 34
Bring it on Apple!
The new Mac Pro will be nice.
MacPro 12 core
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MacPro 12 core
30" & 23" Apple Cinema HD Displays
PowerBook G4 550, MacBook Pro 2.2
Ipod 1G and 5G, Shuffle 2G, iPhone 3G
Reply
post #4 of 34
Would hope that the new Mac Pros will have eSATA as standard....
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by agrothey View Post

Would hope that the new Mac Pros will have eSATA as standard....

new intel xeon chip set With DDR ECC ram and more pci-e lanes is need as well.
post #6 of 34
I have no idea why so many people fell of the boat just yesterday about Mac Pro ram. The only advantage EEC has over current ram would be in gaming, but it's only fractions of a second faster. You would never even notice. I'd rather have my OS, and all my Applications run better all the time.
onlooker
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onlooker
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post #7 of 34
120 watts? That's a LOT of carbon...
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogmella View Post

120 watts? That's a LOT of carbon...

Especially if you're running two of them just to check your email and read AppleInsider.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...though the Intel has not yet provided any indication of their precise release dates....

Is that what we're calling them now: "The Intel"?
post #10 of 34
how about a EFI nvida quadro fx 5600

post #11 of 34
now that Mac's use intel, can u upgrade processors? Let's say you own a dual xeon 2.66.. could you upgrade to dual xeon 3.0 dual core? better yet, could you upgrade dual quad-core processors in its place?
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker View Post

I have no idea why so many people fell of the boat just yesterday about Mac Pro ram.

What thread was this?

Quote:
The only advantage EEC has over current ram would be in gaming, but it's only fractions of a second faster. You would never even notice. I'd rather have my OS, and all my Applications run better all the time.

EEC? Do you mean ECC? That's not good for gaming. Gamers generally buy non-ECC memory whenever they can. ECC is to prevent occasional memory bit flips from corrupting your data. FB-DIMM is supposed to allow a lot of benefits, not many of them really materialize in the Mac Pro, though maybe the ability to do reads and writes simultaneously might help somewhere if you've got several programs doing a lot of heavy compute stuff.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by domerdel View Post

now that Mac's use intel, can u upgrade processors? Let's say you own a dual xeon 2.66.. could you upgrade to dual xeon 3.0 dual core? better yet, could you upgrade dual quad-core processors in its place?

Yes, but it's not cheap for the chips or easy to install. Apple uses a different thermal pad for their quad core too. It's an upgrade path that might be worth exploiting a few years from now. For a 2.66 dual -> 3.00 dual upgrade, it's probably not worth it unless the chip was dirt cheap. If you do a lot of stuff that can use more than four cores, then maybe a dual to quad core chip upgrade might be worth it.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

new intel xeon chip set With DDR ECC ram and more pci-e lanes is need as well.

Intel is offering a new chipset with DDR support. I don't know about PCIe lanes, but I went through the numbers in my response to one of your Slashdot posts, and concluded that additional PCIe lanes would only improve performance very marginally, and that is if you really load down the computer with a lot of add-ons.
post #15 of 34
Here's my guess for the next line of Mac Pro Towers (not counting the coming minitower) then.

2.83 GHz octo-core for about 3 grand.

2.66 GHz quad-core (single processor) for about 2.2 grand.

3.33 GHz octo-core for whatever the market will bear!
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddan View Post

....not counting the coming minitower....

That's good to not count that...
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Intel is offering a new chipset with DDR support. I don't know about PCIe lanes, but I went through the numbers in my response to one of your Slashdot posts, and concluded that additional PCIe lanes would only improve performance very marginally, and that is if you really load down the computer with a lot of add-ons.

but it will at lest put more in line with what AMD workstations / servers have had for a few years and let you have 2 full x16 video cards with pci-e lanes left over for raid cards and pci-e to pci-x chips. Intel also uses some of the pci-e lanes for part of the chipset to chipset link.

And apple puts the firewire on the pci-33 bus and they should move it to pci-e so you can get the full bandwidth of firewire 800 and higher speeds.
post #18 of 34
Actually, the Seaburg chipset and Stoakley platform (that's the future one JeffDM is talking about, right?) would have some PCIe Gen2. In all likelihood, we'd see Gen2 PCIe at x8, which is fast enough to accomodate SLI (as fast as PCIe x16).

I haven't heard about a dual-independent-bus chipset that doesn't use FB-DIMMs. Please note that FB-DIMMs are both DDR2 and ECC.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

but it will at lest put more in line with what AMD workstations / servers have had for a few years and let you have 2 full x16 video cards with pci-e lanes left over for raid cards and pci-e to pci-x chips.

That's very nice, but the difference between x8 and x16 on video cards is still negligible, and really winds up being a marketing number because the actual difference isn't noticeable. Even if it's only 1% different in actual performance, people will focus on the the half the lanes as a severe crippling and repeatedly complain about it. Like you are. Seriously.

It would be nice if Apple still supported PCI-X on the Mac Pro but it's just not to be.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post

I haven't heard about a dual-independent-bus chipset that doesn't use FB-DIMMs.

I can't find it but I am sure I read of one upcoming Xeon chipset that was going to be offered with a DDR2 memory bus, though not the one that you mentioned.

Quote:
Please note that FB-DIMMs are both DDR2 and ECC.

That's quite true, though it's a different module type than standard DDR2 memory, and it's still a very premium price. Maybe I'd be less irritated with the memory cost if the real-world benefits were more obvious. As it is, it's expensive, sucks power / runs hot and it really doesn't seem to have much to show for it.
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddan View Post

Here's my guess for the next line of Mac Pro Towers (not counting the coming minitower) then.

2.83 GHz octo-core for about 3 grand.

2.66 GHz quad-core (single processor) for about 2.2 grand.

3.33 GHz octo-core for whatever the market will bear!

I think that's off.

I suspect it would be more like;

Dual (dual core) 2.33 for $2,200

Dual (quad core 2.83 for $2,800

Dual (quad core) 3.16 for $3,800
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I can't find it but I am sure I read of one upcoming Xeon chipset that was going to be offered with a DDR2 memory bus, though not the one that you mentioned.



That's quite true, though it's a different module type than standard DDR2 memory, and it's still a very premium price. Maybe I'd be less irritated with the memory cost if the real-world benefits were more obvious. As it is, it's expensive, sucks power / runs hot and it really doesn't seem to have much to show for it.

Without FB-Dimms, Intels chipsets can only run 4 Dimm modules.

AMD has their own scheme, and the old PPC G5 chipsets did as well. As of now, this is the only way to do it using Intel.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post

Actually, the Seaburg chipset and Stoakley platform (that's the future one JeffDM is talking about, right?) would have some PCIe Gen2. In all likelihood, we'd see Gen2 PCIe at x8, which is fast enough to accomodate SLI (as fast as PCIe x16).

I haven't heard about a dual-independent-bus chipset that doesn't use FB-DIMMs. Please note that FB-DIMMs are both DDR2 and ECC.

Actually Intel has announced 2 new platforms for Xeons:
- The one you mentionned (Seaburg chipset and Stoakley platform) which is high-end, uses FB-DIMMs, PCIe 2.0 and replaces the currewnt 5000X chipset of the Bensley platform.
- A second one (the Cranberry Lake platform with the San Clemente chipset) that is a lower-cost product that replaces the 5000 V/P/Z chipsets, and that will use a "native" DDR2 memory controller (San Clemente) and a "desktop" south bridge (ICH9R) with fewer PCIe lanes.

Some "foreign language" information is available here, but the slides are in english. Both chipsets can handle dual-processors.

About the possible configurations for the penryn-based Mac Pro, and just using the price of the chips (current Woodcrest/Clowertown and leaked prices for Harpertown), this is what it could be:
$2200 dual-quad 2.50GHz (2x $316) from dual-dual 2.00GHz (still 2x $316)
$2499 dual-quad 2.83GHz (2x $690) from dual-dual 2.66GHz (still 2x $690)
$3298 dual-quad 3.00GHz (2x $851) from dual-dual 3.00GHz (still 2x $851)
$3997 dual-quad 3.16GHz (2x $1,172) from dual-quad 3.00GHz (just announced at 2x $1,172)

There are no 3.33GHz Xeons announced, but an extreme edition Yorkfield (desktop) at 3.33GHz has been. That doesn't mean that by the time Apple releases the new Mac Pro, Intel couldn't offer it. But just what I described above with the Seaburg chipset and 2GB of RAM standard would be a really nice upgrade!!!
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddan View Post

Here's my guess for the next line of Mac Pro Towers (not counting the coming minitower) then.

2.83 GHz octo-core for about 3 grand.

2.66 GHz quad-core (single processor) for about 2.2 grand.

3.33 GHz octo-core for whatever the market will bear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I think that's off.

I suspect it would be more like;

Dual (dual core) 2.33 for $2,200

Dual (quad core 2.83 for $2,800

Dual (quad core) 3.16 for $3,800

Okay, I think all the chips reffered to in this article are Quad-Core. This would lead me to think that the MacPro will sport all dual quad core designs... which would leave the biggest gap yet between iMac and Mac Pro... 2.83GHz dual core vs ~2.83GHZ dual quad core.

This *would* leave plenty of room for a mini tower...



-Clive
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(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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post #25 of 34
Based on this information when do you think the new Mac Pro would be announced? Where can I read more about this? I am looking to replace me aging powermac, and I was thinking about doing it in the next couple weeks... I am thinking I will probably wait till the newer one comes out.

What kind of performance advantages does this actually translate to?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

Actually Intel has announced 2 new platforms for Xeons:
- The one you mentionned (Seaburg chipset and Stoakley platform) which is high-end, uses FB-DIMMs, PCIe 2.0 and replaces the currewnt 5000X chipset of the Bensley platform.
- A second one (the Cranberry Lake platform with the San Clemente chipset) that is a lower-cost product that replaces the 5000 V/P/Z chipsets, and that will use a "native" DDR2 memory controller (San Clemente) and a "desktop" south bridge (ICH9R) with fewer PCIe lanes.

Some "foreign language" information is available here, but the slides are in english. Both chipsets can handle dual-processors.

About the possible configurations for the penryn-based Mac Pro, and just using the price of the chips (current Woodcrest/Clowertown and leaked prices for Harpertown), this is what it could be:
$2200 dual-quad 2.50GHz (2x $316) from dual-dual 2.00GHz (still 2x $316)
$2499 dual-quad 2.83GHz (2x $690) from dual-dual 2.66GHz (still 2x $690)
$3298 dual-quad 3.00GHz (2x $851) from dual-dual 3.00GHz (still 2x $851)
$3997 dual-quad 3.16GHz (2x $1,172) from dual-quad 3.00GHz (just announced at 2x $1,172)

There are no 3.33GHz Xeons announced, but an extreme edition Yorkfield (desktop) at 3.33GHz has been. That doesn't mean that by the time Apple releases the new Mac Pro, Intel couldn't offer it. But just what I described above with the Seaburg chipset and 2GB of RAM standard would be a really nice upgrade!!!

Anyone have any idea if they will be updating the video cards also?
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by emersive View Post

What kind of performance advantages does this actually translate to?

Versus a PowerMac, for applications that are multi-threaded, substancial advantages. Do you do a lot of Photoshop, FCP or the like?

-Clive
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
Reply
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
Reply
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That's very nice, but the difference between x8 and x16 on video cards is still negligible, and really winds up being a marketing number because the actual difference isn't noticeable. Even if it's only 1% different in actual performance, people will focus on the the half the lanes as a severe crippling and repeatedly complain about it. Like you are. Seriously.

It would be nice if Apple still supported PCI-X on the Mac Pro but it's just not to be.

the high end video card can be slowed down by a x8 pci-e link.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

the high end video card can be slowed down by a x8 pci-e link.

In theory yes - in practise not even a couple of 8800 Ultras running in SLI over 2x8 pci-e will be hampered by the half bandwidth to any noticable degree.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

how about a EFI nvida quadro fx 5600


Combine that with some announcement concerning Pro/Engineer and the ever hated AutoCad on a new Mac Pro would make waves.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

In theory yes - in practise not even a couple of 8800 Ultras running in SLI over 2x8 pci-e will be hampered by the half bandwidth to any noticable degree.


All this changes with PCI 3.0 Specification and we won't see this until 2010.

http://www.pcisig.com/news_room/08_08_07/
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

the high end video card can be slowed down by a x8 pci-e link.

Of course. I admitted that it would be slowed down by 1%. I think at the very worst, it's 5%. If you didn't tell people, I don't think many people would notice the difference.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Versus a PowerMac, for applications that are multi-threaded, substancial advantages. Do you do a lot of Photoshop, FCP or the like?

-Clive

I will using CS3 extensively, FCP, and I will be doing animating some time later this fall.
post #33 of 34
Courtesy of VR-Zone

post #34 of 34
If anyone wants info on the new chips, and the later ones, I can post a half dozen pages.
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