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Apple to fire up Penryn-based Mac Pros

post #1 of 395
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For the second time in as many years, Mac maker Apple Inc. is awaiting the official nod from chip supplier Intel Corp. before announcing a brawny update to its Mac Pro workstations aimed at media professionals.

The new systems will represent the first architectural overhaul to the Mac Pro family since Apple introduced the Intel-based Power Mac successor at its August 2006 Worldwide Developers Conference. They'll also be amongst the first machines from any PC manufacturer to employ chips from Intel's upcoming Penryn family of 45-nanometer (nm) microprocessors -- specifically the upcoming Hi-k Xeons, which will be available in dual- and quad-core variants for workstations with front-side bus speeds of either 1333MHz or 1600MHz.

Confirming reports filed by the Inquirer earlier this month, people familiar with the matter say the new Mac Pro line lineup will top out with an 8-core configuration that employs two top-of-the-line quad-core "Harpertown" chips. The top-bin Xeons, which offer the faster 1600MHz bus and 12MB of L2 cache, will start trickling in around mid-November at speeds of up to 3.2GHz.

Apple, for its part, is ready to rock-and-roll with the new 45-nm Macs whenever Intel can deliver enough of those top-bin chips to trigger a manufacturing ramp. People familiar with the situation say Apple's end of the hardware is essentially complete, with builds having made their final pass through engineering earlier this fall. Availability now hinges on the Intel's capacity to deliver quantities of the new 45-nm Xeons, they say.

Long-time AppleInsider readers will recall a nearly identical situation facing the Mac Pro last October. At the time, AppleInsider reported on Apple's plans to release its first-ever 8-core system -- a Mac Pro sporting two quad-core Xeon "Clovertown" chips. Like Harpertown, the first Clovertown processors were slated for a mid-November release and (again) Apple's end of the hardware was similarly completed well in advance. The 8-core Mac didn't debut for another five months, however, as Apple held out for an exclusive 3.0GHz variant of the Clovertown chip while it waited patiently forÂ*Adobe to pull the trigger on its Intel-native Creative Suite 3.0 (CS3) software. Following the release of CS3 in late-March, Apple in April finally rolled out the 8-Core Clovertown Mac Pro.

With a warm reception to CS3 amongst creative professionals helping to drive sales of Apple's professional workstations in recent months, things are likely to play out much quicker this time around. The new 8-core Harpertown Mac Pro should debut anytime after mid-November and almost certainly by Macworld Expo in January.

Speed improvements made possible by Intel's new 45-nm architecture are likely to compel large corporations to consider updating to the Penryn-based workstations. Speaking at Intel's Beijing developer forum earlier this year, Intel senior VP Pat Gelsinger said Harpertown Xeons will offer an approximate 45 percent speed increase for bandwidth-intensive applications compared to the Clovertown Xeon chips available in today's Mac Pros.



Still, there is some slight uncertainty regarding precisely which Intel processor models will be used to progress the entry-level quad-core Mac Pros, which employ two dual-core Xeons rather than two quad-core processors. The multiprocessor, dual-core counterpart to Harpertown is "Wolfdale," which will be made available in models that support varying front-side bus speeds.

A 3.16GHz low-power Wolfdale will operate on systems with a 1333MHz bus, while "normal" 1.86GHzÂ* and 3.33GHz models will work on machines with bus speeds of 1066MHz and 1333MHz, respectively. In addition, Intel also plans a 3.4GHz Wolfdale that runs on a 1600MHz bus like Harpertown. However this chip is somewhat pricey, with a suggested wholesale cost similar to that of the 3.2GHz quad-core Harpertowns bound for theÂ*8-core Mac Pro. Therefore, it would seem incredibly unlikely that Apple would adopt the chip for the Mac Pro, as the 8-core Harpertown Mac Pro is expected to cost upwards of $4,000 itself.

This raises the possibility that Apple's Penryn-based Mac Pro line will include models with varying bus speeds. This is not out of the ordinary, however, and was similarly the case back in October of 2005 when Apple unveiled its Power Mac G5 Quad and Power Mac G5 Dual. Â*At the time, however, the system bus was automatically tied to clock speed rather than the controlling factor itself.
post #2 of 395
Worldwide is one word.
post #3 of 395
Of course I just got my new Mac Pro, and now they're going to release a new models. Of course I knew full well this would happen, but couldn't pursuade my IT guy to hold off on the purchase for a few months. Sigh... at least I got the $10 Leopard upgrade.
post #4 of 395
They sure as hell better be upgrading those graphics cards. Especially the the stock card. Paying 2.5k for a machine that ships with a $50 128bit card is insanity. The chips are plenty fast. The biggest lacking part are the graphics cards.

 

 

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post #5 of 395
please!!!!!!!!

DO IT APPLE, DO IT!!!

I need to upgrade my G5 and sell while I have Applecare. I can still get a fair price for it. Plus, I do not want to miss the year tax deductions! Sorry for my selfish reasons.
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post #6 of 395
Thank you so much for the photograph and the details. I'll be buying the 3.2GHz 8 core as soon as it ships.

Sure glad it's finally coming to market with Leopard on board. Perfect marriage of hardware and software. Me so happy! We have 1438 posts on this subject over at MacRumors.

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post #7 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

This raises the possibility that Apple's Penryn-based Mac Pro line will include models with varying bus speeds. This is not out of the ordinary, however, and was similarly the case back in October of 2005 when Apple unveiled its Power Mac G5 Quad and Power Mac G5 Dual. *At the time, however, the system bus was automatically tied to clock speed rather than the controlling factor itself.

Actually, just about every tier of every revision of the G5 Macs had its own bus speed, from the original 2003 PMG5 to the final versions in the late 2005 models. I think the bus on a G5 was half it's core clock speed for the Power Macs, and a third its core clock on the iMacs.
post #8 of 395
We are looking to get an Xserve + XRAID soon, and I'd like to avoid getting the end of the cycle on one of these devices.
post #9 of 395
It is quite extraordinary what a difference moving to Intel has made to Apple. You wonder why they didn't do it before.

Apart from the 24" iMacs they don't seem to have put a foot wrong since.
Wll I have my G5 so I am off to get a life; apart from this post...
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post #10 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

Of course I just got my new Mac Pro, and now they're going to release a new models. Of course I knew full well this would happen, but couldn't pursuade my IT guy to hold off on the purchase for a few months. Sigh... at least I got the $10 Leopard upgrade.

LOL, buy a $4000 computer, and somehow, getting Leopard for $10 rather than $129 is important to you?
post #11 of 395
A $1,000 Mac, please??? Hello?
post #12 of 395
I'd also like to get my hands on one of those Penryn 3.2 dual quads. I sincerely hope it's going to run a 1600 MHz FSB. The bus speeds of the current models seriously restricted throughput of the current dual quad models. It just wasn't worth the premium over the dual 2-core models. With the huge 12 MB cache and 1600 MHz FSB this new model should crank out some serious numbers.

Apple is still going to get shorted on graphics cards. Most likely second tier leftovers. I guess not until Intel goes into the graphics card business will the Mac Pros get a fair shake with top-of-the-line graphics cards. Maybe Apple doesn't really care since the company doesn't promote gaming on their Mac Pros.

I guess $5000 will get a decently equipped dual quad with extra memory and graphics upgrade. If Apple's share price goes to $190, my future dual-quad will be completely paid for courtesy of Apple.
post #13 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

Thank you so much for the photograph and the details.

Isn't that just a standard Mac Pro guts-shot with logos photoshopped into the CPU heat sink cover?
post #14 of 395
Figures. I had to buy a new Mac Pro, so I can get hired for this upcoming job. Looks like i will be selling mine in a few months.
post #15 of 395
I wonder if it will be redesigned and what GPUs it will ship with. It would be really lame if nice new CPUs came and no GPU updates. If they've perfected the technical design, I guess there's not many places to go with it.
post #16 of 395
But which gpu? The 'heavy hitters' from Ati and Nvidia aren't going to ship until Q1 '08?

That leaves us with the 8800GTX? GT?

Hmmm.

And...for the love of god....a more affordable quad range under neath. Please....gawd.....mercy...

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.)

Reply
post #17 of 395
Quote:
They sure as hell better be upgrading those graphics cards. Especially the the stock card. Paying 2.5k for a machine that ships with a $50 128bit card is insanity. The chips are plenty fast. The biggest lacking part are the graphics cards.

Insanity.

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 #18 of 395
Or... Gasp... ATI 2900xt /cry

 

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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post #19 of 395
Any word on Xserve getting these bad boy chips?
post #20 of 395
Apple, take a hint:

The gap between iMac and Mac Pro is so huge you could fit two product lines and semi truck in there.

Really there isn't a good reason not to make an xMac/MacPro Mini/Mac Plus? (aside form your monetary greed, aparently). Intel's CPU offerings include a wide range of processors between those in the iMac and those in the Mac Pro. For prosumers, the iMac is too weak, has crappy graphics an NO EXPANDABILITY, meanwhile the MacPro is a waste for doing anything less than video-editing, 3D rendering and Photoshop filtering, simultaneously. Call it hyperbole if you want, but the main idea is still true. We aren't all either "idiot consumers" or professionals. Ergo, we need a computer that can fit our needs. Desktop-class processor, video card, a PCI slot or two, extra HDD bay, extra optical bay.

It's not too much to ask so for the love of Trogdor, just do it.

Oh yeah, "please."

-Clive
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post #21 of 395
What's impressive here is that the redesign is said to be complete, yet there's no word on upgrades (eSATA ports?) or Styling (Black and Aluminium?) or the Cinema Display situation.

Apple's getting too good at compartmentalizing this stuff.
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post #22 of 395
For the love of God, Apple better at LEAST put an 8600 in them the 7300 in the current ones is a joke.
post #23 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

Of course I just got my new Mac Pro, and now they're going to release a new models. Of course I knew full well this would happen, but couldn't pursuade my IT guy to hold off on the purchase for a few months. Sigh... at least I got the $10 Leopard upgrade.

HAHAHA 1 WORD... LOSER.
post #24 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Isn't that just a standard Mac Pro guts-shot with logos photoshopped into the CPU heat sink cover?

Yes.

Lame. I should hope it gets a redesign. I've had enough of the cheese grater, even without having to look at one every day. BTW, what has happened to Apple's design since the G4 days? We had awesome-looking products back then: the acrylic-footed LCDs, the swivel-neck iMac G4, and the master of all, the G4 Cube. What strikingly beautiful machines. Then they started this whole "minimalist" movement which leave the products looking simple and clean, yes, but also very bland.

I stongly hesitate to say that I value form over function, but since the above-listed machines had a healthy balance of BOTH, I almost feel inclined to! So what, if they're borderline-gaudy? They looked like a million bucks seven years ago and they still do today. Ive's design has shifted too much and I am not a fan.

Perhaps others disagree.

-Clive
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post #25 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Isn't that just a standard Mac Pro guts-shot with logos photoshopped into the CPU heat sink cover?

I agree, that doesn't sound credible to me. I am still have hope Apple will refresh the design of the MacPro as well as the displays.
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post #26 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Yes.

Lame. I should hope it gets a redesign. I've had enough of the cheese grater, even without having to look at one every day. BTW, what has happened to Apple's design since the G4 days? We had awesome-looking products back then: the acrylic-footed LCDs, the swivel-neck iMac G4, and the master of all, the G4 Cube. What strikingly beautiful machines. Then they started this whole "minimalist" movement which leave the products looking simple and clean, yes, but also very bland.

I stongly hesitate to say that I value form over function, but since the above-listed machines had a healthy balance of BOTH, I almost feel inclined to! So what, if they're borderline-gaudy? They looked like a million bucks seven years ago and they still do today. Ive's design has shifted too much and I am not a fan.

Perhaps others disagree.

I am fine with the current look. The functionality isn't necessarily all there either, I think they could have hot-swap drives relatively easily, though there's a risk that the user would yank the current system drive, negating the benefit of hot-swap.

While a change would probably be nice, the most I'd expect this time around is maybe a bit of a rearrangement or change of the ports. If the 2007 iMac presentation is any indicator, they are still pushing aluminum as a "pro" look.
post #27 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

If the 2007 iMac presentation is any indicator, they are still pushing aluminum as a "pro" look.

I remember Jobs' statement about aluminium being the "pro" look... which is what confuses me: Why is it on an iMac, an entry-level desktop machine?

-Clive
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post #28 of 395
Steve: "Ladies and gentlemen, I called this press conference today to announce to the known universe that Apple... under the veil of complete secrecy, mind you... in addition to working on our super-secret Intel compatible OSX software...... (dramatic pause and wheezing deep breath)... we have been working in parallel on an AMD-compatible version of our astounding OSX!"

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post #29 of 395
Um.... no.

 

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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post #30 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Steve: "Ladies and gentlemen, I called this press conference today to announce to the known universe that Apple... under the veil of complete secrecy, mind you... in addition to working on our super-secret Intel compatible OSX software...... (dramatic pause and wheezing deep breath)... we have been working in parallel on an AMD-compatible version of our astounding OSX!"

Wow, I wish that only made sense. All they'd need is different hardware, not new software.

...unless you're joking, of course, in which case, "teehee."

-Clive
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post #31 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Um.... no.

Yah-huh!

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post #32 of 395
Ok, new MacMini with 4 (not 2) of these new Intel Chips, LOL (Kidding).
post #33 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I remember Jobs' statement about aluminium being the "pro" look... which is what confuses me: Why is it on an iMac, an entry-level desktop machine?

In short, I don't know.

Pros do use iMacs though.

With respect to the whole market, iMac is kind a high-end consumer machine (or luxury, in some ways, like B&O audio stuff where looks and sleek form factors are at least as important as functionality), or roughly entry level pro. Its "entry" model is about twice the cost of the industry's average sale price.

That explanation doesn't work on the mini, so that kind of shoots down the whole thing.
post #34 of 395
This doesn't really sound pleasant. I sold my Quad G5 last week and await the comming of the new mac pro's. I sold it before they came so the value didn't drop too much.
When the G5 alsmost ended, there were duals, and last came a Quad. Then the next revision were all quads. Now there came an 8-core, and this article claims the next revision are gonna bu quads with the high end an 8-core?

This would suck. Reading the original article claiming apple is seizing the high-end Xeons, they think according to the supposed price tag, that the standard could be a 8-core 2.86Ghz. Which would seem much more Apple than remaining quads of 3.3 or something.

Also, when the latest G5's came out, it was dual 2.3 dual 2.5 and quad 2.5. The formar G5 went up to 2.7.

Every time apple updated it's high end line, it introduced new GPU's. Mostly the higher ends of the moment. And mostly those cards are already old in the PC world. So a 8800GT is most logical.
But, with the comming of the Quad G5, and i know, i had to wait a month before i even could order it with the 7800GT in it. And till today the 7800 was never sold seperatly. Now the X1900 is, but it costs a rediculous price of over 400. Are they out of their freaking mind? That lame 7300 even costs a 150 or so. If you check the PC GPU prices you would be even crazy enough to buy this stuff.

and ps. the other articles claims the top end Xeon is a 3.16 GHz
and so far i haven't heard much rumors of Dual Core Penryn Xeons. Only low-ends. So why would apple even bother with quad cores unless to create an even cheaper Mac Pro for those who don't need the power.

Apple really is starting to get on my nerves with their hardware. Looks like iMacs and Macbooks is all they care about.
post #35 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Yes.

Lame. I should hope it gets a redesign. I've had enough of the cheese grater, even without having to look at one every day. BTW, what has happened to Apple's design since the G4 days? We had awesome-looking products back then: the acrylic-footed LCDs, the swivel-neck iMac G4, and the master of all, the G4 Cube. What strikingly beautiful machines. Then they started this whole "minimalist" movement which leave the products looking simple and clean, yes, but also very bland.

I stongly hesitate to say that I value form over function, but since the above-listed machines had a healthy balance of BOTH, I almost feel inclined to! So what, if they're borderline-gaudy? They looked like a million bucks seven years ago and they still do today. Ive's design has shifted too much and I am not a fan.

Perhaps others disagree.

-Clive

I totally agree. It's time for a new look. Even the new iMacs weren't enough of a change to turn my head. I'm really craving some of that beautiful, original Apple design like the cube or the Titanium PowerBook, or any G4 for that matter - only completely different, of course.
post #36 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingness View Post

This doesn't really sound pleasant. I sold my Quad G5 last week and await the comming of the new mac pro's. I sold it before they came so the value didn't drop too much.
When the G5 alsmost ended, there were duals, and last came a Quad. Then the next revision were all quads. Now there came an 8-core, and this article claims the next revision are gonna bu quads with the high end an 8-core?

This would suck. Reading the original article claiming apple is seizing the high-end Xeons, they think according to the supposed price tag, that the standard could be a 8-core 2.86Ghz. Which would seem much more Apple than remaining quads of 3.3 or something.

Also, when the latest G5's came out, it was dual 2.3 dual 2.5 and quad 2.5. The formar G5 went up to 2.7.

Every time apple updated it's high end line, it introduced new GPU's. Mostly the higher ends of the moment. And mostly those cards are already old in the PC world. So a 8800GT is most logical.
But, with the comming of the Quad G5, and i know, i had to wait a month before i even could order it with the 7800GT in it. And till today the 7800 was never sold seperatly. Now the X1900 is, but it costs a rediculous price of over 400€. Are they out of their freaking mind? That lame 7300 even costs a 150€ or so. If you check the PC GPU prices you would be even crazy enough to buy this stuff.

and ps. the other articles claims the top end Xeon is a 3.16 GHz
and so far i haven't heard much rumors of Dual Core Penryn Xeons. Only low-ends. So why would apple even bother with quad cores unless to create an even cheaper Mac Pro for those who don't need the power.

Apple really is starting to get on my nerves with their hardware. Looks like iMacs and Macbooks is all they care about.

Apple's product releases coincide with their attempting to have the greatest impact on their company's stock price, IMO. If the market is constantly flooded with new Apple product, the impact and the anticipation by consumers and the press would be minimal.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #37 of 395
I'm in the market for an XServe or two as well. Amazing how hard they have become to find on Apple's store site. Here's to hoping they get upgraded soon as well. (A $500 price cut would go a good way as well... I can dream...)
post #38 of 395
Apple itself is considered a luxury company. You have to be a fool not to see that. $1300 for the lowest end small notebook line, $2000 for the lowest end, average sized notebook line. $1100 is their cheapest computer. $150 for the cheapest music player (shuffle doesn't count because it sucks). $179 for a router, when you can buy a perfectly good Wireless-N Linksys for under $100. Jesus (and it was $179 even before Gigabit Ethernet). If you want cheap crap, go to PCs.
post #39 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berzerker View Post

Apple itself is considered a luxury company. You have to be a fool not to see that. $1300 for the lowest end small notebook line, $2000 for the lowest end, average sized notebook line. $1100 is their cheapest computer. $150 for the cheapest music player (shuffle doesn't count because it sucks). $179 for a router, when you can buy a perfectly good Wireless-N Linksys for under $100.

Apple's AEx is not just a router though. Does that sub-$100 work as a NAS or a print server? Linksys WRT150N is on Amazon for $98, but its switch is 10/100 and no print server or NAS capabilities. If you don't need any of that, then it's pretty fair to say that the cheaper one will probably suit you better. That's the unfortunate thing, you get a bunch of features that you may never need. If you need those features, then it's definitely a fair price.
post #40 of 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In short, I don't know.

Pros do use iMacs though.

With respect to the whole market, iMac is kind a high-end consumer machine, or roughly entry level pro. Its "entry" model is about twice the cost of the industry's average sale price.

That explanation doesn't work on the mini, so that kind of shoots down the whole thing.

Wow, I respectfully disagree. I like the top-level iMac - it has a decent CPU, good amount of RAM, and a spacious HDD - but it has a few fatal flaws that prevent it from being a really great machine. All of them boil down to a lack of longevity. If you're a prosumer, you don't need this year's newest technology, only last year's. The iMac's internals are made up entirely of last year's technology, which is fine and good... and might be fine in two years when the user wants to upgrade the RAM. but in years 3 - 6, it needs a new graphics card (it needs that anyway), a new BluRay Reader / DVD burner, and a bigger HDD. Solution: throw the computer out the window and buy a new one beacuse you can't upgrade the damn thing.

Plus another fault of the iMac is that you pay for a screen whether you want it or not. The 24" model is $2300. I would estimate that $600 (or more) of that price is going towards the LCD That would put the cost of the rest of the hardware at $1700. That leaves an $800 hardware gap between the iMac and the Pro. There's so much room to fill in Apple's line-up and it needs a machine designed for prosumers.

uh... where was I going with this?

Oh yeah. iMacs shouldn't be aluminium.

-Clive
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