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New Intel Xeons offer upgrade path for Mac Pro in early 2009

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
Intel during the first quarter of next year will introduce a total of 13 new Nehalem-based Xeon chips, at least two of which are likely to turn up in a long-awaited upgrade to Apple's Mac Pro workstations.

Among them will be ten processors belonging the Xeon 5500 series, which appears to represent the chipmakers "Gainestown" series, or the successor to the current quad-core 45-nm Xeon Harpertown series employed by Apple's existing 2.8GHz, 3.0GHz, and 3.2GHz Mac Pros (which include two of the quad-core chips for a total of eight cores).

Only nine of the Xeon 5500 series chips are quad-core, and only five appear as if they could find their way into a next-generation Mac Pro, namely the 3.2GHz W5580 ($1,600), 2.93GHz X5570 ($1,386), 2.8GHz X5560 ($1,172), 2.66GHz X5550 ($958), and 2.53GHz E5540 ($744).

Speculation over precisely which models Apple could adopt is complicated by a dearth of public information on the new parts, as well as the prices for the new chips published Thursday by DigiTimes, which make them much more expensive than Harpertown chips at identical clock frequencies.

The existing Mac Pros are believed to use Intel's 2.8GHz E5462, 3.0GHz X5472, and 3.2GHz X5482 Harpertown Xeons, which were priced $797, $958, and $1279 respectively, in lots of 1000 when they were introduced last fall.

Gainestown is effectively believed to be an Intel Core i7-based chip, which would see integration of an on-die memory controller and the replacement of the Front Side Bus with Intel's QuickPath point-to-point processor interconnect.

The chips used in Apple's existing Mac Pros with their price when purchased in lots of 1000.

Chips that could potentially fuel an upgrade to the Mac Pro (middle 3 most likely) with prices when purchased in lots of 1000.

In addition to the 5 chips mentioned above, Intel also plans to announce 2.4GHz, 2.26GHz, 2.13GHz, and 2GHz quad-core Xeon 5500 series chips, an undetermined dual-core chip, and three undetermined Xeon 3500 series chips.

[Editor's note: updated with charts.]
post #2 of 92
The Mac Pro price will have to be raised if they still intend to use 2x Quad-core Xeons at equivalent speeds. They could make changes to reduce the cost, but I doubt they will for the flagship Mac desktop.

I hate to say this, but this price hike in the Xeons does afford Apple the option of offering a smaller Mac desktop with only 1 Xeon at a price that is between $1,300 and $2,000.
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post #3 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Gainestown is effectively believed to be an Intel Core i7-based chip, which would see integration of an on-die memory controller and the replacement of the Front Side Bus with Intel's QuickPath point-to-point processor interconnect.

If this is the only change (other than the price going up) what kind of benefit is there.

I haven't been paying close attention to the roadmaps lately, and I am curious as to what the buyer would get for their hundred$.
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post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

If this is the only change (other than the price going up) what kind of benefit is there.

I haven't been paying close attention to the roadmaps lately, and I am curious as to what the buyer would get for their hundred$.

Here is some detailed info...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=3453
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=3448
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=3382
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=3326
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post #5 of 92
This is getting ridiculous. The Powermac G5 top of the line had a $3000 sticker price. This time, the processors alone will cost more than that. I hope they would use lower speeds to build a cheaper Mac Pro. Eight 2GHz cores ain't nothing to sniff at.

/Adrian
post #6 of 92
Please show the pros you still care Apple, please, please, please. A beefy update to FCS at NAB would be just swell, too. Super swell. I cannot express the level of swellness that would be felt by many in this industry. Giant amounts of swell.
post #7 of 92
One consideration beyond the fact that Apple seems to get better pricing than 1000s, is that the new chips will greatly simplify the northbridge as the memory controller is now on the CPU die. As to whether this offsets the additional cost is indeterminate at this point. The other consideration would be that the recent batch of Nehalem benchmarks show it outperforming a octal configuration in some instances. In a roundabout way, that would make these half as expensive. (I said roundabout).
post #8 of 92
I can't see them hiking the price up, it's not going to happen. Maybe the so called 6 core Xeon (Dunnington) and a new graphic boards might be on offer. A 9 series Nvidia.
post #9 of 92
I'm not familiar with all these prices and model numbers.

The Three Xenon chips that have been making the rounds are the i7 965 Extreme 3.2 GHz at $999, the 940 2.93 GHz at $562, and the 920 2.66 GHz at $284.

Intel does make the mobo's, one of which is the DX58SO.

I wonder if these are actually the "chipset" chip numbers (which is now just one chip). But where the pricing came from I can't imagine when compared to the other prices for those model numbers.
post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by i386 View Post

I can't see them hiking the price up, it's not going to happen. Maybe the so called 6 core Xeon (Dunnington) and a new graphic boards might be on offer. A 9 series Nvidia.

Nope. Dunnington is a MP processor with a price north of $2000 per. I'm guessing we'll see either Nvidia Geforce GTX 200 series or AMD Radeon HD 4800 series.

/Adrian
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by i386 View Post

I can't see them hiking the price up, it's not going to happen. Maybe the so called 6 core Xeon (Dunnington) and a new graphic boards might be on offer. A 9 series Nvidia.

Dunnington are MP cpus usually work in quartet, those 6 cores are even more expensive than the future nehalem Xeons (up to $2729 each)

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not familiar with all these prices and model numbers.

The Three Xenon chips that have been making the rounds are the i7 965 Extreme 3.2 GHz at $999, the 940 2.93 GHz at $562, and the 920 2.66 GHz at $284.

Intel does make the mobo's, one of which is the DX58SO.

I wonder if these are actually the "chipset" chip numbers (which is now just one chip). But where the pricing came from I can't imagine when compared to the other prices for those model numbers.

Not Xenon chips, the Core i7 900 series are high-end desktop cpus, they work with the X58 chipset. The Xeon 3500 series are the equivalent for the uni-processore servers. Both work only in solo (no dual-cpu configurations).

The Xeon 5500 are made to work in dual-cpu configurations, they have 2 QPI links (one for the chipset, one for the other cpu), that's why they are much more expensive than the Core i7 900 series or the 3500 series at the same clock.

Most of the nehalem motherbaord will still have a 2-chip chipset, since the new I/O hub will only have PCIe lanes and QPI links, a standard ICH chip will be used of the other things like USB/SATA/Legacy ports and more PCIe lanes.



Upper-right corner, probably the next dual-cpu Mac Pro
Lower-left corner, probably the never released xMac

Sorry for the big image.
post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

Dunnington are MP cpus usually work in quartet, those 6 cores are even more expensive than the future nehalem Xeons (up to $2729 each)



Not Xenon chips, the Core i7 900 series are high-end desktop cpus, they work with the X58 chipset. The Xeon 3500 series are the equivalent for the uni-processore servers. Both work only in solo (no dual-cpu configurations).

The Xeon 5500 are made to work in dual-cpu configurations, they have 2 QPI links (one for the chipset, one for the other cpu), that's why they are much more expensive than the Core i7 900 series or the 3500 series at the same clock.

Most of the nehalem motherbaord will still have a 2-chip chipset, since the new I/O hub will only have PCIe lanes and QPI links, a standard ICH chip will be used of the other things like USB/SATA/Legacy ports and more PCIe lanes.


Upper-right corner, probably the next dual-cpu Mac Pro
Lower-left corner, probably the never released xMac

Sorry for the big image.

That looks about right.

Interesting then that the testing is not being done on the Xeons which are supposed to be the first out, this month, where all desktop parts aren't due to the late first quarter, or the second. That's why I assumed they were in fact Xeons.
post #13 of 92
Given the confusion of remarks in the original article, can someone "in the know" speak to whether or not these chips will be suitable for upgrades to existing MacPros? The article author uses the word "upgrade" in several conflicting and unique ways that tend to add to the confusion of all the acronyms and numbers.

Conversely, could AppleInsider perhaps wait until you have more time to write a legible article next time instead of rushing to press with a lot of garbled confusion? I'd like to see a presentation along the lines of:

- these are the new chips, speeds, and prices
- they will likely be used in these upcoming Macs (models, prices)
- they could conceivably be used to upgrade these existing Mac machines (models, years)

I mean how hard is that? There must be someone here that took writing in grade 8 or something.
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post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Given the confusion of remarks in the original article, can someone "in the know" speak to whether or not these chips will be suitable for upgrades to existing MacPros? The article author uses the word "upgrade" in several conflicting and unique ways that tend to add to the confusion of all the acronyms and numbers.

Conversely, could AppleInsider perhaps wait until you have more time to write a legible article next time instead of rushing to press with a lot of garbled confusion? I'd like to see a presentation along the lines of:

- these are the new chips, speeds, and prices
- they will likely be used in these upcoming Macs (models, prices)
- they could conceivably be used to upgrade these existing Mac machines (models, years)

I mean how hard is that? There must be someone here that took writing in grade 8 or something.

No, they will not. They require a new socket because of the on-die memory controller, which now uses 1366 pins. Also, having an additional mem controller on the mobo wouldn't be the best idea.

But, next years 32 nm "tick" will be a drop-in replacement for these.
post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

Please show the pros you still care Apple, please, please, please. A beefy update to FCS at NAB would be just swell, too. Super swell. I cannot express the level of swellness that would be felt by many in this industry. Giant amounts of swell.

If they hold to pattern, I would expect Final Cut Studio 3 at NAB09, it has been given a major update every other year, and announced on the week of NAB. And it might justify a NAB booth. This year being the "off" year, I guess it didn't make sense to have an expensive booth to show off last year's product.
post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not familiar with all these prices and model numbers.

The Three Xenon chips that have been making the rounds are the i7 965 Extreme 3.2 GHz at $999, the 940 2.93 GHz at $562, and the 920 2.66 GHz at $284.

Intel does make the mobo's, one of which is the DX58SO.

I wonder if these are actually the "chipset" chip numbers (which is now just one chip). But where the pricing came from I can't imagine when compared to the other prices for those model numbers.

Xenon is the XBox 360's CPU. And i7 is desktop, not server/workstation (Xeon). Don't get confused, Mel, if you get confused everyone else will.

The chipset is the X58. There's a version of it that only supports one CPU (for the i7), and a version for dual-socket systems.
post #17 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Given the confusion of remarks in the original article, can someone "in the know" speak to whether or not these chips will be suitable for upgrades to existing MacPros? The article author uses the word "upgrade" in several conflicting and unique ways that tend to add to the confusion of all the acronyms and numbers.

Conversely, could AppleInsider perhaps wait until you have more time to write a legible article next time instead of rushing to press with a lot of garbled confusion? I'd like to see a presentation along the lines of:

- these are the new chips, speeds, and prices
- they will likely be used in these upcoming Macs (models, prices)
- they could conceivably be used to upgrade these existing Mac machines (models, years)

I mean how hard is that? There must be someone here that took writing in grade 8 or something.

Virgil,

What exactly is wrong with the article? We spent a few hours sorting out all the chips for the article and tracking down the specs -- which is more than anyone else has done. There's not much information available on these parts and almost none of it is intended to be public just yet, so I'm not sure what more you could be looking for at this stage in the game...

In terms of a consumer/pro machine, these chips would most likely only be destine for a Mac Pro. We outlined the chips used in the current Mac Pro and the candidates that could go in the next version. We listed the 3 month time period. We paired the chips with what I believe is their appropriate code-name, and some commenters helped fill in some of the other pieces with information we didn't have at our disposal at the time.

- these are the new chips, speeds, and prices

We published all the applicable chips with their speeds and prices. I personally added charts to make them all more legible.

- they will likely be used in these upcoming Macs (models, prices)

We said the chips discussed in the article are suited to succeed the chips in the current Mac Pro (Early 2008). Since none of our staff are members of Apple's executive branch, we're unable to provide the exact prices Apple plans to charge for these yet uncompleted systems 4 months in advance.

- they could conceivably be used to upgrade these existing Mac machines (models, years)

Again, we said they are suited to succeed the chips in the current Mac Pro, which would place them inside computers that would likely be called Mac Pros (Early 2009).


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post #18 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That looks about right.

Interesting then that the testing is not being done on the Xeons which are supposed to be the first out, this month, where all desktop parts aren't due to the late first quarter, or the second. That's why I assumed they were in fact Xeons.

The only different between the Core i7 Bloomfield and xeon 5500 gainestown is the that gainestown has a second quickpath connection. Performance should be pretty much identical. The Xeons are going to be released after the the Core i7.
post #19 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

The Xeons are going to be released after the the Core i7.

With the increased cost of the Xeons, would Apple go with i7s for the Mac Pro, which superficially looks like it could increase performance while lowering the cost of the machine.
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...spx?i=3448&p=3

PS: The main AI article has been updated with charts.
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post #20 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

With the increased cost of the Xeons, would Apple go with i7s for the Mac Pro, which superficially looks like it could increase performance while lowering the cost of the machine.

I doubt it. Who knows what prices Apple pays for processors, anyway?
post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I doubt it. Who knows what prices Apple pays for processors, anyway?

Regardless what they actually pay in relation to the per 1000 unit cost, we should assume that Intel is charging Apple about the same percentage on that per 1000 unit cost.
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post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

If they hold to pattern, I would expect Final Cut Studio 3 at NAB09, it has been given a major update every other year, and announced on the week of NAB. And it might justify a NAB booth. This year being the "off" year, I guess it didn't make sense to have an expensive booth to show off last year's product.

Apple didn't show up at the Pro Photo Expo here in NYC this year either, after having appeared the past two years. I guess it's giving up on the idea of Aperture being a professional program.
post #23 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

The only different between the Core i7 Bloomfield and xeon 5500 gainestown is the that gainestown has a second quickpath connection. Performance should be pretty much identical. The Xeons are going to be released after the the Core i7.

Now that's the interesting thing. Intel has been stating that the server, workstation line would be released first, that's the Xeons.

All Nehalems are now labeled i7.
post #24 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Now that's the interesting thing. Intel has been stating that the server, workstation line would be released first, that's the Xeons.

All Nehalems are now labeled i7.

Intel never said the server/workstation Nehalem chips would be out first. Where did you read that?
post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by i386 View Post

I can't see them hiking the price up, it's not going to happen. Maybe the so called 6 core Xeon (Dunnington) and a new graphic boards might be on offer. A 9 series Nvidia.

Take a look at the latest release of MacBooks. A price hike cannot be discarded, looking at Apple's history.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Intel never said the server/workstation Nehalem chips would be out first. Where did you read that?

Just about on every tech site in the past six months, including here.

Server/workstation chips 4th quarter 2008. high end/medium desktop parts late first quarter, seond quarter. lower end chips third quarter, with mobile parts following.

That's been the roadmap.

It's kind of late, even for me, so I'll just post the conclusions from this Anandtech article recently published.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...px?i=3382&p=15
post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Just about on every tech site in the past six months, including here.

Server/workstation chips 4th quarter 2008. high end/medium desktop parts late first quarter, seond quarter. lower end chips third quarter, with mobile parts following.

The first three desktop Nehalem processors are due to begin shipping today 14th November to suppliers/wholesalers, i.e. Q4 '08 and not late Q1 '09. The Nehalem Xeons were always set for Q1 '09. This was always the road map. Intel has been clear about it for a long time. Some sites must be confused, basing their ideas about what will happen on what has happened before rather than getting their facts straight. It is unusual for the desktop CPUs to be released before their workstation/server counterparts but this is indeed what's happening with Nehalem.


No one seems to be mentioning the fact that Nehalem supports hyperthreading. This could possibly deliver significant performance gains for Mac OS X Leopard and even more for Snow Leopard given how multithreaded they are/will be. So those concerned about what gain there is in these processors really need to realise these are significantly re-architected processors delivering major performance improvements. An 8-way Mac Pro will have an additional 8 virtual processing cores taking it to a total of 16. With Snow Leopard utilising the GPU(s) too you could be looking at several more.
post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

D
Most of the nehalem motherbaord will still have a 2-chip chipset, since the new I/O hub will only have PCIe lanes and QPI links, a standard ICH chip will be used of the other things like USB/SATA/Legacy ports and more PCIe lanes.

Did you spot the mistake in these diagrams? It's not necessarily a design mistake... it's more the label they've stuck on the Southbridge. These are obviously not sourced from Intel itself.
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

With the increased cost of the Xeons, would Apple go with i7s for the Mac Pro, which superficially looks like it could increase performance while lowering the cost of the machine.
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...spx?i=3448&p=3 PS: The main AI article has been updated with charts.

Depends. The x58 (tylersburg) motherboard would use the same exact drivers whether it have one or two sockets. It would save Apple and the consumer a lot of money if the single CPU variant were using a core i7/ Xeon 3500 (same processor) and a single socket x58. That being said, Apple really wants to push a major distinction between consumer whether it exists in the real world or not. The last three Power Mac/ Mac Pro updates have also included price increases. ($500, $150, $150).
post #30 of 92
I'm not as worried about yet another round of niddling changes to the CPU's, when do we ever get graphics options that come anywhere near matching the power available in the Mac Pro?

If I see another single card-only, 512MB only "new" graphics card on a new Mac I'm calling Dell. It's ridiculous already Apple - processors that will smoke anything out there and graphics technology from two years ago.
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Depends. The x58 (tylersburg) motherboard would use the same exact drivers whether it have one or two sockets. It would save Apple and the consumer a lot of money if the single CPU variant were using a core i7/ Xeon 3500 (same processor) and a single socket x58. That being said, Apple really wants to push a major distinction between consumer whether it exists in the real world or not. The last three Power Mac/ Mac Pro updates have also included price increases. ($500, $150, $150).

Good points. If Apple can reduce prices but keep margins the same, they will d o it since it means more sales.
post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The existing Mac Pros are believed to use...

Wait, the existing Mac Pros have been shipping for a whole year and we don't know what processor family they use?


And price hikes in this economy will go over really well.

I'd assume that the Mac Pro, more than any other Mac model, is bought largely with financing.
In the middle of a corporate credit crunch, raising prices may not be the smartest thing.

Of course, Apple might be able to justify a hike if they offer a compelling new feature.
But I can't see what that would be.

Blu-Ray, Firewire 3200 or USB3 are all rumoured for '09, and none of those offer a reason to raise prices.
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post #33 of 92
Quote:
The Three Xenon chips that have been making the rounds are the i7 965 Extreme 3.2 GHz at $999, the 940 2.93 GHz at $562, and the 920 2.66 GHz at $284.

Take a note of these desktop prices.

Because PC Towers will have those long before the iMac goes Nehalem or the Mac Pro goes Nehalem Xeon Pro. Which means that a 2.66 gig Quad i7 Desktop part will likely be in £1000-£1600 Tower rigs. While Apple will likely be waiting to charge us between £2000-£3000 for Mac Pro 'Servers' next year sometime... The 2.66 i7 is a quarter of the price of the top end desktop part and a fraction of the Xeon i7 part while being very close in performance to the top end model in probably desktop or server case. And, noteworthy, the 2.66 i7 desktop part makes lightwork of any Penryn chip.

My point. It would be REALLY nice to see NON-SERVER chip used in a mid-tower or 'low-end' Mac Pro and the price 'cut' passed on accordingly...and a choice of a Radeon 4870x2 with 2 gigs of memory on board.

However, I suspect, due to Apple's 'rigid' desktop model, we can just as well try to kiss our...because we'll have more of a chance of the latter happening.

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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WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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post #34 of 92
Quote:
I'm not as worried about yet another round of niddling changes to the CPU's, when do we ever get graphics options that come anywhere near matching the power available in the Mac Pro?

If I see another single card-only, 512MB only "new" graphics card on a new Mac I'm calling Dell. It's ridiculous already Apple - processors that will smoke anything out there and graphics technology from two years ago.

Hahahahahahahahahah. You're kidding right?

See my tag-line.

After a whole year, Apple haven't got anywhere near competitive with their GPUs on their overpriced Mac Pro kit. They (strangely) don't give the user the choice. But PC users can buy £1000 rigs with better GPUs in than the Mac Pro costing £600+ more. Once PC rig from OVerclockers.co.uk for £1100 has a Radeon 4870x2 with 2 gigs of Ram onboard. That's as much crappy system ram as Apple gives you in the Mac Pro. Eg where's the 9000 series Nvs? Nvs 280 series? Or the Ati 4800 series? Any of these smack the bitch up of the 8800GT, an old card from even older technology that has been out years now.

Disgrace? Insert word of your choice here:

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.)

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post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnaugha View Post

The first three desktop Nehalem processors are due to begin shipping today 14th November to suppliers/wholesalers, i.e. Q4 '08 and not late Q1 '09. The Nehalem Xeons were always set for Q1 '09. This was always the road map. Intel has been clear about it for a long time. Some sites must be confused, basing their ideas about what will happen on what has happened before rather than getting their facts straight. It is unusual for the desktop CPUs to be released before their workstation/server counterparts but this is indeed what's happening with Nehalem.

Apparently, these are the first chips to hit RETAIL. That's likely where the confusion is.

Quote:
No one seems to be mentioning the fact that Nehalem supports hyperthreading. This could possibly deliver significant performance gains for Mac OS X Leopard and even more for Snow Leopard given how multithreaded they are/will be. So those concerned about what gain there is in these processors really need to realise these are significantly re-architected processors delivering major performance improvements. An 8-way Mac Pro will have an additional 8 virtual processing cores taking it to a total of 16. With Snow Leopard utilising the GPU(s) too you could be looking at several more.

Intel stated this quite a while ago. I mentioned it over a year ago here.
post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Just about on every tech site in the past six months, including here.

Server/workstation chips 4th quarter 2008. high end/medium desktop parts late first quarter, seond quarter. lower end chips third quarter, with mobile parts following.

That's been the roadmap.

Except that's never been the roadmap. It may be what rumor sites that make crap up said (including this one), but the i7 has always been a vague "Q4" 2008 and the Xeon has always been Q1 2009.

I sort of figured Intel would launch a few Xeon models around the same time as the i7, since they're basically the same thing and that would allow Apple to introduce new Mac Pros sooner, but that was never reflected in any roadmap. That was just my thinking.
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Apparently, these are the first chips to hit RETAIL. That's likely where the confusion is.

Um, what? I don't get you. I think I had it right the first time. The sites presumed the Xeons would be available first because for recent Q3/Q4 introductions it has been those first. Whether it's retail or or to System Builders has not made any difference to launch dates in the past.

While it itself isn't always accurate; you should trust Wikipedia before you trust other web sites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Intel stated this quite a while ago. I mentioned it over a year ago here.

My statement was in the context of this current article and this current discussion. I wasn't stupid enough to think I was the first to declare the information. It was for the guys who are moaning about the price hike. The article should have referred to it too since it is more relevant to Mac OS X than it is to Windows Vista and XP.
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Depends. The x58 (tylersburg) motherboard would use the same exact drivers whether it have one or two sockets. It would save Apple and the consumer a lot of money if the single CPU variant were using a core i7/ Xeon 3500 (same processor) and a single socket x58. That being said, Apple really wants to push a major distinction between consumer whether it exists in the real world or not. The last three Power Mac/ Mac Pro updates have also included price increases. ($500, $150, $150).

Ben remember that there will be 4 different new "northbridges" (what you call X58). Some with one QPI link, some with two QPI links, some with 24 PCIe lanes, some with 36 PCIe lanes. While it is technically possible to build a motherboard ready for dual-cpus (that has dual QPI links, two sockets and two groups of RAM slots - one for each cpu) and use it as a single cpu motherboard, it may be confusing, since not only one socket will not be filled but also the second group of RAM slots will not be usable. Also if you decide to upgrade to a dual cpu configuration, you will need to change the previous processor for one with dual QPI links (more expensive) too. Also the dual QPI links "northbridge" will be probably much more expensive than a single QPI link one (given what we know about the price difference between a Core i7 cpu and a nehalem Xeon at similar clocks: a $700 average premium).

One way or the other, expect prices of Core i7/dual nehalem Xeon Mac Pros to be in the following range:
$1499 single quad 2.66 (Core i7 920) as base model
$1999 single quad 2.93 (Core i7 940) +500
$2499 single quad 3.20 (Core i7 965) +1000
$2799 dual quad 2.53 (2x X5540) as base model
$3499 dual quad 2.66 (2x X5550) +700
$3999 dual quad 2.80 (2x X5560) +1200
$4399 dual quad 2.93 (2x X5570) +1600
$4799 dual quad 3.20 (2x W5580) +2000

In italic, what some people may dream of (included me). In bold, Apple's probable choices. Apple tax included.
Pricing would be slightly different if Apple chooses a different base model.
post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Good points. If Apple can reduce prices but keep margins the same, they will d o it since it means more sales.

Apple would make probably the same amount of money they do on the current 2.8 xeon single using the x38/48 motherboard with a 2.8ghz quad core 2. yet it would cost the consumer several hundred less.

Apple wants to keep their product lines nice and tidy with no overlap. A cheaper Mac Pro would overlap with the higher end variants of the iMac. Apple doesn't want that overlaps whether those higher end iMacs are actually of use to the user or not.
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

Ben remember that there will be 4 different new "northbridges" (what you call X58). Some with one QPI link, some with two QPI links, some with 24 PCIe lanes, some with 36 PCIe lanes. While it is technically possible to build a motherboard ready for dual-cpus (that has dual QPI links, two sockets and two groups of RAM slots - one for each cpu) and use it as a single cpu motherboard, it may be confusing, since not only one socket will not be filled but also the second group of RAM slots will not be usable. Also if you decide to upgrade to a dual cpu configuration, you will need to change the previous processor for one with dual QPI links (more expensive) too. Also the dual QPI links "northbridge" will be probably much more expensive than a single QPI link one (given what we know about the price difference between a Core i7 cpu and a nehalem Xeon at similar clocks: a $700 average premium).

One way or the other, expect prices of Core i7/dual nehalem Xeon Mac Pros to be in the following range:
$1499 single quad 2.66 (Core i7 920) as base model
$1999 single quad 2.93 (Core i7 940) +500
$2499 single quad 3.20 (Core i7 965) +1000
$2799 dual quad 2.53 (2x X5540) as base model
$3499 dual quad 2.66 (2x X5550) +700
$3999 dual quad 2.80 (2x X5560) +1200
$4399 dual quad 2.93 (2x X5570) +1600
$4799 dual quad 3.20 (2x W5580) +2000

In italic, what some people may dream of (included me). In bold, Apple's probable choices. Apple tax included.
Pricing would be slightly different if Apple chooses a different base model.

The Tylersburg/ x58 series has 4 different variants and all are designed to connect to the same socket 1366 CPUs and the same south bridge. Its much like the U3/4 families from the G5 days where there was the Light version for the iMac and low end PowerMac, a standard version, and a heavy version. In this case you have 1 QP/24, 1 QP/32, 2 QP/24, and 2 QP/32

Just like Apple used different variants of U3/4, there is nothing that says that Apple can use just one variant of the Tylersburg series and one alone. Apple could use the 1QP/24 plus Bloomsfield in a single CPU setting and 2QP/32 plus gainstown in a twin CPU setting.
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