Intel 6-core i7-powered Mac Pro rumored to launch this month

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Intel's new Core i7-980X and Core i7-970 six-core desktop processors are set to debut in March, but could see an early release on Apple's Mac Pro systems in a matter of weeks, according to a new report.



Citing multiple sources, Hardmac reported Tuesday that the partnership between Intel and Apple might allow for the new six-core processors to debut in Mac Pro desktop machines earlier than other hardware. If true, it wouldn't be unprecedented -- the last two revisions of the Mac Pro line had the first crack at their respective chips.



"So, if Apple and Intel are still engaged in a tight partnership, Apple might have the exclusivity of such CPU (as for the Nehalem Xeon) for a couple of days or weeks," the report said. "So, if you are waiting for [a] new Mac Pro to change your current model or purchase your first Mac Pro, then get ready after the second-half of February, it should come within the next three weeks."



The report also speculates the new hardware will be based on Mac-edition Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards.



Reports of a Core i7-980X-based Mac Pro have lingered for months. The "Gulftown" architecture, 32nm processor has a clock speed of 3.33GHz and is expected to arrive on the open market in March. The chip is the first dual-docket, six-core processor from Intel.



The new 32 nanometer chips have 12MB of L3 cache, and six cores with 12 threads for each CPU. Apple usually doubles the processors in its high-end professional workstations, so it's possible the new Mac Pro system could have a total of 12 cores and 24 threads. The new hardware could be released sometime in the first quarter of 2010.







The last major refresh to the Mac Pro equipped it with its Nehalem Xeon processors, with a high-end eight-core Mac Pro offering two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 chips. Earlier this month, Apple quietly upgraded that to a potential maximum 2.93GHz eight-core system.





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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 207
    ozexigeozexige Posts: 215member
    A new DIX-CORE Mac Pro x 2 = 24 threads



    Hard to imagine the outright speed of such a beast especially if anyone can afford to fill it with 64G of RAM.

    I think my major hurdle will be the price, however, (drawing a fairly long bow here) maybe the iPad entry price is a portend of Apple's 2010 pricing? But I doubt it very much.

    My Dual 2.5 G5 is starting to show its age in many ways but credit where it's due - its never missed a beat. You gotta luv them Apples
  • Reply 2 of 207
    I know it's been asked thousand times before, but dear Apple – please stop insist only using the Xeon processors from Intel!



    Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.

    A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?



    I know – ain't gonna happen.



    Sounds good with that ATI card though.
  • Reply 3 of 207
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The report also speculates the new hardware will be based on Mac-edition Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards.



    If this is accurate, then Apple will be on the ball this time around. 5850 for the bottom end and 5870 for the top end would be a great line up.
  • Reply 4 of 207
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a Martin View Post


    I know it's been asked thousand times before, but dear Apple ? please stop insist only using the Xeon processors from Intel!



    Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.

    A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?



    I know ? ain't gonna happen.



    Sounds good with that ATI card though.



    The Xeons don't cost any more than their corresponding i7 equivalents. However, only the 3XXX series (single socket) have i7 equivalents. For dual socket processors Apple needs to take advantage of the pricier 5XXX series; there's not other option from Intel.
  • Reply 5 of 207
    Really looking forward to this new machine, as well as a 64-bit version of Luxology Modo for the Mac.
  • Reply 6 of 207
    ozexigeozexige Posts: 215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    If this is accurate, then Apple will be on the ball this time around. 5850 for the bottom end and 5870 for the top end would be a great line up.



    Unbelievable - the 'old' 4870 has around 950M transistors



    The 5870? - more than 2.0B (2,150,000,000) transistors - uurrrrgggghhhh
  • Reply 7 of 207
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    i was talking with our HP rep a few weeks ago about when the new Proliants will ship with the new chips and he said early March. so expect Apple to be early again.



    few years ago we paid $40,000 for a server with 32GB of RAM. last month's pricing was $13,000 for a proliant with 36GB RAM and $15000 for a server with 72GB of RAM. we're waiting until the new CPU's ship to replace the servers we bought that had 32GB of RAM
  • Reply 8 of 207
    svnippsvnipp Posts: 430member
    When is the MBP update coming? Really planning on getting a new/first laptop and I'm shooting for a 15" MBP. I'm waiting for both the funds, and the next MBP refresh though since it's been several months or more since the last MBP refresh.



    Right now I have a single CPU early 2008 Mac Pro. I upgraded it to 6GB of RAM, and the wife has been playing Sims 3 on it. I'm really stunned at how this game just kills this machine. It's really sad. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no budget for both a new MBP and a new Mac Pro. No big deal though, I figure my Mac Pro has at least a couple of good years left in it.
  • Reply 9 of 207
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!
  • Reply 10 of 207
    Great news!

    Awesome, powerful new Mac Pro's only a month away!



    Unfortunately Adobe CS5 probably wont be fully optimised and ready to harness all that power until 18+ months later when CS6 arrives by which time an even better workstation will have been released. If we're lucky we might only have to wait 9 or so months for Final Cut Studio to be properly optimised.



    I'm getting tired of buying top of the line machines for top dollar only to discover that the software is the real bottleneck behind fully utilising all the processing, RAM and video power my new machine has to offer.



    There has been a huge annoying gap between the availability of 64 bit processors and the availability of completely optimised 64 bit ready OS's and software. Hopefully this starts to improve.



    Think I'll hold onto my Mac Pro 2008 + 32gb ram a little longer, at least until I've had the opportunity to fully take advantage of all its RAM and CPU power, even if only for a short while before upgrading again.



    On the plus side, at least slow software to hardware development means your current investment lasts longer. Man did I get value for money from my old G5 with regards to how long it was used before various intel software was ready and 'up to scratch' enough to justify a hardware upgrade which would show any real performance benefit.

    It allowed me to skip the whole first generation of Intel Mac Pro.
  • Reply 11 of 207
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!



    I hear you but it's petty hard to imagine an improvement. I just popped in a new DVD drive in mine and I am always amazed at the brilliance of the design and quality of the beast. The job was done in two minutes without a single tool other than the small screw driver to change the DVD out of the holder. I just don't like carrying it too far!
  • Reply 12 of 207
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OzExige View Post


    A new DIX-CORE Mac Pro x 2 = 24 threads



    Hard to imagine the outright speed of such a beast especially if anyone can afford to fill it with 64G of RAM.

    I think my major hurdle will be the price, however, (drawing a fairly long bow here) maybe the iPad entry price is a portend of Apple's 2010 pricing? But I doubt it very much.

    My Dual 2.5 G5 is starting to show it's age in many ways but credit where it's due - it's never missed a beat. You gotta luv them Apple's



    The problem is there are very few apps that are going to be so well multithreaded to handle 24 threads (even if you have several apps running at once). 12 cores, boy, that's a LOT.
  • Reply 13 of 207
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OzExige View Post


    My Dual 2.5 G5 is starting to show it's age in many ways but credit where it's due - it's never missed a beat. You gotta luv them Apple's



    Same here. I've had my 2.5 G5 for 6 years now, it's a great box. It's starting to get end of life'd with apps going Intel only, but I'll probably keep it running in the basement as a ftp/iTunes server when I finally upgrade. While it was pricey when it came out, it has served it's purpose and worth every dime.



    Kevin
  • Reply 14 of 207
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by svnipp View Post


    Right now I have a single CPU early 2008 Mac Pro. I upgraded it to 6GB of RAM, and the wife has been playing Sims 3 on it. I'm really stunned at how this game just kills this machine. It's really sad. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no budget for both a new MBP and a new Mac Pro. No big deal though, I figure my Mac Pro has at least a couple of good years left in it.



    Umm... it's the GPU. You can play Sims 3 with a 2ghz Intel Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM and 9400M @ 1024x768-ish resolution.



    What GPU do you have?
  • Reply 15 of 207
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a Martin View Post


    Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.

    A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?



    I know ? ain't gonna happen.



    We WANT the kick-ass processors, it's the size of the damn BOX that's a killer!



    If Apple sold a MacPro midi: same processors, same RAM slots, 2 PCI slots (I'd settle for one), 2 drive bays (I'd settle for one) and one optical bay!



    As it is, I simply have NO space in my apartment/office for a MacPro, so I'm forced to settle for a MacBook Pro.



    This all falls in the FIRMLY ain't-a-gonna happen department.
  • Reply 16 of 207
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by svnipp View Post


    ...Right now I have a single CPU early 2008 Mac Pro. I upgraded it to 6GB of RAM, and the wife has been playing Sims 3 on it. I'm really stunned at how this game just kills this machine. It's really sad. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no budget for both a new MBP and a new Mac Pro. No big deal though, I figure my Mac Pro has at least a couple of good years left in it.



    You've got a GREAT machine there, why do you need to change it? Just get Snow Leopard, and an ATI 4870 512MB card.



    You're probably playing the game at very high resolutions on the 2600XT 256MB GPU and that is "killing the game".



    Trust me. Your Mac Pro, 6GB of RAM, Snow Leopard, and ATI 4870, that will take you into the end of 2011 easily. Even if you are running Windows (Win 7 64bit recommended) and playing PC games.
  • Reply 17 of 207
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    When is Apple going to change the housing? It's been 7 years!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I hear you but it's petty hard to imagine an improvement. I just popped in a new DVD drive in mine and I am always amazed at the brilliance of the design and quality of the beast. The job was done in two minutes without a single tool other than the small screw driver to change the DVD out of the holder. I just don't like carrying it too far!



    I'm not sure what they could change on the outside. The do keep making the internal layout a little better.



    With any luck we'll get USB3.0, otherwise we'll have to wait until 2011 and it won't bode well for USB3.0 in the next MBP release.
  • Reply 18 of 207
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    This represents an interesting question. Will they be shipping all further socket 1366 chips with two quick path links and ditching the xeon moniker?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a Martin View Post


    I know it's been asked thousand times before, but dear Apple ? please stop insist only using the Xeon processors from Intel!



    Why don't give us a desktop Mac that use the same processors from Intel that can be put in more affordable PCs.

    A little more hardware options doesn't mean your product range gets muddled, right?



    I know ? ain't gonna happen.



    Sounds good with that ATI card though.



    The xeon 3500 and core i7 900 series are the same chip with the same price. Xeon 5500 is a xeon 3500/core i7 with a second quickpath link.

    the 5500 chipset is the consumer x58 with a second quick path link and a second socket.



    The single socket Mac Pro is already the machine you describe and they could sell it for much less than they do. Then why don't that? First, they protect the computer they want you to buy (and really don' care if you don't like said computer), the iMac. Second, they understand thee things. a) they have a monopoly. b) its really expensive to change platforms and for some pros it might not be possible. c) because of a&b they can charge whatever they want and the customer will have little choice but to pay it.
  • Reply 19 of 207
    Dear Apple,



    I'm very happy to see that you are scheduled to use a very capable 6 core i7 in the upcoming Mac Pro. It is a true testament to your engineering capabilities. That said, where is the headless iMac that we have been asking for? Seriously, many aspiring pros can't afford the $2,499 entry point on the lowest end Mac Pro. What happened to the days where I could pick up a Power Mac (yes, they were Power Macs back then) for $1799 or even $1499?



    Oh well... I guess you will only get my Mac mini money for now.
  • Reply 20 of 207
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    The problem is there are very few apps that are going to be so well multithreaded to handle 24 threads (even if you have several apps running at once). 12 cores, boy, that's a LOT.



    Heh, BOINC will take care of that. :-) And graphics chip will crunch some work as well.
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