New Mac Pros rumored with 8-core Xeon E5 CPUs, Thunderbolt & USB 3.0

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple's anticipated Mac Pro update will feature Intel Xeon E5 series processors with either six or eight cores, as well as native support for USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.

The new Mac Pro desktop tower has been given a codename of K5B, according to MIC Gadget. It will also reportedly feature 1600MHz memory with 8 channels, SATA III/SAS 6-gigabyte-per-second drive connectivity, and PCI-Express 3 native support for video cards.

Intel's new Xeon E5 workstation-class chips first hit the market in early March. They are based on the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture that first found its way into the remainder of Apple's Mac lineup last year.

This year, Apple's MacBook Pros, MacBooks Airs, iMacs and Mac minis are expected to be upgraded to Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge processors. But the Mac Pro won't be getting Ivy Bridge processors with this update because those chips "handle voltage far worse than their 32nm Sandy Bridge brethren," according to the report.

The new SATA III/SAS native connectivity is expected to be a major boost for speedy solid-state drives, while native PCI-Express 3 support with 40 lanes per socket will enhance RAID arrays and video cards. The onboard memory controller has also reportedly been moved to the CPU itself, which will allegedly result in a "massive leap" in performance.

Mac Pro


And along with standard USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt support, memory is said to be likely to see an upgrade to 1600MHz, an improvement from the 1333MHz memory in Apple's previous-generation Mac Pros. The new desktops are also expected to have 8 physical memory lanes, allowing for 25 percent more memory.

AppleInsider on Wednesday was first to reveal part numbers for Apple's considerable Mac refresh expected to be announced at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference. Among the more than a dozen new Mac models were three Mac Pro configurations with the name K5B.

Also expected to receive updates next week are the 15-inch MacBook Pro, 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, 21.5- and the 27-inch iMac. Refreshes to the remainder of the MacBook Pro lineup, as well as the Mac mini, are expected to come later in the year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 197
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member


    Seem reasonable to me. I am really waiting for this upgrade.

  • Reply 2 of 197
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 648member


    Would be cool to see a slight case redesign, but I likely doubt it. Either way, the current design still works. Just wish it was lighter. I remember my old G5 tower, man that was a beast to lug around.

  • Reply 3 of 197
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    One little nit to pick with the report. The Mac Pro won't get Ivy Bridge chips because Intel doesn't yet make Ivy Bridge Xeons. They are now Sandy Bridge. That's a step up.

    The Ivy Bridge chips are for desktops, not for workstations. They don't allow for more than one socket, and have much more limited memory bandwidth. I'm also sure that they won't allow for the largest DIMM's that will come out in the next few years.
  • Reply 4 of 197
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    hypoluxa wrote: »
    Would be cool to see a slight case redesign, but I likely doubt it. Either way, the current design still works. Just wish it was lighter. I remember my old G5 tower, man that was a beast to lug around.

    I'd like to see a new design as well but I do respect the oft repeated Apple exec comment that they only change something if they can make it better.
  • Reply 5 of 197
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    hypoluxa wrote: »
    Would be cool to see a slight case redesign, but I likely doubt it. Either way, the current design still works. Just wish it was lighter. I remember my old G5 tower, man that was a beast to lug around.

    I love they way my Mac Pro is built. It's a professional grade workstation. It should be solid and heavy.
  • Reply 6 of 197
    bigphotosbigphotos Posts: 46member


    "...SATA III/SAS 6-gigabyte-per-second drive connectivity..."


     


    That's what I have been waiting for ..... my checkbook is open and ready ....


     


     

  • Reply 7 of 197
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I'd like to see a new design as well but I do respect the oft repeated Apple exec comment that they only change something if they can make it better.

    Since this isn't a consumer machine, which requires new external "looks" every couple of years or so, it's designed for best performance. The external case has allowed for several major internal upgrades over the years. The case is designed for maximum airflow as are other workstation and server cases. I can't think of a real need for a redesign of the shell, which is what most people are think about when they talk about a "case redesign".
  • Reply 8 of 197
    roos24roos24 Posts: 170member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





     



    And along with standard USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt support, memory is said to be likely to see an upgrade to 1600mHz, an improvement from the 1333mHz memory in Apple's previous-generation Mac Pros.


    If you are referring to "megahertz", please use the correct acronym MHz. A lower case "m" indicates "milli", or 1/1000

  • Reply 9 of 197
    eksodoseksodos Posts: 186member


    These will be the fastest Mac Pros ever.

  • Reply 10 of 197

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I love they way my Mac Pro is built. It's a professional grade workstation. It should be solid and heavy.


    Yeah, my old Mac Pros just keep working and working; 24/7/365 year after year. No problems with heat (Flash) either - unlike iMacs and MacBooks that overheat and sometimes shut themselves off when the going gets too hot (yes, I keep them clean and employ extra fans and cooling, but they still fail now and then).


     


    Will definitely get new Pros when I need the power and Mountain Lion (seems older Pros won't run ML).

  • Reply 11 of 197
    tomahawktomahawk Posts: 146member


    I can give you one really good reason for a case redesign.  To make it rack mountable in a reasonable space.  Apple no longer offers a product that can act as an MDC for Xsan out of the box that any legitimate administrator is going to put in a server room.  Getting it to something that will fit in a 2U or 3U space in a rack opens up a number of possibilities.  If they work with VMWare on the project and bring ESXi to the MacPro it could be offered as a possible replacement for the XServe and allow OS X virtualization in more environments...

  • Reply 12 of 197
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,975member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I love they way my Mac Pro is built. It's a professional grade workstation. It should be solid and heavy.


    I agree.  A workstation class machine needs to have that macho factor to it.  If you can't lift it, you don't need it.

  • Reply 13 of 197
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,975member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kcartesius View Post


    Will definitely get new Pros when I need the power and Mountain Lion (seems older Pros won't run ML).



     


    My Pro is over 4 years old and it runs ML.

  • Reply 14 of 197
    bmxing85bmxing85 Posts: 11member


    With the usb 3.0 Sandy Bridge doesn't natively support it. I'm guessing they are putting in a usb 3.0 controller. Now that make me wonder why apple didn't support usb 3.0 in the Macbooks earlier. I'm glad apple is finally understanding that people want these thing and make bias towards their purchase when things that are so simple not available  Either way this Mac Pro is probably going to be the last Workstation apple makes. 


     


     


    It's sad that Apple has gone basically all mobile and mobile component devices. Apple really has nothing to loose other than expanding their customer base.  I'd argue this is better time than ever for Apple to offer more high end products with people ditching Dells and HP's. It also would be nice for Apple to do like Dell and have a Performance segment i.e. Alien-Ware and cater to Gamers and Professionals. I doubt they'd ever will but they sure have the money and the right infrastructure to do such amazing things.

  • Reply 15 of 197
    straskstrask Posts: 107member


    Finally.  My old towers are getting very, very tired.  Now, where did I put that big pile of cash?

  • Reply 16 of 197
    go4d1go4d1 Posts: 34member


    I'm a 67 year old developer.  I suspect this may be my "LAST COMPUTER!"

  • Reply 17 of 197
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member

    Quote:

    The new desktops are also expected to have 8 physical memory lanes, allowing for 25 percent more memory.


     


    Looks like the current MP is limited to 48 or 96 megs of usable ram.  I assume the next gen being quad channel will up that to 64 and 128?  Does that mean still just four ram slots on the base model or eight slots on all machines?  Four slots on a $2400 machine always seemed dumb to me.

  • Reply 18 of 197
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    The main problem with the current models is the I/O speed. SSDs really outdated SATA2 quickly. The Xeons are still pretty good.

  • Reply 19 of 197


    There are so many rumours about this now that it must, surely, be true? I really hope it is. I've got a Mac Pro 1,1 that has given me over 5 years faithful service. Time for an upgrade, though, as it's starting to creak along a bit these days with what I'm asking it to do.


     


    Not bothered about a case redesign. It does the job very well and still looks great. Would like SSD, though, although I hope Apple charge less than they do now for it as a build to order option. You can buy your own for less than a third of the price?! Crazy. Would be easier all round if it was just standard as part of the build.


     


    Anyway, my hopes for this are now sky high and I have my credit card set to stun in readiness. Please, please, PLEASE make this true!!!


     


    (By the way, I spelt "rumours" correctly for me - I'm in the UK ) 

  • Reply 20 of 197
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 394member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I love they way my Mac Pro is built. It's a professional grade workstation. It should be solid and heavy.


    I threw my back out recently lugging it around.  It is NOT light.

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