Intel details new batch of i9 processors, none destined for Apple's iMac Pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Intel has expanded its Core series of processors with nine new X-series models, but none of them are likely to be in the iMac Pro, given what Apple has said about the system.




On Monday, Intel detailed a range of 12- to 18-core processors in the X-series processor family. Intel declares that the chip is the ultimate platform for content creators, with up to 20 percent better performance for VR content creation.

The processors released range from the four-core i5-7640x running at 4.0GHz with a boost speed of 4.2Ghz to the 18-core i9-7980XE running at 2.6GHz with a boost speed of 4.2GHz.




However, none of the processors support ECC RAM. All of the new i9 processors use DDR4-2666 RAM, rather than ECC.

When announced during the 2017 WWDC Keynote, the iMac Pro was declared to have 32GB of ECC RAM at its starting price of $4999. As a result, none of these chips will be used in the iMac Pro.




Prices for the new chips range from $242 for the i5-7640X to $1999 for the 18-core i9-7980XE. The entire range is desktop or workstation-oriented.

Signs point to Xeon, not i9

High Sierra code found in June points to Apple's future use of Intel's LGA3647 socket, the server-grade component reserved for the Purley Xeon platform. Purley is the evolution and consolidation of the Haswell-based Xeon E5 and E7 platforms and supports the new high-end Skylake class Xeon silicon.

Intel revealed the first batch of "Purley" Xeon processors that do support ECC RAM in July. Purley effectively allows for up to 28 cores to run on a single LGA3647 motherboard socket, with support for up to 8 sockets to work together in the same computer.

While the iMac Pro chip is still unknown, it is more likely in the Purley family, than the Core i9.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,731member
    We'll have to wait until 2018 for all of this goodness. Apple has given us quite enough to keep use busy spending money as is, so I'm in no hurry.
    xzubaconstangwatto_cobracornchip1983
  • Reply 2 of 49
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,428member
    Intel, what about 10nm mobile processors for Macbook Pro ? Oh! forgot you delayed it with 14nm Coffee lake.
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 49
    What are some important differences between DDR4 and ECC memory? 
  • Reply 4 of 49
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 150member
    What are some important differences between DDR4 and ECC memory? 
    They are two almost-totally-unrelated technologies.

    ECC stands for Error Correcting Code. Most memory sticks involve four, eight, or 16 RAM chips on the stick. ECC adds more chips (for a total of five, nine, or 18) to store error checking data for every bit of RAM.

    DDR4 is a memory access bus type. It specifies certain clock rates for the memory bus and certain transfer rates per clock pulse.

    These two can be combined. This article probably should have just said "non-ECC" instead of "DDR4" in most places.
    radarthekatcornchipGeorgeBMactallest skil
  • Reply 5 of 49
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,824administrator
    DDR4 is not error correcting. ECC RAM is, and corrects for single-bit errors from any one of a number of sources. According to Google, more than 8% of its DIMM memory modules are affected by errors per year.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    Just re-watched the iMac Pro section of the WWDC keynote on AppleTV the other evening. It specifically announced that the CPUs would be Xeons, so a Core announcement is irrelevant from the get go.
    baconstangradarthekatchiapscooter63cornchip1983
  • Reply 7 of 49
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 831member
    Maybe these are destined for the iMac AAA or Canadian League iMac?
    1983
  • Reply 8 of 49
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Apple should bring more headless Mac models and less iMacs. Save the display for many years of use, far beyond CPU becomes obsolete!
  • Reply 9 of 49
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,509member
    No CPUs that aren’t labeled as Xeon are going to the Mac Pro. There was no need to even point out that these aren’t going there.

    as far as memory is concerned, ECC RAM can be of whatever latest technology is around, be that DDR 1, DDR 2, DDR 3, or DDR 4. It just requires an extra chip on the board plus the ability to do the error corrections using the bits on that chip (to simplify the explanation). 
    cornchipGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 49
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,509member

    appex said:
    Apple should bring more headless Mac models and less iMacs. Save the display for many years of use, far beyond CPU becomes obsolete!
    The way display technology is changing, you won’t want a monitor longer than five years, maybe a lot less if you get caught between technology advances. If You had a display right before the 5k DCI-P3 would you really still want it?
    radarthekatjony0Rayz2016watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 11 of 49
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 706member
    melgross said:

    appex said:
    Apple should bring more headless Mac models and less iMacs. Save the display for many years of use, far beyond CPU becomes obsolete!
    The way display technology is changing, you won’t want a monitor longer than five years, maybe a lot less if you get caught between technology advances. If You had a display right before the 5k DCI-P3 would you really still want it?
    Yep. I turned that corner a few years ago. I keep stuff on, use it, and enjoy it, without worrying about what's going to come of it after I'm done. iMacs are easy to sell. melgross nailed it.. in 5 years, you won't want very much of what you are enjoying today.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,119member
    Am I missing something?  Why would desktop-class CPU's like the i9 even be remotely mentioned for the iMac Pro since desktop-class CPU's don't support ECC? 

    ECC-cabpable CPU's mean XEON's only.  Is this just a clickbait article on a slow news day for AI?  I don't get it.
  • Reply 13 of 49
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,824administrator
    sflocal said:
    Am I missing something?  Why would desktop-class CPU's like the i9 even be remotely mentioned for the iMac Pro since desktop-class CPU's don't support ECC? 

    ECC-cabpable CPU's mean XEON's only.  Is this just a clickbait article on a slow news day for AI?  I don't get it.
    There's a lot of chatter about how these are for the iMac Pro on social media and other venues. 

    They aren't, and we said so. Did you even read the article, or just toss a comment in?

    In short -- lighten up about what we choose to cover. More knowledge is better than less.
    edited August 2017 bkkcanuck2old4funpscooter63watto_cobralorin schultz
  • Reply 14 of 49
    Apple's slides from the WWDC keynote specifically said the iMac Pro was using Xeons, not Core i9. The i9 is Intel's hedge against AMD scoring with the Ryzen.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 735member
    What I would like to see in a headless refresh (Mac Mini, Mac Pro) lineup is:

    Mac Pro

    A similar modular case like the old Mac Pro "cheesegrater" Mac Pro -- but one that is about an inch shorter that has "ears" that can be attached to the top and bottom and rack mounted in a standard 19" Rack.  

    CPU options would consist of 1 or 2 Xeon Processors starting at 6 cores, ECC Memory.  Have 4 accessable PCIe slopts with enough size to fit two premium graphics cards, and have 2 slots left over with full speed (The Mac Pro 2008 had 4 slots but 3 were taken up by 2 graphics cards -- leaving one slow crippled PCIe slot for everything else).  Memory options for at least 128GB of Memory, several U.2 slots for SSD drives (with enough room for air cooling so the larger SSDs don't throttle).  It does not need internal hard drives since the PCIe slot would allow for an outbound SAS controller where you could add another 24 "spinning rust" drives easily (less cost than having thunderbolt from PCIe bus to PCIe bus then another SAS controller in another case etc. (pretty standard in the enterprice world).   Also, it does not need an in case DVD drive slot (would not be great if it was rack mounted anyways).  That would leave one last slot for things like a TPU board etc.  A 2 Xeon Processor option would allow for more PCIe lanes for more bandwidth -- as well as having a monster for a desktop when it came to CPU processing.


    Mac Mini

    A refresh of the Mac Mini line with new processors (similar configuration to the MacBook Pro 13" lineup).  


    Mac (Developer VR Edition) (Mac Mini quad-core replacement)

    I had originally thought that bringing back the quad-core Mac Mini might be a good option (based on the MacBook Pro 15"), but after WWDC I figured that the "upgraded" internals would not meet any niche as well as it should.  I would like to see Apple fill the gap between the Mac Mini and Mac Pro lineup with one small "cube" box that would be bigger than the Mac Mini -- but less than a Mac Pro.  A box that would maybe have one PCIe slot for a Radeon 580 or Vega 56/64, CPU based on the Intel i7-7700K, and 6/8 core i9.  I figure that small option would be a better solution than having an eGPU box along with a laptop for VR development -- where you would not have to fiddle around with getting the eGPU working.   If a repurposed "trash can" Mac Pro could handle the thermals - that case would not be a bad option.  It would also be a good midpoint for things like workgroup server for doing builds (where more cores don't necessarily give you better results).  


    Santa, I have been good this year (so far) so if you can whip Apple into filling my christmas wish list... I would be very thankful and put out cookies and milk for you when you stop by at Christmas.

  • Reply 16 of 49
    Let's be honest for a minute. The only reason Apple uses Xeon processors in their "pro" Macs is so they can jack up the price. I have never heard any claimed benefit for the kind of users that Apple has. Xeons are server class chips. They are designed to run in multiple CPU configurations (more than one chip per motherboard). Apple does not sell a multi-CPU configuration. All the other benefits are for things like running a lot of virtual machines at the same time. For almost all Mac users, they will get far more benefit from an i9 CPU than a Xeon. Performance per dollar is much higher in the i9. You also get the latest instruction set. I have no idea what Apple's pro user business strategy is other than to gouge them until everyone moves to Windows and Linux for their work.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 17 of 49
    I'll be satisfied with the basic 8-core model iMacPro. It's better than what I have now which is a trusty six-year old dual-core iMac (mucho bang for the buck). I have no need for a $2000 18-core processor to do some web browsing. I mainly want that Ryzen Vega GPU and I'll be able to effortlessly watch 4K videos on youtube.
  • Reply 18 of 49
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 735member
    grangerfx said:
    Let's be honest for a minute. The only reason Apple uses Xeon processors in their "pro" Macs is so they can jack up the price. I have never heard any claimed benefit for the kind of users that Apple has. Xeons are server class chips. They are designed to run in multiple CPU configurations (more than one chip per motherboard). Apple does not sell a multi-CPU configuration. All the other benefits are for things like running a lot of virtual machines at the same time. For almost all Mac users, they will get far more benefit from an i9 CPU than a Xeon. Performance per dollar is much higher in the i9. You also get the latest instruction set. I have no idea what Apple's pro user business strategy is other than to gouge them until everyone moves to Windows and Linux for their work.
    The Xeon Processors used in the box are workstation class processors (Server ones can get quite a bit beefier).  The processor and ECC memory is often used in workstation class machines that are used in video production (studios) -- some of which have moved from Apple "workstation" class to HP workstations because the trashcan Mac Pro did not serve the purpose and they gave up waiting (and they were using software that could run on Windows platform as well).   This is what Apple is aiming the old and new Mac Pros at.  The amount of money Apple gets from such a niche product (even with the standard 35% markup) is peanuts -- which is why I thought Apple was willing to walk away from that niche...  I think it was only after the Surface Studio and the Windows creator edition (and the constant whining and the louder voices saying -- they have given up)...  that I think Apple finally came to its senses in almost a state of panic.  Just because it does not necessarily meet your needs for the budget that you want -- don't think that it is not for anyone... in fact it is for the target audience of the original.
    entropys
  • Reply 19 of 49
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,415member
    So when do AMD based Macs come out? Some of their new processors are pretty damn good for what you're paying for. They're certainly giving Intel a run for their money. Finally, Intel has some competition. 
  • Reply 20 of 49
    macxpress said:
    So when do AMD based Macs come out? Some of their new processors are pretty damn good for what you're paying for. They're certainly giving Intel a run for their money. Finally, Intel has some competition. 
    WIthout Thunderbolt, AMD is not going to be used in Macs in the foreseeable future.
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