New 18-core Intel Xeon W processors likely to be used in Apple's iMac Pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Intel has revealed its new collection of Xeon processors aimed at workstations, with the Xeon W range boasting 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes and up to 18 cores on a single chip, making the new processor line prime candidates for use in the upcoming iMac Pro due in December.




The new Xeon W processor range is claimed to provide a 38 percent improvement on the previous generation, which Intel suggests is effectively an 87 percent performance improvement on processors released 4 years ago. For the latest version, the Xeon W range offers up to 18 cores and 36 threads, with clock speeds of up to 4.5 gigahertz under Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.

Using an optimized 14-nanometer process, all chips within the Xeon W range use the LGA2066 socket, with 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes, AVX-512 acceleration, and support for quad-channel DDR4-2666 ECC memory across the board. Starting from 8.25 megabytes in the base models, the amount of L3 cache increases with the number of cores in the chip, up to 24.75 megabytes in the 18-core Xeon W-2195.

Across the entire Xeon W range, Intel has set the thermal design point (TDP) of the processors at 140 Watts, aside from the two quad-core offerings rated at 120 Watts.

Intel has priced the Xeon W family starting from $294, with the quad-core Xeon W-2123 offering base and boosted clock speeds of 3.6 gigahertz and 3.9 gigahertz respectively, a TDP of 120 Watts, and 8.25 megabytes of L3 cache. While Intel has not revealed how much the 14-core and 18-core processors will cost, the 10-core Xeon W-2155 is priced at $1,440.




This new Xeon processor family is fairly likely to be used by Apple in the iMac Pro. Apple has so far confirmed that it would be using 8, 10, and 18-core Xeon processors in the iMac Pro, with all three core counts appearing within the new chip collection.

The Xeon W processors are not the only new launches for Intel, as it revealed its Xeon Scalable Processors, codenamed "Purley" in July. Meant for use in workstations and servers using multiple sockets, the Purley chips use a mesh-based architecture for decreasing latency between processors, rather than the ring-based architecture previously used by Intel in the last eight years.

While the Purley processors are meant for high-intensity tasks, such as those found in data centers, they also have the potential for use in workstations for video editing and other computation-heavy applications. Though this could indicate they could be used by Apple in its high-end systems, Apple's iMac Pro reveal used the singular form of the word "processor" instead of a plural, strongly suggesting it will not offer the iMac Pro with multiple processors.




The current roster of "Purley" processors includes 8-core and 18-core chips, but not the 10-core processor that Apple said the iMac Pro will offer. This omission in the Purley lineup makes the chip family less likely to be used.

Apple's tendency to go for processors with lower TDP ratings also gives the Xeon W range an edge over the Xeon Scalable Processors. The Purley range typically has a TDP higher than 140 Watts, rising to 205 Watts for some models, though a small number do undercut the Xeon W's 120- and 140-Watt ratings.

Intel has yet to reveal when the Xeon W processor range will start shipping, but did advise the 18-core models will be arriving by the fourth quarter of 2017. This release period matches up closely to the expected December release date for the iMac Pro.

Housed in a Space Grey chassis, the iMac pro will use a 27-inch 5K P3 display, configurable with up to 128GB of DDR4 ECC memory, use AMD Radeon Pro Vega GPUs, and have 10 gigabit network connectivity. Apple expects the base model iMac Pro will cost $4,999.
fastasleep
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    8-Core Mac Pro 
    Nvidia GPU 
    Optane SSD 
    128GB of ECC RAM 
    Dual 40" UHD displays

    Vrooooooom
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,362member
    8-Core Mac Pro 
    Nvidia GPU 
    Optane SSD 
    128GB of ECC RAM 
    Dual 40" UHD displays

    Vrooooooom


    I truly wonder what the next Mac Pro will be like in ... when ...    2018?  I'd be expecting a lot more than 8 cores, I have 12 now.  Or was that a typo?
    edited August 2017 cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 31
    I get the new thermal dynamics system but they had better remember to drill enough holes in this one and I will skip using this one in any environment that has to be dusted frequently or with an internal drive optio that spins in any way :neutral: 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 31
    8-Core Mac Pro 
    Nvidia GPU 
    Optane SSD 
    128GB of ECC RAM 
    Dual 40" UHD displays

    Vrooooooom
    iMac Pro <thunderbolt> MacPro
    HBM based GPU
    PCIe 5.0 SSD
    128GB DDR5 ECC RAM
    MicroLED>AMOLED displays with Rec2020 12-bit Colour Gamut & 120Hz refresh rate

    Swooooooossh

    edited August 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    MacPro said:
    8-Core Mac Pro 
    Nvidia GPU 
    Optane SSD 
    128GB of ECC RAM 
    Dual 40" UHD displays

    Vrooooooom


    I truly wonder what the next Mac Pro will be like in ... when ...    2018?  I'd be expecting a lot more than 8 cores, I have 12 now.  Or was that a typo?
    I just chose 8 cores because that's like a sweet spot.  It's been a while since i've looked at threading performance in apps to see if they are efficient in multi-threading beyond 8 cores. 

    Avieshek said:
    8-Core Mac Pro 
    Nvidia GPU 
    Optane SSD 
    128GB of ECC RAM 
    Dual 40" UHD displays

    Vrooooooom
    iMac Pro <thunderbolt> MacPro
    HBM based GPU
    PCIe 5.0 SSD
    128GB DDR5 ECC RAM
    MicroLED>AMOLED displays with Rec2020 12-bit Colour Gamut & 120Hz refresh rate

    Swooooooossh

    OMG yeeeeeeeeeeesss


    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,465member
    Im still hoping that AMD is in the running for the iMac Pro processor slot.   Phoronix has been running benchmarks on AMDs Thread Ripper and it is surprisingly competitive against current Intel tech actually averaging a few watts cooler than the Intel chip it has been tested against.  More importantly AMD sometimes wins performance wise, especially in highly threaded apps.   

    I just want to see something significantly different in iMac Pro to justify the high price.  
    hmurchisonwilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 31
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,415member
    I expect the next MacPro to be a super high-end workstation....and it won't be cheap either. I would expect prices starting around $4500 and higher, without a display. 
  • Reply 8 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,465member
    With AMDs Thread Ripper you will get 16 cores and 32 threads.   It is an ideal solution for a Pro workstation especially considering the industries Apple targets.    Likewise an AMD GPU would work wonders in such a machine.     

    In either case, Intel or AMD, you really want to go for as many cores as possible if you want to consider the machine to be a "pro" device.  This especially when the industry is about to transition to six and eight core machines in the mainstream.  
    8-Core Mac Pro 
    Nvidia GPU 
    Optane SSD 
    128GB of ECC RAM 
    Dual 40" UHD displays

    Vrooooooom
    hmurchison
  • Reply 9 of 31
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,838member
    wizard69 said:
    Im still hoping that AMD is in the running for the iMac Pro processor slot.   Phoronix has been running benchmarks on AMDs Thread Ripper and it is surprisingly competitive against current Intel tech actually averaging a few watts cooler than the Intel chip it has been tested against.  More importantly AMD sometimes wins performance wise, especially in highly threaded apps.   

    I just want to see something significantly different in iMac Pro to justify the high price.  
    Yeah, that would be nice in some ways. But it won't happen and I can kind of understand why. Ryzen is still a pretty new architecture and AMD has historically been a pretty flakey provider of CPUs. 


    pscooter63
  • Reply 10 of 31
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,879member
    wizard69 said:
    With AMDs Thread Ripper you will get 16 cores and 32 threads.   It is an ideal solution for a Pro workstation especially considering the industries Apple targets.    Likewise an AMD GPU would work wonders in such a machine.     

    In either case, Intel or AMD, you really want to go for as many cores as possible if you want to consider the machine to be a "pro" device.  This especially when the industry is about to transition to six and eight core machines in the mainstream.  
    8-Core Mac Pro 
    Nvidia GPU 
    Optane SSD 
    128GB of ECC RAM 
    Dual 40" UHD displays

    Vrooooooom
    I'd like to know how many OSes and applications can actually make use of 8 cores. I know the "pro" apps (usually) can but I've seen more apps making use of GPUs instead of CPU cores. I'd also like to see actual documentation of the number of cores standard pro apps use, like Adobe apps. Once someone gives all the details on which apps can make good use of multiple cores, not just spread the work around and not gain any speed, then we can see whether the mainstream (not "pro"??) computers are simply using this as a marketing ploy. 

    In order for Apple, or any computer manufacturer, to sell a full-blown computer like people are describing, they need to know how many people would actually purchase and use one of these monsters. If that number is under 100K, then I don't see Apple spending the effort to design, manufacture and sell one. Of course, if I had won the last Powerball, I would have made a strong request of Apple to build some, enhancing the request with $100M. Since I didn't win, I don't have any power to get them to do anything.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    keithwkeithw Posts: 33member
    So it looks like the iMac Pro will have the W-2145, the W-2155, and the W-2195 as options.  The LIST price difference between the 8 and the 10 core is $327.  If you go by the $144/core "guesstimate,"  the 18 core will set you back $2592, which is a delta over the 8 core of $1479.   Perhaps Apple won't charge THAT much more for the 18 core, but don't count on it.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Apple should make headless Macs and displays instead of all-in-ones like iMac, which are a brutal environmental aggression when after seven years the CPU is no longer supported by new macOS versions, yet displays may last for more than 20 years.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 264member
    Its comforting to know that there are people,e who need and desire this kind of speed. One would think that the work would be close to done before one starts, eh?
  • Reply 14 of 31
    wizard69 said:
    Im still hoping that AMD is in the running for the iMac Pro processor slot.   Phoronix has been running benchmarks on AMDs Thread Ripper and it is surprisingly competitive against current Intel tech actually averaging a few watts cooler than the Intel chip it has been tested against.  More importantly AMD sometimes wins performance wise, especially in highly threaded apps.   

    I just want to see something significantly different in iMac Pro to justify the high price.  
    I don't think a ThreadRipper would be wise for the iMacPro. It has more power draw than the Intel processors from what I've heard. It would be better to have something with lower power requirements in that small case. I'm still skeptical about the iMacPro not thermal throttling as it is. It's not going to change my mind about buying the base model iMacPro but I'm a bit concerned about it. I'm not jumping to any conclusions as I can wait for actual tests to remove all doubt.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    so why is Intel still diddling with 14 nm while the rest of the world is starting 10nm and going to 7?

    In the 70's-80's the Japanese wiped Intel's ass in process technology, especially i quality at which Intel and the rest of the US STUNK, but Intel came back to lead the world, for decades, and now....?  sigh...
  • Reply 16 of 31

    jdgaz said:
    Its comforting to know that there are people,e who need and desire this kind of speed. One would think that the work would be close to done before one starts, eh?
    People may be able to "work" that fast, but I bet they can't think that fast  :)
  • Reply 17 of 31
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,879member
    appex said:
    Apple should make headless Macs and displays instead of all-in-ones like iMac, which are a brutal environmental aggression when after seven years the CPU is no longer supported by new macOS versions, yet displays may last for more than 20 years.
    Not necessarily. My 2009 iMac's display is one restart away from dying and I've already replaced the power supply once. The rest is still working even though it is stuck at 10.11. A display from 1997 is not something I'd like to have right now.
    iqatedoStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    I'd assume that the relationship with Intel states contractually that Intel remains their sole chip supplier, and that going to AMD would nullify any benefits they receive from their current relationship with Intel. Perhaps Apple is ready to make that move, but it definitely would be a big change and one I don't think makes much sense until they're ready to move to their own chips instead of simply changing outside chip suppliers.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,543member
    macxpress said:
    I expect the next MacPro to be a super high-end workstation....and it won't be cheap either. I would expect prices starting around $4500 and higher, without a display. 
    Apple already stated the base model starts at $4999.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,543member

    bill1357 said:
    so why is Intel still diddling with 14 nm while the rest of the world is starting 10nm and going to 7?

    In the 70's-80's the Japanese wiped Intel's ass in process technology, especially i quality at which Intel and the rest of the US STUNK, but Intel came back to lead the world, for decades, and now....?  sigh...
    The XEON workstation chips are always a generation behind whatever is on the "cutting edge" — these are Skylake variants. Also, 18 cores and you're worried about the nm process size? 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
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