The new Mac Pro might get Intel's new 28-core 5 GHz Xeon processor

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Intel has revealed its upcoming collection of high-specification processors, including a 28-core Xeon processor for professional users alongside its 9th-generation Core processors boasting high core counts that could be heading for the Mac Pro, along with one eight-core model clocked at 5GHz.

Intel processor


Unveiled at an event on Monday, the Xeon W-3175X is a 28-core, 56-thread chip that is intended for professional applications. While it has a base clock speed of 3.1GHz, the processor is capable of reaching to to 4.3GHz when boosted, and ships with an unlocked multiplier.

Offering a six-channel DDR4 memory controller, it is capable of supporting up to 512GB of memory. Aimed at content creators, the chip also includes 68 PCIe lanes, 44 of which are on the CPU, providing extensive connection opportunities to other hardware.

All this performance also means it generates a lot of heat, with Intel stating it has a Thermal Design Point (TDP) of 265 Watts.

The new model follows on from the Xeon W range launched last year, which included up to 18 cores on a single chip. At the time, it was thought the Xeon W family could be used on the iMac Pro. While the addition of a 28-core processor to the range may be attractive to some customers, the high heat generation would require considerably more cooling than the iMac Pro is able to provide.

In theory, this makes the Xeon W-3175 a decent candidate for use in the upcoming refreshed Mac Pro. Apple previously revealed it was working on a modular-designed version that it was intending to bring out in 2018, and depending on the way it is constructed, it may be able to have enough cooling for the chip, if Apple ends up using it.

Pricing for the Xeon W-3173X has yet to be announced, but it will be going on sale in December.

Desktop Processors




Intel also introduced three processors under the 9th-generation masthead, headed up by an 8-core, 16-thread Core i9-9900K, which has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz rising to 5GHz under boost, dual-channel DDR4-2666 support, and 16MB of L3 cache.

It is joined by an 3.6GHz 8-core Core i7-9700K clockable to 4.9GHz under boost that lacks hyperthreading, but includes the same DDR4 support and 12MB of L3 cache. Lastly, there's the six-core Core i5-9600K with a base clock of 3.7GHZ and a boosted clock of 4.6GHz, and 9MB of L3 Cache.

It is unlikely that Apple will be interested in these three processors, due to the trio all having a TDP of 95W, making it too hot for the iMac range and the MacBook Pro. Apple uses Xeon processors in the iMac Pro, not Core processors.

Pre-orders are open now for the processors, priced at $488, $374, and $262 respectively, with pre-orders open today and the chips expected to ship on October 19th.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,760member
    That does sound interesting, especially that many PCIe lanes and the idea of modular. How many full-speed independent TB3 ports would that be? If they moved the GPUs out of the core, I'd imagine they could cool that? I suppose it will cost a few arms and a dozen legs, though.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 43
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,336member
    You are looking at liquid cooling for this puppy. 
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 43
    Forget this, let’s get AMD Threadripper in there.
    ksecwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Xeon is overkill. How about an i9 or better yet an AMD Threadripper option? "Pro" doesn't mean stupid. The Xeon's one big feature is that you can run several of them on one motherboard. Will the Pro let you do that? The last one didn't. Honestly though for real compute performance, all you need is a decent consumer CPU and slots for two RTX 2080 ti GPUs (or Quadros). Thats about 1000 times faster than any Xeon for AI or rendering.
    edited October 8 rinosaurksec
  • Reply 5 of 43
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 131member
    Xeon is overkill. How about an i9 or better yet an AMD Threadripper option? "Pro" doesn't mean stupid. The Xeon's one big feature is that you can run several of them on one motherboard. Will the Pro let you do that? The last one didn't. Honestly though for real compute performance, all you need is a decent consumer CPU and slots for two RTX 2080 ti GPUs (or Quadros). Thats about 1000 times faster than any Xeon for AI or rendering.
    yeah, but not all pros are doing AI or rendering... some tasks require all the CPU threads to can spin up... My requirements are such that I'd rather have a 28-core Xeon processor and a gimp GPU... hopefully Apple's approach will allow for both
    raoulduke42muthuk_vanalingamcgWerkskirkgrayfastasleeprepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 43
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,221member
    Apple never said that the new Mac Pro would be out in 2018. What they said was that it wouldn’t be out in 2017. The timing was left for our imagination.
    SpamSandwichchasmrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 43
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,221member
    rinosaur said:
    Forget this, let’s get AMD Threadripper in there.
    I would prefer not. For most purposes, the Intel line is better. AMD’s designs have more cores, and where that is true, higher multi core performance. But Intel still beats them in per core performance. That matter’s for most people.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    Xeon is overkill. How about an i9 or better yet an AMD Threadripper option? "Pro" doesn't mean stupid. The Xeon's one big feature is that you can run several of them on one motherboard. Will the Pro let you do that? The last one didn't. Honestly though for real compute performance, all you need is a decent consumer CPU and slots for two RTX 2080 ti GPUs (or Quadros). Thats about 1000 times faster than any Xeon for AI or rendering.
    Not all the things can be accelerated by the GPU.
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 43
    melgross said:
    rinosaur said:
    Forget this, let’s get AMD Threadripper in there.
    I would prefer not. For most purposes, the Intel line is better. AMD’s designs have more cores, and where that is true, higher multi core performance. But Intel still beats them in per core performance. That matter’s for most people.
    Probably not considering Intel still offers higher IPC per core, which can leads to better multi-core performance as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 43
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,760member
    Xeon is overkill. How about an i9 or better yet an AMD Threadripper option? "Pro" doesn't mean stupid. The Xeon's one big feature is that you can run several of them on one motherboard. Will the Pro let you do that? The last one didn't. Honestly though for real compute performance, all you need is a decent consumer CPU and slots for two RTX 2080 ti GPUs (or Quadros). Thats about 1000 times faster than any Xeon for AI or rendering.
    Apple won't do that because... nVidia. But, aren't there other advantages to the Xeon in terms of pro use?

    aknabi said:
    yeah, but not all pros are doing AI or rendering... some tasks require all the CPU threads to can spin up... My requirements are such that I'd rather have a 28-core Xeon processor and a gimp GPU... hopefully Apple's approach will allow for both
    Well, and some rendering engines rely more on CPU for final renders (GPUs more for pre-viz). But, for sure, there are lots of things were the CPU cores matter, and many pro uses where the more cores, the better. It's more gamers and such, I think, that want a couple really fast cores. I'd rather have more cores.

    melgross said:
    I would prefer not. For most purposes, the Intel line is better. AMD’s designs have more cores, and where that is true, higher multi core performance. But Intel still beats them in per core performance. That matter’s for most people.
    I've just never seriously considered AMD because of potential compatibility issues, is that more a thing of the past?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 43
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,249member
    Apple just needs to let others make the Mac Pro.  Their heart obviously isn't in it.  Charge enough of a licensing fee that there won't be a repeat of the PowerPC clones eating into their lower end or cannabilizing their higher end. 

    Same for true high end laptops that focus on more than mere thickness as their primary metric.  

    I weep for the future of the Mac as a utilitarian computing platform :disappointed: 
    cgWerksbaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 43
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,249member

     The Xeon's one big feature is that you can run several of them on one motherboard.
    Actually the really big feature of the Xeons is ECC RAM.  Which Threadripper also has.  It's past time for an AMD Mac!  Or Intel to end the artificial segmentation with ECC RAM.  It should be criminal to offer non-ECC RAM in a modern computer - there's zero excuse.  
    cgWerksrinosaurdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 43
    It sounds impressive and I'm sure the price for the Mac Pro will be equally impressive. I don't care about the price as I don't need any beast machine like that. Just keep in a tolerable price range of competitive pro computers. I just hope Apple does right by pro users and provides the Mac Pro with everything they need to produce their projects in the shortest amount of time. Please, Apple, make the newest Mac Pro respectable and not some laughingstock computer that's going to be criticized by all the tech-heads as being lame. I really don't want to see a repeat of the trash-can Mac Pro. If Apple follows current pro level standards, they really shouldn't pull a bottle job with this version of the Mac Pro. They absolutely must pay attention to the thermal levels whether it be air- or liquid-cooled.
    edited October 8 fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 43
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,966member
    docno42 said:
    Apple just needs to let others make the Mac Pro.  Their heart obviously isn't in it.  Charge enough of a licensing fee that there won't be a repeat of the PowerPC clones eating into their lower end or cannabilizing their higher end. 
    How can you say that when you have no idea what they're actually working on right now?  Also, clones aren't ever happening again — why would they? — so you can just stop.
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 43
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,760member
    docno42 said:

     The Xeon's one big feature is that you can run several of them on one motherboard.
    Actually the really big feature of the Xeons is ECC RAM.  Which Threadripper also has.  It's past time for an AMD Mac!  Or Intel to end the artificial segmentation with ECC RAM.  It should be criminal to offer non-ECC RAM in a modern computer - there's zero excuse.  
    Ahh, thanks, yeah. I knew there was something more than multiple processors. That's one of the big things.

    docno42 said:
    Apple just needs to let others make the Mac Pro.  Their heart obviously isn't in it.  Charge enough of a licensing fee that there won't be a repeat of the PowerPC clones eating into their lower end or cannabilizing their higher end. 
    How can you say that when you have no idea what they're actually working on right now?  Also, clones aren't ever happening again — why would they? — so you can just stop.
    Probably just going by the last decade, which seems reasonable. I'm hoping Apple has learned and is course-correcting. But, I actually think maybe the Mac's days are numbered. I'm guessing it is a stop-gap in their ultimate plans to transition everything to iOS, but they just tried to move a bit too quickly.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    All this performance also means it generates a lot of heat, with Intel stating it has a Thermal Design Point (TDP)[...]

    Intel also introduced three processors under the 9th-generation masthead[...] It is unlikely that Apple will be interested in these three processors, due to the trio all having a TDP of 95W, making it too hot for the iMac range[...]

    Per Intel ARK, the i7-7700K in the current iMac has a Thermal Design Power (arguably the more common usage of TDP) of 91W. This is not that far off from the 95W chips. On that basis, I think they actually may be prime candidates for the next generation of iMac. They could easily make up those 4 extra watts with a more thermally efficient GPU. 
    edited October 8 fastasleepthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 43
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,966member
    cgWerks said:
    docno42 said:

     The Xeon's one big feature is that you can run several of them on one motherboard.
    Actually the really big feature of the Xeons is ECC RAM.  Which Threadripper also has.  It's past time for an AMD Mac!  Or Intel to end the artificial segmentation with ECC RAM.  It should be criminal to offer non-ECC RAM in a modern computer - there's zero excuse.  
    Ahh, thanks, yeah. I knew there was something more than multiple processors. That's one of the big things.

    docno42 said:
    Apple just needs to let others make the Mac Pro.  Their heart obviously isn't in it.  Charge enough of a licensing fee that there won't be a repeat of the PowerPC clones eating into their lower end or cannabilizing their higher end. 
    How can you say that when you have no idea what they're actually working on right now?  Also, clones aren't ever happening again — why would they? — so you can just stop.
    Probably just going by the last decade, which seems reasonable. I'm hoping Apple has learned and is course-correcting. But, I actually think maybe the Mac's days are numbered. I'm guessing it is a stop-gap in their ultimate plans to transition everything to iOS, but they just tried to move a bit too quickly.
    Sigh.

    Yes, we all know they fucked up with the 2013, and they admitted as such. Prior to that, there was no problem. We know they’re actively dedicated to starting over from scratch and getting it right, which is also well documented. The Mac isn’t going to iOS. It’s also been clearly stated and well documented. Also they wouldn’t be re-engineering the Pro, developing the iMac Pro, new displays or anything else significant if they were actively transitioning away. Are you even paying attention? Got any more FUD you’d like to peddle?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 43
    Or not. For now, that machine is still unconfirmed and possibly just a pipedream.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    Actually the really big feature of the Xeons is ECC RAM.  Which Threadripper also has.  It's past time for an AMD Mac!  Or Intel to end the artificial segmentation with ECC RAM.  It should be criminal to offer non-ECC RAM in a modern computer - there's zero excuse.  
    An AMD Threadripper Mac Pro would be dope!
    BUT I never understood the need for ECC RAM. I am a 3D Artist and I do a lot of simulations and rendering but still.. why? for what reason would I pay so much more money just to have slightly slower RAM modules that can do error checking only really needed in a server environment. There is just no need for that on a Workstation in my opinion.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    ksecksec Posts: 1,515member
    The iMac Pro is capable of 500W cooling, that means in theory with some cTDP it could be used inside iMac Pro. Not to mention the iMac Pro cooling could do some improvement / innovation. It is currently nothing more than a 1U Rack Design.
    watto_cobra
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