Ripe in Cupertino: an Apple with 8 cores

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Exclusive: Apple Computer is prepping a lavish new version of the Mac Pro that will boast nearly twice the brawn of existing models and form the centerpiece of the company's high-performance professional desktop line, AppleInsider has learned.



Thus far, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has offered only a single retail configuration of the Mac Pro desktop, a quad-core system featuring two 2.66GHz dual-core Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" processors. It sells for $2500, but can be custom configured with two 3.0GHz dual-core chips for an additional $800.



Since introducing the Mac Pro in August, Apple has received "very, very positive" feedback from both customers and analysts, chief operating officer Tim Cook said during a recent company conference call. However, he noted that there's still some hesitation among customers to purchase the high-end desktop ahead of Adobe's Creative Suite 3.0 launch.



Due by late March, Creative Suite 3.0 will be the first versions of the industry leading graphics suite to run natively on Apple's new Intel Macs, allowing individual applications to take full advantage of the new Mac architecture, rather than operate under Apple's Rosetta compatibility layer. But with just over five months to go before roll-out, Apple knows its professional customers, which account for 15 - 20 percent of its Mac business, may need a little short term purchasing push.



People familiar with the Mac maker's plans say it plans to drop jaws and strike awe with a new king of speed, a super-charged Mac Pro featuring a total of eight cores of processing power. The systems, which resemble the quad-core Mac Pro externally, will house two of Intel's forthcoming quad-core Xeon 5300 series "Clovertown" chips inside its chassis, those people say.







While it's unclear precisely when Apple plans to take the wraps off the new eight-core Mac, those familiar with the company's plans have indicated an introduction could take place any time after mid-Nov. As previously reported, it's around that time that Intel will officially launch its quad-core Xeon line, which in addition to Clovertown will also include a single processor variant code-named "Kentsfield."



Of the four Clovertown chips that have turned up on Intel price lists, only two fit the bill as potential candidates for the new systems due to their 1333MHz, 64-bit dual independent frontside buses and 8MB Level 2 cache.



Inte's Pat Gelsinger shows off the Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series at the fall 2006 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.



The Xeon X5355 runs at speeds of 2.66GHz per core and will retail in lots of 1000 for $1172 each. Meanwhile, the Xeon E5345 runs at 2.33GHz per core and will cost considerably less, making it the ideal candidate for the default configuration of the eight-core Mac Pro. At just $851 a piece, the 2.33GHz carries the same price tag as the 3.0GHz dual-core Woodcrest Xeon currently available to quad-core Mac Pro buyers.



As it stands, the release of the eight-core Mac Pro hinges on both Intel and Apple. But following Intel's mid-Nov. quad-core Xeon launch, the ball should be completely on Apple's side of the court. It'll be strictly a marketing decision from there, say insiders, as the Mac maker wrapped up hardware preparations for this brawny beast during the tail-end of the back-to-school season.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 183
    Lovely, particularly for video, 3D, and scientific pros.



    The next step will entail waiting for software to be optimized to take advantage of these monsters.
  • Reply 2 of 183
    from the MHZ race to the Core race, soon it will be 16 core desktops, then 32 core desktops etc..



    32 core of goodness for Word processing!
  • Reply 3 of 183
    I don't care.

    I want a Mac box that is between the Mac Pro and Mini. Similar power to the iMac, but upgradeable, expandable.



    ,dave
  • Reply 4 of 183
    The magical thing behind the idea of increasing cores is that the computer can truly become a hub for other devices including dumb terminals.



    One day, the need for multiple computers in a house will disappear. Just as business' went from mainframes with dumb terminals to desktop PCs, they will go back to a few PCs with dumb terminals that feed off them.



    Ok...so I'm exaggerating when I say someone won't want multiple computers within a single household but I'm simply saying that it would be entirely possible with an 8-core or 16-core or 32-core computer to share the CPU-time to dumb terminals around the house. Instead of paying 2000+ for a computer, you'd be paying 200 for a terminal.
  • Reply 5 of 183
    How do you think how this will affect the Mac Pro line?



    Two dual-core and two quad-core offerings and adjustment in pricing for the current ones? I imagine the beast at the top will run a pretty penny.



    I was wondering what would be happening to the Pro line since I'm thinking near or just past the holidays for a purchase. It's a bit early since the current line hasn't really collected any dust but it'll take me till then to make the proper purchase.
  • Reply 6 of 183
    Intel is know to drop chip prices down 20% during a specific period etc.. I wonder if Apple will pass the savings down to the consumer or just keep that 20%
  • Reply 7 of 183
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Posted under Thursday's news. Must not be on EST then.
  • Reply 8 of 183
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    From a GHz perspective I think it's funny that Apple is finally at 3.0 GHz and now the rumors have it that they will go below what the G5 topped at. I know I know that these chips are much faster but from a buying stand point I think it will leave some a little confused if these did indeed ship
  • Reply 9 of 183
    What I would like to know, is if all major apps (non Apple mostly) being worked on right now are being written to take advantage of multiple cores hence forth...
  • Reply 10 of 183
    mjteixmjteix Posts: 563member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by netbanshee


    How do you think how this will affect the Mac Pro line?



    Two dual-core and two quad-core offerings and adjustment in pricing for the current ones? I imagine the beast at the top will run a pretty penny.



    I was wondering what would be happening to the Pro line since I'm thinking near or just past the holidays for a purchase. It's a bit early since the current line hasn't really collected any dust but it'll take me till then to make the proper purchase.



    Mac Pro Dual (Xeon 5100/5300)

    base model dual-dual 2.66 $2499

    better model dual-quad 2.33 $2999

    best model dual-quad 2.66 $3499

    2GB FB-DIMM RAM standard, ATI X1900XT (or newer) standard



    Mac Pro Single (Conroe/Kentsfield)

    base model dual 2.66 $1499

    better model quad 2.40 $1699

    best model quad 2.66 $1999

    1GB DDR2-800 RAM standard, nVidia 7300GT (or newer) standard



    @ MacWorld SF January 2007
  • Reply 11 of 183
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davebarnes


    I don't care.

    I want a Mac box that is between the Mac Pro and Mini. Similar power to the iMac, but upgradeable, expandable.



    ,dave



    yes.

    i don't want overkill.

    just a Core 2 Duo/Extreme Mac Cube.



  • Reply 12 of 183
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hypoluxa


    What I would like to know, is if all major apps (non Apple mostly) being worked on right now are being written to take advantage of multiple cores hence forth...



    That is the key question. No use having all of those cores unless your apps can exploit them.
  • Reply 13 of 183
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Feynman


    From a GHz perspective I think it's funny that Apple is finally at 3.0 GHz and now the rumors have it that they will go below what the G5 topped at. I know I know that these chips are much faster but from a buying stand point I think it will leave some a little confused if these did indeed ship





    It might be a different story if it were the iMac or the MacBook, but I think most people that would be considering the Mac Pro understand what having eight cores means, regardless of GHz
  • Reply 14 of 183
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sybaritic


    That is the key question. No use having all of those cores unless your apps can exploit them.



    Exactly, and I do not know how many pro apps out there take advantage of multiple cores. PS from what I understand takes advantage of 2...I think.
  • Reply 15 of 183
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    I'm going to wait for the 64 core Mac Pros. Yeah, one core for every bit in the 64-bit operating system.
  • Reply 16 of 183
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hugodrax


    from the MHZ race to the Core race, soon it will be 16 core desktops, then 32 core desktops etc..



    32 core of goodness for Word processing!



    But think of it. You can write 32 letters at once!



    Actually, I hope it does come out in November so that I can order in January, after Macworld. That will give it some time for the bugs to be squashed after the first run.



    I don't mind the case being the same, but I hope there are some other improvements as well.
  • Reply 17 of 183
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by netbanshee


    How do you think how this will affect the Mac Pro line?



    Two dual-core and two quad-core offerings and adjustment in pricing for the current ones? I imagine the beast at the top will run a pretty penny.



    I was wondering what would be happening to the Pro line since I'm thinking near or just past the holidays for a purchase. It's a bit early since the current line hasn't really collected any dust but it'll take me till then to make the proper purchase.



    Unless the machine has other structural differences inside to accomodate other features, it should be added as an upgrade, as the 3GHz is now.



    They could offer a dual quad upgrade at 2.66, and 2.33.



    Then a dual dual at 3, 2.66, and 2.33.



    The dual core chip speeds might have been raised at the time though. Intel was somewhat obscure about that. The speeds were set to go up by the end of the year as of a few months ago, but I haven't read anything about it since. It was thought to depend on what AMD was offering by then.



    It would be interesting if the quad cores were an additional line on top of the duals.
  • Reply 18 of 183
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hypoluxa


    What I would like to know, is if all major apps (non Apple mostly) being worked on right now are being written to take advantage of multiple cores hence forth...



    You would have to call all of the developers to find that out.



    It would be more difficult for some apps than others to take advantage of more than two cores.
  • Reply 19 of 183
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,491member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hypoluxa


    Exactly, and I do not know how many pro apps out there take advantage of multiple cores. PS from what I understand takes advantage of 2...I think.



    So far, yes. But they are working on it.
  • Reply 20 of 183
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,320member
    Throw in a built-in Blu-ray drive,...I'm your huckleberry.
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