Intel leaks details of Mac Pro-bound Xeon chips

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Intel Corp. plans to launch its Penryn-based quad-core Xeon family of microprocessors on November 11, which may provide Apple with an opportunity to boost the specs of its high-end workstations ahead of the holiday shopping season.



A posting to the Santa Clara-based firm's reseller website briefly revealed launch plans for seven of the new Xeon chips -- the successors to those used in Apple's Mac Pro desktops -- before it was abruptly removed. The chip family, codenamed Harpertown, will range in speeds from 2.0GHz to 3.16GHz.



Each of the new processors will sport a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 80 watts, pack 12MB of Level 2 cache, and run on a 1333MHz front-side bus. The only exception is the high-end 3.16GHz chip, which was listed with a TDP of 120 watts.



According to the information listed on Intel's reseller site, the new chips will fetch between $209 for the 2.0GHz model to $1,172 for the 3.16GHz variant. In the sweet spot of the Xeon lineup -- where Apple has historically chosen its standard Mac Pro processors -- lies a 2.83GHz model priced at $690.



Penryn, the next iteration of Intel's Core 2 micro-architecture, will signify a shift by the chipmaker to 45-nanometer fabrication process. Both desktop and mobile Penryn chips are also in the works, though Intel has not yet provided any indication of their precise release dates.



Apple last updated its Mac Pro line of professional workstations in April when it added an 8-core configuration via two quad-core Xeon "Clovertown" chips. However, its entry level system with two dual-core "Woodcrest" processors has gone without an update since last August.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,321member
    Holy cow!
  • Reply 2 of 33
    gugygugy Posts: 794member
    Bring it on Apple!

    The new Mac Pro will be nice.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Would hope that the new Mac Pros will have eSATA as standard....
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by agrothey View Post


    Would hope that the new Mac Pros will have eSATA as standard....



    new intel xeon chip set With DDR ECC ram and more pci-e lanes is need as well.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    I have no idea why so many people fell of the boat just yesterday about Mac Pro ram. The only advantage EEC has over current ram would be in gaming, but it's only fractions of a second faster. You would never even notice. I'd rather have my OS, and all my Applications run better all the time.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    120 watts? That's a LOT of carbon...
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frogmella View Post


    120 watts? That's a LOT of carbon...



    Especially if you're running two of them just to check your email and read AppleInsider.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    wallywally Posts: 211member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...though the Intel has not yet provided any indication of their precise release dates....



    Is that what we're calling them now: "The Intel"?

  • Reply 9 of 33
    mrpiddlymrpiddly Posts: 406member
    how about a EFI nvida quadro fx 5600



  • Reply 10 of 33
    now that Mac's use intel, can u upgrade processors? Let's say you own a dual xeon 2.66.. could you upgrade to dual xeon 3.0 dual core? better yet, could you upgrade dual quad-core processors in its place?
  • Reply 11 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    I have no idea why so many people fell of the boat just yesterday about Mac Pro ram.



    What thread was this?



    Quote:

    The only advantage EEC has over current ram would be in gaming, but it's only fractions of a second faster. You would never even notice. I'd rather have my OS, and all my Applications run better all the time.



    EEC? Do you mean ECC? That's not good for gaming. Gamers generally buy non-ECC memory whenever they can. ECC is to prevent occasional memory bit flips from corrupting your data. FB-DIMM is supposed to allow a lot of benefits, not many of them really materialize in the Mac Pro, though maybe the ability to do reads and writes simultaneously might help somewhere if you've got several programs doing a lot of heavy compute stuff.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by domerdel View Post


    now that Mac's use intel, can u upgrade processors? Let's say you own a dual xeon 2.66.. could you upgrade to dual xeon 3.0 dual core? better yet, could you upgrade dual quad-core processors in its place?



    Yes, but it's not cheap for the chips or easy to install. Apple uses a different thermal pad for their quad core too. It's an upgrade path that might be worth exploiting a few years from now. For a 2.66 dual -> 3.00 dual upgrade, it's probably not worth it unless the chip was dirt cheap. If you do a lot of stuff that can use more than four cores, then maybe a dual to quad core chip upgrade might be worth it.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    new intel xeon chip set With DDR ECC ram and more pci-e lanes is need as well.



    Intel is offering a new chipset with DDR support. I don't know about PCIe lanes, but I went through the numbers in my response to one of your Slashdot posts, and concluded that additional PCIe lanes would only improve performance very marginally, and that is if you really load down the computer with a lot of add-ons.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    maddanmaddan Posts: 75member
    Here's my guess for the next line of Mac Pro Towers (not counting the coming minitower) then.



    2.83 GHz octo-core for about 3 grand.



    2.66 GHz quad-core (single processor) for about 2.2 grand.



    3.33 GHz octo-core for whatever the market will bear!
  • Reply 15 of 33
    wallywally Posts: 211member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maddan View Post


    ....not counting the coming minitower....



    That's good to not count that...
  • Reply 16 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Intel is offering a new chipset with DDR support. I don't know about PCIe lanes, but I went through the numbers in my response to one of your Slashdot posts, and concluded that additional PCIe lanes would only improve performance very marginally, and that is if you really load down the computer with a lot of add-ons.



    but it will at lest put more in line with what AMD workstations / servers have had for a few years and let you have 2 full x16 video cards with pci-e lanes left over for raid cards and pci-e to pci-x chips. Intel also uses some of the pci-e lanes for part of the chipset to chipset link.



    And apple puts the firewire on the pci-33 bus and they should move it to pci-e so you can get the full bandwidth of firewire 800 and higher speeds.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Actually, the Seaburg chipset and Stoakley platform (that's the future one JeffDM is talking about, right?) would have some PCIe Gen2. In all likelihood, we'd see Gen2 PCIe at x8, which is fast enough to accomodate SLI (as fast as PCIe x16).



    I haven't heard about a dual-independent-bus chipset that doesn't use FB-DIMMs. Please note that FB-DIMMs are both DDR2 and ECC.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    but it will at lest put more in line with what AMD workstations / servers have had for a few years and let you have 2 full x16 video cards with pci-e lanes left over for raid cards and pci-e to pci-x chips.



    That's very nice, but the difference between x8 and x16 on video cards is still negligible, and really winds up being a marketing number because the actual difference isn't noticeable. Even if it's only 1% different in actual performance, people will focus on the the half the lanes as a severe crippling and repeatedly complain about it. Like you are. Seriously.



    It would be nice if Apple still supported PCI-X on the Mac Pro but it's just not to be.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski View Post


    I haven't heard about a dual-independent-bus chipset that doesn't use FB-DIMMs.



    I can't find it but I am sure I read of one upcoming Xeon chipset that was going to be offered with a DDR2 memory bus, though not the one that you mentioned.



    Quote:

    Please note that FB-DIMMs are both DDR2 and ECC.



    That's quite true, though it's a different module type than standard DDR2 memory, and it's still a very premium price. Maybe I'd be less irritated with the memory cost if the real-world benefits were more obvious. As it is, it's expensive, sucks power / runs hot and it really doesn't seem to have much to show for it.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,957member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maddan View Post


    Here's my guess for the next line of Mac Pro Towers (not counting the coming minitower) then.



    2.83 GHz octo-core for about 3 grand.



    2.66 GHz quad-core (single processor) for about 2.2 grand.



    3.33 GHz octo-core for whatever the market will bear!



    I think that's off.



    I suspect it would be more like;



    Dual (dual core) 2.33 for $2,200



    Dual (quad core 2.83 for $2,800



    Dual (quad core) 3.16 for $3,800
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