Future of the Quad

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Now that His Steveness has announced all Mac's will be Intelmacs by years end, what happens to the Quad? Conroe/Merom (pentium 4 replacement) is coming mid year and is an obvious replacement for the dualcore G5 (dual core, 64Bit, etc) but like the Pentium 4, it will only support a single processor configuration. So what will go in a Quad? Woodcrest? THis is the Xeon replacement with a 1333Mhz FSB, based on the same new architechure as Conroe/Merom, but it is going to be EXTREMELY expensive apparently. I doubt Apple would be pleased about having to use 2 $800 processors in a $3000 machine, that eats into the profit margin quite a bit..... Is the Quad doomed? the 9600/350 of its generation?....

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I think they'll go Woodcrest which is rumored to have potentially a 4MB and 8MB L2 cache
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Dual quadcore Kentsfield/Clovertown. That's eight cores in one box. After that, we'll get dual eight-core Yorkfield/Hapertown for 16 cores in one box.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_N...roarchitecture



    Yonah is actually a stop-gap (re: deadend) processor until the next generation architecture gets here in the second half of this year.

  • Reply 3 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    iMac 2008



    8 cores

    512MB dual core GPU

    2 Terabyte hard drive

    PCI Express 2.0

    30" screen



    $999 sign me up
  • Reply 4 of 17
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    I think the future is a Woodcrest-based MacMac Pro Quad. I would not be surprised if a Cloverton costs $2,000 or more; putting two of those in a Mac would be crazy expensive. (But you could get great Modo performance on it.)
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I guess what I meant was: Is the future of the Powermac (not that it will be called that) going to be

    1) very expensive many cored workstation box using workstation class CPU (like now) OR

    2) Single processor multicored box using mainstream PC CPU - basically just an Apple PC??

    or both ?
  • Reply 6 of 17
    cubitcubit Posts: 846member
    Excellent questions Theruebster! I am particularly interested in whether there can be a PowerMac replacement in a configuration a little less Monstrous than the present G5 or will the heat dissipation issues still require the wind-tunnel approach-- and yes, I know, they are amazingly quiet-- for their size. You've got to remember I'm a G4^3 man myself.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    cubistcubist Posts: 954member
    You guys are nuts. The quad-capable chips Intel has coming (Woodcrest?) are not due in 2006, and even then they are Xeon chips, which means that a quad would cost $5000+. If Apple uses Xeons, they'll be in Xserves, not Mac Pros.



    Yes, there will be Intel-based quads in the future - but not in 2006. The Power Mac Quad will be the last PPC Mac to die, because there will be nothing to replace it.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cubist

    You guys are nuts. The quad-capable chips Intel has coming (Woodcrest?) are not due in 2006, and even then they are Xeon chips, which means that a quad would cost $5000+. If Apple uses Xeons, they'll be in Xserves, not Mac Pros.



    Yes, there will be Intel-based quads in the future - but not in 2006. The Power Mac Quad will be the last PPC Mac to die, because there will be nothing to replace it.




    Actually that was exactly my point, I've just taken a long time to get to it. There is nothing on the horizon that will allow Apple to have a quad processor Intel powered Mac this year. Therefore is the Quad likely to stay G5 powered right up to Macworld 2007? Perhaps....
  • Reply 9 of 17
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cubist

    You guys are nuts. The quad-capable chips Intel has coming (Woodcrest?) are not due in 2006, and even then they are Xeon chips, which means that a quad would cost $5000+. If Apple uses Xeons, they'll be in Xserves, not Mac Pros.



    Yes, there will be Intel-based quads in the future - but not in 2006. The Power Mac Quad will be the last PPC Mac to die, because there will be nothing to replace it.




    Actually the woodcrest is due in Q3 of 2006, and intel is pushing to jet it out in Q2. Meaning June - Meaning WWDC. Intel Woodcrest Xeons go in real Pro workstations not P4's. The PowerMac is a Pro Workstation. A pair of WoodCrest's (4 cores) will be the the Macintosh pro workstation processors. There is no doubt about that. You can't drive, or even try to sell professional level applications on inferior hardware when your competitors are driving similar applications on real workstations. You should know Apple intends on remaining pro level by the Applications they have acquired, and continue to produce, and the graphics cards they now have available. Apple has always been all about kicking ass, and chewing bubble gum. When they dumped IBM they ran out of bubble gum.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    thttht Posts: 3,952member
    Onlooker is on the ball here.



    Intel is trying to release Woodcrest in late Q2 06, but who knows if they can do it. But by 2H 06, Apple can have a "Mac Pro" with quad cores for $2999, or at the current price of $3299.



    Please note that Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest are nearly identical chip designs with essentially 3 big differentiators: "clock speed", L2 cache, and chipset support.



    Merom is a code name for a laptop variant which means it has the least amount of cache (4 MB), the slowest clock speed (~2.33 GHz?), the slowest FSB support (800 MHz?) all in an effort to get TDP in the neighborhood of 30 Watts.



    Conroe is a code name for a desktop variant which means it has a higher clock speed (2.6 to 2.8 GHz), faster FSB support (1067 MHz), most likely the same cache amount (4 MB) as Merom, and desktop chipset that only supports 1 Conroe CPU. Intel wants stay around 65 Watt TDP.



    Woodcrest is a code name for a workstation and server variant which means it has higher clock speed (2.6 to 2.8 GHz?), faster FSB support (1333 MHz), varying cache amounts (4, 8, 16 MB), and desktop chipsets that support 2 Woodcrest chips (quad core). Woodcrest TDP will be in the 80 Watt range.



    A 4 MB L2 cache Merom, a 4 MB L2 cache Conroe and a 4 MB L2 Woodcrest at the same clock, performance-wise, will be identical given the same memory system. The differences is really the "quality" of the chips as they come off the wafer.



    Heck, Intel will blur these differences incredibly with Extreme Edition Conroe parts which really would be 8 MB L2 Woodcrest chips in a different market, Low-voltage Woodcrest chips that really are Merom chips, and Conroe/Merom can be put in multiprocessor systems (quads) just be using Woodcrest northbridges.



    As for prices, I repeat as others do, Apple will not be purchasing Intel chips at retail prices. $800 Conroe or $1000 Woodcrest chips will cost Apple about half as much, maybe 2/3rd retail.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    Onlooker is on the ball here.



    Intel is trying to release Woodcrest in late Q2 06, but who knows if they can do it. But by 2H 06, Apple can have a "Mac Pro" with quad cores for $2999, or at the current price of $3299.



    Please note that Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest are nearly identical chip designs with essentially 3 big differentiators: "clock speed", L2 cache, and chipset support.



    Merom is a code name for a laptop variant which means it has the least amount of cache (4 MB), the slowest clock speed (~2.33 GHz?), the slowest FSB support (800 MHz?) all in an effort to get TDP in the neighborhood of 30 Watts.



    Conroe is a code name for a desktop variant which means it has a higher clock speed (2.6 to 2.8 GHz), faster FSB support (1067 MHz), most likely the same cache amount (4 MB) as Merom, and desktop chipset that only supports 1 Conroe CPU. Intel wants stay around 65 Watt TDP.



    Woodcrest is a code name for a workstation and server variant which means it has higher clock speed (2.6 to 2.8 GHz?), faster FSB support (1333 MHz), varying cache amounts (4, 8, 16 MB), and desktop chipsets that support 2 Woodcrest chips (quad core). Woodcrest TDP will be in the 80 Watt range.



    A 4 MB L2 cache Merom, a 4 MB L2 cache Conroe and a 4 MB L2 Woodcrest at the same clock, performance-wise, will be identical given the same memory system. The differences is really the "quality" of the chips as they come off the wafer.



    Heck, Intel will blur these differences incredibly with Extreme Edition Conroe parts which really would be 8 MB L2 Woodcrest chips in a different market, Low-voltage Woodcrest chips that really are Merom chips, and Conroe/Merom can be put in multiprocessor systems (quads) just be using Woodcrest northbridges.



    As for prices, I repeat as others do, Apple will not be purchasing Intel chips at retail prices. $800 Conroe or $1000 Woodcrest chips will cost Apple about half as much, maybe 2/3rd retail.




    Being that your probably right as you usually are I still don't think we would see a scaled down woodcrest, or souped up Conroe in an Apple workstation.



    As much as intel would blur the lines on these many average PC consumers probably wouldn't know there was a difference, but as Mac users only have one platform, and all news goes to every Mac News channel Apple would have to deal with a heck of a lot of criticism, and I suspect they would loose a lot of face with their pro-sumer buying base.

    If we could still choose our processors from a pulldown in the Apple store, and have the option of getting the less expensive, vs. higher performing processor that would be different. But I think Apple would just offer a single processor PowerMac, and spare the excessive amount of options.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    thttht Posts: 3,952member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    But I think Apple would just offer a single processor PowerMac, and spare the excessive amount of options.



    I really don't think the Quad is going away. I think Apple will carry at least two "Macintosh Pro" architectures.



    One will be a Conroe board used in the low end desktops and possibly the iMac: single socket support, 1066 MHz FSB, 4 GB memory. The other will be a Woodcrest board used in the high desktops and Xserves: 2 socket support, 1333 MHz dual independent FSB and 16 GB memory. Both the Conroe and Woodcrest chips will be 4 MB L2 cache chips.



    The 8 MB and 16 MB L2 cache versions are boutique gaming and big iron server chips. There's probably going to be a "cheap" 2 MB L2 cache version that likely go into a Mac mini though.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Apple will definitely offer SMP Woodcrest. It's no problem to them because these are the high margin computers that make you money.



    4MB Woodcrest would be perfect in a Workstation.



    8MB Woodcrest would be perfect in Xserve



    2MB/4MB Conroe would be nice for lowend/midrange Powermacs and like THT said possibly a high end iMac.



    Intel is going to be manufacturing the boards and chips. No skin off of Apple's teeth. They simply package it up toss it in sexy casing and deliver.



    Remember by the time Woodcrest hits we'll have Intel DIB (Dual Independent Bus) for the FSB as well.



    Prepare for Speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    cubitcubit Posts: 846member
    Quote:

    Intel is going to be manufacturing the boards and chips. No skin off of Apple's teeth. They simply package it up toss it in sexy casing and deliver.



    Any thoughts on the shape of the needed package for future Intel XMacs?
  • Reply 15 of 17
    We will definitely see Woodcrest in PowerMacs and Xserves. Current PowerMacs and XServes recently got support for ECC memory. Conroe will not support ECC while Woodcrest will so unless Apple drops ECC memory support (highly unlikely), you will definitely see Woodcrest in Apple's workstations.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    I really don't think the Quad is going away. I think Apple will carry at least two "Macintosh Pro" architectures.







    I didn't mean they would drop dual socket systems. I meant that they may just have a single socket motherboard as well. They have that right now don't they? I know they have done it in the past. Offer a Dual Proicessor machine, and SP machines in the low end.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Apple has always been all about kicking ass, and chewing bubble gum. When they dumped IBM they ran out of bubble gum.



    Sometimes you just crack me up!



    ;^p
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