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MacRumors
Jun 20, 2011, 03:58 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/20/mac-pro-to-use-custom-intel-cpu-more-details-on-mac-mini-and-time-capsule/)


Over the weekend, we heard rumors that Apple will be delivering new Mac minis and Mac Pros in the late July/early August timeframe. Now, MICGadget (http://micgadget.com/13052/the-upcoming-updates-for-apple-products/) claims to have new information about these upcoming desktop refreshes and Time Capsule/Airport devices. Much of the information we've seen before, but they do offer some interesting additional notes of interest.

As expected, the new Mac mini will be receiving Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge processors. As a side effect of this upgrade, the new Mac minis will end up using Intel's HD integrated graphics rather than an NVIDIA solution. This should be no surprise as Apple has made this same compromise in their low-end MacBook Pros using the recent Sandy Bridge processors.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/macpro.jpg (http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/macpro.jpg)Current Mac Pro design
As for the Mac Pro, MICGadget is also claiming that the new MacPro will be come in a "rack-mountable" design in their new server version to help replace the Xserve. We've heard this before (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/04/21/apple-developing-narrower-rackmountable-mac-pro-prototypes/) as well, but they are also claiming that Apple will be using a "unique CPU" developed for the Mac and not seen in the PC. Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt are coming to the new Mac Pro, and at the same time, an unique CPU will be developed for Mac. This unique CPU is not seen in PC. Early MacRumors commenters in the Mac Pro/Mac mini rumor discussion (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/19/new-mac-pros-and-mac-minis-launching-august/) pointed out that Mac Pro-suitable Sandy Bridge processors aren't known to be available in time for the late July/early August timeframe. The use of a custom CPU would explain away this discrepancy. Apple and Intel have a close relationship and are Intel has been known to supply Apple with custom CPU parts in the past. The original MacBook Air also used a custom part (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/06/13/apple-and-intels-collaboration-on-macbook-air-and-beyond/) that was available only to Apple for a period of time.

As for the Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme, MICGadget claims that the devices are newly designed with better heat dissipation than previous models. They claim that the new TimeCapsule has a lower TDP and low power consumption hard drive using Apple firmware, while the AirPort Extreme has improved signal strength with six antennas built in. Finally, they echo previous claims that the Time Capsule will serve as a caching system for software updates in Lion and iOS 5.

MICGadget has not previously published many original rumors, so their reliability is unknown. The custom Mac Pro CPU, however, rumor fits in nicely with the previous Mac Pro and Mac Mini release timeframe.


Article Link: Mac Pro to Use Custom Intel CPU? More Details on Mac Mini and Time Capsule (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/20/mac-pro-to-use-custom-intel-cpu-more-details-on-mac-mini-and-time-capsule/)



justinfreid
Jun 20, 2011, 04:02 PM
I could see each of these rumors turning out to be true.
Hopefully the new routers will be iOS powered and the Mac Pros will get an updated form factor.
Maybe even the desktops will come without optical drives standard.

A glance at the Buyer's Guide shows a lot of Don't Buy Nows, Apple seems to be gearing up for some major hardware releases alongside Lion.

infodriveway
Jun 20, 2011, 04:03 PM
It certainly seems like itís time for a case redesign.

*LTD*
Jun 20, 2011, 04:04 PM
Another step toward independence.

ratzzo
Jun 20, 2011, 04:04 PM
That would solve the GPU-CPU conflict. I'm on the Mac Mini side of this rumor :)

daneoni
Jun 20, 2011, 04:05 PM
So is it the entire Mac Pro line that will be mountable or just the server iteration.

wordoflife
Jun 20, 2011, 04:05 PM
Hopefully the new routers will be iOS powered.

Not trying to be a smart one, but what benefits would we get from having iOS run on a router? I mean, how would that even work? Like what's the point?

I hope they bring down the Mac Mini price a bit.

jowie
Jun 20, 2011, 04:05 PM
Would this mean the new Mac minis are going to be graphically less powerful? If so, wonder if it would mean a cheaper entry price...

Hellhammer
Jun 20, 2011, 04:07 PM
Custom CPU sounds very interesting. I wonder what would make it unique

blue22
Jun 20, 2011, 04:08 PM
So, perhaps it's better to wait not this for this speculated version of the Mac Pro but rather the one due out sometime in 2012 instead?

appleguy123
Jun 20, 2011, 04:08 PM
Not trying to be a smart one, but what benefits would we get from having iOS run on a router? I mean, how would that even work? Like what's the point?

I hope they bring down the Mac Mini price a bit.

I don't understand it either. iOS is for media consumption and touch. What benefit could it bring to a router, unless they want to integrate the Apple-Tv in it?

OllyW
Jun 20, 2011, 04:08 PM
Would this mean the new Mac minis are going to be graphically less powerful? If so, wonder if it would mean a cheaper entry price...

The 13" MacBook Pro uses the same integrated graphics and that didn't go down in price.

Duluth Baptist
Jun 20, 2011, 04:09 PM
If the Mac Minis lose graphics power, that means they are "refining" their market target. The Mini users who are using a Mini as a compromise because they don't want an all-in-one and can't afford a Pro will not be happy. Especially if Apple goes whole-hog and turns out an Apple-TV like size and form device with no optical drive. I wouldn't worry too much about that, though, since a lot of people play their DVDs on Minis.

Can someone fill me in on how well the "unique" Intel chips work on other Mac devices? I'm inclined to think that using a non-standard chip design will be a negative.

Prallethrin
Jun 20, 2011, 04:10 PM
Perhaps "timed-exclusive" would be a better term than "custom".

To design and fab a custom part, especially in small quantities is hideously expensive. This is probably just Intel giving Apple first dips on upcoming tech, eg. Thunderbolt - you know for publicity; it also helps that Apple doesn't ship crazy amounts when it comes to desktop/laptop products so Intel's "just starting up" manufacturing process can keep pace.

gkarris
Jun 20, 2011, 04:11 PM
Would this mean the new Mac minis are going to be graphically less powerful?

Yes...

If so, wonder if it would mean a cheaper entry price...

No...

jowie
Jun 20, 2011, 04:12 PM
I don't understand it either. iOS is for media consumption and touch. What benefit could it bring to a router, unless they want to integrate the Apple-Tv in it?
I assume it would be for the update caching services... And possibly some kind of iCloud integration?

Lesser Evets
Jun 20, 2011, 04:14 PM
I love the MacPro case design, but, owning one, I can see how they could easily compress everything even further. It's a space hog because of the need to kill heat, I think. Can't wait to see how the revision turns out, assuming rumors are true. Once the drives go SS and optical bites it, these machines will be half their current size, easily.

jowie
Jun 20, 2011, 04:14 PM
Yes...



No...

Will have to look out for people putting their current gen minis on eBay then ;)

chrmjenkins
Jun 20, 2011, 04:15 PM
Custom CPU sounds very interesting. I wonder what would make it unique

Well, if it's a 6 core Sandy Bridge variant, the extent to which it will piss off the enthusiast PC market will be pretty unique.

swarmster
Jun 20, 2011, 04:16 PM
Image (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/20/mac-pro-to-use-custom-intel-cpu-more-details-on-mac-mini-and-time-capsule/)

...they are also claiming that Apple will be using a "unique CPU" developed for the Mac and not seen in the PC.

ARM is coming!

praetorian909
Jun 20, 2011, 04:17 PM
Not trying to be a smart one, but what benefits would we get from having iOS run on a router? I mean, how would that even work? Like what's the point?


Maybe he meant he was hoping for Cisco IOS on the router? :)

gkarris
Jun 20, 2011, 04:17 PM
Will have to look out for people putting their current gen minis on eBay then ;)

Ha, ha, remember that version IGA outperformed the nVidia in lower graphics mode? :eek:

Has someone posted the benchmarks yet on the actual MBP's comparing the Core 2 Duo with nVidia verses the Intel SB's?

justinfreid
Jun 20, 2011, 04:19 PM
Not trying to be a smart one, but what benefits would we get from having iOS run on a router? I mean, how would that even work? Like what's the point?

I hope they bring down the Mac Mini price a bit.

I think the advantages would be huge.
First, ergonomically, it could host an awesome and easily updatable web interface or, running even on the A4, be quicker at administrative tasks than the current generation of routers.
Second, it could potentially host apps on the router or even have some feature overlap with the Apple TV. The apps could range from really rich BitTorrent clients to nice looking network statistics and file managers or robust web services- all things that could be offloaded from a more power hungry desktop or server.
Think of how this could fit in with iCloud- just imagine the implications for the PhotoStream feature. You'd always have a local copy of your pictures and not have to worry about the 30 day limit and making sure your laptop or desktop is on to receive them.
Much of this functionality has already been implemented, albeit experimentally, on iPod Touches connected via Wifi and with Apple's economy of scale they could probably produce an Ax CPU powered router as cheaply as Linksys, Netgear, and the like produce their Atheros or Broadcom based ones.
While none of these features all together require an A4 or A5 CPU, I think considering the direction Apple is moving it'd make sense.
I think there'll be a MacBook Air running on one before too long.

keruah
Jun 20, 2011, 04:20 PM
ARM Mac Pro? About time!

Duluth Baptist
Jun 20, 2011, 04:20 PM
I'd like to see the Nvidia/Intel graphics comparison as well.

I heard someone mention the possibility of Thunderbolting two Minis together, is this actually an existing or planned procedure? It would be an interesting idea.

Michaelgtrusa
Jun 20, 2011, 04:24 PM
Very much needed.

iBug2
Jun 20, 2011, 04:25 PM
To be honest, the only thing I can infer about the custom CPU rumor is the size.

If Apple plans to shrink the size of the Mac Pro, they may need special processors for it in terms of size.

ARobinson
Jun 20, 2011, 04:26 PM
I just want thunderbolt on my new ********** 12-Core!!! Not a new mac pro thats better than the old "fastest mac ever" because its newer than the new one. :confused:

cmaier
Jun 20, 2011, 04:28 PM
ARM is coming!

ARM Mac Pro? About time!

LOL. Because what you're really looking for in a Mac Pro is to give up a lot of performance to save some power. (while then giving up the power advantage to run x86 code through a translation layer).

gramirez2012
Jun 20, 2011, 04:31 PM
If the AEBS is going to have 6 antennas and better signal strength, then does that mean the Time Capsule will as well? I sold my AEBS this month which had less than ideal signal strength in my home, and I was planning on getting the new Time Capsule when it comes out. I wouldn't want to get a new Time Capsule only to find that I could get better range with the AEBS.

Really curious as to when these will be released.

WiiDSmoker
Jun 20, 2011, 04:31 PM
I'm more excited about the new routers than anything else.

WestonHarvey1
Jun 20, 2011, 04:32 PM
Not trying to be a smart one, but what benefits would we get from having iOS run on a router? I mean, how would that even work? Like what's the point?

It's slimmer and it boots faster than OS X. Apple engineers can configure maintain it easier since it's just a standard UNIXy router. It's also easier for Apple to lock down because it is iOS. Maybe it even uses less power, but I'm just guessing on that.

Edit: not to imply Airport Extreme ran OS X, it didn't. But the Apple TV 1 did run a more or less full OS X, and it boots much slower than the new iOS Apple TV 2.

NAG
Jun 20, 2011, 04:35 PM
LOL. Because what you're really looking for in a Mac Pro is to give up a lot of performance to save some power. (while then giving up the power advantage to run x86 code through a translation layer).

You're acting like the Mac Pro is a workstation! ;)

It would be nice if all the "omg Apple is switching to ARM" people would think things through a bit. I wouldn't be surprised if an ARM processor shows up in a Mac Pro (wouldn't expect one either) but it would never be the main chip. But yeah, I think the likelihood is very very low (just to reiterate so people don't jump on me, thinking I'm saying the exact opposite of what I'm attempting to say).

Regarding the AEBS and Timecapsule, I'm actually kind of excited about this. The current ones are space heaters and if they also upgrade the drives in them I would seriously consider upgrading.

AppleScruff1
Jun 20, 2011, 04:35 PM
ARM is coming!

ARM Mac Pro? About time!

Which ARM processor would be capable of running the Mac Pro at a higher level than Sandy Bridge?

Ferazel
Jun 20, 2011, 04:35 PM
The custom Mac Pro processor is probably just a custom Sandy Bridge desktop chip that allows for multi-socketed motherboards. I seriously doubt it is as extreme as an entirely new architecture (like ARM).

Or it may just be that Apple is going to release a desktop chip in their single-CPU towers and save quite a bit of cost and upgrade the multi-processors later. The advantage that a Xeon vs. Desktop variant is relatively minor. As I said elsewhere, a bigger speed boost to the system overall would be to include a quality SSD instead of paying to get a very minor speed increase from the CPUs.

keruah
Jun 20, 2011, 04:36 PM
LOL. Because what you're really looking for in a Mac Pro is to give up a lot of performance to save some power. (while then giving up the power advantage to run x86 code through a translation layer). OMG, are you serious? I was joking.

WestonHarvey1
Jun 20, 2011, 04:38 PM
The custom Mac Pro processor is probably just a custom Sandy Bridge desktop chip that allows for multi-socketed motherboards. I seriously doubt it is as extreme as an entirely new architecture (like ARM).

Or maybe it's a really awesome custom Xeon.

Bafflefish
Jun 20, 2011, 04:38 PM
To be honest, the only thing I can infer about the custom CPU rumor is the size.

If Apple plans to shrink the size of the Mac Pro, they may need special processors for it in terms of size.

I'm thinking it might just be a modified LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge with 1-2 QPI links. Essentially it's a stop-gap between the desktop and server variants of Sandy Bridge. They could then later allow the higher-end Mac Pros to switch to LGA 2011 for those wanting additional features, such as ECC RAM, etc., while the lower-end Mac Pro(s) could have more of a desktop "flavor" with (ideally) lower pricing to drive greater adoption than what they've likely seen the last few years.

Edit - Or possibly an early-introduction of LGA 1356. Forgot that it's still set to debut as well, given LGA 2011 gets most of the attention.

Eidorian
Jun 20, 2011, 04:42 PM
They might just enable the PCIe 3.0 support on Xeon-E3. I will be surprised if anything based on the X79 platform shows up. Maybe it will be an early stepping of Xeon E5.

justinfreid
Jun 20, 2011, 04:43 PM
I'd like to see the Nvidia/Intel graphics comparison as well.

I heard someone mention the possibility of Thunderbolting two Minis together, is this actually an existing or planned procedure? It would be an interesting idea.

Do you mean in order to network them or to have them share a processing load? I think fiber networks may still be better for grid computing: http://www.apple.com/science/hardware/gridcomputing.html.

theSeb
Jun 20, 2011, 04:43 PM
ARM Mac Pro? About time!

Huh? Using what ARM processor exactly? 50 of them? Did you miss that it's a chip from Intel? ARM <> Intel

theSeb
Jun 20, 2011, 04:45 PM
OMG, are you serious? I was joking.

Oh. Never mind then.

miografico
Jun 20, 2011, 04:46 PM
I'm thinking it might just be a modified LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge with 1-2 QPI links. Essentially it's a stop-gap between the desktop and server variants of Sandy Bridge. They could then later allow the higher-end Mac Pros to switch to LGA 2011 for those wanting additional features, such as ECC RAM, etc., while the lower-end Mac Pro(s) could have more of a desktop "flavor" with (ideally) lower pricing to drive greater adoption than what they've likely seen the last few years.

Edit - Or possibly an early-introduction of LGA 1356. Forgot that it's still set to debut as well, given LGA 2011 gets most of the attention.

That would be interesting, but I don't believe they want a tower option to ever be an option for their regular consumers. It's fairly obvious the iMac will continue to be their, "desktop" for the average consumer, the Mini for their low end consumer and the Pro for workstations.

I am all for choices I just don't see it happening.

theSeb
Jun 20, 2011, 04:46 PM
I'm thinking it might just be a modified LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge with 1-2 QPI links. Essentially it's a stop-gap between the desktop and server variants of Sandy Bridge. They could then later allow the higher-end Mac Pros to switch to LGA 2011 for those wanting additional features, such as ECC RAM, etc., while the lower-end Mac Pro(s) could have more of a desktop "flavor" with (ideally) lower pricing to drive greater adoption than what they've likely seen the last few years.

Edit - Or possibly an early-introduction of LGA 1356. Forgot that it's still set to debut as well, given LGA 2011 gets most of the attention.

So what you're saying is that this will be the headless mini mac pro that I've been pestering Steve for? :D let's start a new rumour!

iBug2
Jun 20, 2011, 04:47 PM
I'm thinking it might just be a modified LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge with 1-2 QPI links. Essentially it's a stop-gap between the desktop and server variants of Sandy Bridge. They could then later allow the higher-end Mac Pros to switch to LGA 2011 for those wanting additional features, such as ECC RAM, etc., while the lower-end Mac Pro(s) could have more of a desktop "flavor" with (ideally) lower pricing to drive greater adoption than what they've likely seen the last few years.

Edit - Or possibly an early-introduction of LGA 1356. Forgot that it's still set to debut as well, given LGA 2011 gets most of the attention.

Possible and many would welcome such change. Because you'd get the same performance for less money. ECC RAM is really overkill for most workstation work.

kdimitt
Jun 20, 2011, 04:50 PM
Ha, ha, remember that version IGA outperformed the nVidia in lower graphics mode? :eek:

Has someone posted the benchmarks yet on the actual MBP's comparing the Core 2 Duo with nVidia verses the Intel SB's?

Are there current benchmarks that compare the C2D with nVidia graphics vs. the combine Intel SB?

I know little about graphics so I hope someone can explain the comparisons between the two. Wouldn't taking a step back in graphics for the sake of integration be stupid?

Simple question, if the mini has the new Sandy Bridge processor (graphics combined) will there be less graphical power then the intel's with the nVidia chip?

Hope for an honest and straightforward answer, I would really like to be informed not harassed.

Bafflefish
Jun 20, 2011, 04:51 PM
They might just enable the PCIe 3.0 support on Xeon-E3. I will be surprised if anything based on the X79 platform shows up. Maybe it will be an early stepping of Xeon E5.

That could be, but I don't know of any multi-socket Xeon-E3 boards? If they exist, then I could see that.

That would be interesting, but I don't believe they want a tower option to ever be an option for their regular consumers. It's fairly obvious the iMac will continue to be their, "desktop" for the average consumer, the Mini for their low end consumer and the Pro for workstations.

I am all for choices I just don't see it happening.
Well, remember that up until the Intel change, Apple regularly offered Power Macs in the $1500- $1800 range. Granted, their high-end iMacs now slot into this price range, but I could definitely see Apple looking to offer at least one Mac Pro in a lower price category than the current $2500 model.


Possible and many would welcome such change. Because you'd get the same performance for less money. ECC RAM is really overkill for most workstation work.
Exactly. I can see ECC RAM for the top-end Mac Pros, but it doesn't make much sense for entry-model workstations. The same goes for some of the other features present.

hugodrax
Jun 20, 2011, 04:51 PM
Possible and many would welcome such change. Because you'd get the same performance for less money. ECC RAM is really overkill for most workstation work.

Ecc ram is not overkill for a workstation, but for a regular desktop then yes.

But the Mac pro is a workstation.

Dont Hurt Me
Jun 20, 2011, 04:51 PM
Lets hope Mini does get those crappy Intel graphics.

Skika
Jun 20, 2011, 04:51 PM
I never understood what are the benefits of MacPro being smaller:confused:

Bafflefish
Jun 20, 2011, 04:55 PM
Ecc ram is not overkill for a workstation, but for a regular desktop then yes.

But the Mac pro is a workstation.
ECC ram is overkill for quite a few workstations too. Think back to the late 90s and early-to-mid 2000s. The vast majority of Power Macs never shipped/were offered with ECC Ram, and yet did you regularly hear of anyone using them as workstations for video, audio, etc., having many issues? No...

ECC Ram has its uses, but it's not as necessary as some believe.

kdimitt
Jun 20, 2011, 04:55 PM
I never understood what are the benefits of MacPro being smaller:confused:

What's the advantage of anything being smaller? Portability. I think anyone that seriously thinks the Mac Pro needs to be more portable is probably not using it like the majority but some people feel that way. Also, some people think smaller = more attractive.

I understand what others are saying when they want it. I don't quite agree with them, like yourself I assume, but that's their opinion I guess.

iBug2
Jun 20, 2011, 04:55 PM
Ecc ram is not overkill for a workstation, but for a regular desktop then yes.

But the Mac pro is a workstation.

No, it's overkill for most of the work done in Mac Pro's. ECC Ram doesn't necessarily benefit people just because they use a Mac Pro. Servers make use of ECC Ram due to uptime.

Also ECC RAM is slower than regular RAM so if you are not making use of it, it's actually making your computer perform worse.

NAG
Jun 20, 2011, 04:56 PM
I never understood what are the benefits of MacPro being smaller:confused:

It currently can't fit into a rack. If they could make it so it would approximate say, the size of a U3 or U4 server it would help ease the pain of the xServe being discontinued.

lowonthe456
Jun 20, 2011, 04:57 PM
I think with the iPad and iPhones cutting the cord, an iOS powered Time Capsule could be big....think of it: Time Capsule being able to host you music and movies locally (on wifi) and serve to the apple tv.

Makes alot of sense to me

iBug2
Jun 20, 2011, 04:57 PM
I never understood what are the benefits of MacPro being smaller:confused:

If you are not giving up other stuff, isn't everything better with smaller size? :)

BigBeast
Jun 20, 2011, 04:58 PM
Custom CPU sounds very interesting. I wonder what would make it unique

They ability to deny the hackintosh community. With a custom CPU, assuming Intel will seel the CPU only to Apple, it'll be increasingly difficult to load a hackintosh kernel etc.

jamesryanbell
Jun 20, 2011, 04:58 PM
Lets hope Mini does get those crappy Intel graphics.

Who benefits from that? Why would we hope that happens? :confused:

bmwhd
Jun 20, 2011, 05:00 PM
Custom CPU sounds very interesting. I wonder what would make it unique

Difference is in the cache.

iBug2
Jun 20, 2011, 05:00 PM
They ability to deny the hackintosh community. With a custom CPU, assuming Intel will seel the CPU only to Apple, it'll be increasingly difficult to load a hackintosh kernel etc.

Hmmm, now that sounds lovely. :)

Bafflefish
Jun 20, 2011, 05:01 PM
They ability to deny the hackintosh community. With a custom CPU, assuming Intel will seel the CPU only to Apple, it'll be increasingly difficult to load a hackintosh kernel etc.
Not really. Because 1) Apple will continue to use regularly production-run Intel processors in the MBPs, the MB, the MBA, the iMac, etc., 2) Apple has to maintain "legacy" support for older Intel processors and chipsets they used to allow people to upgrade, thus allowing the Hackintosh community to take advantage of this, and 3) as long as Apple is using X86 systems, it won't be *that* difficult to modify OS X to run on a custom system.

scottsjack
Jun 20, 2011, 05:02 PM
So, perhaps it's better to wait not this for this speculated version of the Mac Pro but rather the one due out sometime in 2012 instead?

You're speculating about not waiting for this speculated version instead of the one (speculated to be) due in 2012? Hopefully you don't need a computer soon :-)

AAPLaday
Jun 20, 2011, 05:05 PM
Lets hope Mini does get those crappy Intel graphics.

Who benefits from that? Why would we hope that happens? :confused:

I think he meant does not

scottsjack
Jun 20, 2011, 05:05 PM
If you are not giving up other stuff, isn't everything better with smaller size? :)

Why? Other than a Mac Pro I can't think of a current Mac that would run a little cooler or hold better equipment if it wasn't just a little thicker or wider or taller.

lilo777
Jun 20, 2011, 05:07 PM
Custom CPU sounds very interesting. I wonder what would make it unique

There will not be any custom CPU for Mac Pro. There simply could not be one. Mac Pro sales are just too small to justify development of special chip for Intel. If anything it could be underclocked or overclocked version. Or, as it happened in the past, it could be a "special" CPU that Apple just happens to announce but everybody else gets their hands on it the same day (or week later). Just a PR stunt.

AidenShaw
Jun 20, 2011, 05:08 PM
Do you mean in order to network them or to have them share a processing load? I think fiber networks may still be better for grid computing: http://www.apple.com/science/hardware/gridcomputing.html.

But TBolt is not a network interconnect - it's a PCIe link to an expansion chassis, which is daisy-chainable to a small number of additional expansion chassis.

These expansion chassis could have PCIe "cards" for network interconnects, but the network will not be TBolt.

cmaier
Jun 20, 2011, 05:10 PM
There will not be any custom CPU for Mac Pro. There simply could not be one. Mac Pro sales are just too small to justify development of special chip for Intel. If anything it could be underclocked or overclocked version. Or, as it happened in the past, it could be a "special" CPU that Apple just happens to announce but everybody else gets their hands on it the same day (or week later). Just a PR stunt.

actually, it is possible. changes in packaging, for example, would not entail a large cost compared to the volume of apple's business. Similarly, changes that can easily be affected by SoC design methodology (e.g. connecting a thunderbolt macro to the crossbar) would be doable, particularly if Apple places a guaranteed minimum order.

When I was at AMD we offered to do one-off chip designs for at least two customers I can think of (we didn't actually reach a deal, though).

patohi
Jun 20, 2011, 05:11 PM
Not really. Because 1) Apple will continue to use regularly production-run Intel processors in the MBPs, the MB, the MBA, the iMac, etc., 2) Apple has to maintain "legacy" support for older Intel processors and chipsets they used to allow people to upgrade, thus allowing the Hackintosh community to take advantage of this, and 3) as long as Apple is using X86 systems, it won't be *that* difficult to modify OS X to run on a custom system.

Yep! would not be the end of the hackintosh community! But would love to see a lower price point! Might motivate me to buy:apple: instead of build.

paradox00
Jun 20, 2011, 05:11 PM
Are there current benchmarks that compare the C2D with nVidia graphics vs. the combine Intel SB?

I know little about graphics so I hope someone can explain the comparisons between the two. Wouldn't taking a step back in graphics for the sake of integration be stupid?

Simple question, if the mini has the new Sandy Bridge processor (graphics combined) will there be less graphical power then the intel's with the nVidia chip?

Hope for an honest and straightforward answer, I would really like to be informed not harassed.

NVIDIA doesn't make integrated graphics chipsets for i3/i5/i7 chips, so if Apple wants to upgrade the processor they have to switch back to integrated Intel graphics. They'd obviously want to keep NVIDIA integrated graphics, but it's just not possible. Apple basically held out as long as they could. There are discrete graphics options of course, but those cost more and need more space.

The NVIDIA and Intel integrated graphics aren't that different anymore. Minor graphics downgrade for major CPU upgrade.

RichardBeer
Jun 20, 2011, 05:14 PM
If by custom CPU they mean something that isn't a core i7/Xeon that would be interesting. Imagine if they put custom X86 CPUs into all macs, it would restore the sort of distinctive character that macs had before the Intel switch with PPC.

bmereg
Jun 20, 2011, 05:14 PM
I think with the iPad and iPhones cutting the cord, an iOS powered Time Capsule could be big....think of it: Time Capsule being able to host you music and movies locally (on wifi) and serve to the apple tv.

Makes alot of sense to me

This is the first thing I thought of. I never understood why the Apple TV 2 is a media device with no storage. The new Time Capsule would basically become your personal media and file server (your local cloud). Maybe allow streaming through iCloud like previous rumors.

kdimitt
Jun 20, 2011, 05:17 PM
NVIDIA doesn't make integrated graphics chipsets for i3/i5/i7 chips, so if Apple wants to upgrade the processor they have to switch back to integrated Intel graphics. They'd obviously want to keep NVIDIA integrated graphics, but it's just not possible. Apple basically held out as long as they could. There are discrete graphics options of course, but those cost more and need more space.

The NVIDIA and Intel integrated graphics aren't that different anymore. Minor graphics downgrade for major CPU upgrade.

Appreciate the response, thanks a lot. +1 to you sir.

Xtremehkr
Jun 20, 2011, 05:17 PM
The new Mac Pro's are promising to be fast. I wonder just how fast they are going to be.

The new iMacs are very fast and they're supposed to be a few notches below a Mac Pro.

Not a Mac Pro buyer myself but I'm interested to see what comes out of such a long refresh cycle.

CFreymarc
Jun 20, 2011, 05:18 PM
I bet that Apple has an exclusive on the much rumored Intel 8i 16x core for the rest of the year.

Smoking!

Xtremehkr
Jun 20, 2011, 05:19 PM
There will not be any custom CPU for Mac Pro. There simply could not be one. Mac Pro sales are just too small to justify development of special chip for Intel. If anything it could be underclocked or overclocked version. Or, as it happened in the past, it could be a "special" CPU that Apple just happens to announce but everybody else gets their hands on it the same day (or week later). Just a PR stunt.

This is unreasonably pessimistic considering that Apple has been heavily involved in chip development for iOS devices and Intel has announced that custom chips are not as prohibitively expensive as they once were.

Mike P.
Jun 20, 2011, 05:22 PM
Any news about the Airport Express getting an update of some sort?

al2o3cr
Jun 20, 2011, 05:27 PM
The "custom CPU" bit could mean lots of things - note that most of the Pros have used Xeons without heatspreaders, which are technically "custom" for Apple...

G4DP
Jun 20, 2011, 05:32 PM
I bet that Apple has an exclusive on the much rumored Intel 8i 16x core for the rest of the year.

Smoking!

You mean the Intel 8i that doesn't exist let alone in production.

8i is a new chip from IBM

jacksonkeller
Jun 20, 2011, 05:35 PM
Perhaps "timed-exclusive" would be a better term than "custom".

To design and fab a custom part, especially in small quantities is hideously expensive. This is probably just Intel giving Apple first dips on upcoming tech, eg. Thunderbolt - you know for publicity; it also helps that Apple doesn't ship crazy amounts when it comes to desktop/laptop products so Intel's "just starting up" manufacturing process can keep pace.

Timed-exclusive makes a lot of sense, but I can tell you we make "custom chips" in the fab I work in all the time. Rarely are they are truly custom, specifically manufactured for a customer in very limited production numbers. Usually they are a chip thats already in production and one or more layers of that chip differ from the standard production run. It is very common to change one implant layer or use a different reticle on a photo layer. Technically that makes it a custom chip, but doesn't alter the overall chip design or cost to the buyer.

justinfreid
Jun 20, 2011, 05:42 PM
But TBolt is not a network interconnect - it's a PCIe link to an expansion chassis, which is daisy-chainable to a small number of additional expansion chassis.

These expansion chassis could have PCIe "cards" for network interconnects, but the network will not be TBolt.

Right, ThunderBolt itself is not, but it could facilitate networking, and in fact could transfer any data that currently traverses PCI Express. I think in theory it could remove the need for port differentiation entirely.

I'm not sure if that means someday it could be used to daisy chain MacMinis together, I think it might but I don't know if they'd still need a switch to manage the traffic. It sounded to me like that's what the poster was asking, and I directed him to the nearest current, comparable resource, Apple's page on grid computing.

SpinThis!
Jun 20, 2011, 05:43 PM
It's a space hog because of the need to kill heat, I think. Can't wait to see how the revision turns out, assuming rumors are true. Once the drives go SS and optical bites it, these machines will be half their current size, easily.
Mac Pros are heavy, they might be able to shave a bit off it but I don't think Apple would want to make it too much smaller. Pros need 4 HD slots. And contrary to what Apple says, optical isn't dead yet. It's going to be a few years yet before SSDs are the capacity required by working pros. Unless Apple wants to completely abandon the pro market (a new version of FCP tells me they don't), the Mac Pro will likely stay pretty close to where it's at.

If they could make it so it would approximate say, the size of a U3 or U4 server it would help ease the pain of the xServe being discontinued.
Who rackmounts a Mac Pro? Seriously, whoever made the decision to axe the XServe at Apple obviously has never worked in a datacenter or anywhere else that necessitates the use of racks. If you run an office big enough to warrant a rack (and racks by themselves are $$) you're not going to dedicate space to a Mac Pro. What about maintenance or upgrades? I've upgraded my Mac Pro a few times, trust me it's not fun to lug that beast around.

netkas
Jun 20, 2011, 05:52 PM
Custom cpu - most likely apple will be first to get sandy-bridge-E, in its server version (with cpu interconnect). That's all.

ActionableMango
Jun 20, 2011, 05:52 PM
I love the MacPro case design, but, owning one, I can see how they could easily compress everything even further. It's a space hog because of the need to kill heat, I think.

If you don't count the arms and legs, it's a reasonable size for a PC with 4 slots (one double), four HDD bays, 2 optical bays, and the convenience of tool-less slide-out sleds and trays.

Eidorian
Jun 20, 2011, 06:02 PM
That could be, but I don't know of any multi-socket Xeon-E3 boards? If they exist, then I could see that.
Anything based on LGA 1155 completely lacks QPI. You are not going to get multiple sockets from that.

AidenShaw
Jun 20, 2011, 06:05 PM
Right, ThunderBolt itself is not, but it could facilitate networking, and in fact could transfer any data that currently traverses PCI Express.

Of course, by putting a NIC on the TBolt PCIe expansions chassis - you could do networking.


I think in theory it could remove the need for port differentiation entirely.

On the host perhaps, but you'll still need a TBolt to network chassis on each host, and a network switch.

And, check prices - most 10 GbE NICs cost more than a MiniMac (and that doesn't include the cha-ching of the TBolt to 10GbE dongle), and the switches to connect them cost as much per port as a MiniMac.


I'm not sure if that means someday it could be used to daisy chain MacMinis together

Six of them....


I think it might but I don't know if they'd still need a switch to manage the traffic. It sounded to me like that's what the poster was asking, and I directed him to the nearest current, comparable resource, Apple's page on grid computing.

If you want more than 6 or 7 systems, yes you'd need a switch. And it would be a Fibre Channel of 10GbE/1GbE switch - not a TBolt switch.
___________

Why would anyone want to build a cluster of Apple's slowest and least reliable systems? Look into the history of why the first iteration of the XServe cluster at Virginia Tech was a failure (hint - the second iteration using XServes with ECC memory was usable).

nunes013
Jun 20, 2011, 06:08 PM
So is it the entire Mac Pro line that will be mountable or just the server iteration.

from the article i think just the server iteration. however if they designed it in a way where it could look like a computer tower but then you could add or take away a part to make it rack mountable, that would be pretty cool.

MattInOz
Jun 20, 2011, 06:21 PM
Right, ThunderBolt itself is not, but it could facilitate networking, and in fact could transfer any data that currently traverses PCI Express. I think in theory it could remove the need for port differentiation entirely.

I'm not sure if that means someday it could be used to daisy chain MacMinis together, I think it might but I don't know if they'd still need a switch to manage the traffic. It sounded to me like that's what the poster was asking, and I directed him to the nearest current, comparable resource, Apple's page on grid computing.

In which case instead of Daisy Chaining wouldn't a star typology work better like standard Ethernet?
If it needs a PCIe based networking chip at one end of the cable to make it happen why not move all those chips into one box wire them up to talk to each other with as much bandwidth as possible and call it a Thunderbolt Hub?

If your talking about having a whole bunch of mini's in a cluster then your going to have some sort of hub anyway.

zephonic
Jun 20, 2011, 06:44 PM
Bespoke CPU's for the MacPro?

Maybe Intel has managed to sell them on the Itanium platform! :D



I'd love to see a rack-mountable MacPro as much as I'll be sorry to see the current model retire.

jicon
Jun 20, 2011, 06:54 PM
On the TimeMachine/Airport side, I'm going with the 'not touching this with a 10 foot pole' route, given the trouble introduced with cutting power corners on the first mac mini.
-GPU underpowered, meaning DVI output issues.

Given the HDD issues on the first batches of TimeMachines after 18 months, I'm expecting much of the same given a new unit dissipating less heat... aka less power, but I guess we'll see. Maybe they'll do it right this time.

seek3r
Jun 20, 2011, 07:00 PM
Do you mean in order to network them or to have them share a processing load? I think fiber networks may still be better for grid computing: http://www.apple.com/science/hardware/gridcomputing.html.

Depends on what you're doing. While *thunderbolt* is not the ideal medium for building a cluster by itself, it does allow 10GigE connections on the mini, and hell, there are plenty of clusters currently in use (including at least 3 300+ core clusters at my Uni off the top of my head, and several at the Natl Lab I interned at last summer :p) that still use 1GigE for their interconnect (for apps that aren't heavily network intensive, particularly if you're using local scratch on the nodes, it isn't necessarily a problem).

That said, for the average user simply "thunderbolting"your mini's together aint gonna get you anything (just as Xgrid with 1Gig now), you need Apps built on a framework like MPI and workloads that are heavily parallelizable in order to take advantage of building even a small cluster!

kiljoy616
Jun 20, 2011, 07:00 PM
If true dam 6 antennas should make it a great wifi setup for big homes. :)

Over all Apple is coming out with some sweet hardware with software that is going to rock.

justinfreid
Jun 20, 2011, 07:01 PM
Of course, by putting a NIC on the TBolt PCIe expansions chassis - you could do networking.




On the host perhaps, but you'll still need a TBolt to network chassis on each host, and a network switch.

And, check prices - most 10 GbE NICs cost more than a MiniMac (and that doesn't include the cha-ching of the TBolt to 10GbE dongle), and the switches to connect them cost as much per port as a MiniMac.




Six of them....




If you want more than 6 or 7 systems, yes you'd need a switch. And it would be a Fibre Channel of 10GbE/1GbE switch - not a TBolt switch.
___________

Why would anyone want to build a cluster of Apple's slowest and least reliable systems? Look into the history of why the first iteration of the XServe cluster at Virginia Tech was a failure (hint - the second iteration using XServes with ECC memory was usable).

Ha, I wouldn't. Thanks for the answer.

Joe The Dragon
Jun 20, 2011, 07:10 PM
Would this mean the new Mac minis are going to be graphically less powerful? If so, wonder if it would mean a cheaper entry price...

they can still add a nvidia or ati video chip to it.

heisetax
Jun 20, 2011, 07:23 PM
I love the MacPro case design, but, owning one, I can see how they could easily compress everything even further. It's a space hog because of the need to kill heat, I think. Can't wait to see how the revision turns out, assuming rumors are true. Once the drives go SS and optical bites it, these machines will be half their current size, easily.

The Intel Mac Pro is great the way it is. It has room for 8 memory slots, 2 optical drive slots because some people need more than your entry level seems to need, then SSDs will have to become 10 times bigger while at the same time cost 10% of the current price to be able to handle the storage needs of many. My son has his G5 Power Macs & Intel Mac Pro hooked up to 4 internal rives & 5 to 10 external drives. And he is a single person shop. I'm running 2 - 2 TB & 2 1.5 TB drives internally in my Intel Mac Pro & have a 4 drive eSata arrangement with 4 1.5 TB drives mounted on sleds. I can exchange those out for some 1 TB & other sized drives or to hold the internal 1.5 TB drives when they get replaced by 3 TB drives before the year is over.

SSD drives for the system & programs, but can you afford to store 10, 20, 50, 100 or more TBs with SSDs. But as files get bigger more storage is needed.

All of these things need space. Currently I am using 3 slots to take care of my 5 displays. With a new Intel Mac Pro with ThunderBolt & a couple great ATI video cards that number will go down to 2. But there is always need for other PCIe cards. Maybe not for you, but for some. Currently that is an eSata card. ThunderBolt may take care of some of this other card needs, but not for everyone.

I was really thinking that the current Intel Mac Pro case is very nice. I just wish that it had padded handles as 50+ pounds is a little heavy to handle when it needs to be moved. This could be for a trip to the Apple store for one reason or another.

wizard
Jun 20, 2011, 07:36 PM
Would this mean the new Mac minis are going to be graphically less powerful?For 2D they might actually be a bit faster, for 3D they will be slower, especially when using advanced features. Worst is that Intel doesn't support OpenCL. If so, wonder if it would mean a cheaper entry price...

Possibly. It is all about pricing from Intel. The big unknown here is how much the TB bridge costs. Also the type of Intel processor makes a difference, they come in a wide array of power profiles.

Dave

OmegaRed1723
Jun 20, 2011, 07:38 PM
Honestly, I'm most excited about the prospect of an Airport Extreme with 6 antennae. My home is structured such that hard-wiring a specific area is not possible, so I have to use two current-gen AEBS units. And while the 2.4GHz band can breach the gap, the speedier 5GHz band cannot. I could really use the extra bandwidth afforded by the 5GHz band for high bitrate media streaming, and double the antennae of the current model might make that possible.

marksandvig
Jun 20, 2011, 07:38 PM
G6's?

;):D;)

wizard
Jun 20, 2011, 07:46 PM
I never understood what are the benefits of MacPro being smaller:confused:

For example you can put a larger number in anyone area. More compact units can correctly be placed in a EIA rack. Such a Pro could actually sit upon a desktop if needed. Correctly designed the unit can run cooler for a given amount of fan effort. Components are getting smaller everyday so advancing performance does not dictate a big box. Tighter motherboards run faster.

Dave

vendettabass
Jun 20, 2011, 08:02 PM
I think with the iPad and iPhones cutting the cord, an iOS powered Time Capsule could be big....think of it: Time Capsule being able to host you music and movies locally (on wifi) and serve to the apple tv.

this is all I really want!

BornAgainMac
Jun 20, 2011, 08:05 PM
ARM Mac Pro? About time!

Mac Pro with two ARMs. PowerMac A5.

heisetax
Jun 20, 2011, 08:18 PM
if you are not giving up other stuff, isn't everything better with smaller size? :)

no

Corbin052198
Jun 20, 2011, 08:25 PM
I find it very hard to believe that Apple will switch to a new CPU after only about 6 years on one processor. Unless it has some kind of backwards compatible mode.

1984-1994 (10 years): Motorola 68k Chips
1994-2005 (9 years): PowerPC Chips
2006-Now (5 years so far): Intel Chips

My guess is that Apple will stay on the x86 architecture for a while. Maybe until 2014 or 2015, if past changes mean anything. :D

Keebler
Jun 20, 2011, 08:25 PM
So, perhaps it's better to wait not this for this speculated version of the Mac Pro but rather the one due out sometime in 2012 instead?

i think that depends on if you use it for business and can profit from it. Any new MP will be worth it imho. I can't see them not putting out something that will surpass the current MP lineup benchmarks. Or maybe they'll drop the price and add thunderbolt etc...

I know i'm tempted - last one I bought was 09 and I need processing power.

Time will tell...

chrmjenkins
Jun 20, 2011, 08:55 PM
I find it very hard to believe that Apple will switch to a new CPU after only about 6 years on one processor. Unless it has some kind of backwards compatible mode.

1984-1994 (10 years): Motorola 68k Chips
1994-2005 (9 years): PowerPC Chips
2006-Now (5 years so far): Intel Chips

My guess is that Apple will stay on the x86 architecture for a while. Maybe until 2014 or 2015, if past changes mean anything. :D

They've been on the same ISA for the past six years and nothing about this rumor suggests that is changing.

heisetax
Jun 20, 2011, 09:00 PM
Why? Other than a Mac Pro I can't think of a current Mac that would run a little cooler or hold better equipment if it wasn't just a little thicker or wider or taller.

Almost any Mac could/would benefit from being larger. I have a 17" Intel MacBook Pro & 17" PPC PowerBook that require me to carry a full sized keyboard to have a numeric keypad. So my 6 1/2 pound laptop is now upt to 71/2 - 8 pounds. With the Apple BlueTooth keyboards now not having a numeric keypad included means that even if the space was made available Steve Jobs would not allow a numeric keypad to be included. HP can fit a numeric keypad into a 15" laptop & Apple can not do it even with a 17". Throw those speakers away or remove the optical drive or some other thing.

I'm glad that I don't like to use the track pad on my Mac laptops. Having to carry a separate keyboard puts the track pad in an odd location most of the time. This then has me carry my Kensington trackball a a couple of pounds to cover that misplaced trackpad. I'm up to 9 - 10 pounds at the lightest. That little bit that is saved on making the Mac laptop smaller & prettier makes my Mac laptop weigh in at many pounds more than we usually talk about a laptop weighing. That also means that my computer bag must be bigger. Oh how I like these smaller prettier Macs. Just don't do that to my Intel Mac Pro. Having the cables out of sight there makes things look prettier but hard to work on. Please no smaller. Larger is better in this case.

cmaier
Jun 20, 2011, 09:02 PM
I find it very hard to believe that Apple will switch to a new CPU after only about 6 years on one processor. Unless it has some kind of backwards compatible mode.

1984-1994 (10 years): Motorola 68k Chips
1994-2005 (9 years): PowerPC Chips
2006-Now (5 years so far): Intel Chips

My guess is that Apple will stay on the x86 architecture for a while. Maybe until 2014 or 2015, if past changes mean anything. :D

No one has suggested otherwise. A custom chip does not imply a new architecture.

dolphin842
Jun 20, 2011, 09:04 PM
They might just enable the PCIe 3.0 support on Xeon-E3. I will be surprised if anything based on the X79 platform shows up. Maybe it will be an early stepping of Xeon E5.

Anything based on LGA 1155 completely lacks QPI. You are not going to get multiple sockets from that.

Is QPI a prerequisite for having more than one socket? I thought it had more to do with getting quicker access to memory.

Perhaps the customizations just involve adding more PCIe lanes & dual socket support to future 1155 parts? From what you say though doing that doesn't sound easy... so it's likely I'm completely off base :p.

heisetax
Jun 20, 2011, 09:05 PM
The new Mac Pro's are promising to be fast. I wonder just how fast they are going to be.

The new iMacs are very fast and they're supposed to be a few notches below a Mac Pro.

Not a Mac Pro buyer myself but I'm interested to see what comes out of such a long refresh cycle.

If Apple waits the normal refresh cycle there will not be a new Intel Mac Pro untilthe end of this year or the early part of next year. I'm not sure they ever did a real upgrade in under 12 months.

AidenShaw
Jun 20, 2011, 09:12 PM
Custom CPUs could mean the end of Hackintoshes. If Apple gets custom CPUs with custom instructions - they could make it virtually impossible to run Apple OSX on affordable, configurable hardware.

It's not about adding options, it's about locking things down.

Minimoose 360
Jun 20, 2011, 09:36 PM
Rookie move in my opinion. It's not a step toward independence, it's a step away.

InuNacho
Jun 20, 2011, 09:47 PM
New 2011 Mac Pros mean cheaper refurb 2010s, woohoo!

localoid
Jun 20, 2011, 09:50 PM
Custom CPUs could mean the end of Hackintoshes. If Apple gets custom CPUs with custom instructions - they could make it virtually impossible to run Apple OSX on affordable, configurable hardware.

It's not about adding options, it's about locking things down.

Perhaps, but for that to work Apple would have to drop support for existing Macs that use standard, off the shelf Intel CPUs.

Given the small number of successful Hackintosh installs, I doubt Apple is that worried about them. Look at extremely small Psystar's sales figures, for example. What was it? A few hundred sold?

A good many people might be interested in going the Hackintosh route. Some of them might actually try. Some will succeed, but become frustrated with being unable to deal with updates, etc. A few will run them successfully. I really don't see it being something the masses will ever be able to easily master, and thus the number will likely never be huge.

BJMRamage
Jun 20, 2011, 09:53 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Waiting and wanting an Airport Extreme or possibly a time capsule-though they are a higher jump in price than I'd wish.

That AWBS and TC rumor is nice.

Umbongo
Jun 20, 2011, 09:59 PM
Is QPI a prerequisite for having more than one socket? I thought it had more to do with getting quicker access to memory.

QPI connects CPUs to I/O Hubs. So only one link is needed on a single CPU system.

MattInOz
Jun 20, 2011, 11:08 PM
QPI connects CPUs to I/O Hubs. So only one link is needed on a single CPU system.

Is that still going to be the case with Sandy Bridge Xeon's?
In the current MacPros the I/O Hub connect by the QPI is little more than a PCIe hub. So they need 2x QPI for a dual machine in the current configuration.

With the Sandy Bridge Xeons this CPUs direct links to PCIe, DMI & FDI instead of going via QPI to connect to these buses. In that case it would seem that QPI will only be used for CPU to CPU connections. So instead of needing 2x QPI for a dual CPU machine wouldn't these only need 1x QPI for a Dual and 2x for a Quad?

Which would go some way to explain why the E3 Xeons don't have QPI, being single processor they don't need it.

Seeing MacPro's tend to be pre-announced by about a month, Apple have been know to get early access for High end stuff like this and we aren't likely to see a 4CPU Mac Pro, I'd be honestly shocked if this "Custom" was anything other Early E5's.

Now a A5 in there as well could be interesting with super low power it could be used for LOM and maybe a low power mode that supported Time machine like function. Allow network access to files without troubling power expensive Xeons.

ekwipt
Jun 20, 2011, 11:19 PM
Maybe we'll see a mid level MacPro with Thunderbolt

Z68 Core i7 2600K Motherboard with Graphics Card thunderbolt and SSD would blow away most MacPros currently on offer.

Could be called the Mac Mini Pro. FCPX, Logic and Aperture users would eat these up, pair it up with external thunderbolt hard drives and a Mac 24" Screen and you would have some serious power.

There's not much need for MacPros as it is now anyway.

I'd use these as offline edit stations and keep Superduper MacPros for the online guys

MacinDoc
Jun 20, 2011, 11:23 PM
Custom CPUs could mean the end of Hackintoshes. If Apple gets custom CPUs with custom instructions - they could make it virtually impossible to run Apple OSX on affordable, configurable hardware.

It's not about adding options, it's about locking things down.
No way Apple will pay what would be a large premium for a relatively small quantity of custom chips. As others have said, Apple will just be getting the first offerings of chips soon to be released in quantity but available exclusively to Apple during the ramp-up period.

mdgm
Jun 20, 2011, 11:42 PM
New 2011 Mac Pros mean cheaper refurb 2010s, woohoo!

Sounds good. But the discount from current refurb prices would have to be pretty steep for me to be interested.

CFreymarc
Jun 21, 2011, 01:29 AM
You mean the Intel 8i that doesn't exist let alone in production.

8i is a new chip from IBM

Two words "Knights Corner" -- cha ching!

zephonic
Jun 21, 2011, 02:03 AM
Two words "Knights Corner" -- cha ching!

You mean this?

http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/intel-unveils-knights-corner-50-core-server-chip-2010061/

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/6/20/intel-larrabee-take-two-knights-corner-in-20122c-exascale-in-2018.aspx

Maybe, but that's big leap. Not impossible, but it seems a little far-fetched.

CFreymarc
Jun 21, 2011, 02:56 AM
You mean this?

http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/intel-unveils-knights-corner-50-core-server-chip-2010061/

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/6/20/intel-larrabee-take-two-knights-corner-in-20122c-exascale-in-2018.aspx

Maybe, but that's big leap. Not impossible, but it seems a little far-fetched.

Apple is far from being reasonable.

iBug2
Jun 21, 2011, 03:17 AM
no

Give me a "for instance"?

iBug2
Jun 21, 2011, 03:18 AM
Why? Other than a Mac Pro I can't think of a current Mac that would run a little cooler or hold better equipment if it wasn't just a little thicker or wider or taller.

Didn't I say "if you are not giving up other stuff"?

thedarkhorse
Jun 21, 2011, 03:22 AM
Some of these replies are silly, custom cpu doesn't mean an architecture change like from powerPC to intel x86. It doesn't mean the end of hackintoshes, most all hackintoshes are made using cpu models that have never been released in a mac anyways. It's likely just a variant of the next sandy bridge xeon that apple will get access to before anyone else.

Nostromo
Jun 21, 2011, 03:29 AM
What could the custom part in this processor be?

iBug2
Jun 21, 2011, 04:06 AM
Some of these replies are silly, custom cpu doesn't mean an architecture change like from powerPC to intel x86. It doesn't mean the end of hackintoshes, most all hackintoshes are made using cpu models that have never been released in a mac anyways. It's likely just a variant of the next sandy bridge xeon that apple will get access to before anyone else.

That's the point. Since hackintoshes can be made using CPU's that are generic, Apple may want to build custom CPU, which would make it impossible for them to build hackintoshes with, and make OS X somehow support only these custom CPU's.

vladi
Jun 21, 2011, 04:14 AM
That's the point. Since hackintoshes can be made using CPU's that are generic, Apple may want to build custom CPU, which would make it impossible for them to build hackintoshes with, and make OS X somehow support only these custom CPU's.

I don't thinks so. That would mean that none of us will be able to upgrade to Lion or any future update unless we buy a new hardware. Highly unlikely unless they develop special version of Lion for Mac Pro which is again highly unlikely.

zephonic
Jun 21, 2011, 04:33 AM
I don't think Apple loses sleep over private citizens building clones. As long as nobody does it commercially.

macmodder
Jun 21, 2011, 04:49 AM
I'm not sure about this - I don't see Apple commissioning a custom chip for their (probably - feel free to correct me) lowest volume product. I could imagine it being a 'timed exclusive', e.g. getting the sandy bridge server class chips 6 months early, but not entirely custom chips.

iBug2
Jun 21, 2011, 05:05 AM
I don't thinks so. That would mean that none of us will be able to upgrade to Lion or any future update unless we buy a new hardware. Highly unlikely unless they develop special version of Lion for Mac Pro which is again highly unlikely.

No that doesn't mean that at all. Obviously Apple would prepare its software for it ahead of time. The CPU's used in current Apple hardware are generic as well.

Hattig
Jun 21, 2011, 05:54 AM
With regards to the Mac Pro - most likely it is just early access to the server variant of Sandy Bridge.

However they may also include a service processor, and they might choose to utilise an A4 or A5 for this role. However this service processor is used for management of the server, not as the server itself.

I'm glad the Mac Mini is getting an update to Sandy Bridge, but saddened that means having to use Sandy Bridge's low-end integrated graphics which can't do OpenCL. I really hoped that Apple would find a way to squeeze in a discrete GPU after all these years, even if they used one of AMD's embedded GPUs with on-package memory - for example http://www.amd.com/us/products/embedded/graphics-processors/Pages/radeon-e6760-discrete-gpu.aspx
It seems that putting in ThunderBolt - a port many users will never use - trumped using the motherboard space for graphics.

I also wonder if I'd prefer a quad-core Llano with integrated Radeon graphics over a dual-core Sandy Bridge with Intel HD3000 graphics, despite the lower per-core performance. I truly hope it doesn't use HD2000 graphics.

madcamp
Jun 21, 2011, 06:26 AM
does anybody knows if there will be a hardware update for macbook white?

Lone Deranger
Jun 21, 2011, 06:52 AM
Timed-exclusive makes a lot of sense, but I can tell you we make "custom chips" in the fab I work in all the time. Rarely are they are truly custom, specifically manufactured for a customer in very limited production numbers. Usually they are a chip thats already in production and one or more layers of that chip differ from the standard production run. It is very common to change one implant layer or use a different reticle on a photo layer. Technically that makes it a custom chip, but doesn't alter the overall chip design or cost to the buyer.

So in layman's terms, how does it differ from the standard production run? Anything noticeable to the end user? In other words, what would be the reason for a customer to order a run of "custom chips"?

MacsRgr8
Jun 21, 2011, 07:40 AM
does anybody knows if there will be a hardware update for macbook white?

>> MacBook Air...
(maybe a white MacBook Air could be called the new MacBook)

toddybody
Jun 21, 2011, 08:05 AM
Another step toward independence.

Wow. I hope state of delusion is pleasant to live in.

bmwhd
Jun 21, 2011, 08:40 AM
What could the custom part in this processor be?

Intel has done some custom work for Apple in the onboard cache. That's it.

lesreaper2009
Jun 21, 2011, 09:58 AM
Mac Pros are heavy, they might be able to shave a bit off it but I don't think Apple would want to make it too much smaller. Pros need 4 HD slots. And contrary to what Apple says, optical isn't dead yet. It's going to be a few years yet before SSDs are the capacity required by working pros. Unless Apple wants to completely abandon the pro market (a new version of FCP tells me they don't), the Mac Pro will likely stay pretty close to where it's at..

Finally somebody who gets it! I can't stand all this "optical is dead" nonsense. Maybe for your house it is but, uh, hello, as a professional I still deal EVERY DAY with DVD's and Blue-Ray. No way Apple gets rid of this for a few years, even if it's an option on a custom build.

milo
Jun 21, 2011, 11:53 AM
This isn't going to make any difference to hackintoshes, the OS still needs to support xeon and i7 to support existing chips - having a "custom" cpu (which in this case would either be the upcoming one a bit early or just a cpu with some tiny tweaks made) would make no difference at all.

Ecc ram is not overkill for a workstation, but for a regular desktop then yes.

But the Mac pro is a workstation.

The cheapest model sure isn't, it's silly to declare a machine that's outperformed by a cheaper iMac a "workstation", even beat by the top laptops in some cases. I'd sure as hell take better performance (and lower) without EEC.

And yes, EEC is overkill for many uses that people are doing with "workstation" machines.

Who rackmounts a Mac Pro?

I totally would and know plenty of others who would too. Audio and video pros in particular, either in a stationary rack or in a road case for portability.

The Intel Mac Pro is great the way it is. It has room for 8 memory slots...

But only in the higher end model. And 4/8 ram slots were a boneheaded move for a system that supports triple channel memory. They really should have been doing the max slots in both machines if they were serious about the whole MP line, but if they really wanted to differentiate on number of ram slots they should have gone 6/9 instead of 4/8.

jonnysods
Jun 21, 2011, 02:20 PM
Turn it into a big iPad. Put a 30" screen on the side of the machine and use it that way. Nobody uses Macs anymore*, right guys?

*I use Macs.

I owned an MP once and loved it. It's a shame it doesn't get more love, lower prices and a case redesign.

mzgorbystyle
Jun 21, 2011, 02:35 PM
I'm looking at buying a new mac mini which I'll be using for both normal computing at home and some amateur video editing with FCP. From what I've read here the CPU will run quicker, but the graphics will take a hit. Is this something I would notice significantly while editing? I'm just trying to determine if the faster CPU in the new model outweighs the superior graphics in the current model. Care to weigh in?

Additionally, from what I can tell the new Thunderbolt ports should make editing quicker via firewire, which sounds like yet another benefit one would notice when editing. Thoughts? Lastly, I like the current price point and wouldn't want to pay much more for the new model...any guesses on the price of the new release? Trying to decide whether to wait the 2 months or not.

Thanks.

Umbongo
Jun 21, 2011, 02:40 PM
The cheapest model sure isn't, it's silly to declare a machine that's outperformed by a cheaper iMac a "workstation", even beat by the top laptops in some cases. I'd sure as hell take better performance (and lower) without EEC

It isn't silly at all. A workstation doesn't cease to become one just because technology moves forwards and a consumer system now outperforms it. It isn't Apple's fault Intel switched from enterprise processors and chipsets coming first to last on release of a new architecture.

SpinThis!
Jun 21, 2011, 03:10 PM
I'm looking at buying a new mac mini which I'll be using for both normal computing at home and some amateur video editing with FCP. From what I've read here the CPU will run quicker, but the graphics will take a hit. Is this something I would notice significantly while editing? I'm just trying to determine if the faster CPU in the new model outweighs the superior graphics in the current model. Care to weigh in?
FCP will use the CPU more than the GPU.

If I were in your position, though, I'd spend a few dollars more and just get an iMac since they're all quad core and come with better graphics and a faster overall experience. Even the 7200 rpm hard drive in the iMac is going to make a big difference in editing and overall snappiness of the system, compared to the 5200 rpm drive stock in the Mini.

dolphin842
Jun 21, 2011, 04:30 PM
I'm looking at buying a new mac mini which I'll be using for both normal computing at home and some amateur video editing with FCP. From what I've read here the CPU will run quicker, but the graphics will take a hit. Is this something I would notice significantly while editing? I'm just trying to determine if the faster CPU in the new model outweighs the superior graphics in the current model. Care to weigh in?

Additionally, from what I can tell the new Thunderbolt ports should make editing quicker via firewire, which sounds like yet another benefit one would notice when editing. Thoughts? Lastly, I like the current price point and wouldn't want to pay much more for the new model...any guesses on the price of the new release? Trying to decide whether to wait the 2 months or not.

With the Intel graphics, you would be running the absolute minimum GPU supported by the new Final Cut. Compared to the current Mini, Sandy Bridge means your exports and background rendering get done a lot faster, but the actual editing process may be clunkier and support fewer real-time effects. I'd say, on balance, the new Mini will be better overall, but as SpinThis mentions, if you plan on editing regularly, it's worth upgrading to an iMac if possible.

As for Thunderbolt, it won't make existing Firewire drives run any faster... you'd have to get drives (or enclosures) that support Thunderbolt directly.

justinfreid
Jun 21, 2011, 05:17 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

I feel like I'm proselytizing, but check out http://osx86scene.com to make one for yourself. Check my signature to see what I run.

blue22
Jun 21, 2011, 05:49 PM
So, perhaps it's better to wait not this for this speculated version of the Mac Pro but rather the one due out sometime in 2012 instead?
You're speculating about not waiting for this speculated version instead of the one (speculated to be) due in 2012? Hopefully you don't need a computer soon :-)


Personally, no, I don't need a new computer anytime soon, thus I can easily speculate over the current speculated speculations. ;)




i think that depends on if you use it for business and can profit from it. Any new MP will be worth it imho. I can't see them not putting out something that will surpass the current MP lineup benchmarks. Or maybe they'll drop the price and add thunderbolt etc...

I know i'm tempted - last one I bought was 09 and I need processing power.

Time will tell...

If it's purely for business purposes, I understand the need to keep hardware up to date. Also, if it's your personal machine that's running long in the tooth (3+ years) that's understandable as well to want to upgrade. Either way of it you're right in that we'll ultimately have to wait and see; but from the current crop of rumors swirling around any new Mac Pro released by Q4 2011 doesn't seem like much to get excited about on paper so far; but I do hope we're all pleasantly surprised in the end!

Eidorian
Jun 21, 2011, 09:18 PM
Is QPI a prerequisite for having more than one socket? I thought it had more to do with getting quicker access to memory.QPI and the integrated memory controller are two independent things. QPI is used to connect to other processors and/or the IOH/PCH.


Perhaps the customizations just involve adding more PCIe lanes & dual socket support to future 1155 parts? From what you say though doing that doesn't sound easy... so it's likely I'm completely off base :p.You might see 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes. (16 GPU + 4 DMI) That might require a custom PCH though. Otherwise you are waiting for Sandy Bridge-E on X79 and whatever derivative ends up for server/workstations.

seek3r
Jun 22, 2011, 03:38 PM
This isn't going to make any difference to hackintoshes, the OS still needs to support xeon and i7 to support existing chips - having a "custom" cpu (which in this case would either be the upcoming one a bit early or just a cpu with some tiny tweaks made) would make no difference at all.



The cheapest model sure isn't, it's silly to declare a machine that's outperformed by a cheaper iMac a "workstation", even beat by the top laptops in some cases. I'd sure as hell take better performance (and lower) without EEC.

And yes, EEC is overkill for many uses that people are doing with "workstation" machines.


Workstations aren't always about pure grunt, they're almost as much about reliability and expansion, which is how the low end MP still qualifies.


I totally would and know plenty of others who would too. Audio and video pros in particular, either in a stationary rack or in a road case for portability.



Unfortunately you guys weren't the market for xserves, and unless they make some major changes to the MP other than just rack rails they won't be doing anything for *that* market. Currently it works nicely under my desk and awful in the datacenter, and not just for density reasons. Dual power supplies, LOM/IPMI, hot-swap drives.... the list goes on.


But only in the higher end model. And 4/8 ram slots were a boneheaded move for a system that supports triple channel memory. They really should have been doing the max slots in both machines if they were serious about the whole MP line, but if they really wanted to differentiate on number of ram slots they should have gone 6/9 instead of 4/8.

As to the bonehead move, the reason it's not a big deal on the 8 slot model at least is because the speed hit of not using tripchannel is far lower than the speed boost of the extra ram in those 7th and 8th slots if you're using workloads that need it. I agree 6/9/12 would be better, but it's not a huge performance problem.

dolphin842
Jun 22, 2011, 07:17 PM
QPI and the integrated memory controller are two independent things. QPI is used to connect to other processors and/or the IOH/PCH.

You might see 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes. (16 GPU + 4 DMI) That might require a custom PCH though. Otherwise you are waiting for Sandy Bridge-E on X79 and whatever derivative ends up for server/workstations.

Cool... thanks for the clarification Eidorian, as per usual :cool:.

I wouldn't mind a smaller (cheaper) Mac Pro that just uses a regular Z68 board, but then again, wouldn't we all :rolleyes:.

Eidorian
Jun 22, 2011, 07:41 PM
Cool... thanks for the clarification Eidorian, as per usual :cool:.

I wouldn't mind a smaller (cheaper) Mac Pro that just uses a regular Z68 board, but then again, wouldn't we all :rolleyes:.Z68 does open a few possibilities and more so with ThunderBolt. The logicboard itself can have Mini-DP connectors that can pipe out the discrete GPU's output as well. Though you are going to look at only supporting a handful of models on such a platform.

Edit: It looks like the PCIe SIG (http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/display/20110622172409_PCI_Express_Group_Proposes_External_PCIe_Cable_Standard.html) wants to jump on the wagon as well with external PCIe. PCIe 3.0 is the starting point for bandwidth.

dolphin842
Jun 22, 2011, 09:25 PM
Z68 does open a few possibilities and more so with ThunderBolt. The logicboard itself can have Mini-DP connectors that can pipe out the discrete GPU's output as well. Though you are going to look at only supporting a handful of models on such a platform.

At this point I'm not too picky. All I want is a Mac with an i5-2500 and discrete gpu that I can hook up to my matte display :p

LeandrodaFL
Jun 29, 2011, 04:20 PM
When first introduced, MacMini was 500, and it should return to that. For 700, why not get an Imac? However I do own a MacMini...mostly becasue I hate the current iMac design.

Just out of curiosity, regarding shipping boxes, MacMini is small and light, and Imac is larger and heavier (pretend you didnt know that). As a result, in Brasil, MacMini is US$ 1100,00 and Imac is US$ 2300,00, more than twice as much. Both prices are for the entry level machines. Its ridiculous how computers are expensive in Brasil.

techblast
Jul 9, 2011, 06:33 PM
Well, I guess I woke out of hibernation 6 months to a year too soon! My 2006 2 x 3 GHz Dual Core Xeon's which have served me well will need to hold down the fort until SATA III 6Gb/s drives and USB 3.0 is supported. Would be nice to have Thunderbolt for future use, but that is not as needed as faster hard drives and I/O.

Sad, because I had just ordered and then cancelled a new Mac Pro dual 2.40GHz machine. I was ready to hit the send key at OWC to add nearly $2500 in additional hardware to help optimize the slower Hard Drive bus and lack of USB 3.0 and then I caught myself and said Woooooa Cow Polk, put the smokiní 6 gun away and come back another day.

When I finally realized all the work arounds being bandied about to make the I/O and hard drives go faster to match the great CPU devices, I simply did not want a FrankenMac. It seems Mac enthusiasts are way out in front of Apple, which is odd, seeing the mountain of cash and resources this company possesses. I'll wait until the machine has the upgrades needed to pull better performances from the new Intel processors.

Glad I caught myself. Apple is behind on upgrading the Mac Pro in my opinion and needs to get this system upgraded before PC's start to introduce the next generation of technology and make Apple look silly. I looked really close at the iMac, but no way, not for me. I need to have access to the inner workings of my computer and do feel it rather unnecessary to have to send a complete computer to the repair depot for a faulty hard drive.

Hope to hear the good news from Apple soon.

Long time Apple user and good thing about Apple, is you can afford to wait.

Until then.......:)

SilianRail
Jul 9, 2011, 06:40 PM
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Intel HD Graphics 3000 on a desktop computer in 2011. Incredible.

AidenShaw
Jul 9, 2011, 06:43 PM
Intel HD Graphics 3000 on a desktop computer in 2011. Incredible.

Almost all of the under $400 computers have Intel HD graphics (although most of them have a PCIe x16 slot if you want something better).

twoodcc
Jul 9, 2011, 10:36 PM
i really hope all of these are updated this week

JohnDonovan
Jul 9, 2011, 10:54 PM
Who rackmounts a Mac Pro?

I can imagine that would be useful for lots of people using the Pro for it's power but still have to lug it around. Being able to fit it into off the peg rack cases would be cheaper than custom flight cases I've seen guys use. Location ProTools rigs etc...

thekev
Oct 15, 2011, 05:57 PM
Sad, because I had just ordered and then cancelled a new Mac Pro dual 2.40GHz machine. I was ready to hit the send key at OWC to add nearly $2500 in additional hardware to help optimize the slower Hard Drive bus and lack of USB 3.0 and then I caught myself and said Woooooa Cow Polk, put the smokiní 6 gun away and come back another day.


This has been a significant issue. For $3500+ wouldn't you expect a fully usable/up to date machine right out of the box? Thunderbolt will be excellent for storage enclosures if we can see more solutions built around it. I guess that comes down to how well it does on the PC end starting next year. Usb3 is a big deal considering the length of time each usb standard has persisted. It should also receive PCIe 3.0. I just think this is the worst possible time to buy a new machine unless you need it today.

Dr.Pants
Oct 17, 2011, 12:05 PM
I wonder if "special" CPUs mean CPUs without a heatspreader already seen in the dual-processor Mac Pros.