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MacRumors
Dec 27, 2006, 11:40 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

IDG News (http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/12/20/core2quad/index.php) reported earlier this month that Intel will be launching the Core 2 Quad chip for high-end desktop PCs during the CES expo which takes place Jan 8 - 11, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Intel will launch the Core 2 Quad chip for high-end desktop PCs during the CES trade show in Las Vegas the week of Jan. 8, industry sources said.

The newest Quad processor chip from Intel follows the Quad-core Xeon 5300 and Quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700 launched in November. Unlike the other processors, the "Core 2 Quad" is expected to be aimed at mainstream users.

While there are no known plans for Apple to use the Core 2 Quad, there have been some rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/10/20061025231946.shtml) that Apple may use the Quad-core Xeon 5300 for a future 8-Core Mac Pro.



p0intblank
Dec 27, 2006, 11:42 AM
Whew, so many cores to handle! :D I can't wait to see where this goes.

MacSA
Dec 27, 2006, 11:42 AM
How many other manufacturers offer quad core chips already?

Peace
Dec 27, 2006, 11:50 AM
According to MacWorld,Intel is one of the many companies introducing a new product at this years MWSF.
http://www.macworldexpo.com/live/20/exhibitors///CC743005

evilgEEk
Dec 27, 2006, 11:50 AM
Can this even be utilized by your average consumers?

virus1
Dec 27, 2006, 11:54 AM
you mean intel core 2 quado?

xJulianx
Dec 27, 2006, 11:55 AM
Can this even be utilized by your average consumers?

Thats what I was wondering, all of these new processors are given the ability to be potentially faster (example, 64bit compatible), but is the average consumer actually going to be making use of these new chips anytime soon?

gwangung
Dec 27, 2006, 11:56 AM
Thats what I was wondering, all of these new processors are given the ability to be potentially faster (example, 64bit compatible), but is the average consumer actually going to be making use of these new chips anytime soon?

Whenever software writers figure out how to soak up all that extra horsepower.

puckhead193
Dec 27, 2006, 11:58 AM
what are the chances of this being put in an imac?

gnasher729
Dec 27, 2006, 11:59 AM
Can this even be utilized by your average consumers?

1. Four cores are not utilised by the average consumer, but not all consumers are average.

2. More importantly, this is missing the point. Apple is already shipping systems with four cores. These systems have two dual core processors, and two processors cost money. If a single four core processor is cheaper than two dual core processors, then Apple can use them to either make more profit or to sell cheaper MacPros or both.

Antares
Dec 27, 2006, 11:59 AM
Since these are Core 2, could they possibly be pin-compatible with Core Duo slots? Please say yes. I would love to be able to upgrade my iMac...eventually. :o

gnasher729
Dec 27, 2006, 12:00 PM
Thats what I was wondering, all of these new processors are given the ability to be potentially faster (example, 64bit compatible), but is the average consumer actually going to be making use of these new chips anytime soon?

Just install Handbrake and become one of those average consumers who which they had four cores in their Mac.

phillipjfry
Dec 27, 2006, 12:02 PM
According to MacWorld,Intel is one of the many companies introducing a new product at this years MWSF.
http://www.macworldexpo.com/live/20/exhibitors///CC743005

After link jumping I saw at http://www.macworldexpo.com/live/20/events/20SFO07A/SN617818
that microsoft will be one of the hosts for party. Just kinda weird to me is all :rolleyes:

Also clicking on the Microsoft icon on the page took me to
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/
First thing in the page shows office 2004 for mac to be 25% off.
Maybe they are tryin to get as much money as possible from 2004 before a possible announcement of office 2007 for mac *crosses fingers*
I know so little of the mac world (and its inclusion of M$ products in it) so I could just as well be babbling about nonsense :)

mainstreetmark
Dec 27, 2006, 12:03 PM
You'll need a 30" screen just to have enough space for MenuMeters to do all the CPU graphs.

kalisphoenix
Dec 27, 2006, 12:05 PM
Just install Handbrake and become one of those average consumers who which they had four cores in their Mac.

Quoted for truth. With Macs increasingly doing video legwork for the average consumer, these cores can't be added too quickly. H.264 requires a lot of horsepower.

evilgEEk
Dec 27, 2006, 12:05 PM
1. Four cores are not utilised by the average consumer, but not all consumers are average.

The article says that unlike the other processors, the C2Q is expected to be aimed at mainstream users. I take mainstream to mean more along the lines of the iMac users, not Mac Pro users. But that's just my take on it.

2. More importantly, this is missing the point. Apple is already shipping systems with four cores. These systems have two dual core processors, and two processors cost money. If a single four core processor is cheaper than two dual core processors, then Apple can use them to either make more profit or to sell cheaper MacPros or both.

Definitely agree with you there. If Apple is able to drop prices a little then that's a good thing. :)

mudger
Dec 27, 2006, 12:06 PM
so does this mean its time to sell my newly acquired 20 iMac C2D already?

weldon
Dec 27, 2006, 12:18 PM
This would be a great platform to build a prosumer machine for those of us that want more expansion than the iMac, without the price tag of the Mac Pro. Something with a 16x PCIe slot, 3.5" drive bays and 4GB+ RAM.

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 12:18 PM
Yeah... w00t, I guess... Now I can boot Safari 2x faster, dropping the load time from 2 seconds to 1 second. I will save so much time. MWSF pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease. *rolls eyes*

Until software is coded for this, multicores are irrelevant! Still, if you're looking for a long-term computer, (i.e. 5+ years) this sort of processor would be a good investment. However, with the accellerated turn-around that people around here seem to go through, I'd say wait. Why buy a quad-core (or octo-core) when the software won't catch up by the time you're ready to replace it?

If your software is coded for it, it's your job, whatever, you have my blessing. Buy the damn thing. If not, you're being robbed. Stop falling for this marketing scheme that only amounts to a single-digit percent speed increase.

-Clive

MrCrowbar
Dec 27, 2006, 12:20 PM
Just install Handbrake and become one of those average consumers who which they had four cores in their Mac.

Wouldn't make it faster on my Macbook (2GHz Core Duo 1st gen), the bottleneck is the superdrive. It's a whole lot faster when I'm ripping the DVD image from hard drive. But it still saves time ripping the DVD directly, and I still have lots of spare CPU power.

But it's true that encoding video is really CPU-intensive. I encode a lot of 2 minute videos from my camera (Canon Powershot 530 or something) because they are not compressed when recorded (8 minutes fill up th 1GB card). I use quicktime to make a 3000 kbps H2.64 movie out of it and replace the files in the iPhoto library. That's about the only time I really wish I had a little more horsepower. It just takes awfully long if you want the high quality stuff.

I doubt games make good use of dual processors at all, the high end gaming computers only have 1 CPU with 2 cores. Maybe because XP pro does not support more than 2 processors and 4 Gigs of RAM?

PS: Can you still buy Processors with "just" one core?

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 12:26 PM
This would be a great platform to build a prosumer machine for those of us that want more expansion than the iMac, without the price tag of the Mac Pro. Something with a 16x PCIe slot, 3.5" drive bays and 4GB+ RAM.

Every time the gap between the iMac and the MacPro widens, Apple shoves a pricier iMac inbetween. It's their excuse not to introduce a new model which will inevitably canibalize part of the MacPro sales and a significant portion of iMac sales. Apple doesn't want either of these things to happen because selling MacPros and iMacs mean premium prices for hardware and a built-in display, respectively. They know that if there's a mid-range tower, that cost-cautious prosumers will buy it and, very likely, turn around and buy a third-party display. Apple makes less on cheaper hardware than the MacPro, and nothing on an iMac display.

Both of these mean less $$ for Apple.

-Clive

Rocketman
Dec 27, 2006, 12:27 PM
Does anyone have links to original material on what associated chipsets might go with this new C2Q? Or if they really are pin compatible with existing boards?

There was a long winded thread here on "8-Core Mac Pro with Clovertown..."

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=245836

The bottom line is the multi-core benefits, but minimal speed benefits, could be immediately realized in an existing MacPro by swapping out the chips (and doing some physical damage in the process), but that the new chipsets expected in 3-07 would be needed to get full value from them, thus requiring a new motherboard design.

Anything from Intel themselves that could shed light on these issues?

Rocketman

gloss
Dec 27, 2006, 12:32 PM
They're pin-compatible. People have been dropping quad core Xeons into Mac Pros for a while now. There's no reason they shouldn't be able to do the same with C2D and C2Qs.

edit: yay for my not adding anything to the conversation.

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 12:35 PM
PS: Can you still buy Processors with "just" one core?

From AMD: Yes (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103624), and they still compete with their dual-core cousins.
From Intel: Yes (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819117058), but they don't compare to their multi-core offerings. Most of the options are Celeron D and Pentium 4 which are complete crap when compared to the Core lineup. Xeon is still somewhat decent, though.

-Clive

Willis
Dec 27, 2006, 12:36 PM
Ha, thats interesting how CES is the same as Macworld (yes I know it was mentioned this Jan, but I forgot)

Also worth noting is that Intel will have their little announcements on the 8th of Jan and Jobs keynote is on the 9th.

:rolleyes:

EDIT: Even though there is nothing posted that says Intel will announce on the 8th of Jan, its still worth mentioning seeing as Macworld starts on the 8th but the keynote is on the 9th.

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 12:38 PM
They're pin-compatible. People have been dropping quad core Xeons into Mac Pros for a while now. There's no reason they shouldn't be able to do the same with C2D and C2Qs.

edit: yay for my not adding anything to the conversation.

Just to note, "pin-compatible" doesn't always imply compatible. There are occasionally differences in power requirements and such that prevent the chips from working properly.

-Clive

Spanky Deluxe
Dec 27, 2006, 12:43 PM
Before you all get your hopes up too much I just thought I'd point up that this is a processor for high end desktop pcs. The iMacs are technically made up of laptop components and use laptop processors which have a different pin configuration. We're going to have to wait for Core 2 Quad laptop processors before we see any quad cored iMacs, I'm afraid. :)

Willis
Dec 27, 2006, 12:53 PM
Before you all get your hopes up too much I just thought I'd point up that this is a processor for high end desktop pcs. The iMacs are technically made up of laptop components and use laptop processors which have a different pin configuration. We're going to have to wait for Core 2 Quad laptop processors before we see any quad cored iMacs, I'm afraid. :)

Also known as Penryn (http://guides.macrumors.com/Penryn)

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 12:55 PM
Before you all get your hopes up too much I just thought I'd point up that this is a processor for high end desktop pcs. The iMacs are technically made up of laptop components and use laptop processors which have a different pin configuration. We're going to have to wait for Core 2 Quad laptop processors before we see any quad cored iMacs, I'm afraid. :)

Ah... so would this chip be pin-compatible with Conroe and not Merom?

-Clive

gloss
Dec 27, 2006, 12:57 PM
Just to note, "pin-compatible" doesn't always imply compatible. There are occasionally differences in power requirements and such that prevent the chips from working properly.

-Clive

Noted. I haven't really read the review in much detail, but I believe Anandtech did a successful drop-in and didn't run into any major issues.

Regardless, I would be completely surprised if Apple DIDN'T introduce an 8-core Mac Pro at MWSF.

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 01:01 PM
Regardless, I would be completely surprised if Apple DIDN'T introduce an 8-core Mac Pro at MWSF.

At least as an option, yes. I don't think they'll sacrifice the entire line for the grossly expensive chips. They may drop the price of lower-performing MacPros and further plug up the hole between them and the iMac.

-Clive

emaja
Dec 27, 2006, 01:09 PM
I am always amazed that someone, somewhere always rates a story with a faster CPU for less money to be a negative.

boombashi
Dec 27, 2006, 01:10 PM
I can't wait to buy my 16 core MacPro in 2008! An 8 core MacPro sounds very sexy too; stupid financial priorities. My MBP will have to get me through :)

Spanky Deluxe
Dec 27, 2006, 01:17 PM
I am always amazed that someone, somewhere always rates a story with a faster CPU for less money to be a negative.

Is it really that surprising? This processor doesn't appear to be destined for any Mac. The iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook and MacBook Pro platforms all use Intel's mobile variants of the Core processors while the Mac Pro and Xserve platforms use Intel's workstation variants. The desktop variants have traditionally remained unused and I don't see this changing any time soon. People rate positive or negative for many different reasons, some people vote negative if they don't like the news, some people vote negative if they don't believe its true and some people vote negative if they think it doesn't bear any relation to Apple and Apple's hardware.

gloss
Dec 27, 2006, 01:19 PM
At least as an option, yes. I don't think they'll sacrifice the entire line for the grossly expensive chips. They may drop the price of lower-performing MacPros and further plug up the hole between them and the iMac.

-Clive

Grossly expensive? From what I read at AppleInsider the price of the incoming 2.33 Quad processor is the same that Apple was paying for the 2.33 Duo processor last year - essentially, they could replace the whole line with Quad Core chips and keep the same price points.

I could be mistaken.

twoodcc
Dec 27, 2006, 01:27 PM
Whew, so many cores to handle! :D I can't wait to see where this goes.


i second that

Macula
Dec 27, 2006, 01:27 PM
A more interesting question pertains to the timing and coordination of these breakthrough events that are slated for 2007:

- Introduction of Leopard
- Santa Rosa chipset (including NAND memory for booting and prefetching)
- Utilization of Penryn processor (laptop Core 2 Quad) in the iMac line.

My feeling is that Apple would prefer to accompany Leopard with a strong iMac spec bump. Especially in case Leopard supports NAND for booting or prefetching, it would be essential to have at least one Mac model available immediately to demonstrate that feature. Which means that we should expect to see Santa Rosa-based iMacs in late spring (with slightly faster Core 2 Duos), with Penryn arriving no earlier than September 2007.

MrCrowbar
Dec 27, 2006, 01:31 PM
Grossly expensive? From what I read at AppleInsider the price of the incoming 2.33 Quad processor is the same that Apple was paying for the 2.33 Duo processor last year - essentially, they could replace the whole line with Quad Core chips and keep the same price points.

I could be mistaken.

Hehe, Moore's law strikes again. It shall be noted that the clock speed is the same tho, but now you get 4 processors for the price of 2. I wish hard drives, RAM and removable media would evolve as fast. DVDs (even dual/double layer) barely have any space for backups or any kind of libraries on them, blueray might, but by the time those get main stream, they'll be outdated already. Technology sucks...

Spanky Deluxe
Dec 27, 2006, 01:33 PM
A more interesting question pertains to the timing and coordination of these breakthrough events that are slated for 2007:

- Introduction of Leopard
- Santa Rosa chipset (including NAND memory for booting and prefetching)
- Utilization of Penryn processor (laptop Core 2 Quad) in the iMac line.

My feeling is that Apple would prefer to accompany Leopard with a strong iMac spec bump. Especially in case Leopard supports NAND for booting or prefetching, it would be essential to have at least one Mac model available immediately to demonstrate that feature. Which means that we should expect to see Santa Rosa-based iMacs in late spring (with slightly faster Core 2 Duos), with Penryn arriving no earlier than September 2007.

That's a good assessment. Intel haven't precisely specified when Penryn's due yet, have they? Its a shame they're not releasing the mobile and desktop variants at the same time like they did the Core 2 Duo, that was a wonderful bit of timing for Apple.

Macula
Dec 27, 2006, 01:46 PM
Intel haven't precisely specified when Penryn's due yet, have they?

According to the press, at least, it should be coming out in Q4 2007.

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 01:52 PM
Grossly expensive? From what I read at AppleInsider the price of the incoming 2.33 Quad processor is the same that Apple was paying for the 2.33 Duo processor last year - essentially, they could replace the whole line with Quad Core chips and keep the same price points.

I could be mistaken.

Okay, I should have clarified:

2 dual core chips >= 1 quad core chip

however,

2 dual core chips << 2 quad core chips

If Apple were to replace, chip for chip, all dual cores with quad cores, the price for processors used in the MacPro would nearly double.

If you're talking about replacing 2 dual cores for one quad core, then the price should decrease.

-Clive

AppliedVisual
Dec 27, 2006, 01:55 PM
what are the chances of this being put in an imac?

Yes - gimme 30" iMac w/C2Q, up to 8GB RAM and nVidia 8900GTX 512MB video, DL BluRay burner, dual HDD bays and a DVI-DL *input* so it can be used as a 30" display by another system as well as a stand-alone computer.

I would so buy that tomorrow and probably twice.

FW800 and eSATA would be nice too, while I'm dreaming... I bet they could even fit a PCI-E expansion slot in there too.

gloss
Dec 27, 2006, 01:55 PM
Okay, I should have clarified:

2 dual core chips >= 1 quad core chip

however,

2 dual core chips << 2 quad core chips

If Apple were to replace, chip for chip, all dual cores with quad cores, the price for processors used in the MacPro would nearly double.

If you're talking about replacing 2 dual cores for one quad core, then the price should decrease.

-Clive

Sorry, I was wrong. The quad cores are more expensive clock-to-clock. But not quite twice as expensive.

From AppleInsider:

Like the 2.33GHz Xeon E5345 and the 2.66GHz Xeon E5355 introduced last month, the latest member of the Clovertown family features 8MB of L2 cache and operates on a 1333MHz front-side bus -- making it drop-in compatible with Apple's existing Mac Pro professional desktop architecture.

Despite its slower clock speed, the 2.0GHz E5335 offers one striking advantage over its swifter cousins; it will cost only $690 per chip in lots of 1000, compared to the $851 for the 2.33GHz model and a whopping $1172 for the 2.66GHz variant.

The $690 price point is identical to that of Intel's previous generation 2.66GHz dual-core Xeon "Woodcrest" chip, which Apple elected to use for the standard $2499 configuration of its Mac Pro workstations that began shipping just a few months ago.

That would mean that Apple could put together an 8-core 2.0ghz setup for the same price as a 4-core 2.66 setup, unless I'm misreading it.

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 01:56 PM
Hehe, Moore's law strikes again. It shall be noted that the clock speed is the same tho, but now you get 4 processors for the price of 2. I wish hard drives, RAM and removable media would evolve as fast. DVDs (even dual/double layer) barely have any space for backups or any kind of libraries on them, blueray might, but by the time those get main stream, they'll be outdated already. Technology sucks...

To put things into perspective for you, my company still backs up data on 200 GB tapes. It's the most cost effective solution for them... and would be for a lot of backup solutions... the only con is that it's slower than all hell, winding through 200 GB to get to a certain spot in the tape. That's why they only use it for backup. ;)

-Clive

Willis
Dec 27, 2006, 02:02 PM
According to the press, at least, it should be coming out in Q4 2007.

I've read Q2 2007 and its on target.

AppliedVisual
Dec 27, 2006, 02:07 PM
To put things into perspective for you, my company still backs up data on 200 GB tapes. It's the most cost effective solution for them... and would be for a lot of backup solutions... the only con is that it's slower than all hell, winding through 200 GB to get to a certain spot in the tape. That's why they only use it for backup. ;)

...Same here. Tape is the only real way to do massive data archives. I wish it weren't so, but it is. We have a fairly large SAN and have an evolving "live" backup built out of RAID storage. Then tape archives are made at regular intervals of that live backup for archival. It's pretty transparent other than the need to swap tapes, but the system tells us when to do it, usually twice a week and takes a few minutes.

By the time BluRay gets here with all 12 of its theoretical layers (they've only shown 4 layers in lab demos), it still will not have caught up to tape in capacity. ...Really sucks. I hate tape, but I have to love it because it's the only way. Hard drives aren't designed for long-term shelf storage and optical media degrades over time just as magnetic media does, often worse. And it has nowhere near the capacity. Tape systems are expensive to buy into in many cases, but they pay off over time. So, if you don't need tape or if running the numbers it looks too expensive (which means you don't need tape), then consider yourself lucky. For the rest of us and all those poor SOB's at companies much larger than mine, I pity you.

I will say that having the SAN with live backups on RAID is awesome though. This is the way many datacenters have gone lately. It's very reliable and I haven't had to pull anything from a tape in nearly 2 years since setting it up. The tape archives are just there for the extra fall-back cushion and that we can keep them off-site in case of flood, fire, or general human stupidity trashing our localized data.

Rocketman
Dec 27, 2006, 02:18 PM
Hehe, Moore's law strikes again. It shall be noted that the clock speed is the same tho, but now you get 4 processors for the price of 2. I wish hard drives, RAM and removable media would evolve as fast. DVDs (even dual/double layer) barely have any space for backups or any kind of libraries on them, blueray might, but by the time those get main stream, they'll be outdated already. Technology sucks...

I do believe Moore's law has met its demise. Simple physics results in processor speeds and capacities being limited by nanometer mask limits and power blow-thru limits. Hence the move to multi-core as a temporary workaround until we get "beyond silicon".

The benefits of multi-core are real even to so-called normal users. Have you bothered to look at the system preference pane showing tasks? Dozens of them. If you have 4+ cores (8, 16, 32?) it spreads them. ONE program even has many tasks. This is the world we live in now.

Some "tasks" require a lot of CPU time. Helps to have a spare laying around. Yes it still takes time. But so does dying!

Computers are a tool to do tasks. The evolution of the tasks themselves are more impressive than the evolution of the hardware, which is itself quite impressive.

In the minutia we have Robson, Santa Rosa, C2Q, and quite notably,

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4205068.html?do=print

PRAM

:)

Rocketman

Hello? Anyone there? Anyone?

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 02:43 PM
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4205068.html?do=print

PRAM

:)

I take it that "PRAM" is different from the "P-RAM" that we're all used to (or at least those of us who used the Classic OS)? If not, it's sad that it's taken this long to catch on.

-Clive

BenRoethig
Dec 27, 2006, 02:55 PM
what are the chances of this being put in an imac?

None at all. The iMac uses the mobile platform.

Swarmlord
Dec 27, 2006, 03:03 PM
Whenever software writers figure out how to soak up all that extra horsepower.

It would be nice if they'd just figure out how to spawn their process in a single thread rather than hogging the entire cpu when they perform a background task like checking for the need for updates. (Symantec, you listening?)

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 03:10 PM
None at all. The iMac uses the mobile platform.

I wouldn't say "none at all." It would take a Mo-Board redesign (since I think the desktop and laptop variants are not pin-compatible) and major airflow redesign as you can be sure that these babies produce more heat than the Core 2 Duos.

I would give it a "Very Slim."

-Clive

AppliedVisual
Dec 27, 2006, 03:31 PM
I wouldn't say "none at all." It would take a Mo-Board redesign (since I think the desktop and laptop variants are not pin-compatible) and major airflow redesign as you can be sure that these babies produce more heat than the Core 2 Duos.

I would give it a "Very Slim."

-Clive

I agree, but think it's possible for the 24" and potentially larger (30"???) future products. I don't know if it would make a whole lot of sense though... But I do think Apple needs an offering between the iMac and the Mac Pro in the form of a smaller mini tower or cube style system. Even though the price doesn't reflect much of a gap, there is a huge gap in performance and configurability between the iMac and Mac Pro lines that is begging to be filled.

QCassidy352
Dec 27, 2006, 03:35 PM
Wouldn't make it faster on my Macbook (2GHz Core Duo 1st gen), the bottleneck is the superdrive.

huh? I've been ripping a DVD on my macbook (see sig) with handbrake for the past 3 hours and it's not done (H.264, 1100 bitrate, 2-pass encoding). both cores have been at 100% use the entire time, so I'm pretty sure more horsepower would make a significant difference.

a456
Dec 27, 2006, 03:38 PM
Looks like Core 2 Quad PCs are already on sale in the UK. Advent PCs, which I think are PC World's own brand and usually the cheap option have a three thousand pound model with this processor in, 2 x 400GB hard drive and 2 X 512MB Graphics Cards: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/editorial/intel-quad-core?camp_id=ppc_google_2_core_quad

If I thought there was any possibility that Vista would put all this to good use it would be make me very excited, but unfortunately it has the same flaw as every other PC and we all know what that is.

mark88
Dec 27, 2006, 03:42 PM
The fact that there are no plans for this chip in any Apple computer merely proves that there is a huge gaping whole in Apple's product line-up.

They really need an upgradable machine with no integrated display to sit between the iMac and Mac Pro.

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 03:43 PM
I agree, but think it's possible for the 24" and potentially larger (30"???) future products. I don't know if it would make a whole lot of sense though... But I do think Apple needs an offering between the iMac and the Mac Pro in the form of a smaller mini tower or cube style system. Even though the price doesn't reflect much of a gap, there is a huge gap in performance and configurability between the iMac and Mac Pro lines that is begging to be filled.

I would love to agree with you, and I'd buy that system in a heartbeat, but I don't think it's in the cards. Why? Because every time the gap between the iMac and the MacPro widens, Apple shoves a pricier iMac inbetween (your speculated 30", maybe). It's their excuse not to introduce a new model which will inevitably canibalize part of the MacPro sales and a significant portion of iMac sales. Apple doesn't want either of these things to happen because selling MacPros and iMacs mean premium prices for hardware and a built-in display, respectively. They know that if there's a mid-range tower, that cost-cautious prosumers will buy it and, very likely, turn around and buy a third-party display. Apple makes less on cheaper hardware than the MacPro, or nothing on the lack of an iMac display.

Both of these mean less $$ for Apple.

-Clive

Clive At Five
Dec 27, 2006, 03:45 PM
If I thought there was any possibility that Vista would put all this to good use it would be make me very excited, but unfortunately it has the same flaw as every other PC and we all know what that is.

Does it start with "W" and end with "indows," perhaps?

-Clive

weldon
Dec 27, 2006, 03:54 PM
It's their excuse not to introduce a new model which will inevitably canibalize part of the MacPro sales and a significant portion of iMac sales. Apple doesn't want either of these things to happen because selling MacPros and iMacs mean premium prices for hardware and a built-in display, respectively.
Both of these mean less $$ for Apple.
I understand what you are saying, but Apple could make such a product, hold their margins where they want, and fill a need that will allow more people to switch and thus grow their overall revenue without sacrificing anything. I think the only argument against a mini-tower Mac that holds water is that it would be more expensive to support than the iMac as people mess around with video cards and replacing their own drives and such. Still, they do this with the Mac Pro, so they should know the cost.

Rod Rod
Dec 27, 2006, 05:19 PM
I do believe Moore's law has met its demise. Simple physics results in processor speeds and capacities being limited by nanometer mask limits and power blow-thru limits.

Moore's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moores_Law) pertains to the number of transistors, not clockspeed.

edit: ok, you said capacities... but you said clockspeed too.

AidenShaw
Dec 27, 2006, 05:26 PM
How many other manufacturers offer quad core chips already?
I just received a Dell PW490 (two quad Xeon 5355s (2.66GHz)), and 6 PW 390s with C2 Extremes (quad 2.66GHz).

Dell has quite a few server and desktop models availabe with quad cores at the full range of speeds.

Same for HP and IBM. Most big vendors seem to be able to offer a quad-core option for the high end of their models with Core 2 or Xeon 5100 chips. Usually it's just a CPU upgrade option, not a special quad core model.

For example, the Dell PW490 has the options:

Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5060 3.20GHz, 2 X 2MB L2,1066 [add $130]
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5160 3.00GHz, 4MB L2,1333 [add $930]
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5150 2.66GHz, 4MB L2,1333 [add $520]
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5140 2.33GHz, 4MB L2,1333 [add $260]
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5130 2.00GHz, 4MB L2,1333 [add $130]
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5120 1.86GHz, 4MB L2,1066 [add $60]
Dual Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5110 1.60GHz, 4MB L2,1066 [Included in Price]
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5320 1.86GHz, 2 X 4MB L2,1066 [add $620]
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor X5355 2.66GHz, 2 X 4MB L2,1333 [add $1,290]
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5345 2.33GHz, 2 X 4MB L2,1333 [add $1,030]

My octo and quads were ordered on the 15th, and delivered yesterday and today. Less than two weeks for CTO, even with the holidays.

Rocketman
Dec 27, 2006, 06:53 PM
Moore's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moores_Law) pertains to the number of transistors, not clockspeed.

edit: ok, you said capacities... but you said clockspeed too.

I should have said "or", but my point was made.

Rocketman

Rocketman
Dec 27, 2006, 06:54 PM
Grossly expensive? From what I read at AppleInsider the price of the incoming 2.33 Quad processor is the same that Apple was paying for the 2.33 Duo processor last year - essentially, they could replace the whole line with Quad Core chips and keep the same price points.

I could be mistaken.

However, you would not be.

:)

Rocketman

aswitcher
Dec 27, 2006, 08:34 PM
So would a quad be a good choice for a Mac Mulitmedia centre, because it can use the cores to allow dual HD recording whilst conducting playback of a recorded image?

AidenShaw
Dec 27, 2006, 08:38 PM
So would a quad be a good choice for a Mac Mulitmedia centre, because it can use the cores to allow dual HD recording whilst conducting playback of a recorded image?

Yes.

weldon
Dec 27, 2006, 08:52 PM
So would a quad be a good choice for a Mac Mulitmedia centre, because it can use the cores to allow dual HD recording whilst conducting playback of a recorded image?
Depends. You don't really need a lot of hardware power to do HD recording because your only current option is to record ATSC broadcasts. In that case, you just need to keep up with the 19.2Mbps stream, which is fairly easy. The decoding (MPEG-2) is also pretty easy and can be done with a fairly cheap Broadcom chip. Where you need power is in doing transcoding from MPEG-2 to H.264 or something else, or decoding H.264, VC-1, etc. All the current HD DVR solutions rely on just sending the stream to disk and decoding the MPEG-2 from the stream just as it was sent. That doesn't take a lot of horsepower.

AidenShaw
Dec 27, 2006, 09:07 PM
The decoding (MPEG-2) is also pretty easy and can be done with a fairly cheap Broadcom chip.
A dedicated chip is "cheap"?

When was the last time you designed a mass-market consumer product? Adding dedicated hardware is usually a second choice if the CPU (which you need anyway) can do the job.

Look at Apple's recommendations for HD playback (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html) and tell me again that "it doesn't take a lot of horsepower". ;)

weldon
Dec 27, 2006, 09:23 PM
You missed what I said. You pointed to H.264 decoding requirements to refute my point about MPEG-2 decoding. Of course, I already said that H.264 is where you need more power. Try again.

If you want to record HD material, your only option right now (at the consumer level) is to record an ATSC stream to disk (or possibly QAM with CableCard). These streams contain MPEG-2. This is not hard.

Adding dedicated hardware is usually a second choice if the CPU (which you need anyway) can do the job.
This is not born out by observing what actually happens in the industry. Consumer electronics almost always use dedicated IC's rather than general purpose CPU's. Look at TiVo, Motorola DVR's, SA, etc. All these use low-power CPU's and dedicated IC's for decoding. Shoot, look at the iPod for goodness sakes.

As for cheap, the Broadcom BCM7411D can do everything you need and is used in the Toshiba HD-DVD player available at around $450. Certainly a lower price point than anything with a quad-core chip in it.

SeaFox
Dec 28, 2006, 02:55 AM
This is not born out by observing what actually happens in the industry. Consumer electronics almost always use dedicated IC's rather than general purpose CPU's. Look at TiVo, Motorola DVR's, SA, etc. All these use low-power CPU's and dedicated IC's for decoding. Shoot, look at the iPod for goodness sakes.

As for cheap, the Broadcom BCM7411D can do everything you need and is used in the Toshiba HD-DVD player available at around $450. Certainly a lower price point than anything with a quad-core chip in it.

I agree. Aiden's thought of a quad-core in a low-slung entertainment box sounds like a recipe for crispy transistors. I as a consumer would rather have smaller, dedicated MPG encoding hardware handling the steams instead of having all the processes sharing time on a central CPU (cue rebuttal that the quad-core can be split with different cores handling the tasks separately).

Erasmus
Dec 28, 2006, 03:35 AM
But the quad-core can be split with different cores handling the tasks separately!

(I just want to see this rebuttal) :cool:

Spanky Deluxe
Dec 28, 2006, 05:50 AM
But I do think Apple needs an offering between the iMac and the Mac Pro in the form of a smaller mini tower or cube style system.

*Not* *going* *to* *happen*, I'm afraid. People have been dreaming about this for ages but at the end of the day Apple feel that consumer machines are replaceable. When it gets old and slow you don't upgrade it, you get a new one. You might want a machine that you can upgrade yourself but from Apple's point of view you don't need that and if you really want upgradeability you'll get a Mac Pro. Apple will probably release a 30" iMac at *some* point but I don't envisage it happening for a good while yet (they only released the 24" one a few months ago). Maybe in a year or two and I'd expect only after there's been a larger display available separately for a year or so.
A mid ranged headless mac does not make good business sense in the slightest, the profit margins would be lower, it would take away sales from the Mac Pro and the iMac 24" and would require significant R&D costs towards using the Intel Core Desktop processors and platform for one model. The workstation/server platform is used by two high cost model lines, the mobile platform is used by 7 different packaged products. Using a whole new platform for one low profit unit which users will upgrade using third party upgrades is just bad business sense.

BenRoethig
Dec 28, 2006, 07:30 AM
I wouldn't say "none at all." It would take a Mo-Board redesign (since I think the desktop and laptop variants are not pin-compatible) and major airflow redesign as you can be sure that these babies produce more heat than the Core 2 Duos.

I would give it a "Very Slim."

-Clive

It would either have to become about 5 inches thick and loud as hell for the extra airflow or be something akin to the lamp shade iMac with a bigger base. If quad core CPU are coming to Mac consumers it will be a new product line.

MacsAttack
Dec 28, 2006, 08:46 AM
huh? I've been ripping a DVD on my macbook (see sig) with handbrake for the past 3 hours and it's not done (H.264, 1100 bitrate, 2-pass encoding). both cores have been at 100% use the entire time, so I'm pretty sure more horsepower would make a significant difference.

If you use MacTheRipper to rip the DVD onto the HD, and then Handbreak from there you get better performance in the long run. I was testing out my 3GHz Mac Pro by ripping and converting a season of Stargate (just a test to see how fast this machine was)... All you have to do is rip onto HD and set up a queue and let it churn away...

Good point was the Mac Pro remained fuly responsive so I could do other work on it at the same time. Bad point was that Handbreak looks like it only uses two cores effectivly.

Problem with adding exta cores is that all too few programs actually will use them. Thankfully I use other software that DOSE use all four cores, but for the average consumer I fear the software developers are still floundering around in the 20th century.

Hardware manufacturers need to keep pushing cooler less power hungry desktop hardware - not just slap a few more cores in there (which brings everything back up to being too hot and too power hungry). For servers the rules are a little different - but lower power consumption is still where they need to be going there as well.

AidenShaw
Dec 28, 2006, 09:48 AM
This is not born out by observing what actually happens in the industry. Consumer electronics almost always use dedicated IC's rather than general purpose CPU's. Look at TiVo, Motorola DVR's, SA, etc. All these use low-power CPU's and dedicated IC's for decoding. Shoot, look at the iPod for goodness sakes.
We are talking about a Mac here, not a Slingbox.

Those custom ASICs are not very flexible, and sometimes not even very good. (http://www.anandtech.com/multimedia/showdoc.aspx?i=2778&p=5) You're stuck forever with whatever algorithms and compromises went into the silicon. (If the ASIC doesn't provide the 320x168 pixel ratio for the new video iPod, you're stuck.)

One of the tasks of a media centre is real-time transcoding of video. You don't send a 1080p stream to a laptop on WiFi - you don't have the bandwidth and many laptops don't have the resolution.

The media extender component of Intel's Viiv platform includes transcoding support - one of the reasons why only multi-core systems carry the "Viiv" label.

For specific tasks, an ASIC is good. For a flexible home media centre - it's nice to have lots of CPU power for flexibility.

Multi-core (and Cell) are going to be seen in a lot of home theatre applications. ASICs in the iPods and portable players, of course.

weldon
Dec 28, 2006, 09:49 AM
A mid ranged headless mac does not make good business sense in the slightest, the profit margins would be lower, it would take away sales from the Mac Pro and the iMac 24" and would require significant R&D costs towards using the Intel Core Desktop processors and platform for one model.
I don't believe this. Why would it have lower profit margins? Couldn't they maintain the same margins as the Mac Pro, just with cheaper parts?

And how much R&D is really involved? They are using complete chipsets from Intel. Sure, they need a new case, but that can't be a huge problem, can it?

My argument is that a mini-tower would attract a new segment of the market that has stayed away from the Mac platform. You're going to get gamers (especially w/ Boot Camp) and the prosumer market looking for a fast, upgradeable box that doesn't have all the fancy features of the Mac Pro (two opticals, four quick-swap drive bays, etc.). I say it makes good business sense because such a product would grow the market for Apple and bring in new customers.

Of course, I don't get paid to run the required market studies or make such decisions for Apple, so they may disagree. :)

AidenShaw
Dec 28, 2006, 09:58 AM
Of course, I don't get paid to run the required market studies or make such decisions for Apple, so they may disagree. :)
They may disagree, or they might just be distracted by the task of trying to stay out of jail....

weldon
Dec 28, 2006, 10:02 AM
We are talking about a Mac here, not a Slingbox.
Uh, I thought we were talking about a media center box that could record two ATSC streams and play back a third, which is what the original post asked for. I only pointed out that you don't need much horsepower to do that.

I also ALREADY pointed out that you need more horsepower to do transcoding. Please stop trying to argue with me by setting up a point that I have already made and positioning it such that it appears to refute my other valid points.

I disagree that multi-core CPU's will make it into lots of consumer electronics (which is how you defined the market earlier). Sure, there will be high-end Home Theater PC's (Macs included), but most people will be happy playing HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and ATSC HD content that can be decoded quite well with an IC. Very few will be transcoding that content.

Quad-core CPU's will make it into lots of content CREATION applications where that power is desperately needed.

weldon
Dec 28, 2006, 10:13 AM
They may disagree, or they might just be distracted by the task of trying to stay out of jail....
Hehe. Maybe if they had spent less time trying to falsify documents, I would have that mini-tower Mac I want so badly...

talk about misspent energy. sheesh. As a shareholder, I'm angry about it. It's just greed, pure and simple.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to seeing these quad-core chips in action.

eric_n_dfw
Dec 28, 2006, 10:50 AM
Whenever multiple cores/cpus conversations come up here, people inevitably start complaining about app's that aren't coded to take advantage of them. I'm wondering what apps people are using now-a-days that are not multi-threaded / able to take advantage of multi-core's?

I use a Dual CPU G4 all of the time and I always see both CPU meters moving pretty much in sync. I know that multi-core is seen by the OS pretty much the same as multi-cpu so I would expect those of you with dual core chips to see similar results.

FWIW, the app's I use are fairly common: iMovie, iDVD, Final Cut Pro 4, Pages, Keynote, MS Office 2004

askthedust
Dec 28, 2006, 12:28 PM
Steve's keynote is on the second day (9th) and CES seems to run at the same time. Intel can announce and then Steve can announce....

SPUY767
Dec 28, 2006, 12:28 PM
If a single four core processor is cheaper than two dual core processors, then Apple can use them to either make more profit or to sell cheaper MacPros or both.

The Mac Pro isn't going to change architecture, it will merely become an 8 Core Machine. Apple dove into the XEON pool, and not without reason. They aren't going to get out now.

weldon
Dec 28, 2006, 12:38 PM
I'm wondering what apps people are using now-a-days that are not multi-threaded / able to take advantage of multi-core's?
Another consideration (especially with consumer machines) is that, even if you run apps that don't use multiple cores, your system will still feed more responsive if the background tasks and system UI can still get access to another core should some app try and hog CPU time when doing something intensive. Pros probably understand what's happening when you start a compile or rendering. Consumers will just appreciate that even when a certain task takes a while to complete, they can still get other stuff done.

AidenShaw
Dec 28, 2006, 02:07 PM
The Mac Pro isn't going to change architecture, it will merely become an 8 Core Machine. Apple dove into the XEON pool, and not without reason. They aren't going to get out now.

The multi-socket Xeons on the high end will continue to make sense, with various numbers of cores. Dell/HP/IBM/... sell quads (dual dual-core) and octos (dual quad-core) side-by-side. Before too long, there will be hex systems as well (dual octo-core).

Apple just needs to add a mini-tower/pizza-box to the lineup - the ProMac is simply too huge for many people.

The mini-tower would be single socket - so the ProMac would always have the capacity for twice as many cores.

The mini-tower would have some expandability - a real PCIe x16 graphics socket, a second bay for either a SATA hard drive or SATA optical drive, and one or two PCIe x4 option slots. (One slot would have the NTSC/ATSC tuner card for the Media Centre Edition.)

sachamun
Dec 28, 2006, 10:23 PM
Whew, so many cores to handle! :D I can't wait to see where this goes.

http://www.tulane.edu/~jhouston/scifi/robot/terminator.jpg

Josias
Jan 4, 2007, 01:41 PM
Before you all get your hopes up too much I just thought I'd point up that this is a processor for high end desktop pcs. The iMacs are technically made up of laptop components and use laptop processors which have a different pin configuration. We're going to have to wait for Core 2 Quad laptop processors before we see any quad cored iMacs, I'm afraid. :)

Not completely true.

CPU: Laptop (but used t desktop with the G5, and may very well happen again.
RAM: Laptop.
HDD: Desktop.
GPU: I don't know. Is it the X1600 Mobility?
Display: Desktop (I don't know of any 24" laptops:D )

The Mac Mini is built of laptop components, but the iMac is a desktop in it's best form, and I think it's very plausible with a C2Q in there.;)

BenRoethig
Jan 4, 2007, 04:36 PM
Not completely true.

CPU: Laptop (but used t desktop with the G5, and may very well happen again.
RAM: Laptop.
HDD: Desktop.
GPU: I don't know. Is it the X1600 Mobility?
Display: Desktop (I don't know of any 24" laptops:D )

The Mac Mini is built of laptop components, but the iMac is a desktop in it's best form, and I think it's very plausible with a C2Q in there.;)

There isn't a socket M C2Q and probably won't be for at least another year. Using desktop parts would lead to a machine much thicker and louder.

FleurDuMal
Jan 4, 2007, 05:02 PM
Not completely true.

CPU: Laptop (but used t desktop with the G5, and may very well happen again.
RAM: Laptop.
HDD: Desktop.
GPU: I don't know. Is it the X1600 Mobility?
Display: Desktop (I don't know of any 24" laptops:D )

The Mac Mini is built of laptop components, but the iMac is a desktop in it's best form, and I think it's very plausible with a C2Q in there.;)

I think the iMac GPU is mobile...but some really obscure mobile form that's impossible to find and is barely even made (apart from for iMacs).

It is very likely that I'm completely wrong on this though.

BenRoethig
Jan 4, 2007, 09:07 PM
I think the iMac GPU is mobile...but some really obscure mobile form that's impossible to find and is barely even made (apart from for iMacs).

It is very likely that I'm completely wrong on this though.

The x1600 used in the 17&20 inch models is a mobile part. The chips in the 24" model are desktop chips on a mobile mxm card.

Mac'Mo
Jan 5, 2007, 04:27 PM
ooo quad core, thats cool, rushing technology quickly

twoodcc
Jan 5, 2007, 06:06 PM
ooo quad core, thats cool, rushing technology quickly

yes it is

AidenShaw
Jan 5, 2007, 08:09 PM
http://news.com.com/Three+Intel+quad-cores+coming+Monday/2100-1006_3-6147614.html

Intel plans to launch three quad-core processors on Monday, covering two Xeons for lower-end servers and one mainstream model for desktop computers, sources familiar with the plan said.

As expected, the desktop chip is called the Core 2 Quad 6600 and will join the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 model Intel already ships. The new processor will run at 2.4GHz, and the front-side bus that links the chip to the rest of the system will run at 1066MHz, the company is expected to announce at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.

Also set to arrive are two low-end Xeons, the 2.13GHz 3210 and 2.4GHz 3220. Both are designed for single-socket servers. The chips have 8MB cache and a 1066MHz front-side bus.

....

BenRoethig
Jan 6, 2007, 06:21 AM
Of note, the Xeon 3000 line are desktop Core 2s with ECC support. The C2Q 6600 and Xeon 3220 are for all intents and purposes the same chip.

dogbait
Jan 15, 2007, 03:50 PM
Whew, so many cores to handle! I can't wait to see where this goes.http://www.tulane.edu/~jhouston/scifi/robot/terminator.jpg

AHHHH, that's funny! :D

I for one would love a more affordable 'Mac Pro', however Apple are right now seeing growing sales of their computers. I think that we'll have to wait till sales start to flatten before they introduce another product line.