Sandybridge Speculations...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JesterJJZ, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #1
    Is it too soon to start ranting about when SB will get here? :D
    I kinda miss all these threads where we bicker about the next MacPro.

    So...? Where does Sandybridge stand as of now? What are we looking forward to? Good chance we'll see it in the next major revision no?
     
  2. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #2
    Must be a triple rant sandybridge-usb3-lightp. Then it is okay.
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    #3
    Sandy Bridges suitable for Mac Pro (LGA 2011 Xeons) are scheduled for H2 2011 along with Intel X68 "Waimea Bay" chipset. The CPUs that are coming in early 2011 (likely in CES so 6-9th of Jan) are for mainstream market (Core iX) and are based on LGA 1155 socket and use Intel's "Cougar Point" chipset. It's unlikely that we will find those in Mac Pro since they are only dual or quad core and the chipset is very limited compared to X68.

    So, my guess is H2 2011 for next gen Mac Pro. SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 should be preset as X68 should support both of them. Possibly PCIe 3.0 as well.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #4
    Excellent overview!

    I'll just add that if the chips are available H2 then it's a fairly safe bet that we won't see them in MP's until the Fall of 2011 or later. So, my WAG guess is early 2012.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    #5
    Here's a hardware newbie question:

    Why care?


    Is there anything special apart from incremental speed increases and some kind of CPU-integrated graphics?

    I don't ask as a troll. Can anyone point me at an article on why these chips will be so much better than the current generation? The wikipedia article on Sandy Bridge was a bit above my level of understanding.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #6
    There will be no IGP in Xeons.

    They won't be significantly better than current chips are, possibly ~15% clock for clock (just a guess). One interesting feature is that 8-core chips for Mac Pro should come along with SB so we may see a 16-core, 32-thread behemoth.

    As I said above, there will be some nice updates in the chipsets, such as SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 (not all are confirmed).

    If you have to ask, you're probably fine with current gen. We just like to geek and speculate about the future :p
     
  7. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #7
    Actually, you got it half right. SATA 6Gb/s will be supported on 2 ports and the other 4 ports will still be SATA 3Gb/s.

    Also, PCIe 3.0 support is coming on all 40 PCIe lanes. This is a *very* good thing for motherboard vendors who like to add add-on extension chips (like extra USB 3.0 or maybe extra SATA 6Gb/s ports). *drools at 1GB/s per x1 lane*

    Also, USB 3.0 is not coming till late 2011/early 2012 because as always Intel takes their sweet little time to do it.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
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    #8
    I said it will get SATA 6Gb/s, not how many ports ;) That sounds likely though. Maybe (well, more like hopefully :p) more SATA ports in total, like 4+4 for example.

    Fudzilla begs to differ. Nothing has been confirmed by Intel, yet. They've been very quiet about the whole USB thing though Fudzilla provides decent reasons why.

    My guess is that at least X68 will get native support for USB 3.0
     
  9. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #9
    While not directly Mac Pro related, the LGA 1155 midrange and its mobile derivation are going to have more PCIe lanes for USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps.

    You won't have to worry about decreased high speed I/O performance like you did with the current P55/H55 generation.
     
  10. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #10
    How many lanes are LGA1155 chipsets getting? Last I read, it stayed at 20 lanes
     
  11. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #11
    20 PCIe 2.0 lanes with 16 being devoted to graphics.

    You'll have x4 2.0 to spare and DMI is getting bumped up to PCIe 2.0 as well so that's double the bandwidth there too. None of this PLX switching or low performance mode nonsense.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    #12
    I can't speculate for anyone else, but for me I would like to get the best spec'd computer I can, even if I have to wait a few months from now to get it. I plan on getting a 6 core processor and use it for the next 4 to 5 years. Paying 4500 plus w/ a 27 inch screen is quite a chunk of change for some people, and it would be nice to know you got something alittle faster/better than not waiting a few months and getting something alittle slower. Every year I see these new macbook pro's and macpro's and the little things add up. Sure it's alittle bump here, and specs go up alitte there, but in 1 or 2 years they do start adding up. Just my .02 cents.
     
  13. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #13
    That I recall LGA 1156, it was already at x20 lanes at PCIe 2.0 speeds, with x4 of those being devoted to the DMI. All manufacturers could do was use nVidia's NF chips to add more GPU capabilities to the motherboard. But still it was either a GPU at x16 or 2 GPUs at x8/x8.

    Oh, I forgot, some vendors add USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s to that further decreasing PCIe count or sacrificing speeds by using the ICH10R's PCIe 1.x lanes.
     
  14. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    The bandwidth is limited to 250MB/s per lane which is half of the "real" PCIe 2.0. Too lazy to search for something more official so I'll just use Wikipedia as my source.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_P55
     
  15. macrumors member

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    Wisco
    #15
    So, whats the holdup with LightPeak? When can we expect to see it on the market/in a Mac ?
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    Intel said that the parts should be available in late 2011 but computers with LP won't be seen before 2012. So, late 2011 at the earliest.
     
  17. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #17
    Holy crap, that's even worse than I thought. Here I was think P55 platform was already bandwidth starved, and here I am seeing that the case is even worse than expected.

    How in the world is Intel getting away calling x20 lanes @ PCIe 2.0 speeds when x8 of those are at PCIe 1.x speeds? Crazy.

    However, still, using full blown x20 PCIe at 500MB/s per x1 is still bandwidth starvation in that platform. maybe bless it with PCIe 3.0 speeds?
     
  18. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #18
    Which wasn't really an issue. 1156 mobos trucked along just fine with CF/SLI configs. Looking forward, we may have saturation issues. I've not looked at how much bandwidth the enthusiast cards are using lately.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #19
    Agreed, and maybe 15% is on the high side.

    Interesting read here about the power/performance limits cpu designers are facing now, especially with SB.
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    #20
    It's just a marketing scheme to get people buy the more expensive X58 or X68 chipset. Most consumers don't know the difference between chipsets. In fact, most of them have no idea what PCIe is :p

    Yeah, limited to 500MB/s :D
     
  21. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
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    CA
    #21
    Yeah, anandtech's preview only showed a 10% clock-for-clock. SB will turbo quite a bit higher, though.

    Our best hope for CPUs in the near term is graphene. Commercialization of that will spawn a revolution bigger in significance than SOI, strained silicon and high-k put together. Still a lot of hurdles, unfortunately. 1 atom thick substrates tend to be a bit hard to mass produce.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    #22
    Will we see Sandybridge in Mac Book Pros? What are the benefits of having those CPUs in MBPs?
     
  23. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #23
    Yes.

    They're faster.
     
  24. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #24
    MBPs use a mobile version of 1156 currently. So, X68 will have no effect on MBPs, only Mac Pros.


    And I wouldn't be surprised.
     
  25. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #25
    Sandy Bridge launch is LGA 1155 processors. X68 comes later. Apple should be able to do an update around April-ish like last time, provided they want to update then.

    I think the biggest question is whether or not 13" MBPs and MBs go straight to SB and keep a discrete GPU.
     

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