8-Core Mac Pro Details Emerging?

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Daily Tech claims to have received details for Intel's next major Core-based Xeon processor, code-named Clovertown. The processors will be in the Xeon 53xx family (current Mac Pros use Woodcrest cores that are in the Xeon 51xx family), and will be available in the following configurations:

Processor # / Clock (GHz) / Bus (MHz) / L2 Cache (MB) / Price (in 1,000 unit lots)
X5355 / 2.66 / 1333 / 8 / $1,172
E5345 / 2.33 / 1333 / 8 / $851
E5320 / 1.86 / 1066 / 8 / $690
E5310 / 1.60 / 1066 / 8 / $455

In the likely event Apple choses to use Clovertown Xeon core as the next Mac Pro CPU, educated speculation would indicate that Apple would elect to only use the X5355 and E5345, as they are the only models that support a 1333 MHz front side bus, which is what current Mac Pros use. In such a scenario, Apple may elect to keep a Woodcrest configuration at the bottom end for customizability (currently, Apple offers 3 chip speeds in the Mac Pro).

Of interest, the Xeon 53xx series will be using Intel's LGA771 socket, which is the same socket that today's Xeon 51xx series (aka Woodcrest). Therefore current Mac Pro users may be able to upgrade to 8-core machines upon availability of the new chips (expected later this quarter to PC manufacturers according to Daily Tech).

Also mentioned in the article were Intel's Tulsa (Xeon MP) processor and Core-based Kentsfield, aka Core 2 Quadro. Currently, the Tulsa (Xeon MP 71xx series) is highly unlikely to be introduced into a Mac due to its basis on the power-hungry Netburst architecture. Kentsfield/Core 2 Quadro is also unlikely to see an inclusion in any current models.
 

ezekielrage_99

macrumors 68040
Oct 12, 2005
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And the wait for 8 Core Mac Pros and Merom MacBook Pros/MaBook is on ;)

Waiting for speed bumps means no one buys a dang thing :cool:
 

Mr.Gadget

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2006
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Post Falls, ID
Exactly... Now I have to wait even longer to jump into the Mac foray... I'm holding on until these 8-ways come out... I hope it is soon!

I know there isn't much point as I won't need that horsepower, but the bang for buck is what keeps me holding on just a little longer. No way am I waiting until Christmas though! :)
 

relimw

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2004
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Is my 8-core MBP going to be announced tomorrow?!? It's a Tuesday after all!!!
Ok, now that that's out of the way...

Would the XServes not be the ideal choice to get Clovertown initially? I mean, we've already been through how few apps make really good use of all those cores, a server would make more sense.
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
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Did anyone listen to TWiT? Someone mentioned 80 cores. Clovertown, your days are numbered. ;)
 

ezekielrage_99

macrumors 68040
Oct 12, 2005
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Mr.Gadget said:
Exactly... Now I have to wait even longer to jump into the Mac foray... I'm holding on until these 8-ways come out... I hope it is soon!
But seriously how many cores does anyone REALLY need?

Still the more the merrier I say :cool:
 

relimw

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2004
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Ooo, maybe the reason for that long delay into October is because they're waiting for enough Clovertowns to become available.... That'd be a nice surprise.
 

mdntcallr

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2000
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well sounds like i need to chill out and not but the mac pro i was thinking of. perhaps i will wait till they are refreshed with this.

Hopefully the new mac pro's will also have a blu-ray drive option with HDMI HDTV option.

also, with new HDTV TV/Monitor with Speakers integrated Displays.
 

sisyphus

macrumors member
May 3, 2004
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Macrumors said:

Kentsfield/Core 2 Quadro is also unlikely to see an inclusion in any current models.
Which of course leads to the missing piece! :D

We can't just go from 2 Cores on the iMac to 8 Cores on the Mac Pro without a handy dandy 4 core prosumer model in the middle. ;)

(Somebody around here has to keep the "Mac" computer around in the rumor threads). :rolleyes:

I had thought Apple was going to release a Conroe based computer, but now seeing that Intel is releasing the Kentsfield as early as Late October/Early November it would make no sense. Apple would release the machine in September, be unable to meet demand then replace it less than 2 months later? Not very Appleish (ignore the November/January iMac occurence last year ;) ).

But now that would make a hot item for the Christmas shopping season wouldn't it? This is the reason Apple didn't release a Conroe based system... too short of a time in the pipeline.

This now gives us the perfect differentiated lineup going into Christmas:

Mac Mini - Core Duo
iMac - Core 2 Duo
Mac - Core 2 Quattro
Mac Pro - Dual Cloverton (May not arrive until MWSF)

I'd buy myself a Mac Quattro for Christmas! :D
 

SRSound

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2005
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Assigning Cores?

So say I’m using my 8-core Mac Pro for CPU intensive digital audio recording. Would I be able to assign two cores the main program, two to virtual processing, two to auxiliary “re-wire” applications, and two to the general system? If so, I guess I need to hold out on my impending Mac Pro purchase!
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,636
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ezekielrage_99 said:
But seriously how many cores does anyone REALLY need?
Software makers are in for a rude shock here. One big thread is nearly obsolete today, and even the common one-big-lump-with-little-ancillary-threads model is going to start looking tired fast. I hope that everyone is up to the job, this is something people have been avoiding for as long as multiprocessors were still uncommon, expensive beasts.

SRSound said:
So say I’m using my 8-core Mac Pro for CPU intensive digital audio recording. Would I be able to assign two cores the main program, two to virtual processing, two to auxiliary “re-wire” applications, and two to the general system? If so, I guess I need to hold out on my impending Mac Pro purchase!
Most likely you'll have about as much control over this as you have over memory, which is to say, not a lot. It will be up to the OS to schedule things in a smart way.
 

DavidCar

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
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Macrumors said:
...In the likely event Apple choses to use Cloverton Xeon core as the next Mac Pro CPU, educated speculation would indicate that Apple would elect to only use the X5355 and E5345, as they are the only models that support a 1333 MHz front side bus, which is what current Mac Pros use. In such a scenario, Apple may elect to keep a Woodcrest configuration at the bottom end for customizability (currently, Apple offers 3 chip speeds in the Mac Pro). ...
Why would they change the basic configuration of the Mac Pro? The two Clovertown chips will just appear as high end options as soon as they become available.
 

Silentwave

macrumors 68000
May 26, 2006
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Gainesville, FL
DavidCar said:
Why would they change the basic configuration of the Mac Pro? The two Clovertown chips will just appear as high end options as soon as they become available.
Look at the prices. you can get 8 cores (2.33GHz) at the same price that 4 3GHz cores cost you now. My bet is that Woodcrest will see a moderate price drop upon Clovertown's introduction.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2003
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Until they get the 45nm process up and going, I think this is going to be the top of the line. 4 cores topping out around the mid 2GHz range.

I wonder if this is Intel's long term strategy-- keep the cores relatively untouched, but double the number with each process step. That'll be entertaining for a generation or so, but they're going to have to come up with something else.

My bet? Specialized cores. You've got some that are optimized for floating point, some for application logic, some for media. This is where Cell gets it right, I think-- they're a step too far ahead for now though.

Biggest problem is getting the system to know what threads to feed to what core, and to get application writers to specialize their threads.
 

drsmithy

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2006
382
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SRSound said:
So say I’m using my 8-core Mac Pro for CPU intensive digital audio recording. Would I be able to assign two cores the main program, two to virtual processing, two to auxiliary “re-wire” applications, and two to the general system? If so, I guess I need to hold out on my impending Mac Pro purchase!
You can typically bind processes to specific cores. Some OSes have a concept of processor "pools" where you can group, say, 3 CPUs together and assign a certain group of processes to them, another 2 CPUs get a different set of processes, etc.

Most of the time though (outside of benchmarks and corner cases) you're generally better off letting the OS's scheduler shuffle tasks around CPUs as it sees fit.

OS X still has a ways to go with its multiprocessor support, however, so it might not do it as well as other platforms do yet.
 

grubesteak

macrumors newbie
Apr 11, 2005
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I'll wait forever

What incentive does anyone ever have to buy if they keep announcing new chips? I'm all for the advancement of new technology, but I'm not forking over any money just yet.

Seems like there's a new "just around the corner" press release/rumor every other week.