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CWallace

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Aug 17, 2007
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Dylandkt this morning "confirms" that the upcoming iMac Pro will have an M1 SoC with 12 CPU cores.

I presume this will be 10 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores and it will also offer at least the same 16/32 GPU cores the the M1 MAX, though perhaps it will have more of them, as well.

In addition to this 12 core model, he notes that lower-end SoC options will also be offered (so at least M1 MAX and probably M1 PRO).

 
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JPack

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Maybe it's a salvaged MCM M1 Max with many cores disabled? Otherwise, it seems inconsistent with the Jade 2C/4C info we know so far.
 
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CWallace

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Maybe it's a salvaged MCM M1 Max with many cores disabled? Otherwise, it seems inconsistent with the Jade 2C/4C info we know so far.

"M1 MAX Duo / Jade2C-Die" is claimed to have 20 CPU cores so I would be very surprised if that is the basis for this 12-core model. Otherwise why not also offer it with 14/16/18/20 cores? And the GPU core count for it is said to be 32/64, yet no mention of it offering more GPU cores than the current 32 on the MAX.

As such, I can only presume this is a new variant of the M1 MAX SoC with 10 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores versus the current 8/2. And will this "M1 MAX Plus" only offer 32 GPU cores, or will it also come in a 16-core model?
 
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Apple Knowledge Navigator

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I can't see this being part of a 'duo' setup.

Keep in mind that Apple will likely (per 24" iMac) keep the chin of the chassis as the area for the compute-unit and the upper area for the screen, speakers and antennas. That presents quite a challenge in terms of the thermal capacity. I can understand a good amount of heat pipe and two large fans for a single Pro chip, but two of them? Hmm...
 

JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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"M1 MAX Duo / Jade2C-Die" is claimed to have 20 CPU cores so I would be very surprised if that is the basis for this 12-core model. Otherwise why not also offer it with 14/16/18/20 cores? And the GPU core count for it is said to be 32/64, yet no mention of it offering more GPU cores than the current 32 on the MAX.

As such, I can only presume this is a new variant of the M1 MAX SoC with 10 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores versus the current 8/2. And will this "M1 MAX Plus" only offer 32 GPU cores, or will it also come in a 16-core model?

To me, it seems equally strange we would have a specific die for iMac Pro outside of the 20/40-core parts destined for the Mac Pro.

Perhaps Mac Pro will be offered in 20/24/40/48-core configurations.
 
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CWallace

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To me, it seems equally strange we would have a specific die for iMac Pro outside of the 20/40-core parts destined for the Mac Pro.

I can only guess that either thermal issues are preventing Apple from using the very-high-core-count SOCs with this new iMac Pro or they will not be ready until late 2022 and Apple wants to launch this model in 1H 2022 (Dylandkt also noted that this model may slip from Q1 to Q2).

So this 12-core variant would be a way for Apple to offer a more powerful SoC in the iMac Pro than the M1 MAX found in the MacBook Pro line.
 

JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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Another possibility; this 12-core chip isn’t of the M1 variety but rather an M2 Max. I can see Apple rolling out M2 in the new ‘MacBook’, Mac mini and 24” iMac before WWDC. From there on, perhaps we’ll see iMac Pro and Mac Pro updates?

Possible, but every indication says M2 isn't due until late 2022 and the M1X family rollout is still unfinished.
 
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jasoncarle

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I can't see this being part of a 'duo' setup.

Keep in mind that Apple will likely (per 24" iMac) keep the chin of the chassis as the area for the compute-unit and the upper area for the screen, speakers and antennas. That presents quite a challenge in terms of the thermal capacity. I can understand a good amount of heat pipe and two large fans for a single Pro chip, but two of them? Hmm...

Or the iMac Pro will be in a case similar to the XDR Display. which imo would be freaking awesome.
 

CWallace

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Another possibility; this 12-core chip isn’t of the M1 variety but rather an M2 Max. I can see Apple rolling out M2 in the new ‘MacBook’, Mac mini and 24” iMac before WWDC. From there on, perhaps we’ll see iMac Pro and Mac Pro updates?

Latest reports claim M2 (8CPU/10GPU) is a late 2022 product with the first gen of M1 machines (Air, mini, 13.3" MBP) all being updated at that time (so two years after M1).

Wayne Ma said there will be an "M2 Duo" and a media report on Ma's report stated it would have 16 CPU cores (8P+8E) and 20 GPU cores. Ma did not mention anything about an M2 Pro or M2 Max, but he did say there would be an M3 Pro and M3 MAX so at the time it sounded like the "M2 Duo" might have been a stop-gap between M1 Pro/Max and M3 Pro/Max.

Subsequently, the Commercial Times of Taiwan says there will be an M2 Pro and M2 Max, but the details on CPU and GPU core counts are not yet known.
 
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appleArticulate

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That's really good to hear because it shows Apple acknowledging that a desktop can and should have more performance than a laptop.

Another possibility; this 12-core chip isn’t of the M1 variety but rather an M2 Max. I can see Apple rolling out M2 in the new ‘MacBook’, Mac mini and 24” iMac before WWDC. From there on, perhaps we’ll see iMac Pro and Mac Pro updates?
No. Are we still doing this? Apple has made it abundantly clear that the first generation of every Apple Silicon Mac will be an M1 variant. M2 is not a performance designation. It will be next generation, starting at the bottom once again.
 

Jorbanead

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Another possibility; this 12-core chip isn’t of the M1 variety but rather an M2 Max. I can see Apple rolling out M2 in the new ‘MacBook’, Mac mini and 24” iMac before WWDC. From there on, perhaps we’ll see iMac Pro and Mac Pro updates?
From a purely marketing standpoint, it’s easiest to roll things out in order.

M1 -> M1 Pro -> M1 Max -> M1 Ultra etc.
M2 -> M2 Pro -> M2 Max -> M2 Ultra etc.

I highly doubt they would announce an M2 Max chip before announcing an M2 chip first. But they ideally need to update all macs to M1-variants before they move on to M2. Rumors suggest the iMac will be announced by the summer, so I would bet it will use some sort of M1-variant.
 

CyberBob859

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2007
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I can only guess that either thermal issues are preventing Apple from using the very-high-core-count SOCs with this new iMac Pro or they will not be ready until late 2022 and Apple wants to launch this model in 1H 2022 (Dylandkt also noted that this model may slip from Q1 to Q2).

So this 12-core variant would be a way for Apple to offer a more powerful SoC in the iMac Pro than the M1 MAX found in the MacBook Pro line.
I'm wondering if this 12-core variant was the version for M1 Pro/Max all along and they binned performance cores for the laptops to save battery life and differentiate laptop versus desktop.
 

crazy dave

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Sep 9, 2010
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I'm wondering if this 12-core variant was the version for M1 Pro/Max all along and they binned performance cores for the laptops to save battery life and differentiate laptop versus desktop.

We would’ve seen the extra cores in 3rd party scans of the chips and even disabled hardware can show up when doing reverse engineering work (a la Asahi Linux). So no, the Max is not a binned variant. However your point is still a good one, a 12 core, 10+2, CPU would’ve been probably fine depending on the GPU count, especially with their 16” chassis, so why it would not be an option is odd (unless it is indeed coming to the MBP too and was simply delayed)
 

glindon

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Seems silly for Apple to design an all new CPU package for a low volume 27” iMac (MacBooks are 80% of sales or more). Especially when the M1 Max already has built in dual chip logic.
 
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exoticSpice

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Wayne Ma said there will be an "M2 Duo", but it would be 16 CPU cores (8P+8E) and 20 GPU cores. He had not mentioned anything about an M2 Pro or M2 Max, but he did say there would be an M3 Pro and M3 MAX so at the time it sounded like the "M2 Duo" might have been a stop-gap between M1 Pro/Max and M3 Pro/Max.
Did you pay for the Information article by Wayne Ma to get this information. Because I can't find this info anywhere.
 

crazy dave

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I think we need to be careful when dissecting his wording: he confirmed that the upcoming iMac has an additional configuration beyond the Max. The 12 core part is him linking a different piece of information to that iMac. Maybe I’m reading too much, but that’s not confirmed by his source.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G4
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Did you pay for the Information article by Wayne Ma to get this information. Because I can't find this info anywhere.

The M2 Duo core configuration was reported in one of the news articles about his article. Such a configuration sounds weird to me unless it is two M2 SoCs interconnected, which is why I made a note of it at the time I read it.

The Commercial Times article on the M2 Pro and M2 Max says they have the codename "Rhodes" and the Wikipedia article on Apple codenames has code names for M2 Pro (Rhodes Chop) and M2 Max (Rhodes 1C), but they do not have references and I cannot find anything with those names so not sure if someone just presumed this is what they would be called since M1 Pro was JadeC-Chop and M1 Max was JadeC-Die (1Die).

This Wiki page also says the Mac Pro will get a version called Rhodes-2C and that would link-up with two M2 Max dies interconnected just as Jade2C-Die is said to be two M1 Max dies interconnected. So it could be that the "M2 Duo" is actually an "M2 Max Duo" and therefore the core configuration would be more performance-biased.
 

senttoschool

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2017
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Maybe it's a salvaged MCM M1 Max with many cores disabled? Otherwise, it seems inconsistent with the Jade 2C/4C info we know so far.
Highly unlikely.

It doesn't make sense for 2x M1 Max to only yield a working 12-core CPU. TSMC's 5nm node has very good yields.
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2002
672
1,388
Funnily enough I was just thinking about this, this morning.
On the one hand as amazing as the M1 Pro/Max are... the iMac can definitely accommodate more thermal wise, and if Apple wants it to be competitive in the high(er)end desktop/workstation computing space it really needs a bit more grunt for both the CPU/GPU. OTOH, the rumors of Mx Max Duos ( and Quads) in the iMac feel a bit like wishful thinking... like maybe we're convincing ourselves stuff meant for the eventual Mac Pro is going into the iMac when it's not (not saying it won't happen, I'd love to be surprised.)
I was thinking some kind of M1 "Ultra Max" with 12 P cores, 2+ E cores, and up to 48 GPU cores (so three M1 Pro core complexes) feels like it'd be a good fit for the performance/form factor/thermal envelope I'd imagine they're targeting.

That said, two additional P cores for 25% more than the M1 Max, matched with a similar increase in GPU core count (so +8 for a total of 40) also seems very realistic. Although from a silicon perspective it seems a bit... odd... Are they designing something new for the iMac (seems unlikely), are the M1 Pro/Max designs perhaps actually salvaged for yield, or is the whole thing just a lot more easily scalable than we think?

Guess we'll (hopefully) know soon (ish)
 

crazy dave

macrumors 65816
Sep 9, 2010
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I was thinking some kind of M1 "Ultra Max" with 12 P cores, 2+ E cores, and up to 48 GPU cores (so three M1 Pro core complexes) feels like it'd be a good fit for the performance/form factor/thermal envelope I'd imagine they're targeting.

That would be two cut down M1 Max dies (6+2/24x2 = 12+4/48) which would be a Max duo, no evidence of a triplet die and it’s unlikely the pro die is destined for multi die setups. Depending on the new thermal design an iMac could take that or even a full duo (16+4/64) fairly easily (previous iMacs had to deal with way worse). A quad would be harder but not impossible (see iMac Pro) - having said that I don’t think a quad will go into the new iMac.
 

LonestarOne

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2019
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I was thinking some kind of M1 "Ultra Max" with 12 P cores, 2+ E cores, and up to 48 GPU cores (so three M1 Pro core complexes) feels like it'd be a good fit for the performance/form factor/thermal envelope I'd imagine they're targeting.

I’m still hoping the name will be “Super Max”, with a cool prison-break video.

Although from a silicon perspective it seems a bit... odd... Are they designing something new for the iMac (seems unlikely),

“New” is an ambiguous term. The M1 architecture is modular. Adding additional modules to a design is not trivial, but it’s not starting from scratch.

 

Malus120

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2002
672
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That would be two cut down M1 Max dies (6+2/24x2 = 12+4/48) which would be a Max duo, no evidence of a triplet die and it’s unlikely the pro die is destined for multi die setups. Depending on the thermal design it could take that and a full duo (16+4/64) fairly easily (previous iMacs had to deal with way worse). A quad would be harder but not impossible (see iMac Pro) - having said that I don’t think a quad will go into the new iMac.

Good response. And yeah I guess two cut down M1 Max dies make a lot more sense than doing a triplet M1 Pro die (which as you said there is no evidence of so far), it was just something I came up with while bored this morning thinking out loud.
On the "what can an iMac support line of thinking," I should've been more clear. It's not that I don't think an iMac Pro like design could support an M1 Max Duo (or quad) multi die setup in terms of power or thermals, it absolutely could (should be easy compared to Xeon/i9 + Vega/RDNA), I'm just not sure whether or not its something Apple wants to do. On the one hand, with the MBP, Apple finally prioritized function over form for probably the first time in a decade. OTOH, the iMac has always been as much about making a "statement" (striking visual design) as it is about power, and given the direction they went with the 24" iMac, I get the feeling they're going to want to make the design sleeker, something they can very much do while still providing better performance than the 16" MBP. So, in that sense, to me, this new 12 core rumor makes a lot of sense.
 
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