Details on Sandy-Bridge - 2011 Mac Pro?

VirtualRain

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Last week Intel shared some details of Sandy-Bridge due out late this year... possibly providing the basis for 2011 Mac Pro (assuming there is one?!) :rolleyes:



Perlmutter said the company planned to ship Sandy Bridge–based products to its customers this year and launch it early in 2011. This chip will integrate the graphics controller and memory controller on the die. He pushed demonstrations focusing on graphics on the chip, saying Intel will be able to show an order of magnitude improvement between 2008 and 2011. In a demo showing World of Warcraft on a 65nm integrated graphics solution Intel shipped in 2008 versus the 32nm graphics the company expects to ship with Sandy Bridge later this year, the experience looked much smoother and faster.

Another demo showed how much faster it was to convert a video clip on a Sandy Bridge–based laptop as compared with one using a Core i7 laptop. Another demo pushed the idea that discrete graphics alone weren't enough for gaming, showing that a Gulftown six-core chip and moving the display of rain from the GPU to the CPU allowed for more realism; and then also allowed for a multi-way video chat.

For instance, Perlmutter talked about the "power gate" technology that allows transistors not to use power when they aren't being used, and how that enabled the company's "Turbo Boost" technology which shuts off some cores and gives more performance to the cores that are being used.

He said this will be refined more in the future, but now can allow up to 1 GHz more performance on a single core in some cases. Going forward, he talked about using the same technology in a chip that has both the CPU and the graphics. Perlmutter said this works on today's chips (which include separate dies for CPUs and graphics in the same chip package) and would be better in a chip that had combined the functions in the same die.

Perlmutter also pushed Hyper-Threading technology, saying it uses 20 percent more silicon but provides 40 percent more performance. He contrasted this with adding more cores (which he said Intel was doing as well), which doubles the silicon requirements but provides only about 1.8 times the performance. Both, he said, are important.
Link
 

Apple Corps

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On a serious note - I have wondered if the new Xeons we are waiting for simply represent too small an improvement for Apple to introduce - especially if its lifespan is only going to be 6 or 7 months before Sandy Bridge.

Is Sandy Bridge a server class cpu?
 

Umbongo

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On a serious note - I have wondered if the new Xeons we are waiting for simply represent too small an improvement for Apple to introduce - especially if its lifespan is only going to be 6 or 7 months before Sandy Bridge.

Is Sandy Bridge a server class cpu?
The Mac Pro's life span will be as long as Apple want ;).
 

cutterman

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I can't imagine how this first iteration of integrated graphics can be better than the high end graphics cards and GPU's available now. Maybe faster data pipeline, but given the massive processing and power consumption of current GPU's I don't know how Intel can match that performance and maintain CPU specs within current thermal and power guidelines.
 

Apple Corps

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I have that exact same question - the gist of the Intel info is that taking that processing from the gpu to a cpu is so much better. Perhaps there are some core advantages in how cpu circuits are done compared to gpu - but what :confused:
 

Deepshade

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Mar 22, 2010
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Sounds interesting if your are planning buying kit in a years time. Then again, who knows when/if Apple will use the technology or if/when it would let users know or even if the MacPro will still be around. Intel could announce a completely new technology and it wouldn't matter a jot to the the Mac community as the big (secretive) Apple tells its pro users didlysquat!

Correction - we did get some advance news - that the G5s are now obsolete (give or take a few days) - there Apple you can do it if you really want to!

and let's be honest - this ISN'T a Mac rumor - its general technology news.
 

deconstruct60

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Last week Intel shared some details of Sandy-Bridge due out late this year... possibly providing the basis for 2011 Mac Pro (assuming there is one?!) :rolleyes:
No because Intel drops arch updates on the desktop CPUs first and then the Xeons later. Typically because the "extreme" desktop versions have elements which are switched off, so doesn't matter if don't work and are priced with "extreme" levels to encourage low volume.

Another example is the Nehalem-EX processors just dropped this year. While the westmere-ex is next year.

I suppose at one point Intel might do a single processor package Xeon with graphics built in so could have a "one package server" . However, many servers have two sockets at which point what do you do with two GPUs on a server ? Doesn't really make lots of sense. One, to drive the admin monitor makes sense. In fact almost overkill for a server.
 

iMacmatician

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On a serious note - I have wondered if the new Xeons we are waiting for simply represent too small an improvement for Apple to introduce - especially if its lifespan is only going to be 6 or 7 months before Sandy Bridge.

Is Sandy Bridge a server class cpu?
The Sandy Bridge that is being mentioned is for notebooks and low-end and midrange desktops, for Q1 2011 release. High-end desktop, workstation, and server Sandy Bridge is scheduled for Q3 2011.

I can't imagine how this first iteration of integrated graphics can be better than the high end graphics cards and GPU's available now. Maybe faster data pipeline, but given the massive processing and power consumption of current GPU's I don't know how Intel can match that performance and maintain CPU specs within current thermal and power guidelines.
It's not intended to replace high-end or even midrange GPUs.
 

Hellhammer

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The Sandy Bridge that is being mentioned is for notebooks and low-end and midrange desktops, for Q1 2011 release. High-end desktop, workstation, and server Sandy Bridge is scheduled for Q3 2011.
+1

No SB Mac Pro before late 2011 unless Intel changes their plans. Could Apple just release the Gulftown Mac Pro now!
 

iMacmatician

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Either that or Apple uses the upcoming entry level 1P workstation CPUs that are based off mainstream desktop Sandy Bridge (4 cores, IGP, …).

Most likely not, though, or we might have had a Mac Pro "update" with a Clarkdale in it. :p
 

Hellhammer

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Either that or Apple uses the upcoming entry level 1P workstation CPUs that are based off mainstream desktop Sandy Bridge (4 cores, IGP, …).

Most likely not, though, or we might have had a Mac Pro "update" with a Clarkdale in it. :p
Haha, Clarkdale would be ridiculous! Is there even dual LGA 1156 boards available? The 1P "server" version won't be Xeon plus it'll use LGA 1155 so no dual CPU (or is there dual LGA 1156 available?) and thus very unlikely that Apple would use it.
 

iMacmatician

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I think LGA 1156/1155's only single processor.

On a similar note, Sandy Bridge-EN will have variants from 2 to 8 cores (probably all using the same 8-core die). So if Apple decides to use the Sandy Bridge-EN in addition to or instead of the Sandy Bridge-EP, then hopefully we don't see 2/4 core Mac Pros.
 

Hellhammer

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I think LGA 1156/1155's only single processor.

On a similar note, Sandy Bridge-EN will have variants from 2 to 8 cores (probably all using the same 8-core die). So if Apple decides to use the Sandy Bridge-EN in addition to or instead of the Sandy Bridge-EP, then hopefully we don't see 2/4 core Mac Pros.
Dual or quad would be ridiculous! Well, quad would be okay if Apple lowered the price to 1999$ or something but dual is ridiculous. I think Apple will use SB-EN as the features EP gives are not much use for Mac Pro (e.g. 12 DIMMs/CPU) and EN should be cheaper anyway. Dual LGA 2011 mother board won't be exactly the cheapest one. Of course, we need more specs to give better speculations :D
 

iMacmatician

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I think Apple will use SB-EN as the features EP gives are not much use for Mac Pro (e.g. 12 DIMMs/CPU) and EN should be cheaper anyway.
That makes sense, especially when the current Mac Pro is already crippled on RAM slots (4/CPU instead of 6/CPU). Then again a drop in RAM slots isn't 100% a bad thing because SNB-EN supports 1333 MHz RAM with 6 slots/CPU and 1600 MHz with 3 slots/CPU, and SNB-EP supports 800 MHz RAM with 12 slots/CPU, 1333 MHz with 8 slots/CPU, and 1600 MHz with 4 slots/CPU.

Of course, we need more specs to give better speculations :D
But I can't resist speculating now! :D
 

Umbongo

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EN isn't for high end workstations, EP won't just add cores and more DIMM support, that will be the only way to get the fastest clockspeeds.
 

Hellhammer

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But I can't resist speculating now! :D
Me neither :p I just want more specs so I can speculate more :D

EN isn't for high end workstations, EP won't just add cores and more DIMM support, that will be the only way to get the fastest clockspeeds.
Currently, Gainestown and Bloomfield both offer 3.33GHz... Gainestown just has lower TDPs so they are suitable for multi CPU computers like 8-core Mac Pro as Bloomfields are all 130W. Gainestown also has dual QPI.

Might be that Apple uses EN in single CPU model and EP in dual CPU model but EN will top out at 95W so no need for EP really, unless there is difference in clock speeds (might be as EP will top out at 150W!)
 

Umbongo

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Currently, Gainestown and Bloomfield both offer 3.33GHz... Gainestown just has lower TDPs so they are suitable for multi CPU computers like 8-core Mac Pro as Bloomfields are all 130W. Gainestown also has dual QPI.

Might be that Apple uses EN in single CPU model and EP in dual CPU model but EN will top out at 95W so no need for EP really, unless there is difference in clock speeds (might be as EP will top out at 150W!)
Are you getting all your sandy bridge information from Wikipedia? Because a lot of that is incorrect and outdated.
 

Umbongo

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Educate me then... I've found out that it sums up everything nicely and isn't outdated
The article is written using a single google translated source. Wikipedia articles on future Intel processors feature misuse of codenames and brands as well as misunderstandings of features.
 

Hellhammer

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The article is written using a single google translated source. Wikipedia articles on future Intel processors feature misuse of codenames and brands as well as misunderstandings.
In Sandy Bridge article, there are 18 references... Please, show some examples before judging. I know Wikipedia ain't the best source but I find it better than looking at 10 different roadmaps. When it comes to rumoring and speculating something, there are no "right and wrong", just good and not so good guesses. I'm not saying I'm right but your post just didn't convince me
 

iMacmatician

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I remembered seeing this a while back, written shortly after the PC Watch articles. It says high-end desktop Sandy Bridge will be 4/6 core and socket 2011.

PC Watch's articles don't seem to talk much about high-end desktop, but they speculate it's based on Sandy Bridge-EP (or -EN). -EP matches the socket, PCIe, and memory channels of what the VR Zone article says (not core counts though, but that 8-core die appears to be slated for 2, 4, 6, and 8 core CPUs so who knows).

I'm not saying I'm right but your post just didn't convince me
Didn't convince me either.
 

Hellhammer

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I remembered seeing this a while back, written shortly after the PC Watch articles. It says high-end desktop Sandy Bridge will be 4/6 core and socket 2011.

PC Watch's articles don't seem to talk much about high-end desktop, but they speculate it's based on Sandy Bridge-EP (or -EN). -EP matches the socket, PCIe, and memory channels of what the VR Zone article says (not core counts though, but that 8-core die appears to be slated for 2, 4, 6, and 8 core CPUs so who knows).
After reading some comments on that SB article in Wikipedia, it might be that there will be no LGA 1356 (no proof of it), just 2011 (high-end) and 1155 (low-end). If that's the case, it's more than likely that there will be six-core high-end desktop CPU (non-Xeon).

Anyway, SB is still almost a year away so anything can happen and pretty much all we "know" is based on speculation and guesses, only some are facts (especially variants are based on guesses I think)