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Intel Slashing Prices on Xeon Quad Core (Clovertown) Processors

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Digitimes reports that Intel will be slashing prices 40-60% on their Quad-core server processors including the Kentsfield Xeon and the Clovertown Xeon processors in late July:

The Kentsfield Xeon X3210 and X3220 will have their prices cut to US$224 and US$266 respectively, while prices for the Clovertown Xeon E5310, E5320, E5335, E5345, and X5355 will go down to US$209, US$256, US$316, US$455, and US$744 respectively, the sources said.

The motivation for the price cuts is to ramp up shipments and to counter competition from AMDs future server processors.

Absent from the list is the Xeon X5365 (3.0GHz) chip which is currently used in Apple's 8-Core Mac Pro. The Xeon X5365, however, may not have made the list simply because it is still not generally available to the public. Apple was one of the early customers for the Quad-core 3.0GHz Xeon, and so it's unclear if the upcoming price cuts will have any effect on the price Apple is presently paying Intel for their 3.0GHz Clovertown Xeon processors.

Regardless, it's unlikely any price cut Apple would get would necessarily be passed on to 8-Core Mac Pro customers until the next Mac Pro hardware revision from Apple.

In the meanwhile, cheaper prices on the Quad-Core processors could interest motivated Mac Pro owners interested in swapping out their existing Dual-Core processors for Quad-Core replacements. It was demonstrated in September 2006 that existing Mac Pro designs could accommodate Woodcrest (Dual Core) to Clovertown (Quad Core) upgrades.
 

Agent Smith

macrumors 6502
Mar 21, 2004
261
0
Toronto, ON
I wonder if Apple will jump the gun and announce some price cuts to the existing pro line at WWDC in June? Probably not, but it would be nice...:D
 
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Liquidog

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2004
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VA, USA
Any guesses as to how much, if any, this will impact mac pro prices? I can't imagine Apple would reduce the price on any of them if they weren't going to cut the price of the 8-core as well. It might hurt sales of "the ocho" as I like to call it.
 
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FX120

macrumors 65816
May 18, 2007
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I doubt we will see price cuts... Apple may bump the bottom spec, but they will not lower the price.
 
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Sandfleaz

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2007
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Price cuts would be nice, but I can see Apple taking the extra margin till market pressure forces them to drop the prices.
Don't expect much until after iPhone launch!
 
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MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
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Anybody know???

Ok i was just wondering..... Say Apple were to switch to AMD cpu's.... What would that entail??? Would they have to redo OS X again like they did for Intel chips??? I'm just curious... how huge of a project would that be? Would it entail everything the Intel switch did? Can anyone in here please give me some insight?

Thanks :)
 
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Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
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England
Absent from the list is the Xeon X5365 (3.0GHz) chip which is currently used in Apple's 8-Core Mac Pro. The Xeon X5365, however, may not have made the list simply because it is still not generally available to the public.

The X5365 probably wasn't on the list because it isn't having a price cut. It'll be released to the public at the same time as these new prices come in to effect, for $1172. "Late July" is expected to be the 22nd.

Rokem: plenty of sites have them, do a google product search for the codes or something.

Ok i was just wondering..... Say Apple were to switch to AMD cpu's.... What would that entail??? Would they have to redo OS X again like they did for Intel chips??? I'm just curious... how huge of a project would that be? Would it entail everything the Intel switch did? Can anyone in here please give me some insight?

Thanks :)

It won't happen, but people do run hacked copies of OSX on AMD systems already.
 
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CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
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I doubt we will see price cuts... Apple may bump the bottom spec, but they will not lower the price.

I have to agree. Apple's philosphy seems to be based on keeping prices stable, and changing the technology around a particular price-point. This means that when new technology is released, Apple might have very thin margins, but as technology ages (within the average 6-8 month update range), Apple's margins increase. Perhaps that's why profit margins were at a record high last quarter, most of the hardware had not been updated for a reasonable amount of time.
 
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Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
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Say Apple were to switch to AMD cpu's.... What would that entail??? Would they have to redo OS X again like they did for Intel chips???

Just like they have to redo Windows to run on AMD CPUs, right? ;) It's the same instruction set...there's nothing to redo....

--Eric
 
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pieman02

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2007
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I doubt we will see price cuts... Apple may bump the bottom spec, but they will not lower the price.

...and everyone is saying price cuts, while the processor isn't even on Intel's price cut list. Would be nice if Apple could indeed get cheaper processors though :)
 
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pieman02

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2007
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Ok i was just wondering..... Say Apple were to switch to AMD cpu's.... What would that entail??? Would they have to redo OS X again like they did for Intel chips??? I'm just curious... how huge of a project would that be? Would it entail everything the Intel switch did? Can anyone in here please give me some insight?

Thanks :)

The difference was that Motorola used Big Endian while Intel and AMD used Little Endian (order of bits), and well it was just completely different, it wouldn't be anything like the switch from PPC to Intel
 
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Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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Bookshop!
The Kentsfield Xeon X3210 and X3220 will have their prices cut to US$224 and US$266 respectively, while prices for the Clovertown Xeon E5310, E5320, E5335, E5345, and X5355 will go down to US$209, US$256, US$316, US$455, and US$744 respectively, the sources said.

is that the bulk price, or for off-the-shelf chips?
 
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gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
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Ok i was just wondering..... Say Apple were to switch to AMD cpu's.... What would that entail??? Would they have to redo OS X again like they did for Intel chips??? I'm just curious... how huge of a project would that be? Would it entail everything the Intel switch did? Can anyone in here please give me some insight?

For most software, it wouldn't make much difference. Applications like Parallels are probably an exception, but then maybe they already have a version that runs on an AMD processor.

There would be quite a bit of redesign in the hardware, which is something Apple can live without. Apple would have major problems getting the chips, because AMD finds it much harder than Intel to deliver chips in the quantities customers want.

Most importantly, switching to AMD would kill the relationship with Intel, which is very very important to Apple. Switching to AMD today would be about the most idiotically stupid thing that Apple could do. And the switch would have to be complete. If Apple switched say to AMD chips in the MacPros, they would get a call from Intel like "not that it is our problem, but which AMD chips are you going to put into the MacBook and MacBook Pro"?

A switch to AMD will only happen if AMD manages to get way ahead of Intel in every area, with no sign of Intel catching up for a year or two.
 
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ezekielrage_99

macrumors 68040
Oct 12, 2005
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I can see the post now....

Where's my cheap Mac Pro?
Why don't they put a cheap Xeon in an iMac or Mac Mini?


Anyway Apple is a premium product it charges a premuim price and therfore we will not see any sigificant price cuts for the general customer unfortunantly. :apple:
 
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CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
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Anyway Apple is a premium product it charges a premuim price and therfore we will not see any sigificant price cuts for the general customer unfortunantly. :apple:

I don't think that this is as true as it once was. If you do a price comparison between HP or Dell, you'll find that for similar hardware, the price will be very close. A few months ago, when I was trying to show my Dad that the "premium" argument was false, I showed him the mid macbook and then customized a Dell and HP with similar specs, and they were both within $75 of the macbook. If I were to add the cost of internet security, and the value of iLife, and the value of the sleek form factor (and lower weight), the macbook acctually is the better deal. Apple has done a much better job at being competitively priced since its transition to Intel.
 
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JFreak

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Jul 11, 2003
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Tampere, Finland
Apple has done a much better job at being competitively priced since its transition to Intel.

Actually, Apple has been competitively priced for as long as I can remember – but the transition to Intel has made it a great deal easier to compare Apple's to generic PC hardware. For a non-computer-literate people, PPC-Intel comparisons were a question of faith, but now the specs can be compared directly.
 
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CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
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Actually, Apple has been competitively priced for as long as I can remember – but the transition to Intel has made it a great deal easier to compare Apple's to generic PC hardware. For a non-computer-literate people, PPC-Intel comparisons were a question of faith, but now the specs can be compared directly.

That's true for the processor, but other parts of the notebook line left much to be desired.
RAM for example, was low in the late 2004 iBook update. 256MB for a computer that was over $1200, not cool.
VRAM was also low, so low that Tiger couldn't run properly.
The HD was also only 60GB.--and no widescreen display
At the same time, an HP notebook for $1000 could get you 512MB of RAM, 64MB of VRAM, and 80GB of HD space, and a widescreen dislplay.
And by the way, I am not too computer literate, and I knew that PPC chips and Intel chips were not comparable in terms of clock speed. This wasn't what made the macbook more competitive. The addition of widescreen, for example, brought to the macbook what ought to have been on the iBook. The much better RAM offering, and better HD sizes made the macbook more competitive in areas where the iBook was woefully overmatched.
 
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G4DP

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2007
1,451
3
Apple Lower Prices - Pull the other one

There is more chance of hell freezing over than Apple lowering prices. Look at the Ram issue. From Crucial you can now by 4GB of ram for around £270, yet Stevie boy and Co are still charging hat they were almost a year ago.
 
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Evangelion

macrumors 68040
Jan 10, 2005
3,314
5
There would be quite a bit of redesign in the hardware, which is something Apple can live without. Apple would have major problems getting the chips, because AMD finds it much harder than Intel to deliver chips in the quantities customers want.

Not really. In the end, Apple is still quite small computer-maker. They sell, what, 1.5 million computer in a quarter? That would be under 2 million CPU's per quarter. If AMD can supply Dell with enough CPU's, they could supply Apple as well.

Most importantly, switching to AMD would kill the relationship with Intel, which is very very important to Apple. Switching to AMD today would be about the most idiotically stupid thing that Apple could do. And the switch would have to be complete. If Apple switched say to AMD chips in the MacPros, they would get a call from Intel like "not that it is our problem, but which AMD chips are you going to put into the MacBook and MacBook Pro"?

Wouldn't that be anticompetetive behavior? Besides, Dell didn't ruin their relationship with Intel when they started offering AMD-CPU's. Dell still offers computers with Intel-CPU's.
 
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robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
25,359
608
Harrogate
I'm not sure if this makes enough of a difference to the pricing of one quad vs two dual cores but it may open up the possibility of Apple doing what they did with the G5: that is move from offering 2xphysical CPUs at the bottom end to 1xphysical CPU with the same total nunber of cores.

This could allow them to offer a lower cost bottom end Mac Pro if they were to switch to a single socket logic board. These would cost significantly less to produce and would require less cooling etc.

OK, performance of 1xquad might not be as good as 2x duals (1 FSB instead of 2) but the lower cost might be worth it...
 
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BenRoethig

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,729
0
Dubuque, Iowa
Those price points are almost identical per mhz to the current dual core xeons. You'll likely see an move to all 8-core machines.
 
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BenRoethig

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,729
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Dubuque, Iowa
I'm not sure if this makes enough of a difference to the pricing of one quad vs two dual cores but it may open up the possibility of Apple doing what they did with the G5: that is move from offering 2xphysical CPUs at the bottom end to 1xphysical CPU with the same total nunber of cores.

This could allow them to offer a lower cost bottom end Mac Pro if they were to switch to a single socket logic board. These would cost significantly less to produce and would require less cooling etc.

OK, performance of 1xquad might not be as good as 2x duals (1 FSB instead of 2) but the lower cost might be worth it...

There isn't a single socket Xeon. The only chipset they're compatible with is the 5000 series. The 3000 series xeons are basically rebranded core2s for the entry level server market.
 
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