Mac Pro 2010... What potential features would blow the current Mac Pro away?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by anim8or, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. anim8or macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    I am tempted to jump on getting a new Mac Pro now instead of waiting...

    ...Primarily because i dont want to be priced out of getting the higher end model with more cores.

    If they do come out with a 6 and 12 core config.... i would want to buy the 12 core but a lot of rumors around here and on other sites say that the new models will likely come with a price increase.... potentially leaving me having to buy the 6 core model.

    8 core current Vs 6 core future

    This makes me think i'll just get the 8 core current...


    Are there any features that apple may add that would blow the current models away... USB 3.0, BluRay, etc...

    I can live without many of these things.. but perhaps i am missing something.

    Sorry for vagueness....!

  2. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    All the processors Apple currently offer have been replaced. The price increases are minor and would be offset against how Apple handled VAT and the exchange rate in the UK so that just using newer technology shouldn't change the prices.

    For example a 2.66GHz 12 core Mac Pro should cost no more than the current 8 core at that speed unless Apple increase the premium again.
    Current       Replacement
    4 x 2.66GHz >  4 x 2.80GHz
    4 x 2.93GHz >  4 x 3.20GHz
    4 x 3.33GHz >  6 x 3.33GHz
    8 x 2.26GHz >  8 x 2.40GHz
    8 x 2.66GHz > 12 x 2.66GHz
    8 x 2.93GHz > 12 x 2.93GHz
    USB 3 may be present, but it is in no way a certainty. You will be able to add blu-ray yourself for cheaper anyway no doubt. There is nothing major that can change.
  3. RubbishBBspeed macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    Had been giving this some thought too, although if I was to go back on my standing at work then I'll be the butt of a few jokes for sure. (have been having a bit of an in-house squabble about holding out for the new model.)

    Asking around most people seemed to be thinking along the lines of;

    Superdrive upgraded to Blu-Ray.
    In built support for TrueHD sound.
    3D capable monitors (although technically that's a separate product).
    Re-designed case (although if that's such a big issue then it's a bit lame).
    Big increase in the upgradeability of RAM (have heard i9 can support something like over 190 GB of RAM?).
    USB 3 (well it will have to if file sizes are going to go GB's).
    More expansion card slots. (assuming they've already thought about people using multiple displays in multiple locations, although this is already possible but would be nice to have it straight out of the box)

    Although how much of the above which would be justified as 'game changing' isn't in itself really justified, they're all logical next step upgrades. Will Apple be inspiring us with the New Mac Pro..... I'm wondering......
  4. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Reasonably-priced base model, reasonably-priced dual-chip model (especially), higher stock RAM would certainly be a start.

    ATI Radeon 5870XT with 1GB memory and the same clock speeds as retail cards would also be nice.

    The six mini-displayport 5870XT would be SWEET. Ability to run 6 monitors from one card. Slap two cards in there and you can run your own 12-monitor "fortress of doom". :D
  5. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    The feature that would blow away the current MP's the most would be the actual release of the new MP. :rolleyes:
  6. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    The actual cost of the hexa-core xeons are basically the same as the quad-core so you shouldn't be too worried about a price increase.
  7. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    ?? Don't the hexacore's start at a grand? The current Xeons start in the 200-300 range.
  8. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Is it reasonable to expect a mid May release? Going off the fact that the MBPs were released two weeks after the launch of the iPad, perhaps the MPs will see a release two weeks after the release of the iPad 3G?
  9. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    Great response... thanks all.

    Most of the above possible features i can live without, i would love to have many of them but if there is a chance that prices will remain reasonably the same then i can afford to wait.

    Working on the job right now anyway so i am not using my own equipment for the foreseeable future.

    Mid may would be great for a release.
  10. parakiet macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2008
    can't all of you guys buy that 2009 after all?

    those 2010 waiting lists are going to be loooooong :D
  11. rajbonham macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2010
    Ugh, Apple is really starting to get me f*&$!@g angry. Every day I go back and forth between getting the 2009 model or just waiting for the 2010 model. What really irked me though, is the price of the processors.

    It's fairly obvious Apple won't be changing the price of the new models too much, if at all. So, currently the processors used in the Mac Pro go for about $300-$400, but the new processors are around $1,000. Taking that into consideration, Apple is STILL charging the same price for the current models. No markdowns, no sales. So is Apple making roughly $600-$700 extra on every current model sold?

    If that is the case, that is simply screwed up. I understand they are a large business and only care about making copious amounts of money, but at a certain point, they are just ripping us off.
  12. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    Waiting list.. i dont think so.... i have never seen/heard/read about shortages of Mac Pros... they are not systems for your average buyer.

    The cost of them tends to make them a target for professionals or for rich people who don't know better.
  13. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Yea, I think you should wait for the very obvious reasons you just mentioned. Paying the premium for such dated hardware just seems wrong to me. I would say hang in there. I'm expecting June to be the absolute latest, which is just 2 and a half months to go...
  14. rajbonham macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2010
    I sure hope it won't be that long, but you never know. I still feel like whenever we start seeing the new CPU's, the update will happen very shortly afterwards. As of now, it looks like Intel is either not shipping very many of the new processors or there is a shortage of them.

    I think we might see an increase in the amount of the new processors available next week.
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It would mean a PCB redesign though (the main board that's screwed to the case, daughterboards could remain the same, assuming they don't need the CPU VR resistor/s adjusted - rework of stockpiles, not new boards - to meet voltage specs, as some board makers have had to do to allow for the i7-980X).

    But if they do go that route, then it's possible to add in 6.0Gb/s SATA (say 2 ports to allow for newer SSD's to be utilized fully), and even an eSATA port.

    But it would mean a price increase (assuming they're not willing to take a slight hit on margin in an attempt to increase sales by keeping the MSRP more attractive with new hardware features). If the '09 sales have suffered enough, they may be willing to do this. Hopefully, Apple will do something like this, but I wouldn't just presume it will happen.

    The Single Processor variant is, but it's because there's only 1x model @ 3.33GHz currently being released (i7-980X w/ ECC enabled called the W3680). Others will follow, but not in time for the initial release (perhaps as silent updates to the SP models though).
  16. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2008
    What voltage specs? The i7 980X adheres to the same power specs as the rest of the Bloomfields. The i7 980X is a drop in replacement for the Bloomfields, you just need a BIOS update for the CPU to be properly recognized.

    And you wouldn't really need a redesigned PCB for the addition of USB 3. Just pop in a $1 NEC USB 3 chip.
  17. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    At the top of my list are a couple extra hd bays, at least for 2.5" drives. One or two eSATA ports, and at least another PCI slot.
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    With the Bloomfields, Yes. But the Xeon variants are a little different. W3680's VID = 0.800 - 1.300V (not 0.800 - 1.375V as is with the i7-980X). Yes it's small, but the spec isn't identical.

    What you also have to remember, is that VR's don't always have the ability to hit the entire range (it will depend on the exact parts values they used, and the range the board designers decided to achieve), and with some of those boards, exceed the spec VID for OC purposes. But they'll still function with the chip they were originally designed for, as they had engineering samples to test it with during the validation & subsequent parts re-selection stages.

    Now we're in a situation where the boards are already out in the wild (and still manufactured), and the enginering samples of the Gulftowns aren't functioning without a resistor change, and have implemented a resistor change to the line in order to accomodate the new parts.

    There's an article posted somewhere here in MR (haven't located it yet, but it's here).

    Ultimately, some boards only need the microcode adjustment as expected from Intel's specs, but others have found there is a slight change in parts values to make it work based on previous decisions (i.e OC capabilities, cost based part selection, parts on hand,...).

    With the USB 3.0 chips, its NOT a drop-in replacement (NEC µPD720200). The packaging is different (and has quite a few more pins - 176 FBGA vs. either 80-pin TQFP or 84-pin FBGA). That means PCB redesign in order to fit them.
  19. noushy macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2008
    Detroit, MI

    Great to hear from you. Have been away from the boards for a while. My MP is doing great (who really needs more than 8 cores of Nehalem HT power anyways). Even if the new Gulftown chips require different voltage settings, why would you want to replace your existing chips? The cost (around $1400 a piece) would almost preclude you to do it. Better off just selling your warrantied and apple approved system and purchasing a newer one. Plus the dual proc systems use the funny heatsinkless chips, which intel does not normally sell. Would be forced to try and hack a pair of $1400 chips and risk damaging them by removing the heatsinks. Not something I would do. Any opinions Nano? I am not even sure if upgrading to the 12 core systems would make any sense for me at this point. Really waiting for something truly revolutionary.

  20. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I would like to see ESATA Ports, & Double the drives, HELL Triple the drives.
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It would depend on what it's being used for. There are some server and workstation applications (scientific simulations and rendering for example) where the core count can be fully utilized, and presumably, it's being used to earn a living in such a situation. So it's worth the cost. For a student or enthusiast/hobbyist, that's for them to decide.

    But for the rest of the workstation useage, it's not going to be worth it (i.e. Photoshop, unless you're using multiple instances simultaneously). So take a serious look at your software (and perhaps announcements of future, but soon to release versions that may be able to take advantage of the additional cores).

    Users have already obtained the versions you can get anywhere successfully in the '09 DP systems (have the IHS). So there's no need to modify the chip (wet sand/lap the IHS off of standard OEM or Retail packaged parts) .

    But upgrading them into the '09 won't be possible without the microcode added to the firmware, and Apple won't release that to the general public. If someone extracts it from a 2010 system, you might be able to find a way to update it manually (i.e. brute force via some 3rd party tool).

    Quite a bit of a gamble though, so if you do need it, I'd recommend selling off the existing system and getting a new one (much safer, and guaranteed to work; not to mention there's no grounds for Apple to deny any warranty work in the future).
  22. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    There's not many ways to squeeze 12 3.5" drives into that case while still allowing room for some remnant of a cooling system. Either Apple ditches the air-only approach, or we keep the "cooling zones" free. I don't know if they want to go back to water, considering what happened last time :rolleyes:
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    There's another solution. Make the case bigger.

    But since Steve likes small and thin, it's not likely to happen, as it would mean a full size server case (no more desktop, unless you like something nearly as tall as the larger size of dorm room refridgerator). :eek: Though if it were also able to keep something tasty to drink nice and cold, it might be worth it. :D :p
  24. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    The MacPro is already a huge system, doubt anyone would like it any bigger.

    I saw a Apple Genius helping someone take a MacPro out to his car when I went to the Apple store to see the iPad. He was using a hand dolly to carry it. :) Any bigger and you'd need a forklift. :)

    Apple could always add more ports for cables and allow for 3.5 drives to be put in the second optical bay for those who want internal storage. Then an extra row of drives under the 4 current setup and you have 10 without that much additional space needed and maybe only a little extra fan ventilation up top.
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    They wouldn't actually have to go crazy to add some additional space for drives. Assuming they stick with a similar layout past 2010, increasing the height a little for the stacked (2 layer of HDD bays) isn't that hard to do. 3" taller (max) would do the trick. The extra fan would be a little tough, but doable (asssuming venting through the top panel is decided against, which would work and be rather easy to do just in front of the PSU). But if future models end up totally different, then it may end up wasted space (mainly dependent on board size, as the current case was initially designed around SSI CEB boards).

    As for me, I need a server case (DIY built in a Lian Li as an MP wouldn't do what I needed), due to RAID requirements (16 drives currently, and space for more, especially if I shift to 2.5" drives). It's less expensive and fewer issues to run them internally than externally (cost of enclosures + potential for tripping over cables and placement restrictions due to cable length limits).

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