Mac Pro 2011 Specs

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by -BigMac-, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. -BigMac- macrumors 6502a

    -BigMac-

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    Apr 15, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys,
    With the recent launch of the Thunderbolt Macbook Pros and an imminent launch of the iMacs in the coming weeks, the Mac Pro is becoming slower, by comparison than it has in the past generations.

    Apple being Apple, will have a plan to gain back performance advantage with the Mac Pro. Having said this, what do you expect will be the upcoming Mac Pros specs? :)
     
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    Jul 21, 2004
    #2
    I like these threads! Keeps it fun between updates.
     
  3. JollyJoeJoe macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2011
    #3
    I doubt apple aims for performance advantage, rather stability and reliability in that its software and hardware is all in house.

    It gave up any claims or strivings for the fastest machine after it switched to Intel architecture.
     
  4. -BigMac- thread starter macrumors 6502a

    -BigMac-

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    Apr 15, 2011
    #4
    Yes, i agree. But the Mac Pro will have to be made more powerful than the current MBPs and upcoming iMacs..

    Without doing something ridiculous like making the base MP 8 core.. what do you think could be the new specs of the MPs? :)
     
  5. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    #5
    All I know is I'm waiting to see what 2011/12 MacPro's have to offer before I decide to buy mine. I have a feeling the updates are going to be worth the wait.
     
  6. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    #6
    The only updates worthwhile from what I have learned will be the followwing, and please note - one of these can be already added to the existing mac pros:

    SATA III - Can easily be added with a PCIe card
    Thunderbolt isn't going to happen as the X79 chipset does not support thunderbolt, so I don't see this happening at all.. Hellhamer made a point that all one has to do is add ESATA which is going to be twice as fast as thunderbolt.

    The next advantage is only for those with specialized software - the addition of additional cores.

    And FINALLY.. memory - 1600 mhz DDR3 memory which isn't that much faster than 1333 mhz. Unless you have a use for weather related software, or very heavy scientific software, you won't notice much of a difference between 1333 DDR3 which you and I have now versus 1600 DDR3. So, really the only benefit I see is onboard SATA III and thats all.

    Personally, those with 2009/2010 mac pros, esp 6-core and 12-core most likely won't go with the next refresh, and neither will I because all I need is ESATA and I can match thunderbolt.. But why bother? I have absolutely no need for such speed.
     
  7. -BigMac- thread starter macrumors 6502a

    -BigMac-

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    Apr 15, 2011
    #7
    Only the non-base models have 1333. the base models of both 4 and 8 core MPs have 1066. How big is the gap between 1600mhz and 1066mhz?
     
  8. JollyJoeJoe macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2011
    #8
    I would think it can't be anything other than SNB-E (Sandy Bridge-E Socket 2011 processors) With one socket version and two socket Mac Pro version.
    Due for release Q4 2011, than 3 month later Intel will release Ivy Bridge that will be faster than SNB-E core vs core for the mainstream.

    Intel is really letting its enthusiast and supercomputing customers down, as in its high-end offerings do not outperform its mainstream processors core vs core. It's currently still advertising the X58/Socket 1366 as its premium/enthusiast platform where as it gets outperformed by Socket 1155 sandy bridge core vs core and in memory benchmarks. So there's only any worth in Socket 1366 if one is getting power hogging hex core or 12-core dual socket solutions, so pay a lot for slower cores, but for more of them.
     
  9. -BigMac- thread starter macrumors 6502a

    -BigMac-

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    Apr 15, 2011
    #9
    Do you personally think the next update for the MPs will be SB or IB? If the release dates are so close.. i wouldn't mind waiting for the ivy bridge :)
     
  10. TomKing macrumors newbie

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    Apr 17, 2011
    #10
    What ever they do, I hope they do it soon, because I'm holding off from buying one at the moment.

    Last thing I want is to buy tomorrow and then a far superior machine be released in a couple of weeks/months.

    I'm personally hoping for a clock speed upgrade across the range, but also a larger a mount of RAM being placed in the machines. I think that 3GB Ram in the base model isn't enough for the price, 6GB (3x2GB DDR3 1333Mhz) I think is more than reasonable.

    I think that possibility of a small SSD for a boot drive, and a TB drive as main storage would be amazing. can't see it happening though.

    This is probably just more of a wish list than what will actually happen.

    Damn having to wait on intel for the next mac pro upgrade. I want a shiney new mac now!
     
  11. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #11
    Irrelevant, because practically speaking, one is never limited by memory speed/bandwidth doing any real world work on these machines. Bottlenecks will occur in storage and CPU first...
     
  12. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #12
    An Ivy Bridge Xeon platform update will be a year from the release of the Sandy Bridge models.
     
  13. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #13
    Waiting for a 2011 mac pro will be a long wait. My reasoning is as follows sandy bridge is not ready.


    so all they could do now is sell a hex 3.2 as the base machine with a hex 3.46 as the step up


    they could sell dual quads of a little more speed then current

    and sell dual hexs of more speed
     
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #14
    Some enthusiasts may care about that, but enterprise doesn't and they are the far bigger customer for LGA 2011 processors. One of the big reasons Intel have switched to releasing consumer processors first is so enterprise can benefit from real world testing and refinements of the platform.

    There are 3 uni-processor options for X58: 3.2GHz x4, 3.2GHz x6, 3.46GHz x6. The latter two offer more performance than even the 3.5GHz Xeon E3-1280. The platform also allows more memory capacity and bandwidth as well as more PCI-E lanes. It is still the highest end of Intel's offerings.
     
  15. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

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    Illinois
    #15
    I'd love for them to fit 6/12 ram slots for the single and duel models. I think having that, faster ram and a real professional mid-range gfx card stock (haha I know i know) then I may be interested in trading up my 2009 Quad.


     
  16. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    Sep 12, 2007
    #16
    The CPUs that will replace the W3xx0 etc CPUs currently used are expected in Q4 2011. So expect a Mac Pro late 2011 or early 2012.

    My predictions:

    Casing stays the same except for the inclusion of Thunderbolt ports (probably two - if not one), no USB3 unless we wait for Ivy Bridge later on in 2012.

    GPU: ATi 6xx0 series. 6850 and 6970 maybe?

    Memory: 6Gb, four/eight slots (or if we are extremely lucky, six slots/twelve slots).

    CPU: Bottom end: 4 cores, mid 6, top 8. So dual CPU machine goes to 16 cores, 32 threads :eek:

    Otherwise unchanged IMO.
     
  17. tekboi macrumors 6502a

    tekboi

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    #17
    I hope they refresh soon. I am not gonna hold onto this money all year.
     
  18. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #18
    LGA 2011 processors feature 4 memory controllers. So 4GB/8GB stock and 4/8 memory slots seems likely.
     
  19. DeepIn2U macrumors 68040

    DeepIn2U

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    #19
    I thought Thunderbolt is faster than ESATA?! Not all esata ports are powered directly are they?

    These machines are disgustingly powerful as they are … one can dream. Maybe we'll see an AMD cpu partnership … something to light a fire under Intel's boots?

    I'd LOVE for another power beast introduction like the PowerMac G5 just after Panther had. Watching that keynote gave me goose bumps.

    Me I'll find a 2nd/3rd gen Mac Pro 8-core westmore system. Still love the aluminum case.

    Maybe a case redesign for something slightly smaller/shorter than the current Mac Pro's since power consumption is going down quite significantly since the G5's.
     
  20. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    United Kingdom
    #20
    Personally Im hoping for the Base to be 6-Cores, with 8,12 and 16 at the high-end. Up to 128GB RAM (64GB Supported) on the base Models, and 256 at the High-End, As well as hopefully the same case... because I dont want one in Black :p (And its not just the power consumption that makes it so large, its the Having Dual Drive bays as well as a Double-Wide slot too). I'd also like to see a 4-Monitor Graphics card at the base. As far as CPUs go, Id love an AMD System.... *drools - An AMD 16-Core might be enough to tempt me to upgrade from my 2010*
     
  21. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    #21
    Still don't think those with 6 or 12-core 2010's will benefit greatly with the 2012 mac pro.. however, those with 2006-2009 will.. 6 and 12-core currently is still quite powerful and shouldn't really warrant an upgrade to the 2012.. Here's why:

    No thunderbolt - the X79 does not have thunderbolt capability
    SATA III - Easily all one has to do is get a PCIe SATA III card - problem solved.
    not much difference between 1333 mhz memory and 1600 mhz memory..

    So, really. 2010 mac pro owners with 6-core and 12-core I think most will pass up this update, until Ivy Bridge or Haswell.. Those however, with 2006-2009 mac pros I would think this update would be more than beneficial.

    Again, it boils down to what you use your mac pro for. I do expect the same EBC firmware in the 6xxx series video cards so that AMD will continue to make them backwards compatible with 2006-2010 mac pros.. Thank God Apple has no say in the firmware, and AMD does.. afterall, AMD wants to keep these available for all mac pros, and not just for 2012 mac pros.
     
  22. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    #22
    There's NO WAY the next MacPro revision won't include Thunderbolt.
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #23
    The X79 chipset has some SATA III ports built-in (14 SATA ports total, 10 of them at 6.0Gb/s).

    The X79 doesn't include TB, but it's possible a TB chip could be added, so long as a means of getting a DisplayPort signal to the chip is implemented in order to keep Intel happy (i.e. usage agreement in order to prevent initial confusion over data only or data + video configurations = improves the chances TB will be adopted by users).

    I'm not sure if there was a misunderstanding or something else, but eSATA on a 6.0Gb/s controller is only good for ~ 550MB/s for a single port. Faster is possible via one disk per port in a RAID configuration, but not as a single port (may be the source of the confusion).

    As a single port, TB is faster.

    Using PCIe slots can produce faster solutions than TB as well (i.e. hardware RAID card + sufficient number of disks for example).

    Whether or not a user can utilize all the system cores for a single software application depends on how it's written (true n core multi-threaded or not). Same goes for memory (the application has to be capable of utilizing the bandwidth).

    Unfortunately, such software is fairly rare right now (what you mentioned can, but it's not exclusive to those areas).

    Another major reason consumer parts ship first (probably bigger from Intel's POV), is that they're easier and faster to get shipped = generate an income while completing the enterprise versions (design + testing of LGA1155 = shorter cycle than the LGA1355 or LGA2011 parts).
     
  24. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

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    #24
    Not without Lightfoot?
     
  25. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Excellent, thats even better news :D

    PS: Given that the Mobile Sandy Bridge chips are essentially on par with the top end 4 cores (W3570/W3580) chips anybody with a quad Mac Pro would benefit from going to the Late 2011/Early 2012 Mac Pro.

    I was thinking of putting a W3580 in my W3520 Mac Pro but I don't see the point in spending £300 or so to get it up to the performance of the MOBILE chips. The Xeon Sandy Bridges are going to kick serious backside and I recon even the six-core would see benefits upgrading.
     

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