Nehalem... when?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ObiMcD, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. ObiMcD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    #1
    So I'm a film student who is needing to buy a new mac for film class second semester of this year. I've decided that, because I also do work on the side, to go all out and get a mac pro. However, I recently heard about the power of the Nehalem processors that should be coming out soon. My question is, is there any possibility of a Mac Pro coming with Nehalem before Jan of 2009? I mostly just figure that if I CAN get this new processor, that would be fantastic but obviously I can't wait around for it to come out.
     
  2. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    B'ham
    #2
    My advice would be to buy now and get started editing. The current Mac Pros are excellent machines and great values. If you were a professional editor already and had a client workload that would benefit from having a faster machine, you might want to wait for the nehalem machine which probably won't be out till 1/09. Good luck.
     
  3. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #3
    None at all.
     
  4. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #4
    but aren't the nehalem mac pros supposedly out on Feb 2009? that'd be just one more month...
     
  5. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #5
    PS: my last mac was a Powermac Performa 6214CD... after that i made the switch to the windoze world... this nehalem release will be my first mac in 12 years... i seriously cant wait for it... !:D
     
  6. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #6
    Just because Intel releases the Nehalem on a certain day does not mean that Apple will adopt it right away. It could be days, weeks, or even months uses it in the Mac Pro.
     
  7. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #7
    well judging from what others have posted here, nehalem releases are due Q4 2008.... that leaves for macworld 09 to announce the new nehalem mac pros (hopefully)
     
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #8
    January 2010 at MacWorld is the soonest the Nehalem Mac Pros can come out.

    Do some research before complaining to me about this, but I'll tell you why if you can't find anything.

    Make that thirteen.
     
  9. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #9
    Only if Apple sticks with the FB-DIMM form factor for memory (see Reply 15 for more info).
     
  10. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #10
    I want this to be right, I really do. No one wants to wait two years for an update (sorry, Penryners), but I just don't see Apple not using FB-DIMMs...

    We'll know in January whether or not we have another year to wait.
     
  11. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #11
    why would apple stick with fb-dimms, being that they have higher latency and get hotter? wouldn't going DDR3 be beneficial for mac pro in that sense? especially that of the temp issues.
     
  12. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #12
    Why did they choose to use them in the first place, then?
     
  13. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #13
    ask intel...
     
  14. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #14
    No, I mean Apple. Since there was an alternative. And always has been.
     
  15. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    Because they did not have a choice. If you want to use the Xeon processor, you have to use an Intel chipset and that chipset only supports FB-DIMM.

    The only Nehalem chipset to date that will support FB-DIMM (actually FB-DIMM2) is Beckton which is designed for servers with four CPUs and a total of 16 to 32 cores. Everything else will dual dual-channel or tri-channel DDR3. Even the dual CPU servers/workstations (Gainestown) that would most logically be used in the Mac Pro and X-Serve form factors.

    The first Core 2 Quad did not ship until November 2006 (Kentsfield XE). The new Mac Pro shipped in August of 2006. So if Apple had not used the Xeon, they would have had to use a single Core 2 Duo (Kentsfield). And even if they had the Kentsfield XE, it still would have been a single CPU machine since I do not know of a motherboard that supports two Core architecture CPUs.
     
  16. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #16
    please read the comment above.... :rolleyes:
     
  17. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #17
    Okay, I'm getting lost in product line names vs. processor code names...

    So Beckton will be the Nehalem Xeon, and Gainstown will be... the highest-end version of the main processor line?

    I don't get why Apple would drop the server chips that they've been using, though. Prior to the release of the first Mac Pro, the rumors around here were of Apple using a Core 2 Extreme in their new Intel professional Mac. Then they went with a server chip (good choice for power) and FB-DIMMs (terrible trade-off). Evidence of a growing Mac Pro base would be nice, but using a non-server chip closes it in on xMac territory. Wait... that's also a good thing.

    I want you to be right more than anything, but I just. don't. see them dropping FB-DIMMs and Xeons for Nehalem unless they plan on marketing the Mac Pro differently. You mentioned 16 to 32 cores. Apple cares about cores, as evidenced by Grand Central. With the Mac Mini stock left to run out and the Mac Pro being a niche, I can't see Apple caring enough to change their strategy to conform with what we want.

    Again, I hope that you're right. I just need some concrete evidence to believe that Apple has an incentive for dropping FB-DIMMs other than the latency that could have been solved by not using Xeons in the first place.
     
  18. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #18
    i honestly think apple will not wait long enough in order to implement nehalem architecture in their rigs... especially since apple is so picky when it comes to being 'top of the line'... no fsb is one hell of a thing and thats exactly what theyre going to want to announce at mw09 :D

    PS: gainestown will most likely be the processor of choice... beckton has i believe 8 cores (16 with a dual setup), which i think would be a bit too overkill
     
  19. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #19
    *cough*graphics cards*cough :rolleyes:
     
  20. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #20
    well... excluding that... :D apple has the tendency to use the crappiest cards throughout most of their product lines... but i think that is soon to change... especially due to coreimage apps that will take full advantage of gfx cards and not to mention future releases of photoshop that will implement gfx acceleration. these things will prove to be major selling points and they will need good gfx cards for this.
     
  21. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    B'ham
    #21
    :mad:
     
  22. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #22
    It is very confusing, I admit.

    Beckton is a server processor, also known as "Nehalem-EX". It will be used in groups of four - so four physical CPUs. Each Beckton CPU can have eight CPU cores so you could have a total of 32 cores (and 64 threads). It will have 4 QPI Links - one for each CPU. It will also use FB-DIMM2 memory with four channels. It uses the LGA 1557 socket.

    Gainestown is workstation and server processor, also known as "Nehalem-EP". It will be used in groups of two - so two physical CPUs. Each Gainestown can have four CPU cores so you could have a total of 8 cores (and 16 threads). It will have 2 QPI Links to link the two CPUs. It will use DDR3 memory with three channels. It uses the LGA 1366 socket.

    Bloomfield is a high-end desktop processor. It operates as a single CPU. Each Bloomfield can have four CPU cores executing eight threads. It will have 1 QPI Link and will use DDR3 memory with three channels. It uses the LGA 1366 socket.

    Lynnfield/Clarksfield is the "mainstream" desktop processor. It's effectively a Bloomfield except it only uses two DDR3 channels.


    It is not a case of Apple dropping a server chip, but Intel changing the specification of that server chip. For dual-CPU workstations and servers, Intel uses three channels of DDR3. For four-CPU servers, Intel uses four channels of FB-DIMM2. I do not expect the Mac Pro or the X-Serve to move to four CPUs - at least directly. As such, they would be using the two-CPU chipsets which call for DDR3.


    Regardless of what we might want, Apple could find themselves at a serious disadvantage in the high-end computing workspace if they don't move to Nehalem with expediency. If they're still running dual Xeon 5400s and the Windows world is offering dual Nehalems at 50% or better performance, major customers in Apple's core competency industries could move to Windows because time is money to these people.

    Apple could very well move into the four-CPU space down the road. A 16-core/32-thread Mac Pro would indeed be a monster with Grand Central-optimized applications and system software. But I hope Apple doesn't wait for that before they make the move to improve the Mac Pro.


    There was no real incentive for Apple to use FB-DIMM - it was what they had to use to offer a dual-CPU platform on the Intel 32-bit architecture. The only incentive they have for not dropping it is because they want to only offer single-CPU and four-CPU options. And considering how folks carp about what a Mac Pro costs over an iMac, they're going to have a heart-attack at what a four quad-core Mac Pro is going to cost compared to a single quad-core CPU iMac.

    Offering quad-core processors in single, dual and quad CPU configurations would allow Apple to maximize the benefits of Grand Central and tailor their models to more markets.
     
  23. bigwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #23
    There's no reason you can't use Beckton in a 2-cpu configuration. Beckton is scheduled to be an 8-core cpu, so 16 cores and 32 threads if configured like the current Pro.

    Btw, mobile Nehalem has slipped to to Q3 (originally Q2) of 2009 according to Wikipedia, which means it won't be available for a hypothetical June rollout with Snow Leopard.
     
  24. indiochano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #24
    i thought snow leopard was to be released at macworld 09 :confused:
     
  25. bigwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #25
    The stuff I saw said "about a year", which makes it June '09 WWDC.
     

Share This Page