New Pro. No Dual CPU options?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 50wyldeman, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. 50wyldeman macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2011
    Northern California
    SO is it being assumed there will be no dual processor options on the new cylinder model, or is it CONFIRMED (if so where??) That there will be no Dual processor option???
  2. DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    From all the information available it is a very safe bet that the mac pro in it's released preview form will only have one CPU. Marketing all over Apple's site states 12 cores, and we know it will use a single 12 core CPU. Unless there is a shock overhaul of the case and form, there is no way that 2 CPUs would fit in the current design.
  3. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Yep. This is also the way I see it on the 2013 Mac Pro. As far as I know whenever Apple presents a sneak preview, the design and specs are almost final unless I am mistaken.
  4. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Yes, I suspect you will have only one CPU with 12 cores.

    This is actually more efficient as all the cores can share caches and communicate via each other via higher speed interconnects.

    Intel will release > 12 core CPUs for future models in due course, but for most high end apps GPUs are faster these days (assuming the app is tweaked to use them) anyhow.

    I guess they could do a higher end Pro by just making the cylinder taller, with 4x GPU and 2x 12 core CPU but i really doubt it will be any time soon :D
  5. scottrichardson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    From some more in-depth blog posts and articles I have read, it seems that a single socket system actually has some performance benefits over a multi-socketed system when it comes to memory latency, access, bandwidth etc.
  6. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    Apple is betting that future software will take advantage of the GPU more than the CPU. It's my understanding that only one of the GPU's is used for video display while at least the remaining other one is for pure computing. I suppose if you only have one display attached the new Mac Pro could use most of two GPU's for computing.
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Of course, but none of that matters if you can do 20% more work by having a second CPU. There is only a single CPU version because that makes the most financial sense for Apple.
  8. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    near Cambridge
    Apple does not want to design two systems, I suspect.

    With the present Mac Pro it was mainly designed as a two-processor machine in terms of power supply size, layout and so on. In fact with the 2008(?) the single processor machines were socketed for two processors I think.

    This made the one processor options expensive as you were paying for a bigger power supply, case etc than was actually needed but these machines were the entry level ones which many people went for.

    Apple have now decided to design for one processor and two gpus instead. Which makes some sense though it is bad luck on those who want more cpus and less gpus.

    Unlike Dell, HP etc Apple has only ever designed one system with variants. (Compare the Mac Pro to Dell T7600, T5600 and T3600 with HP having a similar range of machines.)
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    That is correct. The single package was a cto only. If you configured with 1 it knocked $500 off the price.

    This isn't a straight comparison. The current dual mac pro is like a T5600 in terms of what it will hold. The T7600 is not remotely like the mac pro. Both support dual cpu configurations. The 7600 supports a ton of stuff internally, many drives, crazy amounts of ram, tesla coprocessors, etc. It's not that everyone uses that, but it's built for a totally different max spec. The 5600 single cpu version still uses dual cpu parts, including Xeon 2600 cpus and up to 128GB of ram, yet it still starts way lower. The single mac pro does use less expensive cpus and board design via their cpu tray.
  10. ness96 macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    Is there really a need for dual CPUs? 12 cores on a single physical CPU seems ideal to me.

    I would expect the current trend to continue and we will see 12+ core CPUs.
  11. Bear, Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Yes, but a single 12 Core processor would be better than dual 6 core processors. And yes, a single processor system is simpler to design and costs less. I suspect we'll see 3 or 4 different processors available for the new Mac Pr when they finally announce the specs.

    Everyone's needs are different. Some people would make use of more than 12 cores in a single system, but probably not enough for it to be worth it to Apple.
  12. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    Oh but how sweet would it be to have a dual system with 24 physical cores and 48 virtual. Now that would break some handbrake records. :)
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    This is what we have been actually told or shown:

    Nothing else can be trusted. That's it. That's all we got at this point.

    More may be revealed later but no one has any idea at all if or when such might occur.
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Sure at the same clockspeeds I'd rather have the single CPU. Building a system myself though I'd never go for the single E5-2697V2 when I could have 12 cores at 3.5GHz or 16 at 2.6GHz for the same sort of price. Even vendors won't be hugely different in price between such configs.
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This gets a bit confusing here. Single vs two - other than perhaps heat, the only difference is that the single should technically be faster for 12.

    Btw, exactly which software really takes keen advantage of 12? It would seem only those that really gain an advantage might raise issue. While many software can use 12, some do take a hit as they are not really optimized to properly exploit all 12.

    So - I'll ask here, please list the software that does take advantage of 12 and also what is the the approx speed/processing advantage over a hex or quad. I ask only out of real curiosity.
  16. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Troy, IL (STL Area)

    Why does it have to be one item of software? Multi-tasking is the norm here, and you don't need a single piece of software to consume 12 cores.

    Consider virtualization and running multiple virtual machines.

  17. MacMilligan macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2012
    Two CPUs are great for scientific computing, but more of that stuff is going to GPU grids. Ray Tracing is sometimes faster with CPUs, but GPU solutions are becoming usable. Ray Tracing scales well with more CPUs/cores, so rendering can be helped with dual CPUs. Depending on the the tools used, video encode directly scales with CPU/cores and can't always be done in GPU grids.

    Some tasks are hurt by dual CPUs, especially if they are memory limited. If CPU 1 needs information that is sitting in CPU 2's cache, it can slow the computation. One example is with finite differentiation. These programs need to be specifically tailored to the hardware setup.

    A lot of scientific computing is memory speed limited since we are talking about keeping millions of grid points in 3D or more matrices that all need to be accessed.

    Anyway, to answer the question, yes dual CPUs still make sense these days but not as much so since a lot of tasks are being moved to the GPU.
  18. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Two cpu are great IF you can restrict their data access to their assigned memory bank. Performance drops when they have to wait to access the other cpu assigned ram bank.

    For some application, especially in engineering, when dealing with really big dataset or object, a single CPU workstation can in many occasion be faster than a dual cpu one.
  19. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    There are only 4 DIMMs slots. You can clearly go to Apple's website and cout the 4. You can also clearly see that the 4 DIMM slots are relatively not "small" to the new machine. So it is not particularly feasiable that they are somehow hidden from from some where else in the container.

    A dual Processor Xeon E5 v2 solution would have 8 DIMMs slots. It also would be capable of going to 16 cores. ( dual 8's at 95W would be higher than single 12 core model but in range of older Mac Pro thermal limits). Apple's pages clearly state "up to 12 cores" so not really a dual E5 v2 wheel house.

    The major flaw is folks not taking into account " Intel Xeon E5 chipset ..." referring to the upcoming Xeon E5 v2 offerings in the late Q3 timeframe ( September). 12 cores with one package is tractable with those new offerings.
  20. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    But how much of that 20% more work is not embarrassingly parallel computational work. The real question is whether need more "cores" or just need more math function units ( adder, multiply, divide ) ? If the princple need is primarily grounded in the latter then don't necessarily need a core that does alot more things besides math.

    It isn't just about financial sense for Apple. If folks aren't buying dual's in equal numbers as singles then it is extremely likely it doesn't make financial sense for most customers either. ( Yes there is a financial hook for Apple to meet most of the demand with most of the supply, but it is not as one sided as implicated. ). If Apple was leaving $1B on the table that would be a financial factor. They likely are not.
  21. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    There is little to indicate that it can only be used for computer. The 7 video output streams seem to indicative that the other could be pressed into service is plug in that many monitors. The vast majority of users won't so it will pragmatically do mostly computation.

    The other factor is the the OS libraries/services can target the non display GPU as being the primary target for computations so as to leave the most headroom from the GPU with active video data load(s). Unless the data is tightly coupled to the video output stream and would be needed to be copied to the GPU anyway, the load can be distributed by default. Again that isn't necessarily a hard constraint.

    Depends upon the display and what is on it. :) 4K and some equally humongous number of polygons and textures would result in a huge chunk of VRAM disappearing for use. OpenGL v4 bring more complete computational shaders to the card even if not for more general purpose computation.
  22. speed7 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2013
    I know this may be a little far fetched. But do you think Apple will introduce a way to "daisy chain" the new Mac Pro? So instead of purchasing the system with 2 cpu's. Just make one system that can be expanded to handle the load of the end user?

    So excuse my ignorance on clock speeds for transfer speeds from the CPU to the motherboards.. but if its about the same or less than the TB2 transfer speeds. Then maybe that's how Apple will appease the high end users.

    Need more power just add another MP. Plus only making 1 type of MP is cheaper to do. Which means an overall less expensive MP for everyone.

    IDK.. just have this feeling that's what they are going to do. This type of expandability would be revolutionary.. and would bring us back to 2007 with the iPhone.
  23. DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    This was discussed thoroughly in a few threads before this model was released... a stackable, modular Mac Pro or 'xMac'.

    Even before this model was released this concept was thwarted by fact that thunderbolt alone has less bandwidth even compared to PCIe v3 let alone processor QPI (quick path interconnect).

    Now that we've seen a preview of the new Mac Pro, the modular concept is pretty much dead in the water!

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