Next update of Mac Pro to have 6-core as standard?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Kalach, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Kalach macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2011
    It started off with the high end iMac 27 having quad core option. Now Macbook Pro's have quad core. Also with the next iMac update around the corner we can only imagine that the 21,5 iMac will be quad cores as well.

    So do you think it's possible for the standard Mac Pro to be a 6-core machine for the next update? :)
  2. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    There is no need for it. The MacPro is aimed at customers needing expandability and/or server-grade parts, not absolute power. Most MacPro customers don't need or even want 6 cores of power. Thats why its offered as a standard configuration.
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Agreed... and just because the high end MBPs and iMacs have Quad's doesn't preclude the low end MPs having Quads. The high end MPs will still come with dual processors with 4, 6, or 8 cores each.
  4. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    I guess it depends on the cost of the new processors at the time. I don't know how a 6-core Sandy Bridge Xeon will compare with what the 2.8Ghz 4 core Nehalem cost when the 2010 Mac Pro was released. I hope 6-core is standard. If it isn't or isn't a cheap upgrade at the next refresh then it'll be far less enticing for me to buy. Some people want to buy Mac Pros as they'll last for years longer than most other Macs as a useful machine. For that personally I'd want at least a 6-core.
  5. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    Why? By limiting yourself to a single processor you're severely limiting future upgrades, and the useful life of the machine. You'll be limited to a maximum of a single 8-core CPU (if they make any compatible with the current or next socket). Where if you get the dual quads for $200 less you lose an imperceptible difference in power but you'll also have the ability to upgrade to a pair of moderate-speed 12 cores or (likely) even 16 cores for cheaper than buying a single high clocked 8 core.

    Not to mention you get significantly improved memory performance and capacity with the dual CPU sockets. That also leads to cheaper future upgrades since very high density ram modules aren't needed to get the same capacity.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    There isn't anywhere near enough information from Intel available in the public domain to know this.
  7. deconstruct60, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    I agree. The current entry processor used is a W3530.

    It costs about $294. So whatever is in the Xeon E-5 range that costs $290-350 range is what they will use. That's likely to be 4 core variant.
    You can look at the "pre-order" prices for the Xeon E-3 series.

    Some of those are in the $350+ range and are at 4 cores. They may be a bit higher than the official prices but a useful gauge. So, it is very unlikely that a Xeon E-5 is going to have more than 4 cores and be lower than $400 unless severely hobbled on clockrate (GHz).
    The current "entry" 5xxxx series Xeon used by Apple is the 5620 which comes in at $387 ( but is clocked down at 2.4GHz.

    I would guess something like 4 cores and about 3.1GHz base rate would get the selection from Apple. That's about a 10% jump in raw clock and the Sandy Bridge has better cache/throughput architecture. That's enough for a nice 15+% gap on a chart between "old" and "new" for Apple's website.
    [and if Apple can't find a E-5 in that price range they will throw an E-3 into the mix which would practically guarantee it is 4 cores. ]

    The E-5 are currently rumored to have between 2-8 cores.

    I don't think 2 core will cut it even though it will probably be cheaper (it likely will be gimped in some way). I think the lower end E-5's and mid-upper end E-3's will overlap in price because aimed at different targets but with similar performance numbers (at least on mundane apps. E-5 will have bigger caches.) However it is a fallacy to think that just because 8 core models show up in the new line up that the prices on 6 core models are going to crater. Perhaps they will drop some, but not enough to drop to "entry level" prices.

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