Octo-core mac pros - really before 07?

Sharky II

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
592
26
United Kingdom
Hi

I dunno guys, i just don't believe it!

I currently have a dualcore 2.0ghz g5, 2.5gb ram, geforce 6600 256mb, 2x 250gb HD's. It's at the centre of my studio. To be honest, i absolutely love it. Does everything i ask it to.

However in november i will be moving from the UK -> USA (for a year) and the cost to move the mac and a load of my stuff there is painful. Although i really don't want to, it would make sense the sell the G5 and pick up a mac pro in the states.

The main problem is that all of my audio software doesn't work on intel yet. Lots of plugins etc, not quite there yet, lots of small dev. teams slowly making the universal binaries. However, i could put up with it, if it meant i had an octo core mac as it's so stupidly future proof, it would be worth going without the UB's in the long term.

I don't know.. i guess what i'm asking is do you guys really think apple will have octo core mac pros for sale this year, before xmas? I don't want to sell the G5 and then be without a powerful computer until march, or something. I know the quads are plenty powerful but i'd feel silly buying one when then the octo cores come out a week later for the same price...

If they won't be out until deep-ish into next year, i'd rather just keep the G5, ship it over to the usa and back, and then sell it when i get back to the UK for whatever cash i get. It will have served me well.

Thanks guys

Eddie
 

Silentwave

macrumors 68000
May 26, 2006
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Gainesville, FL
I think it really depends on two things:

1) whether the Clovertown processor ships with a 1066MT/s FSB (like the current engineering samples we know of) or a 1333MT/S FSB (which has been the more recent statement i've been hearing). Simultaneously, heat, though it won't be a huge problem- as evidenced by the engineering sample Clovertowns working perfectly in a Mac Pro. Clovertown should be out by the end of the year.

2) Apple. They may well offer it as a BTO (due to chip pricing) fairly quickly...or they may wait for MW'07 in January. Either way I think we'll see the first 8 core macs within a month of the new year at the latest.
I hope they migrate the line to a mix of Clovertown and Tigerton after a certain point....
 

YoYoMa

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2006
386
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When will Tigerton be released? Also, will it use the same RAM at the same speed as Woodcrest?
 

Silentwave

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May 26, 2006
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YoYoMa said:
When will Tigerton be released? Also, will it use the same RAM at the same speed as Woodcrest?
Tigerton is as far as I know still somewhat sketchy on the details- it replaced the canceled Whitefield processor, which would have had a 16MB L2 Cache and 4 cores. Tigerton should also have 4 cores, this time on one piece of silicon like the Woodcrest does 2 cores. Clovertown is two Woodcrest dies on one chip. The date i've heard is 2007, though, and it will probably still use similar RAM, if better versions aren't out by then. (FB-DIMM was to transition to DDR3 RAM as soon as it becomes available)

Tigerton is also supposed to be MP-capable. Clovertown/Woodcrest are DP capable, but Tigerton can even handle 3+ chips.
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
Silentwave said:
Tigerton is as far as I know still somewhat sketchy on the details- it replaced the canceled Whitefield processor, which would have had a 16MB L2 Cache and 4 cores. Tigerton should also have 4 cores, this time on one piece of silicon like the Woodcrest does 2 cores. Clovertown is two Woodcrest dies on one chip. The date i've heard is 2007, though, and it will probably still use similar RAM, if better versions aren't out by then. (FB-DIMM was to transition to DDR3 RAM as soon as it becomes available)

Tigerton is also supposed to be MP-capable. Clovertown/Woodcrest are DP capable, but Tigerton can even handle 3+ chips.
Is there any information on when the switch to DDR3 might happen? This FB-DIMM crap is too expensive for my tastes (plus it appears to be extremely hot). I'm considering holding out on my Mac Pro order until the switch to DDR3 and potentially faster processors... as much as I hate the idea of waiting.
 

Mackeyser

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2002
74
0
Tampa, FL
Here's the problem

Cloverton chips while 4 core each are set to ship at 2.4 GHz. And it will be some time yet before the 4 cores in the Dual Xeons are maxed by single apps like FCP or Compressor let alone PS in CS3 or After Effects 8 when those ship. So,for all of 2007, the Clovertons will likely, in almost every measureable way, be SLOWER than the Woodcrests which are likely to see a speed bump up to 3.33GHz on the high end.

Where Clovertons will absolutely SHINE is in the Xserve. Better yet, with those 8 cores, Xgrid will be the KILLER app that makes it all sparkle in that your octo-core file server while sittin' on its duff will be able to throw as many as 7 full cores at additional rendering/computing tasks, which is a ton.

I think Cloverton would be BAD for workstations, ESPECIALLY since there will be BETTER chips out by the time the software is poised to max the potential of Cloverton.

I think we are looking at an August refresh, chipwise, for the Mac Pros and likely it might be Tigerton (or whatever), but who knows for sure.

But to expect Apple to make a chip change when they still have existing Mac Pros using Woodcrest on backorder when even THOSE machines have loads of untapped potential just wouldn't make any sense. I mean, the price on Woodcrests should continue to drop while Apple prepares it's next machine.

And remember, Apple isn't Dell, where they whole computer is almost ala carte pieces. Apple has to manage the machine migrations, not just offer the latest chip regardless of real world performance benefits/hits.

Imho, Cloverton will be a server chip with Mac OS X server being optimized to slam all 8 processors if need be.
 

bob5820

macrumors 6502a
DXoverDY said:
Is there any information on when the switch to DDR3 might happen? This FB-DIMM crap is too expensive for my tastes (plus it appears to be extremely hot). I'm considering holding out on my Mac Pro order until the switch to DDR3 and potentially faster processors... as much as I hate the idea of waiting.
I think that Silentwave ment that the next generation of FB-DIMM's will use DDR3 rather then DDR2 memory, and not that Tigerton would be using normal memory. Tigerton will be a worksation/server class CPU and will likely require workstation/server memory.
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
bob5820 said:
I think that Silentwave ment that the next generation of FB-DIMM's will use DDR3 rather then DDR2 memory, and not that Tigerton would be using normal memory. Tigerton will be a worksation/server class CPU and will likely require workstation/server memory.
Ah I think you're right... i just misread. Duh. Thanks.

Sounds like my question should be, when might we see speed bumped Woodcrests?... might be able to hold out to get the 2.66 -> 3ghz bump and hopefully ram pricing will have come down a tad bit.
 

Mackeyser

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2002
74
0
Tampa, FL
Actually, no, Intel is likely killing FB Dimms as of Jan 2008 per several articles due to a different parity technology.

I hope it isn't true, because that will mean my Mac Pro will be in a memory hole compared to newer machines if they run DDR3, but who knows. The future is never certain with respect to these things...
 

RichP

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Jun 30, 2003
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Motor City
Perhaps you should pick up a used G5 in the states off ebay or something (thats what I did) then get a MacPro once you get back to the UK. Rosetta performance seems very dependent on memory, and by the time you load up a MacPro with 4Gb, it gets very expensive.
 

Sharky II

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
592
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United Kingdom
RichP said:
Perhaps you should pick up a used G5 in the states off ebay or something (thats what I did) then get a MacPro once you get back to the UK. Rosetta performance seems very dependent on memory, and by the time you load up a MacPro with 4Gb, it gets very expensive.
This seems like the most likely and sensible thing to do... then sell the g5 before i leave the states... yeah... ;)
 

Silentwave

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May 26, 2006
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Mackeyser said:
Cloverton chips while 4 core each are set to ship at 2.4 GHz. And it will be some time yet before the 4 cores in the Dual Xeons are maxed by single apps like FCP or Compressor let alone PS in CS3 or After Effects 8 when those ship. So,for all of 2007, the Clovertons will likely, in almost every measureable way, be SLOWER than the Woodcrests which are likely to see a speed bump up to 3.33GHz on the high end.
I've been hearing 2.66GHz, though the ones tested so far in the mac pro were the 2.4s.

I hope Woodcrest does see a high end speed bump, that would be pretty sensible as it would be the xeon version of the Core2 Extreme X8000
 

Mackeyser

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Jul 22, 2002
74
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Tampa, FL
Well, even at 2.66, it will not match the 3.33GHz Woodcrests that are on track to be released, likely after MW (there is NO way that they change chips with the existing machines being backlogged. Then again....since mine is waiting to be built, if they are gonna do it quietly....DO IT NOW!!!). I'd love to get a 3.0GHz machine and not have to pay the extra $800 bucks.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
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England
RichP said:
Perhaps you should pick up a used G5 in the states off ebay or something (thats what I did) then get a MacPro once you get back to the UK. Rosetta performance seems very dependent on memory, and by the time you load up a MacPro with 4Gb, it gets very expensive.
With a Mac Pro currently costing $3200 in the UK (after exchange rate and VAT), it would be better to buy a Mac Pro in the states while he is there and bring it back with him. The more options you add the bigger the difference becomes, easily $2000+ price difference with a loaded out MacPro even with 3rd party purchased components.
 

Mackeyser

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2002
74
0
Tampa, FL
Too true

And I'm not gonna sweat the few extra MHz since the 2.66 is only about 5% slower in real world tests and frankly, even throwing big encoding jobs at it, I can't see myself being so slammed that the 5% will affect me that much. Not $800 worth, anyway. Plus, with the CPUs being swappable, I'll just repurpose that $800 to 2.66GHz Clovertons when they arrive and by then, the apps will SCREAM and I will have the best of both worlds...(well, without the cheaper DDR3 memory, but hey, when is life perfect?

I'm blessed to get the machine I'm getting and every time I get machine envy, I'll remember that struggling artist trying to make it all work on a G4 Quicksilver and be THANKFUL again and again and again.
 

Marioz

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2006
39
0
Rivarolo C.se, Italy
Personally I just don't see many apps to use my 4 cores at 100% so I think that it is much more important to have Leopard ready than 8-16 or even 20 cores that we cannot use.
 

Sharky II

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
592
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United Kingdom
Umbongo said:
With a Mac Pro currently costing $3200 in the UK (after exchange rate and VAT), it would be better to buy a Mac Pro in the states while he is there and bring it back with him. The more options you add the bigger the difference becomes, easily $2000+ price difference with a loaded out MacPro even with 3rd party purchased components.
How can you get the mac pro back to the UK without going through customs? They will just make you pay VAT then?
 

Umbongo

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Sep 14, 2006
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England
Sharky II said:
How can you get the mac pro back to the UK without going through customs? They will just make you pay VAT then?
He may have to pay VAT on returning, but with the exchange rate how it is would still save money. It's one of a number of options anyway.