MP All Models Question for those who are familiar with CPU roadmaps

Loa

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 5, 2003
1,587
45
Québec
Hello,

(Background: I've been struggling with my decision to replace my 2009 MP for about two years. Haven't replaced it so far. Now that I know that the new Mac Pro is out of my financial league, I've been looking at the top of the line iMac and I'm hoping that the iMac Pro gets updated soon.)

I've used Macs ever since I bought a Mac Plus SE back when it was current. I've never kept a computer for more than 4 years since. And now I've had this Mac Pro for ten years. I still haven't replaced it because it's still not necessary for me to do so. Despite ten years of development, I don't *need* to replace it.

I feel as if the power increase curve has flattened somewhat over the last decade.

When looking at Intel's chip roadmap, is this something that is about to change? In other words, is this keeping-a-computer-for-so-long a new trend for many of us? Or have we just been in a technological lull that is about to end?

Thanks for any insight.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,852
380
UK
We are at apples mercy on upgrades, https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac is worth a look.

On Intel's side anandtech is still one of the best places to look.
This is the only recent news
So maybe an imac pro update soon?


If you don't need to get a new computer id wait as intel will update it’s desktop cpu line some time next year
If you do need a new computer then up to you.

Id gess in the future we will see an update on desktop from intel with some security patches, maybe HT on low end cpus and an extra core or two, bigger igpu and maybe some more on cpu stuff like newer wifi and TB/USB updates

Pure gess tho
 

thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2014
1,944
4,207
known but velocity indeterminate
Hello,

(Background: I've been struggling with my decision to replace my 2009 MP for about two years. Haven't replaced it so far. Now that I know that the new Mac Pro is out of my financial league, I've been looking at the top of the line iMac and I'm hoping that the iMac Pro gets updated soon.)

I've used Macs ever since I bought a Mac Plus SE back when it was current. I've never kept a computer for more than 4 years since. And now I've had this Mac Pro for ten years. I still haven't replaced it because it's still not necessary for me to do so. Despite ten years of development, I don't *need* to replace it.

I feel as if the power increase curve has flattened somewhat over the last decade.

When looking at Intel's chip roadmap, is this something that is about to change? In other words, is this keeping-a-computer-for-so-long a new trend for many of us? Or have we just been in a technological lull that is about to end?

Thanks for any insight.
You are correct that "Moore's Law" hasn't been maintaining exponential growth for some time now (very few things ever maintain exponential growth). Pure transistor count increases and die shrinkages had already given way to speculative pathing and core counts for some time. There's been potential for etching technology to make a leap (which would make die shrinkage simpler) but they've been saying that for years and it hasn't happened so instead we have dual and quad processes instead. We're running up against physics, the wavelength of light with respect to etching and thermodynamics in terms of removing heat and increasing clock speed. The biggest advances right now are ironically in making chips less powerful (in terms of power used) so they reduce heat and can increase clock.

I'm not an expert in this field but what I glean from those who are is that the next big increases will be in task specific circuitry (we're seeing that already but much more of it). That won't happen overnight with a massive leap forward in performance, that will take many iterations and for software to be in step to take advantage of those features. For now, performance seems to tick up a few percent each generation in single core or if you have a use case that can take advantage of it you can increase the number of cores you purchase.

To put it in perspective, if you buy current processor tech today and want to keep it for the next four years I'd expect that for a given number of cores the future tech will be about 12.5% faster at that time. That's measurable but not night and day.
 
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ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
1,009
868
Short Answer - Intel has nothing for the next couple of years. AMD is the one leading the technological charge.

Long Answer - Intel have completely failed with their 10nm process. You may see something new in 2021. For now & through 2020, all they can do is drop prices, they have squeezed just about everything they can out of the 14nm++++++++++++++ process. Until Intel gets their 10nm process straightened out, their innovations will be in storage (which Apple doesn't use because of the T2 chip) , and discrete graphics cards, which will come out in 2020. Which I also expect Apple to ignore.

There is an incredible amount of technical innovation going on, but it is with AMD. Ryzen is increasing at 12% IPC per clock, and bumping up cores (at a much lower price than what Intel is selling - even factoring in price cuts). Next year 8 cores/16 threads will be mainstream. AMD has some great 65watt CPUs (See Ryzen 7 3900 - these would be game changers in a next gen iMac Pro - no more thermal throttling! Too bad Apple seems welded to Intel for CPUs). As a final note, AMD is already showing (closed door) next gen chips (Zen 3 - 4 threads per core), and they are working on Zen 4.

PCIe 4.0 is available now on new AMD motherboards - Intel won't have anything above PCIe 3.0 until 2nd half 2021 (for servers) - I suspect they will go to PCIe 5.0 then (along with AMD and the AM5 platform) in 2022.

Both AMD and NVidia have moved to new architectures for their video cards. Neither appear to be showing up on Apple products, anytime soon, if ever. Apple won't sign off on 16 or 20 series Nvidia drivers, and Navi is nowhere to be seen in the Mac Pro. AMD has retired the GCN platform, which is what the upcoming 7,1 (and current iMac Pro) use.

I have been on Apple towers since I got a B&W G3 (roughly 20 years). I will miss Apple, but at the end of the day, I need performance, and Tim Cook's Apple isn't about performance.
 
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thornslack

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2013
409
159
The above is pretty accurate. It may be worth seeing what intels 10nm desktop variants can do, but right now they are only available in mobile skus due to low clocks. If 10nm clicks there could be a window of opportunity to hop on the new platform. But I suppose it’s still possible that 10nm may never see performance class parts and there could be a leapfrog to another node to save face.
 
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Loa

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 5, 2003
1,587
45
Québec
Thanks! I think I'll wait for the next iMac Pro.

I'm not in a hurry, but it still feels strange to have a 10 year old computer as my main computer. :)