The Xeon 3620 and 3640

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by J the Ninja, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Where did reports of these parts first come from? There is almost no mention of them on Google. As some others have noted, it seems Apple is waiting on some part (remember the first unibodies? How they were a few months after everyone else was selling laptops with new Intel CPUs, since Apple was waiting for the 9400 to be available?) It's possible they were waiting on the GTX 460 as well, since it sits in a similar price/performance bracket that the 8800GT and 4870 occupied at the time of those launches. But that is out now, and still no Mac Pro, unless Apple is hiding the whole thing for more availability of the 1GB version. (seems like it would be easier to announce the new MP and just delay shipping of machines that have a BTO 460, now that the card is launched)

    So....if they are waiting on a part, it is probably these two CPUs, rumored lower end hexacores that would allow for a sub-$3k base model that is clearly superior to the iMac. Anyone have more info on them?
  2. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I have seen Geekbench results from the W3680 and it's over 17,000 for a single 6-core processor. Perhaps this is what they are going to be putting in the new Mac Pro. It would make it faster than a 2.66GHz 8-core system, and it's only one processor. The W3680 is essentially the same thing as the i7 980x but on the Xeon side.
  3. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    I still don't see the 2010 coming out soon..

    Consensus has it that possibly after September or maybe October.. Or it could also be that Jobs really isn't interested anymore in the mac pro, even though Apple's engineers are ??

    Ward: How do you like your computer thus far?? have u been able to sleep?

  4. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    I think they will definitely have this CPU as on option for the MP. But they don't need to wait for that chip since it should be available already. But the lower clock speed six-core xeon chips aren't, which is a definite possibility for what Apple is waiting on.

    If they are waiting on these chips and the price is comparable to the ones that were put in the MP in March last year, I wouldn't be surprised if they just swapped each quad-core for a six-core and made 6-12 lineup to replace the 4-8 they have now.
  5. lordonuthin macrumors 6502


    Jan 27, 2007
    I think they are waiting for the next generation of cpu from westmere maybe westmere wasn't a big enough of an upgrade to bother with? Also adding new things like usb 3 and sata 3 might be causing problems?
  6. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Nanofrog said there were reports and info about them in several sites, including Wikipedia. However, it looks like they have been removed, possibly Intel asked them to do so. Core i7-970 was just launched so we should see more cheaper Gulftowns later on this year, at least I hope so :p
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    While Apple could be waiting for such processors, there is no reason for them to do so. They would be fine launching with quad cores in the lower end as that is the line up from Intel, there is no getting around that, and customers can't reallly take issue with unavailable processors not being used. Apple have hardly gone to great lengths to bring the best hardware, value for money and performance to the Mac Pro in the past, especially on the 09 models.

    As for lower clocked and cheaper 6-core processors, I wouldn't expect there to be any surprises this year. The rumours are already out as to what is coming and they aren't included. Intel are in no rush to push out 6 cores at low prices because then it limits their options to sell quad core processors and there is no real competition from AMD.
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    The 3620 is likely going to have just as many cores as the already released 5620; 4 cores. The more full line up in the 5600 series that Intel released back in March/April has both 6 and 4 cores. About half the offerings were 4 core models. The new Mac Pro as extremely unlikely to leverage 100% 6 core package across the whole line up. The entry single package and entry dual package will likely have 4 and 8 cores respectively.

    There is more to CPUs than just the number of cores. The newer 4 core models still have the shared 12MB L3 cache. That tends to work even better when only have to split that 4-ways rather than 6-ways. The 5620 also isn't as pokey when it comes to clock rate (small chance will let 3620 creep into the 2.7-2.8 range).

    Most of the rumors are about desktop model's CPUs. And the 3600 updates will likely include quads also. A $500 six core is all that is really needed to flush out the lineup. It is not being held up for a $200-300 6 cores. Those aren't coming and nothing in already released 5600 line up suggest they are coming.

    If Apple went with minor 3500 speed bumps for the entry and midlevel single package Pros and kept the 6 core Mac Pro to the $3700 price point there would be a long list of complainers about how the update was so not worth it. The complaining is going to be bad enough the 6 core is likely going to be at $2900.

    Intel has had problems keeping up with 32nm demand so far this year. If the 3600 series had lower priced elements they still didn't have capacity to make them to sell.

    the 3600 series at this point consists of one and only one processor

    Intel created a whole series so that could release just one member ?
    They could. A bit weird but possible.

    Your advocating that Apple drop entry and mid single package models with 2009 tech and in the same breath poo-poo that tech and also blow off getting 2010 tech to "bring best hardware".

    Admittedly, the dual package folks could probably end up with same setup (if no board updates) as what could have gotten back in March/April. The much more higher volume single package models are blocked unless want to sit on 2009 tech for two years in product line up. Don't think that is going to make anyone happy a couple of months from now.
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    There will be 3.2GHz and 3.46Ghz models this year (cheaper and I guess replacing, or more expensive respectively). They have often released the highest end processors first and then added more over the next couple of years. That didn't happen with the introduction of Core i7 and socket 1366 though. without real competition and with socket 1366 doing so well there isn't pressure to release 6 core models at lower price points. Intel do lots of weird stuff though.

    You interpretation of what I wrote is incorrect. I meant that because Apple haven't tried to make the Mac Pro anything special since launching them*, and because the processors (and graphics cards) available 4 months ago were an acceptable upgrade, I can't see Apple waiting for some new processors being added at the low end being the reason for delay. I just don't think it matters to them in that regard.

    *06-08 models were nicely priced, but generic, 09 had limited DIMM slots, capped memory speeds and didn't offer the fastest processors, prices increased. They were all good machines, but nothing that stood out compared to what others did with Intel's workstation platform.
  10. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Quote of the year right there! Now the latest rumor is that Apple is slowing up stock for an impending new iMac release? Jeeze! The iMacs were last updated in October! We are inching up on 550 days for the Mac Pro.

    I don't know why, but I've got a funny feeling that this update, when it finally does come out, will be a disappointment to many. Let's face it, Apple really doesn't care anymore.

    I've submitted feedback several times asking where the Mac Pro update is, why it's been neglected, and asking them to release video card options as standalone items so people like me can update their machines without having to buy an entirely new machine. Who knows if they even read their feedback.
  11. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    You really think by trying to email them feedback they would tell you anything?? If it comes out, it comes out.. plain and simple. Why they would update the imac is a given: CONSUMER BASED MACHINE.. Far more useful for end consumers who don't want an expandable box.. ALso, more market share with the imac and mini.. Mac Pro doesn't even make up any margin to even be remotely known..

    The largest high margin products of Apple thus far according to pie charts on this forum:

    Itoys - mostly 80-85 percent
    The laptops - high margin, for end consumers
    mini and imac - nice margin, for end consumers

    Mac pro and xserve don't even make as much as the itoys or the other macs put together..

    When Apple comes out with the mac pro, believe me it will happen... we just have to give more time.

  12. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You don't have any statistics to backup your statement. Quad Mac Pro has huge margin, the parts doesn't cost much more than 1000$
  13. PaulD-UK macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Apple's new North Carolina datacentre is due to come on-line by 'the end of the year':

    What have Apple's technical strategists planned to fill it with?

    1. Could be Mac Mini Servers?
    But the guys who rack them up by the hundred are mostly web hosting operations who are operating in a very competetive marketplace. Apple don't have such an immediate constraint.

    2. Could be a bespoke box along the same lines as Google have had built: but given Apple's hardware profile I would guess they'd want a more robust design that they could sell in their general marketplace.

    3. So that means a new super-X-Serve box. I would guess, with its design finalised just-in-time to make them before they get installed. More efficient, more powerful (more cores?)...

    We all get a corresponding new Mac Pro design 'more efficient, more powerful (more cores?)' at the same time they go into production as the server box. :)
    Much later this year...

    Some further points:
    1. Apple did a complete mobo redesign after less than a year between Rev a and Rev b of the original G5 Mac Towers, although the CPUs remained 2GHz max (with a die shrink), so they are quite ready to rework the tower's guts if they feel it appropriate.

    2. With Light Peak on the horizon a huge rethink on form factor is likely as that rewrites the rule book. But that's not 'real soon now', so any Mac Pro redesign this year is sort of an interim project - certainly not going to last for 7 years...

    3. Apple snuck the 2009 Mac Pro pricing increase in when Steve was flat out on the operating table. I guess that was Tim Cook's way of discarding any lingering nostalgia that Apple's CEO might have felt for his roots. "You want something? It costs..."

    4. About 3 years ago (can't find the link) Apple indicated that they were no longer going to advertise any new Pro App hardware through mainstream media (TV superbowl ads etc), but rather they were going to capitalise on the hugely valuable word-of-mouth process that their professional users brought to the party.

    That worked fine for software - Leopard, FCS 2, Logic 8/9 etc, and the 2008 Mac Pro but it came a cropper over the MacBook FireWire port debacle - petitions and the like ;)

    Apple recovered (reinstating a FW port on the revised unibody MBP), but I'm sure they look over their shoulder more now than they did in the past...
    As Steve so often tells us 'it hurts' if we don't like his products...........

    So I do think they take notice :)

    But 'they know best'...........
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Unlikely. The web host context is there the data sharing is on the disk in the server. Also it is hosting 1,000 of web sites not one website with 1,000's of servers. Networking and storage design are going to be compeletely different.

    Given there are 3-4 vendors who will sell you a datacenter-in-a-box containers Apple can just buy them. It isn't necessary to create a product.

    Even if Apple filled that datacenter quickly ( which they won't... it will be mostly empty for a couple of years ) what Google has deployed dwarfs what Apple will have.

    Secondly because Google's stuff is custom and not for sale it doesn't have to pass any FCC tests. Google's severs tend not to have cases. Just enough case to plug it into a rack where it will live out its lifetime. Apple isn't going to build anything like that for sale.

    Don't hold your breath. The number of folks who need google-like server deployments is small. Very small compared to even the 1U server market.

    The tech in Apple's data center.....

    Sun and/or IBM gear. Linux. Oracle/Data Guard, NetApp, DataDomain.
    There is probably more (in terms of numbers ) Mac OS X gear, but a generic XServe would do for much of it. There is likely somewhat custom middleware that Apple is running but the front end web serving (primarily just running Apache and making calls to middleware) and lower back end data serving ( databases , file systems ) are all easily bought off the shelf from the same enterprise hardware vendors the rest of the Fortune 500 buys gear from.

    The Mac Pro pricing was probably set 4-5 months before the introduction of the product. Steve was very much aware of what it was going to cost. This whole spin that "if only Steve was paying attention and knew he'd fix the Mac Pro. .... all we need do is draw his attention... " is misguided.

    Apple hasn't mass marketed advertised Mac hardware ( commercial , pro , or otherwise) in over a decade. The hardware was never given and significant highlights in any of the "Mac vs. PC" campaign. That was a crack jokes on Vista ad campaign. It never was centered on the hardware.

    Apple does product placement in entertainment media but they don't advertise the hardware.
  15. PaulD-UK macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Thanks for the analysis ;)
    Dell? Dell! Something from Michael Dell!!!
    (Insert any other vendor as appropriate ;) )
    I'll rephrase:
    Steve, for several months laid low by medical problems, handed over to Cook, who now makes all the routine decisions, like pricing of the boring stuff like MPs.
    Steve from that moment (for ever after) only does the 'big picture' deals.

    2003 in Europe, actually - the G5 tower coming out of the house like a space shuttle launch.
  16. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    That is in part because folks get their expectations out of line with reality. They read too many " I wish the Mac Pro looked like this" posts and start to build mental picture that Apple is going to do that ( despite their general design rules and choices in the past and margin objectives ). Or they map "Well Dell , HP , and foobar vendor do this in PC world so Apple has to also" onto the Mac Pro. Apple isn't going to exactly mimic the PC vendors. Nor is it particularly hard for them to see through the "I want another produt : a mini tower" spun as though it was Mac Pro refinements.

    Do the customers care? Much of the grumbling in this Mac Pro is not about the Mac Pro. I don't think it is representative of the core Mac Pro customers. There seem to be lots of folks who bought a Mac Pro who were not the targeted customers. Apple never really targeted those customers in the first place so not at all surprising to find out they think "Apple doesn't care".

    Statements to Apple along the lines of "Mac Pro sucks , I want a mini tower" says that those customers don't care either. A subset of customers are going away. I don't think Apple is desperate to retain every single customer they have. Especially those who want them to make products Apple doesn't think are as profitable.

    Asking for information that runs contrary to widely and publicly stated corporate policy is not feedback. Apple doesn't comment about future products. Maybe if they knew that you were highly likely to buy $10-20 million of equipment, but breaking corporate policy because Joe Blow sent in a request on feedback line. You are delusional if you think that was in any way productive.

    Another extremely dubious inquiry. If there is a parts availability hold up Apple isn't going to tell Joe Public. If there was a hiccup in development ... again... why? Do they give detailed development updates to iPhone customers? Nope.

    Again a questions which stated company policy says they can't answer and yet you are surprised you didn't get one ?

    It is Apple's jobs to make/sell every single device that could possibly fit into a PCI-e slot ? Seriously? The 3rd party market for video cards is up to the 3rd party vendors. That isn't Apple's issue. Both video cards that are part of the Mac Pro CTO options are available for sale in the Apple store (at least in US). There are two more cards.

    Again what answer are you expecting back? They already sell the cards in the standard configurations. They is not an enhancement request since it is already done. If you sent in an enhancement request for a USB port to be put on the Mac Pro you probably would get the same non response.

    Sure there would be a slightly larger 3rd party market place if Mac Pros were priced slightly lower, but they are not. Apple used to let the top end iMac overlap with the lowest end Mac Pro on price. It would be useful to return to that if possible (the product remains profitable enough and not chopping value out of the box). However, there is no way the "Mac Pro" price is going to dip far down into the iMac's price range. Again it is an expectation ("Apple is going to return to building mini towers.. just you wait") problem that isn't connected to reality.

    Likewise, If the primary effect of the EVGA 285 board was more folks cloning the ROMs and not buying the Mac version the price isn't going to come down. If the reward for the extra work is folks not paying for it, few are going to take that risk.
  17. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Those won't work if the objective is to flush out the line up. Neither is likely to be priced below $750. Not even the i7 is that low. The new i7-970 i $885 and it is clocked at 3.2 GHz. $700+ processors is not going to get you a the first two Mac Pros. Can rail against that all you want, not likely to make much of a difference.

    Second, GHz chasing is a dubious metric for a workstation. It is far more easier to get 2 core designs to clock at high GHz than it is for 4 let alone 6 or 8. If folks want maximum GHz should be asking Apple to drop a Clarkdale i5-680 3.6GHz CPU into some iMac.

    Yeah, that's right processors. Plural. There is only one here. This is rather unprecedented. There is lower pressure because AMD is a bit behind the release curve but they've ramped up their much wider selection of 6 core offerings now. If it is competitive pressures, in the next 2-3 months it is on now.

    Secondly, Intel drops the updates from the upper end of the mainstream line up before the highest end stuff. Has done that for last couple of years. Xeons come out after the drops from the "Core" updates. Additionally, they and AMD are drifting toward 12 month updates. Wait too long and will catch the next update.

    Like adding drive sleds, no hard to reach connector for RAID card , beefed up power supply , easier memory updates, tracking the updates from Intel , etc.

    For the XServe you'd have a point. For the Mac Pro, Apple is a system oriented company. Releasing "half" of an update one month and then the other "half" of the update 6 months later is something they are not so inclined to do. If "half" isn't ready then the whole product category gets held up. For example, the MBP could have launched earlier if didn't wait for 320m to come to market for the MBP 13" solution ( Apple could have used some other discrete GPUs to speed bump the discrete offerings. ). Yet, the whole line up didn't come to market. Primarily because of the MBP 13".

    That makes diminishing small economic sense. Generally the lower priced units are the ones that sell in substantially higher volume. Releasing the lower end first and the the higher end later is something Apple has done on several occasions. The reverse ..... you got an example ????

    I think it is a two way street. Apple puts energy into subsets of the overall PC market that show growth strength. They don't put much effort into the segments of the market were either there is low/declining growth or are no competitive advantages to be found.

    Other than they ran Mac OS X. It isn't a hardware problem. If the folks grumbling to Apple about hardware spent half as much time grumbling about software with better leverages the Mac Pro hardware the value proposition would be much clearer.
  18. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    That's only one store among the hundreds of Apple Stores, let alone resellers and online store.... It proves nothing about universal sales
  19. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2005
    The MacPros just need some major boosts in about everything. They are good at what they do but compared to the new iMacs, just nothing super special in terms of performance...biggest plus is expandability now but that's about it.

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