Thunderbolt and MacPro....When?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SvK, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. SvK macrumors 6502

    SvK

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    #1
    How long before we see Thunderbolt on MacPro?

    SvK
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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  3. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

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    #3
    That raises another question. When will we see TB released to the masses in a PC. 6 month? Speculation and a guess.
     
  4. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Do we have a concrete answer on whether thunderbolt will ever be available as a standalone PCIe expansion?
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    I recall reading that Apple got TB at least several months before the others, even a year according to some analysts. I would expect PC with TB in H2 2011, but I think most OEMs are already fine with USB 3.0 offerings. In the end, TB doesn't provide that much for an average end-user when compared with USB 3.0.

    According to CNet, there won't be TB PCIe cards, you will need a brand new computer.
     
  6. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

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    #6
    No we do not. Intel has been saying some weird stuff. What they've said makes a lot of sense for laptops. You are limited to PCIe 2.0 x4, which is only about 16Gbps. Laptops also have space for fewer ports, and everything is more integrated. Currently it appears that in the new MacBook Pros one line is reserved for DisplayPort and one for Thunderbolt data. So it must be connected to the GPU.

    On a desktop system this doesn't make any sense at all. You can give the Thunderbolt controller a PCIe x8 lane, all the bandwidth it needs, and get a full 20Gbps over the line. Keep the GPU separate to drive displays. Perhaps some desktop video cards would come with Thunderbolt integrated, but it doesn't seem like that would catch on so quickly.
     
  7. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

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    #7
    I'm still not sure about that. I read the technical brief from Intel, and they didn't really say either way. It sounds like a Thunderbolt port needs its own channel to the graphics card and its own PCIe channel, but if that's the case, wouldn't Thunderbolt only work with Intel integrated graphics? That would be silly and certainly doom its adoption. I'm curious to see what happens in the next six months.
     
  8. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    quote from gearslutz
    Thoughts?
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    I didn't say it makes sense, it's just what I've read. I can't see why couldn't there be PCIe only TB, without the DisplayPort. That would be great for desktops since they already have ports for video. Maybe Intel just does not want people to add TB, they want people to buy new computers.
     
  10. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Isn't Thunderbolt free to license? Furthermore why can't Intel build it in to new computers, and sell PCIe expansion cards. Doesn't that distribute the technology even more widely?

    I dunno, the reasons for integrating in desktops just don't add up. I feel like Intel is only talking about laptops right now.
     
  11. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

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    #11
    No, I'm not hating on what you said. I'm just commenting on what I think is a silly approach to pushing new tech. forcing new mobos on everybody won't speed up adoption, and it could be that technical reasons force this option. It's just not clear to me from what I've read so far that this isn't a power-grab by Intel to get people to refresh their motherboards, and by proxy, their CPUs.
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

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    #12
    When it arrives.

    (Probably sometime this year.)
     
  13. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #13
    You can't release ThunderBolt on the Mac Pro without releasing a new Mac Pro, and you can't release a new Mac Pro without releasing Sandy Bridge Xeons, and the Sandy Bridge Xeons are planned for release Q4 2011. Give or take 2 months for delays (seen before) or Apple pre-hands-on (seen before).
     
  14. goMac macrumors 603

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    #14
    Not true.

    The FW800 G4's, for example, did not feature a new processor.

    If history is any indication, there will be a minor bump.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    That is not a Mac Pro. A lot has changed since Power Mac years. All Mac Pro updates have featured new CPUs, so a Mac Pro update without new CPUs sounds rather unlikely.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #16
    No.

    What everyone seems to be forgetting, is this is just the first part Intel's released, which is aimed at the mobile computing market. As they've done time and time again, they release different parts for different markets, so it's not all that unexpected there will be at least one additional part in the near future (i.e. existing part could be used in both the mobile and consumer desktop systems, as the Sandy Bridge LGA1155 parts have integrated graphics). Another possibility is that Thunderbolt will be integrated into the next ICH revision for the enthusiast/enterprise grade systems (used with LGA1356 & LGA2011 based Sandy Bridge parts).

    Either way, we're likely looking at 2x variants (one per mobile + consumer desktop, and a separate chip or TB integrated in the ICH for the enthusiast desktop/enterprise markets).

    Using a separate chip separate chip however, would make more sense, as it would allow for a PCIe card to be developed (allows existing system owners adopting the new tech = more money in their coffers than if it were limited to board makers only).
    See above. ;)
    In terms of it integrated on the logic board, absolutely.
    I doubt it, due to the cost of such a re-design (not nearly as many units as a consumer system to reduce the cost per system to justify it). Nor is it that long until the next revision.
     
  17. goMac macrumors 603

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    #17
    I don't think anything has changed. Apple likes doing yearly upgrades. TB gives them something to do a Mac Pro upgrade with.

    The FW800 G4s were even an update done immediately before the G5's. Apple did an update to a line that was about to be entirely replaced just to keep it in sync with the latest ports.


    Despite the talk of Sandy Bridge... even TB on the logic board doesn't require Sandy Bridge. TB is it's own chipset, not part of SB.
     
  18. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #18
    I don't see them going through the trouble of getting TB on the X58 chipsets which would be our only hope for an eminent clock bump. I'm with the rest. Q4 at the earliest (prediction).
     
  19. goMac macrumors 603

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    #19
    Again, I'm not sure I see the logic here... TB is an entirely different chip than the chipset or the CPU. You just need to feed it some PCI lanes. It's the architectural equivalent of adding a PCI card.

    TB has even been demoed on Mac Pros. We're not talking about a huge leap. Same thing that happened with the MDD G4.
     
  20. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #20
    What I am saying is they probably wont bother. Notice the duration between the 2009 and 2010 models:D


    "TB is an entirely different chip than the chipset or the CPU".

    No, really? Have some faith in your fellow human's intellects.
     
  21. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

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    #21
    This makes a lot more sense, and is what I have been suspecting since I saw the data on it. Intel is talking about laptops right now, where indeed there will be no Thunderbolt ports without a new machine. Even then the laptop chip is part DisplayPort part PCIe data path. When Intel releases the desktop chip variant, we'll see the ability to integrate into new motherboards, as well as to add-on PCIe cards. Where the connection line will carry optional or no DisplayPort, and full 20Gbps PCIe data.

    This makes a heck of a lot more sense to me than the idea that Intel would require a GPU on desktop systems. That's just bizarre.
     
  22. goMac macrumors 603

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    #22
    Yeah, again, I disagree, as shown by Apple's reving of the MDD G4 right before the G5's shipped. (Which, I'll also note, they put a bunch of work into, only to discontinue and then go back a revision.)

    The 2010 Mac Pro wasn't really released that late (still about a year), and that only because that release was connected to new Xeons. Mac Pro releases don't have to be at all connected to Intel's schedule. Traditionally, they never have been, it just so happened that Intel was also on a yearly schedule.


    Desktop variant is already out... The controller chip works on any type of machine. Sadly, the PCIe question still hasn't been answered.
     
  23. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #23
    I feel if the question is about PCIe add-on cards, the obvious context is an upgrade for the massive number of existing desktops.
     
  24. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I agree with both of you. It seems like the chip is out, and the question's context should be obvious. It just makes no sense NOT to make a PCIe expansion card.
     
  25. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #25
    That was a bit different and a gasping last breath for Motorola's pathetic thermal issues. Maybe they learned their lesson. We will know in a few months.
     

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