Two 6 core processors?

strausd

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
2,997
1
Texas
What is the likely hood that there will be two 6 core processors in the next mac pro? Also, what applications would actually be able to take full advantage of all these cores?
 

wisty

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2009
219
0
Six cores would be expensive, but are a possibility.

Apps that benefit - look at your "Activity monitor". Any app that goes above 100% usage is on multiple cores. Stuff like PS, video editing, encoding. Some games.

But I hope Grand Central and GPGPU will eventually kill the need for more cores anyway.
 

Mhkobe

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2009
139
0
Six cores would be expensive, but are a possibility.

Apps that benefit - look at your "Activity monitor". Any app that goes above 100% usage is on multiple cores. Stuff like PS, video editing, encoding. Some games.

But I hope Grand Central and GPGPU will eventually kill the need for more cores anyway.
Firstly I would like to say that apple will definitely offer a dual CPU configuration 12 core 24 thread tower as well as the single cpu 6 core version, probably utilizing the w3680 i believe. Also, GPUs will not, and should not replace CPUs. GCD is a great technology, however, a cpu with many cores/threads is still a necessity. GPUs have way more cores than CPUs currently, and more cores is definitely the way to go. More cores makes programming more difficult (I am a programmer myself), however, they are a necessity, this is because rises in clock speeds leads to exponential heat and power creation and usage (respectively). Also, OS X does not distribute the work load across a second core when the first one is at 100%. OS X distributes the threads to each CPU depending on how large each applications thread is, and attempts to even this out by assigning one app to one core, and another app to another core and so on. This only holds true in the event that a program is not multithreaded. If it is multithreaded, it is up to the app to assign its threads to the open cores. An excellent example is Maxon Cinema 4d, for a great example, download Cinebench and iStat menu and watch as each Core does its own work. This works especially well if you have access to an eight core nehalem mac pro, because you get to see the task distributed over 16 threads.
 

pakeha

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2009
9
0
New Zealand
The top dual processor lineup would most likely be 2x x5670 xeons.The w3680 and its consumer twin i7 980 don't have the 2qpi links required for 2 socket setups. The x5670 also fits the exsisting tdp requirments for the octo core mac pro, ie 2x 95w.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,929
54
England
The top dual processor lineup would most likely be 2x x5670 xeons.The w3680 and its consumer twin i7 980 don't have the 2qpi links required for 2 socket setups. The x5670 also fits the exsisting tdp requirments for the octo core mac pro, ie 2x 95w.
Which is strange as the old one had two 150W TDP processors, where the W5580s were 130W, so it may be it wasn't so much to do with the thermal requirements and we get 3.33GHz single and dual processor options.
 

psingh01

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,365
351
What is the likely hood that there will be two 6 core processors in the next mac pro? Also, what applications would actually be able to take full advantage of all these cores?
My guess is a 99.9% chance the next Mac Pro will have a 12 core option.

Beats me what single applications can use it (aside from various custom research apps), but nothing is stopping you from running many applications at once to take full advantage of all the cores :)
 

J the Ninja

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2008
1,824
0
My guess is a 99.9% chance the next Mac Pro will have a 12 core option.

Beats me what single applications can use it (aside from various custom research apps), but nothing is stopping you from running many applications at once to take full advantage of all the cores :)
Compressor and (I think) Xcode from Apple's own stable. Most 3D apps can do 24 threads too. Max and XLD can encode multiple audio files at once to use all cores, although they appear to be limited to 16 cores at the moment. Knowing XLD's release schedule, it will be probably support 24 thread batches within a week or two of the 2010 MP launch.
 

pakeha

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2009
9
0
New Zealand
I got my information about the tdp rating for the 09 mac pro from Anandtech's article about upgrading the dual processors. That plus Intels press release for the X56xx processors leads me to believe that 12c/24t @ 2.93ghz would be the top bto option.
Just as idle baseless speculation, what chance is there that the mac pro gets moved up in price and spec to make room for a midrange screenless mac?
 

Fiete5401

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2009
150
0
Germany
Just as idle baseless speculation, what chance is there that the mac pro gets moved up in price and spec to make room for a midrange screenless mac?
Didn't see this happen in my FlashForward. :rolleyes:
But honestly, I don't believe that this dream - a ton of people have - will ever come true.
 

bearcatrp

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2008
1,603
3
Boon Docks USA
Beats me what single applications can use it (aside from various custom research apps), but nothing is stopping you from running many applications at once to take full advantage of all the cores :)

BOINC will use all cores maxed out. For those of you who don't know what boinc is, check out www.worldcommunitygrid.org for what its used for. Always looking for more folks to help find cures for diseases.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
I just don't see every day people using 12 cores. Other than medical research, what apps even use all 8 cores now?
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,929
54
England
I just don't see every day people using 12 cores. Other than medical research, what apps even use all 8 cores now?
Everyday people aren't purchasing several thousand dollar workstations. Plenty of software and more importantly perhaps, work-flows, can utilize multiple cores. Content creation, mathematics, science, engineering, system management, simulation, data analysis are some areas in which an individual might be best served by a powerful workstation.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
I guess our definitions vary. I don't consider someone who can spend over $3,000 on a computer an everyday person, whether they can utilize it or not.
In the case of MP's, there's no choice. Users pay what Apple wants (retail or refurb).

It's just some people make better use of it given their software.

But as a general rule, a worstation isn't used as a home computer. They're too expensive for that.
 

wisty

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2009
219
0
Firstly I would like to say that apple will definitely offer a dual CPU configuration 12 core 24 thread tower as well as the single cpu 6 core version, probably utilizing the w3680 i believe. Also, GPUs will not, and should not replace CPUs. GCD is a great technology, however, a cpu with many cores/threads is still a necessity. GPUs have way more cores than CPUs currently, and more cores is definitely the way to go. More cores makes programming more difficult (I am a programmer myself), however, they are a necessity, this is because rises in clock speeds leads to exponential heat and power creation and usage (respectively). Also, OS X does not distribute the work load across a second core when the first one is at 100%. OS X distributes the threads to each CPU depending on how large each applications thread is, and attempts to even this out by assigning one app to one core, and another app to another core and so on. This only holds true in the event that a program is not multithreaded. If it is multithreaded, it is up to the app to assign its threads to the open cores. An excellent example is Maxon Cinema 4d, for a great example, download Cinebench and iStat menu and watch as each Core does its own work. This works especially well if you have access to an eight core nehalem mac pro, because you get to see the task distributed over 16 threads.
Thanks, you seem to know more than me about this.

I had assumed more cores would be useless because all the multi-processor things I'd seen are either embarrassingly parallelizable (and GPGPU seems to have the edge), or saturate at about 8 CPU. I guess that more cores is different than more CPU, as communication is faster?

(Also, I am aware that GPGPU requires a rewrite in assembly, or some C-like language; and the processors aren't as advanced, but that's just something programmers will either grin and bear, or find some software solution to.)
 

Gonk42

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2008
288
0
near Cambridge
Thanks, you seem to know more than me about this.

I had assumed more cores would be useless because all the multi-processor things I'd seen are either embarrassingly parallelizable (and GPGPU seems to have the edge), or saturate at about 8 CPU. I guess that more cores is different than more CPU, as communication is faster?

(Also, I am aware that GPGPU requires a rewrite in assembly, or some C-like language; and the processors aren't as advanced, but that's just something programmers will either grin and bear, or find some software solution to.)
GPGPUs are optimal for circumstances where you wish to apply the same set of computer instructions to multiple sets of data (as happens in graphics). Where this is the case, some very large speedups can be achieved. Multiple cpu cores are more flexible, they allow you to perform different sets of instructions in parallel, i.e. completely different tasks.

Programming either, efficiently, is difficult because of Amdahl's law which basically points out that if you are trying to do lots of things in parallel then the slowest task will dominate and if this is essentially serial in nature after a point adding more cpus will make almost no difference. (If you look at the speed up for Cinebench 10 which is used as a benchmark on these forums as well as elsewhere, for eight cores the speed up is around 6 times not 8 times. What happens is the scene to be rendered is split into equal chunks but some bits are more complex than others so take longer. The cpus doing the quick bits finish early but can't help once they're finished.)

It's a fascinating subject but for the user it makes deciding what is worth spending money on (in terms of computer hardware) a rather complicated decision. It was so much simpler when everything was single core.

(I should add, that programming for efficient parallel operation is also complicated for all the issues involved with sharing resources such as memory/data etc - far too big a subject for a short post....)