Upcoming Xeon's for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TMay, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. TMay macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Location:
    Carson City, NV
    #1
    cmaier;

    Since you are on the forum right now...l

    Hypothetically: What kinds of customization might a customer as Apple get in a production run of Xeon's from Intel? This from a rumors of a "unique" processor for the Mac Pro down below.

    thanks,

    tmay
     
  2. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Range of possibilities. Most likely would be a packaging change. Next most likely would be a change in cache sizes. Next most likely would be process variations - using a newer process with an older design, for example. Less likely would be changes in SoC blocks - thinks like thunderbolt on board. Conceivably additional or changed instructions, but only if they are microcoded variations.

    I'm guessing that we're talking special packaging, if anything. Intel isn't desperate like my former employer was back in the day when we were offering to add major changes to the instruction set for big customers.
     
  3. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    #3
    Let me try. I am not claiming to have cmaier expertise here (I am not a hardware designer by trade but I do work in semiconductor industry).

    Fact #1: XEONs are designed primarily for servers (and to a lesser extent - workstations). In this universe, Mac Pro is a [very] little brother. It does not need some of the bells and whistles of server CPUs.

    Fact #2: CPU design is extremely expensive

    Fact #3: Mac Pro volume is rather small and paying for a fully custom CPU for it would be a money losing proposition (or Apple).

    Fact #4: Apple is not really doing anything in the performance computing space lately. Their computer designs might be elegant but for the most part they are just a re-hash of widely available solutions.

    With that said, I suspect that any significant customization is highly unlikely. Most likely it would be in interface/package design with the purpose of reducing the overall cost of computer for Apple. So, the key word is "cost" (profit) not "performance".
     
  4. TMay thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
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    Carson City, NV
    #4
    Thanks for the response.

    I would have guessed cache, but would there be any benefit to microcode for an implementation of Grand Central Dispatch and/or OpenCL instructions?
     
  5. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
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    California
    #5
    Probably not.

    It's almost certainly a packaging change if anything. Not necessarily cost - could be for better thermals (less fan use), thinner, etc.
     

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