USB 3.0 in new Mac Pro


Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
I think the chances are pretty good that the new Pro is equipped with both USB 3 and SATA 3. PC mainboards with these interfaces are available for a few weeks now.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
I think the chances are pretty good that the new Pro is equipped with both USB 3 and SATA 3. PC mainboards with these interfaces are available for a few weeks now.
That doesn't mean we'll see it on the next MP's though, as the Gulftowns are still LGA1366, and use the same chipset as now (X58/5520).

For it to have 6Gb/s, it would need a different ICH attached to the chipset (ICH10 family is only good for 3.0Gb/s, and it can't even do that fully, as there's a limit of ~660MB/s across its DMI connection to the chipset), or use a controller that places the data on the PCIe bus directly (essentially a SATA III to PCIe bridge chip), and not use the ICH at all. But instead of it being a separate card you have to buy, its on the board.

USB 3.0 would be similar.
 

Cynicalone

macrumors 68040
Jul 9, 2008
3,209
0
Okie land
It took Apple a long time to move to USB 2.0 so I don't expect 3.0 for a while.

And then there is the news about Light Peak. Which could have an impact on everything in the next few years.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
It really has less to do with Apple and everything to do with Intel.

Unless Apple opts to add a discrete USB 3.0 chip (which is unlikely due to added board redesign costs), I don't think we will see it in the Mac Pro until Intel integrates it into the ICH logic. A few sources have indicated that Intel won't be integrating USB 3 until 2011...

http://www.techtree.com/India/News/No_USB_30_for_Intel_Chipsets_till_2011_Nvidia/551-107322-581.html

Honestly, I believe the most likely outcome for a 2010 Mac Pro is EXACTLY the same logic board and chassis with just Gulftown processor options.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,663
167
Bay Area, Ca.
NOTTACHANCE!

Also, 0% chance of the price dipping below 2 large.

I'd actually bet on them making a xeon iMac and calling it a Mac Pro. Just watch!
 

300D

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2009
1,284
0
Tulsa
Zero chance. USB is obsolete. Light Peak will be added well before USB3 and it will displace USB entirely within a few years.
 

All Taken

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
780
0
UK
Zero chance. USB is obsolete. Light Peak will be added well before USB3 and it will displace USB entirely within a few years.

I wouldn't be so brash... I like facts - the fact is that intel showed off a prototype/makeshift Lightpeak Mac Pro motherboard last year.

This would appear to me that intel and apple are discussing implementation of lightpeak in mac pros as it was demoed on a mac pro board.

As for displacing USB, I doubt it - I feel it will take the same position as displayport tech, (Known but not widely adapted) at least for the first few years of it's life.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Zero chance. USB is obsolete. Light Peak will be added well before USB3 and it will displace USB entirely within a few years.
Light Peak will take time before it's adopted, and will depend on the cost of the transcievers. Most of the Light Peak parts out there are typically 180nm, and expensive. More than $50 per part right now (closer to ~$70 actually). There's new parts that are developed (65nm CMOS) that's intent is to lower the cost to ~$10 per part range. But so far, those parts are not widely available (evaluation components yes, but not so much on the supply side yet, as the production isn't to be ramped up until 2010). There's mulitple partners involved, and it all has to come together (different subcomponents from different suppliers).

USB 3.0 parts are already in the supply chain, and are backwards compatible with existing USB devices. So they're not going to suddenly disappear overnight. :rolleyes:

I wouldn't be so brash... I like facts - the fact is that intel showed off a prototype/makeshift Lightpeak Mac Pro motherboard last year.

This would appear to me that intel and apple are discussing implementation of lightpeak in mac pros as it was demoed on a mac pro board.

As for displacing USB, I doubt it - I feel it will take the same position as displayport tech, (Known but not widely adapted) at least for the first few years of it's life.
Light Peak is aimed as a replacement for a multitude of peripheral buses, such as drives (SCSI and SATA), external devices (FW & USB) and display (including audio signals) such as HDMI.

But it's not ready quite yet, as the parts aren't readily available in the supply chain, and it has to be cheap enough to attract adoption by device makers.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
6,765
783
Light Peak will take time before it's adopted, and will depend on the cost of the transcievers. Most of the Light Peak parts out there are typically 180nm, and expensive. More than $50 per part right now (closer to ~$70 actually). There's new parts that are developed (65nm CMOS) that's intent is to lower the cost to ~$10 per part range. But so far, those parts are not widely available (evaluation components yes, but not so much on the supply side yet, as the production isn't to be ramped up until 2010). There's mulitple partners involved, and it all has to come together (different subcomponents from different suppliers).

USB 3.0 parts are already in the supply chain, and are backwards compatible with existing USB devices. So they're not going to suddenly disappear overnight. :rolleyes:
...except Light Peak supports attachment of USB 3.0 devices, letting you have your cake and eat it too.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
...except Light Peak supports attachment of USB 3.0 devices, letting you have your cake and eat it too.
It's dependent on the inexpensive (smaller die) semi's, and I'm not so sure it will be manufactured in quantity in time for the next MP's. :(
 

300D

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2009
1,284
0
Tulsa
It was demod on a MP prototype logic board. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a prototype for the next MP release. Apple has been known to pick new technology for early release (USB 1.1, various wifi standards, Nehalem CPUs, PCI-express, etc).
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
It was demod on a MP prototype logic board. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a prototype for the next MP release. Apple has been known to pick new technology for early release (USB 1.1, various wifi standards, Nehalem CPUs, PCI-express, etc).
Actually, it wasn't. It was an Intel engineering system (i.e. Frankenstein system) that was hacked to run OS X. :eek:

Apple's involvement is a rumor, not a confirmed fact. Now assuming it is true, the article (Engadget), states that it was nothing more than a concept, not a full fledged design. Intel and a few other partners did all the actual work to bring it to fruition (the demonstration was a prototype system; evaluation board stuffed in an Intel system - note the perf board and hand written text on the board "Light Bridge SV Board, Rev. 1.0").

They're hoping it will debut in 2010, but it will depend on getting the semiconductor components completed in a die size that's inexpensive enough where board makers (and companies that would produce PCIe cards) will bite. If it's too expensive, they'll wait for cheaper parts, and Intel and their partners are well aware of this. That's why they're trying to hit a $10USD price point for the sytem (and it's more than just a chip).
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
4,780
606
Actually USB 3 will end up sooner than later on all new macs. Especially the Mac Pro would benefit from this fast interface for media transfers and storage. USB 3.0 is already on some new motherboards and there is an add on card although no mac drivers yet. I think usb 3.0 has the potential to be adopted quickly and has a hugh spped icrease immediate impact whereas sata 3 so far has shonw little or no real increase in speed.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Actually USB 3 will end up sooner than later on all new macs. Especially the Mac Pro would benefit from this fast interface for media transfers and storage. USB 3.0 is already on some new motherboards and there is an add on card although no mac drivers yet. I think usb 3.0 has the potential to be adopted quickly and has a hugh spped icrease immediate impact whereas sata 3 so far has shonw little or no real increase in speed.
Yep. USB 3.0 already has the parts in the supply chain, and they're inexpensive.

SATA III has potential, but will really only matter with SSD's, or mechanical on a PM enclosure (one eSATA port for multiple drives that can exceed the current throughput limit of ~250MB/s with existing SATA II PM chips) on the consumer/workstation front.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Ah, Intel just "chose" to demonstrate on OSX instead of the OS thats on 95% of the world's computers? :rolleyes:
UNIX is easier to develop for when developing IC's, and there's more TCAD simulation software for UNIX than Windows.

It's also easier for testing IMO (i.e. VM). Get it working under UNIX, and you've proven the hardware works. Then tackle Windows. It narrows the issues to software by that point, and you're not pulling your hair out going at it from both directions.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
6,765
783
UNIX is easier to develop for when developing IC's, and there's more TCAD simulation software for UNIX than Windows.

It's also easier for testing IMO (i.e. VM). Get it working under UNIX, and you've proven the hardware works. Then tackle Windows. It narrows the issues to software by that point, and you're not pulling your hair out going at it from both directions.
If they were running OS X, you can bet that Apple wouldn't have approved of them running OS X on non-Apple hardware.

OS X doesn't share a driver architecture with UNIX at all. "Standardized UNIX" doesn't really come into play at all. The OS X driver API is likely even more obscure than the Windows one.