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Six Core Gulftown Incoming


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Six Core Gulftown Incoming
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Jason
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2009-10-15, 01:10

This would be nice. Hope this actually happens.

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/10/14/...own-processor/

regards
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hmurchison
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2009-10-15, 20:43

Gulftown's a given and Apple's use of the Xeon version in the next major Mac Pro revision is also very highly likely.

AMD has their 6-core offering as well so the battle will continue for the hearts and minds of the "core whores"

http://www.amd.com/us/products/serve...d-chipset.aspx

omgwtfbbq
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Maciej
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2009-10-15, 20:46

128GB of RAM!
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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2009-10-16, 00:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
128GB of RAM!
Holy crap. I can't even comprehend that much RAM. That's bigger than my hard drive
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Maciej
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2009-10-16, 08:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Holy crap. I can't even comprehend that much RAM. That's bigger than my hard drive
My sentiments exactly. I can't imagine how much 16GB chips cost tho - it would be a pricey configuration if you got it BTO from Apple.
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Is it 1981?
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2009-10-16, 09:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Holy crap. I can't even comprehend that much RAM.
Not sure what the previous maximum was for the Power Mac G4s (so the difference may not have been too great), but I do remember slightly creaming myself over the G5's eye-popping, mind-boggling 8GB of RAM six years ago. 128GB though...

Helvetica is my bitch.
System: 27" iMac i7, 2TB, 8GB RAM, Mac OS X Snow Leopard
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Swox
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2009-10-16, 10:14

Maybe you'll finally be able to configure a Mac Pro to cost over $100,000. That would be kinda neat...
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Maciej
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2009-10-16, 13:38

Well previously, I don't think chips bigger than 4GB were supported, so 4 x 8 is 32 maximum. AFAIK.
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Jason
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2009-10-17, 21:02

Does anyone think Apple might offer SSD next time (maybe as BTO)?
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Moogs
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2009-10-19, 08:45

As is usual I held off on on the big iron even though I wanted to get a Nehalem beast in the worst way to speed up my ops here. But I said "in a few months" and opted instead for new camera equipment and other more pressing gear. Now looks like I'll wait until the next release again.

Wondering if Apple will get their heads on straight WRT to pricing and perhaps drop the prices $200-$300 across the board. Not sure how well those Nehalem beasts have sold in the crappy economy but maybe if the sales levels took a bit of a dive they'll get the message. Six cores... Can HAL 9000 be that far away?

As for RAM I never though I'd say this but I am already kind of seeing the limits of the 8GB I have installed with SL and various creative apps. Seems like the system itself uses 1GB+ most of the time. Throw in Safari and an email app and there's another GB... it goes away quick. Do i need 128? God I hope not, but 12-16 would be nice.

...into the light of a dark black night.

Last edited by Moogs : 2009-10-19 at 08:58.
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Frank777
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2009-10-19, 10:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Not sure how well those Nehalem beasts have sold in the crappy economy but maybe if the sales levels took a bit of a dive they'll get the message.
We find out today, don't we?
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Moogs
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2009-10-19, 11:27

Fiscal Report? I suppose that's possible; no idea what the dates are.
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Frank777
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2009-10-19, 11:30

Today at 5pm.
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Moogs
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2009-10-19, 17:44

Looks like record Mac sales, but fueled more by laptops than anything else. Not sure that will be enough to hope for reduced Mac Pro pricing.
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Moogs
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2009-10-19, 21:42

So would this mean we're looking at 6 and 12 core models, or just single CPU machines? At what point does core whoring become pointless?
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Dave
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2009-10-19, 22:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
At what point does core whoring become pointless?
When the computer has figured out the answer before my finger comes off the button.

Seriously, though. The faster the computer, the fancier the algorithms can be. And sometimes you really can't do better than brute force. In short, there's no such thing as too fast. Not for the people who's living depends on them, anyway.
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Moogs
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2009-10-20, 09:53

That's true. I think Mac Pro will always cater to that niche of "too much power is never enough". I guess it's a chicken and egg thing. Developers will not start consistently building wares for uber-cores until Apple and others consistently sell them up and down their lineup. Quad core iMacs and notebooks would be a huge step in that direction, and we might see the same today it looks like.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Moogs
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2009-10-24, 15:18

Upon further review it doesn't look like Gulftown is actually a Xeon part. Looks like it will be their "Extreme Desktop" chip based on what I'm seeing in PC mag Tom's, Wiki and elsewhere. I think the Xeon parts will be 8 Core variants, Q1 2010 if I'm reading right.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Moogs
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2009-11-30, 15:02

All right, getting mixed signals now from wikis and everything else. Seems like Gulftown might actually become more than one processor type (both i7 and i9 variants, the latter of which is the Xeon variant I'd guess). Anyway, rumors starting to heat up for Mac Pros in early 2010. Would make sense for Apple to do two things:

1) Use the Xeon 6 Core parts to boost up Mac Pro performance, again widening the perceived "performance gap" between them and the new iMacs.

2) Make a big deal about dropping their premium prices $100+ on the low and mid models, $200+ on the XTREEEEME model, further playing up the idea that the value ratio is still a big one. But if they again get an exclusive as they had on Nehalem Xeon parts, I doubt this part will happen unless the cost per CPU is appreciably lower for Apple.

Looks like maybe a new GPU too (Radeon 5870). I don't know anything about the review site but generally looks pretty drool-worthy, including OpenCL goodness.

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2009/10/...uture-xeon-cpu

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Miko
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2009-11-30, 16:06

Any thoughts on a case refresh even if it's shortened by a few inches? Not that the G5/MacPro aluminum case era is not functional, but lets be honest it is a honking big rig plus six years is a pretty long run regardless of who you are.
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Frank777
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2009-11-30, 16:25

The 27" iMac definitely takes the machine into entry-level Mac Pro territory.
Apple must have been confident it could keep Pros with the Pro line when that decision was made.

Aside from every Pro app going 64-bit in early 2010, Apple's got to have something else up their sleeves.
Faster chips alone on the Pro won't cut it.


LightPeak? Maybe. Redesign? Probably. New monitors? Definitely. What else? I have no idea.
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Miko
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2009-11-30, 16:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
The 27" iMac definitely takes the machine into entry-level Mac Pro territory.
Apple must have been confident it could keep Pros with the Pro line when that decision was made.
The MacPro line will always be safe just by looking at the expansion options available for it. Having to be married to the screen, a glossy glass one at that may not be ideal for many pros. The MacPro is a beast designed to run for days, weeks, months processing advanced computations. The all-in-one iMac is great for a get up and running solution, but the MacPros caters to pretty much any expansion and power needs you have. If you are a pro at what you do then it will pay for itself within a few jobs hopfully.

Apple sells a lot more iMacs than MacPros, but probably makes more per unit sale off the MacPros so it's all good.

I would have a hard time telling someone on a limited budget to get a MacPro, but if they have a nice budget and plan on having it for a while the Pro is the best way to go.

It's kinda like asking if Nikon should be concerned for the D3/s/x when the D700 has a similar sensor? Which would truly be a harder decision for a buyer to make.

Last edited by Miko : 2009-11-30 at 19:40.
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Moogs
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2009-11-30, 17:32

I don't think the general size of the beast will change much, as having space for 2 large CPUs with heat sinks + 3 full sized PCI cards + 4 drives sort of sets the tone there. I suppose it could get a bit smaller if they went with SSD from now on but even then that might only make it shorter as opposed to less deep. The case design is due for an overhaul by normal standards, but I think it's been so successful that they're taking a "why fix it" attitude. Also it's become almost iconic in a way so there might be some brand thinking behind that also.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Is it 1981?
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2009-11-30, 20:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
The case design is due for an overhaul by normal standards, but I think it's been so successful that they're taking a "why fix it" attitude. Also it's become almost iconic in a way so there might be some brand thinking behind that also.
Absolutely. It's an extremely beautiful and incredibly functional design, although I remember looking at it back in 2003 and taking a long time to get used to the straight-edged, monolithic cheese grating beast. If it lasts another year or two – perhaps even right up to ten years – without major case changes and only slight refinements by Mr. Ive and his team, that would go even further in showing what a fantastic (if large) enclosure it is.

Helvetica is my bitch.
System: 27" iMac i7, 2TB, 8GB RAM, Mac OS X Snow Leopard
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Miko
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2009-11-30, 23:01

Oh I completely agree plus to the untrained eye I get to hang with with each new MacPro generation that comes along, well at least in looks
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Xaqtly
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2009-12-01, 02:21

Yeah I can't wait to see what these new Pros will be like. I don't think I'll be getting one, since my Early 08 Mac Pro (2.8 x 8 core) still feels very fast, especially with the recent injection of Vitamin Snow Leopard. And honestly now what needs to happen is that programs need to start using Grand Central Dispatch. I'll get much more mileage out of my current 8 cores that way, as will anybody with 4 or more cores.

But I'm curious to see what Apple is cooking. Sometimes it's an evolution like the current Nehalem machines, but sometimes Apple pulls a kitchen sink and blows everybody away, in super-cooperation with Moore's Law. Hard to say.

These Nehalem Pros are the most expensive Mac Pros, even in a relative sense, they've sold in a long time. I know it's because these Xeons are expensive, and I'm sort of hoping Apple produces a couple models next time, like maybe some that have i9s and some that have Xeons so people can choose to save money at the expense of having the more pedestrian, non-server grade chips.

I'm also wondering if Apple will use these to premiere Light Peak... or USB 3. And I'd also like to see an SSD option, although we don't really need it as we can just throw some SSDs in there after the fact.

I'm also in the camp that thinks the Mac Pro case doesn't really need to be changed. It works really well as is, and Apple usually rightly decides not to change things just for the sake of changing them.
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Moogs
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2009-12-01, 08:53

USB3 would be good... have we seen any machines in the wild that have that yet / is the spec done? My biggest question is, does it cost less for Intel to manufacture these chips on a process shrink than it does to manufacture on a brand new process... possibly then passing on some savings to OEMs like Apple. It's the only way I can see prices dropping.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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709
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2009-12-01, 09:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
USB3 would be good... have we seen any machines in the wild that have that yet / is the spec done?
Spec is done and there's a few products that've come out in the last month, but Intel has stated it won't support USB 3.0 until 2011, so my guess is we'll be seeing Light Peak ports become the norm fairly soon (with single protocol / AIO adapters).

So it goes.
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Moogs
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2009-12-01, 11:15

So Light Peak = the next Firewire, or....?
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Miko
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2009-12-01, 11:47

Yeah from what I understand, theoretically Light Peak would be completely future proof and the only thing slowing it down would be the system's hardware. Can't get much faster than fiber optics. With the capability to transfer video+data, one cable can control them all.

Will the industry conform though is a bigger question?
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