RUMOR: Apple prepping monster eight-core Xeon ‘Clovertown’ Mac Pro

“Apple Computer is prepping a lavish new version of the Mac Pro that will boast nearly twice the brawn of existing models and form the centerpiece of the company’s high-performance professional desktop line,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“People familiar with the Mac maker’s plans say it plans to drop jaws and strike awe with a new king of speed, a super-charged Mac Pro featuring a total of eight cores of processing power. The systems, which resemble the quad-core Mac Pro externally, will house two of Intel’s forthcoming quad-core Xeon 5300 series ‘Clovertown’ chips inside is chassis, those people say,” Jade reports.

Jade reports, “Those familiar with the company’s plans have indicated an introduction could take place any time after mid-Nov.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
AnandTech upgrades and tests Octo-Core ‘Clovertown’ Apple Mac Pro – September 13, 2006
Intel reveals first glimpse of quad-core ‘Clovertown’ chip coming later this year – February 11, 2006

32 Comments

  1. Smoke and mirrors! OK, maybe not the usual smoke, unless you are a drag racer at heart, and not the usual mirrors, but still …

    Can you name a half-dozen significant programs that run better on a quad-core than on a dual core? I can think of one – and it cheats. BOINC will spawn as many processes as it finds available cores, but each process only uses one core.

    So … what will you do with this monster that you can’t do with a quad-core? Bragging comes to mind. Back when the first dual-processor PowerMacs were introduced the story was pretty much the same, if a bit less complex. You could have software running full tilt in the background while you played a game in the foreground – and each got a CPU’s full attention. Years later some of our software will recognize, and make use of, a second core … but a third? Fifth? Eighth? BOINC – and it’s faking it.

    The industry still needs to fully realize the utility of Dual Core and has barely begun to respond to Quad Core, Eight is premature – except for bragging rights.

  2. Pardon my ignorance, but does having many cores operating at the same 2.x Ghz speed really give you multiple increases in speed? Does the software have to be written to take advantage of multiple cores? If, for example, I am using iMovie or iDVD to render movies or create DVD images will my speed be 8x better than a single 2.x Ghz processor machine?

    It seems to me that Intel hit the wall in speed and is now just adding processor cores – at what point does this not really give an advantage?

  3. Can you name a half-dozen significant programs that run better on a quad-core than on a dual core? I can think of one – and it cheats. BOINC will spawn as many processes as it finds available cores, but each process only uses one core.

    I don’t think you understand what you’re talking about.

    What you describe is exactly correct – it’s got absolutely nothing to do with “cheating”.

    In order to actually exploit multiple available cores and to avoid useless overhead at the same time, you need the same number of parallel execution threads. Not more, not less. One thread can run on only one core at a time – that is exactly what a thread is!

    Any multi-core and/or multi-CPU enabled application will use pretty much the same approach. And the better media and rendering applications on the Mac do exactly that.

  4. RealUsability, the answers are “yes” and “no”. If you are running just one thing on your system you may, or not, see a speed boost after two cores. Worst possible case would be your user process on one and everything else on the other. Most people have something running “in the background” … a browser plus email plus maybe TextWrangler. Suddenly your single-core app gets a little more head-room as these sit around on one core while system stuff uses another and your app a third.

    Not everything is “worst case”. iMovie may not benefit significantly from extra cores, but I expect its big brother – Final Cut – either does or will. Same story with GarageBand and big brother Logic. Apple’s Pro Apps should be leading the way here – it has the most to gain from having such programs available – but Unix apps have been doing this, on servers, for years.

    Most of us, though, will see no appreciable gain in going Quad and fewer still can justify an Octo-Mac. But, a decade ago there was little benefit in going Dual, now it’s really starting to make sense.

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