Apple preps major Mac Pro update featuring Intel’s 45nm Penryn processors

“For the second time in as many years, Mac maker Apple Inc. is awaiting the official nod from chip supplier Intel Corp. before announcing a brawny update to its Mac Pro workstations aimed at media professionals,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“The new systems will represent the first architectural overhaul to the Mac Pro family since Apple introduced the Intel-based Power Mac successor at its August 2006 Worldwide Developers Conference. They’ll also be amongst the first machines from any PC manufacturer to employ chips from Intel’s upcoming Penryn family of 45-nanometer (nm) microprocessors — specifically the upcoming Hi-k Xeons, which will be available in dual- and quad-core variants for workstations with front-side bus speeds of either 1333MHz or 1600MHz,” Jade reports.

“Confirming reports filed by the Inquirer earlier this month, people familiar with the matter say the new Mac Pro line lineup will top out with an 8-core configuration that employs two top-of-the-line quad-core ‘Harpertown’ chips. The top-bin Xeons, which offer the faster 1600MHz bus and 12MB of L2 cache, will start trickling in around mid-November at speeds of up to 3.2GHz,” Jade reports.

“Speaking at Intel’s Beijing developer forum earlier this year, Intel senior VP Pat Gelsinger said Harpertown Xeons will offer an approximate 45 percent speed increase for bandwidth-intensive applications compared to the Clovertown Xeon chips available in today’s Mac Pros,” Jade reports.

More in the full article here.

47 Comments

  1. I’d love to have an Intel-based Mac Pro, but I can’t justify spending $4000 on a new computer. And I won’t ever buy an iMac. I’ll just keep holding on to my Power Mac Dual 2.0ghz G5 for a couple more years. I can add more memory and upgrade the hard drive.

    Come on Apple. You need to see a consumer level tower. One with desktop CPU’s not Xeons. Many of us do not want iMacs.

    It sucks. I’m an Apple Select Developer and I’m afraid I’ve got a $500 discount for Pro level hardware but I still can’t justify the cost of a Mac Pro. Unless Apple surprises us and comes in under $2000 to start.

  2. The MacPro is upgradable and easily accessible. You can install two optical drives and four hard drives as well as multiple cards, all on top of multi-processor/multi-core goodness. And it runs quietly thanks to an intelligent airflow design – just the HDD clicking away. Now correct me if I am wrong, but Apple finally answered the demands of power users with the most recent MacPro configuration and now its…too big.

    I do agree that it would be nice to have a stand-alone computer positioned between the Mac mini and the MacPro that would be sized to accommodate a 3-1/2″ HDD (or two) for extra capacity and speed, as well as the capability to install a graphics card.

  3. I guarantee that if Apple had stuck with PowerPC, we wouldn’t be talking about Macs with a 1600MHz bus and 12MB of L2 cache (at least, not as anything but a pipe dream, coming “sometime in the next 18 months, we promise…”)

  4. Big cases…little wimpy cases… oh pshaw..
    Give me the iron…. big box with handles… suitable for footstool…
    heavy enough to leave indents in the carpet… Who wants it on the work table anyhow? Need lots of room for screens. 8 at 3ghz.. now that is WOW! Big iron loves big cats… impatience is a virtue..I want it, and i want it now…

  5. @ Wun Dum Gai: I just configured a Mac Pro with 20″ Cinema Display for $2,799. Yeah, it’s only quad-core, base memory and HD, and so on, but it is under $3K, and still expandable.

    @ Jeff: I’ll bet you’ll be able to justify it when that G5 dies. LOL. Not that I hope it does, and my old G4 lasted me six years before I accidentally killed the motherboard installing RAM. Maybe I’m spoiled going from that G4 to an Intel iMac, but I’ve been well pleased with its performance in compile time. And, I’ve been able to use it just fine hacking up some fun embedded projects by hanging them off the USB, using the iMac as a cross-compiler. Now, if you need that Mac Pro for video or HPC, then I can understand, but for general Mac app development, the iMac is more than servicable.

  6. As a home user, I bought the bottom powermac- the MDD867 7 years ago. It has been a fantastic home computer. I’ve increased the storage to (5) hard drives (one in the CD bay) and 1420 GB storage. That’s more than you can squeeze into a spanking new iMac.

    Configuring the current Macpros, the 2.0 ghz option seems reasonable- around $2000-. And, if you have a display or two already, it is a lot more muscle and expandability than the iMac for your dollar, and costs about as much as a tricked out iMac (a bit less, actually). The Pro level, in my experience has at least 2 years greater longevity than the iMac. (IOW try running photoshop and the new iApps on a 1ghz G4 iMac.

    I would guess this update will bring the bottom Macpro to 2 dual 2.3 ghz processors. That’s a nice machine.

  7. Good news. Here’s hoping that they come with some new video card options. How about some nVidia 8×00 support?

    I also agree that a consumer tower, something the power of the iMac but upgradable, is a needed addition to the apple lineup.

  8. Wonder when they will start offering a flash drive option.

    Not that it matters yet, but when we get read/write capability with ZFS, if one of the drives offers faster access than the others will we still be able to specify that we want that one to be the OS boot drive?

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