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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > 16-core MacPros coming in August?

16-core MacPros coming in August?
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Veltliner
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Jun 25, 2011, 03:51 AM
 
Here's an interesting rumor in regards to the refresh of the Mac Pro line:

New Mac Pros With Up to 16 Cores Coming in Late July/Early August? - Mac Rumors
     
P
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Jun 27, 2011, 09:53 AM
 
That's 2 Socket 2011 Sandy Bridge-EP processors - market name Xeon E5 - and August is impressively early if true. I fully expects that next MP to look like that, but August?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 27, 2011, 02:07 PM
 
P, could you explain why Intel is going to such a substantially increased pin count with Socket 2011? Why are so many more pins needed for the high end socket this generation?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
P
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Jun 27, 2011, 03:18 PM
 
Tthere are two obvious changes:
  • There are now 4 memory channels instead of 3
  • Sandy Bridge-EP supports no less than 40 PCIe lanes from the CPU - ie, two x16 GPUs and 8 lanes left over. Nehalem only supported 16 directly from the CPU, with the other lanes coming from either northbridge or southbridge and then sent to the CPU (and main memory) over QPI.

This last is because the remainder of the northbridge has finally moved onto the CPU die, like it already did for the desktop CPUs.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jun 28, 2011, 03:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
That's 2 Socket 2011 Sandy Bridge-EP processors - market name Xeon E5 - and August is impressively early if true. I fully expects that next MP to look like that, but August?
I know that's much earlier than it could be. But I read about Apple is cutting a deal with Intel to get them so early.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jun 28, 2011, 03:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Tthere are two obvious changes:
  • There are now 4 memory channels instead of 3
  • Sandy Bridge-EP supports no less than 40 PCIe lanes from the CPU - ie, two x16 GPUs and 8 lanes left over. Nehalem only supported 16 directly from the CPU, with the other lanes coming from either northbridge or southbridge and then sent to the CPU (and main memory) over QPI.

This last is because the remainder of the northbridge has finally moved onto the CPU die, like it already did for the desktop CPUs.
How much would this increase of PCI lanes speed up the computer?

It sounds like that 16-core would be a very strong machine.
     
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Jun 28, 2011, 04:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
How much would this increase of PCI lanes speed up the computer?
Impossible to say without knowing how the links are implemented on the die. The potential gain is mainly that you can put 2 GPUs on x16 links with direct access to RAM without going over a QPI link - or 4 GPUs, if x8 is enough bandwidth. That mostly makes sense for GPU computing. Other than that...there are two 4x links going straight to the CPU over, even after the GPU links are spoken for. Thunderbolt?

Intel also says that they will make a 4 socket version of Sandy Bridge-EP, yet it only has 2 QPI links. I wonder how that will work - will they put the chips in a square, so each chip can reach two others - sort of like a ring bus? If so, it makes sense to cut down on the traffic on the QPI channels.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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