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Rumour: 32nm Xeon a timed Apple exclusive

Rumour: 32nm Xeon a timed Apple exclusive

The 32nm Gulftown Xeon chips may make their first appearance in Mac Pros, if rumours of a timed exclusivity agreement are accurate.

It would appear that Apple will be getting its hands on Intel's latest and greatest Xeon chips before the rest of the world's OEMs if a rumour from an unnamed source is accurate.

As reported over on French-language site MacBidouille (translated) - via Electronista - the word on the street is that Apple has been granted a time-limited exclusive right to build a Mac Pro system based around the new Xeon chips built on the Gulftown architecture, due early next year.

Although PC manufacturers would be granted supplies of the 32nm-based chips after a while, it would give Apple a temporary lead in the high-end workstation market. The six-core chips - which support Intel's Hyperthreading technology in order to simultaneously execute twelve separate threads per processor - are likely to feature 12MB of L2 cache without increasing the power usage over current quad-core Xeon chips.

The as-yet unconfirmed top-end Mac Pro allegedly features some neat hardware to match with its exclusive processor: a 10Gb Ethernet port - ten times faster than on the current Mac Pro line - and support for 8GB and 16GB DIMMs, which potentially means that a system could be specified direct from Apple with up to 128GB of RAM.

With the un-named tipster claiming that Apple could be looking to launch as early as the start of next year, it would steal a definite march on the PC market as Intel is not planning to make the new Xeon processors available to other customers until the second quarter of 2010.

Do you believe that Intel is harming its PC-friendly reputation with this timed exclusive deal, or will it take Apple at least that long to work out how to deal with 12 logical processors? Will you believe reports of a 10-gig-E equipped Mac Pro when you see it in the flesh? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

38 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
wuyanxu 16th October 2009, 11:52 Quote
the 6-core CPU will cost an arm and a leg anyway, no real overclocker is going to spend that much on a CPU. this is back to the "is enthusiastic paying too much" topic
ORB13 16th October 2009, 12:17 Quote
Sounds like that would be anti-competitive, does Intel want to get finned again.
tennisball 16th October 2009, 12:25 Quote
Yes.
alpaca 16th October 2009, 12:25 Quote
who needs 12 cores and 128gb anyway?
general22 16th October 2009, 12:26 Quote
They have had first access to the new server chips like when Nehalem xeon came out, plus it is not like anybody will rush out and buy these if they weren't in the market for a Mac.
mi1ez 16th October 2009, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
the 6-core CPU will cost an arm and a leg anyway, no real overclocker is going to spend that much on a CPU. this is back to the "is enthusiastic paying too much" topic

This chip isn't aimed at overclockers! Or even enthusiasts really.

And if you think it'll be expensive, wait till the Apple Tax is added!
DeathAwaitsU 16th October 2009, 12:49 Quote
F**K Apple tbh
AshT 16th October 2009, 13:27 Quote
lol
NuTech 16th October 2009, 13:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORB13
Sounds like that would be anti-competitive, does Intel want to get finned again.

Nothing anti-competitive about this. It happens every day with other products. Think about timed-exclusive games (GTA4), iPhones timed exclusive to O2 (coming to Orange soon).

Remember this is the retailers (Apple) offering a supplier (Intel) money for exclusivity. If you're referring to the Intel/AMD lawsuit (which I assume you are) then it's very different. In that case it's the supplier (Intel) offering lower prices to the retailers (Dell etc) if they don't use other suppliers (AMD etc).
perplekks45 16th October 2009, 13:48 Quote
Enthusiast? Overclocker?
You know Intel's line-up, right?

Anyways, it'll be overpriced but then again, Apple's servers are pretty cool and if they have a 3-6 months advantage they might gain some market-share.

Nothing that really affects me though.
SMIFFYDUDE 16th October 2009, 14:33 Quote
LOL, that man in the pic looks like a character from Thunderbirds.
TESCO-Zsömle 16th October 2009, 15:53 Quote
LOLz for everyone. This is a Xeon processor, what means it's for servers. Overclockers... Enthusiasts... Huhh...

Price? High of corse. Show somebody a low priced High-End Server-CPU!
Phil Rhodes 16th October 2009, 15:53 Quote
Quote:
who needs 12 cores and 128gb anyway?

www.adobe.com
www.autodesk.com
AshT 16th October 2009, 16:22 Quote
... add to that music, photo, movie producers, artists, designers and that would give a little idea of some other uses of those specs.
AshT 16th October 2009, 16:25 Quote
ooh, not forgetting part of the Snow Leopard update was GCD (Grand Central Despatch) which deals specifically with multi cores and makes life easy for programmers.

Mmm 12 cores + GCD = nice.
cybergenics 16th October 2009, 18:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes



who needs 12 cores and 128gb anyway?

www.adobe.com
www.autodesk.com

Great, except there are no 64bit Adobe apps, rendering 128GB of ram as much use as an inflatable dart board for Apple OSX and Autodesk products are generally aimed at Windows, Autocad has no OSX version

http://usa.autodesk.com/products/mac-compatible-products
dslickness 16th October 2009, 18:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybergenics


Great, except there are no 64bit Adobe apps, rendering 128GB of ram as much use as an inflatable dart board for Apple OSX and Autodesk products are generally aimed at Windows, Autocad has no OSX version

http://usa.autodesk.com/products/mac-compatible-products

There is only one 64-bit Adobe app, Photoshop. Of course, its not easy to use that much ram unless you are in the print world. But I use After Effects everyday, and it can easily use all that ram. It only starts with 3GBs of ram, but it can use unlimited ram for its multi-processing mode.

But in the long run, the people who are going to be using a computer like that are: 3D animators, video compositors working with HD and 4K, and people in need of a mini-supercomputer.
wafflesomd 16th October 2009, 19:29 Quote
12 logic cores that you can't even game on.
cybergenics 16th October 2009, 19:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dslickness
There is only one 64-bit Adobe app, Photoshop. Of course, its not easy to use that much ram unless you are in the print world. But I use After Effects everyday, and it can easily use all that ram. It only starts with 3GBs of ram, but it can use unlimited ram for its multi-processing mode.

But in the long run, the people who are going to be using a computer like that are: 3D animators, video compositors working with HD and 4K, and people in need of a mini-supercomputer.

Not quite, Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects, Premier Pro and some others I can't remember are all 64 bit. There is a 64bit Creative Suite....

http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/production/pdfs/cs4_production_premium_64bit_wp.pdf

Also, its not that hard to make Photoshop use 3gb of ram, not sure what your Print World comment is about. As a Photographer (for construction and engineering industry) I can tell you (and offer proof also) a simple photomerge of 8, 3 mb photos makes it write an 8GB (yes not a typing mistake) scratch file to your drive of choice. Having more ram lets it avoid having to write this file so soon.
dslickness 16th October 2009, 20:07 Quote
You need to read my post, the "3GBs of Ram" was not about Photoshop, it was talking about After Effects. And what you are doing with photography can be considered parallel to the "Print World" since you are using super high resolution raw files. I don't doubt you are using that much storage and ram.

But I guess CS4 recently added all 64-bit, which is great!
cybergenics 16th October 2009, 20:18 Quote
I'm not using Raw files they are 3mb Jpegs on average. These are images for reference only. I have shot in RAW but that is more in analysis of construction faults and repair reports. I mentioned 3gb of ram pertaining to the rough limit for 32bit, so my comment was valid.
l3v1ck 16th October 2009, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORB13
Sounds like that would be anti-competitive, does Intel want to get finned again.
Technically not. Lots of companies have exclusivity deals for a period of time. In the UK the iPhone was only available on one network until last month. GE have exclusivity on the Boeing777LR. Singapore Airline had six month exclusivity on the Airbus A380.
This sort of deal happens legally all the time.
chumbucket843 16th October 2009, 22:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORB13
Sounds like that would be anti-competitive, does Intel want to get finned again.

i completely agree. how is it fair to allow only apple to have the chip? what about other OSes. i hope apple gets sued again. they will probably use this as a lame excuse to say their computers are faster and better.
perplekks45 16th October 2009, 23:22 Quote
It's not anti-competitive. It's normal business.

You get what you pay for and exclusive deals are perfectly normal. The anti-competitiveness law suit came up because Intel blackmailed companies to use their chips or otherwise they'd have to pay a lot more while their competitors would still get the cheaper chips thus being able to sell more for less. Nobody blackmailed Intel into signing an exclusive contract with Apple, Stevie just offered a boat load of money and got a limited-time exclusive product.
Timmy_the_tortoise 17th October 2009, 01:39 Quote
They'd never do that, would they?

Macs have such a tiny market share...

Apple must have a huge amount of cash to throw about in order to afford a deal like that. A deal which probably won't do them a huge deal of good since as far as I'm aware, Windows/Unix/Linux is better for most Server/Workstation applications.
AshT 17th October 2009, 01:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chumbucket843
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORB13
Sounds like that would be anti-competitive, does Intel want to get finned again.

i completely agree. how is it fair to allow only apple to have the chip? what about other OSes. i hope apple gets sued again. they will probably use this as a lame excuse to say their computers are faster and better.

It's a deal between two companies. No one is being bribed or blackmailed, no one is being forced at gun point. Unlike some of the previous anti-competitive lawsuits, this doesn't involve one company saying you can have our chip on condition you don't stock the competitors.

Don't be too sad, I'm sure it's only a very brief thing, say a few months maybe. And besides, Apple will have paid a premium on these chips to entice Intel into the deal, so that means Apple will have to pass that cost on to the consumer ... and then you can complain about Apples pricing policies as well. That way its a win-win situation for you! Cool.
Von Lazuli 17th October 2009, 09:57 Quote
Just think of it as an Apple beta test. Nice shiny new stepping when it gets released to retail.
SNIPERMikeUK 17th October 2009, 11:54 Quote
Wasted on apple, but will be too pricey over a descent quad core, I am still getting good results with my q6600.
dyzophoria 17th October 2009, 12:17 Quote
well apple will really need a lead on selling them with their prices,lol, wont be surprised if by the time others start selling it apple sales will still be out sold
gurusan 17th October 2009, 12:20 Quote
screw apple. never given them my money and never will.
Ross1 17th October 2009, 12:51 Quote
how common is 10gig e on systems at the moment? to me that seems like the biggest leap being made.... i mean dual gig e is about the most you see on mobos right now. its surely going to increase costs a lot, be fun to see just how much this thing will cost.

in the nehalem update they did manage to get a slightly more balanced system than their last iteration.... which was two quad core xeons but only 2GB of ram at stock. even now, you only get a 320GB hard drive for your £2k.... it will be interesting to see what they include with your 12 or 24 core system.
gurusan 17th October 2009, 13:14 Quote
well there are loads of i7 systems with 12gb ram......
Matticus 17th October 2009, 13:38 Quote
I can't believe a few comments are saying "who needs x amount of cores/power and ram". I bet you used to say "1ghz and 512mb of ram, are you insane!?!?!?"

Apple getting this first doesn't really make any difference, mac pros are in a market of their own anyway. People who buy a very powerful mac are buying it to run mac only software. Its not like they are thinking whether they should get a super powerful PC workstation or a mac pro, their industry has already made up their mind.
rollo 18th October 2009, 13:15 Quote
you are all a bit mad those saying game on 12 cores ect

first of all you dont game on a xeon cpu they are used for servers.

plenty of programs can use up to unlimted ram. Just cause games cant go above a set point doesnt mean the rest of the world is so inclined to do so. Alot of custom goverment apps. Apple doesnt sell the servers with osx even built on last i checked. As you can build the entire server from ground up how you desire.
Dr. Strangelove 19th October 2009, 13:34 Quote
Hmm you may also be forgetting that most likely initial yields will be low.. this way Intel can spend a few months optimising the processes without having shortage issues. Since Apple will probably not be buying more chips than Intel can easily make. That way Intel can build up stocks and get yields up, while getting paid by Apple and at the same time can tell their shareholders that they have produced the chips "on-time" and are keeping up with demand.
fodder 20th October 2009, 10:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybergenics
I'm not using Raw files they are 3mb Jpegs on average. These are images for reference only. I have shot in RAW but that is more in analysis of construction faults and repair reports. I mentioned 3gb of ram pertaining to the rough limit for 32bit, so my comment was valid.

3MB Jpegs can be HUGE, they are compressed remember. In print you can be manipulating many layers within PS and not only the file size but, as you have noted earlier, the space for calculating tasks goes through the roof. Raw and Jpeg of the same image will contain the same amount of pixels, it's just the grey levels per channel that differ. Merging a panorama from many images is also something done quite a lot in print. As is extending and image that the designer wants a bit more on.

With the way printers spend money on pre-press though, I can't see many laying out the cash Apple would want for one of these machines, especially the extortionate amount they charge for RAM. IE when I got my Macbook Pro, the ram upgrade (2 up to 4gb) cost £750. So, 1gb = £325, which means if you go for the full 128gb you may pay £41,600 for the upgrade. Nice. More than a full fat workflow system.
perplekks45 20th October 2009, 11:25 Quote
Hey, maybe Apple will change and make these new systems affordable?

MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

...sorry, couldn't help it.
dec 21st October 2009, 05:15 Quote
128GB of RAM.....give it a few years and systems wont ship with at least that much. 16 million terabytes is still a long way off.
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