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Re: About the new Mac Pro-X

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Walter Soyka
Re: About the new Mac Pro-X
on Jun 14, 2013 at 11:57:15 pm

[Marcus Moore] "Are we sure we're sure about the config options? All this hand wringing over dual CPUs could be for nothing."

I don't have Cartesian certainty about what the options will be on this unreleased system, but there are a few pieces of evidence pointing to single-socket, and none pointing to dual-socket.

The Mac Pro minisite refers specifically to "processor" and the picture shows room only for a single CPU.

Starting with Nehalem, Xeons have the memory controller on the CPU, and new Xeons use a quad-channel memory interface. There are only four memory slots shown, suggesting a single quad-channel interface and thus a single CPU.

The site also refers to "up to 12 cores of processing power." The next generation E5 Xeons will offer 12 cores on a single CPU. If they were using current Xeons and had a dual-CPU configuration, I'd expect them to say "up to 16 cores." If they were using next-gen Xeons with a dual-processor configuration, I'd expect "up to 24 cores."

I wouldn't say it's really hand-wringing, either -- just a recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of this particular system. I'm already using Macs and PCs, so I can just keep on using PCs where I really need that kind of CPU power. Not every application benefits from a zillion sizzle cores, and the Mac Pro will be a fine system for those. I just don't expect to buy a Mac Pro and use it for all my work, as a good portion of what I do could go twice as fast on a dual-processor system.

Walter Soyka
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