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10.6.8 Mountain Lion announced


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#41 teflon

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:07 AM

Sandy Bridge E didn't have a full package that would allow Apple to continue to offer two CPU chips in the system. So instead of advancing the system, would have simply ended up being a side-grade. Possibly even a downgrade in a couple areas, though I'm not 100% on that.

It's not just that they need to have a CPU released, but also that they need Intel to bring a suitable motherboard to the table.

Oh, and they'll obviously want to get Thunderbolt working too, but since that is implemented via mini DisplayPort on all other devices, letting them push data and video down a single cable, to have a consistent implementation, that means that they'll have had to work with whatever GPU manufacturer they decide to partner with to get this built in. That's not as cut and dried either, since Intel had been holding back on the Thunderbolt front somewhat, and I believe has only just provided the necessary gubbins to third parties and other PC manufacturers.

So then, for the next Mac Pro to release and not be deficient in several areas, compared with what we expect, it'd need to support two Xeon SB-EP CPUs, on a motherboard to suit this and have Thunderbolt piped through the GPU. Currently I see only one of these three requirements as having been fulfilled.

Apple seem to largely be waiting on other companies getting their act together, on this one.
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#42 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:00 AM

View Postbobbob, on 24 April 2012 - 05:19 PM, said:

Sandy Bridge E was released last year, SB-EP last month, and Ivy Bridge E/EP won't be till next year (supposedly). Unless you're saying they'll wait another year (plausible, but bad), the least-bad option would be to go SB-EP ASAP so they're not releasing SB-EP on the eve of IVB-E/P, and hope they won't be this bad next time. Or, like demand seems to be asking for, maybe have a low-end IVB Xeon or even straight IVB option for those who don't want to spend extra for two sockets. Plus 'there are no new chips' is kind of laughable when staring at the 5770 or 5870 they're peddling on these things.

You know, a normal company with less than 110B cash can keep up with new hardware as it comes out, and just swap in the new parts. Having that much cash, and deciding to ship Nehalem parts for two straight years is fully pants-on-head incompetent.

Sandy Bridge-E is not Xeon. It's enthusiast. The Nehalem level parts have only been outdated for about a month, cuz the Xeon Sandy Bridge chips have only been out for about a month. IVB is only about 5% faster then Sandy Bridge. So waiting for that makes very little sense. It's great for laptops with its much improved power draw, but for desktops the decreased power consumption doesn't really mean anything.

By no new chips he was talking CPU, the thing that 90% of Mac Pro users care about the most. Graphically speaking a 5770 can max 90% of games on the market at 1080p, a 5870 can max 99%. Sure you can have the GTX 680 or 7970, but it doesn't matter that much unless your running games at 2560x1200. Some of my buddies are running a GTX 680 with their 1920x1200/1080 monitors. They're running Crysis maxed with like 120fps. Im running Crysis maxed with 60fps on a $170 graphics card, that's worse then the 5870.

EDIT: what teflon said.

Also why is the name of this thread "10.6.8 Mountain Lion" ?? shouldn't it be called "10.8 Mountain Lion"? 10.6.8 is Snow Leopard.
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#43 bobbob

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:18 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 30 April 2012 - 10:00 AM, said:

Sandy Bridge-E is not Xeon. It's enthusiast. The Nehalem level parts have only been outdated for about a month, cuz the Xeon Sandy Bridge chips have only been out for about a month. IVB is only about 5% faster then Sandy Bridge. So waiting for that makes very little sense. It's great for laptops with its much improved power draw, but for desktops the decreased power consumption doesn't really mean anything.
Apple could have shipped single-socket SB Xeons anytime in the past year, and they had half a year or more before that to get them ready. IVB Xeons will be out in the next month or so, if they were going that route. I also mentioned SB-EP, which Dell and HP have announced concrete models for that will be ready to ship soon because they got the parts half a year in advance, too. Further, IVB is not only 5-10% faster than SB-E/EP (per core, per clock), it also has a much faster GPU, one that can drive three screens and is roughly as fast as their current barrel dregs, but then they couldn't charge $250 for one. Apple could even pump one of the outputs through a TB chip like another motherboard maker is promising to do, and then do port multiplication to get more.

#44 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:02 PM

View Postbobbob, on 30 April 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

Apple could have shipped single-socket SB Xeons anytime in the past year, and they had half a year or more before that to get them ready. IVB Xeons will be out in the next month or so, if they were going that route. I also mentioned SB-EP, which Dell and HP have announced concrete models for that will be ready to ship soon because they got the parts half a year in advance, too. Further, IVB is not only 5-10% faster than SB-E/EP (per core, per clock), it also has a much faster GPU, one that can drive three screens and is roughly as fast as their current barrel dregs, but then they couldn't charge $250 for one. Apple could even pump one of the outputs through a TB chip like another motherboard maker is promising to do, and then do port multiplication to get more.

If you wanted a single processor workstation then why not just go with the 27" iMac?? it has the i7 2600. Sure you don't have all the expansion of the Mac Pro. but your getting a free 27" Cinema Display, which screen reviews peg as the best display under $1200.

Also what makes you think that IVB Xeons will be out in a month?? you said "Ivy Bridge E/EP won't be till next year (supposedly)." just a few posts ago. You've also said in your previous post that Dell and HP have ANNOUNCED models with SB Xeon. So their not even shipping yet?? And yet your mad at apple for not shipping one?? Odd.

Also the HD4000 gets absolutely destroyed in gaming by the 5770. The 5770 has 200-300% the framerate of the HD4000 in pretty much all games. If you call that roughly as fast then I'm very surprised that you think a 5% IVB gain is worth talking about.


I invite you to read this review of the i7-3770K it'll give you a good idea of how it performs

Lets look at some highlight quotes from the review:
"Without question, though, an entry-level discrete card is still superior [to the HD4000]." the entry level card they're talking about is the 6570, which is MUCH slower then a 5770

"No question. If you’re die-hard about data, the numbers also make it objectively clear that there is no reason to upgrade a high-end desktop Sandy Bridge CPU to a high-end Ivy Bridge CPU."

"An evolution that makes sense, but doesn't impress"

Those are from Tom's Hardware, so if you disagree, take it up with them, one of the largest technology sites on the web.

I want an updated Mac Pro as much as anyone else, but There's literally only been about a 30 day windows in which we coulda got an updated one. I expect in the next month or so Apple will release an updated one.
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#45 teflon

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:20 PM

The best bet is that Apple will go with Sandy Bridge-EP in their usual dual CPU configuration around about the time of WWDC (which is when everything else is also expected to get a big update too). Intel's Xeon roadmap is notably out of sorts right now, but has finally delivered an LGA 2011 platform that would be roughly viable, and with forward compatibility to Ivy Bridge on that socket, it's a drop-in replacement that they can perform.

Here's the thing, though, there were a lot of big shifts in the last year or so that Apple will have been expecting Intel to deliver.

The move from LGA 1366 to LGA 2011 meant that they had to wait for Intel to deliver a new Motherboard that they could work with, and this didn't happen until March this year. They could have moved to a single socket motherboard, but then instead of being able to offer 12 cores, they would only have topped out at 6 cores with the Sandy Bridge E Xeons, meaning that this would have been a HUGE step back in CPU power alone. That's before you take into account that when you have dual CPUs you have dual memory controllers, lending twice the memory bandwidth and twice the amount of memory that you can install. To switch the single core Mac Pro to SB-E would have meant that Apple would have still been forced to keen the Westmere dual CPU model around for when you want more cores and more memory. That just doesn't make sense.

The other area where Apple have been waiting on Intel is with Thunderbolt. It has to be built into the Motherboard, but it's a murky issue as to how the final implementation will come about. Certainly, I feel that Apple were waiting on Intel to not just be able to give them TB at all, but rather the Cactus Ridge chip, which is supposedly out and about as of a few weeks ago. This would still need them to work closely with either AMD or NVidia to create a custom GPU with a separate channel to pipe data through the TB ports, because none of the Sandy Bridge E or EP Xeon chips actually feature integrated graphics. I really doubt that Apple would release a data only TB port having put so much work into combining it with video, so for this potential release it would have to go via a discrete GPU.

To sum up, Apple have quite clearly been waiting for a dual socket solution so that they can release a viable upgrade path. This has been held up by Intel's slipping release schedule, as has the rather sluggish roll out of Thunderbolt to anything but a mobile form factor, partly because of integration issues that require cooperation with 3rd party GPU manufacturers.

All the pieces seem to have come together within the last month and a half to give the MP the update that it deserves, so now it's all down to Apple's decision on when to do this, and what better event for them to update their entire range of Macs than a WWDC that will heavily focus on the release of OS X 10.8?
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#46 the Battle Cat

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:48 PM

Perhaps Apple should abandon Intel and go to SyNAPSE, the IBM Cognitive Computing Project platform.  All it would really require is that you buy all new software and hardware.  Again.  No big whoop.
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#47 mattw

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:18 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 30 April 2012 - 10:00 AM, said:

Graphically speaking a 5770 can max 90% of games on the market at 1080p, a 5870 can max 99%. Sure you can have the GTX 680 or 7970, but it doesn't matter that much unless your running games at 2560x1200. Some of my buddies are running a GTX 680 with their 1920x1200/1080 monitors. They're running Crysis maxed with like 120fps. Im running Crysis maxed with 60fps on a $170 graphics card, that's worse then the 5870.

When all the rumours were going round about the possibility of a Mac version of the Radeon HD 7970 I was thinking it would be a nice upgrade from my 5870 but then I noticed in the reviews of the card that at my native 1680 x 1050 my 5870 was already good enough.  I guess you really need that 27" display with the current titles to make use of it.

I'm not sure if it is the Console effect or what but is seems odd to have a Mac that is 3 years old and not really starting to show it's age.

Maybe Mountain Lion will change that if additional OpenGL extension are supported and newer titles push the hardware.
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#48 bobbob

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:13 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 30 April 2012 - 12:02 PM, said:

If you wanted a single processor workstation then why not just go with the 27" iMac?? it has the i7 2600
I want a better graphics card, and a cheaper and smaller display. Specifically, a good, fast (low display lag), 23" Dell IPS is $200 (when they're on regular sales). I'm not in the market or budget for the best 27" under $1200, thank you very much. I'm upgrading my gaming computer right away, too, and the display and a graphics card could wait for a few months considering I have a working CRT, and IVB is faster than my current CPU+GPU in pretty much everything, unlike SB. Plus, nVidia's newest low-end cards are delayed because of process problems (again), and it might even take a while for stock to be available after release.

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Also what makes you think that IVB Xeons will be out in a month??
April was the scuttlebut before Intel's latest rumoured delay, and May is the scuttlebut now, for the E3 v2's, specifically, which are merely the cheapest ones. The -EPs seem to be certainly next year, and it's the other -E's (E5 and E7?) which I'm guessing will be later this year or even next year, too, but that I'm not following and don't care too much about.

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You've also said in your previous post that Dell and HP have ANNOUNCED models with SB Xeon. So their not even shipping yet?
Shipping from Newegg, probably shipping from Dell if you had a large order or put your order in early, but speccing one out at Dell right now shows shipping in a couple weeks, which is hardly surprising for Dell to make and ship something. I don't know about HP, but they could probably sell you one right now, too.

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Also the HD4000 gets absolutely destroyed in gaming by the 5770
Well, I guess I should have looked that up first. It still hardly makes sense to spec one for $250 when the iMac would be better at that price, the integrated is probably good enough for stock usage (even better with IVB, especially for multiple and/or high-res displays), and a newer card would be better for gaming if you were going to upgrade (especially at that price).

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but There's literally only been about a 30 day windows in which we coulda got an updated one
Apple has been ready to ship near Intel's retail shipments before, so they could have had everything announced alongside Dell and HP (and even ready, like Newegg), plus there's still the single-socket ones they have made before and could have updated to last year. It's not 30 days for a gaming computer or low-end tower, let's put it that way.

#49 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 01 May 2012 - 06:48 PM, said:

Perhaps Apple should abandon Intel and go to SyNAPSE, the IBM Cognitive Computing Project platform.  All it would really require is that you buy all new software and hardware.  Again.  No big whoop.

Excellent idea!

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#50 Tesseract

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:08 PM

View PostFrost, on 23 April 2012 - 08:54 PM, said:

Or time for Apple to refresh the damn line so there's actually a reason to buy one.
I'll say. 654 days and counting without so much as a price drop or minor spec bump. I've had the cash ready to drop on a new machine for about 6 months now.