View Full Version : The New Mac Pro slips out today!
8th January 2008, 10:28 PM
Yep, in a surprise move Apple has released the new Mac Pro ahead of the keynote. This suggests there are bigger fish to fry at the expo! :D
The new model has 8 cores and 2 gigs of RAM as standard, and uses the very latest Penryn processors from Intel. A selection of updated graphics cards are also available.
SCSI drives are also available. Oh, some people are going to be having some very lovely machines shipped to them in the coming weeks!
But what's the deal with all of these cores? Sure, Leopard is obviously very good at making use of them, but blimey, that's a serious amount of power for a default configuration. Perhaps a new mid-range Mac is on the way?
8th January 2008, 11:01 PM
I think that we are now at the stage where the number of processor cores is entirely moot. That Intel are building dual and quad core processors at what are rapidly approaching commodity prices is extraordinary. But it is also, I feel, a reflection of the state of the art. Like all things technological, once they have fabricated dual core the step change to quad and even oct-core is a small one in comparison. It is a matter of scale more than anything else, technicologically. Commercially it is a different matter. We are drip-fed these detail design enhancements rather than revolutionary change.
Think for a moment. If we can buy quad core now, what is on the drawing board? What is in the pre-fab plant? I suspect that oct-core are already at the pre-fab stage, and no doubt that sixteen core is under contemplation if not on the drawing board itself. I'm not entirely convinced we'll see Intel go the two, four, six, eight route - and instead anticipate a doubling at each new iteration.
Why? I'm at a bit of a loss to answer really. Windows XP will not make practical use of more than dual core. The quad and higher processor support is only in the server versions of Windows. So a "gamers" Windows PC (be it XP or Vista) with more than dual cores is going to be quite a waste - if not a marketing hit!
So, has Intel got focus on OS X and Linux where multi-core support is incumbent in the OS? Or is Microsoft going to bring in support for greater than dual core into its desktop OS?
I cannot see Apple bringing out a mid-range Mac using lesser cores than are prevailingly available. It is a mightly powerful sales pitch to be able to say that you are the only company selling 8 core systems for the going price of a comparable dual-core gamers PC.
9th January 2008, 01:54 PM
I think the Ultra portable is going to be the big thing. The media have been making a meal of these devices for ages now, and apple are a master at coming to the party late with a true masterpiece. Just think ipod. Their ultra portable could have touch interface which would make the announcement all the more important, given Gates spouted off about MS's coffee table thing.
A 12" iTouch with keyboard would be appealing.
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