Thursday, April 05, 2007

Apple using limited production quad-core CPU in Mac Pro

Yesterday Apple announced an 8-core Mac Pro, which made us wonder how Apple was selling them, since Intel's 3 GHz Clovertown wasn't due out yet and nobody else had them. It turns out that Apple is using a CPU in limited production to fill their needs, according to an eWeek report which quotes an Intel spokesperson.
"We are indeed shipping a 3.0GHz Xeon version [and] expect to see faster gigahertz speeds for our high-end Extreme PCs very soon, too," Bill Kircos, wrote in an e-mail to eWeek. "For now, the product is in limited production and Apple has chosen to adopt it. We will introduce another 3.0GHz Xeon SKU [Stock Keeping Unit] later on as well."
One wonders if this chip fits inside the 120 Watt TDP envelope of the slower clocked 2.66 GHz quad-core CPU (which Apple doesn't use in any of its machines), or if it runs at significantly higher power. I suspect the latter, and 120 Watt 3 GHz Clovertown quads will come out in Q3 2007 as originally planned. It will be interesting to find out just how much louder these 8-core (dual-quad) machines are compared to the existing 4-core (dual-dual) Mac Pros. Whatever the case, it looks like Apple has gotten a head start on the competition yet again.

[Update 2007-04-06]

An Intel spokesman states that the chip Apple is using is simply the Xeon X5365, and implies it isn't a special version of the chip (other than being early and in limited production). Thus, I wonder if it may in fact be 120 Watts like its 2.66 GHz X5355 brother (since I'm guessing the Q3 release version will have a maximum TDP of about that wattage), or if Apple is getting higher wattage chips in this limited production run.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd say hold off till there are faster clovertown chips with a much lower by 50% TDP unless you like high electric bills.
On intel's website they are advertising new xeon chips with 50-60% less power usage.