Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Temptation of Power

How does Apple do it?

Apple launches a product and your first basic instinct is "I want to buy it"? A few hours ago, Apple updated its Pro desktop and server line.

Octa-Core is now default.

Yep. Octa. Eight. Power. A pair of 4-core Xeon Chips totaling 8 cores in all packed in one desktop.

(edited added spec) The standard 8-core Mac Pro:
  • two 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors with dual-independent 1600 MHz front side buses;
  • 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC fully-buffered DIMM memory, expandable up to 32GB;
  • ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory;
  • 320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
  • 16x SuperDrive(TM) with double-layer support (DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW);
  • two PCI Express 2.0 slots and two PCI Express slots;
  • Bluetooth 2.0+EDR; and
  • ships with Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse.
More power than the average user will ever need? You bet. That's why "Pro" is written all over it.

If any of you reading this is asking, "is it Macworld already?" And the quick reply is: "no, this is the week before."

If you want to read the tea leaves about what Mac Pro means for next week expo keynote, Macworld is the place to read about it. Bottom line, Philip Michaels wrote: is that Macworld isn't really a pro-consumer event and more importantly there maybe more to talk about beside a really powerful octa-core box that the pros will be the only ones interested in. Makes sense.

Octa. Eight. All that power, damn. The things one can put this baby to do. Can you hear Steve Jobs saying, "screamer", "lightning fast"? "Boom!" faster than a sonic boom.

After that instinct to buy, the next step is "rationalization". With great power comes, a great electric bill. This Mac Pro still uses fb-dimms, aside from being really expensive, even when not being used draws a lot of juice. If a Mac Pro was a car, it would be a Hammer. Better yet, a Supercar. If it was a jet, it would be more Raptor than Gulf Stream. Maintenance, cheap it is not.

"Pluck that Apple". Octa. Eight. damn. All that power is tempting.

*image, screenshot from Apple's website.


Jonjon said...

Now my question would be, is this a real octa-core processor or is it just quad-core x 2, just like the earlier quad-cores (duo core x 2) and duo cores (mono core x 2)?

Cocoy said...

it is a pair of 2 4 core-xeon chips.

on top of my head, if memory serves me well... other than the cell... no one has a commercial 8-core chip in one.

there isn't much use for it really, beyond the pros. software doesn't scale very well beyond 8.