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New Mac Pro 2009

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  #1  
Old 23-04-2009
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New Mac Pro 2009
  

In depth, the architecture of the Mac Pro. Deliberate choice or willingness to stick closely to technology from Intel, its main partner? The question could remain partially open ... but hardly compulsive-t-on technical details of the new monsters that question very quickly leaves the room for evidence. More matter for Apple to commit blunders like to remain powerless against its own ads ... and not being able to keep its promises. He will be remembered for the famous bar ever 3.0 GHz PPC with IBM.


lagship of the fleet from Apple, the Mac Pro has not seen the design change, or very little, since the appearance of the Power Mac G5. As usual, the revolution comes from within.

Today, things have changed. Intel provides Apple and until recently had claimed the preview on its Intel Xeon processors , its range pro server to Apple. So it is logical that the Mac Pro 2009 edition adopted the new batch of Intel Xeon chip code-named Nehalem EP that support the Hyper-Threading and now, the virtualization processor cores, all supported by technology TurboBoost. Advertised as very swift, the new stations made, are they really?

To find out, we tested the two basic models present in the catalog configuration and very strong at 2.93 GHz version Octo-Cores And powerful monsters such calculations are certainly!

External signs of change

External changes are discrete, simply look at the connection to this. Crane, the FireWire 400 port has given way to a second FW 800 and two USB 2.0 connectors and the traditional headphone jack. At the rear the changes are similar in all respects. There are three USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire 800 (400 lost), a headphone output with an analog mini audio input jack, an input / output optical S / PDIF (Sony / Philips Digital Interface) digital connections and two Ethernet 100/1GoBaseT.


Except the deletion of the IEEE1394 connector, no significant change in the back of Mac Pro.

DVD side, no changes, both in design and in embedded hardware. Supplied with a double-layer SuperDrive, you can opt for a second unit at the Apple Store. The DVD burner Apple has still not given way to a device as a Blue Ray. Too bad ... Apple probably reserve it for the launch of Snow Leopard, but for the price we would have hoped at least that kind of player since the SuperDrive now enjoy a SATA interface.


The SuperDrive finally adopt the SATA. Further obstacle to install any other type of player stations in the Apple

You have understood, the Mac Pro still retain the same look, and it does not seem to program Cupertino change its tune, at least until the next generation And again, nothing is certain .

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  #2  
Old 23-04-2009
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Re: The new Mac Pro 2009

A revolution from inside
In adopting the new Xeon server chips Nehalem EP Series W3500 (for the four single-processor socket), E5500 and X5500 (for versions 8-socket dual-core), represented by the Mac Pro 2.26 GHz and 2.93 GHz Octo, Apple had to revise AZ internal architecture of its office equipment business.

Indeed, the new Intel Xeon processors, which have a completely new architecture with integrated controllers, Apple needed to revisit the overall design of the case. On the other hand, if this meant to of Research and Development in collaboration with Intel, which adds additional cost to the firm, it will be quickly amortized. Now, all models and all frequencies share a common single case since the architecture of CPU Nehalem EP implies that the principal organs and controllers are grouped together and placed near the processors.

Results to production what distinguishes a Quad-Cores of an Octo-Cores, this is only her daughter board or module as the processor and RAM also intimately related to CPU. We could ascertain, we have just enough to switch modules (CPU motherboards) to transform our Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Quad in Octo and vice versa, because of our station CTO 2.93 GHz eight cores a simple quad processors. Single signal after a restart, Mac OS X informs you that the RAM has been reset and fully operational. This has allowed us to configure our willingness to test three models to achieve all of the lab bench.


Once deposited the hood, remove the CPU module housing is a real breeze. Suffice it to unlock all pressing the two small levers on both sides.


Here, motherboard dual socket Mac Pro 2.93 GHz.

But these are not the only changes. Apple took advantage of this major revision to correct a few small design flaws cited in the previous generation. Bays that accommodate hard drives have been improved. The disk media slide better and fit more easily.

In terms of PCI Express 2.0, net improved support for many cards. Thus, the Radeon HD 4870, like GeForce 8800 GT for Mac Pro (Early 2008), enjoys a very ingenious system of locking the rails. So that more or less juggling to insert a NVIDIA 8800 GT in a machine, the insertion direction is well.


The inclusion of graphic cards or other large-format no longer poses any concern ...

This is not the only change that has been made as regards the insertion or extraction of a card on PCI Express. Formerly, small plastic ERGOS in charge of blocking cards that were inserted, were quite difficult to access. This is no longer the case today as they were replaced by a metal bar to act as a lock. More accessible, it is enough to push it to the left to unlock everything.


A push to the left enough to release all the maps that can be installed in Mac Pro ...


More ventilated, and the new chassis allow better air circulation. Nevertheless, the Radeon HD 4870 heat considerably and generate much noise, unlike the GeForce GT 120, very discreet on this point.
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  #3  
Old 23-04-2009
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Re: The new Mac Pro 2009

Mac Pro Quad 2.66 GHz and 2.93 based on chips from the Nehalem family W3500. Feature of these processors in 45 nm engraved, they can only work on motherboards single socket but consume relatively a lot. The 2.66 GHz which is a Mac Pro Xeon W3520 not least 130 Watts. It is lot, but it has the advantage of cheaper and ensure good performance. His hanging from 2.93 GHz, a Xeon W3540, also equipped with 8 MB L3 cache (or 2 MB per heart), do not consume over 130 Watts as his little brother.

Mac Pro Octo 2.26 and 2.93 GHz (from our lab) embark on together Xeon quad-core from the X5500 family which is itself divided into three categories of processors. There is a E (Enhanced improved) and the X and L series. Each of these categories requires motherboards dual socket but may work on a solo card dual socket unlike the W3500 series of mono quad-core processors. Another advantage is that these CPUs consume much less per unit.


On modules bi-socket processors, everything is doubled. Memory controller, RAM and consumption. Thus, the Xeon E5520 2.26 GHz consumes 80 Watts twice and has two banks of DDR3 ECC as its counterpart at 2.93 GHz X5570 Octo whose consumption blithely climbs to 190 Watts (95 Watts twice).

Besides simplifying the architecture for Apple, using the new Xeon can switch to a type of RAM much cheaper than previous models. DDR3 SDRAM ECC (ECC for error correction) costs about three times less than the memory used before and does more parity. Another major change induced by Xeon Nehalem, the integration of the controllers I / O memory is that allow direct access between the processor and RAM. The bandwidth is considerably increased and the phenomenon of latency reduced by approximately 35%. This also entails the disappearance of the famous Frontal Bus or FSB (Front Side Bus) which stood at 1333 MHz on the older models.Other important thing, Nehalem introduce technologies to the Hyper-Threading and TurboBoost.

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  #4  
Old 23-04-2009
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Re: The new Mac Pro 2009

Hard drives

Supplied as standard with discs Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB , the same team that the latest iMac, including the 2.93 GHz, the Mac Pro can benefit from a 1Tera, Western Digital always, available on the AppleStore with 90 ?. One option charged dearly, but certainly seduce ...

Especially since these discs, once configured RAID in N (N ear R edundant A rray of I ndependent D isk), better known as JBOD (J ust a B unch o f D isk), all data is concatenated and indexed sequentially, allows for excellent performance.

Certainly, without the redundancy of RAID 1 (or mirror mode), the overall capacity is divided by two. Nor the constraints of RAID 0, very fast, which lists the data - not sequenced - on all hard drives configured in RAID. But if a disk has to let go, the whole set of data is compromised. So, the solution N RAID is the most interesting in terms of performance, which is why we opted for this mode for our tests (see below).

However, there are many manufacturers (Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Fujitsu, Toshiba) hard drives on the conventional market. We will not talk here of DSS. It becomes quite dangerous to choose the right disk as needed: speed, security / reliability and storage capacity.


As you can see, if the WD Velociraptor 300 GB are considered swift, the Caviar Black 1TB delivered as an option on the store can be just as attractive and efficient while being less expensive.


Graphics

despite the power available, some games under Windows are able to challenge our favorite Mac Pro: The 2.66 GHz Quad. Crysis obviously like Lost Planet - Extreme Condition, but James Bond - Quantum of Solace (the demo), Crysis Warhead, Medal of Honor Airborne, Call Of Duty: World at War etc. The GeForce 120 GT is not really suited especially when all the rule parameters and the maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 LED Cinema Display. Rest by taking the option Radeon HD 4870, with good charged all together, we get the station working to do everything. It will then reduce its cost and, above all live with noise generated by fans of the cooling system with both processors than ATI video card very poorly run under Windows XP, in the namely the Professional version that were used in tests.


Crysis Warhead really need to have a Radeon HD 4870, the GT 120 is not enough, unless you invest in a Quad 2.93 GHz.



While a 3.06 Ghz iMac with a GeForce 130 GT can play without saccade to Quantum of Solace, on the Mac Pro input range, the 120 GT fishing.
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  #5  
Old 23-04-2009
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Re: The new Mac Pro 2009


Here, the cooling system of the Mac Pro Quad 2.66 GHz. The radiator fins conceals imposing a fan who is responsible for circulating the air ...


At its opposite, the coolant tubes of the system. Here, the thermal paste in abundance on the top, carries part of heat on the wings.

On the Mac Pro 8-core, the heat radiators are twofold. Shorter as they dissipate heat in the same way as on Mono, except that the thermal paste is in abundance.But the Xeon E5520 and X5570 are consuming less and the dissipation is also lower. Integrated with the radiator fans are 30% smaller than the 2.66 GHz Quad.The transition to Nehalem chip has two big advantages. First, the integrated memory controller allows direct access between CPU and memory while reducing latency. On the other hand, DDR3 ECC employee no longer works parity, is much less expensive and easier to obtain.


Another advantage of the design of the Mac Pro 2009: in case of malfunction or breakdown, it will be quick and easy for Apple, including the AppleCenter authorized to repair or change some organs. The processor cards are removable and CPU coolant systems as easy to disassemble.


We have mentioned the ease of extraction of the card processor. Its locking system is equally important. All in solid aluminum.ike the Power Mac G5 Dual Core, the casing of the Mac Pro was particularly ventilated. The items are very easily accessible. The two big fans, here both sides are responsible for circulating the area horizontally.the majority of taxable items (plastic etc.) or clipsent is set by sliding. The screws are also much more accessible.Able to accommodate up to four cards GeForce GT120, this generation has only two PCI Express ports (2.0) including a 16x already monopolized for video and can accommodate a RAID card on the fourth location.


Simple and refined, the GeForce 120 GT is especially known to be very discreet. Its totally recessed fan is barely audible when the computer is turned on.


Design after all the classic card entry which, if not very powerful, is also charged 135 ?. However, it delivers a power greater than that of the iMac 24 2.93 Ghz even mounted on a Quad 2.66 GHz.


Unlike the GeForce, HD 4870 occupies the equivalent of two ports. It is also equipped with a Dual DVI connector and a Mini DisplayPort now de rigueur on the new machines.

Unlike the GeForce GT 120 which draws its power from the port where it is connected. The ATI card requires that you connect the two power ports on the motherboard.


The use of aluminum and galvanized steel is the main asset of this beautiful box, if its lines evolve much, retains all its qualities almost. Robust structure, easy access and installation of cards additives or additional hard drives in less than five minutes silent ventilation, etc., Are of particular interest. But we regret, despite the serious improvements and the care taken in manufacturing that Cupertino has not fully reviewed the design of its product to reduce the weight and thus sizes.
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  #6  
Old 23-04-2009
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Re: The new Mac Pro 2009

Conclusion :

We must not forget that these computers are aimed primarily at businesses and independent professionals. The new Mac Pro computing power has unprecedented and thanks to the arrival of Intel Xeon chips Nehalem EP capable of simulating up to sixteen eight virtual cores with Hyper-Threading. However, despite the sharp increase in power, including with respect to the previous generation 8-core launched in January 2008, these new machines are expensive, even prohibitive, especially the very high end, even in terms of future potential.such an investment can not be truly sustainable, at least we believe, once Snow Leopard ( Mac OS 10.6) released in the shelves of Apple Resellers. One aspect that must take into account today. Especially as you have seen, whether on Mac OS X or in some applications, however well-developed by Apple or third-party publishers, we can not say that the whole of the sixteen hearts (eight hearts physical) is particularly well managed.

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