The new Mac Pro might get Intel's new 28-core 5 GHz Xeon processor
Intel has revealed its upcoming collection of high-specification processors, including a 28-core Xeon processor for professional users alongside its 9th-generation Core processors boasting high core counts that could be heading for the Mac Pro, along with one eight-core model clocked at 5GHz.
Unveiled at an event on Monday, the Xeon W-3175X is a 28-core, 56-thread chip that is intended for professional applications. While it has a base clock speed of 3.1GHz, the processor is capable of reaching to to 4.3GHz when boosted, and ships with an unlocked multiplier.
Offering a six-channel DDR4 memory controller, it is capable of supporting up to 512GB of memory. Aimed at content creators, the chip also includes 68 PCIe lanes, 44 of which are on the CPU, providing extensive connection opportunities to other hardware.
All this performance also means it generates a lot of heat, with Intel stating it has a Thermal Design Point (TDP) of 265 Watts.
The new model follows on from the Xeon W range launched last year, which included up to 18 cores on a single chip. At the time, it was thought the Xeon W family could be used on the iMac Pro. While the addition of a 28-core processor to the range may be attractive to some customers, the high heat generation would require considerably more cooling than the iMac Pro is able to provide.
In theory, this makes the Xeon W-3175 a decent candidate for use in the upcoming refreshed Mac Pro. Apple previously revealed it was working on a modular-designed version that it was intending to bring out in 2018, and depending on the way it is constructed, it may be able to have enough cooling for the chip, if Apple ends up using it.
Pricing for the Xeon W-3173X has yet to be announced, but it will be going on sale in December.
Intel also introduced three processors under the 9th-generation masthead, headed up by an 8-core, 16-thread Core i9-9900K, which has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz rising to 5GHz under boost, dual-channel DDR4-2666 support, and 16MB of L3 cache.
It is joined by an 3.6GHz 8-core Core i7-9700K clockable to 4.9GHz under boost that lacks hyperthreading, but includes the same DDR4 support and 12MB of L3 cache. Lastly, there's the six-core Core i5-9600K with a base clock of 3.7GHZ and a boosted clock of 4.6GHz, and 9MB of L3 Cache.
It is unlikely that Apple will be interested in these three processors, due to the trio all having a TDP of 95W, making it too hot for the iMac range and the MacBook Pro. Apple uses Xeon processors in the iMac Pro, not Core processors.
Pre-orders are open now for the processors, priced at $488, $374, and $262 respectively, with pre-orders open today and the chips expected to ship on October 19th.