Originally Posted by Tallest Skil
Any reason you think this?
Common sense says $1000+ computers shouldn't have obsolete processors. Core 2 Duo is a joke at that price and will be much more so when next-generation processors appear at the beginning of next year. So Apple has four options:
Option 1: Continue to use Core 2 Duo with Nvidia integrated graphics
Option 2: Use Intel Core 2011 processors with discrete graphics
Option 3: Use Intel Core 2011 processors with integrated graphics
Option 4: Use AMD processors and integrated graphics (probably Llano since Zacate is going to be too slow for these machines)
Honesty compels me to say that I have no idea what Apple will do, but that performance is secondary to profit, which suggests option 1. However, a few things point me towards Apple taking option 3. Those things are:
1: Nvidia seems to be pissing everyone off these days, including Apple. That, and the fact that Core 2 Duo in a Macbook Pro is some kind of bad joke, makes me discount option one.
2: Apple is currently using Core 2010 processors with discrete graphics... but only in its 15 and 17 inch notebooks. Not using them in the 13" models represents either cheapness (profit over performance) or lazy engineering (which is another form of cheapness). If Apple was going to use discrete graphics, it could have already. Therefore I discount option 2.
3: Intel's Core 2011 processors are actually going to have good integrated graphics. Really. At least, Intel has caught up with circa-2010 AMD and Nvidia IGPs. That will still be second place to AMD in 2011, but it's a huge improvement over their current IGP. This makes option 3 the most likely, I think. It's the cheapest solution for Apple, and good enough to be marketed as "good enough."
4: AMD's Llano "Fusion" mobile processors will have 2-4 cores derived from their Phenom II architecture attached to an IGP rumored to be almost as fast as a Radeon 5600. That's a clear improvement over what Apple currently uses. Compared to option 3, it trades off a slower processor for faster graphics, becoming a question of where Apple's priorities lie. On the other hand, Apple has shown no indication of stepping off the Intel train. So this is a geeky dream, but a slim chance in reality.
tl;dr: Intel's next-gen processors are going to be too good to not use.