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Intel hurries next-generation chips

post #1 of 176
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Speaking at Intel Corp's Spring Analyst Meeting this week, chief executive Paul Otellini said the company will launch its new microarchitecture, which will include chips for notebooks, desktops and servers, beginning in June.

Otellini said Intel would usher in its new Core microarchitecture line starting with its Woodcrest chip for servers in June, its Conroe chip for desktops in July and its Merom chip for notebooks in August, according to a report by IDG News

By the third quarter of this year, Intel will be making more chips with 65-nm geometry than 90 nm, the Intel boss explained. And by 2007, he said the company will build a 45-nm version of the Core chip family called Penryn.

The report goes on to say the chipmaker will upgrade its microarchitecture in a chip called Nehalem by 2008, and then move to 32-nm design by 2009 -- shrinking that chip line into a design called Nehalem-C.

In 2010, the company will reportedly upgrade its microarchitecture once again for a future line of chips called Gesher.

One company expected to make extensive use of all three of Intel's new Core-based chips in its own designs is Apple.

it's widely believed that the Mac maker has selected Conroe -- a chip Intel says is 40 percent faster than the Pentium D960 -- to power its first line of Intel-based PowerMacs later this year.
post #2 of 176
...to power its first line of Intel-based PowerMacs later this year."


Uhhh...MacMacs.

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post #3 of 176
Great news. Bring on Merom/Conroe/Woodcrest.

the sooner the better.
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post #4 of 176
I guess then the woodcrest chip is for xserver

I was hoping it would go in the powermac
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post #5 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by DGNR8
I guess then the woodcrest chip is for xserver

I was hoping it would go in the powermac

I wouldn't rule Woodcrest out. Xeons are Workstation/Server class chips. Apple has to offer them
if they wish to be competitive.

In fact HP just announced their "Greencreek" workstations using the Intel 5000 series chipsets which support FBDIMM, VT and IAMT2. They also support a new feature called I/O AT(Acceleration Technology) which accelerates I/O TCP/IP functions like a TOE Host Bus Adapter.

We're about to put the POWER into Powermac.
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post #6 of 176
Where are they getting these names? Penryn? Gesher? Nehalem? They are almost as bad as YellowSheepRiver!
post #7 of 176
Well, some of these names are places in Israel, such as Merom. This may be because Intel develops many of its chips in Israel.

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post #8 of 176
Do a search on all the names. Most of them are names of churches or other Christian-esque ministries.
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post #9 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
Where are they getting these names? Penryn? Gesher? Nehalem? They are almost as bad as YellowSheepRiver!

I believe Intel has an R&D plant in Israel. That may be where some of the names come from.
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post #10 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by geo06
Do a search on all the names. Most of them are names of churches or other Christian-esque ministries.

That doesn't necessarily mean much, it is probably a coincidence. Churches tend to use those names because they had significance in Israel, the originating point of the faith. Most of the chips designed in Israel had code names that were Hebrew names, places or words. Do a search with many of those names and add "Israel" as a keyword after it and you might see what I mean.

I would expect that if the code names were supposed to be of intermediate origin somewhere in the English world, then "Yonah" would likely have been "Jonah".
post #11 of 176
Have 2GB laptop SODIMMs hit the market yet? Technically, with Merom, Apple need not be constrained to 2GB, assuming of course Apple migrates their "extended memory" functionality from the PPC side, or something similar. It would be a nice barrier to break, and it'd be great to have 4GB in a laptop.
post #12 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
I wouldn't rule Woodcrest out. Xeons are Workstation/Server class chips. Apple has to offer them if they wish to be competitive.

I agree, though I personally would rule out Conroe from the PowerMac, except maybe for the very cheapest model. I don't understand why someone would speculate that Conroe would be a PowerMac chip. Based on the general intended and markted use, the PowerMac is supposed to be a workstation-type system for heavy 2D, 3D, video and other work, think equivalent systems being those with Xeon DP or Opteron 2xx chips. It looks to me that Conroe is going to be a consumer desktop chip, which would be the equivalent of what is now called Pentium, that isn't dual-socket capable. It would be bad to use consumer grade chips in a workstation.
post #13 of 176
Also don't forget the number of cores that Apple might put into the new powermac replacements. The top of the line powermac G5 is quad. A new intel powermac must top the quad G5 by at least 2x, or else it'd look bad.

I just hope they bring out a powerful overall design, and then let's wait for photoshop and then let's by a new mac and get some serious work done.
post #14 of 176
Apple will use Conroe for a Powermac just as PC manufacturers will use a Pentium 4 for their lowend Workstation(such as the the difference between the HP XW4300 and XW6200)

Conroe is a capable CPU for people who don't need a quad system and it benefits Apple because they save the expense of a dual socket motherboard.

It's important to realize that other than the FSB advantage and potential L2 cache advantage Woodcrest is based off the same Core Architecture. Performance should be close with Conroe in non SMP benchmarks.
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post #15 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Apple will use Conroe for a Powermac just as PC manufacturers will use a Pentium 4 for their lowend Workstation(such as the the difference between the HP XW4300 and XW6200)

Conroe is a capable CPU for people who don't need a quad system and it benefits Apple because they save the expense of a dual socket motherboard.

It's important to realize that other than the FSB advantage and potential L2 cache advantage Woodcrest is based off the same Core Architecture. Performance should be close with Conroe in non SMP benchmarks.

All very good points, but I would have a hard time justifying $2000 for a Conroe-based Apple workstation when HP's equivalent starts at under $1000.
post #16 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
All very good points, but I would have a hard time justifying $2000 for a Conroe-based Apple workstation when HP's equivalent starts at under $1000.


Here's hoping we have the return of the $1499 entry level Powermac. I think it's a bit ridiculous that Powermacs are starting out at $2k.
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post #17 of 176
I thought they named them after ski runs at Whistler.

edit: That's Microsoft.

I really kind of like the codenames Intel and AMD use. Mysterious but pronouncible and elegant.
post #18 of 176
I hate to sound like a bore, but I'm much more intrigued by the rumors of replacing the Mach microkernel. I believe this is more key to Apple's continued growth in the high-end markets than Intel's (impressive) roadmap.

Regardless, will the high-end Mac Pro feature a dual quad-core system? Or are quad-cores off the table right now?
post #19 of 176
Why is it that I get an uncomfortable feeling when I hear that things are being 'hurried'?

It just doesn't make sense...we were expecting some of these chips in August/September and others in early 2007 and suddenly, like magic, they're going to be available in June?!

One thing's for sure though if this pans out...Apple is now getting a shitload and variety of chippies...this is a much different situation than what we were seeing less than a year ago.
post #20 of 176
I don't put much weight behind the Mach replacement bit; not saying it won't happen, but the logic behind the original argument didn't hold muster. If Apple can pull it off and does, however, bully for us.

so if July/August we get Merom laptops, do the people that are buying 17s cry IIvi? I'm just wondering what Intel skimped on to buy them the extra time.
post #21 of 176
Intel is getting crushed in benchmarks. The Netburst core has nothing left and they've lost a lot of desktop business. They missed their target for earnings and really the best thing for them to do is to get Core Achictecture out and trim some of the company fat that has dragged them down.

They've just announced vPro their "centrino" branding for desktop/workstation. So I expect the blitz coming up this summer to be intense as Intel seeks to win back the hearts and minds of enthusiasts who are now AMD fans.

Good for Apple because they'll have the parts ready and will easily be able to announce product for WWDC. I'm definitely interested in seeing Leopard running on new Powermac hardware. It should set the tone for the rest of 2006 into 2007.
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post #22 of 176
Right, H. Only thing more we could hope for is a "Rosetta Turbo" plugin for Adobe that accelerates their apps until they are converted.

Though, you know, I'm finding myself doing whatever I can outside of Adobe these days and I can't say it's a bad thing.
post #23 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol
Why is it that I get an uncomfortable feeling when I hear that things are being 'hurried'?

It just doesn't make sense...we were expecting some of these chips in August/September and others in early 2007 and suddenly, like magic, they're going to be available in June?!

One thing's for sure though if this pans out...Apple is now getting a shitload and variety of chippies...this is a much different situation than what we were seeing less than a year ago.

Intel has alluded to why they are releasing the chips early, market share loss. AMD is killing them compared to netburst chips. I think they decided they have to stop the bleeding and can't do it with netburst chips. I mentioned a link I came across at Anandtech where a Paxville Xeon was compared to an Optreron and was destroyed.
post #24 of 176
Just to differentiate b/n PC world, IMHO

XServe - Top end woodcrest
Mac Pros - Woodcrest

iMac - Conroe
Mac Mini - Yonah (heat/noise/watt level reduced then low end Conroe)

MacBook Pro - Merom
MacBook - Low end merom


that will make APPLE clear leader in using latest CPUs...

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post #25 of 176
backtomac:

I think the disturbing thing is that it gives the impression the product was rushed to market, though that's not the only option.

Either Intel was ahead of schedule on development and intentionally pushed back release of the new Core arch to recoup investment on the Yonah cores, or Intel was on schedule and took shortcuts in some aspect of product design/delivery to push ahead the date.

Let's hope it is the former.
post #26 of 176
I see the pickle from Intel's standpoint.

They just announced Intel Core Solo/Duo and before they even get the marketing message out there's going to be Merom/Conroe/Woodcrest coming.

I'm sure they would have loved to extend just a few more months but they know they have to get the nextgen architecture out.

Just glad my mini has a socketed processor. I'll be there to scoop up a T2600 next year for a song.

Expect fire sales on Netburst products as Intel clears the channel.
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post #27 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by ChevalierMalFet
backtomac:

I think the disturbing thing is that it gives the impression the product was rushed to market, though that's not the only option.

Either Intel was ahead of schedule on development and intentionally pushed back release of the new Core arch to recoup investment on the Yonah cores, or Intel was on schedule and took shortcuts in some aspect of product design/delivery to push ahead the date.

Let's hope it is the former.

I don't know this for fact but my guess is that Intels initial RTM timeframe for core architechure had a lot to do with Intel being able to milk the netburst chips for all they could. If they could, I wonder if Intel would like to hold off bringing Core to market not because it isn't ready but so that they could milk some sales out of netburst. Seems to me that AMD forced their hand.

What I find interesting is Intel's plan moving forward. They lay out a plan that upgades their microarchitechure twice in the next 4 years. That should put a lot of R&D pressure on AMD to keep up. Will they be able to?
post #28 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison


Expect fire sales on Netburst products as Intel clears the channel.

They already are. Dual core Pent Ds can be had for under $200.
post #29 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by shanmugam
Just to differentiate b/n PC world, IMHO

XServe - Top end woodcrest
Mac Pros - Woodcrest

iMac - Conroe
Mac Mini - Yonah (heat/noise/watt level reduced then low end Conroe)

MacBook Pro - Merom
MacBook - Low end merom


that will make APPLE clear leader in using latest CPUs...

I think this lineup would probably be a bad idea. For the type of thing most PowerMacs are used for, a Woodcrest would make it too expensive and not offer much in return. I think Conroes will go all the way from iMac to PowerMac to xServe, then maybe a high-end "Pro" version of the PowerMac and xServe with Woodcrests just in case anyone wants 4 processors.
post #30 of 176
Hmm, any chance for an MBP with a Merom at WWDC then? The timeframe looks right.
post #31 of 176
how abt merom and yonah?

is Yonah & Conore PIN Compatible, i guess Merom & yonah are PIN compatible ...

if iMac called to be desktop, it shd include conore (most PCs will include conore after Pentium D and of course in some cheap machines as well)

also i guess, iMac always refreshed very frequetly, i see new iMac in July (with Conore and 64 bit processing) ...

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post #32 of 176
Apple's lineup by the end of the year.


Mac mini- Core Solo 1.66Ghz Core Duo 2.0Ghz
iMac- Merom 2.0Ghz/2.33Ghz (conroe too hot)
Powermac- 2.13Ghz/2.4Ghz Conroe Woodcrest 2.67Ghz x2
Xserve- 2.4/2.67Ghz Woodcrest

Macbook- same as mini
Macbook Pro- same as iMac
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post #33 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by shanmugam
how abt merom and yonah?

is Yonah & Conore PIN Compatible, i guess Merom & yonah are PIN compatible ...

Merom and Yonah uses (the same) Socket 479 and works on existing motherboards. Conroe uses Socket 775 and only works on the 304 revision of the Intel Bad Axe motherboard so far, IIRC.

Why shouldn't Conroe fit in the iMac? Didn't the G5 have the same heat output?
post #34 of 176
Quote:
Why shouldn't Conroe fit in the iMac? Didn't the G5 have the same heat output?

I'm assuming the heat output was around 50 watts. However that casing was also thicker. Apple has reduced the internal volume of the ICD iMacs and that worries me somewhat.

They could put a Conroe in but I wonder if they're going to take the risk.
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post #35 of 176
For whatever reason, I've assumed that Conroe would be too hot for iMac. It would be awesome if they could get one in though.
post #36 of 176
Some of them are clocked really low. I think they're cool.
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post #37 of 176
Oh that AMD acquiring 20% marketshare in desktop chips as well as servers must have hurt.
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post #38 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by Booga
I think this lineup would probably be a bad idea. For the type of thing most PowerMacs are used for, a Woodcrest would make it too expensive and not offer much in return. I think Conroes will go all the way from iMac to PowerMac to xServe, then maybe a high-end "Pro" version of the PowerMac and xServe with Woodcrests just in case anyone wants 4 processors.

I think the target market and current pricing for PowerMac and Xserve is exactly the reason that the Apple servers and workstations will have to go all-quad, unless they add lower cost products in both lines. I don't think it makes sense to have dual core workstations at their current prices when much of the consumer line-up is also dual core. Everyone else's dual processor product in those price ranges will soon likely be replaced with a dual-dual core. at the same prices, a dual-only product would be uncompetitive in the market.

And frankly, Apple's servers aren't worth what they are asking and needs a four core unit, yesterday, to compete. Apple's single-proc-only unit starts at $3k, HP's single processor 1U unit, expandable to dual-dual, starts at $1300. Even with the server operating system, it is still a $1k disparity for a less expandable unit. The HP Opteron 1U unit is available as a quad for less than the price of Apple's dual.
post #39 of 176
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Oh that AMD acquiring 20% marketshare in desktop chips as well as servers must have hurt.

Well...thanks to AMD, we're getting these Intel chips earlier. Competition is good.
post #40 of 176
Quote:
Just glad my mini has a socketed processor. I'll be there to scoop up a T2600 next year for a song.

Whoa. We can drop them in like we used to be able to? Sweet. Totally. Sweet. That means almost the whole thing is upgradeable besides the bus: the CPU, RAM, and now these days graphics, since the connection is so fast. Excellente.
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