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Intel: Merom notebooks to arrive late next month

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Intel Corp. on Thursday said notebook computer systems based on its new Core 2 Duo mobile processors, previously code-named Merom, should begin hitting the market by the end of August.

During a presentation at its Santa Clara, Calif. headquarters, the world's largest chip maker rolled out a total of ten Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors for both desktop and notebook computers. Each of the chips are based on the company's new Core microarchitecture, which was designed to provide powerful yet energy-efficient performance.

Prior to Thursday's unveiling, Intel began shipments of production-ready Intel Core 2 Duo processors for both desktops (Conroe) and notebook (Merom) to its partners, such as Apple Computer. The company said the first Conroe-based systems should begin to show up from PC manufacturers in early August while Merom-based notebooks will be available at the end of August.

Meanwhile, Intel said systems based on its Core 2 Extreme chips (the high-end, performance version of Conroe) are already available from some system manufacturers.

"The Core 2 Duo processors are simply the best processors in the world," said Intel chief executive Paul Otellini. "Not since Intel introduced the Pentium processor has the industry seen the heart of the computer reinvented like this.

Otellini added that the highly anticipated processor family has already received very broad support with more than 550 customer system designs underway -- the most in Intel's history.

While Apple's plans for the new Conroe chips are uncertain at this time, the company is widely expected to adopt Merom in an upcoming revision to its MacBook Pro line of professional notebooks.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker has historically targeted upgrades to its professional notebook lines around the September time frame. However, complications with its previous microchip suppliers sometimes caused the company to stumble along the way.

Last year, updates to the PowerBook G4 slipped several weeks from their target launch during the third week of September due to microprocessor availability issues and bugs in the notebooks' Intrepid 2 chipset. During the previous year, a dearth of higher performance G4 processors prevented any release of faster PowerBook systems during the second half of the year.

This year, things may play out differently for Apple, thanks in part to a more reliable supply of the industry's fastest microprocessors -- one of the primary reasons Apple turned away from IBM and Freescale and towards Intel as its chip supplier.

When asked last week whether Intel's more robust and higher frequency product roll-out schedule would allow Apple update its systems at a faster pace than in the past, company executive vice president Tim Cook would only say that he was "very pleased to be working with Intel" and the new partnership would allow Apple to "change over time."

Apple last updated its MacBook Pro line of professional notebooks in January, commencing shipments the following month.
post #2 of 69
Apple's going to be over Core Architecture like a pig in shat.

Intel is going very aggresive on the product launches of Core Arch and Apple and others are going to be the beneficiaries of such good fortune.

This is great I wouldn't mind picking up another Mac mini with either a fast Yonah chip or Merom in it next year. I know that my first Apple laptop will be Merom based as well.

I get giddy with excitement about all this stuff.
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post #3 of 69
I'm guessing announcement with WWDC and shipping by the 23rd. Random dates FTW.
post #4 of 69
I say Paris Expo. Is that Sept 12th? Shipping imeadiately.

i have the ££ ready, now I'm just waiting... and unfortunately I'll want a 7200rpm drive, so I'll probably have to wait an extra week or two.
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post #5 of 69
Meanwhile, in another part of the world, the IBM PowerPC team collectively sits in its living room, dressed only in a bathrobe, eating pints of chunky ice cream while grumbling about "still being a contender..."
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post #6 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
The company said the first Conroe-based systems should begin to show up from PC manufacturers in early August

iMacs???
post #7 of 69
Anecdotal evidence it is, but from where I sit there are MANY, MANY people who decided to wait for the next version of the MacBook Pro.

I'm one of them, and the very second the new MBP is available, I will be ordering one up and starting the goodbyes with my trusty PowerBook.

I predict that 2nd gen MPB's are going to sell like crazy and Apple will not be able to catch up with inventory until Jan. '07.

gc
post #8 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by GordonComstock
Anecdotal evidence it is, but from where I sit there are MANY, MANY people who decided to wait for the next version of the MacBook Pro.

I'm one of them, and the very second the new MBP is available, I will be ordering one up c

Me too.
post #9 of 69
With a pin compatible Merom placed inside a MBP, would the Merom equipped MBP be a rev. 2 (or 3) machine?

In other words, when IBM and Moto chips were trickling out, it was easy to wait to buy a rev. 2 or 3 PB. Most everything in the notebook was the same.

I would like to buy a Merom MBP, but not a rev. 1. I'd like most of the bugs to be worked out before I purchase a new laptop (and associated unviversal software).

Any ideas? Opinions?
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post #10 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by backcheck
With a pin compatible Merom placed inside a MBP, would the Merom equipped MBP be a rev. 2 (or 3) machine?

Merom and Yonah are pin compatible. So it depends on what other architectural changes Apple is going to do. I think there is a good chance to see a completely revamped MBP.
post #11 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by backcheck
With a pin compatible Merom placed inside a MBP, would the Merom equipped MBP be a rev. 2 (or 3) machine?

In other words, when IBM and Moto chips were trickling out, it was easy to wait to buy a rev. 2 or 3 PB. Most everything in the notebook was the same.

I would like to buy a Merom MBP, but not a rev. 1. I'd like most of the bugs to be worked out before I purchase a new laptop (and associated unviversal software).

Any ideas? Opinions?

Jan 2008 should be safe.
post #12 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by OfficerDigby
Jan 2008 should be safe.

..to get a refurb.
post #13 of 69
I think we'll see speed bumps and better specs, but I am holding onto my PB until Sata Rosa arrives in Feb. I think that'll be when we see and first true redesign of the PB/MBP from stem to stern....
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post #14 of 69
is merom really going to be that superior to yonah? =(
post #15 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
Me too.

Same here! I am expecting to be completely blown away. Doing an iBook G3 to MacBook Pro Merom upgrade will be like night and day... As soon as there is an order button on the Apple website for this next generation, I will be clicking it.

-Kerrum
post #16 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Elixir
is merom really going to be that superior to yonah? =(

There is talk for about 20-30% performance improvement at the same clock speed. It remains to see some real benchmarks.
post #17 of 69
Quote:
I am holding onto my PB until Sata Rosa arrives in Feb.

Santa Rosa's now not due 'til late April 2007.
post #18 of 69
The core processors will stall at 2.8 GHz and four cores.
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post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Elixir
is merom really going to be that superior to yonah? =(

Unless I'm mistaken, it's 32bit vs 64bit for a start...
post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
The core processors will stall at 2.8 GHz and four cores.

I read somewhere that beyond Kentsfield*, Cloverton* and Tigerton*, there is an 8 - 32 core chip on the way. I'll try to dig out the page...

Unless you meant core vs core "2"?

*I'm statring to get confused with all these names, I just know that I would like a dual woodcrest in the "good" mac pro in Aug...
post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
There is talk for about 20-30% performance improvement at the same clock speed. It remains to see some real benchmarks.

Precisely, im hoping its noticebly faster than a Yonah, Inte's making a big song and dance about it, my partner got her hands on a MBP and its a nice machine, im now due to update my PB 1.25G, but id like it to blow the MBP - purely for bragging rights!.
post #22 of 69
I'm thinking of buying a mac mini, but should I now wait for the core 2 duo to come out, how long do think that will take?

ALso should I buy the next mac desktop that is coming out next month or wait for the next version?
post #23 of 69
Merom is definitely going to be superior to Yonah.

You have twice the Level 2 cache(4MB)
All SSE functions are 128-bit single cycle
Support for MicroOps and MacroOPS fusion
4 issue core versus 3 in Yonah/Netburst
Intel Smart Memory Access

There's little doubt that Merom is better than Yonah.
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post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by sCreeD
Meanwhile, in another part of the world, the IBM PowerPC team collectively sits in its living room, dressed only in a bathrobe, eating pints of chunky ice cream while grumbling about "still being a contender..."

IBM guy 1: Dude, you seen these benchmarks on Intel's new shit?
IBM guy 2: Nah.
IBM guy 1: Seriously dude, this is some pretty hot shit. And it's like rev.2 already and this is still 2006.
IBM guy 2: Big deal.
IBM guy 1: Big deal? Yeah dude! They're the competition! Aren't we meant to be getting serious in the CPU game??
IBM guy 2: Look man, I used to work at Motorola. I know what I'm talking about. Sit back down and STFU, grab a beer and relax. Honda and like Creative Labs or whoever buy our crap. Hold tight, we're just fine.

My heart goes out to Sony on the PS3.

Now ... as for Macs. First Merom MBP should rock. Obviously they'll get more goodies later on, but Apple have finally cured the whine and you'll be getting that motherboard so I say go for it. Merom is pin compatible and I expect Apple to put it in the MBP at WWDC or the end of August at the latest. My rev.A 2003 PowerBook 12" can wait a little longer (as in I totally don't have the money right now) but I'm stoked as far as these Intel Macs are going. The Mac Pro's going to really rock.

hmurchison has Merom wrapped up. Yonah is hereby the budget CPU. Merom for MBP, Conroe for a new iMac, Woody for the Mac Pro and we're 64 bit again. Interesting times these. Imagine what we'd be thinking if we were still PPC and the 2.0GHz PowerBook G4 was all we had to look forward to.
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
There is talk for about 20-30% performance improvement at the same clock speed. It remains to see some real benchmarks.

I think it may end up being greater. At Intel's developer forum they claimed Conroe would be 40% faster and consume 40% less energy than a similarly clocked pent d. It turns out that in Anandtech testing that conroe is about twice as fast or 100% faster than a pent d. The 1.8ghz conroe was as fast as the 3.7 ghz pent d. This led Anandtech to declare that the release of core 2 obsoleted the pent d line of chips. Time will tell but I think Intel lowballed the numbers.
post #26 of 69
Alright so the real question becomes can someone with a Yonah MBP potentially put the new core 2 duo chip in their laptop? I would be in the market for a conversion kit of some sort since I already own a mbp.
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by fuyutsuki

My heart goes out to Sony on the PS3.

But it's RAW POTENTIAL!

"raw potential" evidently means a soon-to-be-obselete PC graphics card coupled to a processor whose production results in a lemon chip 1/5 times
post #28 of 69
I am wondering what people think the chances are of an iMac update soon. Here is my take:

I am trying to follow this - its all guesswork. Seems to me like iMacs could ship soon - like on or near WWDC. I figure its easier to get the Conroe now and the iMac chassis is easier to handle heat issues with than a MBP. If they got a G5 in there, they should be able to handle the Conroe - but who knows.

Also, I am thinking that the iMac is due for an update. It was the first to ship and the price-performance for the form factor has also eroded to the point that it should be updated. The iMac is $1299, same as a very similarly configured to the MacBook. Granted the iMac has dedicated VRAM and a larger display, but usually a desktop should be cheaper than a equivalently spec'd laptop. If the iMac got a new chip this imbalance would be corrected.

I am really curious to see what happens with these machines. I feel like while Apple has not made a big deal out of it, its this newly shipping generation of chips that convinced Apple to switch. 64bit with higher mhz and lower energy demand is pretty compelling.

I think we will see something, at least the MacPro will be rolled out at WWDC. My guess is that this chip and MP schedule may have influenced why WWDC is so late this year. Of course Leopard's status was certainly a factor too. We'll see.
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by OccamsAftershave
Santa Rosa's now not due 'til late April 2007.

I know and Merom wont ship for lap tops until end of September or mid-October....
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post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by junkie
I am wondering what people think the chances are of an iMac update soon. Here is my take:

....

I am really curious to see what happens with these machines. I feel like while Apple has not made a big deal out of it, its this newly shipping generation of chips that convinced Apple to switch. 64bit with higher mhz and lower energy demand is pretty compelling.

I think we will see something, at least the MacPro will be rolled out at WWDC. My guess is that this chip and MP schedule may have influenced why WWDC is so late this year. Of course Leopard's status was certainly a factor too. We'll see.

Yup. When I started reading about Intel's new fleet of chips last year after the Stevenote to End All Stevenotes (WWDC 2005) I could see that Merom/Conroe/Woodcrest was what Apple were after. P4 was clearly only ever for the dev kit. I wasn't at all convinced we'd even see Yonah Macs until the buzz really picked up approaching MWSF in January and it seemed pretty certain. Yonah is clearly a good chip (I write this on a Mac Mini based on one right now) but I think Apple have always planned this to be just the first step in the transition. Just as Intel have with their own transition to the Core architecture.

We could really be in for a whole new fleet of Macs. The Mac Pro is cert, the iMac as you explained is crying out for either a quick Merom fix or better yet a new Conroe motherboard and maybe gulp even a new case! The MacBook Pro could so easily go Merom. The Mini could too, though I expect it to stay on a budget Yonah, same with the MacBook.

Is it just me, or could Jon Ives be just about to unleash a whole new fleet of models on us in fact? 8)

I've explained before that I think the current "stealth" approach to Intels is about to end. I really think that August could be the month of the finally transformed Mac - fully 64 bit, fully transitioned, fully new exterior industrial designs - and who knows, September could be the time for revolution in the iPods ready for iZune. For sure, I'd just love to see all that!
post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by fuyutsuki
We could really be in for a whole new fleet of Macs. The Mac Pro is cert, the iMac as you explained is crying out for either a quick Merom fix or better yet a new Conroe motherboard and maybe gulp even a new case! The MacBook Pro could so easily go Merom. The Mini could too, though I expect it to stay on a budget Yonah, same with the MacBook.

After about 8 months of the Mac faithful getting used to Intel baised Macs it seems that the time is right. And with all the hardware that Apple has to announce in the next few weeks (all those you mentioned but also perhaps cinema displays and maybe a surprise or two), not to mention unwraping Leopard, it just seems that a full product line evolution is on the horizon. It's all pretty exciting -- going to be a fun August.
post #32 of 69
So what do you all think, should I get a a duo core 1.67 mac mini now or wait to see if they put another chip in it?
I don't want to buy it if within a few months they will revamp it this year. What does everyone think????
post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by alternativepiano
So what do you all think, should I get a a duo core 1.67 mac mini now or wait to see if they put another chip in it?
I don't want to buy it if within a few months they will revamp it this year. What does everyone think????

Yes, wait and see what happens at WWDC on Aug 7 and at Mac Expo Paris in mid-September.
post #34 of 69
I think we won't see a lot of change to the mini or macbook for now. But as much as it sucks to wait - I'd at least wait till WWDC. The tough call will be if they don't announce there - then its limbo.

MacPro and MacBookPro will my guess be Meron and we might see a new metallic MBP in 13 based on Meron. This is pure speculation - but it would make sense to me to have a full tier of high performance products on the higher grade chip in metal.

I don't put as much into the Paris Expo. I think these new products are so critical they would do them at WWDC, which fits well for Mac Pro or they'd do it at a special Cupertino event. I may be wrong but I just don't think they do that much at Paris.

iMac gets Conroe, my guess, hopefully soon.

people here keep asking for new cases - I can see updating, new latch but not that much more - but who knows. Only thing I can think of is tablet or touch screen but its not something I want at all.
post #35 of 69
Things are moving pretty slow in the forums this close to WWDC.

Junkie, the new design is not becouse the need one. The old Pismo design was a great laptop design and there wasn't any real reason to change it. The G4 case "design" probably could have been kept in a new G5 case as well. But Apple chose to set a new trend in case design by moving from a fairly organic desing to a more linear, metalic design. I think that most people expect Apple to do this again at some point in the Intel transition to break from the old G5/PowerPC styling just as they did with removing "Power" from the name even though Apple's use of it in the PowerBook predates Apple's use of the PowerPC processor. When Jobs and Ives new industrial design will hit the market is anyones guess. Some think that it will appear with the MacPro, and that might be logical since the size and design of the PowerMac G5 was determined to a large extent on the cooling needs of the first G5 chips. But then again it also might be "psychologically" best for Apple's market to wait untill the transition is complete before they move to a new design. This shows a continuity it their systems even though they are using a new chip, and helps to reassure the market.

If I were to make a guess, I would say a design direction will hit the market in January. That being said it might serve Apple better to do in at WWDC with the release of the MacPro's. If they did this I would think that they would want to update the iMac at the same time (Conroe is shipping so it makes more sense to do this than the laptops which could be released at a press event or in Paris in September when Morem is actually shipping). This way they could say not only is the transition basically complete, with the exception of the Xserve which will hit the market by the end of the year, but also that we are moving into the second generation of Mac Intels.

Of course some of my opinions are colored by my desire for a new iMac with the hopes that the 20" replaces the current 17" and the 17" model becomes an entry level at $999.
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by junkie
I think we won't see a lot of change to the mini or macbook for now. But as much as it sucks to wait - I'd at least wait till WWDC. The tough call will be if they don't announce there - then its limbo.

MacPro and MacBookPro will my guess be Meron and we might see a new metallic MBP in 13 based on Meron. This is pure speculation - but it would make sense to me to have a full tier of high performance products on the higher grade chip in metal.

I don't put as much into the Paris Expo. I think these new products are so critical they would do them at WWDC, which fits well for Mac Pro or they'd do it at a special Cupertino event. I may be wrong but I just don't think they do that much at Paris.

iMac gets Conroe, my guess, hopefully soon.

people here keep asking for new cases - I can see updating, new latch but not that much more - but who knows. Only thing I can think of is tablet or touch screen but its not something I want at all.

Mac Tablet! - my personal holy grail!

Paris is indeed a bit of a let down more often than not these days. Indeed, arguably the most important product so far this year - the MacBook - was released without an event at all! So the timing can be unexpected even to the veterans among us.

But let me say this: if anyone is buying a Yonah (Core Solo/Duo) Mac right now and doesn't want it to look old in a few months when the 64 bit Core 2 version comes out --- WAIT! If you need that Mac now and don't mind, then go right ahead and buy. But this is a major bad mojo time of year for buying the latest and greatest until it has been demoed by Steve, if you catch my drift.

Oh btw: Merom Mac Pro!??!??! If that's what you meant, not a chance! Woodcrest all the way. Maybe with a Conroe base model, but only maybe.

But sure, the MBP is going Merom and anyone who buys one right now had better be aware of that.
post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by @homenow
Things are moving pretty slow in the forums this close to WWDC.

Junkie, the new design is not becouse the need one. The old Pismo design was a great laptop design and there wasn't any real reason to change it.

...

If I were to make a guess, I would say a design direction will hit the market in January. That being said it might serve Apple better to do in at WWDC with the release of the MacPro's.

OK in terms of the Mac Pro - I totally agree. The G5 case is very bulky - it is due for a trim for sure. I don't like those handles. I guess there has been rumors about Apple not reducing the size all that much. I kinda believe those rumors - but I can still see them making it a little less massive seeming.

My comments about not needing a form factor change were directed more for MacBook Pro casing. It seems nice to me currently. I love what they did with the MacBook.

You are right though that Apple innovates the case design and pushes things forward all the time to keep it interesting. In terms of generation - we are due for change, even in the MBP. The trouble is that I really like their use of aluminum. Al is light, cheap, looks good, pretty scratch resistant, easy to clean, easy to recycle and except for power needs - not bad for environment to obtain. Its a great metal for them to use. The black plastic Pismo was nice in its time - until we saw the Ti and then the Al. At the same time, given the iPod and who knows what else they are cooking - maybe longer life spans of hardware designs is tolerable.

Its amazing how Apple reinvents its products. Most of the time Apple hardware seems perfect to me - I know I have thought many times - Its perfect done change it - only to have Jobs walk on a stage and completely undermine my idea of the ideal computer with an announcement of the latest thing.

So I want to go on the record and say that the current white plastic iMac is a beautiful design - I'd buy it with a bump in processor, no regret. I guess the thing I might change is that the white is a little too bright for me. LIke it screams Mac - but I might want a computer that fits into the rest of the room a little easier. What I'd really prefer is an iMac that is closer to the look of the Cinema displays in use of materials, plus all the functions of the current iMac. That would actually be much nicer. Slimmer, not as white. But maybe Apple thinks that look is too serious, too business, for the home.

Come to think of it, if we are talking products to change the Cinema displays need to get the iSight treatment.

I am just rambling here . But plenty of things to argue about, no?
post #38 of 69
Quote:
But let me say this: if anyone is buying a Yonah (Core Solo/Duo) Mac right now and doesn't want it to look old in a few months when the 64 bit Core 2 version comes out --- WAIT! If you need that Mac now and don't mind, then go right ahead and buy. But this is a major bad mojo time of year for buying the latest and greatest until it has been demoed by Steve, if you catch my drift.

See the thing is that I think Apple really wants to differentiate a Pro line from the consumer line - so I think its possible to that the mini will stay Yonah for a while. Maybe you will see a range of CPU in the mini but I think they might leave it a little crippled compared to other machines. I hate that they do this but I think they like to do it to segment the market a little - which helps their margins. But who knows, they might have a new philosophy with the switch to Intel.

It has been some amazing black magic getting us all to think that the G4/G5 were good chips when the Core Duo has just blown them away.

Quote:
Oh btw: Merom Mac Pro!??!??! If that's what you meant, not a chance! Woodcrest all the way. Maybe with a Conroe base model, but only maybe.

oh - yeah that was not clear. I meant Merom for MBP.

I keep reading all sorts of different things about the high-end, I can't keep it straight. What works for multi-processor and not on the Intel line, well, its more than I want to know. And like "Woodcrest" - means nothing to me at this point, heading to wikipedia... Between having ignored Intel stuff for years, all these code names and the really lame product names Core 2 Duo Duex Squared Extreme, its just annoying to think about from a branding perspective.

If anyone understands the Intel line, can you say - do any of the new Intel chips have anything near the vectorization that the G5 had? Or are we just dropping AltVec/Velocity type performance as a "good thing"?

And to get back to the original point...My guess is Mac Pro means at least 4 cores in some configuration - so whatever it takes to get to that. Don't you think they'd want to find a place for the Core 2 Duo Extreme mentioned in the article? That seemed like a fit for the Mac Pro to me, pricey though.
post #39 of 69
I think Conroe and Woodcrest have SSE4, if not they have SSE3.

Also, I think Mac Mini will soon go Merom - there's not much price difference, and a Yonah looks older.

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
The core processors will stall at 2.8 GHz and four cores.

Technically true, but that's not the point. Intel is changing architectures more often now. The Core Architecture is meant for 2006, 2007, and part of 2008. Mid to late 2008 will see a new architecture: Nehalem. Or some N-word like that.

Intel hasn't really talked about that architecture that much, but it's coming. Additionally, there's at least 1 process shrink coming in the two years. Intel intends to go from 65 nm to 45 nm feature size.
post #40 of 69
When do you think we will see merom in the MacBook? MWSF?
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