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Source: Apple to move quickly on Merom-based systems

post #1 of 39
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Unwilling to relent in its assault on the US notebook market, Apple Computer plans to adopt Intel Corp.'s latest mobile processors at a rapid pace, AppleInsider has learned.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has seen its share of the US notebook market double to 12 percent since announcing its first Intel-based notebook, the MacBook Pro, back in January.

In the three-month period ending July 1st, Apple reported record-setting shipments of Mac systems, including nearly 800,000 notebooks -- 75 percent of which the company estimated were Intel-based.

So far, the success of Apple's Intel systems has hinged on a single line of processors, the 32-bit Core Duo series formerly code-named Yonah. But in recent weeks, Intel has rolled-out far more capable chips in its 64-bit line of Core 2 Duo processors, including a mobile variant known by its code-named Merom.

The news has lead to widespread speculation over precisely when and where the new mobile chips will take their seat in Apple's product lines.

According to a source familiar with the Mac maker's plans, the company is slated to receive mass shipments of the new Merom Core 2 Duo processors by the first week of September and plans to be amongst the first PC manufacturers to introduce systems based on the new chips.

Although Intel has been shipping Core 2 Duo processors to system manufacturers since last month, it has been doing so in extremely limited quantities that have not been substantial enough to support new product launches, the source added.

Intel has said that Merom will be available in five different clock speeds, each running on a 667MHz front-side bus. Versions running at 2.0GHz, 2.16GHz, and 2.33GHz will pack a 4MB Level 2 cache and retail in lots of 1000 for $294, $423 and $637 a piece, respectively.

Intel also plans 1.66GHz ($209) and 1.8GHz ($241) variants of Merom with 2MB of Level 2 cache, though its unclear if Apple will adopt the entry level variants.
post #2 of 39
Maybe we will soon be seeing a total product line adoption of Core 2 Duo after all...
post #3 of 39
Well I was hoping for a WWDC launch but Sept isn't that bad i guess!
post #4 of 39
Just put it in the MacBook at WWDC and I'll be a happy fellow (at least till Santa Rosa launches and I sellout for a MBP)
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post #5 of 39
They might do a paper launch, as has happened before, i.e. "these are available for pre-purchase today and will ship in four weeks".

Personally I think the low-end one would be perfect for an even cheaper laptop, to break into the <$1000 laptop market. Even competing with basically the same hardware (Core Duo), Apple's entry level machines are still $300 / 37% more than Dell's comparable systems - $1100 for the MacBook vs $800 for the Inspiron E1505, and the Dell is available in a cheaper model using the Core Solo.

Damien
post #6 of 39
I can't wait for these CPU's. I am going to buy one, open up my iMac and shove in a new 64bit Intel CPU. I just love a company that makes their current version of 32bit systems 64bit compliant. Sure I will only get a 20% performance kick, but with the Graphics stuff I do I will take it.

... still waiting on 10g flash drive for instant OS boot. i will not be buying new till that happens. Here that Apple. While you are making profits from every man and his dog you won't get my money till you have flash memory boot up. (that should get them moving
post #7 of 39
Maybe apple will keep the low end in the macbook and higher end in the mbp to keep the seperation between models?
post #8 of 39
Damien - Dells also tend to be heavier and larger than Apple laptops. I carry my (large compared to a MB) 14" iBook around with extreme ease, but most of my friends with "notebooks" can't get them into their backpacks.

Not to mention the whole iSight, iLife, etc stuff.

Anyhow, on topic here - the Article nails the fact that most of Apple's growth is in notebooks, and will continue to be. In fact, it seems like younger people (sub-35) tend to just have notebooks. Which raises a question: Is Apple notebook popularity because Apple notebooks rock, or because potential Mac buyers prefer notebooks to desktops?
post #9 of 39
i think that the 4mb cache will be for the MBP and 2mb Cache will go for the Macbook.

i hope they solve the heat problems too.
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saud

i think that the 4mb cache will be for the MBP and 2mb Cache will go for the Macbook.

I agree, and everyone hopes that heat issues will be resolved.
post #11 of 39
I hope that "quickly" means we'll see announcements across all the product lines within the next month or two. I'm not holding my breath for WWDC though. Will Apple be announcing new hardware Monday or Tuesday (their usual day of preference)? Anyone know when they got on their soap box in the past WWDCs?
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brently

Well I was hoping for a WWDC launch but Sept isn't that bad i guess!

I need Boot Camp for work, but Sept is too far off. Guess I'll have to settle for the Yonah version.
post #13 of 39
Is it realistic to expect the Macbook to get the Core 2 Duo so soon?, i can get a Black Macbook with a Dull 24" for about the same price as a Macbook Pro!.
post #14 of 39
September?

That's a bummer. Sure, no new information here. But to see September in writing is painful since I really want to switch to Intel.
post #15 of 39
LOL that was a pointless story. Its basically reiterating fact - that the Merom chips will be shipping at the end of august/start of September.

This has been officially stated - So even if MBPs are announched at WWDC, dont evpect them until the end of August
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post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWhaler

September?

That's a bummer. Sure, no new information here. But to see September in writing is painful since I really want to switch to Intel.

Apple can't release machines until the chip for them comes out. This is still ahead of schedule, rejoice!
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski

Is Apple notebook popularity because Apple notebooks rock, or because potential Mac buyers prefer notebooks to desktops?

I predicted just before I got my PowerBook in Sept 2004 that laptops really are the future of consumer computing with the increase of wireless routers. This prediction was based on a no-wires usage so people could migrate around the house with their computer. However again and again I see Windows laptops from Dell, HP use their batteries too much to use without wires for too long, I can get around 4 hours completely wire free with surfing the net etc.

Also, these Windows machines are too darn bulky to carry around, my dad carries his 17" PowerBook around the house. So I think that people's view is to get a laptop to use around, some of which have previously found Dells to be heavy, and are moving to the Mac platform. Also as a student, I had my PowerBook with me most of the times I was on campus last year, I saw no one carry a PC to lectures.

In answer to your question, I think it's a bit of both.
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post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienMcKenna

They might do a paper launch, as has happened before, i.e. "these are available for pre-purchase today and will ship in four weeks".

Personally I think the low-end one would be perfect for an even cheaper laptop, to break into the <$1000 laptop market. Even competing with basically the same hardware (Core Duo), Apple's entry level machines are still $300 / 37% more than Dell's comparable systems - $1100 for the MacBook vs $800 for the Inspiron E1505, and the Dell is available in a cheaper model using the Core Solo.

Damien

Enjoy using Windows.

I've got an employee with a Dell laptop, & she was having trouble with her system. She had to clock out two days in a row to sit on the phone with a Dell support person for more than an hour each time. Lotsa blue-screen activity,and typing commands at a dos prompt, trying to fix things. The next day, I walked by her desk, and she had a Mac Mall catalog open to the Mac Book page.

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post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasapi

Is it realistic to expect the Macbook to get the Core 2 Duo so soon?, i can get a Black Macbook with a Dull 24" for about the same price as a Macbook Pro!.

I think that we have a few more months before the MacBook goes Core 2 Duo. The MacBook Pro will get it first, and to keep cost down the MacBook will stay with the Yonah till later in the year, or even into next year. Don't forget that it was released later than the MacBook Pro's.
post #20 of 39
I hope it's early September so we can beat the Sep 16 deadline for the free nano/$180 off iPod (Educational promo). Even better, bring back the 12" Pro.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by @homenow

I think that we have a few more months before the MacBook goes Core 2 Duo. The MacBook Pro will get it first, and to keep cost down the MacBook will stay with the Yonah till later in the year, or even into next year. Don't forget that it was released later than the MacBook Pro's.

But Merom is the same price as the Yonah chips currently used There's no reason why Apple should hold back a products development to make the expensive ones look better.
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brently

Maybe apple will keep the low end in the macbook and higher end in the mbp to keep the seperation between models?

I sure hope not. I'm holding out for a Merom MacBook loaded with Leopard. Hopefully, we'll get some hints next week.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris v

Enjoy using Windows.

I don't intend to, my wife has agreed that we're going to get a Mac as soon as the equity loan comes through, which should be around about the time the new machines are available :-)
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamezog

I sure hope not. I'm holding out for a Merom MacBook loaded with Leopard. Hopefully, we'll get some hints next week.

I'm the same, waiting on Santa Rosa chipset in a MacBook.

I think Apple needs to embrace these new chips and go all out, and shove them into everything. I think there's a chance we could see every machine updated next week. Other manufacturers put the new chips in as soon as they can in their entire line from high to low. I hope we'll see Apple do this too.
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post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielctull

Other manufacturers put the new chips in as soon as they can in their entire line from high to low. I hope we'll see Apple do this too.

That's not true. PC mfrs are still selling Celerons at the low end. And many are still selling Pentium Ms.

Regardless, I think Apple will not update the MacBooks to Core 2 Duos until Jan 2007. Apple will update the MBPs with 2 and 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo chips, with shipping starting mid-Sept. They will pre-announce the MBPs, because they feel they can get more impact now (due to WWDC), while still making another "newsworthy" announcement when they actually start to ship in Sept.

If MacBook sales start to slow, they can do a GHz boost to 2 and 2.16GHz Core Duos by end of October.
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post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brently

I agree, and everyone hopes that heat issues will be resolved.

That won't change unless they change the cooling or switch to lower power notebook chips. I probably would be keeping my MBP if it used (or offered) the L2400 chip (1.66GHz, 15W) instead of the T-series (31W). I have the slowest MBP offered, the 1.86GHz.
post #27 of 39
From TechReport:

"Intel's mobile Core 2 Duo will mark the last of Intel's major summer introductions when it hits stores next month. It may begin replacing its predecessor, the Core Duo, rather quickly, as well. Industry sources quoted by DigiTimes say that Intel plans to kick up production of the Core 2 Duo so that it represents 50-55% of the company's mobile shipments in the first quarter of 2007. Production of the original Core Duo will begin shrinking towards the end of the year, and it's expected that the chip will make up only 10-15% of mobile shipments by the first quarter of next year. Furthermore, sources say Intel plans to introduce Core-based Celeron M chips in the fourth quarter of this year, extending the new Core microarchitecture to the low end."
post #28 of 39
From TechReport:

"Intel's mobile Core 2 Duo will mark the last of Intel's major summer introductions when it hits stores next month. It may begin replacing its predecessor, the Core Duo, rather quickly, as well. Industry sources quoted by DigiTimes say that Intel plans to kick up production of the Core 2 Duo so that it represents 50-55% of the company's mobile shipments in the first quarter of 2007. Production of the original Core Duo will begin shrinking towards the end of the year, and it's expected that the chip will make up only 10-15% of mobile shipments by the first quarter of next year. Furthermore, sources say Intel plans to introduce Core-based Celeron M chips in the fourth quarter of this year, extending the new Core microarchitecture to the low end."
post #29 of 39
so will these changes make my current macbook pro an inferior product (which i bought like 3 months ago)? im just trying to grasp if these new merom chips will create machines that will replace the current pro line of mac products...
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005

That's not true. PC mfrs are still selling Celerons at the low end.

For most users, a 400 series celeron is a very capable chip. It's not all that different from a core solo.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy1908

so will these changes make my current macbook pro an inferior product (which i bought like 3 months ago)? im just trying to grasp if these new merom chips will create machines that will replace the current pro line of mac products...

Other than the 64 bit support the performance improvement is marginal. See AnandTech article Core 2 Duo vs Core Duo

"General application performance can improve a bit by switching to Core 2 Duo, but the biggest performance gains are associated with 3D rendering and media encoding tasks. Considering the nature of the improvements to Intel's Core 2 processor, the areas in which it succeeds are not surprising. If you use your notebook as a professional rendering or encoding workstation with no desktop in sight, then you'll probably consider Core 2 Duo a lot more carefully than most.
...

Overall, Merom may not be as big of an upgrade to Yonah as Conroe was to NetBurst, but the bottom line is that you get equal or better performance in every test without increasing cost or decreasing battery life. Owners of Core Duo laptops really have no reason to worry about upgrading for now, and waiting for the Santa Rosa platform before your next laptop upgrade seems reasonable. Those looking to purchase a new notebook on the other hand have no reason to avoid Core 2 Duo models, assuming pricing is consistent with what Intel is promising. There will be a delay of at least a few more weeks as we await availability, and testing and validation by laptop manufacturers may delay things a bit more, but within the next month or so you should be able to get a Core 2 laptop."
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwswami

From TechReport:

"Intel's mobile Core 2 Duo will mark the last of Intel's major summer introductions when it hits stores next month. It may begin replacing its predecessor, the Core Duo, rather quickly, as well. Industry sources quoted by DigiTimes say that Intel plans to kick up production of the Core 2 Duo so that it represents 50-55% of the company's mobile shipments in the first quarter of 2007. Production of the original Core Duo will begin shrinking towards the end of the year, and it's expected that the chip will make up only 10-15% of mobile shipments by the first quarter of next year. Furthermore, sources say Intel plans to introduce Core-based Celeron M chips in the fourth quarter of this year, extending the new Core microarchitecture to the low end."

This info along with the recent core 2 vs core duo comparisson test only confuses me. Six months from now what will make up a MBP and a MB? I used to think that the difference would be onlong the lines of MB having Core duo and IIG whereas the MBP would sport Core 2 and dedicated graphics. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe the MBs will get a crippled version of Merom(I think they call them celerons) that actually is slower than todays core duo. That would totally suck.
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienMcKenna

They might do a paper launch, as has happened before, i.e. "these are available for pre-purchase today and will ship in four weeks".

Personally I think the low-end one would be perfect for an even cheaper laptop, to break into the <$1000 laptop market. Even competing with basically the same hardware (Core Duo), Apple's entry level machines are still $300 / 37% more than Dell's comparable systems - $1100 for the MacBook vs $800 for the Inspiron E1505, and the Dell is available in a cheaper model using the Core Solo.

Damien

I would gladly pay $300 more for the Apple that is about one third of the volume of the Dell.

Even Dells laptops with the same specs thats smaller, cost more money.
post #34 of 39
There is no reason for Apple to delay moving to Core 2 in any part of the Mac range as sufficient supplies become available. From a competitive position the faster the move the more competitive they will become and Apple wants to be the most competitive OEM out there.

From a practical point of view, the MB and mini will probably be the last to switch because of the back to school market. Intel simply won't be able to supply the chips for this buying season. I would guess October for them, but the rest of the line should shift well before then.
Ken
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post #35 of 39
"Apple moves to faster processors as they become available SHOCK"
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac

This info along with the recent core 2 vs core duo comparisson test only confuses me. Six months from now what will make up a MBP and a MB? I used to think that the difference would be onlong the lines of MB having Core duo and IIG whereas the MBP would sport Core 2 and dedicated graphics. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe the MBs will get a crippled version of Merom(I think they call them celerons) that actually is slower than todays core duo. That would totally suck.

I think that the differences will be similar to today - future MBPs will have larger sizes, support for more memory, dedicated graphics, bigger hard drive, higher end Merom, expandability (FW800, and ExpressCard/34).
post #37 of 39
Does Apple even make this an event? With Intel busting out new chip architectures every few months, Apple could just drop new chips in as soon as they're available. Intel markets the new chips, and of course Apple still touts them in the advertisements, there's just no coming-out party.

It's going to be exciting to see Apple hardware finally get updated every few months, in step with the rest of the computing world. The days of designing a new enclosure for every CPU design tweak are over.
post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac

This info along with the recent core 2 vs core duo comparisson test only confuses me. Six months from now what will make up a MBP and a MB? I used to think that the difference would be onlong the lines of MB having Core duo and IIG whereas the MBP would sport Core 2 and dedicated graphics. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe the MBs will get a crippled version of Merom(I think they call them celerons) that actually is slower than todays core duo. That would totally suck.

MB will maybe get the 2MB cache version of Merom which come out slightly later IMO - not really really that crippled at all - and still slightly faster than Yonah../much faster at number crunching.
Some of these early tests don't look so great an improvement (vs. core duo 1) but the improvements in tech/architecture inside the chip will gradually show up more an more.. These tests look better... http://tinyurl.com/q9uws.

IMO the real world battery life will be improved greatly - in the case where you're not really taxing the CPU so much, I don't really believe it's only +7%! There will be software/ROMs where you can control CPU speed/power consumption more greatly to give better battery life.

Here's some extra hype on the battery (albeit from Intel itself).
http://news.com.com/1606-2-6100051.html <- 5 hours!
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficerDigby

MB will maybe get the 2MB cache version of Merom which come out slightly later IMO - not really really that crippled at all - and still slightly faster than Yonah../much faster at number crunching.
Some of these early tests don't look so great an improvement (vs. core duo 1) but the improvements in tech/architecture inside the chip will gradually show up more an more.. These tests look better... http://tinyurl.com/q9uws.

IMO the real world battery life will be improved greatly - in the case where you're not really taxing the CPU so much, I don't really believe it's only +7%! There will be software/ROMs where you can control CPU speed/power consumption more greatly to give better battery life.

Hope you're right. Time will tell.
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