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Merom's thermal specs fail to impress

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Intel Corp's soon-to-be-released Core 2 Duo notebook chips will offer speed increases over the company's current notebook processors, but their thermal design may leave much to be desired.

Specifications released by Intel this week to system designers reveal that the chips, formerly code-named Merom, each have a thermal design point (TDP) of 34 watts -- about 3 watts more than the top of the line 2.33GHz Core Duo (Yonah).

Intel defines TDP as the "worst-case power dissipated" by a processor while running publicly available software under normal operating conditions.

The recent findings are confusing, as Intel had previously stated that Merom would provide about a 20 percent speed increase over Yonah -- the chip it aims to replace -- without drawing any additional power.

In battery mode, Merom processors clock down to 1GHz, yet still carry a TDP of 20 watts, according to DailyTech.Â*On the other hand, a Yonah chip in the same mode has a TDP of 13.1 watts while also at 1GHz.

Still, Apple Computer is soon expected to adopt the chips in an update to its MacBook Pro line of professional notebooks.

Intel has stated that the first Merom-based systems should start turning up from systems manufacturers late this month.
post #2 of 30
Yikes. Hotter and worse battery life. I don't think these are the notebooks we were looking for.

I have a friend whose brand new MBP (presumably revised mother board) gets hot enough to fry eggs and then shuts down. He is not amused.

Apple's ongoing brinksmanship at the intersection of small as possible form factor and just barely enough heat dissipation isn't going to take well to hotter.
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post #3 of 30
We want fanless computers. No fan, no noise. So, bring us less powerful chips, yet cooler!
post #4 of 30
Interestingly, in Anandtech.com's tests, there were next to no difference in battery life between the Core and the Core 2. (A few minutes in one test, but that is within the margin of error)

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=2808

Edit: Actually, it seems to have improved in some areas...
post #5 of 30
I agree! Even Core Solo is a very fast chip. If people were smart, less-than-the-fastest machines that were tiny and quiet would be the best sellers.

Still, even if the first Meroms only deliver 20% more speed for 10% more power (and 64-bit too), that's still a good thing.

And it's nice for Yonah users if the first Merom machines are only a small step above Yonah. gradual evolution is so much less frustrating
post #6 of 30
What about the roadmap? Steve just loooooved the Intel chip roadmap. Did someone take a wrong turn?

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post #7 of 30
Here's a thought from a guy who is studying physics and CS: I want 64bit!

With my intent to merge my studies in physics and cs using computer simulations, having a laptop that is 64bit that I can experiment on while coding is a heck of a lot more convenient than writing my program, then jumping in my car and driving to campus just to test it on one of 64bit machines there. Maybe I should just get a macpro too.
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post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Intel Corp's soon-to-be-released Core 2 Duo notebook chips will offer speed increases over the company's current notebook processors, but their thermal design may leave much to be desired.

(Rolf Harris voice)
Geeks and Numbers, y'can't keep em away from it.

TDP != Power Dissipation.

They ain't the same thing.
Actual real-world tests of the chip show noticably lower power consumption.

But don't let facts get in the way of some number induced hysteria.

C.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

What about the roadmap? Steve just loooooved the Intel chip roadmap. Did someone take a wrong turn?

Not really, Intel still has the best notebook processors, with so much wiggle-room this hardly matters
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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage

(Rolf Harris voice)
Geeks and Numbers, y'can't keep em away from it.

TDP != Power Dissipation.

They ain't the same thing.
Actual real-world tests of the chip show noticably lower power consumption.

But don't let facts get in the way of some number induced hysteria.

C.

That's exactly what I was wondering about. It's not relevant if the "worst-case" situation is higher, IF it's also the case that the "worst-case" is reached significantly less often.

Are there numbers showing, for example, the percentage of normal running time during which the Core Duo runs at its TDP? Or predictions about how frequently the Core 2 Duo will reach that level?
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Intel defines TDP as the "worst-case power dissipated" by a processor while running publicly available software under normal operating conditions.

Herein lies the key point. Merom's maximum power draw is worse but its average is the same and in combination with Santa Rosa I believe Intel actually expects it to drop.
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post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme

I agree! Even Core Solo is a very fast chip. If people were smart, less-than-the-fastest machines that were tiny and quiet would be the best sellers.

Still, even if the first Meroms only deliver 20% more speed for 10% more power (and 64-bit too), that's still a good thing.

And it's nice for Yonah users if the first Merom machines are only a small step above Yonah. gradual evolution is so much less frustrating

Intel Core Solo T1300 and T1400 has a 27W TDP vs. Core Duo at 31W TDP, so it's not a great savings by itself. That said, U1300 and U1400 are rated at 5.5W and might not need a fan at all. They are 1.06 and 1.2GHz rated, but I would be ecstatic if there was a BTO MacBook that offered them.


Article:
"Intel defines TDP as the "worst-case power dissipated" by a processor while running publicly available software under normal operating conditions."

AMD fans have been claiming that it's actually 75% of max, but that doesn't make sense, if it pegs 100% sustained like in games or rendering then it's eventually going to have trouble if the cooling system isn't designed to handle all of the heat.
post #13 of 30
This piece of news makes me so happy with my MacBook

It runs fairly "cool," and the fans are rarely ever audible even though it's up to 28 degrees outside 8)
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post #14 of 30
There is no new information here. we knew this spec for a while now. And, as was already mentioned, Anand's tests show that there is no real difference in power draw. Performance/watt is better.

As has been pointed out there, and in other places, thermal , and cpu speed cycling will result in lower average power draw. If the cpu finishes high value tasks more quickly, then it can throttle down faster, possibly using even less power.
post #15 of 30
IBM had white papers out showing really low thermal stuff for the PPC970FX (lower-power G5), but for some reason Apple never managed to cram even one core into a laptop for us!
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbirchall

IBM had white papers out showing really low thermal stuff for the PPC970FX (lower-power G5), but for some reason Apple never managed to cram even one core into a laptop for us!

It was (is) fairly low power for a desktop part, but not for a laptop part. Not by todays performance/watt standards.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbirchall

IBM had white papers out showing really low thermal stuff for the PPC970FX (lower-power G5), but for some reason Apple never managed to cram even one core into a laptop for us!


Plus I think I remember hearing they're were at clock rates so low the g4-g5 increase would be negligible.

It would have been a change just to be able to put the name G5 on it.
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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx

We want fanless computers. No fan, no noise. So, bring us less powerful chips, yet cooler!

Using the "PC" processor doesnt mean you have to adopt the PC's "its all about power" garbage. Maybe for an MBP cramming it with power makes sense. But for the entry level Macbook then a cooler, quieter chip makes sense even if it costs us some useless clock cycles. I want a Macbook for email and internet, not for vdeo editing.
post #19 of 30
You can always turn off one of the cores via software - I don't know how much this affects power consumption or heat production, but I'd guess there has to be some effect.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

I have a friend whose brand new MBP (presumably revised mother board) gets hot enough to fry eggs and then shuts down. He is not amused.

Get them to check the battery. One of my clients has a MacBook Pro which was subject to the recent battery recall. After the exchange, it's running much cooler - like 10degC cooler.
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook

This piece of news makes me so happy with my MacBook

It runs fairly "cool," and the fans are rarely ever audible even though it's up to 28 degrees outside 8)

ha ha ha!! Someone doesn't live in the US! Go Metric!!!
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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

What about the roadmap? Steve just loooooved the Intel chip roadmap. Did someone take a wrong turn?

Patience, grasshopper.

(a) Nobody else is doing better.
(b) Roadmaps extend more than 1 year into the future.
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post #23 of 30
According to Anandtech, the powerconsumption between the two chip is nearly the same. In real life performance, the advantage at the same clock rate is 10 %. This advantage is bigger for some task like encoding (the SIMS unit of the merom is much better than the one of the Yonah)
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Programmer

Patience, grasshopper.

(a) Nobody else is doing better.
(b) Roadmaps extend more than 1 year into the future.

(c) it's still a lot better than the G4/G5 days, 4 new chips out and a fifth expected 12 months.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbirchall

IBM had white papers out showing really low thermal stuff for the PPC970FX (lower-power G5), but for some reason Apple never managed to cram even one core into a laptop for us!

If I'm not mistaken, those got into the iMac and PowerMac.
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post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybutler

Using the "PC" processor doesnt mean you have to adopt the PC's "its all about power" garbage. Maybe for an MBP cramming it with power makes sense. But for the entry level Macbook then a cooler, quieter chip makes sense even if it costs us some useless clock cycles. I want a Macbook for email and internet, not for vdeo editing.

Um, a PowerBook does that.

Heck, an iBook would do.
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post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook

Um, a PowerBook does that.

Heck, an iBook would do.

<sarcasm> But its not NEW!! DUH!!! </sarcasm>
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post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook

Um, a PowerBook does that.

Heck, an iBook would do.

Neither of those were 3lb and can go seven hours on a battery charge without getting very warm. Intel's ULV chips allow that with a 1.2GHz chip that consumes 5.5W max.
post #29 of 30
An updated version of the Sony TR with OSX would be spot on for me...

Like this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2xDWdbHLec
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign

An updated version of the Sony TR with OSX would be spot on for me...

Like this one...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2xDWdbHLec

Uglay.
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