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Roadmap reveals next-gen MacBook Pro processor candidates

post #1 of 25
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Intel plans a major boost to its mobile CPUs for their next revision, but may force Apple and other notebook vendors to wait before they can reap the benefits.

Following its disclosure of future Xeons on Tuesday, technology site DailyTech also claims to have obtained preliminary but likely specifications for the next round of portable Core 2 Duo chips.

Rooted in Intel's Penryn technology, the future processors will share the same underpinnings as the Santa Rosa-based chip designs found in today's MacBook Pro systems but will shrink the manufacturing size from 65 nanometers down to 45, simultaneously cooling the processors and clearing room for both a ramp-up of clock speeds as well as more on-chip features.

Unlike the processor revision first released by Intel in May, the Penryn update will emphasize higher speeds over raw efficiency. Although the cheapest processor will climb from 1.8GHz to 2.1GHz, the remaining three chips will be clustered within just 200MHz of each other, launching at 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz, and 2.6GHz. Engineers will instead use Level 2 cache to keep costs in check and will give the two high-end chips 6MB shared between cores, halving the amount for the lesser models.

Intel has already announced that all of the Core 2 Duo revisions will use a new set of instructions named SSE4. These will supply software developers with 54 extra instructions that could lead to faster programs when supported by the right code, the chipmaker says.

But those gains are not imminent, according to the roadmap. Intel does not anticipate shipping the Penryn-based mobile processors until the first quarter of 2008 -- leaving Apple and other notebook vendors without obvious upgrade paths for the second half of 2007.

Intel has released a 2.6GHz mobile Core 2 Extreme as an interim step but is said to be targeting the speed increase at notebooks for enthusiast gamers and at portable workstations. The higher clock rate running on today's 65-nanometer process increases the power draw from 35 to 44 watts and is widely believed to produce too much heat for some thinner notebooks.

Intel said Monday after market close that its second quarter net profits rose 44 percent year-over-year to $1.3 billion, creating $8.7 billion in total revenue thanks both to healthy processor shipments and job cuts.
post #2 of 25
Are there not Desktop class processors that were brought down to 45NM as well? I would assume Apple will put a desktop class Processor in the iMac when the heat is down low enough. The shift to 45NM may have accomplished that.
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post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

But those gains are not imminent, according to the roadmap. Intel does not anticipate shipping the Penryn-based mobile processors until the first quarter of 2008 -- leaving Apple and other notebook vendors without obvious upgrade paths for the second half of 2007.

Penryn mobile chips will be available in the first quarter of 2008 (as soon as January?) and if DailyTech is right, Montevina, the successor to the Santa Rosa platform, will be available in Q2 (June 08?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dailytech

Expect Intel to refresh Santa Rosa with Penryn-based mobile Core 2 Duo processors in Q1’08 and Montevina to succeed Santa Rosa in Q2’08. […] The next-generation Montevina platform introduces the new Cantiga PM and GM chipsets.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

the future processors will share the same underpinnings as the Santa Rosa design

You mean Merom. Santa Rosa is a platform, not a CPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker View Post

Are there not Desktop class processors that were brought down to 45NM as well? I would assume Apple will put a desktop class Processor in the iMac when the heat is down low enough. The shift to 45NM may have accomplished that.

Yes, the desktop CPUs will also come down to 45 nm, probably before the portable ones. However, they will almost certainly use this to increase clock speeds (more than in the laptop space) and bus speeds, resulting in the same power usage and heat generation as the current desktop CPU, Conroe. In other words, the iMac will continue to be a non-portable laptop.
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post #5 of 25
Let's see if I have this straight. Montevina succeeds Santa Rosa and will support the 45nm Penryn chips. It'll use the Cantiga chipset that has a FSB speed of 1067 MHz and supports 800 MHz DDR3 memory. After Montevina comes Nehalem, the new 45nm platform. So, Montevina for H1 and Nehalem for H2, 2008.

If we're lucky, we get Montevina with Penryn in January, 6 months from now, and 6 months later comes the new Nehalem architecture. It's hard to keep all this stuff straight.

My guess is that the new case design for the MacBook Pro will be introduced at MWSF and it'll sport a CPU that's only 200 MHz faster. It makes me wonder if there's any point in waiting for that. It might be worth waiting for the really new architecture, Nehalem, but that's almost a year out.

The current Santa Rosa MBP is looking better all the time if the bugs have been worked out. Did that firmware update solve the yellowish backlighting? The MBP I saw in the Apple store looked fine.
post #6 of 25
I'm still pretty happy with my 2.33mbp. We'll see what I think once the final leopard is out and I'm working on it every day. I've been running the WWDC version off and on for a while and it still seems pretty snappy, but I haven't been using it in a full blown work environment. The 2.4 that overtook the 2.33 isn't a ton faster, bit better graphics, and more ram possibilities. I think this 2.33 will last me another 12-24 months easy.

 

 

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post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo View Post

After Montevina comes Nehalem, the new 45nm platform. So, Montevina for H1 and Nehalem for H2, 2008. If we're lucky, we get Montevina with Penryn in January, 6 months from now, and 6 months later comes the new Nehalem architecture. It's hard to keep all this stuff straight.

Nehalem is the code name for the next microarchitecture and 45nm mobile CPUs, they won't be available until fall 2008 or early 2009.
  • Penryn - 45nm mobile chip (with existing Santa Rosa platform): Q1 2008
  • Montevina - new mobile platform (with Penryn chip): Q2 2008
  • Nehalem - 45nm mobile chip (with existing Montevina platform): Q4 2008 or Q1 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandtech

Nehalem should first be available in the second half of 2008 as Intel talked about "production ramping in 2008, with full production in 2009".
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AISI View Post

Nehalem is the code name for the next microarchitecture and 45nm mobile CPUs, they won't be available until fall 2008 or early 2009.
  • Penryn - 45nm mobile chip (with existing Santa Rosa platform): Q1 2008
  • Montevina - new mobile platform (with Penryn chip): Q2 2008
  • Nehalem - 45nm mobile chip (with existing Montevina platform): Q4 2008 or Q1 2009

Indeed. And with mobile processors launching later more often than not, prepare for a spring 2009 release.

/Adrian
post #9 of 25
I wonder if HSDPA and/or WiMax will finally make it into Intel's next platform.
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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

I'm still pretty happy with my 2.33mbp. We'll see what I think once the final leopard is out and I'm working on it every day.

The 2.4 that overtook the 2.33 isn't a ton faster, bit better graphics, and more ram possibilities. I think this 2.33 will last me another 12-24 months easy.

And...?

No one is saying that the best of the last generation is junk and that you have to buy the next one. It's not very often that a computer product revision is so significant that it makes the previous version look like a turtle. There aren't many circumstances that would justify replacing a device that quickly.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker View Post

Are there not Desktop class processors that were brought down to 45NM as well? I would assume Apple will put a desktop class Processor in the iMac when the heat is down low enough. The shift to 45NM may have accomplished that.

Yes. This is the lineup. Notice the power requirements, and understand that the low voltage parts also are underperforming as well, compared to regular voltage Xeons, by design.


http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8074
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wonder if HSDPA and/or WiMax will finally make it into Intel's next platform.

Supposedly.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Supposedly.

And it was supposed to be in Santa Rosa too. As much I want WiMax to be there I have my doubts.
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post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And it was supposed to be in Santa Rosa too. As much I want WiMax to be there I have my doubts.

It was dropped from Santa Rosa because Intel found a lack of interest back then.

Things have changed since then. By the time it comes out, it could be a different world.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

And...?

No one is saying that the best of the last generation is junk and that you have to buy the next one. It's not very often that a computer product revision is so significant that it makes the previous version look like a turtle. There aren't many circumstances that would justify replacing a device that quickly.

The updates lately have been pretty small was my point. I'm not used to laptops being this powerful. It was common for me to have to upgrade all the time with the g4s. It's nice. I'm just happy I bought when I did.

It was a big jump from mbp rev a to mbp rev b. Rev C was a very tiny upgrade in comparison. Having a MBP Rev A is not very future proof with apple pushing for 64bit cocoa apps on leopard.

 

 

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post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo View Post

Let's see if I have this straight. Montevina succeeds Santa Rosa and will support the 45nm Penryn chips. It'll use the Cantiga chipset that has a FSB speed of 1067 MHz and supports 800 MHz DDR3 memory. After Montevina comes Nehalem, the new 45nm platform. So, Montevina for H1 and Nehalem for H2, 2008.

If we're lucky, we get Montevina with Penryn in January, 6 months from now, and 6 months later comes the new Nehalem architecture. It's hard to keep all this stuff straight.

My guess is that the new case design for the MacBook Pro will be introduced at MWSF and it'll sport a CPU that's only 200 MHz faster. It makes me wonder if there's any point in waiting for that. It might be worth waiting for the really new architecture, Nehalem, but that's almost a year out.

The current Santa Rosa MBP is looking better all the time if the bugs have been worked out. Did that firmware update solve the yellowish backlighting? The MBP I saw in the Apple store looked fine.

MacBook Pro was just updated. MWSF should have the Mac Pro update.
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post #17 of 25
No word on Silverthorne?
post #18 of 25
News just in from ObviousLand: "When buying a computer, the longer you wait the more you get for your money".

Coming up later: "why it's a good idea to look before crossing the road".

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo View Post

My guess is that the new case design for the MacBook Pro will be introduced at MWSF and it'll sport a CPU that's only 200 MHz faster. It makes me wonder if there's any point in waiting for that.

It might be only 200 MHz faster, but it will also have more L2 cache, and SSE4. SSE4 is a big deal for any programs that will make use of it. Finally, it'll consume less power and produce less heat. Higher performance and lower power consumption is why I'm waiting for Penryn. (And hopefully Apple will finally revise the MBP casework at the same time to make replacing the HDD easier).
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post #20 of 25
I think wherever you see MBP in this article you can also insert iMac.
post #21 of 25
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Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

It might be only 200 MHz faster, but it will also have more L2 cache, and SSE4. SSE4 is a big deal for any programs that will make use of it. Finally, it'll consume less power and produce less heat. Higher performance and lower power consumption is why I'm waiting for Penryn. (And hopefully Apple will finally revise the MBP casework at the same time to make replacing the HDD easier).

There are other speed-ups as well. Without going into all of it, I can say that several instructions have been speeded up as well, some of that is significant.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There are other speed-ups as well. Without going into all of it, I can say that several instructions have been speeded up as well, some of that is significant.

Aw, come on Mel, don't be such a tease! Give us the juicy details
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post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Aw, come on Mel, don't be such a tease! Give us the juicy details

Here then, they can do it better than I:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2115084,00.asp

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...ance-sse4.html
post #24 of 25
Quote:

Cheers
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post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker View Post

MacBook Pro was just updated. MWSF should have the Mac Pro update.

Why would a Mac Pro update be introduced at MWSF? Yeah, the MBP was recently updated and should be due for another update in January, 7 months after the last update. Doesn't that make sense?

I imagine a new case design, new keyboard, and new trackpad that can use Multi-touch. Maybe it'd be that rumored backlit thing.
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