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Intel to launch Penryn mobile chips ahead of Macworld

post #1 of 51
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Intel Corp. plans to formally introduce its Penryn family of next-generation mobile processors in early January, paving the way for significant upgrades to Apple Inc.'s notebook and iMac consumer desktop lines shortly thereafter.

Already in a bitter market share battle with rival AMD, Intel will reportedly up the ante again on January 6, 2008 with its new 45 nanometer Penryn-based Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme dual core processors.

The chips are rumored to make an initial appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which kicks off on January 7, with further appearances likely reserved for Macworld which begins a week later.

The world's largest chipmaker is expected to introduce five new dual core mobile chips, including four Core 2 Duo models ranging from 2.1GHz to 2.6GHz, and one Core 2 Extreme at 2.8GHz.

More specifically, entry level 2.1GHz and 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo models will include 3MB of Level 2 cache and wholesale in lots of 1,000 for $209 and $241, respectively. Higher performance versions at 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz will each pack 6MB of Level 2 cache and sell for $316 and $530.

Each of the aforementioned Core 2 Duo models will sport a thermal design power (TDP) of 35 watts, while a 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme ($851), also with 6MB of Level 2 cache, will feature a TDP of 44 watts.

Apple is likely to adopt one of the Core 2 Duo Penryn chips for its upcoming sub-notebook, while using the remainder of the chip family to boost the specs of its MacBook Pro and iMac desktop line.

MacBook Pro- and iMac-bound Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile Penryn specs and prices

Currently, the Mac maker employs Merom-based Core 2 Duo chips at 2.2GHz, 2.4GHz, and 2.6GHz in its MacBook Pro notebooks, each of which include 4MB of Level 2 cache. For the iMac it uses 2.0GHz (4MB L2 cache) and 2.4GHz (4MB L2 cache) Core 2 Duo processors, and offers a 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme (4MB L2 cache) on the highest end unit.

Going forward, a new line of MacBook Pros from Apple are more than likely to include 2.5GHz (6MB L2 cache) and 2.6GHz (6MB L2 cache) Penryn-based Core 2 Duo chips. For the next-generation iMac, the Cupertino-based company is similarly likely to employ 2.1GHz (3MB L2 cache) and 2.5GHz (6MB L2 cache) Penryn-based Core 2 Duos and a 2.8GHz (6MB L2 cache) Core 2 Extreme.

Current 65nm Merom-based iMac retail configs compared to potential 45nm Penryn-based retail configs

Current 65nm Merom-based MacBook Pro retail configs compared to potential 45nm Penryn-based retail configs

In addition to new notebooks and iMacs, Apple also continues to hold another Penryn-based system close at bay -- an 8 Core Mac Pro built around two quad-core Harpertown chips and slated for a release any time the company sees fit.
post #2 of 51
iWonder if a four core mac book pro could be a big fat surprise for all of us at wwdc 2008.
post #3 of 51
This is why I wish the stupid MacPro would come out now! Debut some crazy fast laptop stuff at MacWorld. Just give us the MacPro now.
post #4 of 51
Come to us Penryn, come....
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post #5 of 51
I am so torn about my next Mac upgrade ... after years of using Mac Towers for digital media work (and I still have a Dual G5), would the new (expected) Penryn X 24" iMac top of the line be good enough? I could attach my 23" Cinema to one and have a 24" and a 23" screen area, drool, (and disconnect the second screen when more Graphics card power is required) ... ... if they up the graphics card it it too ... Oh torment! What to do?
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post #6 of 51
Please SJ, release a MacBook Pro with Penryn at Macworld shipping the same day so I can rid myself of this 1.67GHz Powerbook...
post #7 of 51
Maybe it's just me, but Intel upgrades are so common place now that it's hard to get excited.
The speed gain is pretty minor but I suppose it's getting more and more difficult to squeeze any more power without sacrificing battery life.

The bigger issue is consumer confusion. How the heck is Joe Consumer going to keep up with which MacBook he's just purchased. Too many cache, FSB and clock speeds to remember. He may very well be misguided in buying an older generation from a retailer still holding on to older stock.

I realize it's about keeping up with the competition, but I really think it's more to Intel's benefit than Apple's.
post #8 of 51
Q'What?? They DROPPED the amount of L2 Cache on the next-gen model????

WWWWHHHHYYYY?????????

Boooooooo.

I'm a whiner.

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post #9 of 51
the newer CPUs drop-in replacement CPUs?, will there be change in RAM? DDR2 800 Mhz?

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post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunkDifferent.com View Post

iWonder if a four core mac book pro could be a big fat surprise for all of us at wwdc 2008.

EDIT: Maybe - didn't notice you said WWDC not MW, quad cores won't be supported until Montevina in May.

I just came here to post a link to the register article:

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/12...penryn_mobile/

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips

would the new (expected) Penryn X 24" iMac top of the line be good enough?

Nah, the iMac just isn't a tower replacement IMO. It might be fast enough for what you do but if I had a tower, I'd regret dropping to an iMac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo

The bigger issue is consumer confusion. How the heck is Joe Consumer going to keep up with which MacBook he's just purchased. Too many cache, FSB and clock speeds to remember. He may very well be misguided in buying an older generation from a retailer still holding on to older stock.

Especially when they use the same identifiers. Penryn is still a Core 2 Duo. They should market with terms like Penryn duo. Just the phrase Core 2 is confusing when you add duo after it. People might think it's a quad if it's core 2 duo rather than revision 2 of the Core architecture with 2 cores.

I think overall, this Macworld will be quite disappointing. The chip speeds are the same so the benefit I guess should be lower power consumption and less heat but to have no performance improvement would be disappointing. I'd actually just buy the older model. Maybe if the prices are cheaper, it will allow Apple to use the faster chips.

Oh yeah, AI I think you forgot to mention the Mac Mini update (again). Very silly. Everybody knows it's going to happen as they will not leave the lowest end empty. It just needs Santa Rosa and some HD space bump. Either that or a new model will take its place.

I wonder given that the Mini is £400 and the Macbook is £600, is there a Penryn chip that would allow them to make a Macbook cheap enough to replace the Mini?
post #11 of 51
Dang my plan was to buy an iMac this friday...

If new Penryns in the iMac, as suggested by this article, were guaranteed for January, I would wait. But I have a feeling we won't see that, so I may buy one this week anyway. I think they will update the Macbook Pro and Mac Pro only in January, as both products are due for a refresh. The iMacs were only out in August, so I bet Apple will use March/April time to refresh them. This would leave the summer for a Macbook refresh.

I dunno, I guess I just can't see Apple refreshing 3 product lines at once, if only for reasons to spread out the PR and meet regular announcement expectations, as they have done in the past.

I could be wrong. Thoughts?
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phizz View Post

I dunno, I guess I just can't see Apple refreshing 3 product lines at once, if only for reasons to spread out the PR and meet regular announcement expectations, as they have done in the past.

If you look back over Apple's announcements, a couple of years they introduced a couple of upgrades in a couple of product lines, and then within the next 3 weeks they had two more announcements.

Apple has been known to bunch up announcements at other times of the year also. Of course Intel could have a higher speed chip that is unannounced and reserved for Apple - this has happened from Intel at least once before, and happened from Motorola on the G4s a couple of times.

How badly do you need a computer upgrade? It could be worth waiting to see. or it might be worth getting it now. Only you know your own needs.
post #13 of 51
DDR 3 800 MHz SODIMMs will be used with these new laptops, instead of DDR 2 800 MHz. They say DDR 3 will reduce the power requirements a bit. Kinda makes me mad, because I didn't know about this a while back and bought 4GB of DDR 2 800 MHz RAM, hoping it would still work with the next upgrade, i.e. in my new ultra portable that I am waiting to be announced at MacWorld.

I got a feeling that buying 4 GB's of DDR 3 RAM is gonna cost a sweat penny, as, I can't even find anyone online selling it yet.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phizz View Post

Dang my plan was to buy an iMac this friday...

If new Penryns in the iMac, as suggested by this article, were guaranteed for January, I would wait. But I have a feeling we won't see that, so I may buy one this week anyway. I think they will update the Macbook Pro and Mac Pro only in January, as both products are due for a refresh. The iMacs were only out in August, so I bet Apple will use March/April time to refresh them. This would leave the summer for a Macbook refresh.

I dunno, I guess I just can't see Apple refreshing 3 product lines at once, if only for reasons to spread out the PR and meet regular announcement expectations, as they have done in the past.

I could be wrong. Thoughts?

You should never have bought a new iMac without a processor upgrade. This so-called "new" iMac is only reconfigured with new materials to upgrade the Greenpeace rating. Apple fooled a lot of people on this one. The mouse doesn't even match the iMac- that should have been the hint. Too bad.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunkDifferent.com View Post

iWonder if a four core mac book pro could be a big fat surprise for all of us at wwdc 2008.

Guessing you didn't read the whole announcement. They were talking about dual-core mobile and not quad-core mobile processors. What software are you running that needs a quad-core CPU on a laptop?
post #16 of 51
I'm actually anticipating the new Mac Pro. They are REALLY due for an upgrade and I have cash in hand waiting to purchase. C'mon Steve, upgrade before this money burns a hole in my pocket.

post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunkDifferent.com View Post

iWonder if a four core mac book pro could be a big fat surprise for all of us at wwdc 2008.

Outside of relational databases, there are not many applications that can make good use of four cores. I wouldn't want the power consumption and heat dissipation of four cores in a laptop before 32nm chips start shipping in 2010.
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post #18 of 51
Looks like I'm waiting until Macworld to get my new iMac after all!
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I am so torn about my next Mac upgrade ... after years of using Mac Towers for digital media work (and I still have a Dual G5), would the new (expected) Penryn X 24" iMac top of the line be good enough? I could attach my 23" Cinema to one and have a 24" and a 23" screen area, drool, (and disconnect the second screen when more Graphics card power is required) ... ... if they up the graphics card it it too ... Oh torment! What to do?

You've waited this long and now you just want 'good enough'?

What's you time worth ?

That's how you decide.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Nah, the iMac just isn't a tower replacement IMO. It might be fast enough for what you do but if I had a tower, I'd regret dropping to an iMac.

Depends on what he does. The iMac is good for everything short of 1080 HD gaming, 3D rendering, scientific floating point calculations, or uncompressed HD editing.

You don't need a tower to do the 90% of what people do on computers.

Quote:
This so-called "new" iMac is only reconfigured with new materials to upgrade the Greenpeace rating. Apple fooled a lot of people on this one.

Where do you people get this stuff?
post #21 of 51
Looks like someone didn't bother to format there Table Cells well in Pages.app.
post #22 of 51
I thought part of the point of penryn was to get lower power using chips to increase battery life for the laptops. Why then are each of the MBP replacements all 35W TDP, which is the same as the current chips?

I understand they are higher clocked, but the whole Hi-k thing was supposed to solve world hunger and bring peace on earth, so I'm surprised at the same TDP.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunkDifferent.com View Post

iWonder if a four core mac book pro could be a big fat surprise for all of us at wwdc 2008.

No. Don't expect four cores until Nehalem (new microarchitecture to replace "Core"). Four cores with "Core" microarchitecture still requires too much power and generates too much heat for the MacBook Pro form-factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Maybe it's just me, but Intel upgrades are so common place now that it's hard to get excited.
The speed gain is pretty minor but I suppose it's getting more and more difficult to squeeze any more power without sacrificing battery life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think overall, this Macworld will be quite disappointing. The chip speeds are the same so the benefit I guess should be lower power consumption and less heat but to have no performance improvement would be disappointing. I'd actually just buy the older model. Maybe if the prices are cheaper, it will allow Apple to use the faster chips.

Whilst, on the whole, the speed increase will be quite minimal, some applications will see a very significant (can be over 100%) boost if they can make use of the new SSE4 instructions. Also, fixed-point divides should be twice as fast, the increased LII cache should really help some apps, and virtualisation overhead is reduced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post

the newer CPUs drop-in replacement CPUs?, will there be change in RAM? DDR2 800 Mhz?

Yes, they are drop-in replacements. No, there will be no change in the RAM used, as it's the motherboard chipset northbridge that provides the RAM bus, not the CPU. The northbridge will remain the same with the CPU upgrade to Penryn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdwellcc View Post

DDR 3 800 MHz SODIMMs will be used with these new laptops, instead of DDR 2 800 MHz. They say DDR 3 will reduce the power requirements a bit. Kinda makes me mad, because I didn't know about this a while back and bought 4GB of DDR 2 800 MHz RAM, hoping it would still work with the next upgrade, i.e. in my new ultra portable that I am waiting to be announced at MacWorld.

Unfortunately, you are talking nonsense. For one thing, the RAM currently being used is 667 DDR2, not 800, and as I said above, the CPU isn't the thing that provides the RAM bus so there is no opportunity here for increasing RAM speed. 667 DDR2 is the maximum speed that the northbridge from Santa Rosa supports. You have been confused by the fact that the the introduction of the desktop Penryn was accompanied by an update to the desktop motherboard chipset, and it is this that supports DDR3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

People might think it's a quad if it's core 2 duo rather than revision 2 of the Core architecture with 2 cores.

It's even more confusing than that! The orginal "Core Duo" chips did not use the "Core" microarchitecture. The "Core 2" chips are therefore revision one of the Core microarchitecture. The PR department at Intel really needs to get its act together!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieTheOWl View Post

I thought part of the point of penryn was to get lower power using chips to increase battery life for the laptops. Why then are each of the MBP replacements all 35W TDP, which is the same as the current chips?

I understand they are higher clocked, but the whole Hi-k thing was supposed to solve world hunger and bring peace on earth, so I'm surprised at the same TDP.

I was surprised also, although we knew this a long time before today. Whilst the "TDP" (the figure the engineers have to work to when designing the CPU cooling system) has stayed the same, the hope is that average power consumption will be (much?) lower due to better energy-management in the chip - i.e. at low and normal/medium CPU loads, the power consumption should be lower, whilst it's under max loading that the Merom and Penryn heat generation is the same.
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post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I was surprised also, although we knew this a long time before today. Whilst the "TDP" (the figure the engineers have to work to when designing the CPU cooling system) has stayed the same, the hope is that average power consumption will be (much?) lower due to better energy-management in the chip - i.e. at low and normal/medium CPU loads, the power consumption should be lower, whilst it's under max loading that the Merom and Penryn heat generation is the same.

This absolutely puzzles me. Shouldn't it have a lower TDP, use less power and generate less heat? Heck the clock speeds are very similar to the last batch of 65nm Meroms. I hope someone can answer this question.

Frankly I don't know how they'll be able to release a subnotebook as rumored if Penryn chips don't have a lower TDP. How will they be able to cool it? I've a MBP with a core 2 duo and unless the Penryn generate *significantly* less heat, I don't know how they can make a thinner laptop.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Frankly I don't know how they'll be able to release a subnotebook as rumored if Penryn chips don't have a lower TDP. How will they be able to cool it? I've a MBP with a core 2 duo and unless the Penryn generate *significantly* less heat, I don't know how they can make a thinner laptop.

To date, Apple haven't used any of Intel's ULV (ultra-low voltage), or L (low voltage) parts. These have a lower clock-speed and much lower TDP (e.g. the U7600: 1.2 GHz, 10 W; L7500: 1.6 GHz, 17 W). The U7600 and L7500 are Merom parts, presumably there will be Penryn equivalents when the time comes.

Edit: All I could find after a quick search implied that ULV and LV Penryn parts won't be coming out until later in 2008. So if we get an ultra-portable in January, it'll be either be Merom based or won't really be an ultra-portable (and with a rumoured 13.3" widescreen, that definition already seems tenuous).
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post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I am so torn about my next Mac upgrade ... after years of using Mac Towers for digital media work (and I still have a Dual G5), would the new (expected) Penryn X 24" iMac top of the line be good enough? I could attach my 23" Cinema to one and have a 24" and a 23" screen area, drool, (and disconnect the second screen when more Graphics card power is required) ... ... if they up the graphics card it it too ... Oh torment! What to do?

It wouldn't be good enough compared to a Mac Pro. Never will.
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post #27 of 51
To quote Mr. H:

Unfortunately, you are talking nonsense. For one thing, the RAM currently being used is 667 DDR2, not 800, and as I said above, the CPU isn't the thing that provides the RAM bus so there is no opportunity here for increasing RAM speed. 667 DDR2 is the maximum speed that the northbridge from Santa Rosa supports. You have been confused by the fact that the the introduction of the desktop Penryn was accompanied by an update to the desktop motherboard chipset, and it is this that supports DDR3.

-----

You might want to review this article on WIkipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_2#Penryn

Penryn is paired with a new chipset, Bearlake, which includes an increase in bus speed (connection to the northbridge, etc.) for certain models to 1333 MT/s and will include support for DDR3 SDRAM; Intel believes that DDR3 is particularly useful in the power- and heat-constrained environments within mobile equipment.

-----

Yes, you are correct, the current MB and MB Pro's are based on the Santa Rosa chipset, which operates the processor on a front side bus of 800 MHz, but the chipset runs the RAM at 667 MHz. I have 800 MHz DDR 2 RAM in my notebook and it runs fine, but at 667 MHz of course. I originally bought 800 MHz RAM because, I hoped it would work in the next generation of laptops Apple released, and thus, would prevent me from having to buy RAM upgrades twice. However, I ended up getting screwed, because Penryn will use DDR3 at 800MHz, and thus my RAM will not work in the new machines.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Whilst, on the whole, the speed increase will be quite minimal, some applications will see a very significant (can be over 100%) boost if they can make use of the new SSE4 instructions. Also, fixed-point divides should be twice as fast, the increased LII cache should really help some apps, and virtualisation overhead is reduced.

Thank goodness for some common sense in this thread. The suggestion that these chips are lackluster is really pretty absurd. As to wishing for the good old days of infrequent CPU updates, well, those who long for that era can return to it while the rest of us enjoy the dynamic present. I, for one, have been pleasantly impressed by the modest and relatively frequent incremental increases in the portable line. Meanwhile, the folks who have waited to see similar increases in the Mac Pro line would no doubt welcome more frequent updates. As to the difficulty (for consumers) in differentiating between the various chips, all I can say is — hey — that comes with the territory. In fact, Intel's line (and Apple's) is refreshingly streamlined.

I admit that it's generous and considerate to express a concern for the benighted consumer, but when it comes to fairly high dollar items like computers, consumers owe it to themselves to do some research in advance of a purchase.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdwellcc View Post

Penryn is paired with a new chipset, Bearlake, which includes an increase in bus speed (connection to the northbridge, etc.) for certain models to 1333 MT/s and will include support for DDR3 SDRAM; Intel believes that DDR3 is particularly useful in the power- and heat-constrained environments within mobile equipment.

Bearlake is a desktop chipset. The reference to mobile equipment is therefore erroneous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdwellcc View Post

I hoped it would work in the next generation of laptops Apple released, and thus, would prevent me from having to buy RAM upgrades twice. However, I ended up getting screwed, because Penryn will use DDR3 at 800MHz, and thus my RAM will not work in the new machines.

Ah, I see. Well, the first Penryn MacBooks will still have Santa-Rosa-based motherboard chipsets, so the RAM bus will still be 667 and you can still use your 800 MHz RAM.
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post #30 of 51
...is a couple of Penryns crammed into the rumored ultramobile MacBook, swathed in aluminum. It would be the world's first combination laptop and toasted-sandwich maker. Yummm.
post #31 of 51
apple not only needs an update on the CPU used in macbook pro and mac pro...they both need a redesign- it has been so long since the last redesign of the case

i agree - i reckon a quad-core macbook pro at the wwdc would be a nice fat surpize
post #32 of 51
Quote:
It wouldn't be good enough compared to a Mac Pro. Never will.

His emails and word documents will be better on a Mac Pro?
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Intel Corp. plans to formally introduce its Penryn family of next-generation mobile processors in early January, paving the way for significant upgrades to Apple Inc.'s notebook and iMac consumer desktop lines shortly thereafter.

[...]

Higher performance versions at 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz will each pack 6MB of Level 2 cache and sell for $316 and $530.

Each of the aforementioned Core 2 Duo models will sport a thermal design power (TDP) of 35 watts, while a 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme ($851), also with 6MB of Level 2 cache, will feature a TDP of 44 watts.

Apple is likely to adopt one of the Core 2 Duo Penryn chips for its upcoming sub-notebook, while using the remainder of the chip family to boost the specs of its MacBook Pro and iMac desktop line.


It would be quite a disappointment if Apple were not to offer any Penryn quad-core desktop CPU based iMac next month.

Intel doesn't plan to limit itself to Penryn dual-core mobile chips and Apple competitors, the HP, Dell and others, plan to use Penryn quad-core desktop CPUs in their upcoming desktop models.

The only reason the iMac is so slim, the only reason it is currently using mobile Merom based chips, is that Apple wanted to save money with massive orders of a single model of chip to be used in both mobile and desktop computers. With the availability of quad-core desktop chips, 6 months earlier than any quad-core mobile chip, Apple will no longer be able to claim that mobile processors are equivalent to their desktop siblings.

Apple customers deserve the best computers that money can buy and that includes iMacs with quad-core desktop CPUs, just like desktop models offered by HP and Dell.

The other issue is competitive pricing. At present, a MacBook with a 13 inch screen and a 120 GB hard drive is $550 more expensive than an HP mobile computer with a 15 inch screen and a 160 GB hard drive. Personally speaking, I can't justify paying the $550 difference for a lower spec computer.

Is there a link between overpriced computers and the billion dollar bonus paid to Steve Jobs and his pet Vice-presidents over the last 2 years? You have to wonder. Do I want to support with my money further customer and shareholder abuse?

post #34 of 51
Quote:
It would be quite a disappointment if Apple were not to offer any Penryn quad-core desktop CPU based iMac next month.

What are you basing that disappointment on? On the theory that 4 should be better than 2? There are only certain circumstances that 4 cores will be used. Most of the time they would only be used at a fraction of their true potential.

Its like having an engine designed for formula one racing in a family car.

Quote:
At present, a MacBook with a 13 inch screen and a 120 GB hard drive is $550 more expensive than an HP mobile computer with a 15 inch screen and a 160 GB hard drive. Personally speaking, I can't justify paying the $550 difference for a lower spec computer.

Which HP are you looking at? I see one at $450 with Intel Pentium Duo, which is not the same at all as Core Duo processor. What I see at $599 is not speced similarly to the Mac Book at all. Once you do add the same spec as the Mac Book it costs $1461.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

What are you basing that disappointment on? On the theory that 4 should be better than 2? There are only certain circumstances that 4 cores will be used. Most of the time they would only be used at a fraction of their true potential.

Its like having an engine designed for formula one racing in a family car.



Which HP are you looking at? I see one at $450 with Intel Pentium Duo, which is not the same at all as Core Duo processor. What I see at $599 is not speced similarly to the Mac Book at all. Once you do add the same spec as the Mac Book it costs $1461.


I was looking at the December flyer from Staples. The price difference stems mostly from the processor used. Both Toshiba and HP use the Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 (@1,5 GHz, according to a quick Google search) for a mobile computer on sale for $799.96, whereas the $1349.96 MacBook or the $1499.96 black MacBook both use the more powerfull Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 (@ 2,2 GHz, according to a quick Google search). All prices are Canadian dollars, but Staples is also in the US and the UK, so you can compare prices at your local store.

While I feel better knowing that Apple uses more powerfull mobile CPUs, I don't believe that most buyers do a Google search to find the speed difference of Intel model numbers. As all computers have a webcam and Intel GMA X3100 graphic chip, they look the same to the casual buyer. And Toshiba and HP come with a 15 inch screen, a bigger hard drive and $550 cheaper than a white MacBook. That's enough to close the sale in most cases.

Now, concerning quad-core iMacs. Do you believe for an instant that HP, Dell, etc. will find it difficult to sell desktop computers with quad-core CPUs once Intel manufactures Penryn quad-core CPUs? Computer buyers look forward at the next 6 years, not backward at the last 2 years, when deciding to buy a computer. And Penryn quad-core desktop CPUs are just around the corner.

post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

While I feel better knowing that Apple uses more powerfull mobile CPUs, I don't believe that most buyers do a Google search to find the speed difference of Intel model numbers. As all computers have a webcam and Intel GMA X3100 graphic chip, they look the same to the casual buyer. And Toshiba and HP come with a 15 inch screen, a bigger hard drive and $550 cheaper than a white MacBook. That's enough to close the sale in most cases.

Now, concerning quad-core iMacs. Do you believe for an instant that HP, Dell, etc. will find it difficult to sell desktop computers with quad-core CPUs once Intel manufactures Penryn quad-core CPUs? Computer buyers look forward at the next 6 years, not backward at the last 2 years, when deciding to buy a computer. And Penryn quad-core desktop CPUs are just around the corner.

Intel's system for naming their chip products is the pinnacle of obfuscation. It is very difficult to tell exactly what you're buying. Probably the easiest way is to look it up in the system profile of the machine in question. It will tell you the clock speed of the processor. That's what I do when looking at vista machines. Many people may not be aware of this and just buy what's put in front of them by unscrupulous sales personnel.

As for quad core iMacs, I think that won't happen until Intel release *mobile* quad core chips which IIRC isn't until, later this year. I don't think that desktop cpus can be put into iMacs due to the thinness of the enclosure.
post #37 of 51
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

What are you basing that disappointment on? On the theory that 4 should be better than 2? There are only certain circumstances that 4 cores will be used. Most of the time they would only be used at a fraction of their true potential.

More and more this isn't true. Software is getting on the multi-threading bandwagon, and operating systems are leading the way. Whether it is QuickTime, OpenGL, CoreAudio, CoreAnimation, or the multitude of OS house keeping processes (Windows has its equivalents) your other cores are becoming more and more well utilized all the time. And if you don't need the extra ones, the latest chips can idle unneeded cores so they cost you very little and free up shared cache resources. Soon we're going to have desktops where 8 cores are commonplace, and 16+ hardware threads are available.
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post #38 of 51
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Originally Posted by Programmer View Post

Soon we're going to have desktops where 8 cores are commonplace, and 16+ hardware threads are available.

And the scary part; someday those specs will apply to a basic handheld Newton/iPhonesque device
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Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
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post #39 of 51
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Originally Posted by darthraige View Post

This is why I wish the stupid MacPro would come out now! Debut some crazy fast laptop stuff at MacWorld. Just give us the MacPro now.

Agreed.
post #40 of 51
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Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Maybe it's just me, but Intel upgrades are so common place now that it's hard to get excited.
The speed gain is pretty minor but I suppose it's getting more and more difficult to squeeze any more power without sacrificing battery life.

The bigger issue is consumer confusion. How the heck is Joe Consumer going to keep up with which MacBook he's just purchased. Too many cache, FSB and clock speeds to remember. He may very well be misguided in buying an older generation from a retailer still holding on to older stock.

I realize it's about keeping up with the competition, but I really think it's more to Intel's benefit than Apple's.

One's 65 nm, the other is 45 nm, simple, done...besides with Apple, it's not like you have to contend with FSB and cache, you're given what Apple offers, it's not like you can go on newegg and build a Mac from scratch like you can a PC. When Apple offers an xMac, it might mean something.

The biggest advantage will be power consumption and a faster FSB, but I doubt Apple jumps to update soon anyhow.
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