Originally Posted by wizard69
The alternative is that Apple just does a processor bump on the current model. Unfortunately I think this is a real possibility if they can't get buy in from intel for the right i7. The mini is a different story being bottom end hardware. Anything Apple is likely to do to Mini would be a vast improvement so I'm not going to argue about Mini. It is IMac that Apple needs to seriously consider performance increases on, i7 is just about the only practicle device to give the iMac a boost. At least from intel, Apple could always go AMD.
I7 isn't impossible it is just a slight stretch.
There are more alternatives to consider before thinking about the current Core i7 cpus (3 models with a TDP of 130W) and even the future "i7" mobile quad-cores (Clarksfield at 55W, $350-$1,050) planned for Q3 2009:
- the 65W desktop dual-core cpus (E8200-8600, from 2.66GHz to 3.33GHz, $163-$266)
- the 65W desktop quad-core cpus:
Going from the current custom cpus with a TDP of 55W to cpus with a TDP of 65W, is far more realistic than going straight to 130W Core i7 even custom ones with a lower TDP.
Also, the desktop single chip 9300/9400 chipsets from nvidia also support the future 65W quad-core cpus. Win-win for Apple: similar drivers for the chipset, huge speedbump for the iMac, little R&D for the upgraded cooling system, cost decrease that would permit other changes (like LED-BL displays) and still maintaining a low price for the user, and probably a price cut in the high-end.
If Apple was to use the current mobile montevina cpus (not the custom ones) in the iMac, the prices for the chips would be: $241/DC2.40GHz, $316/DC2.66GHz*, $530/DC2.80GHZ, $851/DC3.06GHz. *The DC2.66GHz will be available early Q1 (replacing the current 2.53GHz model).
Given the price of the desktop cpus and including a cost increase due to the LED-BL displays, my favorite line-up would be:
$1299 LED-BL 20" iMac, quad 2.33GHz, 2GB RAM,... $100 increase due to the LED-BL display
$1499 LED-BL 20" iMac, quad 2.66GHz, 2GB RAM,... same price
$1699 LED-BL 24" iMac, quad 2.66GHz, 2GB RAM,... $100 decrease due to the cpu cost
$1899 LED-BL 24" iMac, quad 2.83GHz, 2GB RAM,... $300 decrease due to the cpu cost
But I would still be happy with something like:
$1199 LED-BL 20" iMac, dual 2.66GHz, 2GB RAM,... same price
$1499 LED-BL 20" iMac, quad 2.33GHz, 2GB RAM,... same price
$1799 LED-BL 24" iMac, quad 2.66GHz, 2GB RAM,... same price
$1999 LED-BL 24" iMac, quad 2.83GHz, 2GB RAM,... $200 decrease due to the cpu cost
Unless Apple change radically the design of the Mac mini, it will have to use up to 35W mobile cpus, just like the MacBook. 2.00/2.40GHz + 9400m nvidia chipset at $599/699 and $799/899 would be a nice update for the Mac mini (especially with 2GB of RAM standard and probably bigger HDDs).