Originally Posted by wizard69
No the real advantage in i7 is the three lane on board memory controller which is ideal for the types of apps seen on Macs. Secondaryly GPI is a very fast interconnnect which would ideally feed into a high performance Nvidia integrated graphics chip bypassing the slow PCI Express.
What middle man? Even on i5 you will still need a controller for that PCI Express bus a bus that is profoundly slower than QPI. Frankly intel has yet to show that this arraingement will work well. Frankly it is why I think Intel is taking legal action against Nvidia for the attempted use of QPI. Even on i5 it might make more sense to put the graphics on DMI and use those legacy PCI Express slots for conventional I/O.
Intel can trummpet it's marketing plan all they want but it won't convince me that their offered arraingement is the best for performance in the future.
Mini maybe but Apple has nothing in the way of a middle of the road performance machine. Right now this hurts them alot in the market place and opens them up to things like Mucrosofts current marketing attempts. The point here is that if Apple continues to implement the same cookie cutter low end hardware as everybody else they will not have an opportunity to distinguish themselves from the low cost pack. i7 gives Apple an opportunity to think different, thinking different doesn't involve putting graphics on what is now a slow interface.
Unfortunately intel seems to think that blocking innovation here is a way to protect their market share. That is sad.
I think that you're mistaken. QPI or not, graphics are on PCIe and are "limited" to 16x PCIe speeds whatever the link to the cpu is. Core i7 is simply to "hot" for the iMac. Apple is in fact using Xeon flavored Core i7 on the single cpu Mac Pro, and you've seen at what price? Even if Apple could put a Core i7 in the iMac, it would probably end-up costing more than the low-end Mac Pro... this isn't middle of the road in terms of price. Then I realize that you want a Core i7 cpu on a nvidia integrated gpu (that you call high-performance)??? It is getting absurd. If you need the power of a Core i7 cpu, you will probably want dedicated graphics too. FWIW, there are no graphics cards/gpus that talks directly to QPI links, so even if PCIe 16x is "slow", there is nothing better today.
Intel is taking legal action against nvidia because they want to continue selling chipsets, they have lost Apple and others on the mid/high-end notebooks, now nvidia wants to make more chipsets for more desktop computers and netbooks/nettops. Given that most nvidia chipsets are better than Intel's, they fear for their chipset business, and if they can slow nvidia a little, they will.
I don't think that it is Intel that is blocking innovation: they are offering a multitude of cpus within many power and thermal envelops. And they also offering customized products. Apple is limiting their choices with their own designs:
- the mini, the MB, the MBP don't seem to be able to handle more than 35W cpus... or Apple doesn't want to
- the iMac doesn't seem to be able to handle more than 55W cpus... or Apple doesn't want to
- the new Mac Pro is simply too expensive
Everybody and their sister is offering Core i7 computers, except Apple that choosed to offer Xeon W3500 series in the Mac Pro at "crazy prices", Apple is distinguishing themselves
using Core i7, by not using real desktop cpus
on their desktop computers. Today, they are not looking like any other manufacturer, what you are suggesting is that they offer the same products...
We don't know yet how Intel wil call their next nehalem cpus, but for the iMac, here are the choices:
- current mobile 45W quads 2.00-2.53GHz, $350-850-1,050 --- too expensive?
- current 65W quads (QXXXXs series) 2.33-2.83GHz, $245-320-369 --- too hot?
- future mobile 55W quads (Clarkfield) 2.00-2.53GHz (rumored) $350-850-1,050 --- too expensive?
- future nehalem 65W quads (65W Lynnfield) 2.xxGHz (speeds unknown), $245-320-369 --- too hot?
- future westmere 35/45W dual-core+IGP (Arrandale) 2.xxGHz (speeds unknown) $209-530 --- too plain?