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Intel Core 2 Quad on MBP and iMac.

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
All right so I asked yesterday whether I should get a MBP or an iMac. Though something else is holding me back... Are Intel Core 2 Quad Processors being added anytime soon to iMacs and the MBP does anyone think? I don't know why though I almost feel somewhat that IC2D is a bit dated.
post #2 of 86
Intel has some mobile Core 2 Quads that would work in the iMac or MBP, but I doubt Apple will use them. They would have done so already.

Maybe early next year. Intel will have all-new mobile processors then.
post #3 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Intel has some mobile Core 2 Quads that would work in the iMac or MBP, but I doubt Apple will use them. They would have done so already.

The Core 2 Quads out now are desktop chips so that's probably why Apple haven't used any so far. Clarksfield that is coming in Q3 is a mobile chip so I could see that being used. I don't know if they will only go into the highest end models though i.e top-end 24" iMac and 17" MBP.

Apple have a habit of making the larger screen machines more appealing spec-wise. They are just profiteering really because they could easily put the higher end components into the lower end machines but they'd rather force you to buy a 24" IPS display along with it.

I could see the Mini, MB and MBP with 9400M and lowest 2 iMacs on IGP stuck with dual core and the rest moving up to quad. They might have to because I don't know if the new mobile processors support the Nvidia chipset. If that's the case, it would make sense to only upgrade the machines with dedicated graphics chips and avoid the lower end having to suffer Intel's IGPs again.
post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

All right so I asked yesterday whether I should get a MBP or an iMac. Though something else is holding me back... Are Intel Core 2 Quad Processors being added anytime soon to iMacs and the MBP does anyone think? I don't know why though I almost feel somewhat that IC2D is a bit dated.

At least on the iMacs it should be a no brainer. The chips are available though you do have to pay a price for them. That extra though would make more sense than the modest GHz spread we now see on the iMacs. The quads might require a slightly slower core but I still see a big advantage for newly purchased hardware, especially with the coming of SL.

The Mac Book Pros are another issue. You would certainly end up with a bit more heat, with a bigger engineering effort required to remove that heat. It is not impossible though, but I think Apple has made the decision to skip this generation of quad core mobile hardware.

In either case it is really sad that Apple isn't even offering an option to people to purchase hardware with a processor that can be really leveraged under Snow Leopard. In the case of the iMac they might be waiting for SL release so that they can co-market the new machines and operating system. Still sad though because Apple is selling to many machines to close to the update that don't even offer the option at purchase time to be ready for the coming hardware. It is sort of like the XMac, Apple could sell a ton of those to people that know better, likewise for people that understand what SL is.

Personally if you can I'd hold off for a quad in the platform of your choice. For a desk top C2D is really dated so I agree with you. On the laptop the alternatives are less so while I don't see it as completely dated it certainly isn't a smart buy for an investment that is expected to last.


Dave
post #5 of 86
Thread Starter 
With Snow Leopard becoming the standard soon and the possibility of C2Q being out for iMac next year, it would make sense to wait. Thanks wizard, Marvin, and FPN.
post #6 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The Core 2 Quads out now are desktop chips so that's probably why Apple haven't used any so far. Clarksfield that is coming in Q3 is a mobile chip so I could see that being used. I don't know if they will only go into the highest end models though i.e top-end 24" iMac and 17" MBP.

Apple have a habit of making the larger screen machines more appealing spec-wise. They are just profiteering really because they could easily put the higher end components into the lower end machines but they'd rather force you to buy a 24" IPS display along with it.

I could see the Mini, MB and MBP with 9400M and lowest 2 iMacs on IGP stuck with dual core and the rest moving up to quad. They might have to because I don't know if the new mobile processors support the Nvidia chipset. If that's the case, it would make sense to only upgrade the machines with dedicated graphics chips and avoid the lower end having to suffer Intel's IGPs again.

There are several mobile Core 2 Quads. They could go in the iMac with no modification.
post #7 of 86
Apple probably thought about Mobile Q2Q but IMO it makes more sense to wait and deliver Clarksfield CPU if they can't get Lynnfield in an iMac.

With the Nehalem procs and X55 motherboard you have the PCI Express integration in the CPU which is perfect for the iMac since it doesn't have PCI Express slots.
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post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Apple probably thought about Mobile Q2Q but IMO it makes more sense to wait and deliver Clarksfield CPU if they can't get Lynnfield in an iMac.

I'm not sure that makes sense or not. Basically the machines Apple sells now will be outdated for many users the minute Snow Leopard (SL) comes out. Certainly not all users but if you have a tasks that load an iMac heavily your only other choice is a Mac Pro. Considering the tech is available it seems silly to not offer it at least as an option on one iMac.

Note that I fully understand that the current C2Q leave a lot to be desired as far as bandwidth to memory goes, but that doesn't make them useless. For some iMac users it would be the right choice to have available at this time. Time of course with electronics means that future products will be improved, in the case markedly so, but that is the future.
Quote:
With the Nehalem procs and X55 motherboard you have the PCI Express integration in the CPU which is perfect for the iMac since it doesn't have PCI Express slots.

IMac still uses PCI Express to drive the GPU. It will be interesting to see if Apple uses the coming chips with built in GPUs from Intel. I fear it will be another step backwards but who knows.

Dave
post #9 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

There are several mobile Core 2 Quads. They could go in the iMac with no modification.

True, I wonder why they haven't used them. I'd rather have a 2GHz Core 2 Quad than dual 3.06GHz. Plus the 2GHz Quad is $348 vs the $851 of the 3.06GHz high end iMac. The other Core 2 Quad is $851.

I wonder if Apple keeps buying Intel's expensive chips to keep on good terms with them or something. Intel have much better value chips but they probably won't make so much profit on.

Some people can fit a Core i7 into a 'laptop' so Apple only managing Core 2 Duo in something as big as an iMac is either due to poor engineering skills or just trying to avoid killing their future growth by giving people too much value for money:

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Cor...ocom,7188.html

Maybe they felt the software had to be sorted first with Grand Central before pushing consumers to quads. If that was the reason, it's more telling of their obsession with categorizing consumers into neat little boxes. A lot of software is very capable of using 4 cores - the software that doesn't, generally doesn't need to anyway.

As always, everyone just has to wait on Apple crawling up to the plate after PC manufacturers have had the tech on offer for months/years. I would be a little shocked if Apple didn't have any quad core mobile solutions available when they start marketing Snow Leopard.
post #10 of 86
Thread Starter 
The Core i7 is a bit too much for me to expect in my opinion as a future first time Mac buyer. Speed is important to me though I don't need the fastest machine on the block so to speak. I do want to get the most for my money though. As for the Intel/Apple deal it's probably supply and demand for certain chips being made for certain companies I guess.
post #11 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

True, I wonder why they haven't used them. I'd rather have a 2GHz Core 2 Quad than dual 3.06GHz. Plus the 2GHz Quad is $348 vs the $851 of the 3.06GHz high end iMac. The other Core 2 Quad is $851.

I don't think Apple thinks its customers are smart enough to see a 2.x GHz quad as an upgrade from a 3 GHz dual (not that there isn't an argument for a faster dual-core).
post #12 of 86
Thread Starter 
Perhaps Apple is taking a "if it isn't broke don't fix it" approach?
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Some people can fit a Core i7 into a 'laptop' so Apple only managing Core 2 Duo in something as big as an iMac is either due to poor engineering skills or just trying to avoid killing their future growth by giving people too much value for money:

I7 us a bit much for any Apple laptop, but an iMac is a different story. Right now I see that big gulf in Apples line up ( the lack of a midrange desktop ), as the biggest black spot on their corporate image. I don't know if it is arrogance or the lack of engineering skills but it is an obvious problem.

Even something like the Mini would be better prepared for the future with C2Q. An i7 won't go in there but a core two quad should be a snap.
Quote:

Maybe they felt the software had to be sorted first with Grand Central before pushing consumers to quads. If that was the reason, it's more telling of their obsession with categorizing consumers into neat little boxes. A lot of software is very capable of using 4 cores - the software that doesn't, generally doesn't need to anyway.

This is what I find so well stated. There is enough software out there today to justify quad core in Apples line up. That doesn't mean every machine, but at least offer the option to people that are in the know.

Yes I know that SL will make better use of that hardware and that the newer i7 derived processors are even better SMP machines, but why force your customers to wait for it? For the people who can make use of quads today Apple can be very irritating.
Quote:

As always, everyone just has to wait on Apple crawling up to the plate after PC manufacturers have had the tech on offer for months/years. I would be a little shocked if Apple didn't have any quad core mobile solutions available when they start marketing Snow Leopard.

I suspect they will pitch desktops enhanced this way. If they put quads in the portables in four months that will just piss people off. The only way I could see that justified is if Intel had a new low power C2Q coming we don't know about. I just can't see Apple engineering yet another portables motherboard for i7 derived hardware that soon. It would be less than 4 months on the current one. Maybe they will target the 17" machine for October / November for intel new chips.

It does make you wonder where Apples mind is!


Dave
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I don't think Apple thinks its customers are smart enough to see a 2.x GHz quad as an upgrade from a 3 GHz dual (not that there isn't an argument for a faster dual-core).

The problem is what is right depends on what the customer is doing to an extent. Plus you have to take into account SL much better SMP behaviour. In a Mini it would be a very good upgrade for just about anybody. In a iMac it really is up to the customer and his usage. A developer may find quad cores more useful even with a one GHz spread in performance.


Dave
post #15 of 86
Thread Starter 
Apparently from the way I'm understanding it (was reading around), if Quad core chips were made for the MBP, they would start at far slower speeds such as 1.6 or 1.7 GHz. Not sure if this is the case though.
post #16 of 86
I'm not up to date myself but I'm not sure it is possible to be. The problem is that Intels line up is a mess.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter View Post

Apparently from the way I'm understanding it (was reading around), if Quad core chips were made for the MBP, they would start at far slower speeds such as 1.6 or 1.7 GHz. Not sure if this is the case though.

It is my understanding that one variant tops out at 2GHz. I'm not sure where notebook quads overall hit the GHz cieling. The thing is a 2GHz quad would be a nice improvement for a number of Apples current machines. It would be nice in the Mini, and some of the lower end laptops for many users.

For the iMacs I'm not sure why they haven't gone to intels small form factor line up. Maybe Apples to focused on being green. In any event the lack of quad core here is pathetic. It is enough for me to reccomend not even buying a iMac. There is just no acceptable explanation for apples dragging it's ass on this issue.



Dave
post #17 of 86
Apple wouldn't be able to pimp 7 and 8 hour battery life with quad cores. I honestly expect to see something early next year, some multicore core i7 deal. That would be for a desktop revamp tho, would probably be about this time of year for i7 laptops. I do have to agree with wizard tho that the giant gap of a monitor less mid-range desktop solution is terrible. The iMacs are pretty great, but I've always been leery of an all in one. The gap between 600 and 2500 is insane. The iMac even satrts at 1200, so you more than double that price to get to the next desktop option
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Apple wouldn't be able to pimp 7 and 8 hour battery life with quad cores. I honestly expect to see something early next year, some multicore core i7 deal. That would be for a desktop revamp tho, would probably be about this time of year for i7 laptops. I do have to agree with wizard tho that the giant gap of a monitor less mid-range desktop solution is terrible. The iMacs are pretty great, but I've always been leery of an all in one. The gap between 600 and 2500 is insane. The iMac even satrts at 1200, so you more than double that price to get to the next desktop option

Core i7 is in reference to Bloomfield Nehalem parts. You won't see this CPU in anything but an enthusiast computer.

For laptops if few want Nehalem Quad Core we're looking at Clarksfield or bust.

The proce though for the iMac is the Lynnfield. It's perfect for the iMac provided we can get a 65 watt TDP version which sadly isn't going to be available until Q1 2010. The launch Lynnfield systems in September will be 95 watt TDP procs. Too hot for the current iMac.

I'd love a headless Mac as well because we wouldn't have to toy with mobile processors but I don't think that's happening anytime soon.
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post #19 of 86
Quote:
Some people can fit a Core i7 into a 'laptop' so Apple only managing Core 2 Duo in something as big as an iMac is either due to poor engineering skills or just trying to avoid killing their future growth by giving people too much value for money:
I7 us a bit much for any Apple laptop, but an iMac is a different story. Right now I see that big gulf in Apples line up ( the lack of a midrange desktop ), as the biggest black spot on their corporate image. I don't know if it is arrogance or the lack of engineering skills but it is an obvious problem.

I liked Dave's comment about Apple dragging their ass on quad core. They just dropped the 'airbook' out there...when I'm not sure how needed it was.

Contrast that with the desktop line? Their is a clear need for a 'mid tower' and it's laughable that a consumer quadcore processor like the i7 isn't in an Apple desktop. Especially when the entry i7 is a clear value equation.

There's good Apple stuff going on. But the design cul-de-sac that stops you putting a quad core in your desktop line up when the rest of the industry was there over a year ago. And now? In desktops that are dirt cheap. Where is Apple's quad core. Don't get Dave started on the Mac Pro entry model with it's cheap and affordable 'workstation' price.

I bought an iMac. But I had to buy last years top end model in a sale this year. I can't fault it. Except when it comes to 3D rendering. My friends i7 desktop (not a 'workstation', eh?) buries it. 4 cpus recognised as 8 virtual threads...boom. At least twice as fast as my iMac.

The iMac is no slouch. But it's last years tech' in 2009. And I'll be trading this in as and when Apple go 'Nehalem' or equivalent, hopefully with virtual threads.

It maybe 2009 late or more likely early 2010. Maybe we'll get a new iMac along with Snow Leopard which may trigger a new round of hardware updates.

Interesting that Apple offered new Macbook Pros at cheaper entry prices. I guess lower sales due to the hardware pricing hike and hardware feature misteps like firewire...prove that in this economy...Apple will have to make 'insane' profits with more humility and consideration for customers who don't have 30 billion in the bank.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #20 of 86
Quote:
For the iMacs I'm not sure why they haven't gone to intels small form factor line up. Maybe Apples to focused on being green. In any event the lack of quad core here is pathetic. It is enough for me to reccomend not even buying a iMac. There is just no acceptable explanation for apples dragging it's ass on this issue.

Tssssssssssss. Hot quote. Ouch.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Core i7 is in reference to Bloomfield Nehalem parts. You won't see this CPU in anything but an enthusiast computer.

For laptops if few want Nehalem Quad Core we're looking at Clarksfield or bust.

Yeah I couldn't remember exactly which division of the Intel chips was which. I was just referring to i7 there as the successor of the core2duo.

The empty hole and ridiculous pace of advancement of the desktop line makes it apparent that Apple is likely leaving things as they are to drive more notebook sales. Yes a headless mid-range desktop would cut into some iMac sales most likely, but that is mostly for people who already have good computer monitors at home. iMacs are great as a single unit, plug it in and it runs, kind of solution. Most PC users who would be switching and consider themselves to fall in the "enthusiast" or "power user" category likely would not buy an iMac tho. Mac Pro possibly, MBP certainly, esp the 17".

The people who are looking for a headless mid-range unit are different than the people who want the all in one solution 9 times out of 10. You aren't cannibalizing much in the way of sales, b/c I think a lot of the time the sales just plain don't happen. Or they go w/the far cheaper Mac Mini as something to mess around with and try out. I know I've pondered the Mini several times, esp if I could use a kvm switch and not have to use a separate keyboard and mouse.
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I liked Dave's comment about Apple dragging their ass on quad core. They just dropped the 'airbook' out there...when I'm not sure how needed it was.

AIR is one of those things that was a great idea but poorly implemented. The problem is the lack of key ports, especially the Ethernet port. I can understand mistakes or not reading your customers correctly, but good companies fix their mistakes or bury the product. Apple has done niether with AIR.

The good thing is we have lots of laptops to choose from.
Quote:
Contrast that with the desktop line? Their is a clear need for a 'mid tower' and it's laughable that a consumer quadcore processor like the i7 isn't in an Apple desktop. Especially when the entry i7 is a clear value equation.

The problem is that they had options before i7 though admittedly i7 is the ideal SMP machine. This of course is on the desktop. What hurts is that options have been available for years now.
Quote:

There's good Apple stuff going on. But the design cul-de-sac that stops you putting a quad core in your desktop line up when the rest of the industry was there over a year ago. And now? In desktops that are dirt cheap. Where is Apple's quad core.

That is what I'd like to know. Without a doubt it has to impact Apples desktop sales. Frankly you get the feeling Apple enjoys jerking it's desktop users around with lackluster desktop hardware. Even the mini could have had a quad during the last update.

In any event what really burns the fuses extra fast is the coming of Snow Leopard. Apple has this great OS coming in a couple of months but yet it has nothing in it's desk top line up that can leverage SNOW LEOPARD. SL is in big print here because it makes what would be a minor problem a very serious issue if you want to spend your money wisely.
Quote:
Don't get Dave started on the Mac Pro entry model with it's cheap and affordable 'workstation' price.

I suppose that workstation has it's uses but it isn't a cost effective desktop machine. Not to mention it doesn't reflect modern computer design. I mean really the Mac Pro is a big throw back for what a desk top should be, it isn't a platform to build on for the coming years.
Quote:
I bought an iMac. But I had to buy last years top end model in a sale this year. I can't fault it. Except when it comes to 3D rendering. My friends i7 desktop (not a 'workstation', eh?) buries it. 4 cpus recognised as 8 virtual threads...boom. At least twice as fast as my iMac.

Exactly. With all those threads Apple wouldn't even need to run the core flat out to get a significant boost over current hardware. The thing here is that i7 and it's follow ons are the SMP processors for SL. At the rate Apple is going they will have nothing to truely leverage SL this coming September. Sometimes you just want to grab the management team by the collar and shake until the little ball starts to rattle.
Quote:
The iMac is no slouch. But it's last years tech' in 2009. And I'll be trading this in as and when Apple go 'Nehalem' or equivalent, hopefully with virtual threads.

I'm glad you can jump when the new machines actually come out. Personally I have to be careful with my PC purchases so sadly it will be awhile until I have a quad. But I do reccomend against iMac purchases to anybody that asks, it is a crap value this close to SL release.
Quote:
It maybe 2009 late or more likely early 2010. Maybe we'll get a new iMac along with Snow Leopard which may trigger a new round of hardware updates.

I'm really hoping that Apple refactors what a desktop computer can be. I mean really it will in effect be a 2010 model Apple should be able to come up with fresh idea for what a PC can be. If they don't have that vision any more; they can e-mail as I could design something that is forward looking and buildable.
Quote:
Interesting that Apple offered new Macbook Pros at cheaper entry prices. I guess lower sales due to the hardware pricing hike and hardware feature misteps like firewire...prove that in this economy...Apple will have to make 'insane' profits with more humility and consideration for customers who don't have 30 billion in the bank.

Apples sales haven't been that bad relative to the industry, so I don't think that is the excuse for the new lineup. What I see is Apple being very agressive in introducing features people want. The 13" MBP is almost the ideal student computer now. With the timing of Apples introduction I think they want to clean up, sales wise, for the back to school quarter.
Quote:
Lemon Bon Bon.

Apples laptops are fine for now, it is the desktop line that is an absolutely terrible value.


Dave
post #23 of 86
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post #24 of 86
Thread Starter 
^ Thanks a lot. That definitely helps.
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That is what I'd like to know. Without a doubt it has to impact Apples desktop sales. Frankly you get the feeling Apple enjoys jerking it's desktop users around with lackluster desktop hardware. Even the mini could have had a quad during the last update.

The current Mini chips are 25W so I'm not sure how easily they'd put the 45W quads in but if they are good technical engineers, they should be able to find a way. Otherwise, all they are doing is making small boxes and putting safe components inside, which takes little talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event what really burns the fuses extra fast is the coming of Snow Leopard. Apple has this great OS coming in a couple of months but yet it has nothing in it's desk top line up that can leverage SNOW LEOPARD. SL is in big print here because it makes what would be a minor problem a very serious issue if you want to spend your money wisely.

If Apple's and NVidia's claims are to be believed, the 9400M is capable of 54 GigaFLOPS of processing power, which is more than a current quad Mac Pro CPU has. Even just running some of the CUDA demos is pretty impressive - it handles the fluid simulations in real-time.

If I get the equivalent of a £1900 quad Mac Pro in a little Mini for the cost of Snow Leopard, that will be pretty amazing value for money. The benefits may not be immediately available but the capability is there and someone will use it eventually.

That doesn't excuse Apple from not using quad core CPUs, especially considering the prices they charge. I wouldn't mind the dual core chips so much if they meant cheaper machines. Even so, I think Snow Leopard will benefit all machines in the current lineup.

From Intel's demo, we can see what market Clarksfield is meant for:

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...field-laptop/1

I would then expect the Mini, Macbook and MBP to stick on dual core and put Clarksfield in the iMac around September/October and shipping with Snow Leopard. Then at CES 2010, they can announce all new Arrandale-based MB, MBP and Mini.

Later on, they may announce 16-core (32 threads) Mac Pros based on the Xeon Beckton 8-core CPUs, which is probably the main reason for Grand Central. Then hopefully a hardware-accelerated Final Cut Studio at NAB 2010.
post #26 of 86
Thread Starter 
I agree completely Marvin, although I admit I should have made clear also in my first post that a C2D 2.8-3.06 GHz is not bad it's just not what I expect.
post #27 of 86
Hi Marvin

Nice reply! Unfortunately I don't share the same view or maybe I should say enthusiasm that SL is going to solve all concurancy issues for the average user much less a power user.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The current Mini chips are 25W so I'm not sure how easily they'd put the 45W quads in but if they are good technical engineers, they should be able to find a way. Otherwise, all they are doing is making small boxes and putting safe components inside, which takes little talent.

maybe I misread somthing someplace but I thought for sure that Intel had a 2GHz C2Q that was around 35 watts. Virtually the same clock rate as the current processor but two more cores which would be a very nice Mini upgrade. That is if you believe in the promise of GCD or are a user that recognizes that his code or apps, scales well on multi core systems.
Quote:

If Apple's and NVidia's claims are to be believed, the 9400M is capable of 54 GigaFLOPS of processing power, which is more than a current quad Mac Pro CPU has. Even just running some of the CUDA demos is pretty impressive - it handles the fluid simulations in real-time.

I believe what Apple and nvidia says. At least as much as I believed the old G5 performance quotes. The problem of course is that they are honest about very specific cases. The problem of course is that performance is measured in Gigaflops on these GPUs and that is a measure of FLoating Point performance.

More so that is likely vector based performance. The vast majority of the apps outhere don't even make use of heavy FP code. Right now the book hasn't been written with respect to how effectively these GPUs wil process run of the mill code.
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If I get the equivalent of a £1900 quad Mac Pro in a little Mini for the cost of Snow Leopard, that will be pretty amazing value for money.

The whole problem is that you don't get what you think you are getting. You will get good performance for certain classes of problems but very little acceleration of other apps. It depends on what is intrisinct to the code, some code needs a fast integer machine to fly.
Quote:
The benefits may not be immediately available but the capability is there and someone will use it eventually.

That doesn't excuse Apple from not using quad core CPUs, especially considering the prices they charge. I wouldn't mind the dual core chips so much if they meant cheaper machines. Even so, I think Snow Leopard will benefit all machines in the current lineup.

From Intel's demo, we can see what market Clarksfield is meant for:

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...field-laptop/1

I would then expect the Mini, Macbook and MBP to stick on dual core and put Clarksfield in the iMac around September/October and shipping with Snow Leopard. Then at CES 2010, they can announce all new Arrandale-based MB, MBP and Mini.

Later on, they may announce 16-core (32 threads) Mac Pros based on the Xeon Beckton 8-core CPUs, which is probably the main reason for Grand Central. Then hopefully a hardware-accelerated Final Cut Studio at NAB 2010.
post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

maybe I misread somthing someplace but I thought for sure that Intel had a 2GHz C2Q that was around 35 watts. Virtually the same clock rate as the current processor but two more clocks which would be a very nice Mini upgrade. That is if you believe in the promise of GCD or are a user that recognizes that his code or apps, scales well on multi core systems.

Clarksfield is rumored to be 35W but we don't know for sure. The current quads are listed as 45W on Intel's processor spec finder:

http://processorfinder.intel.com/det...px?sSpec=SLGEJ

Price comes into it too as the 2.26 quad is the same price as the iMac 3.06GHz dual core. I would rather they offered the cheaper 2 GHz quad but if they sell a quad at a lower price than the 3.06GHz, few people would go for the dual core.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I believe what Apple and nvidia says. At least as much as I believed the old G5 performance quotes. The problem of course is that they are honest about very specific cases. The problem of course is that performance is measured in Gigaflops on these GPUs and that is a measure of FLoating Point performance.

The thing about the G5 though is that vectorized code only benefitted Mac users, who are small minority. OpenCL like OpenGL will benefit any user with a compatible GPU on Mac, Linux or Windows as it's an open standard so I would hope that it will gain significantly more usage. Not to mention, the gains on the G5 processors weren't nearly as dramatic. The GPUs have 16-32 stream processors running at 1GHz+and are currently unused completely for non-graphics processing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

More so that is likely vector based performance. The vast majority of the apps outhere don't even make use of heavy FP code. Right now the book hasn't been written with respect to how effectively these GPUs wil process run of the mill code.

You're right, it doesn't process run of the mill code and it has to be specific vector code but what you tend to find is that the only places you notice a computer struggling is when you have to do high end processing like image processing, rendering, encoding. These apps tend to go pretty far with SSE optimization - even Apple's itunes encoder is SSE optimized and it blows away standard MP3 encoders like LAME.

Here is a test of image processing code with CUDA:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...u,1954-12.html

Using the 8600M GT, same as in the Macbook Pro, they get the slowest GPU measure to be 6 times faster than the Core 2 Duo CPU and at best, 46 times faster. If you scale that, it means the GPU in this case will process this code faster than a quad Mac Pro CPU.

Now you're right it's specific vector code but developers of image processing apps like Photoshop, Motion, After Effects, Nuke, Mental Ray etc will use it in order to cut render times down dramatically and this will be a massive boost. If Apple drop some code into the Core APIs then the benefits will spread much further such as thumbnail generation of movie clips. We already saw the benefit moving from 10.4 to 10.5 in PDF rendering, which became hardware accelerated.

If they use hardware to accelerate their itunes encoders (and by that I mean their Quicktime API) then people are going to notice. Same with ichat and screen sharing, it will process your video frames faster. All the places where it won't show any speedup, people probably wont mind as they are fast enough already.
post #29 of 86
Quote:
I'm really hoping that Apple refactors what a desktop computer can be. I mean really it will in effect be a 2010 model Apple should be able to come up with fresh idea for what a PC can be. If they don't have that vision any more; they can e-mail as I could design something that is forward looking and buildable.

Exactly.

Especially given the ground breaking work Apple have done in the 'smart phone' market in the last two years! (And let's not forget the evolution of the iPod either.)

My thanks for the reply to my post, Dave. Good stuff. And Marv' too. You both clearly 'get it'. ie you appreciate Apple's good points and where they could clearly improve their line up.

Sure, Dave. The laptops, I think, are state of the art at the moment. The Macbook upped to Macbook Pro status was a cunning move. And what they should have done first time around ie they effectively gave the Macbook Pro a 'price cut'. Now, laptop buyers can get into the 'pro' range £200-£300 cheaper. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Which begs the question of where the Macbook is going to go. For me? The white book is now a placeholder for something that is coming later....I wonder what that could be? I'm hoping for something that counterattacks M$'s 'Apple tax' ads.

The desktop. I completely agree. The options are there. But Apple's desktop line is Frankenstein like. A mutilated line-up.

The mini. £500 for a pretty biscuit box with no quad, ok 'gpu', no k/b or mouse or screen.
The iMac. £900 for the entry level (!) machine with sub-standard gpu (for that price...) and no quad.
The Pro. £1900 to get on the quad ladder. ! A big, lumbering tower (albeit superbly designed...like all Apple's flawed desktop line...)

I'm an Apple fan. But if you can't see what's wrong with that line up? Then clearly the Apple Kool aid doesn't agree with you.

Apple not making affordable and decent designs out of consumer desktop cpus such as Conroe and Nehalem? Unforgivable.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Price comes into it too as the 2.26 quad is the same price as the iMac 3.06GHz dual core. I would rather they offered the cheaper 2 GHz quad but if they sell a quad at a lower price than the 3.06GHz, few people would go for the dual core.

That's where you're mistaken.

The 3.06GHz C2D in the iMac is not the T9900 at $530 (that is also available for the MBP), it is still a custom chip: E8x35, rated at 55W. While the price has not been disclosed, it is pretty obvious that it sits between the price of the 65W desktop models (E8x00 series) and the 35W mobile models (T9x00 series).

Today, the custom 3.06GHz probably costs $350, the 2.93GHz model $250 and the 2.66GHz model $200. Or even less for Apple since the 65W 3.16GHz desktop C2D with 6MB of cache only costs $183...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Later on, they may announce 16-core (32 threads) Mac Pros based on the Xeon Beckton 8-core CPUs, which is probably the main reason for Grand Central. Then hopefully a hardware-accelerated Final Cut Studio at NAB 2010.

This will probably never happen as well. Beckton is a high-end MP server cpu that will replace/complement the Xeon MP 7400 series ($1,100-$2,800). Too much expensive for the Mac Pro (that is already overpriced). If anything, Apple will move to the Xeon flavor of GULFTOWN, a 6-core cpu on a 32nm process planned for Q2 2010.

-----

We still don't know the real TDP of Clarksfield (rumors of 35W-45W-55W), but we have a good idea of the prices: $350-1050. So, the comparison should be between the 2.00GHz penryn mobile quad vs 1.60GHz Clarksfield vs the 3.06GHz custom C2D, all at around $350.

IMO, Apple should have moves to 65W desktop quads (S series) at 2.33-2.83GHz for $213-320, with the last update, on a nvidia 9300/9400 desktop chipset, at least on the 24" models. 65W Lynnfield cpus are also planned for Q1 2010, so there is still hope...
post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Clarksfield is rumored to be 35W but we don't know for sure. The current quads are listed as 45W on Intel's processor spec finder:

http://processorfinder.intel.com/det...px?sSpec=SLGEJ

Price comes into it too as the 2.26 quad is the same price as the iMac 3.06GHz dual core. I would rather they offered the cheaper 2 GHz quad but if they sell a quad at a lower price than the 3.06GHz, few people would go for the dual core.

I suspect you are right, but isn't that a decision the customer should make. Frankly with the arrival of SL I would see a quad as being a better option for most in a Mini rather than a modest clock rate increase.

In the iMac Apple should certainly offer up the fastest dual core available as some people would benefit from that. For your average user though quads will be the better choice. To me this is like the transistion from single to dual core, it only took a very short time for the OS and apps to catch up and leverage dual core SMP. With SL the transition ought to be even faster on Apples hardware. That is if the quad core SMP hardware ever comes out.

Anyways off my soap box, I'm just trying to reflect on why I consider Apples current desktop hardware to be such a bad value.
Quote:


The thing about the G5 though is that vectorized code only benefitted Mac users, who are small minority. OpenCL like OpenGL will benefit any user with a compatible GPU on Mac, Linux or Windows as it's an open standard so I would hope that it will gain significantly more usage. Not to mention, the gains on the G5 processors weren't nearly as dramatic. The GPUs have 16-32 stream processors running at 1GHz+and are currently unused completely for non-graphics processing.

I'm not to sure the open standard that is OpenCL will make that much of a difference in adoption of the facility. On the Mac it will be used because it is supported by Apple. Other platforms will have alternative competeing technologies. Besides we are seeing a lot more Mac only apps, so adoption isn't predicated on being able to run on other platforms.

As to those stream processors, it has already been shown that you can overload those and impact your video performance. There is no free lunch here. Obviously on a chip with hundreds of stream processors this is less of a problem.
Quote:


You're right, it doesn't process run of the mill code and it has to be specific vector code but what you tend to find is that the only places you notice a computer struggling is when you have to do high end processing like image processing, rendering, encoding.

I do very little of that and yet can see my MBP bog down doing traditional things. Image processing is certainly an issue, mostly playback for me, but that is best done on dedicated hardware. The reason I want to see more cores is to speed up the machine when running multiple conventional apps.

As a side note a SSD would likely help me a lot, but that is another thread.
Quote:
These apps tend to go pretty far with SSE optimization - even Apple's itunes encoder is SSE optimized and it blows away standard MP3 encoders like LAME.

This I don't disagree with but half to point out that not everybody uses their Mac that way. So if that is all the stream processors can be used for, that is vector processing, then they are of limited usefullness. Now the thing is they may not be that limited, but current development seems to be focused on floating point and vector codes.
Quote:

Here is a test of image processing code with CUDA:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...u,1954-12.html

Using the 8600M GT, same as in the Macbook Pro, they get the slowest GPU measure to be 6 times faster than the Core 2 Duo CPU and at best, 46 times faster. If you scale that, it means the GPU in this case will process this code faster than a quad Mac Pro CPU.

Which is great for that code. I guess my problem is that that is not another system process. It is GPU specific processing that requires a separate development effort for the code.
Quote:

Now you're right it's specific vector code but developers of image processing apps like Photoshop, Motion, After Effects, Nuke, Mental Ray etc will use it in order to cut render times down dramatically and this will be a massive boost.

Yeah I know which would be great if I used such software.
Quote:
If Apple drop some code into the Core APIs then the benefits will spread much further such as thumbnail generation of movie clips. We already saw the benefit moving from 10.4 to 10.5 in PDF rendering, which became hardware accelerated.

I fully expect this to happen too. It will do nothing for speeding up XCode though or any number of other apps.
Quote:

If they use hardware to accelerate their itunes encoders (and by that I mean their Quicktime API) then people are going to notice. Same with ichat and screen sharing, it will process your video frames faster. All the places where it won't show any speedup, people probably wont mind as they are fast enough already.

People will notice. What I don't like is that you basically say where the GPU won't or can't speed things up it doesn't matter as it is fast enough already. This is certainly not the case at all. I don't buy this at all as there are to many apps that need a speed up now where I don't see GPU threads helping at all.


Dave
post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Exactly.

Especially given the ground breaking work Apple have done in the 'smart phone' market in the last two years! (And let's not forget the evolution of the iPod either.)

An evolution that hopefully is speeding up on the iPod.

On the desktop though I'd say the situation is desparate. They need a new desktop product that breaks away from the last century. This is very much a Mini replacement device as the iMac has it's niche. By the way that doesn't mean the iMac couldn't use improvements just that it has a role to fill in general. The Mini though is no longer suitable in is current form as a desk top machine and the Mac Pro is clearly priced off the desktop.

What I'm talking about is a Mini replacement that is multi core capable, is built around new solid state storage formats and can take large amounts of memory. Notably this doesn't imply huge amounts of realestate, the actual box this all comes in doesn't have to be hugely larger if at all.

Apple just needs to throw it's desktop line a bone and offer up a product that will hold it's own for another decade. Artificially limited machines are not the answer. Compact yes, but limited simply because of where it sits in the line up no!
Quote:

My thanks for the reply to my post, Dave. Good stuff. And Marv' too. You both clearly 'get it'. ie you appreciate Apple's good points and where they could clearly improve their line up.

Apple certainly has it's good points, that is why I own a MBP & iPhone along with my Linux machines. I promote Apple products whenever I can, the good ones anyway, but at the same time try to steer people away from the pathetic. Pathetic is what the lower end of the hardware line up is.
Quote:
Sure, Dave. The laptops, I think, are state of the art at the moment. The Macbook upped to Macbook Pro status was a cunning move. And what they should have done first time around ie they effectively gave the Macbook Pro a 'price cut'. Now, laptop buyers can get into the 'pro' range £200-£300 cheaper. Now that's what I'm talking about.

it's not that they are cheaper but rather are a much better value. That value comes from a number of key enhancements such as the serviceability, the support for lots of memory and other refinements that results in a machine that can stay around for a bit. These are machines that could get a student through 4 years of college and help him start a business after that. That they can do this with out strangling the bank account is a good thing in my estimation.
Combined with the back to school program and I'd have to say this is beyound cunning. I'm not sure what you would call it but it is damn agressive on Apples part. The desktop however gets a yawn.
Quote:

Which begs the question of where the Macbook is going to go. For me? The white book is now a placeholder for something that is coming later....I wonder what that could be? I'm hoping for something that counterattacks M$'s 'Apple tax' ads.

I don't see that at all. The white Mac Book serves a perfectly good market. Simply put Apple needs the variety in it's line up.
Quote:
The desktop. I completely agree. The options are there. But Apple's desktop line is Frankenstein like. A mutilated line-up.

Frankenstein like NO WAY, Frankenstein had to many parts that just didn't fit right. Apples desktop line up is missing to many parts. No Quads, No mid Range, No up to date Mini nor it's replacement, No low end PCI Mac and no i7 anywhere. Like a naked smurf.
Quote:

The mini. £500 for a pretty biscuit box with no quad, ok 'gpu', no k/b or mouse or screen.
The iMac. £900 for the entry level (!) machine with sub-standard gpu (for that price...) and no quad.
The Pro. £1900 to get on the quad ladder. ! A big, lumbering tower (albeit superbly designed...like all Apple's flawed desktop line...)

I'm an Apple fan. But if you can't see what's wrong with that line up? Then clearly the Apple Kool aid doesn't agree with you.

Apple not making affordable and decent designs out of consumer desktop cpus such as Conroe and Nehalem? Unforgivable.

Lemon Bon Bon.

Unforgivable or just appealing to the wrong demographic? Somtimes I think Apples trouble is that it tries to be to Green. Unfortunately this seems to be leading Apple into producing machines with a short lifespan which is anti Green. The is the opposite of what is happening with the laptops which seem to be Apples machines of choice right now.
post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

That's where you're mistaken.

The 3.06GHz C2D in the iMac is not the T9900 at $530 (that is also available for the MBP), it is still a custom chip: E8x35, rated at 55W. While the price has not been disclosed, it is pretty obvious that it sits between the price of the 65W desktop models (E8x00 series) and the 35W mobile models (T9x00 series).

Today, the custom 3.06GHz probably costs $350, the 2.93GHz model $250 and the 2.66GHz model $200. Or even less for Apple since the 65W 3.16GHz desktop C2D with 6MB of cache only costs $183...

If it's the case that Apple are using desktop class dual cores in the iMac and they are that cheap, the iMacs are much worse value for money. It would be obscene for them to be charging $2200 for a machine with a $350 processor. Apple's 24" IPS display is $900 so I guess $900 screen/case + $350 CPU + $300 Mobo+GPU + $100 optical drive + $150 extras like isight, sensors, keyboard/mouse = $1800 then it's $400 to cover the free delivery, the free version of OS X and ilife bundled and some profit margins.

But the difference between the 20" non-IPS and the 24" IPS is only $300. This means that $900 cost of the iMac can't be the IPS display. If it's $500 for the 24" IPS vs say $200 for the 20" TN, that accounts for the difference but leaves a massive $400 difference from the top-end iMac. A cost that would be partly accounted for if they used a $530 Core 2 Duo or an $851 Core 2 Extreme.

It would certainly be interesting to find out exactly how much money they are making from those machines - I guess with a custom part, we will never know and consumers could be paying as much as $600 in clear profit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

This will probably never happen as well. Beckton is a high-end MP server cpu that will replace/complement the Xeon MP 7400 series ($1,100-$2,800). Too much expensive for the Mac Pro (that is already overpriced). If anything, Apple will move to the Xeon flavor of GULFTOWN, a 6-core cpu on a 32nm process planned for Q2 2010.

Hmmm, the 6-core version looks like it might be an expensive chip too:

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?op...13657&Itemid=1

I wish Apple would just keep the quads that they have and drop the price. For the handful of people who decide to blow $6000 on the best machine and sit all day long filling up the top Geekbench results to justify the expense to themselves:

http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/top

fair enough, give them an option but give everyone else a more reasonable entry point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

IMO, Apple should have moves to 65W desktop quads (S series) at 2.33-2.83GHz for $213-320, with the last update, on a nvidia 9300/9400 desktop chipset, at least on the 24" models. 65W Lynnfield cpus are also planned for Q1 2010, so there is still hope...

I agree with you, the S models seemed like a perfect fit if indeed Apple are able to put desktop class CPUs into the iMac without them overheating. I was sure that had to be the reason for the way overdue iMac refresh but then they turn round and disappoint with dual cores again.
post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I agree with you, the S models seemed like a perfect fit if indeed Apple are able to put desktop class CPUs into the iMac without them overheating. I was sure that had to be the reason for the way overdue iMac refresh but then they turn round and disappoint with dual cores again.

I don't remember reading one person ask for a thinner iMac. That sounded like a Steve mandate more than anything. I've heard people ask that Apple remove the "chin" but never did I see someone complain about the thickness of the imac.

Thus I'm sitting here seeing poor decisions being made about processors for a desktop computer. The iMac needs to be able to handle 65 watt processors full stop

It's clear that no matter how small the fab process goes we're going to end up with a 50-100 watt proc everytime when.
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post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I suspect you are right, but isn't that a decision the customer should make. Frankly with the arrival of SL I would see a quad as being a better option for most in a Mini rather than a modest clock rate increase.

Same here, those reasons are just why Apple may have decided not to use them. I don't think those reasons justify not having a quad core machine for under £1900. They are looking very bad next to PCs for value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It will do nothing for speeding up XCode though or any number of other apps.

I think in that particular case, that may be true but the majority of heavy processing apps will be able to benefit from the floating point calculations on the GPU. Even if it's not fully, they will find ways to use parts on the GPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

People will notice. What I don't like is that you basically say where the GPU won't or can't speed things up it doesn't matter as it is fast enough already. This is certainly not the case at all. I don't buy this at all as there are to many apps that need a speed up now where I don't see GPU threads helping at all.

I don't really see that many. In terms of web stuff, Flash can do with being more hardware accelerated but general browsing is fast. Javascript execution is perhaps one area but it's slow because people are trying to use it to process graphics instead of using the graphics hardware like Flash is.

Content creation apps: Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, iMovie, Shake, Motion, Final Cut, Color, Compressor, Soundtrack Pro, Logic, After Effects, Nuke, Maya, Mental Ray, Cinema 4D. All these apps and more can benefit.

Content delivery apps: itunes, Quicktime, DVD Player, Preview. These can all be hardware accelerated for decoding and in some cases encoding plus they will all use common core components that can be optimized more easily.

The cases where more CPU cores becomes important is in cases like XCode, virtualization or where vectorizing code takes a prohibitively long time. I'm not suggesting that GPU hardware will take away the need for more cores - we should hope for good code, good GPUs and good CPUs but I think it could easily be far more important and useful than Altivec was and it should add significant value to Apple's lineup when it's used right.

There are issues like bogging down the interface and stability (crashing the graphics drivers) but if Apple put in some measures that resolve these issues, it's just another way for people to get the most out of their hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison

It's clear that no matter how small the fab process goes we're going to end up with a 50-100 watt proc everytime when.

Yup, they just keep upping the transistor count like the GPU guys.
post #36 of 86
Quote:
I don't remember reading one person ask for a thinner iMac. That sounded like a Steve mandate more than anything. I've heard people ask that Apple remove the "chin" but never did I see someone complain about the thickness of the imac.

Thus I'm sitting here seeing poor decisions being made about processors for a desktop computer. The iMac needs to be able to handle 65 watt processors full stop

It's clear that no matter how small the fab process goes we're going to end up with a 50-100 watt proc everytime when.

Exactly.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #37 of 86
I don't expect Apple to ever put a Clarksfield processor in a laptop. I expect Apple laptops will go directly to Arrandale processors.
Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I don't expect Apple to ever put a Clarksfield processor in a laptop. I expect Apple laptops will go directly to Arrandale processors.

It's strange the pathology that Apple generates in us.

Arrandale really isn't all that interesting. A basic Nehalem dual core with SMT and ondie GPU which may not hit the speeds of today's 9400m.

I realize Apple's hardware configs suck but there's really little reason to get excited about an Arrandale Macbook Pro.

It sure would be nice to return to logic and stop thinking like Apple.
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post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If it's the case that Apple are using desktop class dual cores in the iMac and they are that cheap...

Custom chips. The E8x35 is not available to the general public, hence not on Intel's regular price list.

Benchs and cpu numbers for the (new) iMacs
post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Arrandale really isn't all that interesting. A basic Nehalem dual core with SMT and ondie GPU which may not hit the speeds of today's 9400m.

Let's hope Arrandale and iGP combination to be more power efficient than current C2D + 9400M. It'll be ok in 15" or 17" MBP for battery life and cool operation since both will use GT240M or GTS250M for power needs.

But what about 13" model? Apple won't rely on less powerful iGP due to marketing. I think G 210M as second (discrete) GPU will do the job.
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