Core i5 released and what it means for Macs

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  • Reply 21 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    That chip also sucks to put it plainly. It burns as much power as the SMT alternatives, and is neutered in other ways. So I would not want to see it in a top of the line iMac. Maybe a mini replacement, but I can't ever see Apple going to that hungry of a processor in the Mini, so the Mini would likely get a laptop version.



    Even if Apple wakes up and does an XMac I don't see the value of this processor in such a platform. Especially considering it lacks the more advanced virtualization features from what I understand. At best though, and in a laptop form, it would be a very good processor for the low end machines.





    Yes but in exactly the same power range you can get i7 class hardware. Yes it is a bit more expensive but it is also more feature full. Frankly i5 strikes me as a flunky processor, that Intel wants to sell to people that don't understand or need all the goodness in i7.





    Dave



    I don't understand your aversion to i5. Sure its missing some features like SMT but it makes up for that with a better turbo boost feature. Look at this chart from Anandtech below:





    The fact is that the new i5 is as fast as the old i7(xenon) that the Mac Pro uses. That's scary. A $190 cpu that will run commodity pcs costing $700 or $800. Mac enthusiasts would be blessed to have the i5 shoehorned into an iMac or xMac. But it'll never happen.
  • Reply 22 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by seek3r View Post


    I may be letting myself get trolled here but...



    I have my mac pro in part because it was *cheaper* than building my own machine with similar specs or buying from another vendor (and why yes, I do use 8 cores - for post process and thread testing work, and an 18000 core machine for my actual jobs :-p) Oh, and nothing psystar offers (offered?) comes close to the machine from a professional standpoint, from a consumer looking at a tower maybe.... But this is a professional workstation, compare its hardware to other machines of the same class.



    (The MP is also nearly silent when I'm not pushing it and still quite quiet when I am, Since it sits in my bedroom and my fiance stays over quite often, that's an important consideration :-p)



    I am talking about the pro who don't need 8 cores. I am talking about the people who use g4 towers and or people who want to uses there own screen and the mini is to weak and the mac pro at $2500 is about the same power with less mac and weaker video card then a $1200-$1500 system.



    We don't need a dual cpu system and the mac pro has just gone up in price while keeping low ram and weak video cards for it's price.



    where is the $1200-$1500 tower that apple used to have?



    and the imac needs to have much better then laptop cpus at there price. still only dual core at $1500 - $2000? in a desktop?
  • Reply 23 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I don't understand your aversion to i5.



    Dave doesn't know a thing about Core i3/i5/i7, he said so himself in another thread. Also the Core i5-750 costs only $196 while the low-end Core i7-860 is $284...



    Anyway if we are talking about the iMac, those new Core i5/i7 cpus are too hot (except the new Xeon L3426, 1.86GHz, 45W, $286), the future mobile Core i7 will be too expensive ($384 for 1.60GHz, and up to $1,054 for 2.00GHz).



    If we suppose that Apple won't change the iMac design significantly (why should they?), there no quad-core desktop or mobile nehalem cpus that really fits the bill. Either they are too hot 82/95W and up, or they are too expensive ($384 and up). Don't forget that the iMac currently uses custom cpus that are probably less expensive that their mobile conterparts (at the same clock, $316-530).



    The only quad-core nehalem cpus in Intel's price list that have all the specs the iMac needs (power/TDP/price) are LV Xeons:

    L3426 1.86GHz, 8MB cache, 4C+HT, TB 3.20GHz, DMI, 45W, $284

    L5506 2.13GHz, 4 MB cache, 4C, 4.80 QPI, 60W, $423

    L5520 2.26GHz, 8 MB cache, 4C+HT, TB, 5.86 QPI, 60W, $530

    L5530 2.40GHz, 8 MB cache, 4C+HT, 5.86 QPI, 60W, $744



    This shows that Intel is capable of making quad-core cpus up to 2.40GHz with a TDP lower than 60W at reasonable prices. The L3426 uses a single chip DMI chipset (3400/3420) that is very similar to the desktop P55 chipset (and cheap, $25/$30). If Apple asks Intel to release custom cpus for the iMac based on the L3426 design, I think that all requirements would be fulfilled: nehalem architecture, quad-core, low TDP, reasonable price. Even just 3 models (2 custom ones) would suffice:
    • L3426 1.86GHz, 8MB cache, 4C+HT, TB 3.20GHz, DMI for the low-end 20/24? iMacs,

    • L34x6 2.13GHz, 8MB cache, 4C+HT, TB 3.xxGHz, DMI for the mid-range 24? iMac,

    • L34y6 2.40GHz, 8MB cache, 4C+HT, TB 3.yyGHz, DMI for the high-end 24? iMac.

    Other advantages:
    • for Apple?s desktop line up, there would still be a sizable difference between the high-end iMac (2.40GHz) and the low-end Mac Pro (2.66GHz).

    • for the comparison with desktop PCs, the iMac would use LV Xeon cpus, not regular power-hungry desktop cpus

    • the iMac would still be an energy-friendly and almost silent computer

    • all iMacs would get a dedicated openCL gpu (no iGPU on the new quads/chipsets)

    • pro/semi pro desktop users would probably take another look at the iMac (for those who were on the fence)

    This will probably never happen, yet I believe it is the best that could happen to the iMac.
  • Reply 24 of 58
    @ mjteix. Can't disagree with anything you've said.



    There's always been a bit of a performance penalty for iMacs, and minis, compared to traditional desktop pcs. Arguably this was an acceptable trade off for the form factor of the iMac and mini. And given that Apple at least used fast dual core cpus in the iMac, they didn't suffer that badly compared to pcs that used slower quad core cpus.



    But that's now changing. Even as the mobile Nehalems arrive, they're not going to come close to the desktop Nehalems. The fastest mobile i7 (arrandale, dual core) will still be slower than the i5 750. The Clarksfield pus don't look like they'll be close either given their low clock speed. In fact I think it'll be interesting to see how dual core Arrandale cpus compare to quad core Clarksfield cpus. Intel are really ramping up the performance of desktop cpus such that the midlevel quad core desktop cpus are going to be faster in every way than the faster dual core mobile Nehalem cpus and the high end quad core mobile cpus.
  • Reply 25 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Plus it's very sealed up. Perhaps they should perforate the sides for better airflow. They only have that small opening at the back and it has a dust cover over it.



    And fans that already spin very slowly for the sake of quiet.



    Quote:

    I think it's just missing TxT, which is a security technology. That shouldn't affect virtualization performance. The chip does draw the same power as Core i7 though and you lose HT, which isn't a huge deal as it's already quad core but i5 seems like i7 with features cut out and $100 cheaper.



    He's confused because Intel has invented a second type of virtualization- VT-D. All of their new chips will have the older VT-X, not all will have VT-D, which allows virtual machines to have direct access to peripherals and other I/O. I'm sure it's useful to some people but when we talk about virtualization tech, we mean VT-X.
  • Reply 26 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    I am talking about the pro who don't need 8 cores. I am talking about the people who use g4 towers and or people who want to uses there own screen and the mini is to weak and the mac pro at $2500 is about the same power with less mac and weaker video card then a $1200-$1500 system.



    We don't need a dual cpu system and the mac pro has just gone up in price while keeping low ram and weak video cards for it's price.



    where is the $1200-$1500 tower that apple used to have?



    and the imac needs to have much better then laptop cpus at there price. still only dual core at $1500 - $2000? in a desktop?



    I just finished working on a mini to use as a vis. box. It's a pretty powerful little box. I'm not going to argue there isn't a hole in Apple's line up ('cause there is, certainly), but it may be that there's less of the pros that need the long lusted after xmac than you think (which may explain the hole).



    I wonder how many who say they do need more power but not the MP would be fine with a 9400m and a core2duo. Sure there are some, but there's alot a lot of people who simply want a cheap mac pro so they can have a mac tower.



    I'm not against that in general, a xmac would be an awesome addition IMHO, but since we're talking about *professionals* specifically here and *not* general consumers, the question that has to be asked is how many of those professionals really *need* that midrange machine to help their ROI?
  • Reply 27 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    I think it all boils down to Steve's and Jonathon's obsession with "thin". They seem to think that form factor trumps such mundane issues as price and performance."



    Don't forget reliability. My iMac can't keep itself out of the shop. I think the most telling thing about the design was when the local Apple store flat out told me it would be a while because they despise doing repairs on iMacs.
  • Reply 28 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I don't understand your aversion to i5. Sure its missing some features like SMT but it makes up for that with a better turbo boost feature. Look at this chart from Anandtech below:



    >>>>>>Image deleted.



    Yes the computational performance is very good but again it also gives up much relative to the i7. i haven't had the time to do the research, to many upgrades this week, but I'm certain it is more neutered with respect to i7 than many people realize. It basically gives up all the advanced features of i7 but its power dissipation. Things like the SMT, the more advance virtualization in i7 and some other features. Thus i5 might make a good Mini processor if it wasn't for the thermal short comings. Even on a iMac it might be OK for non professional uses but if you have a serious interest in those advanced features it is a poor value.



    Even I will admit that SMT is only a win in certain situations and like wise Virtualization, but it is an important consideration for machines targeted to the pro audience. So I see i5 as a bit of a joke on anything that would be seriously marketed to the pro sector.

    Quote:



    The fact is that the new i5 is as fast as the old i7(xenon) that the Mac Pro uses. That's scary. A $190 cpu that will run commodity pcs costing $700 or $800. Mac enthusiasts would be blessed to have the i5 shoehorned into an iMac or xMac. But it'll never happen.



    They would be blessed to have that power stuffed into a Mini. Very doable even at 95 watts if Apple is willing to re factor the machine. Having so much on one chip can lead to very compact machines. Apple is far more likely to go Arrandale here but even that would make for an impressive Mini.



    Back to XMac and the like though and I really think that Apple would have to consider pro usage here. Thus the only answer is the i7 in the top end models.



    Dave
  • Reply 29 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjteix View Post


    Dave doesn't know a thing about Core i3/i5/i7, he said so himself in another thread.



    Deleted a bunch of garbage!!!





    I may not be keeping up to speed on Intels marketing but I do know a few things. One is that no matter what you think Apple does not pay those prices! Second Intel has produced parts especially for Apple and its iMac, so what is publicly available doesn't mean much. Third it wouldn't take much for Intel to cull out slightly lower power versions of i5 or i7 for Apple if Apple wanted them.



    Unfortunately I don't think Apple wants them and that is the great sadness in this thread. No matter what Intel implements it seems like Apple is set on implementing mobile processors in its desktop machines. A switch from this behavior would be a huge shock actually. The only way I could see Apple implementing an i5 or i7 processor would be on some sort of expandable XMac type computer. Even then being green is so important to them that they might very well go mobile in that platform.



    In any event the other factor you mis is that those power numbers are now a far greater proportion of overall system power usage than we have ever seen before from Intel hardware. Thus while unlikely at this moment you can't dismiss a a 95 watt processor in an iMac.



    Dave
  • Reply 30 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    He's confused because Intel has invented a second type of virtualization- VT-D. All of their new chips will have the older VT-X, not all will have VT-D, which allows virtual machines to have direct access to peripherals and other I/O. I'm sure it's useful to some people but when we talk about virtualization tech, we mean VT-X.



    All of their i5 will have the 'X' variant (using your naming), i7 allows virtualization of peripherals via the "D" improvements. The problem is I don't have the info to prove this to you, but a long search at Intel ought to find the information.



    Now is that important to most Mac users, probably not. Professionals however may have a different take on it and see it as a requirement. Especially if they can get virtualization all the way out to the the OpenGL hardware.



    In any event virtualization tech and talk about it, moves ahead just like any technology. It may not be fully used by the virtualization software available today but the more complete the virtualization the more it is accepted. This can be seen clearly as current virtualization software has matured and become more mainstream.



    Dave
  • Reply 31 of 58
    It's pretty simple for me. I'm no longer technically oriented (fortunately) but I do know that Intel has released some new quad processors. I also know I'm ready to buy a new iMac as my original G5 iMac has a bad motherboard.



    So, adding these two facts together I know I'm going to wait until Apple delivers a new iMac with quad cores.



    But that's because I can get by with my new 13" MBP.
  • Reply 32 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    >>>>>>Image deleted.



    Yes the computational performance is very good but again it also gives up much relative to the i7. i haven't had the time to do the research, to many upgrades this week, but I'm certain it is more neutered with respect to i7 than many people realize. It basically gives up all the advanced features of i7 but its power dissipation. Things like the SMT, the more advance virtualization in i7 and some other features. Thus i5 might make a good Mini processor if it wasn't for the thermal short comings. Even on a iMac it might be OK for non professional uses but if you have a serious interest in those advanced features it is a poor value.



    Even I will admit that SMT is only a win in certain situations and like wise Virtualization, but it is an important consideration for machines targeted to the pro audience. So I see i5 as a bit of a joke on anything that would be seriously marketed to the pro sector.





    They would be blessed to have that power stuffed into a Mini. Very doable even at 95 watts if Apple is willing to re factor the machine. Having so much on one chip can lead to very compact machines. Apple is far more likely to go Arrandale here but even that would make for an impressive Mini.



    Back to XMac and the like though and I really think that Apple would have to consider pro usage here. Thus the only answer is the i7 in the top end models.



    Dave



    Read this article.



    I don't think you understand the chip at all.
  • Reply 33 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    All of their i5 will have the 'X' variant (using your naming), i7 allows virtualization of peripherals via the "D" improvements. The problem is I don't have the info to prove this to you, but a long search at Intel ought to find the information.



    You don't have to "prove" it to me, as that's exactly what I said. It's complete BS to say that i5 doesn't have virtualization.
  • Reply 34 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by seek3r View Post


    I wonder how many who say they do need more power but not the MP would be fine with a 9400m and a core2duo. Sure there are some, but there's alot a lot of people who simply want a cheap mac pro so they can have a mac tower.



    but the small and slow laptop drive is a downer as well. and 4gb - 256 for video is also down side as well. also the cpu is no where near what other pc at same price level have.
  • Reply 35 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Read this article.



    I don't think you understand the chip at all.



    i5 is a new low end chip and it gives up a lot with respect to i7. One of the biggest issues being the loss of SMT. i don't dismiss that it is fast, i"m saying fairly clearly it is the new low end.



    Now that Snow Leopard is out you have got to realize how important such a facility will be in wringing out maximal performance from the system AND apps using the new facilities in Snow Leopard. The fact that i5 effectively beats older processors doesn't detract form the fact that it is now the low end solution from Intel.



    Frankly I'm stunned that you can't see this in the charts posted on the very web site you referenced. Notably this site tested the hardware on a questionable operating system that in no way compares with Snow Leopard and its new technologies. Admittedly there is little bench marking taking place on Apple hardware, based on any of these processors but until proven other wise I will continue to believe that SL will take advantage of all those threads on i7 in a very positive way. It is kinda the whole point of SL, GCD and the other improvements; that is to leverage the new hardware available in a way that few shipping OS do.



    **************



    Given all this arguing I still have to wonder if we will even see hardware based on Intels desktop chips from Apple. That is really the great sadness in this thread, Apple doesn't have anything offering up midrange performance, in a smallish desktop box. As I mentioned a long time ago the resulting gap between its laptop based machines and the Mac Pro just gets wider and wider mirroring consumer frustration. So what would be extremely nice would be to see Apple deliver one or more machines with this desktop solution. If nothing else we can benchmark to our hearts content (given that SL enhanced software comes out).





    Dave
  • Reply 36 of 58
    It gives up a lot compared to the i7, but its still worlds ahead of what's on the mobile side.
  • Reply 37 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    i5 is a new low end chip and it gives up a lot with respect to i7. One of the biggest issues being the loss of SMT. i don't dismiss that it is fast, i"m saying fairly clearly it is the new low end.



    The i3 and core 2 quads, core 2 duos, pentiums and celerons chips will be the low end. You think those chips are just going to disappear? Here's a hint, they haven't. The i5 is the mid range and on a performance per dollar basis is clearly the best chip available at the moment from any manufacturer.



    I would agree that it isn't the best choice for a Mac Pro. In that machine the i7 is the preferred choice. But do you really want to contend that it isn't 'good enough' for the iMac? An iMac with an i5 cpu would be a quantum leap in performance over todays machines. It would probably be the greatest leap in performance the iMac has ever seen. This is a bit of a hypothetical discussion as the iMac as its currently designed could not utilize an i5 cpu. At least without a major redesign. Hope springs eternal.



    Frankly, I think your getting caught up in Intel's numbering. Do you think the mobile i7 cpus (Arrandale dual core with SMT) will be faster than these i5 cpus? I'll bet money they won't be and I doubt it'll even be close.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Now that Snow Leopard is out you have got to realize how important such a facility will be in wringing out maximal performance from the system AND apps using the new facilities in Snow Leopard. The fact that i5 effectively beats older processors doesn't detract form the fact that it is now the low end solution from Intel.



    Frankly I'm stunned that you can't see this in the charts posted on the very web site you referenced. Notably this site tested the hardware on a questionable operating system that in no way compares with Snow Leopard and its new technologies. Admittedly there is little bench marking taking place on Apple hardware, based on any of these processors but until proven other wise I will continue to believe that SL will take advantage of all those threads on i7 in a very positive way. It is kinda the whole point of SL, GCD and the other improvements; that is to leverage the new hardware available in a way that few shipping OS do.

    Dave



    For highly threaded apps the i7 is king as it should be. While I have great hope for GCD and Open CL, the reality is that there are no apps that currently utilize these technologies. Correct me if I'm wrong. And the i5 with 4 cores will certainly be no slouch in performance once apps are coded to take advantage of GCD and Open CL. I don't know when we'll see apps coded to take advantage of GCD and OCL but it wouldn't surprise me if its a year from now, or longer.



    With what's available now, the i5 is the best cpu available for non-professional machines like the iMac.
  • Reply 38 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    The i3 and core 2 quads, core 2 duos, pentiums and celerons chips will be the low end.



    Why not just extend that to 486 based chips. Like all the old chips from the past they will slowly fade away. Well maybe not slowly as I see the i5 & i7s quickly gaining mind set with the larger community of PC users. I six months you will be very lucky to find an i3 or Core 2 based desktop computer in my opinion. The new hardware makes for very low cost and small high performance computers.

    Quote:

    You think those chips are just going to disappear? Here's.... they haven't. The i5 is the mid range and on a performance per dollar basis is clearly the best chip available at the moment from any manufacturer.



    Don't get me wrong it is a very good chip but like it or not I still see it as the new low end. The problem or maybe better the reality is that it will be the cheapest route to a nicely performing quad core machine. Just as Dual core is currently present in just about all machines we will soon move to quads as base configurations. But again these are base or lowend machines.

    Quote:



    I would agree that it isn't the best choice for a Mac Pro. In that machine the i7 is the preferred choice. But do you really want to contend that it isn't 'good enough' for the iMac?



    My contention is that it is good for the low end machines. For people that would want to do more professional work on a higher end iMac I don't really believe it is a reasonable solution. Especially when Intel is rating i7 at the same power level.

    Quote:

    An iMac with an i5 cpu would be a quantum leap in performance over todays machines. It would probably be the greatest leap in performance the iMac has ever seen. This is a bit of a hypothetical discussion as the iMac as its currently designed could not utilize an i5 cpu. At least without a major redesign. Hope springs eternal.



    See here is the problem and is where we agree, these chips would be great in an iMac and I'd love to see such a machine. It would take a redesign but I believe it might not be that major and would leave the iMac pretty much looking similar to todays machine. If Apple contracted for a special sort I could see lower power chips in the iMac. The problem is while we both hope for a more powerful iMac we also know that it is a stretch and that Apple is very biased towards mobile processors. In a way it really is sad that Apple can't manage midrange desktop performance.

    Quote:

    Frankly, I think your getting caught up in Intel's numbering. Do you think the mobile i7 cpus (Arrandale dual core with SMT) will be faster than these i5 cpus? I'll bet money they won't be and I doubt it'll even be close.



    Actually in this thread I was trying to stay focused on the desktop line. I don't see Arrandale outperforming desktop i5s though. At least based on what I know now. Honestly I'm affraid that we will have Arrandale forced upon us via both the Mini and the iMac. In the Mini or the lower end iMacs it might be good enough. Arrandale will do nothing to close up the midrange gap though and that is where my concern is and is why I want to see Apple adopt i7s (destop line) in the higher end iMacs or a new desktop model (XMac). The desire is for a machine that deliver contemporary midrange performance for more advanced users.

    Quote:





    For highly threaded apps the i7 is king as it should be. While I have great hope for GCD and Open CL, the reality is that there are no apps that currently utilize these technologies. Correct me if I'm wrong.



    At this time I'm simply not prepared to go into GCD as I've been spending a bit of time recently researching it to understand it better. The little I'm willing to say right now is that apparently Apple is already using it and OpenCL in certain libraries. So some apps are likely benefitting right now. The problem here is that what is official and what is hearsay is sometimes hard to determine. Apparently though NSOperation is already making use of the new facilities. Now this isn't the parallel processing that many are thinking about that one would get with the GCD apply operation. Even so some old codes have shown considerable speed ups on Snow Leopard so obviously some software gas benefitted before being rewritten. A portion of the bench markng over on Phoronix indicates that SL is indeed a good friend to even older code.

    Quote:

    And the i5 with 4 cores will certainly be no slouch in performance once apps are coded to take advantage of GCD and Open CL. I don't know when we'll see apps coded to take advantage of GCD and OCL but it wouldn't surprise me if its a year from now, or longer.



    Again I'm not saying i5 will be a slouch just that it is the new low end. Expect to see it in the lower cost PCs and likely the rock bottom PCs in a year or two. The high integration will make it very attractive to manufactures looking to produce very low cost motherboards.



    Now take the following with a grain of salt:



    it looks like NSOperation family of ruotines in Cocoa have been mapped in such a way to make use of the GCD features. So many apps that went this route for threads are in a sense already using GCD at a high level. So some apps are benefitting right now.



    Now this isn't the refined parallel processing that is available from GCD at a lower level nor is it OpenCL. Both of these would require at least partial rewrites. With some programs it may almost be trivial to do the code updates. Others of course could take years.



    Dave





    With what's available now, the i5 is the best cpu available for non-professional machines like the iMac.



  • Reply 39 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I've found myself cruising the Internet looking at Lynnfield i5 & i7 benchmarks and let's say I'm about to reconsider me high opinion of i5. This might be a disappointment due to software but I'm not certain.



    What is being found is that i5 benchmarks poorly with some benchmarking code and on some platforms. One site blamed it on Linux, a Windows site discounted the benchmark data and did not publish it in line.



    At times i5 had problems with Core 2 quads and AMD chips nipping at it's virtual toe. Again what is funny here is the text calling i5 this wonderful processor when the included graphs indicate performance closer to the Core 2 Quad or AMD chip. Generally for i5 to show a commanding lead over the older processors it needs to run the fastest available memory.



    I don't want to jump the gun here as there could very well be OS issue causing the problem. Or BIOS issues. It is just that performance seems to be all over the map with this chip. The funny part is that the i7 based Lynnfields seem to be fine. If we can trust the bench markets the i5 variant is often far behind the i7 Lynnfield. Hopefully this gets sorted out before a flood of negativity comes.







    Dave
  • Reply 40 of 58
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,541moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    All of their i5 will have the 'X' variant (using your naming), i7 allows virtualization of peripherals via the "D" improvements. The problem is I don't have the info to prove this to you, but a long search at Intel ought to find the information.



    It seems the i5 released this year won't support VT-d but the ones released next year will:



    http://www.virtualization.info/2009/...-not-have.html



    Their branding isn't very clear.



    http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/15223/35/



    It's also not very clear if VT-d will work without special hardware. Parallels supports VT-d but their example usage is a high end workstation:



    http://www.parallels.com/uk/products/extreme/



    They mention Nvidia's Multi-OS SLI feature in the Quadro and state it as a requirement. It doesn't seem like it will be a consumer tech from the outset. I imagine eventually it will be used to market to some gamers and people using 3DS Max or AutoCAD.



    I don't think the lack of VT-d support will be a deal-breaker for the majority of people.



    As for Clarksfield prices, the chips Apple use in the iMac must cost an amount similar to the mobile chips Intel already have. The top end model is $2200. The XE version of Clarksfield is very expensive but they could stick with the 1.6GHz and 1.73GHz models at $364 and $546, which respectively turbo-boost to 2.8GHz and 3.06GHz. The lower one can go into the 20", the higher one into the 24".



    But then what benefit is there over the higher clocked dual cores they already use? The price should be round about the same if they are both mobile prices, which I think they are. The power usage of Clarksfield may be lower if it does in fact have a 35W TDP. The performance of the quads will be slightly better overall, 20-50% and the turbo boost should mean that single tasks don't run any slower.



    It's certainly not what I'd call a compelling upgrade though and the clock speed drop will affect the marketing but they can't really use much else because of the power draw or risk waiting until next year for better chips. Last refresh, they made the move to OpenCL compatible GPUs, this time they either jump to the new CPU architecture, do a redesign or drop/rework the prices.
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