The New Nehalem. Is it worth waiting for?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I have been craving to buy a Macbook since last year and finally I get to buy it on May. But I heard that Intel is releasing Nehalem which is a big leap in chip industry. Now I'm in big dilemma. I am so tempted to buy the Macbook on May yet at the same time I am drawn by Nehalem which is releasing in 2009. What should I do? Buy a Macbook and sell it when Nehalem release? Please kindly give me some opinions. Thanks.\
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    pbg4 dudepbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member
    Next year Intel will announce something that'll make Nehalem look like crap. That's the way it goes in the computer industry. It's like those old Gateway commercials where the guy is driving home all happy with his G5 computer, only to notice a G6 billboard being pasted up over the ad for the computer he just bought.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,796member
    Typically, a move to a new chip doesn't get you a whole lot more processing power than the latest generation.



    You get a bigger bump if there's a change in the chip and the underlying subsystem, but then it's a version 1.0 product that has its own risks.



    My advice is to buy what you need, and max it with RAM. I could be wrong, but I doubt you'd see a whole lot more power by waiting, and you'll have a full year of productivity rather than frustration.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Since you're supposedly buying in May, you could wait for the new penryn chips to filter down into the MacBook line. That would definitly be the best time to buy. Don't know when it will happen but it will way before Nehalem is released to anyone. Also when Nehlaem is released, you have to factor in that it will probably take Apple a least a couple more months after that to get it into their new lineup.



    I've been waiting for about a month now for the supposed eminent release of an upgraded MacBook Pro, and let me tell you, waiting sucks big time. The idea of waiting about a year or more for a new laptop makes me kinda really not so happy.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Penryn is a much bigger jump over Santa Rosa than Nehalem will be over Penryn. Although Nehalem will move to a smaller die size, the relative performance upgrade will be limited.



    My own belief is that Penryn chips will be superb especially when mated with the Centrino 2 platform Montevina. Wait for Montevina which ships around June. Or just get a new MacBook Pro when they come out.



    Don't wait until 2009, because, as everyone else says, there is always something better tomorrow.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Aarrrgghhhh!



    Same answer as every other bloody time this sort of question is asked.



    If you need or want it now, buy it now. If you don't, then wait.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Well, I just want to gather some informations before I make any decisions.

    Thanks for the advices guys!
  • Reply 7 of 33
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    Penryn is a much bigger jump over Santa Rosa than Nehalem will be over Penryn.....



    Don't wait until 2009, because, as everyone else says, there is always something better tomorrow.



    You may be right but I don't see how you come to such a conclusion.



    Little is known about the expected performance of Nahalem. Some architectural features are known but that's all.



    Actually I think the opposite. I think the Nahalem chips will offer a bigger increase in performance than the die shrink has so far. Going from core duo to core 2 was about a 20% increase in speed, clock for clock.



    But that's only a gut feeling based on the evolution from core duo to core 2 duo.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    rolorolo Posts: 686member
    People are confusing platforms, chipsets, and CPUs. Santa Rosa is a platform and Penryn is a new chip for that platform. Up next for MBs, MBPs and iMacs is a revision to the Santa Rosa platform for use with the new 45nm Penryn CPUs.



    The next logic board update will be Montevina, expected in the second half of this year. A year after that comes Nehalem.



    The updated MacBook Pros will be first out with the updated Santa Rosa logic board and the Penryn CPUs. A bit down the road, this platform will move to MacBooks and iMacs.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rolo View Post


    People are confusing platforms, chipsets, and CPUs. Santa Rosa is a platform and Penryn is a new chip for that platform. Up next for MBs, MBPs and iMacs is a revision to the Santa Rosa platform for use with the new 45nm Penryn CPUs.



    The next logic board update will be Montevina, expected in the second half of this year. A year after that comes Nehalem.



    The updated MacBook Pros will be first out with the updated Santa Rosa logic board and the Penryn CPUs. A bit down the road, this platform will move to MacBooks and iMacs.



    In my experience, iMacs get the CPUs first, thanks to the more lenient heat requirements. However, being the videographer's machine, the MBP gets the new GPUs first.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    Penryn is a much bigger jump over Santa Rosa than Nehalem will be over Penryn. Although Nehalem will move to a smaller die size, the relative performance upgrade will be limited.



    My own belief is that Penryn chips will be superb especially when mated with the Centrino 2 platform Montevina. Wait for Montevina which ships around June. Or just get a new MacBook Pro when they come out.



    Don't wait until 2009, because, as everyone else says, there is always something better tomorrow.



    I really don't think so.

    Montevina (not penryn) is a big update from Santa Rosa. I makes me wonder why so many people are waiting for the 1st wave of penryn MBPs when later this summer much efficient/faster models will certainly be available.



    Nehalem is NOT a shrink in size (like penryn is), It will be still 45nm but it's the architecture that Intel is changing and improving. A lot. In fact the die size will INCREASE a little vs. penryn (because of more integrated "stuff", see below.



    While we don't know much about Nehalem in terms of performance, it is a really new architecture, with integrated memory controller, integrated GPU core on low-end models, faster cpu to chipset communications, multithreading, etc... simplified implementation with most of the time only 2 chips (cpu + i/o hub), means better efficiency, less bottlenecks. Add to that the usual bump in clock for the cpu, RAM, etc... mid-range quads for notebooks (instead of a single expensive high-end cpu).



    Montevina shows the way, with more dedicated models like the small package versions, the 1st quad for mobiles, etc... but nehalem is an important, expected change from Intel.



    Anyway, I don't how long it will last, but Intel's tick/tock approach (shrink/architecture) is well known, is happening as planned, so expect improvements (not only speedbumps) every year, at least until 2011 (sandy bridge).



    BTW, I agree with Rolo on the point that more and more people in this forum don't know what they are talking about, mixing cpus, chipsets, platform, and coming with speculation on speculation over speculation and deciding that they "knew it" or have insider source or whatever. It is getting less and less a friendly exchange of ideas/information/opinions for the last past months...
  • Reply 11 of 33
    You will most likely be waiting until May, 2009, if you want your MacBook to have a Nehalem processor in it if the MacBook keeps its 6-month refresh cycle. Here is how I see it:



    Current - Merom processor (65nm) using Santa Rosa platform

    May 2008 - Penryn processor (45nm) using Santa Rosa platform

    November 2008 - Penryn (45nm) processor using Montevina platform

    May 2009 - Nehalem (45nm) processor using Montevina platform



    Since improvement will come with each processor, chipset, and platform you should go ahead and get the MacBook when it gets updated with the Penryn processor. Who knows, by the time the MacBook ships with a Nehalem processor it might also have a BluRay drive since the format war is over. Microsoft has even stopped shipping HD-DVD players for the XBOX 360.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts View Post


    You will most likely be waiting until May, 2009, if you want your MacBook to have a Nehalem processor in it if the MacBook keeps its 6-month refresh cycle. Here is how I see it:



    Current - Merom processor (65nm) using Santa Rosa platform

    May 2008 - Penryn processor (45nm) using Santa Rosa platform

    November 2008 - Penryn (45nm) processor using Montevina platform

    May 2009 - Nehalem (45nm) processor using Montevina platform



    Since improvement will come with each processor, chipset, and platform you should go ahead and get the MacBook when it gets updated with the Penryn processor. Who knows, by the time the MacBook ships with a Nehalem processor it might also have a BluRay drive since the format war is over. Microsoft has even stopped shipping HD-DVD players for the XBOX 360.



    I see. Is there a big difference between the SR and MV platforms?
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post


    I see. Is there a big difference between the SR and MV platforms?



    Santa Rosa: 800MHz FSB, GMA X3100 video, DDR2-667 memory, ICH8M southbridge



    Montevina: 1066MHz FSB, GMA X4500 video, DDR2-800 memory, ICH9M southbridge
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Im going to wait for Mentevina, the improvements are bound to appear in MacBooks.



    Oh yeah and go for the if you can wait, wait. If you need it, buy it. Philosophy
  • Reply 15 of 33
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    Montevina: 1066MHz FSB, GMA X4500 video, DDR2-800 memory, ICH9M southbridge



    Montevina is going to use DDR3-800, not DDR2-800. DDR3 is more power efficient.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Montevina is going to use DDR3-800, not DDR2-800. DDR3 is more power efficient.



    You are right, partly. It will support both. Up to the manufacturer which gets used.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post


    I have been craving to buy a Macbook since last year and finally I get to buy it on May. But I heard that Intel is releasing Nehalem which is a big leap in chip industry. Now I'm in big dilemma. I am so tempted to buy the Macbook on May yet at the same time I am drawn by Nehalem which is releasing in 2009. What should I do? Buy a Macbook and sell it when Nehalem release? Please kindly give me some opinions. Thanks.\



    If you need or want to buy one now, buy one now. If you want to wait, then wait. \
  • Reply 18 of 33
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    You are right, partly. It will support both. Up to the manufacturer which gets used.



    Do you have a link to support this? The two are obviously different (DDR3 works from a lower voltage and is clocked differently to DDR2) and I don't know if it is possible for a Northbridge to support both types of RAM.



    The Wikipedia article on Montevina claims that "Intel has confirmed they will have RAM support for DDR3-800 in preference to the less power-efficient DDR2-800 SO-DIMM" (emphasis added). However, there is no reference to back this claim up so I don't know how reliable it is.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    The biggest bump is gonna be this fall with Montevina. But if you need a new laptop, the Penryn bump will still be nice in mid-May. If you need it NOW, just get it now. The Macbook is a fine computer, and will still be sufficient in 3-4 years.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Do you have a link to support this? The two are obviously different (DDR3 works from a lower voltage and is clocked differently to DDR2) and I don't know if it is possible for a Northbridge to support both types of RAM.



    The Wikipedia article on Montevina claims that "Intel has confirmed they will have RAM support for DDR3-800 in preference to the less power-efficient DDR2-800 SO-DIMM" (emphasis added). However, there is no reference to back this claim up so I don't know how reliable it is.



    All of Intel's current desktop northbridge chips support both, and the laptop chipsets are just power/heat optimized versions of those. You can even buy motherboards with slots for both (but only use one at a time).



    I don't remember where I read it, but I can't imagine companies putting DDR3 in $400 budget notebooks. Apple will probably use DDR3, if only to increase their markup on RAM.
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