Intel to launch Calpella with quad-core notebook chips in Q3

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Intel still plans to launch its next-generation Calpella notebook platform, expected to find its way into Apple's MacBook lines, sometime in the the third quarter of this year, according to a new report.



Citing its usual "sources at notebook makers," DigiTimes claims the chipmaker recently outlined its notebook plans for the remainder of the year to its partners. The plans were broken down by the nicknames Intel has given to its various mobile platforms and theretail price segments they're expected to target.



Of interest to Apple followers is Calpella, Intel's Nehalem-based, sixth-generation Centrino platform for mainstream performance notebook PCs and the successor to the Montevina platform found, in part, in the current line of MacBooks and MacBook Pros. It will reportedly target 14-, 15-, 17-, and 18-inch notebooks that will retail for prices above $1,200.



There had been rumors that Intel would be forced to delay Calpella until late October at the earliest so that its manufacturing partners could clear inventories of existing chips that have piled up due to the poor economy. However, Tuesday's report claims the Santa Clara-based firm remains committed to a third-quarter launch, which would see the platform come to market in some capacity by the end of September.



While Intel hasn't gone on record to talk about Calpella's family of microprocessors, rumors suggest the platform will initially launch with three 45-nanometer quad-core "Clarksfield" chips: a 1.6GHz Core 2 Quad P1, a 1.73GHz Core 2 Quad P2, and a 2.0GHz Core 2 Extreme XE. The chips are expected to retail in lots of 1000 for $364, $546, and $1,054, respectively. Each is expected to sport an 8MB Level 3 cache except the 1.6GHz model, which will reportedly have a 6MB Level 3 cache.



Based on what Apple is believed to pay Intel for chips in its current MacBook Pros, the Mac maker would be most likely to adopt the 1.6GHz and 1.73GHz variants for its professional notebook line if it were to use any of the quad-core chips. Intel will follow up the release of Clarksfield with "Arrandale" 32-nm dual-core chips sometime in the first half of 2010, which will sport higher clock speeds and could play to the 13-inch MacBook line. Arrandale chips could also be used in the MacBook Pro line if Apple forgoes adoption of the first round of quad-core Clarksfield chips.



Intel's rumored initial Clarksfield lineup of quad-core mobile chips under the Calpella platform.



Here's what Apple paid (estimated) for its MacBook Pro chips prior to swapping out the 2.53GHz chip with a 2.66GHz chip.



Still, as AppleInsider noted in its report on the expected release of more affordable Macs, Apple should be afforded the option of tweaking its notebook lines as early as this spring if it so chooses. Arriving a few months ahead of Calpella and Clarksfield will be a refresh to Intel's current Montevina notebook platform that will introduce a T9900 3.06GHz chip and P8800 2.66GHz chip alongside price cuts to existing models.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    amac4meamac4me Posts: 282member
    Great, this would line up with my plans to replace my Early 2008 MBP with a new model in early 2010. I'd love to have a new machine for Snow Leopard ... quad core would be ideal
  • Reply 2 of 64
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Eh... they swapped out a chip with less TDP for one with more just to save $32? That sucks for decreased battery life!
  • Reply 3 of 64
    shadowshadow Posts: 373member
    I am not sure SL will compensate for the clock speed drop for the majority of the apps. Not Photoshop and Lightroom for sure. Let's hope for Aperture...



    Apple may skip this round.
  • Reply 4 of 64
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quad core is a bit more complicated here. I wonder if Apple would bother, they don't seem to like introducing any complexities beyond a certain level, even if the pro market can handle it.
  • Reply 5 of 64
    hattighattig Posts: 858member
    Slow Quad Core or Fast Dual Core?



    This is a really tough decision to make one way or the other for Apple.



    Apple could be selling 3GHz dual core Core 2 Duos very soon in the Macbook Pro. For non-multithreaded applications these will far outperform a 1.73GHz core, even if that core is slightly better per clock than Core 2 Duo (probably around a 2GHz Core 2 Duo core).



    Also the chipset will be different - it isn't a matter of offering two options on the same motherboard - fast dual core or slow quad core, depending on what the user wants.



    More multithreaded applications, the quad core will be lovely. Apple might go this route just to show off about Snow Leopard. They might keep the current Macbook Pro around as well with the faster Core 2 Duo + NVIDIA 9400M for people that want that.
  • Reply 6 of 64
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Does anyone know if these chips have the turbo boost feature?



    That might compensate for apps that aren't able to use all cores.



    Still those clock speeds are pretty low.
  • Reply 7 of 64
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    How does Grand Central factor into this? Isn't that supposed to use the extra cores for more speed, even in apps that don't normally take advantage of the extra cores?
  • Reply 8 of 64
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    How does Grand Central factor into this? Isn't that supposed to use the extra cores for more speed, even in apps that don't normally take advantage of the extra cores?





    IIRC, no apps have to be written to take advantage of GC.
  • Reply 9 of 64
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    How does Grand Central factor into this? Isn't that supposed to use the extra cores for more speed, even in apps that don't normally take advantage of the extra cores?



    Even if no apps explicitly take advantage of GC the system will still perform better because GC sits above the kernel and enhances the multitasking of all processes running.



    A lot of performance issues can be traced back to a slow and inefficient kernal.



    Clarksfield will not only be a laptop proc but these could also end up in the iMac.

    Personally I'm in the mode of you want more cores even if they run slower. I mean how long have vendors failed to educate the public on the myth of megahertz? You can have a processor that's 3Ghz dual core but it's still going to hit the wall when memory bandwidth or the pipelines are full.



    You will likely be totally happy with a 1.73Ghz Clarksfield Macbook Pro running an Intel or equivalent SSD and Snow Leopard.
  • Reply 10 of 64
    ulfoafulfoaf Posts: 175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Even if no apps explicitly take advantage of GC the system will still perform better because GC sits above the kernel and enhances the multitasking of all processes running.



    A lot of performance issues can be traced back to a slow and inefficient kernal.



    Clarksfield will not only be a laptop proc but these could also end up in the iMac.

    Personally I'm in the mode of you want more cores even if they run slower. I mean how long have vendors failed to educate the public on the myth of megahertz? You can have a processor that's 3Ghz dual core but it's still going to hit the wall when memory bandwidth or the pipelines are full.



    You will likely be totally happy with a 1.73Ghz Clarksfield Macbook Pro running an Intel or equivalent SSD and Snow Leopard.



    I need a new machine and want an 24" iMac. I plan on waiting for quad core and Snow Leopard. I sure hope both are available by fall.
  • Reply 11 of 64
    I think that using the Core 2 brand for these chips is fishy. The Clarksdale CPU is based on Core i7 architecture, so why use the Core 2 brand designation? I think that at 45nm the core i7 architecture makes for a god-awful mobile chip, that's why the clock speed is so low, to keep the power/thermal specifications in check. They don't want to launch these lemons under a new Core i7M brand.



    If Apple uses this chips, I will wait to see what the 32nm versions are like before I upgrade. I have been fooled by Intel before with lemons such as this....
  • Reply 12 of 64
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEAMSWITCHER View Post


    I think that using the Core 2 brand for these chips is fishy. The Clarksdale CPU is based on Core i7 architecture, so why use the Core 2 brand designation? I think that at 45nm the core i7 architecture makes for a god-awful mobile chip, that's why the clock speed is so low, to keep the power/thermal specifications in check. They don't want to launch these lemons under a new Core i7M brand.



    If Apple uses this chips, I will wait to see what the 32nm versions are like before I upgrade. I have been fooled by Intel before with lemons such as this....



    There's no such thing as Core i7 architecture. Both chips are based on Nehalem Architectecture. Core i7 is simply the enthusiast model that supports triple channel memory, lacksPCI-Express support ondie and has a much larger die size.



    Intel will be sticking with "Core" branding for Nehalem



    I'd rather have Apple redesign the imac to look beefier and more menacing and support a 95W Lynnfield processor. If I have a computer on my desktop then I want desktop performance.
  • Reply 13 of 64
    I too find that the clock speeds of Clarksdale are too low. It's basically a no brainer to go for a quad core if it's clock speed is only a bit lower than a dual core, but 40% slower is significant. For people using multithreaded applications than Clarksfield will be great. But I'm betting the average user who mainly surfs, plays music and movies, does office work, some light multimedia editting, and plays games will find the new low-clockspeed Clarksfield slower than a high-clock speed Penryn, especially if Apple has a spring refresh to 3.06GHz. Perhaps they won't do the Penryn refresh for precisely this reason.
  • Reply 14 of 64
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    I too find that the clock speeds of Clarksdale are too low. It's basically a no brainer to go for a quad core if it's clock speed is only a bit lower than a dual core, but 40% slower is significant. For people using multithreaded applications than Clarksfield will be great. But I'm betting the average user who mainly surfs, plays music and movies, does office work, some light multimedia editting, and plays games will find the new low-clockspeed Clarksfield slower than a high-clock speed Penryn, especially if Apple has a spring refresh to 3.06GHz. Perhaps they won't do the Penryn refresh for precisely this reason.



    Yes the clock differences don't matter as much for a laptop but for a desktop they are too low and too expensive. Lynnfield will but higher end 2Ghz chips yet they will be affordable for the most part.



    All Apple needs to do is back away from highlighting form or function and thicken the iMac up a bit. If its sitting on my desk ...I don't need it to be wafer thin.



    My ideal iMac would be a thicker chassis with easy to access RAM and HDD bays. I'd like two 2.5" bays rather than one 3.5" bay.



    Macbook Pro would do just fine with slower clocked Quad Core chips as the tradeoff is more power in a lower power envelope.



    Crossing my fingers but I don't have much faith in Apple breaking their current pathological "thin is everything" mantra.
  • Reply 15 of 64
    I have 2007 SB MBP, and max out my RAM to 4GB, and HDD twice, 1st to 200GB and then to 320GB 16MB Cache 72K RPM.



    My next MBP it'll be a new Alum MBP. However, not this year (2009) neither (2010).



    More likely in 2011 and Apple introduce next gen of MAC OSX 10.7 taking advantage from Intel's Sandy Bridge platform.



    There are lots of feature that Sandy Bridge would make a good use of Multiple-Core with improved power management, running much cooler than today's Dual-Core Penryn on Montevina Platform.



    I've read that Intel would focus on the connections of the CPU cores, if I'm not mistaken, it'll be the 1st gen of inter-connected multiple and scalable core, something like our Neuron... Freaking! Reminds me of the CPU chip from Terminator.



    I can't wait to see this platform running at 8GB or 16GB RAM.
  • Reply 16 of 64
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member
    Where does that leave the iMac? 2GHz sounds a bit low for a desktop (for $ 1,000).

    After Apple skimped on the Quad Core 2 Duos I thought that they would use the mobile Nehalem variant.

    But at this speed and THIS price it doesn'd sound likely.
  • Reply 17 of 64
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    I love the idea of an 18" macbook pro. Give me the option of a blu-ray burner & I will replace my

    1.67ghz powerbook on day 1.
  • Reply 18 of 64
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Yes the clock differences don't matter as much for a laptop but for a desktop they are too low and too expensive. Lynnfield will but higher end 2Ghz chips yet they will be affordable for the most part.



    All Apple needs to do is back away from highlighting form or function and thicken the iMac up a bit. If its sitting on my desk ...I don't need it to be wafer thin.



    My ideal iMac would be a thicker chassis with easy to access RAM and HDD bays. I'd like two 2.5" bays rather than one 3.5" bay.



    Macbook Pro would do just fine with slower clocked Quad Core chips as the tradeoff is more power in a lower power envelope.



    Crossing my fingers but I don't have much faith in Apple breaking their current pathological "thin is everything" mantra.



    I don't know why you, and a few others here think that the thin thing is just Apple.



    It's everywhere.



    People want thin. It's pretty simple. From phones, laptops, to book readers, to monitors, to Tv's, to watches, to just about anything.



    Apple is just feeding what people want. Most people would rather have a desktop AIO that's a half inch thinner than 20% faster. That's just the way people are, and manufacturers know it. Otherwise, why would Sony make an 11" OLED Tv that' got a 4 mm thin screen, but a big brick box of electronics on the bottom? It's because people want a thinner screen. Why would other Tv manufacturers show OLED prototype models that are 32" dia, but 6mm deep? Because that's what people want.



    Right now, MS is preying on the idea that portable Macs aren't as powerful as portable PCs, and they may be scoring points. But when most people go into a store to buy a computer they rarely even know about speed, and just want to know if the machine will do what they want it to. These days, like with any other thing they buy, they also want to see how good it will look in their living room. And for that, they want it to be as thin as possible.
  • Reply 19 of 64
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    That must explain why computers in ATX cases are the dominant form factor <tsk tsk>



    People buy thin iMacs because that's what they've been presented with for Apple desktops and in turn they buy boxy ATX cases for PC because that's largely what they've been presented with.



    I don't have a proble, with either form factor "until" it begins to hamper sound design.



    Intel desktops are efficient but the fact is even with a 45nm process you're going to have 95 watt CPU. The iMac's current case cannot accomodate this and thus needs to be changed.
  • Reply 20 of 64
    istinkistink Posts: 250member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I don't know why you, and a few others here think that the thin thing is just Apple.



    It's everywhere.



    People want thin. It's pretty simple. From phones, laptops, to book readers, to monitors, to Tv's, to watches, to just about anything.



    Apple is just feeding what people want. Most people would rather have a desktop AIO that's a half inch thinner than 20% faster. That's just the way people are, and manufacturers know it. Otherwise, why would Sony make an 11" OLED Tv that' got a 4 mm thin screen, but a big brick box of electronics on the bottom? It's because people want a thinner screen. Why would other Tv manufacturers show OLED prototype models that are 32" dia, but 6mm deep? Because that's what people want.



    Right now, MS is preying on the idea that portable Macs aren't as powerful as portable PCs, and they may be scoring points. But when most people go into a store to buy a computer they rarely even know about speed, and just want to know if the machine will do what they want it to. These days, like with any other thing they buy, they also want to see how good it will look in their living room. And for that, they want it to be as thin as possible.



    I don't understand the thin tv thing. I mean, my family has a 52" samsung, and it's probably what, like 3-4 inches thick? We wouldn't know any better if it was .000001 inches thick! We're looking at the front, not the side lol.



    When it comes to laptops, thin is better because lighter is better. But then again, if a laptop twice as thick as the mbp weighed half as much, people would suspect it was cheap as crap. Remember in jurassic park? "Is it heavy?" "Yes" "Then it's expensive, put it back!"
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