Intel iMacs have Socketed CPUs

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2006, 10:09
Category: Intel

intel-core-duo-chip.jpgOne of the most exciting developments in the announcement of the Intel Core Duo iMac (and it’s subsequent dissection) is that the CPU is socketed. This means that it isn’t soldered to the logic board like most Macintosh CPUs have been for years and can be upgraded.
In an article in the Japanese magazine MacFan a reader claims to have upgraded the processor in a 17-inch Intel iMac from 1.83GHz to 2.0GHz without issue.
Although it’s not yet cost effective to upgrade (the 2GHz T2500 chip costs over US$700 and the 2.16GHz T2600 chip costs almost US$800) it looks promising that Mac users will finally be able to buy CPU upgrades in the future.
The real question is whether or not the MacBook Pro will also ship with a socketed CPU? Please Apple, tell us it’s true!

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Intel Mac Benchmarks Suspect

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 10:09
Category: Intel

snail-inside.jpgI, probably like you, couldn’t re-load the Apple Store fast enough to place my order for a MacBook Pro after they were announced on 10 January 2006. But I have to admit to being concerned about the spate of reports that the Intel iMacs aren’t benchmarking anywhere near the advertised “twice as fast” promised by Apple.
A story on Gizmodo (via RegHardware and Macworld) claims that the new Intel iMacs are only about 25% faster than the G5 version when running non-native applications in the Rosetta emulator.
So does this mean that the MacBook Pro will only be 50% faster? Please, Steve, say it ain’t so! If the new MacBook’s aren’t anywhere near the “two to four times faster” than the PowerBook G4 (running native apps), be prepared for an angry mob of Macophiles with sticks and torches to march on Cupertino. And if the MBP battery won’t get through a full-length DVD on a charge matters will be even worse.

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Apple in the Way (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 20th, 2006, 11:34
Category: Intel

It looks like my suspicions were correct, Apple didn’t put the Compatibility Support Module (CSM) into the final firmware for the iMac. If I had to suspect reasons why, it was probably to motivate Microsoft to continue supporting Mac versions of Office, and give them a market for Virtual PC.
Without CSM, the only future OS that’s going to run is Vista, and not until Beta 2 goes GM (EFI support is in the feature set, but the bootloader won’t have it until the last minute… if not later). The good news is that if Vista stays on-track, it should make it out about when MacBook Pros start arriving.
But, that said, Apple is clearly standing in the way of running Windows, Linux, or anything other than Mac OS on a Mac. There is no technical reason CSM cannot be in the firmware, and, Intel has said very publicly all Intel Chipset manufacturers (including Apple) have free access to CSM, and Intel will even custom-build CSM for a developer licensing a chipset.
Contributed by: Christopher Price.
UPDATE:
From the EFI Framework FAQ:
What is the Intel Platform Innovation Framework for EFI?
The Intel Platform Innovation Framework for EFI is new software code that allows BIOS vendors to replace the obsolete PC BIOS. It implements the EFI 1.1 interface. It provides the ability to add new features to the pre-boot environment, such as improved platform manageability, serviceability and recovery and improved administrative interfaces, which previously could not operate in the pre-boot environment. The Framework is a product-strength implementation of EFI that is an all-new firmware implementation for platforms all the way down to silicon. The Intel Platform Innovation Framework for EFI, the name of the product, is now Intel’s recommended implementation of the EFI Specification across all Intel Architectures.
Read more about the EFI Framework in this Intel FAQ.

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Core Duo and Battery Consumption

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, 23:57
Category: Intel

intel-core-duo-logo.gifFrom a mailing list posting by Jason Watkins, SAS Computing:

Here are some facts about “Core Duo” that may shed some light on the questions of battery consumption in the new MacBook Pro laptops.
“Yonah,” the code-name that Core Duo previously went under, features 151 million transistors on a single die, dual core chip. Each core is equipped with 2MB of L2 “smart” caches, which can be combined when only one core is in use (4MB L2 Cache!). To preserve processing efficiency, both of the core’s L1 cache is kept full of data, regardless of core usage.
Bus speeds range from 533MHz to 667MHz. Power consumption is said to be equal to its predecessor, Pentium M. Intel plans to close the book on the Pentium M, following the release of Core Duo processors. Data is moved in and out of the cores as quickly as possible, and L2 is then flushed to RAM. After that the cores can be shut down, saving power. Will we need RAM defragmenting utilities now?
Information was obtained from Intel, and Maximum PC Magazine.

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Apple Commercial Controversy: Round II (Updated 2x)

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, 13:00
Category: Intel

apple-plagiarism.jpgThe Spunker has a blog entry calling out Apple for their latest television commerical. Apparently the new TV ad is almost an exact copy of a music video by The Postal Service for their song “Such Great Heights.”
Check out this video of the Apple television commercial side-by-side with The Postal Service video. (Thanks J. Haas)
UPDATE:
Leander Kahney, Mac fanatic and author of Cult of Mac and Cult of iPod, has been tracking this issue over at his blog, Cult of Mac and has determined that the Apple commercial and music video were directed by the same people. Case closed.

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Battery Life: Other Intel Core Duo Notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 13th, 2006, 11:38
Category: Intel

intel-core-duo-logo.gif
More insight on the potential battery run time of the MacBook Pro can be gleaned by looking at the specs of other notebooks using the Intel Core Duo processor.
According to PowerPage reader Brad Laue, the Acer TravelMate 8200 with similar specifications (Intel Core Duo 2.0GHz CPU, Radeon X1600, 1GB DDR2 667, 160GB SATA 5400RPM, 15.4 WSXGA+ screen) has an advertised runtime of approximately 6 hours when CPU performance is set to the Mac OS X equivalent of ‘automatic’ (CPU frequency scaling during idle).
You can review the specs on other notebooks with the Intel Core Duo chip by searching on NotebookReview:
– Acer TravelMate 8200
– Dell Inspiron e1705 Intel Core Duo
– Dell XPS M2010 – Mobile Concept PC
– HP dv1000t
– Compaq v2000t
– Toshiba Qosmio G30/596LS
– Dynabook VX/780LS, SS SX
– Gateway NX860, M685-E, NX560 and M465-E
– Fujitsu LifeBook N6410 and E8110
– Sony VAIO FE and SZ Notebooks
– Lenovo ThinkPad T60
What other Core Duo notebooks are out there? What are the battery run time specs you’re seeing?

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Apple's Double Standard on Benchmarking

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 2006, 22:57
Category: Intel

When Apple tried to prove that G5 was better than Intel, they used a generic non-optimised GCC compiler for the Intel machine. This time, they used an optimised Intel compiler to prove that Intel is better than the G5. How quickly we forget!
Read the full article at ExtremeTech.com. (Thanks Digg).

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Intel's Yonah Processor to Take the Stage in SF

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 13th, 2005, 07:15
Category: Intel

MacRumors recently posted this entry about Intel’s impending announcement of their new low-power portable CPU (code-named “Yonah”) that will be the heart of the 2006 iBooks and PowerBooks:

CoolTechZone claims to have insider knowledge of Intel’s official launch date of the newest processor from Intel — codenamed Yonah.
Intel’s Yonah is a dual-core chip based on the 65nm fabrication process. Yonah will also mark the first launch with Intel’s new strategy in place – performance per watt. The debut is expected on January 6th, 2006.

Hmm, does that date sound familiar? It should because it’s three days before the start of Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Click through to MacRumors for the links.

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Intel Starts an 'Apple Group'

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005, 10:27
Category: Intel

intel-inside-apple.jpgAn article from eWEEK Intel Starts an ‘Apple Group’ indicates that Intel is taking this Apple thing seriously. This is probably the best indicator yet that Apple will introduce Intel-driven Macs sooner rather than later:

Industry analysts and others have confirmed that Intel Corp. has formed an internal “Apple group.” This group, formed in the wake of Apple Computer Inc.’s decision to base its next generation of Macintosh computers on Intel processors, is comprised of engineers and sales staff.
Intel has similar groups for other large clients such as Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard. Specifics on the Apple group are sparse, however.

(Contributed by Walt Atwood)

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Intel iBooks in January

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, November 20th, 2005, 21:15
Category: Intel

Think Secret is reporting that Apple is prepping new Intel-based iBooks for January.

It is not known exactly what processors or price points the new models will debut at, but it is thought Apple will expand the iBook line with one additional model and will lower prices-in some cases possibly $200 or more-to entice current Windows users and prove to the market it will be more competitive with the likes of Dell, Gateway, HP and Sony.

It blows me away that Apple would consider giving the iBook the “Intel treatment” before their bread-and-butter PowerBook—and at a price drop no less! This goes against everything that Apple has done in the past. They usually reserve the fastest chips for their high margin and most expensive machines, like the PowerMac G5. Why on earth would they Intel the iBook first? If true, the PowerBook would essentially become the bottom of the product line, which would be a shame.

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