Upcoming Mac Pro, Intel Core i7 Processor Details Leaked

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Date: Tuesday, December 15th, 2009, 09:55
Category: News

intellogo.jpgYou’ve got your road Mac and that’s one thing. It’s the desktops that still rule the day and function as the workhorses when it’s all said and done.

Per HardMac, Intel’s forthcoming “Gulftown” 32nm, six-core processor will be known as the Core i7-980X and could be a part of new Mac Pro systems from Apple in early 2010.

Contrary to earlier reports, the new processors will not adopt the “Core i9″ name, and will allegedly keep the “Core i7″ title, according to sources close to the story. The new processor, code-named “Gulftown” will fall under the i7 “Extreme Edition” category, the first of which will be the i7-980X.

The alleged roadmap from Intel shows that the processor will clock in at 3.33GHz. That chip is expected to arrive in March of 2010, but in the past, Apple has reached exclusive agreements with Intel to be the first to carry its new processors.

Previous reports have suggested that Apple is testing the new Xeon chip, based on the Gulftown architecture, in its Mac Pro desktop. The new processor features more horsepower and lower power consumption, and will be the first dual-socket, six-core processor for Intel.

The new 32 nanometer chips feature 12MB of L3 cache, and six cores with 12 threads for each CPU. Apple usually doubles the processors in its high-end professional workstations, so it’s possible the new Mac Pro system could have a total of 12 cores and 24 threads. The new hardware could be released sometime in the first quarter of 2010.

The most recent refresh to the Mac Pro equipped it with its Nehalem Xeon processors, with a high-end eight-core Mac Pro offering two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 chips. Earlier this month, Apple quietly upgraded that to a potential maximum 2.93GHz eight-core system.

Apple Releases Java for OS X Updates for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6

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Date: Friday, December 4th, 2009, 05:20
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released its Java for OS X Update 6 for the Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 operating systems. The update, which ranges between a 78.9 megabyte download for Mac OS X 10.6 and a 123 megabyte download for Mac OS X 10.5, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Apple Java for OS X 10.5 – Update 6: Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 6 delivers improved compatibility, security, and reliability by updating J2SE 5.0 to 1.5.0_22, and updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_17 for 64-bit capable Intel-based Macs. J2SE 1.4.2 is no longer being updated to fix bugs or security issues and is therefore disabled by default in this update.

- Apple Java for OS X 10.6 – Update 1: Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 1 delivers improved compatibility, security, and reliability by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_17.

As always, the updates can be snagged and installed with Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The updates require Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later (on the 10.5 end) or Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later (on the 10.6 end) to install and run.

Rumor: Intel to Release Three New Arrandale Processors for Notebooks on January 3rd, 2010

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Date: Thursday, December 3rd, 2009, 06:52
Category: News

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It came from Rumorville, but it’s a good rumor, so hang on in there.

Fudzilla is reporting that Intel is planning on launching three Arrandale-based processors on January 3rd, 2010. These Arrandale processors are based on the advanced Nehalem architecture first introduced into desktop Macs earlier this year, and should represent a significant performance improvement over the Core 2 Duo processors that are currently found in Apple’s MacBook Pros.

The new processors will be branded under the “Core i5″ and “Core i7″ names and range from 2.4GHz to 2.66GHz with prices ranging from US$225 to US$332 in quantities of 1,000. Their TDP (thermal design power usage) of 35W as “not so attractive”, as it matches up with the current high-end processors used in the MacBook Pro and implies that Apple could use these processors in a new MacBook Pro update.

These new processors are said to eventually arrive in low-voltage variants that will also make them suitable for ultra-thin notebooks such as the MacBook Air.

Some Users Cite Cracked Screens, “Dead on Arrival” Status for 27″ iMacs

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Date: Tuesday, November 24th, 2009, 06:59
Category: News

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Apple’s newest and snazziest 27″ iMac, complete with a brand new Intel Core i7 processor, has apparently been showing up dead on arrival or with cracked screens for some purchasers.

Per the Apple Discussions Board (1, 2) and Engadget, some users have claimed that the iMac chimes when the power button is pressed, but the screen displays nothing. Various users on Apple’s support forums have expressed frustration that they returned their iMac and are now waiting an estimated two weeks for a replacement machine.

There are also a handful of reports of cracks on the bottom left screen of the new iMac. Various customers stated the box containing their new system arrived in excellent condition, only to remove the packaging and discover the hardware had been damaged. It has led some to speculate that there is a flaw in the current packaging that causes the screen to crack in the bottom left corner.

“There’s no apparent damage to the styrofoam or box so it looks like that’s a weak spot in the screen and how they are being packed in the boxes,” user ‘scopro’ said. “Hopefully Apple will improve their packaging for these larger iMacs as it may take until Dec. 7 for my replacement to arrive.”

The new 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 860 processor-equipped 27″ iMacs are available as a US$200 built-to-order option, which means they are not available in Apple retail stores. Apple also offers a 2.66 GHz Core i5 750 iMac with a suggested retail price of US$1,999. Both quad-core machines began shipping earlier this month and include 8MB of L3 cache.

The newly redesigned iMac includes a large 16:9 screen with a 2560×1440 pixel resolution. It offers a capacity of 16GB of RAM and comes standard with a wireless keyboard and the new Magic Mouse.

If you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Hack Finds Ways to Reenable Atom Processor Support for Mac OS X 10.6.2

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Date: Friday, November 20th, 2009, 06:34
Category: News

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If Apple says you can’t do it, then someone out there will find a way.

Per Macworld, hackers have found a way to circumvent the changes in Mac OS X 10.6.2 to allow the latest upgrade to Apple’s Snow Leopard to run on netbooks with Intel Atom processors. When Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.2 earlier this month, Intel Atom support was missing from the release. Though no Apple-sanctioned hardware uses the Atom processor, some low-cost netbook users would use the hack to install Mac OS X on their systems.

The hack applies only to a select number of “Hackintosh” users, as not all who install Mac OS X on unauthorized machines use netbooks with Intel Atom processors. Atom is a low-voltage microprocessor used in inexpensive portable computers.

According to MacWorld, support for Mac OS X 10.6.2 has been brought to the Atom processor thanks to a complicated hack that requires use of the Terminal and replacing the kernel of the operating system.

As developer builds of Mac OS X 10.6.2 were released, the status of Atom support fluctuated, leaving hackers wondering Apple’s purpose.

For those of you willing to tear your Mac OS X kernel apart and spend a considerable amount of time in the Terminal program, go to this Insanelymac forum thread and follow the directions to the letter to reenable Atom support for Mac OS X 10.6.2 on your Atom-based netbook.

And please don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Still unknown is whether Apple actually had any intent in disabling Atom processor support. It’s possible the situation could be much like the cat-and-mouse game with Palm, where Apple released minor updates to iTunes that served only to break compatibility with the Pre smartphone. Or, since Apple likely does not test its software on products it does not ship, the Cupertino, Calif., company may have accidentally broken compatibility with Atom processors.

Intel Atom Processor Support Missing From Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update

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Date: Tuesday, November 10th, 2009, 05:55
Category: News, Processors

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As much as the Hackintosh community may love Mac OS X, Apple doesn’t always love them back.

Per OSXDaily, support for Intel’s Atom processor is confirmed to be missing in the final release of 10.6.2.

Apple’s latest update for Snow Leopard has broken support for Intel’s Atom processor line. Mac OS X 10.6.2 was released Monday afternoon, and was Apple’s second major update for Snow Leopard.

OSXDaily reported that various netbook and “hackintosh” forums are “blowing up with problems of 10.6.2 instant rebooting their Atom-based notebooks.” Systems using the Atom processor will go into a startup-loop if the 10.6.2 update is installed.

Support for Atom fluctuated over the course of 10.6.2 development, and Apple was mum about the subject.

It is recommended that anyone using OS X on Atom-based systems should not install the update. Many believe that a community-generated fix will be developed soon. Prominent hackintosh blogger StellaRola commented, “Just an FYI, this is OSx86 after all and none of the scenes hackers really let down on support. The latest kernel may not be “officially” supported but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a modded kernel around the corner.”

Intel’s Atom processor is a low-cost, low-power chip intended for notebooks, netbooks and ultra-mobile PCs. Although current Apple products do not sport the Atom chips, a dedicated community has formed around the practice of installing Snow Leopard on Atom netbooks.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.5.4 Update

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Date: Wednesday, October 28th, 2009, 07:09
Category: Software

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Early Thursday, Mozilla.org released version 3.5.4 of its Firefox web browser.
The new version, a 17.7 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed several security issues.
- Fixed several stability issues.
- Added the ability to re-submit crash reports (bug 378528).
- After using Clear Recent History some SSL sites would not load all images and styles without pressing reload (see bug 480619).

Firefox 3.5.4 is available in more than 70 different languages and requires a G3, G4, G5 or Intel-based Mac, Mac OS X 10.4 or later and 128MB of RAM to install and run.

If you’ve snagged the new version and have any feedback to offer about it, let us know in the comments.

Intel Working on Apple’s “Light Peak” Brainchild to Eventually Replace Multiple Connection Cables

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Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, 04:10
Category: Hardware, News

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Ok, this is interesting. A new interconnect technology called Light Peak is being developed by Apple as a potential replacement for FireWire, USB and traditional monitor cables. Engadget reports that Apple brought the technology to Intel and asked them to create it.

Per Engadget, Apple had reached out to Intel as early as 2007 with plans for an interoperable standard which could handle massive amounts of data and “replace the multitudinous connector types with a single connector (FireWire, USB, Display interface).”

According to documents reviewed by Engadget, Light Peak would enable users to connect a variety of devices into a single Light Peak port. Longer-term, Light Peak has the potential to replace almost all the ports that are on your current computer, including networking, display driving, and general connectivity.

The technology is centered around fiber optics capable of transferring data at 10Gbps . At this speed, you could transfer a full-length Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds. According to Intel, Light Peak can scale to 100Gbps over the next decade and has a number of other benefits.

Optical technology also allows for smaller connectors and longer, thinner, and more flexible cables than currently possible. Light Peak also has the ability to run multiple protocols simultaneously over a single cable, enabling the technology to connect devices such as peripherals, workstations, displays, disk drives, docking stations, and more. The technology is faster than the recently ratified SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) which can transfer data at 4.8Gbps and could wind up in Apple systems as soon as Fall 2010 in a line of Macs destined for back-to-school shoppers. Following the initial launch, a low-power version of Light Peak is planned for 2011, which could find its way into tablets and mobile phones.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, take a gander at the video from the lab…



Apple Releases Aperture 2.1.4 Update

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Date: Friday, August 28th, 2009, 03:34
Category: Software

aperture

Late Thursday, Apple released Aperture 2.1.4, the latest version of the company’s professional image editing application. The new version, which can be downloaded here or via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, boasts the following fixes and changes:
- Addresses general compatibility, improves overall stability and fixes a number of issues involving import, web publishing, and the creation and ordering of books.

Aperture 2.1.4 retails for US$199.00 requires the following specifications to install and run:
- 1.25 GHz G4, G5 or Intel-based processor
- 1.5 GB of RAM
- Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.

Apple May Overhaul Entry-Level Polycarbonate MacBook Models

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Date: Wednesday, August 26th, 2009, 03:43
Category: MacBook, Rumor

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Until recently rumored to be headed for the scrap pile, Apple’s entry-level polycarbonate MacBook notebooks may be on the verge of a refresh according to AppleInsider.

Per sources close to the story, Apple is said to be running the 13″ notebooks through an industrial design overhaul that will see them reemerge in the coming months with a slimmer, lighter enclosure and restructured internal architecture to boot.

It’ll be the first time in more than three years that the plastic Mac notebooks will receive a visual tune-up. Introduced in May of 2006, the white and black systems replaced the PowerPC-based iBook and 12-inch PowerBook as part of Apple’s transition to Intel processors and quickly became the best selling Mac of all time, according to statistics from NPD Group.

The MacBook notebooks were also among the first Macs to adopt Apple’s MagSafe power connector while pioneering several other features that would become staples of future Mac notebook designs, such as shrunken soft-touch keyboards, glossy displays, and a non-mechanical magnetic latches (see: Magnet madness to hit Intel iBook line – Feb 2006).

Earlier this spring, Apple restructured its notebook offerings by repositioning its aluminum unibody MacBooks as premium offerings under the MacBook Pro moniker, adding long-requested features such as FireWire and higher-quality displays. This left the company with just a single MacBook offering, a white polycarbonate model that retails for US$999 but sticks out like a sore thumb when positioned alongside its peers.

Interestingly, sales of the sub-US$1000 system have remained surprisingly brisk amid the economic crunch, leaving management little choice but to allocate R&D expenses in its favor. As of press time, Apple’s online store indicates that the white MacBook is outselling all other Macs with the exception of the iMac, while similar rankings from high-volume resellers like MacMall also consistently place it in the top 10 best selling Apple-related products overall, ahead of all desktop-based Macs.

While it’s unclear how many models or configurations Apple will introduce as part the redesign, Ben Reitzes — an analyst with Barclays Capital who’s been following the Mac maker for years — sees the company offering several, at various price points.

“We [...] believe the MacBook line needs to be revamped (there is only one MacBook available now, an old white model) and that we could see a lower priced line soon, positioned below the new MacBook Pro models,” he said.

Though details are few and far between, Apple is expected to achieve these markdowns through largely existing tactics, such as using lower-end components and previous-generation Core 2 Duo chips and architectures from Intel. Battery life should receive a boost from cutting-edge technology that recently found its way into the company’s other notebook offerings, while high-end legacy features like FireWire connectivity are likely to be sacrificed in the tradeoff.

Apple’s new line of low-end MacBooks could be viewed as the last piece to the puzzle in Apple’s top-to-bottom line of product offerings, transitioning the company from a premium PC and phone manufacturer to one that offers truly competitive prices on products in both categories.