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MacRumors
Jan 9, 2008, 05:50 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Anandtech offers (http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3195&p=1) a direct comparison between the existing Merom processors that currently power the MacBook Pro line, and the just-released Mobile Penryn processors (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/07/intel-launches-penryn-mobile-processors/). Apple is rumored to be working on MacBook Pro revisions as early as Macworld Expo next week that use these new Intel processors.

Anandtech was able to provide a direct comparison between the two processors:
Intel sent us two Dell Latitude D630 notebooks, identically configured, with one variable: the CPU. In one D630, we had a Core 2 Duo T7800, which is a Merom based chip running at 2.6GHz with an 800MHz FSB and a 4MB L2 cache. The other D630 came equipped with a new 45nm Core 2 Duo T9500, also running at 2.6GHz/800MHz but with a larger 6MB L2 cache.

With just the processor change alone, the new Penryn laptop offered 5-10% more battery life on their benchmarks. Meanwhile, the new processor saw 1 - 8% speed boosts on common tasks, and up to 40% improvements in applications that support the SSE4 instruction set.

Apple's MacBook Pro is currently available in 2.2GHz, 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz speeds. The last major revision of the MacBook Pro was in June (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/05/apple-releases-new-macbook-pros-with-santa-rosa/) of 2007.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/09/real-life-mobile-penryn-vs-merom-benchmarks/)



CWallace
Jan 9, 2008, 05:51 PM
Here is hoping new MacBook Pros at Mac World, followed by new MacBooks and iMacs next summer.

Here is also hoping Photoshop adds SSE4 support for common filters.

InkMaster
Jan 9, 2008, 05:51 PM
40%? drool :p

thejadedmonkey
Jan 9, 2008, 06:00 PM
10% on 3 hours.. not shabby.

Rocketman
Jan 9, 2008, 06:03 PM
To me this chip revision is more about the 45 nm technology, with its associated chemistry change, and an incremental improvement in power management, and the SSE4 language for bleeding edge apps, which do not effect most people, are the geek-kicker. Pro apps.

The notable thing beside better power usage is far better likelihood of deeper back-end price drops due to far smaller die sizes. Given Apple uses long term supply agreements with back end discounts, this product was designed more for manufacturability than even for features, which are strong enough indeed.

Apple is winning the vendor-supplier game, and Intel is reaping the benefits.

Rocketman

swordfish5736
Jan 9, 2008, 06:07 PM
now im no expert but werent the macbook pro's updated to santa rosa chips in june? or is merom another name for santa rosa.


http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/05/apple-releases-new-macbook-pros-with-santa-rosa/

pianoplayer1
Jan 9, 2008, 06:11 PM
yea santa rosa is a subgroup of the merom processors.

Penryn is a new 45nm chip.

swordfish5736
Jan 9, 2008, 06:13 PM
yea santa rosa is a subgroup of the merom processors.

Penryn is a new 45nm chip.

i know what penry is. Though santa rosa chips are already 45nm and use the high k method that im guessing was carried over to penry as well

amac4me
Jan 9, 2008, 06:21 PM
Nice improvement on battery life.

rikers_mailbox
Jan 9, 2008, 06:21 PM
What OS? Windows Vista I presume?
Is Vista fully 64bit?
Is Vista optimized to handle multiple processors/cores?
Can it throttle processor utilization and power consumption?

Sorry, I'm fulla questions and sorta feel like 10.5.2 will address some of these issues.
Penryns will show even better improvement with OS X.

David G.
Jan 9, 2008, 06:22 PM
Meanwhile, the new processor saw... 40% improvements in applications that support the SSE4 instruction set.

What applications/types of applications take advantage of this?

Dreamer2go
Jan 9, 2008, 06:24 PM
i know what penry is. Though santa rosa chips are already 45nm and use the high k method that im guessing was carried over to penry as well

nope
merom processors in the santa rosa platform is using 65 nm, not 45nm

CWallace
Jan 9, 2008, 06:25 PM
What OS? Windows Vista I presume?

Yes.


Is Vista fully 64bit?

Yes.

Is Vista optimized to handle multiple processors/cores?

Yes.

Can it throttle processor utilization and power consumption?

Not sure if it does it on it's own or if it interfaces with SpeedStep on the CPU, but it does do it.


Mind you, I still am not impressed with Vista even on 8-cores with 4GB, but I was running the 32-bit Vista edition.

Stridder44
Jan 9, 2008, 06:38 PM
OK, so...

>45nm chips means less heat yes (among other things)?

>What would take advantage of SSE4?

ChrisA
Jan 9, 2008, 06:43 PM
What applications/types of application take advantage of this?

The SSE instructions are of most use to software that process large streams of audio or video media. Doing things like changing color spaces, scaling pixels or encoding a ripped CD to MP3

Apple might modify Core Image or other "core" libraries to use SSE4 and then software that uses these libraries would be able to take advantage without need to be changed. Right now I think Apple is the biggest user of these libraries with programs such as Preview, iPhoto, Aperture Garage Band and so on. I think Adobe uses their own image processing code.

Use of SSE4 in software would have to wait until the SSE4 hardware is widely available or else how could Apple run a beta test?

bobcb
Jan 9, 2008, 06:44 PM
What applications/types of application take advantage of this?

So far the benchmark Intel provided Anand for that article, although it can be assumed more will

mattvolp
Jan 9, 2008, 06:45 PM
"...40% improvements in applications that support the SSE4 instruction set."

Damn. That's not bad. Wait, what's SSE4 Instruction set?

mattvolp
Jan 9, 2008, 06:45 PM
Oh, my bad, just read all the posts. Wednesday hump!

theLimit
Jan 9, 2008, 06:56 PM
What kind of battery is in those Dells?!
4.5 to 7 hours of run time seems like a dream!

theman
Jan 9, 2008, 07:05 PM
10% on 3 hours.. not shabby.

3 hours... I get 5.

Bradley W
Jan 9, 2008, 07:05 PM
_

bobcb
Jan 9, 2008, 07:12 PM
I think it's cool but everyone needs to set realistic expectations for something like SSE4.

1. It will take a while (a good long while for some) apps to get recompiled with this support. And many will never get it for assorted reasons.

2. You can't rebuild an entire OS around a new instruction set, so see #1 when considering impact on OS X. Some parts will get a boost, many won't.

I only post this because I was on another forum and apparently SSE4 cures you male pattern baldness, improves your gas mileage, pleasures our woman while you are at work and prevents dandelions in addition to speeding up some instructions.

That said, I'll take any boost I can get so those who held out for Penryn get a little something for the wait.

shamino
Jan 9, 2008, 07:12 PM
Can it throttle processor utilization and power consumption?
I don't know about Vista, but Windows XP does that on my Shuttle XPC system. I downloaded and installed AMD's "Cool & Quiet" software to provide the feature. When idle, the system clock slows to about 40%, jumping back up to 100% when active.

I don't know how much power it saves, but the fan runs slower and the air exhausted out the back is noticeably cooler.
now im no expert but werent the macbook pro's updated to santa rosa chips in june? or is merom another name for santa rosa.
Santa Rosa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrino#Santa_Rosa_platform_.282007.29) is a mobile chipset suite (using the "Centrino" brand) that incorporates a particular graphics and Wi-Fi chipset in addition to the CPU. It supports "Socket P" processors. Originally, this was just Merom, but Penryn is also supported (it's unclear from the Wikipedia article if the refresh for Penryn compatibility involves new chips or just a firmware update.)

tjugo
Jan 9, 2008, 07:20 PM
now im no expert but werent the macbook pro's updated to santa rosa chips in june? or is merom another name for santa rosa.


http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/05/apple-releases-new-macbook-pros-with-santa-rosa/

SantaRosa is a platform. A platform includes a set of MCHs, ICHs and CPUs.

Merom and Penryn are CPU families. It is up to intel to continue calling SantaRosa platform the new combination of Penryn + MCH + ICH.

Cheers,

shamino
Jan 9, 2008, 07:21 PM
The SSE instructions are of most use to software that process large streams of audio or video media. ...
They are used extensively by many parts of Mac OS X, including the desktop and related UI components.

Additionally, any code using the Accelerate framework (instead of direct SSE calls), should be able to take advantage of the new capabilities, as soon as Apple releases an update with the capability. (For those who don't know, the Accelerate framework wraps a wide variety of SIMD-type operations, so code can use them on both PPC and Intel systems, mapping to either AltiVec or SSE instructions, as appropriate.)
1. It will take a while (a good long while for some) apps to get recompiled with this support. And many will never get it for assorted reasons.
Not necessarily. Apps that currently use the Accelerate framework should be able to take advantage as soon as Apple updates Mac OS X. They shouldn't have to be recompiled.

Code that directly makes SSE/2/3 calls, of course, will have to be updated, but there may not be that many apps in this category. Accelerate has existed since Mac OS X 10.3, and Apple has been encouraging its use since then. I suspect that Adobe will be one of the few major app-suppliers that will need to update their code for SSE4.
2. You can't rebuild an entire OS around a new instruction set, so see #1 when considering impact on OS X. Some parts will get a boost, many won't.
Mac OS uses the Accelerate framework for those subsystems that use SSE. They should all start using the new instructions as soon as Apple updates the framework.

MikeTheC
Jan 9, 2008, 07:29 PM
Well, I want to buy a new iMac, so I hope it gets upgraded to Penry-class CPUs. C'mon Steve-O !!!

wizard
Jan 9, 2008, 07:37 PM
OK; this may ruffle a few feathers as everybody is slapping Intel on the back in this thread but didn't anybody out there expect better thermal performance? Mostly because of all the hype Intel was giving their 45nm process, best thing in 40 years and all..

The goodness of SSE 4 is great and all, but the processor otherwise looks like a slight rehash of last years performance. If neither computational performance nor power usage has improved significantly then it seem that much of the 45 nm hype has been misplaced.

This is not to discount the idea that we may have never gotten to 45nm with out the process changes. But if there is no pay off why the hafnium.

Dave

gnasher729
Jan 9, 2008, 07:50 PM
What applications/types of applications take advantage of this?

Nothing right now. There are no Macs available yet with these processors (I guess the first reader receiving a MacPro will post here).

These things take time. SSE4 has two major components:

One is a more complete set of vector operations, which makes automatic vectorisation possible. What that means: Instead of the programmer having to write code specifically for the vector unit, he or she writes ordinary code and the compiler translates it into vector instructions. However, that fails when something that the code does is not available as a vector instruction. SSE4 is much more complete, so a lot more code can be translated automatically. That is something that applications like Photoshop would benefit from.

The other component is highly specialised instructions for video encoding. The most time consuming part of video encoding by far is "motion prediction", where the encoder takes a tiny bit of one frame and tries to find a similar image in a previous frame. For example, there is one instruction that does the following: Lets say you have four pixels abcd. And another eleven pixels ABCDEFGHIJK. This instructions calculates the difference between a and A, b and B, c and C, d and D and adds them up. Then it calculates the difference between a and B, b and C, c and D, d and E. Then between a and C, b and D, c and E, d and F and so on. The result is eight sums of four differences, and each of these 32 differences is the absolute value of the difference between two values. Without a vector unit, that would be 32 subtractions, 32 absolute values, and 24 additions - 88 operations in total. Probably a dozen vector instructions without SSE4. With SSE4 it is one instruction. That makes motion prediction a lot, lot faster.

You will benefit from this eventually, but not right now.

Can
Jan 9, 2008, 07:52 PM
OK; this may ruffle a few feathers as everybody is slapping Intel on the back in this thread but didn't anybody out there expect better thermal performance? Mostly because of all the hype Intel was giving their 45nm process, best thing in 40 years and all..

The goodness of SSE 4 is great and all, but the processor otherwise looks like a slight rehash of last years performance. If neither computational performance nor power usage has improved significantly then it seem that much of the 45 nm hype has been misplaced.

This is not to discount the idea that we may have never gotten to 45nm with out the process changes. But if there is no pay off why the hafnium.

Dave

I don't know what you were expecting? You get a regular speed bump +5%. Power reduction of 10%, less heat creation (Big bonus for every guy/girl with a laptop) -40%- speed increase bonus for SSE4 stuff. And of course the advancement to a new 45nm standard opening up new possibilities for the future.

We are talking about a CPU here, I think its pretty decent :S

gnasher729
Jan 9, 2008, 08:03 PM
10% on 3 hours.. not shabby.

Keep in mind that this was the savings comparing two processors running at full speed. The Mobile Penryn runs about six percent faster, so you get about sixteen percent more work done until the batteries run out.

tristan
Jan 9, 2008, 08:04 PM
That's like comparing a dude who graduated from h.s. yesterday with one who just started college today and wondering why the college kid isn't a lot smarter. Expect the 45nm processors to get smaller and faster and cheaper in the next coming months. Also, the next gen of CPUs wouldn't even be possible without 45nm. Give the mfg process some time to mature.

OK; this may ruffle a few feathers as everybody is slapping Intel on the back in this thread but didn't anybody out there expect better thermal performance? Mostly because of all the hype Intel was giving their 45nm process, best thing in 40 years and all..

pamon
Jan 9, 2008, 08:05 PM
this is what i was expecting on the penryn info. The slight battery upgrade won't affect me much and the SS instruction upgrade performance isn't anything that'll affect me much. There will have to be new upgrades to the pro apps to take these changes. Perhaps a new final cut upgrade or such. Got my 2.6 MBP with 4GB RAM, i'm a happy camper. It's more than speedy for my needs. I wasn't 100% sold on the penryn hype.

product26
Jan 9, 2008, 08:12 PM
improved battery life is always welcomed as far as i am concerned.

vixapphire
Jan 9, 2008, 08:32 PM
these speed bumps mesh with the comparo i read somewhere via google showing the 2.6 bto mbp (current) v. the 2.4 one, written in november 2007 i think. the 2.4-2.6 difference was said to be 5-8% in practice; here the 2.6-2.8 bump is about the same.

in light of the foregoing, all else being equal it would almost make sense to buy a clearance item of the current soon to be old-version 2.6 (or even 2.4) and save some dough, given the only mild speed improvement.

that said, i am more curious than ever what other improvements will accompany the change in CPU if there are indeed new MBP's coming next week. particularly, i'd welcome a change to led backlighting for the 17", as is already in the current 15" models, and whatever other new improvements they care to drop on us. they'll need to do something to justify paying full price for a new model, no?

Full of Win
Jan 9, 2008, 08:40 PM
Is Vista fully 64bit?

Yes.

Well, yes and no, but for the most part no. They do offer a 64 bit edition, but for the most part the OEM stuff you get in your local store is usually 32 bit.

Here is a Microsoft link for more info

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/64bit.mspx

RichP
Jan 9, 2008, 08:54 PM
I think that battery life improvement is quite impressive. Lets face facts..the screen and the hard drive are the big power eaters.

You have to realize, a 5-10% OVERALL improvement means the processor is actually 20-40%? more efficient..as it is not the only thing using power in the system.

Andrmgic
Jan 9, 2008, 09:05 PM
I think that battery life improvement is quite impressive. Lets face facts..the screen and the hard drive are the big power eaters.

You have to realize, a 5-10% OVERALL improvement means the processor is actually 20-40%? more efficient..as it is not the only thing using power in the system.

I agree with this. A cpu change affecting the battery life that much on its own is pretty impressive, particularly when it does so while offering a performance increase.

Though I suppose it is possible that other hardware in the laptop also changed with the Penryn update, but it is a fine comparison.

Can't wait to see what Apple does next week.

acslater017
Jan 9, 2008, 09:06 PM
i'm not really familiar with this...does anyone know what applications support this instruction set? do any of the major Apple apps?

twoodcc
Jan 9, 2008, 09:08 PM
sounds good to me. now let's see one in the new mac portable!

RichP
Jan 9, 2008, 09:15 PM
sounds good to me. now let's see one in the new mac ultraportable!

fixed ;)

numbsafari
Jan 9, 2008, 09:26 PM
I agree with this. A cpu change affecting the battery life that much on its own is pretty impressive, particularly when it does so while offering a performance increase.

Though I suppose it is possible that other hardware in the laptop also changed with the Penryn update, but it is a fine comparison.

Can't wait to see what Apple does next week.

I also agree. Imagine what the improvements are going to be when primary storage gets moved to solid state drives, LED backlights and other possible thermal improvements that can be made with a smaller chip size (better airflow because of smaller heat sink, perhaps?).

All those little things will add up once the box manufacturers get to do their part.

asdfTT123
Jan 9, 2008, 10:43 PM
Do NOT expect 40% performance increases or you'll be very dissapointed with Penryn. There are currently little to no applications that have SSE4 support and there probably won't for quite some time. The reason is because the vast majority of machines out there do not support SSE4 because it's coming new with Penryn. Software usually lags behind hardware in terms of advancement. If you get a Penryn notebook, expect about 1-8% during normal usage, which honestly, for normal tasks, it's barely neglegible. For Intel, Penryn is nothing more than a "refresh" of the Core 2 line. If we see any serious breakthroughs it won't be until the end of the year or beginning of 2009 with Nehalem. Penryn's advantages come more from it's battery life.

aliquis-
Jan 9, 2008, 11:02 PM
With just the processor change alone, the new Penryn laptop offered 5-10% more battery life on their benchmarks. Meanwhile, the new processor saw 1 - 8% speed boosts on common tasks, and up to 40% improvements in applications that support the SSE4 instruction set.Who cares about processors, it's all about custom chips anyway, MHz myth and race suck ;)

What really suck in the MBP is that I got 128MB vram, which is ****ing retarded. The 1440x900 resolution is lame, TN-panel sucks ass, what is this bright spot which seems to be behind my pixels?!, bigger and 7200 rpm harddrive would be nice aswell.

256MB vram, IPS-panel and 1680x1050 would be nice, a faster CPU isn't.Here is also hoping Photoshop adds SSE4 support for common filters.Since Adobe is to lazy to even type the ****ing filenames right so CS 3 works on HFSX+ I wouldn't count on or hope on to much .. But it should be done.To me this chip revision is more about the 45 nm technology, with its associated chemistry change, and an incremental improvement in power management, and the SSE4 language for bleeding edge apps, which do not effect most people, are the geek-kicker. Pro apps.SSE4 will in deed be nice where it makes a difference, thought we already have SSE, SSE2 and SSE3 and it's not like it makes a huge difference on average per generation.i know what penry is. Though santa rosa chips are already 45nm and use the high k method that im guessing was carried over to penry as wellI doubt that, I'm very confident they are 65nm.What OS? Windows Vista I presume?
Is Vista fully 64bit?
Is Vista optimized to handle multiple processors/cores?
Can it throttle processor utilization and power consumption?

Sorry, I'm fulla questions and sorta feel like 10.5.2 will address some of these issues.
Penryns will show even better improvement with OS X.Windows?
Probably
Yes, I think so.
Of course it is.
Yeah.

OS X whatever may be compiled with support for SSE4 instructions I guess. I don't know if one can compile with support for it without requiring it thought. I know compile stuff with GCC for a lowest common instruction set say i386 and then add optimizations for a higher one say i686 where available. I'm not sure the same can be done for SSE instructions. I guess it should be possible but if not this won't help much at all.What applications/types of applications take advantage of this?Whatever stuff will have use for the new SSE4 instructions =P, SSE are mostly used for graphics and gaming stuff and such, as someone have already said.>45nm chips means less heat yes (among other things)?As always I guess.The SSE instructions are of most use to software that process large streams of audio or video media. Doing things like changing color spaces, scaling pixels or encoding a ripped CD to MP3

Apple might modify Core Image or other "core" libraries to use SSE4 and then software that uses these libraries would be able to take advantage without need to be changed. Right now I think Apple is the biggest user of these libraries with programs such as Preview, iPhoto, Aperture Garage Band and so on. I think Adobe uses their own image processing code.

Use of SSE4 in software would have to wait until the SSE4 hardware is widely available or else how could Apple run a beta test?Do you know if one can build binaries for whatever SSE generation instruction set but with additional optimizations for a higher generation one if availble with no extra work so to speak?3 hours... I get 5.I get around 1 thanks to flash ****** performance on OS X. I always tens of tabs open in my browser and that makes my load around 100% since flash suck ass.
They are used extensively by many parts of Mac OS X, including the desktop and related UI components.

Additionally, any code using the Accelerate framework (instead of direct SSE calls), should be able to take advantage of the new capabilities, as soon as Apple releases an update with the capability. (For those who don't know, the Accelerate framework wraps a wide variety of SIMD-type operations, so code can use them on both PPC and Intel systems, mapping to either AltiVec or SSE instructions, as appropriate.)
Not necessarily. Apps that currently use the Accelerate framework should be able to take advantage as soon as Apple updates Mac OS X. They shouldn't have to be recompiled.

Code that directly makes SSE/2/3 calls, of course, will have to be updated, but there may not be that many apps in this category. Accelerate has existed since Mac OS X 10.3, and Apple has been encouraging its use since then. I suspect that Adobe will be one of the few major app-suppliers that will need to update their code for SSE4.
Mac OS uses the Accelerate framework for those subsystems that use SSE. They should all start using the new instructions as soon as Apple updates the framework.Well, doesn't that require new accelerate instructions in many cases? =P So same problem anyway :)
Some new instructions may be used by old functions I guess.Nothing right now. There are no Macs available yet with these processors (I guess the first reader receiving a MacPro will post here).

These things take time. SSE4 has two major components:

One is a more complete set of vector operations, which makes automatic vectorisation possible. What that means: Instead of the programmer having to write code specifically for the vector unit, he or she writes ordinary code and the compiler translates it into vector instructions. However, that fails when something that the code does is not available as a vector instruction. SSE4 is much more complete, so a lot more code can be translated automatically. That is something that applications like Photoshop would benefit from.

The other component is highly specialised instructions for video encoding. The most time consuming part of video encoding by far is "motion prediction", where the encoder takes a tiny bit of one frame and tries to find a similar image in a previous frame. For example, there is one instruction that does the following: Lets say you have four pixels abcd. And another eleven pixels ABCDEFGHIJK. This instructions calculates the difference between a and A, b and B, c and C, d and D and adds them up. Then it calculates the difference between a and B, b and C, c and D, d and E. Then between a and C, b and D, c and E, d and F and so on. The result is eight sums of four differences, and each of these 32 differences is the absolute value of the difference between two values. Without a vector unit, that would be 32 subtractions, 32 absolute values, and 24 additions - 88 operations in total. Probably a dozen vector instructions without SSE4. With SSE4 it is one instruction. That makes motion prediction a lot, lot faster.

You will benefit from this eventually, but not right now.I can see use for the later part. Is that a part which is accelerated in GPU for H.264 or not? Because if it is I see no use for it, if it is it will probably make a huge difference. Thought I doubt the amount of instructions are dozens vs 1 since they said themself 40% when using SSE4. May be an average and not a best of SSE4 instructions thought.That's like comparing a dude who graduated from h.s. yesterday with one who just started college today and wondering why the college kid isn't a lot smarter. Expect the 45nm processors to get smaller and faster and cheaper in the next coming months. Also, the next gen of CPUs wouldn't even be possible without 45nm. Give the mfg process some time to mature.Smaller? Why? Because they will use less transistors? Yeah right .. They will get smaller with next manufacturing advancement.
Faster? Yeah, if heat allows it, which it probably does. Say 2.8 and eventually 3 GHz.
Cheaper? Then the old series? Doubt so, cheaper than they are as new? Yes, of course, but Apple doesn't lower prices anyway.I think that battery life improvement is quite impressive. Lets face facts..the screen and the hard drive are the big power eaters.

You have to realize, a 5-10% OVERALL improvement means the processor is actually 20-40%? more efficient..as it is not the only thing using power in the system.During idle load yes... During full load I assume the CPU to take a much bigger chunk.i'm not really familiar with this...does anyone know what applications support this instruction set? do any of the major Apple apps?None now of course, if Apple haven't planed for it for Leopard or whatever. With time hopefully anything which can get an improvement from it.

wizard
Jan 9, 2008, 11:39 PM
I don't know what you were expecting? You get a regular speed bump +5%. Power reduction of 10%, less heat creation (Big bonus for every guy/girl with a laptop) -40%- speed increase bonus for SSE4 stuff. And of course the advancement to a new 45nm standard opening up new possibilities for the future.

We are talking about a CPU here, I think its pretty decent :S

Frankly I was expecting a larger power reduction, especially in the portable platform. The speed bump isn't all that much to talk about outside of SSE4.

SEE4 is very nice and all but their is a limitation to the usage of the technology. It is fair to say that many apps will never use that hardware. So great it is 40% faster but faster for whom.

As for laptops 10% is nothing especially with everything else getting hotter. Intel needs a 50% drop in power from its laptop platforms. Its more about battery life than heat though the two are directly related, I want long run times.

Dave

tristan
Jan 10, 2008, 12:13 AM
Smaller? Why? Because they will use less transistors? Yeah right .. They will get smaller with next manufacturing advancement.
Faster? Yeah, if heat allows it, which it probably does. Say 2.8 and eventually 3 GHz.
Cheaper? Then the old series? Doubt so, cheaper than they are as new? Yes, of course, but Apple doesn't lower prices anyway.

Yeah, why did I say smaller? Maybe my brain is smaller after waiting so long for Penryn. They say it shrinks with age.

What i meant to say is that as the mfg process ramps up Intel gets better yields and greater production capacity and is then able to introduce new speeds, cut prices, and bring out other products based on that manufacturing technology. We as Apple customers probably won't get an immediate price decrease when it happens - instead we get speed bumps, new products, etc. So 45nm will probably look better in 6 mos is what I really mean.

dante@sisna.com
Jan 10, 2008, 02:07 AM
These are not compelling performance numbers to me.

1 to 8%. I have seen these estimates before and this seems accurate.

This is not a noticeable performance increase.

Glad I bought the MBP 2.6 17" high res last month when I needed it.

I think MacWorld will be interesting, can't wait, but my gut tells me it will be interesting for many products besides the MBP update.

Just my gut. I could be wrong on this.

dubhe
Jan 10, 2008, 02:09 AM
I also agree. Imagine what the improvements are going to be when primary storage gets moved to solid state drives, LED backlights and other possible thermal improvements that can be made with a smaller chip size (better airflow because of smaller heat sink, perhaps?).

All those little things will add up once the box manufacturers get to do their part.

True, when my hard drive failed and I replaced it with a WD Scorpio I got an extra half hour on the battery. Every little helps!

bigwig
Jan 10, 2008, 02:21 AM
We'll probably see better power consumption when Montevina shows up, plus instant on/off capability (if, since it was designed for Vista, it works properly with OSX). Montevina's support for WiMax is a "so what" feature for me. I don't think we'll see real performance improvements until Nehalem, though it's looking less and less likely it will show up early in 2H08. December, maybe?

pjo
Jan 10, 2008, 03:56 AM
I think that battery life improvement is quite impressive. Lets face facts..the screen and the hard drive are the big power eaters.

You have to realize, a 5-10% OVERALL improvement means the processor is actually 20-40%? more efficient..as it is not the only thing using power in the system.

well, the article said the machines were identical with the only thing changing being the CPU. i.e same LCD and same hard drive. Wouldn't this mean that the overall improvement would be mostly due to the only thing that changed? :confused:

yes I think the CPU is more than 5-10% more efficient, but i think 20 - 40% is on the high side.

shamino
Jan 10, 2008, 07:29 AM
Well, doesn't that require new accelerate instructions in many cases? =P So same problem anyway :)
Not necessarily. It depends on what SSE4 actually adds.

Any instructions that are completely new - meaning no similar SSE/2/3 or AltiVec instructions - would almost definitely require a new API or two in Accelerate. Other changes, however - like the number of registers or more efficient ways of performing existing operations - may very well be supported without any new APIs.

louden
Jan 10, 2008, 07:30 AM
I run my merom MBP with Bootcamp and find a significant difference in battery life between Vista (Ultimate) and Leopard. When booting into Vista, the battery life depletes much more quickly than with Leopard, and the machine runs a few, noticeable degrees hotter.

I try not to run Vista unless I'm sitting at a desk, with the machine plugged in, otherwise, it's not worth it.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why MS can't get a service pack out there to address Vista performance...

guzhogi
Jan 10, 2008, 08:37 AM
Use of SSE4 in software would have to wait until the SSE4 hardware is widely available or else how could Apple run a beta test?

This is kinda like the chicken & the egg paradox: people don't want to make the hardware until the software is optimized for it. However, people don't don't want to make the software until the hardware is out. Each is basically waiting for the other to start. That's probably part of the wait.

I think it's cool but everyone needs to set realistic expectations for something like SSE4.

1. It will take a while (a good long while for some) apps to get recompiled with this support. And many will never get it for assorted reasons.

2. You can't rebuild an entire OS around a new instruction set, so see #1 when considering impact on OS X. Some parts will get a boost, many won't.

Very true. Writing (or rewriting) programs takes a LONG time. Though I do wonder how optimized software (and programming languages) really is. If I were omniscient, I'd create a totally new mid-level programming language that can take full advantage of multiple cores and can easily adjust to going in between 32 & 64 bit procs (and 128 and larger if/when they're available) and the write a totally new OS w/ that language.

Dimwhit
Jan 10, 2008, 09:48 AM
This makes me feel much better about my iMac purchase of a few months ago. When the iMacs get these new Penryn processors, there will be very little difference in performance, from what I'm seeing (battery life is certainly not part of the equation). Also glad I got the 2.8GHz. It's going to hold its own for a while yet, when compared to upcoming iMacs.

Squonk
Jan 10, 2008, 12:20 PM
in light of the foregoing, all else being equal it would almost make sense to buy a clearance item of the current soon to be old-version 2.6 (or even 2.4) and save some dough, given the only mild speed improvement.

that said, i am more curious than ever what other improvements will accompany the change in CPU if there are indeed new MBP's coming next week. particularly, i'd welcome a change to led backlighting for the 17", as is already in the current 15" models, and whatever other new improvements they care to drop on us. they'll need to do something to justify paying full price for a new model, no?

I agree totally. I'm ready to buy a 15" 2.4 refurb if the new Penryn's do not have something special to offer (user replaceable drive, HD screen).

mhml92
Jan 10, 2008, 01:31 PM
SSE4 cures you male pattern baldness, improves your gas mileage, pleasures our woman while you are at work.


SSE4 ever pleasures my woman I'll kick SSE4's ass!

winterspan
Jan 10, 2008, 08:32 PM
ignore- double post - Sorry

winterspan
Jan 10, 2008, 08:33 PM
i know what penry is. Though santa rosa chips are already 45nm and use the high k method that im guessing was carried over to penry as well

Santa Rosa <-> Penry :: Apple <--> Oranges

There is no such thing as a "Santa Rosa' chip. If you meant to say the chips that have been shipping with the Santa Rosa platform, i.e. "Merom", no. Those are 65nm only.
Santa Rosa is just a name for a certain generation of the 'Centrino' mobile platform. It ONLY specifies certain components that have to be in a laptop to receive the 'Centrino' branding. This includes a certain Intel motherboard/chipset, WiFi card, and any Intel Core 2 Duo chip. This includes the current/previous codenamed Merom' chips @ 65nm or The very recently released codename 'Penryn' chips at 45nm.

The next Centrino platform is called 'Montevina' and will be out Mid-2008

winterspan
Jan 10, 2008, 08:37 PM
I made this for myself but I thought I'd share to help people out..

http://castmd.com/Intel_P6_roadmap.png

shamino
Jan 11, 2008, 08:57 AM
I made this for myself but I thought I'd share to help people out..

http://castmd.com/Intel_P6_roadmap.png
This is overly simplified. For instance, the Santa Rosa Centrino platform has been (or soon will be) refreshed to support Penryn chips.

Laptop designers are not going to have to wait for Montevina in order to use a Penryn processor.

diamond.g
Jan 11, 2008, 09:42 AM
This is overly simplified. For instance, the Santa Rosa Centrino platform has been (or soon will be) refreshed to support Penryn chips.

Laptop designers are not going to have to wait for Montevina in order to use a Penryn processor.

Woohoo DDR3 here we come!!!

AidenShaw
Jan 11, 2008, 09:48 AM
I made this for myself but I thought I'd share to help people out..

http://castmd.com/Intel_P6_roadmap.png

The P4 (Netburst) is also based on P6 architecture.

Later chips, of course, are not true follow-ons to P4, but some P4 enhancements (but not the super-deep pipelines) are in Pentium M and later chips.

MikeTheC
Jan 11, 2008, 11:15 AM
I know that programmers can be lazy, looking for the easiest and quickest way to write code, and in that they are probably like any person of any other profession, trade, or activity.

I'm not a programmer (I don't even play one on TV), but I would think if one was going to optimize an app by doing direct calls, you'd want to write that as a module which you could then replace as needed in the future as new optimization sets came down the road.

That wouldn't mean killing off your MMX, SSE, SSE2, etc. optimizations every time a new one came out, since clearly there are other challenges involved, but I would simply re-write the module to include further tweaking to the existing optimizations, and then add in support for the new optimization sets, and ensure this was all abstracted so the rest of the code could be relatively "dumb" (that is, you'd get to the execution point in a program that was intended to benefit from, say, SSE3, and it would just sort of sub-routine out to the "blah blah blah optimizer" portion, which would then be written to know how to tell what optimization sets would work, and select the correct one, do the call, and then return the result.)

Would this be more work? Initially, sure. But it also means my software would probably stay ahead of the curve, and when it comes to being out there ahead of everyone, well... competition is the name of the game, baby.

bigwig
Jan 11, 2008, 01:40 PM
Looking at that roadmap, is there a new core chipset to replace Montevina when Nehalem comes out? I also don't see a new core chipset scheduled for Sandy Bridge. Intel's CPU roadmap and core roadmap seem oddly out of sync with each other.

tristan
Jan 11, 2008, 02:05 PM
Let me give you an example of how and why I think later 45nm processors will get better. The first .65nm CPU that Intel brought out for Apple laptops was the Core Duo, which is in the system I'm typing on. By today's standards this is a low-end processor, because, by comparison the Core 2 Duo that is being sold now, and that Penryn is replacing, has all of the following. So these are all of the advancements that were able to be made within in one mfg generation, and you should see similar stuff happen for both future Penryns and Nahalem.

1) higher performance clock for clock (~10%)
2) larger die size and more transistors (almost 2X)
3) can be pushed to greater clock speeds (2.8ghz vs 2.16ghz)
4) Higher speed front-size bus
5) More "units" on the CPU that are able to perform work (like decoders, arithmetic units, etc)
6) Larger L2 cache
7) Better cache and memory subsystem
8) better power management

winterspan
Jan 11, 2008, 10:46 PM
This is overly simplified. For instance, the Santa Rosa Centrino platform has been (or soon will be) refreshed to support Penryn chips.

Laptop designers are not going to have to wait for Montevina in order to use a Penryn processor.

Yea, I knew that, but I guess to keep it simple I wanted to show the "generations".

winterspan
Jan 12, 2008, 05:35 AM
I know that programmers can be lazy, looking for the easiest and quickest way to write code, and in that they are probably like any person of any other profession, trade, or activity.

I'm not a programmer (I don't even play one on TV), but I would think if one was going to optimize an app by doing direct calls, you'd want to write that as a module which you could then replace as needed in the future as new optimization sets came down the road.

That wouldn't mean killing off your MMX, SSE, SSE2, etc. optimizations every time a new one came out, since clearly there are other challenges involved, but I would simply re-write the module to include further tweaking to the existing optimizations, and then add in support for the new optimization sets, and ensure this was all abstracted so the rest of the code could be relatively "dumb" (that is, you'd get to the execution point in a program that was intended to benefit from, say, SSE3, and it would just sort of sub-routine out to the "blah blah blah optimizer" portion, which would then be written to know how to tell what optimization sets would work, and select the correct one, do the call, and then return the result.)

Would this be more work? Initially, sure. But it also means my software would probably stay ahead of the curve, and when it comes to being out there ahead of everyone, well... competition is the name of the game, baby.

I'm not exactly sure how it's all implemented. Granted, I've only been programming for less than a year, and I surely don't go down to the level of implementing new processor specific instructions, but I would assume the major functionality changes would take place in the compiler, and the programmer would have to enact changes to the program algorithms to be sure to take advantage of the new instructions.


Looking at that roadmap, is there a new core chipset to replace Montevina when Nehalem comes out? I also don't see a new core chipset scheduled for Sandy Bridge. Intel's CPU roadmap and core roadmap seem oddly out of sync with each other.

I'm sure there are new chipsets and platforms for each generation, but I don't have the information. I didn't really look deeply into it, I just gathered info from a couple of sources including wikipedia. I'll have to update it as well.

shamino
Jan 12, 2008, 12:21 PM
I know that programmers can be lazy, looking for the easiest and quickest way to write code, and in that they are probably like any person of any other profession, trade, or activity.
Actually, programmers tend to be more like artists - constantly looking for the best and most elegant way to do something. Their biggest problem is deciding when enough is enough, and that it's time to actually ship something.

It's management and business realities that cause "easiest and quickest" issues. There are never enough developers available to make code "perfect" before the market window for a successful release has closed. So programmers have to compromise their instincts in order to meet a shipping deadline.

(This is why open source projects tend to be higher quality, but never seem to have a complete feature set.)
I'm not a programmer (I don't even play one on TV), but I would think if one was going to optimize an app by doing direct calls, you'd want to write that as a module which you could then replace as needed in the future as new optimization sets came down the road.
You can do this. That's the general concept behind Apple's Accelerate framework. It's exactly that sort of module, but shipped as a part of the OS, not part of apps. Other high-level OS subsystems (like CoreImage on Mac OS, and Direct X on Windows) do similar things with video chipsets.

But this will only get you so far. If a new processor introduced new capabilities (and not just faster ways of doing what you were doing before), then you will still need to update your app in order to take advantage of those capabilities. And if you do, you will be forced to either drop compatibility with older processors, or you'll be forced to emulate the capabilities (at a performance penalty, of course) when running on those older processors.

This concept is actually nothing new. Back in 1987, I had an 8088-based MS-DOS PC. A floating-point unit was an optional piece of hardware (the 8087 chip). The standard Microsoft compilers allowed you to choose from different floating-point libraries. One implemented all the operations in software - slowest, but exactly the same on all hardware. One required an 8087 chip - fastest, but forces users to have the (rarely-installed) hardware. The third included both, using an 8087 if available or software otherwise - giving the best performance and compatibility, but makes the program larger.
Looking at that roadmap, is there a new core chipset to replace Montevina when Nehalem comes out? I also don't see a new core chipset scheduled for Sandy Bridge. Intel's CPU roadmap and core roadmap seem oddly out of sync with each other.
I guarantee Intel has chipsets in development to support all of their CPUs under development.

For your specific question, the Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrino) page for Centrino says that 2009 is expected to ship the "Calpella" Centino-suite to support Nehalem. But they don't yet have more information than just the name.

Adamo
Jan 12, 2008, 01:14 PM
Apple's MacBook Pro is currently available in 2.2GHz, 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz speeds. The last major revision of the MacBook Pro was in June (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/05/apple-releases-new-macbook-pros-with-santa-rosa/) of 2007.
Erm, no it isn't. The fastest it goes is 2.4Ghz.

MacinDoc
Jan 12, 2008, 01:16 PM
Erm, no it isn't. The fastest it goes is 2.4Ghz.
So, what's this (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/canadastore.woa/91234005/wo/Yk1asFyZfseI2DZFNanAYW1yXY5/2.?p=0) then? 2.6 GHz is an option.

Adamo
Jan 12, 2008, 01:30 PM
Whaaat, when was it added? When I bought mine (July 2007) it wasn't there! I feel.. stupid. :(

MacinDoc
Jan 12, 2008, 01:40 PM
Whaaat, when was it added? When I bought mine (July 2007) it wasn't there! I feel.. stupid. :(
Don't feel stupid, it was a quiet update in November.

Adamo
Jan 12, 2008, 01:44 PM
:o Phew! I'd never even heard any mention of it whatsoever, bizarre that one.

luminosity
Jan 19, 2008, 01:27 AM
What kind of improvements might something like Final Cut Studio see?

Hansii
Jan 19, 2008, 09:21 AM
Since Macworld didn't bring a refresh of the MBP, when do you think it will happen?

silentfink
Jan 19, 2008, 03:56 PM
Since Macworld didn't bring a refresh of the MBP, when do you think it will happen?

I'm also interested in the answer to this question. I'm ready to get a new MacBook Pro, but not sure if I should get one now or wait for a new release... Part of me wants to have the very latest and greatest hardware, including possible new chipset, outside case materials/look, and better standard hard drive (bigger size/7200rpm). With that said, another part of me says to simply bite the bullet and purchase one today, since there will always be updates on the horizon and I probably won't even notice a difference between the current chipset/hard drive offerings and what is coming out next...