Merom chip - a bust? Hardly better than Yonah?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by OldCorpse, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    According to this article from ai, merom looks to be something of a disappointment. First it'll be hotter than Intel previously advertised. Second, battery life will be worse, and actually perform worse than Yonah by some measures:

    "in battery mode, Merom processors clock down to 1GHz, yet still carry a TDP of 20 watts, according to DailyTech. On the other hand, a Yonah chip in the same mode has a TDP of 13.1 watts while also at 1GHz."

    Meh, this is what we're waiting for? Pft!
  2. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I'm not waiting :D You can play the waiting game forever
  3. hyperpasta macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005
    New Jersey
    I agree, Merom will be an evolutionary step, not at all revolutionary. The only advantage to my mind is that it will be 64-bit.

    What I'm looking for is a Conroe iMac... that would provide a nice big performance gain.
  4. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006
    If this is true I will laugh for weeks. Mainly because I was feeling a bit sad that I got my MBP in April and now merom is coming out but this makes me feel better. Although I feel sorry for those waiting for this new chip. Hopefully the speed will make up for the heat, but since the yonah chips are so hot already unless merom does woodcrest speeds I don't think it'll be worth the heat.
  5. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I will laugh too mainly at myself for wanting to wait and wait and wait
  6. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2005
    Definitely - the jump in Front Bus Speed that the Conroe chip provides makes Apple adding a merom chip to the iMac senseless in my opinion...

    Of course, if they do add merom to the iMac, that headless mid-range Mac everyone's been waiting for will come...

    You know, the iMac is due for a redesign soon - I wonder if they'll make it an all-in-one again, or produce a model that has a 'snap-on' screen of some sort....:confused:
  7. Rend It macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2003
    United States
  8. JRM PowerPod macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2005
    Outback Australia
    Now we are whinging about updates, remember the G4's?

    Progress is Progress
  9. Star Destroyer macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2006
    Yes, i played the waiting game for over a year.. March 2005 i wanted to buy an ibook, then i heard they MAY update in april, so i waited... And nothing.. then i waited until august.. nothing again. Then Feb. they only updated the powerbooks..and then eventuall Macbooks came.. Screw waiting. I am happy i finally got my mac!

    And It seems that the 'edge' is not a noticable one to any casual user. But how can i find what my macbook is clocking down to?
  10. kevinliu4 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2006
    i also waited but it was only shortly before wwdc that i decided i wanted a macbook pro so it wasn't a big deal.

    as a rule of thumb, i never get the first batch of any new computer and i wasn't prepared to wait any longer so it was an easy decision for me.
  11. sonictonic macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2006
    Central Coast, California
    Even with the SLIM chance of the MB [and not just the MBP) to get the new Merom, I am still quite happy and satisfied with my MacBook as it is right now. I really don't need Merom even if Apple does put it in the MB later, and quite frankly I don't get all the hype about it.

    Besides, like many have said, you can wait forever if that's what you really wanna do, but there will ALWAYS be something new and improved shortly after so what's the point? "Live in the now" I say! :D
  12. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    After waiting and procrastinating thats my theory now! :D
  13. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    Anandtech already did some tests, and Merom looks to be better performing while consuming the same amount of power.

    Besides, Merom is going to be in MBPs soon for sure - within the next 2-3 weeks. Even if the chip isn't great, people buying the new MBPs get a newer and (more likely) more reliable Rev. And there's still the choice of picking up a refurb of the Rev A if Merom disappoints, and those will likely have a price drop.
  14. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I think it's hilarious. You guys always build this thing up for nothing, then look all disapointed when it turns out to offer just the normal incremental improvements.

    Merom? Merommerommerommerommerommerommerommerommerommerommerommerommerommerommerom... oh, meh.

    Gilo? Gilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilogilo... gonna be AMAZING!

  16. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    ### For *me*...merom is very worth the wait. 1st, it's revB. 2nd, it's 64bit for Leopard and Maya, etc. The improvement in 3d rendering, amount of RAM supported, etc. It's a substantial improvement over Yonah on several levels. I'm not encouraging anyone to play the waiting game, but in this case...waiting half a year for merom makes a LOT of sense to me.

  17. gnasher729 macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    I looked at it, and it seems like we have a clueless thread based on a clueless article is based on another clueless article based on a lack of understanding of the subject matter.

    TDP means "Thermal Design Power". It means that a designer, like the designers of the MacBook, must design the computer so that it won't be damaged if the processor uses that much power. So Intel decided to tell designers "make sure that your laptop doesn't melt if the processor uses 20 Watts in low-power mode". TDP is just advice for the designers, it has nothing to do with the actual power use. As an example, Intel gives the same TDP numbers for Conroe chips running at different clock speeds, where clearly these chips cannot use the same power. Let's just say that if Dell had designed their laptops a bit more generous for a bit higher TDP, then some laptops might not have exploded and Dell could have saved themselves about 300 million dollars.

    Just a little bit of reality check: Power consumption is proportional to clock speed multiplied by voltage squared. If Merom uses up to 34 Watt at 2.0 GHz, then it cannot possibly use more than 17 Watt at 1.0 GHz, even without voltage reduction. I very much suspect that the original article has just confused some numbers.

    The maximum power used by Merom will be higher for the simple reason that it can execute more instructions per second. If Merom does twenty percent more work per second, that doesn't come for free. But that is no problem, what might happen is that the battery is empty earlier with the work done, while with Yonah the battery might last a bit longer but not be capable of finishing the work! But in typical usage, the full speed of the processor is not needed. In these cases, Merom can be switched to a lower speed than Yonah. Yonah would need to run at 1.1 GHz where Merom can do the same work at 1.0 GHz, making Merom use less energy.

    Conclusion: If you measure "shortest possible time to empty batteries", Merom will do that slightly quicker. But if you measure how long your batteries last, doing exactly the same work on Merom and Yonah, Merom will last longer.
  18. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Considering that the G4 is pretty much dead at 1.8 GHz, as has been seen in upgrade cards, what does any of this matter?

    The laptop computers that Apple is producing are far faster than the best of the PowerBooks and can meet and beat the dual core PowerMac G5s.

    If you've got one now, there is no shame and if you get one of the new ones, you can claim a bit more speed on each of the cores.

    It's a good time to be a Mac user.
  19. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Apple could surprise us.

    How many versions of Merom are there? Economy to Extreme?

    They DID go right to Woodcrest for the new Mac Pros, so Apple does seem to
    be working on providing the fastest available processors.

    We're already at 2GHz X 2 in MacBooks, so these new machines are not shabby at all.

    I would like to see a return to dedicated GPU's though.

    As time goes on, I think we'll see 6-8 hours of battery time become the norm, but for now power and speed are still equally important.
  20. IEatApples macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2004
    Northern Hemisphere (Norway)
    Is the ATI Radeon X1600 really that bad for gaming? (As stated here).
    I'm afraid that my ATI Radeon X600 XT won't be able to play
    Heroes Of Might And Magic V at more than LOW quality, when it (finally) comes for the Mac. :(
  21. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    Agreed, I'm just wondering how many laps a new MBP will run around my old PB G4 once I get it...
  22. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    What you guys need to do is forget all about TDP and numbers and idiotic reviews and concentrate on real-world tests, all I've read so far is Anandtech and that says Merom gives a performance advantage with a neglible difference in power draw, temperatures and battery life, Anand's impressions were those.

    And you have to look at it from a practical standpoint, if the Macbook becomes hotter... does it really affect you anyway? the fans and cooling will remain the same, the macbooks are already too hot to use on a lap, on a desk heat is not really an issue and battery life remains the same.

    So what the hell are you complaining about? Apple is giving us a faster processor, sure it produces slightly more heat (according to you guys) and draws more power (again according to you and AI) but the performance gains are worth it. You are just comparing Merom to Yonah, thats not far, when comparing Merom to the rest of the mobile market, its still in the top of the game so I can hardly understand why you guys say its a dissapointment, a bust, that things are not looking good for Merom when in fact, they are, stop being so anal about TDPs and temps and look at what really matters.
  23. AppleIntelRock macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    64-bit laptops are overkill. have fun with cruddy battery life. laptops don't even use 32 bit- so why do we need to upgrade something, when we don't even use all of what we're replacing?
  24. daveL macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2003
    "Bitness" isn't just about how much memory you can address. It also defines the width of the general purpose CPU registers and the size of integer data that can be manipulated with a single instruction. Sounds like you need to do some research. On top of that, recent benchmark tests show that Merom doesn't use any more power than Jonah, at the same clock frequency:

    And, on top of all that, by next year ALL Intel processors will be 64-bit. I guess you better hold on to your current laptop - forever.

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