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Intel Discusses Mobile Nehalem. Quad Core Notebooks Coming Next Month.

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Laptopmag covers some of the announcements made at Intel's Developer's Forum. The general manager of Intel's Mobility Group Dadi Perlmutter discussed current and future Intel mobile processor technology. These products and features should find their way into Apple laptops over time.

First of all, Perlmutter revealed that high end notebooks with their latest chipsets can now support Quad Core configurations. Quad Core notebooks are currently in production and will be available in a month. Of course, this means that Apple could also support Quad Core configurations in their MacBook Pros. Although Apple's MacBook Pro has been rumored to be undergoing a revision in September, no rumors have pegged Quad Core computing as a feature.

One major focus of the talk was Intel's upcoming processor shift to Nehalem. The next generation mobile platform is known as "Calpella" and is said to make the current systems "pale in comparison". Intel detailed a new technology in the Nehalem processors called "Turbo Mode". Turbo Mode allows processors to turn off unused cores for improved power manangement.
"Turbo mode requires no operating system intervention. It is fully detected and managed by the hardware. If it has detected an idle core, it is able to reallocate that power budget to the other cores," Gelsinger said in an interview after his keynote.
Other changes include the integration of memory controller and the graphics core into the CPU for Nehalem-based laptops. This removes the need for an integrated graphics chipset and should boost graphics performance, though not to the same degree as a dedicated video hardware. Other enhancements are detailed by PCWorld:
With between two and eight cores, the speed of Nehalem chips will be enhanced with QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) technology, which integrates a memory controller and provides a faster pipe for chips and system components to communicate. Nehalem will support DDR3 memory and include shared 8M bytes of shared L3 cache for local cores to better execute threads. Each core will be able to execute two software threads simultaneously, so a server with eight processor cores could potentially run 16 threads simultaneously.
While the first version of Nehalem's server chips will arrive later this year, the mobile version of Nehalem will not be available until the second half of 2009.

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kornyboy

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Maybe these will show up in the coming line of MBPs.
 
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BenRoethig

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I don't think Quad MBPs are going to happen with this revision unless its the 2.2ghz one. The initial chips will targeted at (thick and heavy) DTRs.
 
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Zer0

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May 22, 2007
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Damn... hardware ages so fast. My 1 and so year old macbook will feel inadequate in not too long :(
 
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CWallace

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I think the Q9100 2.27GHz 35W TDP mobile quad-core has a decent shot at coming up as a BTO option in the MacBook Pro (perhaps only the 17") and the iMac.
 
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retroneo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2005
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Nehalem laptop chips don't have QuickPath....
They don't need it - what would it connect to?

Instead they have the PCI-express controller on board.

Clarksfield (Core i7)
Auburndale (Core i7)

Notebook
Clarksfield
Auburndale - MCM with Integrated Graphics and DDR3 Controller
HyperThreading
On Die PCI Express x16
Socket - 989 pins
DMI Link to Southbridge (PCI Express x4)

Ibexpeak-m Southbridge
DMI Link to CPU (PCI Express x4)
Southbridge Functionality
Connects with Integrated graphics
 
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brendanspah764

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Jan 20, 2008
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I think the Q9100 mobile quad-core has a decent shot at coming up as a BTO option in the MacBook Pro (perhaps only the 17") and the iMac.

Exactly what I was thinking. Macbook Pro and iMac will need to get this as a BTO option. I don't think the MacBook will see this until it is more efficient ok battery life.
 
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gangst

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I can't see quad core coming, well at least not as a standard option in the 15" and 17".

Apple never tends to be a very fast adopter of really new hardware, just take PCI-express in the PowerMac's and wireless n in the MacBooks.

I'd expect to see this hitting Alienware, Dell, and other performance notebooks first.
 
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dagamer34

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May 1, 2007
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Unless you don't want to have any more children, I'd wait until they shrink to the 32nm process before buying a MacBook Pro with a quad core chip. It's gonna be running too hot otherwise.

Although, I think Apple needs to change it's CPU task scheduler to turn off 2 CPU cores on battery power so it's not running so hot.
 
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G5power

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Feb 25, 2005
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I have approval at my job to order a MBP to replace my Dell work laptop. I've delayed for a month hoping to see some definitive news about the upcoming laptop upgrades from Apple.

I guess either way I'll be happy with the Apple.
 
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Diode

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Apr 15, 2004
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I see this hitting the imac before the mbp.

Steve's a stickler for battery performance and if these chips are not on par with current chips he won't use them.
 
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iMacmatician

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Jul 20, 2008
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Apple won't put a lower-clocked quad-core CPU in the same line as a higher-clocked dual-core CPU. And since only the 2.27 GHz one is said to be 35 W, we won't see these quad-cores in the MacBook Pro and most likely even the iMac. Nehalem won't change this.

It has been hinted that mobile Nehalem will be released on a 32 nm process.

Unless you don't want to have any more children, I'd wait until they shrink to the 32nm process before buying a MacBook Pro with a quad core chip. It's gonna be running too hot otherwise.
The 2.27 GHz version is supposedly 35 W, the same TDP as the current dual-core CPUs.
 
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amac4me

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Apr 26, 2005
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Late 2009 is my target as to when I'll replace my current Penryn-based MBP. Oh yeah, I hope it will be running Snow Leopard :cool:
 
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Fidgetyrat

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Jan 29, 2008
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I can actually see this happening in the next month or so. With the last few "updates" to the MBP line being minimal, the margin between MB and MBP being very narrow these days, and the upcoming release of snow leopard, which this will complement well.

I would absolutely jump on it.
 
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Digital Skunk

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I just want them to release that 17" (or 18" 16:9 aspect ratio) MacBook Pro redesigned to fit more FW800 ports an eSATA port, two HDDs, and the same wicked sweet GFX cards that multimedia books on the other side are getting now.

They can keep SLI and crossfire, just give me the good $h!t Apple, the real power house laptop.
 
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CWallace

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Apple won't put a lower-clocked quad-core CPU in the same line as a higher-clocked dual-core CPU. And since only the 2.27 GHz one is said to be 35 W, we won't see these quad-cores in the MacBook Pro and most likely even the iMac.

I believe they will, they will just do so as a BTO option so they can help explain to customers why a quad-core or a dual-core is the better option for them.

I do not believe they will offer it as a standard model that you will see on their website or Apple Store configurations. Instead, there will be a little balloon/sticker that says "Now available with quad-core CPUs" to get people to ask about it so they can explain it.
 
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zacharytombley

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Aug 12, 2008
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Apple won't put a lower-clocked quad-core CPU in the same line as a higher-clocked dual-core CPU. And since only the 2.27 GHz one is said to be 35 W, we won't see these quad-cores in the MacBook Pro and most likely even the iMac. Nehalem won't change this.

It has been hinted that mobile Nehalem will be released on a 32 nm process.

The 2.27 GHz version is supposedly 35 W, the same TDP as the current dual-core CPUs.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the MBP only has core duo. So anything said about dual-core doesn't matter.
 
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CWallace

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the MBP only has core duo. So anything said about dual-core doesn't matter.

But one needs to look at it from the mindset of a consumer who is not up-to-speed on current CPU technologies and may still be ingrained with the "MHz Myth" that more clockspeed is faster.

So if Apple's website shows a 2.27GHz Quad-Core iMac at $2199 and a 3.06GHz Dual-Core at $1999, those people will wonder why the most expensive iMac is slower then the cheaper one and just buy the cheaper one, assuming it is actually the "best" because it has a higher clock-speed. Or if both are the same price (since the CPUs are currently priced the same), they'll take the 3.06GHz model because it's faster, so it must therefore be better.

By offering it as a BTO option, Apple can use the web - or an Apple associate - to explain why a slower quad-core will more quickly complete some tasks then a faster dual-core and help the customer make an informed decision as to which one to get.





I also noted that the first notebook quad-core will be 2.4GHz and not 2.53GHz as the QX9300 was expected to be. I wonder if that means Intel is still having problems getting the TDP's down? The QX9300 was supposed to be 45W at 2.53GHZ, but if they had to underclock it, I wonder if that means the Q9100 will be more like 2GHz instead of 2.27GHz to maintain the 35W TDP?
 
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ajmetz

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Oct 26, 2006
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If Apple does make announcements next month about updates to the MacBook Pro range, etc, is there any event approaching on the calender that such announcements might be made at? Or will it just come via a press release?
 
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kjs862

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Jan 21, 2004
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This is such a bad time right now for people who need to buy a a laptop like me. With new announcements everyday about new laptops, I really have no idea when to buy.
 
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JG271

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Dec 17, 2007
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Sounds good... i'd be really interested to see how the performance stacks up against a Core 2.
I hope that if quad core laptops are released that it won't raise the price too much.
 
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Fidgetyrat

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Jan 29, 2008
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This is such a bad time right now for people who need to buy a a laptop like me. With new announcements everyday about new laptops, I really have no idea when to buy.

Simple, They WILL update the line, its just a matter of when. Just wait for the next update. It is likely next month and at MOST 6 months from now. Not too long.
 
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goinskiing

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Jun 25, 2008
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This is such a bad time right now for people who need to buy a a laptop like me. With new announcements everyday about new laptops, I really have no idea when to buy.

That's why I bought my MBP two months ago, I just couldn't wait. When I get a new MBP after school (still 2.5 years of EE) then all this fun fancy stuff wil be right at my fingertips, and I can enjoy my current MBP until then.

Though, I'll let it be known that if I could have waited I would have, but I only had a small interval to buy where the stars could align just right.

I almost half-expect a simultaneous launch of mobile Quads and Snow Leopard. That would be quite a way to show off Grand Central. :cool:
 
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