Intel launches Centrino 'Santa Rosa' platform

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 4np, May 10, 2007.

  1. 4np macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    The Netherlands
    On wednesday Intel announced the new version of the Centrino-platform. 'Santa Rosa' offers several important improvements for both companies and regular consumers, like Turbo Memory (previously: Robson Caching), Dynamic Acceleration Technology, 802.11n WiFi and wireless AMT.

    The processes are still based in the 65nm Merom-core, but have been improved in several fields. One of them being Intel Dynamic Accelaration Technology, which means that one core will run faster if the other core is not needed. This is ideal for non-multithreading applications. This feature will probably also surface in desktop pc's although it is not yet known what the timeframe is. Some sources say in juni with the introduction of the Bearlake chipset.

    The bus speed has been increased from 667MHz to 800MHz, but this will be scaled down to save energy when extra bandwith is not required. The processer also integrates better with the chipset when entering sleep modus. By storing the cache contents to disk, the northbridge does not need to wake the processor every now and then to request new versions of the data. Also the prices of the processors will be lowered; the 2.4GHz T7700 is now more than a hundred dollars cheaper than the 2.33GHz T7600.


    The chipset is a mobile version of the 965-series which, in comparison to the 945-series, mainly has improved in the graphics field: the X3100 gpu's eight pipelines have been clocked at 500MHz while the current four pipelines run at 400MHz. The 3DMark05 score should increase with 70%. Also the powersaving features of the videochip have been improved; the contrast, scan mode (interlaced/progressive) and refresh rate of the screen are automatically adjusted based on circumstances to save power without limiting the quality. Because of the improvements on average 1 Watt can be saved on the screen, which results in about 20 minutes of extra work time. The chipset also got two extra USB ports (to a total of ten) and a third SATA port. A new feature that saves another 0.4 Watt is the ability to close the connection to the harddrives when they are not needed. A -complete- GM965 costs $ 43,- and the GM956 (without graphics) costs $ 39,-

    Turbo Memory
    Turbo Memory - previously known as 'Robson' - adds 512MB or 1GB flash memory to the main board. Microsoft ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive (in Vista) are able to use this memory to increase system performance by faster boot and application load times. The advantage of Turbo Memory over a seperate USB memory stick is that Turbo Memory has a lower power consumption, offers a higher bandwith and -ofcourse- is built into the system. Also, the system does not need to have the extra algorithms in place (like caching and disk-writes) to check for removal of the memory so the algorithms can safely be made more aggressive. Next to better performace Turbo Memory also offers energy saving features because the harddisk has to be powered up less frequently. A 512MB Robson module costs $ 17,- and the 1GB version costs $ 21,-. Probably a 2GB version will soon pop-up.


    Centrino Pro
    As announced earlier Intel will divide the Centrino-line into two sections. The normal consumer version (Centrino Duo) does not change much except for the logo, but the business version (Centrino Pro) offers support for Active Management Technology. This technology allows administrators to remotely gather information about a particular system, install updates or receive warnings on suspicious network activity (in order to detect worms and spambots). What is usefull about AMT is that it works independantly from the OS; even if the OS has crashed (BSOD :p) or has been turned off. New in Centrino Pro is the possibility to gather this data wirelesly (except if the machine is turned off).

    WiFi and Ethernet
    The 4965AGN WiFi-module which is part of the Santa Rosa platform supports the 802.11n draft version.This suposedly is up to five times faster and has an up to two times increased range compared to the 802.11g module that is part of the Napa platform. On a distance of 68 meters from the base station one would theoretically be able to watch a 19mbit video without trouble, but in real life this of course depends on several external factors. The 4965AGN costs $ 29,-


    Battery Life
    Intel is a bit vague on the amount of time you can work on a accu charge; which usually is a bad sign (otherwise they would have mentioned it in the press conference). However, at the press conference they mentioned several minor adjustments that add up to 2,7 Watt in total. However, the total tdp of the chipset has become higher. The graphicless version has increased from 6 to 8 Watt and the version with graphics has even nearly doubled (14 Watt) compared to the previous generation. Some numbers:

    Processor --> 1,1 Watt
    Northbridge (GM965 / PM 965) --> 1,13 Watt / 0,53 Watt
    Southbridge --> 0,75 Watt
    WiFi --> 0,05 Watt
    Ethernet --> 0,0 Watt

    While Intel expects to make some minor improvements in the final version, it is interesting to see that the northbridge consumes a little more power than a complete dual core processor. While this is a compliment to the processor team it is clear that improving the battery life of a system has to be done at the platform level.

    Overall the impression arrises that the power consumption is about the same as the current Centrino-platform while offering more features and better performance.

    source (in Dutch):
  2. coledog macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2006
    Roanoke, VA
    Wow...I like it!! Cannot wait for Macs to get 'em!!
  3. Manic Mouse macrumors 6502a

    Manic Mouse

    Jul 12, 2006
    So the X3100 costs $4...

    OK Apple, time to offer something better on the MB!
  4. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    You should probably not steal bandwidth from the original site by merely reposting their pictures with their own URL ;)
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm impressed by how low WiFi consumption is... basically don't need to bother turning it off. However...hmm... 14 watts for the version with graphics? That bodes poorly, unless I'm missing something important.... :(
  6. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    so if turbo memory makes it into the macbook/macbook pros, will it be user upgradeable?

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