Kentsfield (Quad-core Intel) by end of 2006?

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Apr 12, 2001
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TG Daily news reports that Tom's Hardware will be posting preliminary benchmarks for Intel's upcoming Kenstfield processor on Monday.

Kentsfield is Intel's next revision of their "Core" processors which was originally scheduled to be released in the 1st Quarter of 2007. According to the article, it is now planned for late 2006 availability.

Kentsfield is a Quad-core chip and essentially combines two Conroe chips. It is expected to be a Conroe "drop-in" and should work with the same motherboards as Conroe. More details about the chip are expected at the fall Intel Developer Forum which takes place between September 26-28 in San Francisco.

Apple originally used the Core Duo (Yonah) processor in first Intel Macs released in January of 2006. In the past month, Intel introduced the Core 2 Duo Mobile (Merom) and Desktop (Conroe) processors as a successor to the Core Duo (Yonah). Last week, Apple incorporated the Core 2 Duo Mobile (Merom) into the new iMacs. Apple has not yet utilized the Core 2 Duo Desktop (Conroe) processors for any Macs. Meanwhile, the Mac Pro, introduced in August, uses the higher-end Xeon (Woodcrest) processor.

Apple's current line up is as follows:

Mac mini - Core Duo (Yonah)
iMac - Core 2 Duo (Merom)
MacBook - Core Duo (Yonah)*
MacBook Pro - Core Duo (Yonah)*
Mac Pro - Xeon (Woodcrest)
Xserve - Xeon (Woodcrest)

* Unlike the other models, the MacBook and MacBook Pro have not seen updates for 4-5 months. As a result, many are speculating that they will see updates soon.
 

Josias

macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2006
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I guess Apple should'a put Conroe in the iMacs. Is there a chance this will mean Conroe will be in MacPro's?
 

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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Interesting, but not sure how good the design is with 2 dual core processors
back to back.

I agree if Apple decides to use this at all it may be in a new smaller tower, or
Intel will sell this in a more affordale prosumer market for P/C's only.

Apple has gone server class Xeon in their Pro Towers, so it would be going backward
using Conroes.

I think you're right arn,

Just because Apple has agreed to use Intel chips, does not mean that every Intel chip
will be good enough to put in an Apple product.
 

Manic Mouse

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Jul 12, 2006
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There's going to be a problem when PC manufacturers get a hold of this if Apple doesn't realease a mid-tower to compete. Conroes are faster than the Meroms in the iMac as it is, but with quad cores they'll wipe the floor with them at multi-tasking.

Surely Conroe needs to go somewhere in Apple's lineup? Great value, fast and soon to be quad-core.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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Manic Mouse said:
Surely Conroe needs to go somewhere in Apple's lineup? Great value, fast and soon to be quad-core.
ya, there really appears to be no space for the Conroe chip in Apple's lineup... at least with the decisions they've made so far in updating the iMac to Merom.

arn
 

DrFrankTM

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Nov 8, 2005
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FFTT said:
If my memory serves me correctly Conroe will not be pin compatible with Merom, is that right? I just can't remember what's what anymore. Old age.
As far as I know, the first generation Merom is pin-compatible with Yonah, the Core Duo mobile processor that is in the MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini at the moment. And if I'm not mistaken, Kentsfield will be pin-compatible with Conroe, which is not used in any Mac at the moment.

EDIT: But no, Conroe and Merom are not pin-compatible.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
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Minitrue
I for one know what is gonna happen!

1. Apple will upgrade the Mac Pros to Octos as soon as possible
2. iMacs will take the Kentsfields
3. Mac Pro buyers will feel the pinch

It happens every time, you Appleheads should have gotten used to it be now :p
 

Manic Mouse

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Jul 12, 2006
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arn said:
ya, there really appears to be no space for the Conroe chip in Apple's lineup... at least with the decisions they've made so far in updating the iMac to Merom.

arn
A mid-tower between the Mini and Pro seems to be the only possible home for Conroe. And, even though I would love to buy one, I'm not sure if Apple really want to release such a machine.

You never know though, we could be in for a nice surprise sometime soon.
 

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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What ever Apple decides to do, the result will have to be better than any Vista
Powered AMD set-up.

The thing is that Apple has not only set a standard for performance, but also
for QUIET that no other workstation in it's class has ever achieved.

They won't be able to maintain that ground if they cut too many corners.

Some of these quad core designs will be a success and some with probably fail
to meet Apple's standards.
 

Manic Mouse

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Jul 12, 2006
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generik said:
1. Apple will upgrade the Mac Pros to Octos as soon as possible
2. iMacs will take the Kentsfields
3. Mac Pro buyers will feel the pinch

It happens every time, you Appleheads should have gotten used to it be now :p
The iMacs will NEVER see Kentsfields. Apple would have to have put Conroe in the new iMacs for that even to be a remote possibility. Even if they had I would still say it would never get Kentsfields.

I mean people are saying that Conroe is too hot for the iMac as it is (I don't think they are) but Kentsfield is two Conroe dies on one package. Meaning almost double the power consumption and heat generation.
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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Manic Mouse said:
The iMacs will NEVER see Kentsfields. Apple would have to have put Conroe in the new iMacs for that even to be a remote possibility. Even if they had I would still say it would never get Kentsfields.

I mean people are saying that Conroe is too hot for the iMac as it is (I don't think they are) but Kentsfield is two Conroe dies on one package. Meaning almost double the power consumption and heat generation.
The iMac is huge (relatively speaking), are you telling me such a huge enclosure won't be able to dissipitate an extra 30W or so? It is only around 30W more!

Like it or not Apple will have to somehow fit the Kentsfield into their lineup, cos their advertising campaigns are going to look very lame when Dell simply cops their "switch" campaign style and come out with a "PC" with 4 heads and a "Mac" with only 2.

When Kentfield replaces Conroes and every $999 Dell ships with quad core, it is quite hard to justify buying a dual (in Apple's case, a $2000+ quad)
 

baxterbrittle

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Nov 8, 2005
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It is likely that Apple will drop conroes into the iMac when kentsfield is released. It makes sense to put merom into the iMac now as an intermediate update as they do not have to redesign the whole logic board. Maybe around MWSF we will see a new iMac based around conroe with pin compatible kentsfield in the high end models (24"). I still think it is unlikely that Apple will bring out a mid level tower any time soon, but i've been wrong before. Still would be nice to be able to pick up a quad core 24" iMac in 6 mounths time.
 

Erasmus

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Jun 22, 2006
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OK, Now Apple HAVE to release our precious Mini Mac Pro and put one of these in it!

Yep, Apple need a smaller Mac Pro with one processor very soon. I think maybe at Macworld, if not sooner?

Merom is going to stay at about this speed for many years. There are no quad core mobile processors on the Intel Roadmap.
So when we have 2 core Merom iMacs, which will no doubt last us until Santa Rosa half way through next year, and 8 core Mac Pros with dual Clovertowns, do people not see the slight gap???
Perfect for a Mini Mac Pro. Or a beefier iMac. But I would prefer the Mini Mac Pro. Then at least the lineup would be 2-4-8 core, instead of pretty much a quadrupling of power in well threaded applications between highest consumer and lowest pro. Now that's just insane.

So... Merom MBP's on Tuesday or Wednesday. Merom Macbooks in a month. Clovertown Mac Pros and Xserves, PLUS Kentsfield Mini Mac Pro (conroe on all but highest model) all at Macworld 2007. Not too much of a stretch at all, in my opinion, especially when all we are likely to see on the Mac Pros and Xserves is new CPUs dropped in.

It seems I got my iMac Ultra (in some form) so I'm starting lobbying now on Mini Mac Pro. One Conroe CPU socket, 4 RAM slots, 2 PCI Extreme slots, 2 HDD bays. 600W PSU, and enough cooling to allow us to continue to upgrade parts as long as the socket stays the same, which should be a few years yet.
 

Willis

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2006
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Beds, UK
Well at least people who have brought MacPros can breathe easy now for a while. Basically because these Kentsfield's arent pin compatable with Woodcrest.

However, trying to find a product that can take conroe is sort of pointless. There's no proof or rumours that Apple are working on a Midrange tower. AND even if Apple did release one with just a Conroe chip in it, it would eat iMac sales.

It'd be nice to see one, but not likely
 

Manic Mouse

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Jul 12, 2006
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generik said:
The iMac is huge (relatively speaking), are you telling me such a huge enclosure won't be able to dissipitate an extra 30W or so? It is only around 30W more!

Like it or not Apple will have to somehow fit the Kentsfield into their lineup, cos their advertising campaigns are going to look very lame when Dell simply cops their "switch" campaign style and come out with a "PC" with 4 heads and a "Mac" with only 2.

When Kentfield replaces Conroes and every $999 Dell ships with quad core, it is quite hard to justify buying a dual (in Apple's case, a $2000+ quad)
I completely agree with you: Apple need to get Kentsfield/Conroe into their lineup somewhere. They are the best bang/buck chips Intel are making so it seems insane that they aren't already using Conroe.

As for thermal constraints... Well, I was a big proponent of the iMac getting Conroe and am still quite shocked they went with Merom. There was a lot of discussion before the new iMacs were released as to whether the case could handle Conroe. I think it could, and I still do. But with Kentsfield you are literally sticking TWO Conroes in there when there is some doubt as to whether it can handle one. The 24" iMac could maybe handle it, but I'm doubtful the smaller sizes could. They currently use 32W Meroms, with Kentsfield we would be talking 100W+. Maybe even as high as 130W since Conroe is 65W and Kentsfield is two Conroe dies in one package.

I personally think that a mid-tower is the only option for Apple to incorperate Conroe/Kentsfield into their lineup. Kentsfield is certainly too hot and takes too much power to go into any of their existing consumer models. It wouldn't go in the Pro since they use the Xeon chipset and will be using Clovertown.

As you say, once PC manufacturers get their hands on Kentfield the consumer Macs are going to look very anaemic.
 

Senbei

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Mar 2, 2006
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Clovertown (~November 2006) might be a build to order high end option for Mac Pro as opposed to taking the entire line to 8 cores since there are limitations with that approach including higher power consumption and higher heat output.

Tigerton (Q3 2007 ~summer 2007) is slated to be a true multi-core (quad cores in a single multi-chip module) followup to Woodcrest/Clovertown. It will also use a new platform (Caneland platform comprised of Tigerton/Dunnington and the Clarksboro chipset) which includes a higher performance dedicated high-speed interconnect that gives each processor a direct pathway to the chipset and is supposed to be much faster than the current front-side bus technology. The timing (WWDC 2007) sounds more likely for a major Mac Pro refresh where it does 8 core across the line (and Leopard will probably have a lot more optimization for that many cores).
 

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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I get goosebumps thinking about the capabilties of Logic 8 Pro working seamlessly
with 8 processors!

If you can get enough raw processing power to avoid the use of Digi HD Accel cards
that's going to be some set-up.
 

Lollypop

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Sep 13, 2004
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Powerbook G5 tomorrow!!! LOL ok, ok.. before someone shoots me .....

I would really like a mid range mac, and kentsfield would be ideal! Everyone is worried about such a machine taking away sales from either the Mac Pro or the imac, but I still say apple should just be smart enough and feature it so that people either have to to imac, mac extreme or mac pro. 2 pci express slots, single optical drive, smaller amount of total memory, instead of having people have to go for the mac pro why cant apple make the mac pro the real high end workstation and have something smaller be a the mainstream workstation?
 

spicyapple

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Jul 20, 2006
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Dr.Gargoyle said:
The Woodcrest MacPro will suddenly feel very old if Apple manage to put Cloverton in MacPro early next year.
It appears I will be living in a cardboard box under a bridge sooner than I expected. :) All these juicy new Apples will put me in the poor house!