Looking ahead on the 2010 iMac

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Mar 23, 2005
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Surprisingly enough we did get a desktop processor based iMac this time around. The 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo E7600 shows up as the stock processor for the 21.5" line and base 27" model. There's also the option to upgrade to the 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo E8600 with 6 MB of L2 cache as well.

The E8600 upgrade option has very marginal benefits in my opinion compared to a 65W Core 2 Quad S, the current P55 platform, or the soon to be H57 platform for Nehalem/Westemere.

For all intents and purposes LGA 775 is a dead socket walking. Core 2 Quad was already made irrelevant with the release of Bloomfield back in November of 2008. In addition there is Lynnfield from September 2009 for mainstream, cooler Nehalem with optimized Turbo Boost. Clarkdale comes out in January 2010 with 2 core, 4 thread Westmere desktop processors to replace the $100-300 range of highly clocked Core 2 Duo processors that remain.

There are still faint glimmers left though. The 65W Core 2 Quad S, while superseded by Lynnfield and Clarkdale, is a cool drop-in processor for the 21.5" models that won't require any sort of redesign.

There's also one more processor that keeps turning up under the Core 2 Duo line. I made mention of the 3.5 GHz 65W; 6 MB of L2 cache E8700 some time ago. It was launched earlier this year but I haven't heard of anyone managing to get one until now.

The E8700 should drop its E8600 predecessor down in price from its current US$266 per 1,000. While it might not be a flashy new Clarkdale, the Core 2 platform does need to be taken into account. nVidia doesn't offer any IGP support for Nehalem/Westmere platforms.

In conclusion, I suspect you're going to see Core 2 hang around for another revision with the E8600, E8700, and a possible 65W Core 2 Quad option. Alongside that you'll see a 32 shader ION2 as the platform controller. Lynnfield prices are expected to go down with the release of the Bloomfield Core i7 930 in Q1 2010. The Core i5 750 is more than likely going to trickle down to the current US$1,699 base 27" iMac in the next revision.
 

stonemann

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2009
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Thanks for that analysis. So for those of us waiting for the next revision of 21.5 inch machines we're unlikely to see a quad-core option but a new dual-core processor? How significant are the performance benefits likely to be with the new dual-cores? There's a huge leap in benchmark stats from a c2d 3.06 to an i5 for example, but only a modest gain from 3.06 to 3.33 despite the larger cache and faster speed (still only eight per cent or so). And there's a big performance gap between the current top-of-the-range 3.33 ghz processor and an i5. For those of us who prefer the form factor of the 21.5" iMacs, but would like the performance of a quad-core, this is a little dispiriting.
 
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Shanpdx

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Sep 24, 2008
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I really hope the next revision of iMac 21.5" is dual core i5

*same socket as 27"
*32nm
*less heat
*faster than Core 2 Duo (hopefully)

hi eidorian, how good is the 4670 256MB graphic card? i use photoshop a lot and video editing once in a while, not much gaming.
 
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Eidorian

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Mar 23, 2005
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Thanks for that analysis. So for those of us waiting for the next revision of 21.5 inch machines we're unlikely to see a quad-core option but a new dual-core processor?
The base iMac is more than likely going to stick with a dual core to upsell you to the higher end models. The 21.5" iMac is already handling a 65W E7600 and the warmer E8600.

How significant are the performance benefits likely to be with the new dual-cores? There's a huge leap in benchmark stats from a c2d 3.06 to an i5 for example, but only a modest gain from 3.06 to 3.33 despite the larger cache and faster speed (still only eight per cent or so). And there's a big performance gap between the current top-of-the-range 3.33 ghz processor and an i5. For those of us who prefer the form factor of the 21.5" iMacs, but would like the performance of a quad-core, this is a little dispiriting.
Modest gains from a faster Core 2 Duo once more. The Core 2 Quad Q8400S offers a reasonably high base clock and more cores at a low price. That's entirely up to Apple though. I find it strange to use LGA 775 for just one iMac revision only to redesign and replace the logicboards after a few months.

The 21.5" iMacs can standardize on LGA 775/ION2 and the 27" models LGA 1156/P55.

I really hope the next revision of iMac 21.5" is dual core i5

*same socket as 27"
*32nm
*less heat
*faster than Core 2 Duo (hopefully)
Clarkdale is going to be faster than Core 2 with high ~3.0 GHz base clocks, Hyperthreading, and Turbo Boost. It also means that Apple is going to either use the Graphics Media Accelerator HD or go all out with dedicated graphics since the 9400M or ION2 can not be used.

hi eidorian, how good is the 4670 256MB graphic card? i use photoshop a lot and video editing once in a while, not much gaming.
You're fine with the Mobility HD 4670 for Photoshop. It's a faster card than the 9600M GT for gaming as well. You're going to be more interested in the processor, RAM, and disk I/O speed side of things.
 
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OldCorpse

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Dec 7, 2005
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But what is the upgrade path for the 27" i7 2.8? I mean they could bump the clock speed somewhat, but would they go to P55? I don't know, to me the current i7 is the real leap compared to the last iMac revisions, and for the next revision, at least near term, I'm not excited by bumping up the clock a bit or even the P55. Is there anything on the Intel roadmap 2010/2011 that could be wrenched into the 27" iMac and be a big leap over the current i7 without exploding the thermal envelope? I didn't see anything, but maybe I missed it. Regardless, I'm happy with the current i7 and I'm gonna buy me one come January... I have a feeling it'll be reasonably futureproof at least for a couple of years.
 
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300D

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May 2, 2009
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There are still faint glimmers left though. The 65W Core 2 Quad S, while superseded by Lynnfield and Clarkdale, is a cool drop-in processor for the 21.5" models that won't require any sort of redesign.
Too bad that doesn't actually work.

But what is the upgrade path for the 27" i7 2.8? I mean they could bump the clock speed somewhat
They already did. The 2.93ghz i7 is a drop in replacement if you feel like spending $1000 for ~15% difference.
 
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300D

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May 2, 2009
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I am talking about Apple providing it
They won't. The core2 series is very near EOL so its doubtful they will use anything but an i3 or low-end i5 in the low spec iMac from the next update on. Apple does not sell CPU upgrades either.
The mini will probably keep the c2d for a while, up to the 3.06 or 3.32, but I doubt it will see a quad for another year at the least.
 
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Shanpdx

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Sep 24, 2008
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Why did they design a LGA 775 board to only use for one revision?
because the Dual Core i5 are getting released Jan 2010 (which i know you know ;) ) but we mac users wanted the Christmas on October.

I think in this case apple no choice than releasing a stop gap product (in 21.5" internals) and going to retain 3.06Ghz i5 dual cores for next revision, unless your techie no one going to notice

Also Dual Core i5 in large quantities may not be available immediately after Jan 2010 launch? May/June time period Intel should those babies in big inventory which is good for iMac.

remember we still have inventory shortage in iMac i5 model ( even though it looks like ATI 4850 is the culprit)
 
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Shanpdx

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Sep 24, 2008
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_future_Intel_microprocessors#Core_i3

they might start with Core i3 3.06Ghz or

spend some $$$ more and get to Core i5 3.2Ghz

i think it will be better for apple to have same logicboard and design for both 21.5" and 27" (when intel have big inventories of i3/i5 dual cores)

and another thing is the whole mess with integrated graphics.

in my case also, if there is a graphic card (basic one) i might went with $1199 basic config :rolleyes:
 
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Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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I agree with you. Apple don't design something to be used only in one revision.

Positive thing about this is that Core 2 Duos and Quads will be even cheaper in future so we might see 999$ iMac :cool:
 
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MacHamster68

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Sep 17, 2009
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the LGA 775 socket offers a good base as once the core duo and dual core and core 2 duo ..cant keep them apart , never could ,even when using them in pc`s

the point comes when i will be able to buy a base iMac 21.5" i can buy one with blown processor ,as i just can pop in my old prescott pentium 4 which has socket LGA775 i have lying around here somewhere .. so i may keep that old processor in the shelf :rolleyes:
 
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Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
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I agree with you. Apple don't design something to be used only in one revision.

Positive thing about this is that Core 2 Duos and Quads will be even cheaper in future so we might see 999$ iMac :cool:
Course there is the 1-2 month wonders, the all-new single CPU PowerMac G5 and a Laptop revision, both of which got a lot of press and were gone quickly.
 
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Shanpdx

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Sep 24, 2008
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Here's Clarkdale and Arrandale pricing if anyone is interested.
Based on the price alone
Current
3.06Ghz -E7600 - $133 - BTO - E 8600 3.33Ghz - $266

Future
3.06Ghz - Core i3 530 - $143 - BTO - Core i5 670 - 3.46Ghz - $284

Point to note
#Price difference of $10 and $12 for Integrated graphics
#Core i3 no turbo mode
#Core i3 is like Pentium and Celeron, i wonder apple wants to go that far or get i5 650 and lose some margin
#Intel integrated graphics performance
#Core i5 650, 660, 661 ($176, $196, $196) are very close to the price point core i5 750 quad core $196
 
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Aug 26, 2008
1,339
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But what is the upgrade path for the 27" i7 2.8? I mean they could bump the clock speed somewhat, but would they go to P55? I don't know, to me the current i7 is the real leap compared to the last iMac revisions, and for the next revision, at least near term, I'm not excited by bumping up the clock a bit or even the P55. Is there anything on the Intel roadmap 2010/2011 that could be wrenched into the 27" iMac and be a big leap over the current i7 without exploding the thermal envelope? I didn't see anything, but maybe I missed it. Regardless, I'm happy with the current i7 and I'm gonna buy me one come January... I have a feeling it'll be reasonably futureproof at least for a couple of years.
Uh...what? The P55 is a chipset, and it is what is already being used with the i7's/i5's. If you use a lynnfield chip, you use P55.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Mar 23, 2005
29,085
290
Indianapolis
But what is the upgrade path for the 27" i7 2.8? I mean they could bump the clock speed somewhat, but would they go to P55? I don't know, to me the current i7 is the real leap compared to the last iMac revisions, and for the next revision, at least near term, I'm not excited by bumping up the clock a bit or even the P55. Is there anything on the Intel roadmap 2010/2011 that could be wrenched into the 27" iMac and be a big leap over the current i7 without exploding the thermal envelope? I didn't see anything, but maybe I missed it. Regardless, I'm happy with the current i7 and I'm gonna buy me one come January... I have a feeling it'll be reasonably futureproof at least for a couple of years.
The Core i7 870 is the only faster Lynnfield part. There doesn't seem to be any sort of replacement and the only rumor that I've heard of is a 32nm optical shrink of Lynnfield with no changes otherwise.
 
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iamthedudeman

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2007
1,197
84
Surprisingly enough we did get a desktop processor based iMac this time around. The 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo E7600 shows up as the stock processor for the 21.5" line and base 27" model. There's also the option to upgrade to the 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo E8600 with 6 MB of L2 cache as well.

The E8600 upgrade option has very marginal benefits in my opinion compared to a 65W Core 2 Quad S, the current P55 platform, or the soon to be H57 platform for Nehalem/Westemere.

For all intents and purposes LGA 775 is a dead socket walking. Core 2 Quad was already made irrelevant with the release of Bloomfield back in November of 2008. In addition there is Lynnfield from September 2009 for mainstream, cooler Nehalem with optimized Turbo Boost. Clarkdale comes out in January 2010 with 2 core, 4 thread Westmere desktop processors to replace the $100-300 range of highly clocked Core 2 Duo processors that remain.

There are still faint glimmers left though. The 65W Core 2 Quad S, while superseded by Lynnfield and Clarkdale, is a cool drop-in processor for the 21.5" models that won't require any sort of redesign.

There's also one more processor that keeps turning up under the Core 2 Duo line. I made mention of the 3.5 GHz 65W; 6 MB of L2 cache E8700 some time ago. It was launched earlier this year but I haven't heard of anyone managing to get one until now.

The E8700 should drop its E8600 predecessor down in price from its current US$266 per 1,000. While it might not be a flashy new Clarkdale, the Core 2 platform does need to be taken into account. nVidia doesn't offer any IGP support for Nehalem/Westmere platforms.

In conclusion, I suspect you're going to see Core 2 hang around for another revision with the E8600, E8700, and a possible 65W Core 2 Quad option. Alongside that you'll see a 32 shader ION2 as the platform controller. Lynnfield prices are expected to go down with the release of the Bloomfield Core i7 930 in Q1 2010. The Core i5 750 is more than likely going to trickle down to the current US$1,699 base 27" iMac in the next revision.
I think you are spot on 110%. The current bundled IGP for the new Intel processors means that Apple has to go with another option in the 21.5 imacs. Apple will bide their time and wait it out espicially after the FDC is getting involved.

I am betting on the new 65W Core 2 Quad S in the 21.5's with Ion 2. :)
 
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Fiete5401

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2009
150
0
Germany
Yes they do. But I think 65W may be a bit much. Will probably go with this one here. For marketing purposes this in the imac 21.5 will sell better than any dual core i3 or i5 to the masses. Can you say Quad core for the entire imac line.
Dude, I'm really trying to but my lips and tongue simply won't do it. ;)
Actually the current processors E7600 and E8600 do have a 65W TDP. So we already have the socket and the cooling systems in the current lineup. Now we need our favorite fruit-company to jump into the quad game with both feet!
 
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