No quad-core MacBook Pro (or iMac) until 2010?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iMacmatician, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    Hi everyone! :) First post here, although I've lurked here for two years.

    There's been considerable speculation on when Apple will adopt quad-core for the rest of the Mac line besides the Mac Pro. You've probably heard the news that Intel will be releasing a quad-core processor for portable computers next month. That quad-core processor is 2.53 GHz but 45 W, most likely too hot for usage in the MacBook Pro. Apparently Intel will be releasing a 2.27 GHz quad-core mobile processor in Q4 2008, that is only 35 W, fit for the MacBook Pro. It would also be logical to assume that quad-core will be going in the iMac too, as it supports up to 55 W (2.67 GHz quad anyone?).

    But if my hypothesis is right (and it's just a hypothesis), we may see quad-core in either Mac not with Montevina, not with Nehalem (Q3 2009), but with Westmere (H1 2010). :(

    My hypothesis is this: Within a lineup, not only does the core count rise or stay constant, so does processor speed. So in other words, a 2.53 GHz dual-core cannot coexist with a 2.27 GHz quad-core.

    My reasoning is:
    This is probably why the Mac Pro (August 2006, 2x 2.0/2.67/3.0 GHz dual) did not adopt the 2x 2.67 GHz quad-core upon its release in November 2006. Instead, it used the 2x 3.0 GHz quad-core 5 months later. Also, this may be why the current Mac Pro does not have the option for a single 3.0/3.2 GHz quad-core processor or 2x 3.4 GHz dual-core.

    The current (unofficial) mobile roadmap shows that through 2009, there will be only one quad-core processor model suitable for the MacBook Pro (Montevina: ≤ 35 W, Nehalem: ≤ 45 W). Apple doesn't normally use just one processor model in any lineup, and any dual-core would be so slow (2.27 GHz for Montevina, that's low-end MacBook territory) that it may be unsuitable for the MacBook Pro. If the MacBook Pro were thicker to accommodate 45 W CPUs, then we could see a 2.4/2.53 GHz dual-core base and a 2.53 GHz quad-core option (as that doesn't violate my hypothesis).

    The iMac would support multiple quad-core models, but I think there will be too much of a price gap between a dual-core and its equivalently-clocked quad-core for quad-core to be an option (unless Intel delivers interesting "Apple-only" models :cool:).

    I do not know the details of mobile Westmere aside from a likely 2010 release; I am assuming that the Nehalem » Westmere transition will be like the 2005 Dothan » 2006 Yonah transition in core count, but more subtle. Westmere may allow for multiple 35 W quad-cores at lower price points than Montevina/Nehalem quad-cores. So that would be when quad-core moves to the MacBook Pro and iMac. In other words, compared to high-end PC notebooks, the MacBook Pro may be over a year behind in the quad-core race. :(:rolleyes:

    What are your thoughts?
  2. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    this may be true, but the iMac is a consumer-level machine and currently most people don't even need dual-cores for office productivity, internet, e-mail, etc. So really a quad-core is still overkill for your average user.

    In the Macbook Pros I'm not sure, they are pro-level but I think theres some hype over quad-cores that really isn't needed. Most programs don't use it. And if you really need that power, the base Mac Pro will always blow away the top end MacBook Pro. I'm in no rush for a quad-core laptop, but maybe thats just me.
  3. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    You lost me there because I have forgotten a lot of my tech smarts in the past few years. :)

    I think what you're saying is Apple won't have a bunch of dual-core cpus in a line (MBP, iMac) and then have a more-expensive yet slower clock speed quad-core CPU. I get the reasoning (computer-buyers are often quite dumb) but that may not stop Apple this time. I think they will probably wait until prices drop a bit and until Snow Leopard is nearly ready. You know, have a big quad-core rollout along with 10.6, which is made for such things.

    I have personally given up trying to figure out what all the codenames for the processors and chipsets are (since they apparently mean something to Intel but not to the rest of us). I know I read that the next big update (is that the Nehalem CPUs?) were supposed to be a huge update as far as processing ability. I don't recall if they supported DDR3, but that would speed things up as well.

    In the end, I'm gonna be using this MBP for a few years since, well, I paid $1800 for it. :) The only shortcoming is the lack of Blu-ray support, which I'm hoping Apple adds this year.
  4. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Apple offers up to 3.06GHz on the iMac, but only 2.6GHz on the MacBook Pro.

    So what would be the issue with offering the QX9300 2.53GHz 45W TDP quad-core CPU on the iMac and the QX9x00 2.27GHz 35W TDP quad-core CPU on the MacBook Pro?

    And Intel is mumbling that they might just be able to get the QX9300's TDP down to 35W.
  5. iMacmatician thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    Yeah, that's it.

    I have thought about this possibility. Snow Leopard's Grand Central may allow Apple to remove this "GHz Rule."

    The first mobile quad-core is $1038. The Q4 2008 one will be about $851, and Nehalem will get quad-core down to $530 or so.

    Yes and yes.


    According to my hypothesis, Apple would "have to" use the 2.53 GHz dual-core and lower on the iMac ($700 difference) and the 2.27 GHz dual-core on the MacBook Pro (MacBook levels).

    I've read that. I doubt it. That's the only source I've seen 35 W on.
  6. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The Q9100 is a dual-core CPU running at 3.06GHz with a 6MB L2 cache and a 44W TDP.

    Also, Intel adds the X for their quad cores, so I am guessing the lower-speed quad core will be a QX9200.
  7. iMacmatician thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    That's the X9100. The "X" stands for "extreme." "Q" stands for "quad."

    QX6700 = Quad-core Extreme
    Q6600 = Quad-core regular
    X6800 = Dual-core Extreme
    E6700 = Dual-core regular

    And a Q(X)9200 would be 2.4 GHz, as each hundred is 133 MHz.
  8. iMacmatician thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    Assuming a speed bump for the 45 W quad-core in H1 2009, the iMacs could get updated then with dual 2.53/2.8/2.93 GHz / quad 2.93 GHz processors.
  9. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Fair enough. Some of the lists published by Engadget and such (evidently mistakenly) had the 3.06GHz dual-core unit tagged as a Q9100. :)
  10. iMacmatician thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    And that really got on my nerves when I was looking for Q9100 info.
  11. Pokpitch macrumors newbie


    Jan 4, 2010
    I think theres some hype over quad-cores that really isn't needed.
  12. Clete2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
  13. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Well, I hope something is released soon as I am considering selling my Mac for a PC laptop.
  14. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I put Windows 7 on mine in bootcamp this weekend. I'm so impressed that I'm considering selling this thing and buying a $1,000 pc with Windows 7 and pocketing a few hundred bucks.
  15. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    I LOLed.

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