Penryn vs. Montevina iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ks-man, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. ks-man macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 25, 2007
    #1
    I'm assuming that in the next few weeks Apple will be releasing a Penryn iMac and the Montevina one will come out around Oct/Nov time-frame (I just can't see it being ready by back-to-school time). Most of this is based on the front page Mac Rumors article last week.

    My question is in a real world sense, how big the difference between these two iMacs should be. I'm soon going to be in the market for a new iMac and I'm sure the power of today's iMacs will be plenty for what I need to use it for. That being said we always love to have the latest and greatest so I am considering holding off for the Montevina one.

    The main purpose of this computer will be internet, music/photos and running XP through Fusion. I'm currently doing all those things on my Air and feel it is very speedy so I don't think I'll need the extra power.

    Is there anything else significant people are expecting in the Montevina update or will it mainly be speed improvements that someone like myself will probably never truly appreciate?

    Thanks.
     
  2. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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    #2
    It will be a bit faster, run a bit cooler, and use less power.

    The last two really don't benefit an iMac owner, and the former is likely going to be in the handful of percentage points, so you likely won't really notice the difference.
     
  3. Sped macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2003
    #3
    I don't have any inside information, but I'm not sure your assessment is correct. I believe Apple will release a Montevina iMac in June. There are no specific rumors pointing to the iMac being released immediately other speculation that Intel's Merom supply won't support the iMac much longer. Apple only has to make it 6 more weeks. It's likely that Montevina design criteria and pre-production samples are available to most retailers now.
     
  4. ks-man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 25, 2007
    #4
    I don't think June is realistic, here is the info from the MacRumors post

    "Nehalem, however, won't be ready for use in a Mac until early 2009. As a result, we can't recommend delaying all upgrades until then, but for those with more flexible upgrade plans, it may be worth the wait."
     
  5. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #5
    If the Air is enough for you, the Penryn iMac will be plenty.


    Put it can't hurt to weight, if you don't need it, why rush? Lower power can save you on your energy bill, plus cut down on world energy usage(every bit counts!)

    And faster won't hurt you, thats for sure. And maybe we'll see some cool updates, better iSight, thinner, more standard RAM, who knows!
     
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #6
    Nehalem ≠ Montevina

    The first is the CPU design/technology. The second is the codename for the mobile platform (which for Montevina includes Penryn and perhaps Nehalem CPUs). If things go like Santa Rosa, it'll be MBPs first, then iMacs, then MacBooks.
     
  7. ks-man thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 25, 2007
    #7
    So do you think that we will see any of the following by June-Sep?

    a) A Menom Montevina iMac (without major changes in design)
    b) A Nehalem Montevina iMac (with major changes in design)
    c) A Nehalem non-Montevina iMac (with major changes in design)

    My understanding was that you can't get Montevina without Nehalem so for purposes of our discussion they will be released together. I am certainly not an expert on this though so please let me know if I'm mistaken.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #8
    Montevina only supports Penryn based processors.
     
  9. Darkroom Guest

    Darkroom

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    Montréal, Canada
  10. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #10
    No they wont release a Penryn iMac, its too late, they'll wait till June and release montevina along with the macbook/pro.
     
  11. anmoldagreat macrumors member

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    Feb 29, 2008
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    seattle
    #11
    if a macbook air is enough power for you; why not just go the mac mini route and throw in a 23in acd?
     
  12. Matek macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 6, 2007
    #12
    Since some people don't completely understand this platform/cpu architecture blabber, i'll try to elaborate.

    Montevina is a mobile platform upgrade. The platform has to do with mostly everything that runs inside your computer - ram, networking, graphics, etc. Montevina will provide support for DDR2 and DDR3 ram, it will include updated graphics (X4500 instead of X3100), higher FSB (1066 instead of 800), etc. The platform is completely independent of the CPU upgrade, although they often go hand in hand.

    Nehalem is a CPU architecture upgrade. This means only the actual processor inside your machine gets upgraded.

    If you look at the past Apple laptop/iMac upgrades, they follow Intel's releases and sometimes update the platform, sometimes the CPU.

    When Santa Rosa came, it was a platform update. The CPU speeds changed a bit, but that was due to higher FSB introduced with the platform. Other than that, the CPU's remained identical (Merom), only the platform changed from Napa to Santa Rosa.

    After that, there was the Penryn update. That was a CPU upgrade. The platform remained the same, although most people aren't aware of this, the new Penryn laptops still use the Santa Rosa platform! Just the CPU changed from Merom to Penryn.

    Now there will be another update, first the platform - Montevina is officially scheduled to be released at the beginning of June. Again, this is just a platform update, the CPU will stay the same (Penryn), it will just get a slight FSB/frequency boost and that's it.

    After that the CPU will be updated. Nehalem should come out late 2008, still using the same platform - Montevina.

    You see the pattern? About every 6 months, there is an update of either the CPU architecture or the platform. if we look at these updates independantly, they both happen about once per year, they're just not placed together, there is a 6 month difference between them, which means something happens every 6 months. Hope I was clear enough.

    To answer your question - the Montevina iMac will use Penryn chips just like the one that could be introduced shortly. It will just have an updated platform, which will bring a slightly higher FSB, updated graphics (not important since iMacs use seperate GPUs) and perhaps DDR3 support (optional, depends on Apple). All of this shouldn't be too major, don't expect a performance boost of more than 5-10 percent.
     
  13. Tsurisuto macrumors 6502

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    Jun 13, 2007
    #13
    I agree to the fact that I don't see Apple releasing a minor processor update to Penryn now, especially considering that the Montevina platform is just 6 weeks away from being released.

    I'm still in 2 minds whether to upgrade my current iMac G5 when Apple release the Montevina iMacs or wait for the Nehalem iMacs in early 2009? I guess my decision depends on the type of GPU Apple provide in the next update...
     
  14. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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    #14
    Nehalem and Montevina are two different things. Matek explained it well so I will refrain from adding.

    Nehalem will most likely first enter the Mac world around MacWorld 2009 in the Mac Pro as the first Nehalem CPUs are expected to be server/workstation chips due in late 2008 per Intel's most recent comments.

    We will likely not see Nehalem start to appear in the iMac/Mac Mini/MacBook Pro/MacBook line until around WWDC 2009 because the mobile chips will likely trail the desktop ones.
     
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #15
    I agree entirely with this timeline.

    Montevina is going to be the platform for Penryn this year. Capella will show up with Nehalem derived mobile processors in Q2 2009.
     
  16. crontab macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2008
    #16
    Wow - thank you. Well done.
     
  17. trip1ex macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #17
    There's always going to be something better coming down the pipe and it's no sure thing that new iMacs are coming any week. People have been saying that for nearly 2 months now. I suppose they have to keep saying it every week now until they are right too. :D

    It really could be 3 or 4 months until new iMacs show up. It's far from unprecedented.
     
  18. crontab macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2008
    #18
    The inclusion of X4500 in Montevina would certainly bring some exciting possibilities into the mix. Read this excerpt from Intel_GMA:

    "The X4500 GPU is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming GM45 ("Cantiga") and G45 ("Eaglelake-G") chipsets and will be manufactured with 65nm technology. Like the X3500, X4500 will support DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.0 features. Intel is aiming this solution to be 3x faster than the GMA 3100 (G33) in 3DMark06 performance, resulting in a score of around 1000 points.[7] In addition to the increase in performance, a more advanced version of Intel Clear Video technology as well as HDCP support will be integrated, allowing for smooth HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback. The X4500 is scheduled to be released in Q2 2008"
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #19
    I would be more concerned about VC-1 and h.264 decoding. It's only available on the GMA X4500HD as of right now. It's still having a few growing pains.

    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/09/eaglelake-a-3-raise-g4345-graphic-clock-to-800mhz/
     
  20. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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    #20
    Yes, but likely only for the MacBook and Mac Mini. I expect the MacBook Pro and iMac will continue to use discrete GPUs with better performance.
     
  21. harmonica01 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 30, 2007
    #21
    so...

    Basically from reading through these...I take it whatever is out now will not be much different from what may come out this summer?

    The reason I ask is because I have gone from a powerbook g4, to the 2.4 mbp, to the 1.8 mba all in the course since last summer.

    Likesay the g4 was a very respectable laptop, it just couldn't run intel only apps, naturally so i upgraded to the MBP had too many problems with it so I sold it and for my graduation present I received the mba, which runs things smoother than the book pro did for me, which is great.

    But starting in September this year I'll be again on research grants and will require a computer able to run the apple pro applications for video and sound editing.

    Here's my question: Will it be beneficial to get the new update before September 08, or will a refurbished fall 07-spring 08 model be equally comparable performance wise?
     
  22. mmccaskill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #22
    Yeah basically from reading this, upgrading to Penryn chips in the iMac will most likely not produce a significant change in performance. However, if Apple chooses to lower the price slightly, include a new standard video card or offer a new CTO option, then it might be worth waiting.

    I got a work bonus so I'm trying to decide between another 30" ACD for my MP @ work or buy a 24" iMac for the house.
     
  23. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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    #23
    I expect Apple is more likely to keep the prices the same and boost the CPU speeds a bit. We might see a new CTO GPU, but I tend to think not.
     
  24. Sped macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2003
    #24
    It depends on your definition of significant. The Penryn XE chip set for release next month will clock in at 3.066 gHz and at the same price as the current Merom XE 2.8 gHz chip available today. That's 10% right there. The new Penryn chip will have a 6 MB L2 cache and a 1066 mhz bus. Those two additions should provide some performance gains as well. Finally, Apple will be able to include DDR3 memory. Whether they do or not remains to be seen, but there are performance gains to be had there too.

    One of the more interesting possibilities is the potential to not use the Xtreme processor, save about 10W of TDP, and include a hotted up GPU. Although Apple poo-poo'd the megahertz myth in years past, I bet they follow it and use the Xtreme processor rather than finally include a GPU worth a s&*%.

    My money right now is on Apple releasing a Penryn / Montevina combo in June. It probably will happen around WWDC but not at WWDC. I expect WWDC to be all about 10.5 and the iPhone.
     
  25. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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    Seattle, WA
    #25
    These are the mobile CPUs Intel will be releasing next month that support Montevina:

    • Core 2 Extreme QX9300 with 12MB L2 cache and TDP of 45W (2.5GHz Quad Core)
    • Core 2 Extreme X9100 (3.06GHz Dual Core, 6MB L2 cache and TDP of 44W)
    • Core 2 Duo T9600 (2.8GHz, 6MB and 35W)
    • T9400 (2.53GHz, 6MB and 35W)
    • P9500 (2.53GHz, 6MB and 25W)
    • P8600 (2.4GHz, 3MB and 25W)
    • P8400 (2.26GHz, 3MB and 25W)
     

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