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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Anandtech offers a direct comparison between the existing Merom processors that currently power the MacBook Pro line, and the just-released Mobile Penryn processors. Apple is rumored to be working on MacBook Pro revisions as early as Macworld Expo next week that use these new Intel processors.

Anandtech was able to provide a direct comparison between the two processors:
Intel sent us two Dell Latitude D630 notebooks, identically configured, with one variable: the CPU. In one D630, we had a Core 2 Duo T7800, which is a Merom based chip running at 2.6GHz with an 800MHz FSB and a 4MB L2 cache. The other D630 came equipped with a new 45nm Core 2 Duo T9500, also running at 2.6GHz/800MHz but with a larger 6MB L2 cache.

With just the processor change alone, the new Penryn laptop offered 5-10% more battery life on their benchmarks. Meanwhile, the new processor saw 1 - 8% speed boosts on common tasks, and up to 40% improvements in applications that support the SSE4 instruction set.

Apple's MacBook Pro is currently available in 2.2GHz, 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz speeds. The last major revision of the MacBook Pro was in June of 2007.

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CWallace

macrumors G4
Aug 17, 2007
10,357
7,734
Seattle, WA
Here is hoping new MacBook Pros at Mac World, followed by new MacBooks and iMacs next summer.

Here is also hoping Photoshop adds SSE4 support for common filters.
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
To me this chip revision is more about the 45 nm technology, with its associated chemistry change, and an incremental improvement in power management, and the SSE4 language for bleeding edge apps, which do not effect most people, are the geek-kicker. Pro apps.

The notable thing beside better power usage is far better likelihood of deeper back-end price drops due to far smaller die sizes. Given Apple uses long term supply agreements with back end discounts, this product was designed more for manufacturability than even for features, which are strong enough indeed.

Apple is winning the vendor-supplier game, and Intel is reaping the benefits.

Rocketman
 

rikers_mailbox

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2003
739
0
LA-la-land
What OS? Windows Vista I presume?
Is Vista fully 64bit?
Is Vista optimized to handle multiple processors/cores?
Can it throttle processor utilization and power consumption?

Sorry, I'm fulla questions and sorta feel like 10.5.2 will address some of these issues.
Penryns will show even better improvement with OS X.
 

Dreamer2go

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
677
302
i know what penry is. Though santa rosa chips are already 45nm and use the high k method that im guessing was carried over to penry as well

nope
merom processors in the santa rosa platform is using 65 nm, not 45nm
 

CWallace

macrumors G4
Aug 17, 2007
10,357
7,734
Seattle, WA
What OS? Windows Vista I presume?

Yes.


Is Vista fully 64bit?

Yes.

Is Vista optimized to handle multiple processors/cores?

Yes.

Can it throttle processor utilization and power consumption?

Not sure if it does it on it's own or if it interfaces with SpeedStep on the CPU, but it does do it.


Mind you, I still am not impressed with Vista even on 8-cores with 4GB, but I was running the 32-bit Vista edition.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,902
739
Redondo Beach, California
What applications/types of application take advantage of this?

The SSE instructions are of most use to software that process large streams of audio or video media. Doing things like changing color spaces, scaling pixels or encoding a ripped CD to MP3

Apple might modify Core Image or other "core" libraries to use SSE4 and then software that uses these libraries would be able to take advantage without need to be changed. Right now I think Apple is the biggest user of these libraries with programs such as Preview, iPhoto, Aperture Garage Band and so on. I think Adobe uses their own image processing code.

Use of SSE4 in software would have to wait until the SSE4 hardware is widely available or else how could Apple run a beta test?
 

mattvolp

macrumors newbie
Mar 7, 2005
21
0
"...40% improvements in applications that support the SSE4 instruction set."

Damn. That's not bad. Wait, what's SSE4 Instruction set?
 

bobcb

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2007
23
0
I think it's cool but everyone needs to set realistic expectations for something like SSE4.

1. It will take a while (a good long while for some) apps to get recompiled with this support. And many will never get it for assorted reasons.

2. You can't rebuild an entire OS around a new instruction set, so see #1 when considering impact on OS X. Some parts will get a boost, many won't.

I only post this because I was on another forum and apparently SSE4 cures you male pattern baldness, improves your gas mileage, pleasures our woman while you are at work and prevents dandelions in addition to speeding up some instructions.

That said, I'll take any boost I can get so those who held out for Penryn get a little something for the wait.
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,435
266
Purcellville, VA
Can it throttle processor utilization and power consumption?
I don't know about Vista, but Windows XP does that on my Shuttle XPC system. I downloaded and installed AMD's "Cool & Quiet" software to provide the feature. When idle, the system clock slows to about 40%, jumping back up to 100% when active.

I don't know how much power it saves, but the fan runs slower and the air exhausted out the back is noticeably cooler.
now im no expert but werent the macbook pro's updated to santa rosa chips in june? or is merom another name for santa rosa.
Santa Rosa is a mobile chipset suite (using the "Centrino" brand) that incorporates a particular graphics and Wi-Fi chipset in addition to the CPU. It supports "Socket P" processors. Originally, this was just Merom, but Penryn is also supported (it's unclear from the Wikipedia article if the refresh for Penryn compatibility involves new chips or just a firmware update.)
 

tjugo

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2008
1
0

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,435
266
Purcellville, VA
The SSE instructions are of most use to software that process large streams of audio or video media. ...
They are used extensively by many parts of Mac OS X, including the desktop and related UI components.

Additionally, any code using the Accelerate framework (instead of direct SSE calls), should be able to take advantage of the new capabilities, as soon as Apple releases an update with the capability. (For those who don't know, the Accelerate framework wraps a wide variety of SIMD-type operations, so code can use them on both PPC and Intel systems, mapping to either AltiVec or SSE instructions, as appropriate.)
1. It will take a while (a good long while for some) apps to get recompiled with this support. And many will never get it for assorted reasons.
Not necessarily. Apps that currently use the Accelerate framework should be able to take advantage as soon as Apple updates Mac OS X. They shouldn't have to be recompiled.

Code that directly makes SSE/2/3 calls, of course, will have to be updated, but there may not be that many apps in this category. Accelerate has existed since Mac OS X 10.3, and Apple has been encouraging its use since then. I suspect that Adobe will be one of the few major app-suppliers that will need to update their code for SSE4.
2. You can't rebuild an entire OS around a new instruction set, so see #1 when considering impact on OS X. Some parts will get a boost, many won't.
Mac OS uses the Accelerate framework for those subsystems that use SSE. They should all start using the new instructions as soon as Apple updates the framework.
 
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