The new iMac: How long can Apple hold off on the Quad Core i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Chris7, May 17, 2009.

  1. Chris7 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I'm wondering what Apple is thinking by not including the Bloomfield Core i7 in the new iMac. With the 2.66 Ghz version being over twice as fast (with the right software) as their 3 Ghz Core 2 Duo, they face stiff competition from the PC world where this inexpensive chip is becoming standard. I've got a couple theories, but wonder what the people here think.

    1. Apple needs to have some substantial performance difference between their iMac and the mac pro (which uses 4 core processors). Until they can give the Mac Pros the 6 core Gulftown when it's released in about a year, the only way to create this performance gap between models is to use the old duel core chips for the iMac's.

    2. The Core i7 runs too hot to put in a tiny enclosure that includes a hot screen, so a new chip might necessitate them dropping the cute one box computer that's brought them so much crossover business in the last few years (?).

    Again, that's all I can speculate. Interested in the opinions of the people here...
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #2
    My guess is that more Macs will go quad core when Snow Leopard launches and Apple will extol unto us unworthy masses the glory of more than two cores.

    Then again it'll feel like 2007 again for me and old friend the Q6600.
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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  4. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    #4
    More likely Apple is waiting to introduce a 16-core (32-virtual) Mac Pro, so then the 8-core becomes low end Mac Pro, the iMac can step up to 4, along with the MacBook, Air and MacBook Pro, leaving the Mac Mini at 2.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.
     
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #5
    I don't think it's to differentiate from the mac pro. They already do that with the fact that the mac pro can take several times more RAM, 3 extra internal hard drives, multiple and upgradable video cards, and the mac pro not having a screen attached, just to name the most obvious ones.

    In short, processing power is one very small factor in making a "professional" computer. People who need mac pros are not going to move to imacs en masse because the imacs have new processors.
     
  6. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #6
    Agreed....the Mac Pro makes it clears it a very different Mac then the iMac.
    That said, the iMac could use some help making it clear it can keep up with the PCs Consider that Apple refused to give us a mid range tower, the should atleast keep the iMac near those types of computer(spec wise)
     
  7. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I'm sort of hoping it's the heat. It would be a fun joke on Steve if the hot new chips forced him to abandon the eyestrain-inducing glossy-screened, non-upgradable, single FW800 port iMac, for a sensible mini-tower.:D
     
  8. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #8
    I'd be quite sad if the iMac sent away!

    Admittedly, Apple should release a mid range tower(or let users price a Mac Pro online using more mid range hardware), but I think many users are well served by the iMac, all in one, design.
     
  9. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #9
    You do know that the i7's are Intel's re-branded Xeons right?
    That makes them server end processors, hardly suitable for consumer uses me thinks... putting them in all-on-one solutions would be a complete waste of a good CPU but that's just my opinion. You might think it's perfectly viable. If anything, I'd imagine Apple might upgrade the iMac's as we know it to the cheaper i5's.

    Though if your desperate for more speed, there's nothing stopping you from ripping open your Core2Duo iMac (assuming it's the last generation) and replacing the CPU with a Core2Quad!! They're do share the same socket and should work, in theory. However heat might be an issue... and the newer iMacs are said to have CPU's surface mounted!

    Pics from Mid 2007 iMac.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I wouldn't expect iMac's to come with Quad Core Nehalem based processors until the next refresh - March / April 2010. That seems the likely time for updating the iMac line as Intel will have released a new low power Nehalem by Q1, 2010. :cool:
     
  11. RichardI macrumors 6502a

    RichardI

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    #11
    Yep - whatever Apple does with the iMac always seems to be two or three iterations behind the mainstream. The second hand store of the PC business. But somehow, it works.

    Rich
     
  12. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #12
    It won't be until Intel make the mobile version.
     
  13. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I don't know much about the really technical aspects of these chips, but from Wik it seems that the Core i7 is not a server processor; I figured that's why Apple went with the "DP Server" Gainstown for its duel quad core Mac Pros, even though they have much lower clock speeds for the price. I don't understand the difference between the Core i7 and the Core i5, although the 2.66 GHz Core i5 is $88 cheaper (link below).
    That would be interesting. The mobile Clarksfield is due out Q3 of this year, but is clocked at 1.6 Ghz for the cheapest version.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehalem_(CPU_architecture)
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    Plenty of lovely threads to use but I don't expect to see anything less than seeing this in performance/desktop replacement laptops.

    The iMac and MacBook Pro are possible but we haven't seen any other chipsets than what Intel provides, yet. That' what I'm waiting to see.
     
  15. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    #15
    The Core i7 is not a rebranded Xeon. It's actually the other way around. It was designed from the ground up for consumer-grade multimedia software (particuarly video encoding, decoding, etc) like iLife.

    Core i7 was launched in November 2008.

    Now, the Xeon 35xx chips (that Apple uses in its low-end Mac Pro) are actually rebranded Core i7 chips that support ECC memory and can be inserted into dual socket motherboards.

    The Xeon 35xx series was launched in March 2009.
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #16
    Core i7's true purpose is the integrated memory controller and multi-socket systems.

    I can understand where the server/workstation system on down mentality can come from.
     
  17. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #17
    What does the average person need 4 cores for? Most people who need power go the Pro route anyway, and wouldn't settle for an all in one iMac.
     
  18. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #18
    You can get 4 cores for the price of 2 nowadays. Why not?

    You can a quad system easily for around $500 nowadays. Just not from Apple.
     
  19. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #19
    I suppose my real question is... Is it needed by the average iMac customer? More heat in an all in one like the iMac for what added benefit? Most people will never use 4 cores. Not trying to be argumentative here. I agree they should make a Mac Pro Lite option to fill the gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro.
     
  20. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

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    #20
    I'd take a look at the mobile Core 2 Quad offerings first.

    I heard the same arguments back when dual core processors became affordable. The average consumer gets tossed around like they actually know something.
     
  21. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    #21
    2011 for quad-core in the iMac. That's my prediction.

    I think both your theories are valid. I also think:

    3. Apple doesn't think that the doubling of cores outweighs the low clock speeds of current mobile dual-cores for the iMac segment at this time, plus Apple doesn't want to put higher-clocked dual-cores with lower-clocked quad-cores.

    There are already 65 W desktop Penryn quad-cores out there. Low-power Lynnfield might hit 45 W but that's only a maybe.

    Mobile Penryn quad-cores are 45 W, cooler than the 55 W dual-cores used in the iMac.
     
  22. jaw04005 macrumors 601

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    #22
    Exactly. Considering Apple ships processor intensive consumer multimedia software with every Mac, chances are the average Mac user probably would benefit even more than the average PC user from quad-core chips.
     
  23. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #23
    Another annoying fact about Apple. I think Steve's ego is still hurting from 3.0 GHz PowerPC 970 that never materialized.
     
  24. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #24
    Core i7 (45nm)= 130w
    Core2quad= 65 and 95w
    Core i7 (32nm)= ?w
     
  25. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    #25
    130 W (6 core version)
     

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