What's all the hype with Penryn?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pgseye, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. pgseye macrumors member

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    #1
    I've been tossing up (and I still am - as I don't desperately need to buy a new laptop immediately), whether to buy a MBP now or wait until Jan because of the speculation of inclusion on Penryn chips.

    But when this update happens it won't be a major, super-duper, revolutionary change will it? We're talking processor speed increases as opposed to platform changes (ie core duo to core 2 duo)? So the next platform change will be Montevina, but that won't happen till mid-year?? I wonder whether Wimax will take off?

    Maybe now still is an OK time to buy a MBP even though we're only 2 months from SFMW ...
     
  2. cthomet macrumors regular

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    #2
    why not wait if you dont need it now? im in the same boat with you in terms of deciding whether to buy (in my case a macbook tho...) and my theory is, if you can wait, why not? you may get a better computer at a better price. win win to me
     
  3. fewture macrumors regular

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    #3
    If you can wait, wait.

    Penryn MBP's will be better laptops - and who knows what Apple might add in - including a redesign. Its all on the cards, if you can wait, wait and find out. Its not very far away!
     
  4. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #4
    Don't get it now if you don't need to. If we do indeed see new mbps at MacWord, you can bet that they'll be worth the wait. Only major updates/upgrades seem to garner major attention these days. The last MacWorld brought us the iPhone;)

    If your current laptop is working for you (it's not getting in your way in terms of maintenance, etc), then stick with it until MacWorld passes.
     
  5. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #5
    The question is, what does Penryn bring to the table that Santa Rosa doesn't?

    OT: And what's with Intel's funky code names?
     
  6. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #6
    I think they're based on places in California.
     
  7. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #7
    This question has been answered at least half a dozen times before, as searching before posting would have shown you.

    The end result is that this next update will not be that spectacular. Expect ~10% improvements in CPU speed, maybe a little better battery life, nothing spectacular. GPU VRAM might get bumped, but they will almost certainly be using the 8600M still. Still have 2 GB RAM, although might be 800MHz. Probably a HDD bump. A case redesign is incredibly unlikely imho. What's the point of making a revolutionary outside for an evolutionary inside?

    For these reasons, if you can't wait, don't worry, and buy now. If you can, then it would be worth you waiting for an extra 40 GB of HD space, and an extra 200 MHz per CPU core.

    And again, I expect that the NEXT major processor upgrade, Nehalem, will be special, as it is a core redesign, not just a shrink. Think Quad core. Then think DDR3 RAM, and a cluster GPU. Maybe that will be at MWSF2009?
     
  8. MarlboroLite macrumors 6502a

    MarlboroLite

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    #8
    I think I agree with all of this--I don't think we will see any sort of case redesign until there is a something totally new to put inside the computer itself. I'm myself waiting for the January update (if there is one) simply because I don't need to go get one right now, but I realize the update will probably be minimal and similar to what you describe--it's just a matter of getting more bang for the buck if you wait the two months.

    At some point people have to buy something, and even if they go to quad core laptops, most people will be more than fine with dual cores out today to last at the very least 3 to 4 years. I've had a Sony Vaio Pentium 4 laptop and has served me well and I still don't feel totally out of the loop, but is showing signs of age--after over 4 years. By the time I need a new computer in say 2011 or 2012, who knows what they will have out but I'm sure it will be incredible, one can't be obsessed what Apple will come out with every six months.
     
  9. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #9
    Exactly. Since the OS X experience is pretty much the same across the Apple hardware board it's not like moving from one PC to a much more capable one where Windows would literally be a different experience.

    Ex. My 2 year old 12" PB is almost exactly the same to my wife's new MB, in terms of use.
     
  10. lekun macrumors regular

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    #10
    re: Case redesign

    On the other hand, why waste a case redesign (which drives sales) when revolutionary innards will also drive sales.

    Furthermore, I doubt Nehalem or whatever to be that big of an update. When updates are more than 12 months, these forums tend to overstate their impact. When the original CD were replaced with C2D, everyone was yelping "wait for Santa Rosa, that will be an update!" Then the same when SR came out: Penryn was all the rage. Most chip technology is evolutionary.

    I think the only thing pointing to a case redesign in January is Apple's love for this new keyboard, and so that need to put it onto all of Apple's notebooks may spur on a complete redesign. I think chip innards have no correlation to case redesign (and if you think of the transition to intel, and PowerPC before that, it may be an inverse relationship, as Apple tries to maintain outward consistency when gutting the inside). When the 15 inch switched to aluminum from titanium the processor jump was minimal. The only data that contradicts this is the switch from G3 to G4 which prompted the titanium redesign.
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #11
    45 nm vs 65 nm process, meaning; smaller size on the chip, lower power consumption, lower heat, and more room for larger on-die cache memory.

    (and incidentally, higher component yields for Intel per wafer, meaning more profit)

    Plus some additional SSE4 commands that will give better performance handling media and graphics if and when the software is programmed to take advantage of them.
     
  12. djellison macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Combine that with the commonly held belief that Apple intentionally didn't change the enclosure when making the highly revolutionary shift from G4 to Intel...and it seems that Apple will never make a change, ever again.

    With the iMac going to 'greener' materials - I can see them pushing something in that regard. A MBP and MP update in Jan would be a sensible tie in - both currently old Al based enclosures - both looking a bit tired - both could do with an update that includes BR and the MBP in particular currently offers very poor value for money imho.

    Doug
     
  13. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #13
    Very poor value for money??? WTF???

    They use the very best mobile CPUs available today, and the very best mobile graphics cards available today for notebooks as thin and light as the MBP is as well. Couple that with 2 GB of RAM, and a modest HDD, 2.5 kg, 4-5 hours of functional battery life, all for a very modest price. And a well designed tough aluminium enclosure that does an excellent job of resisting wear, protects the insides from impacts, and looks fantastic. What other material is Apple coing to use? Polycarbonate? No thank you, makes it look like a toy, fractures rather than deforms, and doesn't conduct heat well.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with you that the MBP, the MB or the iMac are poor value for money. The Mac Pro, on the other hand, is.

    And I'm pretty sure there is nothing in the present MBP design that is particularly nasty to the environment. Aluminium, although it is power hungry to produce, is the most common element on Earth, isn't poisonous, doesn't corrode, and is easily recycled.
     
  14. cintari macrumors newbie

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    #14
    big deal

    WAIT!

    The new processors will provide considerable performance increases - especially in the areas of power efficiency (WHICH IS A HUGE CONCERN IN LAPTOPS).

    The they are now using a new insulator for their capacitors. This means less leakage currents (wasted power) - they claim is virtually eliminated.

    So this means all those complaints about laptops burning your lap will be gone. Also it means better battery life. Also, on the side it means we have a faster processor due less delays and stuff... transistor theory stuff.

    Also, if you wait, solid state drives (SSDs) will become more popular and thus, less expensive. That means less power consumption and faster boot and load of harddrive intensive programs. How fast? SSDs have shown to boot vista in under 20secs. So, if you wait, you will get the benefits of a SSD when apple includes them... which i think will happen next year (if they want to stay top of the line). Even if apple doesn't adopt it, you could buy one and pop it in yourself.

    So all in all, you wait, you get a huge increase in battery life and speed!
     
  15. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #15
    Penryn will also add support for DDR3 RAM with the new Bearlake chipset that Penryn will be paired with. However, the fastest DDR3 modules haven't been able to beat the fastest DDR2 modules within the rated specifications (meaning I'm throwing out the 1066 mhz modules and faster as DDR2 is only rated from 400-800 mhz IIRC).

    All in all though, Penryn is basically a die shrink.

    Nehalem will be a new design. It will feature an on-die memory controller (the current design has the memory controller on the chipset, which increases latency compared to an on-die design. AMD has had this design for around 4 years). Nehalem will be native quad and octo-core.

    Here's a wikipedia article on Nehalem:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehalem_(CPU_architecture)
     
  16. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #16
    No. The TDP of the Penryn CPUs is 35 Watts the same as current Merom CPUs. This means the same heat. At most an extra 200MHz per core in clock speed. A 10 second Google search disproves your comment.

    And as further flaming, you seem to have little understanding of economics. Popularity has little to do with the cost of SSD's. Everyone knows that if someone could sell a SSD at about the same cost as a traditional HDD, it would sell incredibly well. The problem is that they are incredibly expensive to manufacture. This is not changed by popularity. Also, they have very low storage capabilities. Yes, they are fast, but only give a considerable speed increase for random reads and writes. If the data is all in one place on a platter HDD, the platter could possibly beat the SSD.

    If SSD's are going to improve and replace traditional HDD's, (which will happen, it's just a question of when) it will be because of new technologies. And it could be ion memory.

    http://www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/news/2007/10/ion_memory

    So, again, there will be NO major improvements in terms of speed, or battery life with this next upgrade.

    Again, if there is going to be a massive increase in speed and decrease in power consumption in the near future, it will be with Nehalem, which will be the first processor DESIGNED for the new high K hafnium transistors.
     
  17. pgseye thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    Crikey!

    there are some pretty conflicting opinions here on what benefits Penryn will offer. It sounds like reduced heat with the new processor is a universal given though.
     
  18. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #18
    Works here too.


    Sorry to be such a grump, but this expectation that a die shrink and this new material will drastically slash the heat generation is simply untrue.
    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mobile+penryn+TDP&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
    http://www.behardware.com/news/9038/details-on-the-mobile-penryn-line.html
    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/08/23/intel_roadmaps_mobile_penryn/

    Transistor leakage surely only matters when the transistor is off, and if all your transistors are off, then your computer is obviously idling. Sure, maybe you MIGHT get an extra 30-60 minutes of idle time (and hence claimed battery life), but if you're not going to be using your computer for 30 mins, wouldn't it be better to just shut the lid and put it to sleep???
     
  19. effer macrumors member

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    #19
    I'd like to point out that Apple's road map, whatever it may be, must be seen within the context of a highly competitive market.

    It's not Apple's luxury to sit on a new technology, or case design, when Dell and other notebook makers are doing everything they can to stop Macbooks from becoming the iPods of their world. Brand power alone won't ensure success for Apple notebooks, nor OS X.

    The notebook industry is blowing up; product cycles are only going to shorten. With so many areas that laptops can improve in, the pressure is on Apple to keep pace with the industry--and more importantly--innovate new features and design elements that separate them from the pack.

    Apple is tied to intel's roadmap like everyone else, but it is what they do outside of core component upgrades that brings them market share and will (hopefully) blow our socks off in 2008.

    I expect an absolute feast of products from Apple next year, starting early.

    We know Dell's already got multi-touch...
     
  20. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #20
    •Cradles head in hands in despair and frustration•

    At the moment, there is nothing that Apple could realistically and economically include in the Macbook Pro that is not already in it. As I said, it already uses the best available parts, and Penryn won't bring much else. Multitouch will eventually happen, but until it can replace the tactile feedback and ease of use of a keyboard, it will be limited to trackpads. Sure, maybe the next revision might come with a slightly bigger trackpad, but I doubt it. Maybe Apple will bring out some software enabling two finger zooming, but that would be backwards compatible with many existing Apple trackpads going back many years.

    Further, I cannot see any application for a multitouch screen that isn't highly specialised. What would you use it for? I agree it would be nice in some instances, such as in Garage Band, having your standard keyboard change into a piano keyboard, but if you're that into that stuff, you buy a USB keyboard. They demonstrate the interface with photos, which is nice, until you realise that the interface would be totally unusable with say 100 different pictures. How would you find the one you were looking for?

    All in all, multitouch is too expensive at this point in time to be reasonable, considering how little it would be used.
     
  21. arcobb macrumors regular

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    #21
    I agree with you. But looking at laptops (and desktops) Apple is tied to Intel which is good because it puts them on a level playing field in a hardware since with everyone else. But they are not tied to Microsoft which means they do have a competitive advantage as they do not have to wait for Microsoft to bring new technologies to their platform as Dell or HP. This is one reason Linux is starting to make some headway with new users, however they are a tiny percentage of the computing population ... but they are growing. But when you look at Computers all the makers kinda get lumped into one category without much to make one stand out over the other, they all run Windows, Apple computers do not.
     
  22. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #22
    The change was necessary because at smaller transistor dimensions leakage otherwise increases. The change compensates for the change in transistor size. It's not a magical net improvement.
     
  23. pgseye thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    I think I'm looking for people to say that there won't be anything significant in terms of an update in Jan, so then I'll feel better about going out and buying a MBP now. Then, there'll be some cool update that of course I wish I'd waited for...but that's the game we all play when deciding when to buy (kind of childish really - we should be happy with what we've got - this industry changes so fast anyway).

    My powerbook is beachballing more and more lately - probably trying to run too many apps at once (but need to, to write up a research paper). I'm very much sitting on the fence thinking can I put up with 2 more months of this or not?

    If new updates are announced in Jan, how long till one typically ends up in the consumers hands? 2 -3 weeks? That'd put it at early Feb at the earliest, wouldn't it?
     
  24. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #24
    Yes, the smaller you go, the more leakage you get, and this new technology decreases the leakage by a factor of 5. But this is irrelevant. Leakage is just that, leakage. It is completely swamped by the power going through the transistors to perform calculations. This power is decreased as the process is decreased, as the electrons don't have as far to go, and therefore you should be able to use a lower voltage. It seems that if Penryn still has a 35 Watt TDP, then these improvements will not manifest until Nehalem, when the cores are redesigned for the new material and process.

    Take the AMD HD2900XT GPU. It was made on an 80 nm process. The new HD3870 is almost identical, it's just made on a 55 nm process. The HD3870 outperforms the HD2900XT, yet uses less than half the power. Penryn SHOULD be looking at the same kind of TDP benefit, but for whatever reason, it is NOT. Maybe it is because they are being designed to be easily placed into existing hardware, or maybe it's just because of the core design. The end result is, that the new materials and process should enable the Nehalem core to easily outstrip the "Core 2" core (Merom and Penryn) in both power consumption and performance.

    EDIT:
    The chances of the MBP update being more than just evolutionary are miniscule. Considering Apple's recent performance, it seems quite likely that the MBP won't be updated until mid 2008, with the second generation of Penryn chips on the Montevina platform (DDR3, faster FSB, 2.6 and 2.8 GHz and maybe option of 3.06 GHz Extreme edition) in 2Q2008, which should enable a graphics card upgrade as well, assuming NVIDIA or ATI have released some new chips.

    In fact, I'm gonna take a punt here and now and say that the MBPs will not be updated in January, and will in fact wait for a semi-decent upgrade around May.
     
  25. cintari macrumors newbie

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    #25
    actually, the random write speeds are slower. A 10 second google search disproves your comment. :D
     

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