The Macintel Report

Intel Core 2 Duo to Ship in July, Can a Power Mac Replacement Be Far Behind?

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.05.11

This Week's Macintel News

Intel's next generation dual-core CPUs are just around the corner. Now known as Core 2 Duo processors, the CPUs formerly known as Conroe (desktop) and Merom (mobile) will begin shipping in July and August, respectively. Don't be surprised to see these at the heart of Power Mac and Xserve replacements, as well as more powerful versions of the MacBook Pro.

Core 2 processors will be available in ultralow power, low power, "regular", and extreme versions, the latter especially for gamers, servers, and other power users.

Anyone taking odds on a Power Mac G5 replacement shipping by the end of July?

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

Core 2 Duo

Boot Camp

Core 2 Duo

Intel to Call 'Conroe' and 'Merom' Core 2

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel's upcoming next-generation architecture processors 'Conroe' and 'Merom' will be branded 'Core 2 Duo', online reports allege. The gamer-friendly version of Conroe will ship as the 'Core 2 Extreme'.

"The claim, made by Reuters yesterday, was not confirmed with official comment, but the presence of chip logos in other reports suggests the story is accurate and probably represents an officially sanctioned leak."

Link: Intel to Call 'Conroe' and 'Merom' Core 2

Intel's New Processor Brand: Core 2 Duo

News Factor's Walaika K. Haskins reports:

"With a unified PC and notebook brand and microarchitecure, 'everyone will have a simple way to choose' processors, said Eric Kim, an Intel spokesperson. 'And developers will be able to more easily write optimized software just once for a variety of computing segments.'

"Taking a page from the marketing playbook of the Pentium processor, Intel executives announced that 'Core 2 Duo' is the new brand name for the chip giant's upcoming processor families for desktops and laptops.

"Formerly codenamed Conroe and Merom, the Intel Core 2 Duo chips are based on the newly designed Core architecture and will include two processing cores - or brains - per chip, hence the 'Duo.'"

Link: Intel's New Processor Brand: Core 2 Duo

The Second Coming of Intel's Core Duo

CNET News.com's Tom Krazit reports:

"Intel has decided to borrow the sequential naming scheme it used for its famous Pentium brand and apply it to the new Core line of chips, the company is expected to announce Sunday. Earlier this year, Intel released the Core Duo processor, and in a few months it will unveil Core 2 Duo processors. The Core 2 Duo name will be used for desktop chips based on the Conroe chip, as well as for notebook chips based on the Merom chip. Merom processors consume less power than Conroe chips, but they're otherwise very similar.

"Each Core 2 Duo chip will also have a model number that will indicate how much power it consumes and its relative performance, said Intel spokesman Bill Kircos. The Conroe processors will fall into either the 4000 series or 6000 series, while Merom processors will use either the 5000 series or 7000 series numbers, he said.

"Conveniently, the Conroe numbers match up well with the model numbers used by Advanced Micro Devices on its current generation of dual-core Athlon 64 X2 desktop processors. AMD's highest-rated Athlon 64 X2 processor as of Friday is the X2 4800+. Kircos declined to comment on whether Intel chose the new scheme to line up with AMD's model numbers."

Link: The Second Coming of Intel's Core Duo

Core 2 Duo Unified Brand Name for Upcoming Intel Processors

PR: The Intel Core 2 Duo processor is the new brand for Intel Corporation's upcoming powerful and more energy-efficient processor families for desktop and laptop computers that will arrive in the third quarter, the company announced today.

Formerly codenamed Conroe and Merom, the Intel Core 2 Duo processors for desktop and notebooks PCs respectively are based on the newly designed Intel Core microarchitecture and will include two processing cores - or brains - per chip, hence the "Duo" addition. Intel will also call its highest performing processor for enthusiast and gamers the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor.

These groundbreaking processors will be built on Intel's advanced 65-nanometer design and manufacturing process technology that shrinks a processor's circuitry and transistors. This combination will deliver higher-performing, yet more energy-efficient processors that will spur more capable, stylish, silent and smaller mobile and desktop PCs while saving on electricity usage.

"With this unified PC and notebook brand and microarchitecture, everyone will have a simple way to choose the most powerful and energy-efficient processors in the world, and developers will be able to more easily write optimized software just once for a variety of computing segments," said Eric Kim, Intel senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "We want these processors to be the heart and soul of computers that are increasingly bringing magic to our digital lifestyles."

Having a common microarchitecture for the consumer, gaming, notebook and business desktop market segments makes it easier for computer developers to create more efficient software applications and can share capabilities across all categories if necessary.

The dual-core processors will include the industry's largest integrated cache or memory reservoir called Intel Advanced Smart Cache that includes a unique design for faster performance on memory intensive applications. The products will also support such features as enhanced security, virtualization and manageability built right into the processors.

Consumers and businesses will also be able to purchase these processors as part of Intel's market-focused platforms, a collection of Intel hardware and software technology innovation designed and tested together and tailored to specific computing needs. Intel offers wireless computing, in-home entertainment or business productivity platforms through the company's Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology, Intel Viiv technology and Intel vPro technology brands respectively, all of which are powered by versions of these new processors.

Starting with these new brands, the "2" will signal the arrival of a new generation of technology to the Intel Core processor line. In order to be consistent with current Intel Core processor naming, Intel will continue to use such terms as "Duo" to creatively and effectively indicate the number of processing cores per product.

Boot Camp

Boot Camp: Apple Bobs for Suckers

PCMag's Jim Louderback says:

"Don't get too excited about the whole Mac/Windows dual-boot thing. Although a wide range of starry-eyed experts - including some in our very own lab - have lauded Boot Camp (aka BC) in tones not heard since the days of OS/2, it's really nothing to get excited about. Here are my top reasons why - at least to real computer users - 'Boot Chump' is a snore.

"Design: The more effete among us have embraced BC because now they can run all their favorite Windows apps on a saucy, sexy Mac. The underlying assertion embraced here is that Apple machines are just so much cooler than their PC counterparts. Hogwash. There are dozens of better-looking notebooks out there than those tired, industrial-looking iBooks and PowerBooks that dribble out of Infinite Loop...."

Link: Boot Camp: Apple Bobs for Suckers

Column on Boot Camp - Genius Satire or Madness?

Cult of Mac's Leander Kahney and Pete Mortensen say:

"The Mac blogosphere is frothing after the publication of a column by PCMag columnist, Jim Louderbeck.

"The piece, titled 'Boot Camp: Apple Bobs For Suckers,' is pretty inflammatory to any diehard Apple user:

"Apple's not interested in a DIY Mac, nor is it concerned with the case-mod culture of the PC. Oh, I guess that doesn't matter; lemming-like Apple fans aren't interested in actually doing anything different with their cookie-cutter computers that aspire to 'Think Different' but, like that old Pete Seeger song about little boxes, 'all look just the same.'

"But it's only inflammatory if you don't have a sense of humor. I'm almost positive the column is a work of satire, collecting the lamest, most obvious excuses a hardcore PC user would offer for why a Macs are no good. The point then becomes to show that these excuses are totally irrelevant to the average user....

"It's either incredibly sophisticated satire or totally insane."

Link: PCMag Column on Boot Camp - Genius Satire or Madness?

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