The Macintel Report

Apple Selling Parallels, Updates Boot Camp; Intel Core 2 'Fastest Desktop Processor'; 'Woodcrest' Expected in Mac Pro

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.07.20

This Week's Macintel News

Although Apple continues to develop Boot Camp, they're now selling Parallels Desktop for Mac at Apple retail stores. Pretty much everyone who has tried Parallels Desktop seems to prefer it to Boot Camp, since it lets you run OS X and Windows concurrently.

Intel's new Core 2 processors are getting a lot of press and impressive benchmark numbers. It's being called the fastest desktop CPU. And Intel will be rolling our more Core 2 models in coming months.

Eric Bangeman at ars technica has examined Intel's offerings and explains why he believes "Woodcrest" (a.k.a. Core 2 Xeon) will power the pro Macs that will replace the Power Mac line.

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

Parallels Software Now Available in Apple Stores

Ars Technica's Clint Ecker reports:

"Parallels' wildly popular and well-reviewed Desktop for Mac virtualization software for OS X had made the leap from online distribution into the real world. In a phone conversation this morning, a company representative stated that Parallels' desktop software has been made available in at least some Apple retail stores as early as this past Saturday, July 15th. The representative also noted that sales were going extremely well with the SoHo Apple store in NYC selling out of the boxed product on the same day it hit the shelves. The software will also be available in other retail electronics stores such as CompUSA, Staples, Office Depot by mid-August."

Link: Parallels Software Now Available in Apple Stores

Apple Boot Camp 1.0.2 Beta Released

Apple Boot Camp allows users with a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac

More and more people are buying and loving Macs. To make this choice simply irresistible, Apple will include technology in the next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard, that lets you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac. Called Boot Camp (for now), you can download a public beta today.

Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy to the table, as Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows.(1) Boot Camp will burn a CD of all the required drivers for Windows so you don't have to scrounge around the Internet looking for them.

Once you've completed Boot Camp, simply hold down the option key at startup to choose between Mac OS X and Windows. (That's the "alt" key for you longtime Windows users.) After starting up, your Mac runs Windows completely natively. Simply restart to come back to Mac.

What you'll need

  • Mac OS X Tiger v10.4.6
  • The latest Firmware update (check Support Downloads)
  • 10 GB free hard disk space
  • An Intel-based Mac
  • A blank recordable CD
  • A printer for the instructions (You'll want to print them before installing Windows, really.)
  • A bona fide installation disc for Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Home or Professional (No multi-disc, upgrade or Media Center versions.)

Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy to the table, as Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows.(1) Boot Camp will burn a CD of all the required drivers for Windows so you don't have to scrounge around the Internet looking for them.

Boot Camp Public Beta provides a straightforward means of letting your Mac run Windows. Here's how it works:

Space maker. Meet the most elegant hard drive utility ever.

  • First, you need to make sure your Intel-based Mac has the latest version of Mac OS X and the latest firmware update. These provide technologies that make Boot Camp possible. It's also wise to print out the Installation & Setup Guide.
  • The Boot Camp burns a CD with the drivers Windows needs to recognize Mac-specific hardware. It is very important to do this before starting the Windows installation.
  • The software also helps you set aside hard drive space for the Windows installation, without moving any of your Mac files around. Just drag the intuitive slider to choose the size that's right for you. Boot Camp also helps you remove the Windows partition, should you so desire.
  • Next, insert your Windows installation disc, restart and follow the Windows installation process. The only tricky part is selecting the C: drive manually. Be sure to get this right, or you could erase your Mac files accidentally. Remember, Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows.
  • After the installation process is complete and your Mac has booted Windows, you'll need the Macintosh Drivers CD you burned previously. When you insert the CD, it will automatically install the drivers. Follow the instructions in the Installation & Setup Guide for helpful hints.
  • Don't forget to follow best practices for updating and protecting your Windows system (see "Word to the wise" to right).
1. You'll need Windows XP Home Edition or Professional, Service Pack 2 installation disc.

Included Amenities

For your convenience, Boot Camp burns a CD with all the Mac-specific drivers for Windows:

  • Graphics
  • Networking
  • Audio
  • AirPort wireless
  • Bluetooth
  • The Eject key (on Apple keyboards)
  • Brightness control for built-in displays

This CD also installs a Startup Disk control panel for Windows. To find it, look for Startup Disk in the Performance and Maintenance section of the Windows XP Control Panel.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later, Intel-based Mac, blank recordable CD, purchased copy of Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Home or Professional (No multi-disc, upgrade or Media Center versions.)

System support: Intel

Free

Link: Boot Camp

Woodcrest Likely to Power 'Pro' Macs

Ars Technica's Eric Bangeman reports:

"With some knowledge about Intel's CPU lineup and an understanding of how Apple has positioned its pro desktop line for the past three years, it's time to make some predictions about what we might see when Steve Jobs lifts the curtain on the G5's successor machines when the time comes in August.

"Lately, the biggest debate has been over the choice of CPU. Early on, most bets were on Conroe. It has almost everything Apple would want in a desktop CPU: it's fast, has a low TDP compared to the G5, it has 4 MB of L2 cache. The Bad Axe 975 motherboard even supports FireWire 400. However . . . it doesn't do multiprocessor.

"The question then follows: in the age of dual-core CPUs, does a multi-CPU box still make sense? Apple thinks so - look at the Quad G5. Two CPUs, four cores. That's a lot of horsepower for applications such as HD video editing, compositing, rendering, animation, audio editing, and other processor-intensive tasks.

"Apple is prone to sudden and unexpected changes of course, but I don't expect one to happen here. Apple will keep a 'God Box' at the top of its Pro Mac lineup, and I'm all but certain that it will be another Quad: a four-core, dual-chip machine. In order for that to happen, that means Woodcrest at the top of the line. That's right, the next desktop Mac you buy may have a Xeon inside; if it has two of them, it won't cost much more than the current Quad G5."

Link: Woodcrest, Conroe, and the 'Pro' Macs

Core 2 Duo 'Set New High Marks for Desktop Performance'

Digit's Eric Dahl reports:

"Exclusive tests by Digit's US-based sister magazine PC World (no relation to the computer retail chain) show that PCs equipped with Intel's new Core 2 Duo processors, formerly code-named Conroe, set new high marks for desktop performance - they're the fastest we've seen by far.

"With this chip line, due to be formally launch on July 27, Intel decisively reclaims the power desktop crown from competitor AMD.

"In the WorldBench 5 test suite, Intel's Core 2 Duo reference system outscored a matching system equipped with AMD's high-end Athlon 64 FX-62 chip by 17 per cent. They also tested shipping PCs based on several chips in the Core 2 Duo family, including a water-cooled, overclocked ABS machine that posted a mark of 181 on our WorldBench 5 test - the highest WorldBench score we've ever seen."

Link: First Tests: Intel's New Core 2 Duo Processors

Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme 'Fastest Desktop Processor'

The Register's Lars-Göran Nilsson reports:

"It's been a month and ten days since Reg Hardware previewed Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, but now we have the official, shipping, ready-to-slap-in-your-PC product. So is it really as good as the early numbers indicated? Read on, read on....

"To test its new baby, Intel sent out one of its own D975XBX motherboard with a beta BIOS that adds support for the Core 2 Duo processors. We also received a Core 2 Duo E6700, clocked at 2.66 GHz, and a 2.93 GHz Core 2 Extreme X6800. There was also an ATI Radeon X1900 XTX and an X1900 CrossFire Edition graphics card in the goodie box to try and keep the test rig similar to the one Intel provided for us for the controlled preview t'other month. For comparison, we used our own 3.6 GHz Pentium D 960. Crucial supplied 2 GB of its latest Ballistix DDR 2 memory, although the Intel motherboard didn't allow it to be clocked higher than 800 MHz even though it can reach speeds of 1 GHz. Finally, a Western Digital Raptor X hard drive completed the system sitting on the Reg Hardware test bench."

Link: Intel 'Conroe' Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme

Core 2 'Substantially Faster'

ExtremeTech's Loyd Case reports:

"It's been a long time coming.

"Over the past year, the hype machine has been beating the drum for Intel's new processor architecture. Dubbed Core, the new architecture is a radical shift for a company that was once the chief proponent of ramping up CPU frequency. Core 2, the first desktop product, promises to be faster than the Pentium D series and even faster than the Athlon 64 FX-62. However, those last tests weren't completely kosher, as the 'FX-62' was really an overclocked FX-60 running on DDR400, rather than the DDR2-based FX-62, and they were done under Intel's supervision.

"Even so, it's been clear from all the leaks, sanctioned testing, and industry scuttlebutt that Core 2 is fast. But does it really perform in a wider array of applications than has been previously leaked or revealed? We'll answer that question shortly."

Link: The Core 2: Intel Goes for the Jugular

Core 2 Duo to Star in Long Hello

eWeek's John G. Spooner reports:

"Intel is planning a lengthy introduction for its Core 2 Duo processors.

"The chip giant is expected to officially roll out its Core 2 Duo for desktop PCs, otherwise known as 'Conroe,' on July 27 at an event at its headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

"At the same event, it will offer more detail on the arrival of 'Merom,' its Core 2 Duo notebook chip, currently due in August, sources familiar with the plan said.

"The event, expected to be attended by top executives from Intel as well as representatives from major PC manufacturers, will cap off a tumultuous period for the chip maker, which is now counting on the two new chips to help revitalize its image as provider of performance chips-while at the same time conducting an internal review in an effort to become more nimble-and turn around its recent market share losses to rival Advanced Micro Devices."

Link: Intel Core 2 Duo to Star in Long Hello

Intel to Fork 'Conroe'

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel looks set to fork its 'Conroe' Core 2 Duo desktop processor line-up in much the same way it's going to split its 'Merom' Core 2 Duo mobile family in two. Recently leaked roadmaps show a Core 2 Duo E4300 turning up in Q1 2007.

"The Merom split separates out mobile Core 2 Duos with 2 MB of L2 from those with 4 MB of cache. The latter all have T7xxx model numbers, while the 2 MB versions make up the T5xxx series. Seven Meroms are expected to be launched on 23 July...."

Link: Intel to Fork 'Conroe'

Intel 'Merom' Due July 23?

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel's pricing plan for 'Merom', its next-generation architecture mobile Core 2 Duo processor, has leaked out ahead of the chip family's debut - now apparently scheduled for 23 July."

Link: Intel 'Merom' Due 23 July? 

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