The Macintel Report

Core 2 to Hit 3.2 GHz This Year, Apple 80% Intel, New Intel GPU Adds High Def Video Support, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.06.15

This Week's Macintel News

Gene Steinberg reminds us that Apple has already moved 80% of its line from PowerPC to Intel, and Intel says their new Core 2 CPUs (widely expected at the heart of the Power Mac replacement) should reach 3.2 GHz by year-end. In addition to faster, more powerful, and more efficient CPUs, Intel's G965 graphics processor adds high definition video to the chip found in the Mac mini and MacBook.

Intel looks to go beyond performance per Watt and focus on what they call "satisfaction per Watt" - building an overall better system instead of putting the focus primarily on the CPU. It will be interesting to see where this takes us.

On the low end of the PC market, expect to see more Intel CPUs as the company cuts prices of their aging Pentium chips by up to 60%.

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.

Macs on Intel: The 80% Factor

Gene Steinberg, The Mac Night Owl, writes:

"Just think about it: A year ago, Steve Jobs promised that Macs would switch to Intel before the end of 2007. To think that this daunting process is nearly all done 18 months early. Right now, in case you tuned in late, everything but the Power Mac and Xserve have been upgraded, and since Intel's new desktop chips are due beginning next month, it's reasonable to expect that upgrade will be completed by fall with few serious complications."

Link: Macs on Intel: The 80% Factor

Intel Core 2 Chips Will Scale to 3.2 GHz

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

"Intel showed off, in detail, its plans for summer-shipping microchips, some of which are going to end up in forthcoming Apple desktops, servers and notebook computers.

"As reported by Apple Insider and ExtremeTech, Anand Chandrasekher, Intel's senior vice president and general manager of its marketing group, made the introductions of the upcoming Core 2 line, codenamed Conroe (desktop), Merom (mobile) and Woodcrest (server).

"The company also took the opportunity to debut its Broadwater chipset, now named the P965, which jetisons PC legacy technologies (Intel plus Apple is a match made in heaven, no?).

"Of most interest, Chandrasekher talked some vague, if promising numbers. Besides disclosing that Woodcrest, now known as the Core 2 Extreme, would ship at 2.93 GHz before ramping up to 3.2 GHz later in the year (doesn't he know it's impossible to ship a Mac at 3.0 GHz or higher?"

Link: Intel Core 2 Chips Will Scale to 3.2 GHz

Reducing Heat, Power Consumption Prompted Apple's Switch to Intel

Computerworld's Sumner Lemon reports:

"It's been a year since Apple announced plans to use Intel processors in its computers, and the Cupertino-based company is pushing the world's largest chip maker in new directions, according to a top Intel executive."

"One area of importance to Apple is heat dissipation. Intel's ability to deliver mobile chips that consume less power while offering better performance was one of the reasons that convinced Apple to make the switch from IBM's rival PowerPC chips."

Link: Power Consumption Prompted Apple's Intel Switch

Intel G965 Chipset Does High Definition Video

The Register's Lars-Göran Nilsson reports:

"Computex 2006 Although Intel officially announced the P965 chipset yesterday, today's press briefing contained some further information about the other chipsets in the 965 family, a.k.a. 'Broadwater'. Intel talked about the G965 for Viiv and Q965 for vPro. As we reported earlier, the integrated graphics core will indeed be known as GMA X3000 for the G965, but on the Q965 it will be the GMA 3000.

"There was no talk about 3D performance at all during the presentation, as Intel concentrated on video playback performance. The marketing bumf mentions clock speeds of up to 667 MHz for the GMA X3000, although there's no mention of the speeds of the 3000. The GMA X3000 supports DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 3.0 as well as OpenGL 1.5, but most importantly it's up to Windows Vista Premium standard.

"Intel Clear Video Technology is the marketing name for Intel's PC-to-TV connection technology and there will also be support for HDMI built into the G965 chipset, although it's unlikely to be standard on all motherboards. The G965 supports 720p, 1080i and 1080p HD resolutions and it'll do de-interlacing."

Apple's Mac mini and MacBook use Intel's G960 GPU, so the G965 could be in their future. dk

Link: Intel Does HD with G965 Chipset

More Efficient Intel Chips Coming Soon

IDG News Service's Ben Ames reports:

"Researchers at Intel have found a better way to insulate circuits, enabling them to save energy as they pack more transistors onto each processor.

"Intel could start building chips with these new 'tri-gate transistors' by 2010, enabling either a 45 percent increase in speed or a 35 percent reduction in total power used, compared to the company's current 65-nanometer process transistors, said Mike Mayberry, director of components research and vice president of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group."

"Intel has said it will be making more chips with 65nm geometry than 90nm by the third quarter of 2006, and move to 45nm in 2007 and 32nm by 2009."

Link: Intel Says More Efficient Chips Are Coming Soon

Intel to Focus on Satisfaction per Watt

The Register's Ashlee Vance reports:

"Intel has not yet reached the point where it can talk about server and desktop chip performance per watt metrics with a straight face, but the vendor has already tired of the concept. In the next three to five years, Intel plans to push the industry toward a new, more nebulous metric.

"'Performance per watt is very misleading,' Raj Yavatkar, an Intel fellow, told The Register. 'Rather than focusing on performance per watt let's look at satisfaction per watt.'

"Apparently, Satisfaction Per Watt (SPW - pronounced spew, we believe) leads to focusing on complete system performance rather than just chip performance. Intel has zeroed in on a number of tweaks that it can make to PCs and servers to improve power consumption, noise and other features. Customers care more about Satisfaction Per Watt than just performance per watt and will demand that companies take care of a broad set of needs, Yavatkar said, speaking here during the Intel Labs press day."

Link: Intel Tires of Performance per Watt Chatter

Intel Targets sub-$1,000 Desktops with Core 2 Chips

eWeek's John G. Spooner reports:

"Intel wants its forthcoming Core 2 Duo desktop chips to be very popular.

"To that end, the chip maker will aim the dual-core chips, due to start shipping in July, at desktops priced under $1,000, versus restricting them to more expensive hardware.

"Although those looking for extra performance or exclusivity will be able to purchase one of Intel's Core 2 Extreme chips."

Link: Intel Seeks Mainstream Acceptance with Core 2 Chips

Intel Does Water Cooling

HardMac's Lionel reports:

"Source : Présence PC

"Intel is working on watercooling systems that are quite similar to those we currently have in a high end G5."

Link: Intel Does Water Cooling

Intel Pledges 60% Price Cuts on Pentiums

The Register's John Oates reports:

"Intel says new technology will let it get chips to market faster, allowing it to cut prices by as much as 60 per cent.

"An Intel spokesman told Reuters: 'We have a more aggressive product and manufacturing ramp, so those older Pentium products will move down faster. It's not like we're cutting prices for the sake of cutting prices.'"

Link: Intel Pledges 60 Per Cent Price Cuts

Intel Will Cut Pentium Prices by 60% to Gain Market Share

Bloomberg reports:

"Customers of Intel Corp. said the world's biggest computer-chip maker plans to reduce prices on Pentium processors by as much as 60 percent to reclaim market share from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

"Executives at Micro-Star International Co. and Gigabyte Technology Co., two of Taiwan's biggest makers of circuit boards for computers, said Intel officials told them the price cuts will start July 23. Tom Beermann, a spokesman for Santa Clara, California-based Intel, declined to comment."

Link: Intel Tells Customers It Will Cut Prices by 60% to Gain Share

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