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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > if MBPs get c2d, do iMacs get c4d at Macworld?

if MBPs get c2d, do iMacs get c4d at Macworld?
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quiklee
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Oct 6, 2006, 02:34 PM
 
I have no clue what the upgraded chip is . . i remember something about a Quad Pro? Can people help me out with this?
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harrisjamieh
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Oct 6, 2006, 02:39 PM
 
iMacs won't be bumped to ensure they are faster than the MacBook Pros. In an ideal world, I think Apple would have the MacBook Pros faster than the iMacs, as one is a professional machine, and one is a consumer machine. As it stands, a professional would be better off with an iMac than a MBP (obviously ignoring portability)
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mitchell_pgh
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Oct 6, 2006, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by harrisjamieh
In an ideal world, I think Apple would have the MacBook Pros faster than the iMacs, as one is a professional machine, and one is a consumer machine. As it stands, a professional would be better off with an iMac than a MBP (obviously ignoring portability)
Unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way. Portables are slower than desktops, and I would argue that it's always going to be that way...
     
quiklee  (op)
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Oct 6, 2006, 02:59 PM
 
i understand harrisjamieh's argument as well as mitchell_pgh's . . . i know iMac's just got the bump up to c2ds, but with the way dell and other PC makers ability to upgrade processor's on the fly, do you think it's getting harder for Apple to keep up and that's why they probably won't upgrade the iMac to be faster than the MBP? Historically, hasn't the iMac always been faster than the MBP?
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iMacfan
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Oct 6, 2006, 04:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh
Unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way. Portables are slower than desktops, and I would argue that it's always going to be that way...
Well, there was a couple of years when the Powerbooks used G4s and the iMacs G3s.

As for quad-core chips in the iMacs, don't expect them until (I'd expect) 2008. To reduce heat and noise, they use Intel's laptop chips.

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dbranham
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Oct 10, 2006, 11:09 PM
 
iMacs use notebook chips? I know they use notebook memory..but, chips? Isn't Intel's notebook chip called "Core 2 Duo Mobile Processor," (here) whereas the desktop chip is called "Core 2 Duo Processor" (and here)? I've never seen the iMac's chip referred to with the word "mobile." If I'm incorrect, please correct me b/c I'm not trying to assert my knowledge as being superior to yours. In fact, the opposite is likely true, and I'm merely curious as to whether my understanding is wrong.
     
Elektrix
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Oct 10, 2006, 11:40 PM
 
Confusingly enough, "Core 2 Duo" can refer both to the mobile and desktop chips. I personally have to think this could be a problem for Apple, as when someone is comparing an iMac with a PC desktop computer, and they see that both computers have "Core 2 Duo" processors, they will naturally think they are pretty much the same.

Actually I would probably blame this on Intel, for using the same basic product name for both CPU lines (not to mention that Core 2 Duo in and of itself is also a confusing name).

The iMac most definitely uses the mobile Core 2 Duo chips (note that previously it also uses the similar notebook Core Duo "Yonah" processor).

I think this is really because the iMac internally is essentially using laptop-type hardware; as other people have noted, the new iMacs also use MXM for the graphics cards, and this is another mobile technology for upgradeable mobile graphics cards.
     
dbranham
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Oct 10, 2006, 11:41 PM
 
Ahh, I see. The notebook version is Merom, and desktop is Conroe. What is the difference between these chips? I know Merom has lower power consumption, but what about performance differences? Is the Merom analogous to the old Pentium M?
     
HazMacFan
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Oct 11, 2006, 02:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by dbranham
Ahh, I see. The notebook version is Merom, and desktop is Conroe. What is the difference between these chips? I know Merom has lower power consumption, but what about performance differences? Is the Merom analogous to the old Pentium M?
It can be a bit confusing:

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Intel Core microarchitecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basically, the MBpro has the Yonah chip which is from the Pentium M days and the iMac now has the Merom chip which came from the Yonah but added 64-bit support and about 7% in performance.

Apple has so far not released any Conroe based Macs.
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Simon
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Oct 11, 2006, 03:15 AM
 
It's actually all quite simple as long as you keep in mind that Core Duo, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme are just marketing names.

Portable:
- T2x00 'Yonah' (Core Duo)
- T5x00, T7x00 'Merom' (Core 2 Duo)

Desktop:
- Ex200 'Allendale' (Core 2 Duo)
- E6x00 'Conroe' (Core 2 Duo)
- X6x00 'Conroe XE' (Core 2 Extreme)
- future: Q6x00 'Kentsfield' (Core 2 Quad) - basically two Conroes on one MCM

Servers/Workstations
- Xeon 51xx 'Woodcrest' (Core 2 based, but not referred to by the 'Core 2' name)
- future: Xeon L/E/X53xx 'Clovertown' - basically two Woodcrests on one MCM
     
Simon
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Oct 11, 2006, 03:18 AM
 
And to answer the OP's question: No, the iMac will likely not go quad in January. The reason is quite simple. Intel will release quad core CPUs for the desktop and server market (Core 2 Quad and Clovertown Xeon). The iMac uses a portable chipset which uses a portable CPU like Merom or Yonah. Intel has currently no plans to go quad-core with the Core 2 architecture in the portable area. If Apple switches to quad-core Intel CPUs it will likely be on the Mac Pro first. Swapping Clovertown for Woodcrest is straightforward (and has actually already been demonstrated). When Apple does so, the question is if they will switch form a dual dual-core MP to a single quad-core or a dual quad-core setup.
     
iMacfan
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Oct 11, 2006, 03:22 AM
 
It may seem wierd that the iMac uses a mobile processor, but apart from the G5, it has always been that way. The G3 and G4 were also used in Laptops, just maybe clocked down a bit so as to only singe your lap instead of melting it.

The irony for a long time was the the Pentium M was a far better processor than the desktop ones, which used vast amounts of heat for so-so performance. All Intel's current chips are now based on past mobile processors, and they are all better for it.

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dbranham
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Oct 11, 2006, 08:32 AM
 
Thanks for all the great feedback. Also, sorry for hi-jacking your thread, quicklee.

One more think I don't quite understand... If there was such a thing as a Conroe iMac, would it be faster than a Merom iMac? I presume the answer must be yes, but no one seems to come straight out and say that. I've mainly just heard that Merom produces less heat dissipation, uses less energy and, therefore, it is a mobile processor. I've also heard that Conroe clocks a little higher (but how do they compare when equally clocked?). The only true "performance" comparison I've seen is that Conroe has an 800mhz FSB, while Merom's is only 667mhz. So, can anyone tell me which is faster, say, if both are clocked at 2ghz?
     
Elektrix
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Oct 11, 2006, 08:45 AM
 
It would certainly be faster, the Conroe is a very powerful desktop processor...... but this would require running it at full speed, and I think that it would not be possible with the way the iMac is designed.
     
Simon
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Oct 11, 2006, 10:33 AM
 
Conroe can be clocked higher and it runs on a faster FSB. A Conroe iMac would definitely be faster than the current C2D iMac. At least the iMac's FSB will catch up somewhat when Intel introduces the Santa Rosa chipset next year. Although the CPU will remain the same, it will be running on an 800MHz FSB rather than the current 945 chipset's 667 MHz.
     
quiklee  (op)
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Oct 11, 2006, 01:47 PM
 
dbranham - it's aight . . i actually don't mind hijacks as i see them as the natural evolutions of posts into discussions . . .
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dbranham
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Oct 11, 2006, 03:30 PM
 
Thanks, quicklee, I agree that this is the natural course of most threads.

So, I never thought about it, but I guess Apple's only true desktop is the Powermac, which is beyond the price range of most computer users today.

But I honestly don't believe there is a whole heck of a lotta difference between the performance of an iMac and, let's say, a midrange Dell desktop. While consumers normally restrain themselves to things like web browsing, email, digital music, chatting, simple photo editing (iPhoto), and even simple video editing (iMovie), I don't imagine a Xeon processor would provide a greatly appreciable performance improvement over the CD and C2D processors.

Notably, OS X is arguably more resource-intensive than Windows, making Windows a little quicker, all else equal. But, that's about to become a non-issue because Vista's top-level mode (with transluscency) will likely be more resource-intensive than OS X.
     
Big Mac
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Oct 11, 2006, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by quiklee
I have no clue what the upgraded chip is . . i remember something about a Quad Pro? Can people help me out with this?
quiklee, you should understand that the Core2Duo name just signifies its branding as the second generation of the CoreDuo line (even though the Core2Duo is a much different architecture than the CoreDuo). The number 2 does not refer to the number of cores the processor has.

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Oct 11, 2006, 05:14 PM
 
Don't take for granted that the iMac will always have Merom CPUs. It had Yonahs because the Pentium 4 and D were absurdly hot. It has Merom because it's a slot-in upgrade for Yonah. With a redesigned motherboard, Conroe is possible in a future revision, and it would save Apple a lot of money. Just don't expect the highest clocked models.
     
dbranham
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Oct 14, 2006, 10:16 PM
 
I feel like Apple needs a non-pro desktop option that is actually built with desktop components. The Mac Pro is great, but it's SO expensive!
     
tooki
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Oct 15, 2006, 05:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by quiklee
if MBPs get c2d, do iMacs get c4d at Macworld?
Bear in mind that there's no such thing as a Core 4 Duo. The "2" in "Core 2 Duo" means it's the second-generation Core chip; it's the Duo part that means dual-core. Presumably the quad-core version would be Core 2 Quatro or something like that.

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Simon
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Oct 15, 2006, 06:43 AM
 
Actually, Intel calls it the "Core 2 Quad" and "Core 2 Extreme Quad-core".
     
   
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