According to information gathered from various sources Fruit themed company Apple will update its iMac line some when in September, 5-7th are the ones to look out for. Also high-end MacBook Pro will get upgraded in September-October timeframe just before Windows 7 “Vista 2” launches on October 22th and big battle can commence once again.
Firstly iMac`s, there are two very important reasons coming up fast in September. Firstly Apple is about to release it’s latest Mac OS X 10.6 aka „Snow Leopard” which announced for availability in September, and secondly Intel will launch mainstream Nehalem based Lynnfield CPU`s on 6th of September. As Apple tend to always have latest and greatest from Intel before rest of world like Nehalem based Xeon`s in Mac Pro and Penryn`s in Macbook. Starting from top 24-inch model which costs $2,199 will get update to either Core i7 870 (3.06GHz, 95W, 8MB cache, Turbo mode up to 3.46GHz) or Core i7 860 (2.8GHz, 95W, 8MB cache, Turbo mode up to 3.2GHz) both of which supports Hyper-Threading, so your new Mac if you wish to buy one will support eight threads, Apple will chose 860 model as it cost only half of what’s its bigger brother is worth and is only one speed bin slower, but makes Apples margins bigger and greater. Next Mac in line will receive Core i5 750 (2.66GHz 95W, 8MB cache, Turbo mode up to 3.06GHz, although keep in mind that this baby doesn’t support HT) quad core. Rest of lineup will wait till q1 2010 when cheaper dual core i5`s and i3`s start popping up. Also GPU`s will get upgrade to Radeon HD5000 series family aka “Evergreen”.
More interesting is MacBook Pro, crown jewel for Apple, update, as all updated models will receive new CPU`s and GPU`s. All lappies will change except for both 13 inch notebooks and cheapest 15 inch laptop, also simple MacBook which costs right now $999 will stay how it is. Both high end 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pro`s will receive Quad Core i7 820QM (1.73GHz, 45W, 8MB cache, supports HT, Turbo mode up to 3.06GHz) also knows as P2 Clarksfield CPU`s while mid range 15 incher will get 720QM (1.6GHz, 45W, 6MB cache, supports HT, Turbo mode up to 2.8GHz) also know as P1. 13 inchers will wait like desktop counterparts for cheaper dual core i3`s as these high-end CPU`s will drain battery faster than Macophile can say: “Steve Jobs rules Universe”. As this Calpella Platform it doesn’t have any integrated graphics core also Intel is not letting Nvidia to develop core logic set for it’s CPU`s with QPI or DMI links. And rightly so as Nvidia can`t even do a simple PCIe bridge controller chip (nForce 100 and 200) that doesn`t use more power than CPU and work normally, let alone core logic sets and GPU`s. Back to more interesting Calpella like stated before it doesn’t have IGP, so if you want to get something out from your laptop screen you’ll have to use dedicated graphics solution from either Nvidia or AMD/ATI. Jobs mob will almost certainly use solution from ATI, if problems with Green Goblin`s “MCM79” and all other its chips weren’t enough then there is breaking news from Charlie, if this information is correct and it certainly is then high-end and mainstream parts will be ready for Apple update. And as in Intel case it’s highly possible Cupertino based company will get these before rest of world. Combo of 9400M + 9600M GT which Apple uses for its current generation lappies have maximum power draw at 35W (12W+23W). So Apple will use most likely “Broadway LP” chip or “Madison Pro/XT”, while staying in same TDP envelope. Most likely “Madison” as it will be cheaper and Apple will be able to brag that it has GDDR5 in their laptops. Also having two ex-ATI officers Mr. Drebin and Mr. Koduri on ship will help to choose right GPU`s for lineup.
ATI “Park” chips which will be ready for late this year will find their place in 13 inch laptops and 15 inch laptop which won’t get upgraded until Q1 next year probably March, probably at about same date when Intel launches Core i3 dual cores also on same date Apple will launch it`s shiny new tablet. It will have next generation dual core Atom CPU “Pineview” in its heart and to stand out from overcrowded netbook market it could have lowest “Park” GPU to get all those smiley faces on Touchscreen.
While these great news for ATI, it`s another nail in Nvidia coffin which can’t make anything new for over a year and are using rebranding and other doggy tricks Apple lineup will get change from Nvidia chips to ATI/AMD. And if they don’t squash their heads somewhere they will stay with ATI.
By Kaspars Seglins-Grinbats
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