Apples Road After the

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2005-10-19 Print this article Print

PowerPC 970MP"> Apples Power Mac line and Intels chip road map may not begin to line up until the second half of 2006, when Intel will roll out a series of new processors based on a new processor architecture that emphasizes performance while minimizing power consumption. Three new dual-core processors, dubbed Conroe, Merom and Woodcrest, will result.
The chips, designed for notebooks, desktops and servers, respectively, will cut power consumption—Conroe will use up to about 65 watts, for example, at least 30 watts less than todays Pentium 4 chips—and offer performance-per-watt increases of three, five and three times over their respective predecessors.
For Apple, which had been grappling with where to go following the PowerPC 970MP, the new chips offered a good alternative, Krewell said. "Thats where Intels road map, the next generation micro architecture that comes out in the second half of next year with low power and scalability with two processor cores followed by four, is what excited Apple," he said. While there nothing stopping Apple from making the switch to Pressler, the follow-on to Intels Pentium D thats also expected early in 2006, it is likely to hold out, Krewell said. "Id rather wait for Conroe," he said. "That way I can put it into a smaller chassis. It would take less power and require smaller heat sinks and fewer fans. But Pressler is still doable." Conroe is "one of the ones that makes the most sense for the higher end of the mainstream," said Dean McCarron, analyst at Mercury Research. Yonah and, later, Merom are likely candidates for the Mac Mini. "A Mac Mini is basically a notebook without a display," McCarron said. "From a pure timing perspective, product capability and performance, Yonah seems like itd be the best fit for the first product used by Apple." With each introduction, Apple is likely to make a clean break between processors, analysts said, making it even more likely that the new PowerPC 970MP-based Power Mac line will be around for a time. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on Apple in the enterprise.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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