Intel’s Napa chip bound for Apple PowerBook, iBook?

“Intel announced Tuesday that its new line of chips will be built into more than 230 new laptop computers coming in 2006, making them much better at running music, movies and other digital media,” Dean Takahashi reports for The Mercury News. “But it wouldn’t say a word about whether that includes the laptop creating the most buzz, expected from its new marquee customer, Apple Computer. The new laptops are based on Intel’s new Napa platform that will enable the biggest upgrade in two years for portable technology. An Apple laptop with the technology could address the pent-up demand among the Macintosh faithful who have been disappointed with Apple laptops that run on Power PC chips. Apple said this year it would switch to Intel by mid-2006.”

“The Napa-based computers have a microprocessor chip, dubbed Yonah, that has two processing brains on a single chip. It is Intel’s first dual-core laptop microprocessor and can perform 30 percent to 68 percent faster on software programs compared with single-core chips,” Takahashi reports. “Napa computers will also be as much as 30 percent smaller and consume 28 percent less battery power than current Intel-based laptops, said Keith Kressen, an Intel mobile marketing director.

Full article, including info about Intel’s “Viiv” efforts, here.
Just a note that the “Macintosh faithful” we know have not been disappointed with Apple laptops that run on Power PC chips. We and they are disappointed that Motorola (Freescale) and IBM just couldn’t do with the PowerPC processor what their roadmaps promised. Mainly, we wanted a PowerBook G5 before Apple’s June announcement of the transition to Intel-based Macs. The processor brand or type isn’t important, just that it functions well, can offer high-performance speed at the top-of-the-line (we do want to be the fastest or among the fastest at least), and can run Mac OS X and Mac OS X applications. We’d hazard a guess that it’s the Mac operating system combined with the Mac software that’s most important to Mac users, not the name stamped on the chip inside Macs.

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25 Comments

  1. MDN wrote: Just a note that the “Macintosh faithful” we know have not been disappointed with Apple laptops that run on Power PC chips.

    Maybe not a “Macintosh faithful” user myself… but rather a power user with deadlines, using multiple platforms to get work done (I use XP in addition to OSX).

    Powerbooks are disappointly slow and underpowered, especially at their specific price levels… there someone came out and said it.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. MDN wrote: Just a note that the “Macintosh faithful” we know have not been disappointed with Apple laptops that run on Power PC chips.

    Maybe not a “Macintosh faithful” user myself… but rather a power user with deadlines, using multiple platforms to get work done (I use XP in addition to OSX).

    Powerbooks are disappointly slow and underpowered, especially at their specific price levels… there someone came out and said it.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. MDN wrote: Just a note that the “Macintosh faithful” we know have not been disappointed with Apple laptops that run on Power PC chips.

    Maybe not a “Macintosh faithful” user myself… but rather a power user with deadlines, using multiple platforms to get work done (I use XP in addition to OSX).

    Powerbooks are disappointly slow and underpowered, especially at their specific price levels… there someone came out and said it.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. MDN wrote: Just a note that the “Macintosh faithful” we know have not been disappointed with Apple laptops that run on Power PC chips.

    Maybe not a “Macintosh faithful” user myself… but rather a power user with deadlines, using multiple platforms to get work done (I use XP in addition to OSX).

    Powerbooks are disappointly slow and underpowered, especially at their specific price levels… there someone came out and said it.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. What if Apple announces that the x86 version of OSX isn’t quite ready? They are still ironing out Rosetta which seems pretty important if you ask me. What if instead we get a G5 Powerbook? What if the mini gets to be a first-round Intel testbed?

    IBM announced days after Apple’s Intel announcement that they have a 15 Watt G5 for the Powerbook. That would be good enough wouldn’t it? Now if Intel can match that with two cores then I’d say Steve Jobs made a good gamble.

    If the only reason to go to Intel is for Windows compatibility then Apple will likely have MANY more converts, but I’m still not convinced the Intel platform is going to be the best. Time will tell. I just wish Apple would build machines based on both platforms concurrently as a policy. I know there will be G4/G5 machines with Intel in the mix, but “as a policy” is the term I’m focussing on.

    I think both the G4 and G5 have features the Intel chips won’t. G5 has hypertransport for huge memory bandwidth. G4 is very low cost and low wattage. It seems to make sense for the Intel chip to be used in Powerbooks and G4 in iBooks. G5 and other Intel chips should go in the PowerMac.

    While we’re at it, the Powerbook 12 should go to 13″ widescreen and the iBook should stay with a 12″ and 14″ form factor in my opinion. There’ve been rumors of a 13″ iBook, but if Apple consolidates all iBook models into a single 13″ form and gets rid of the Powerbook 12, road warrior programmers like me are going to be pissed. I need the features of my very portable Powerbook. I would not like to have to tote a 15″ Powerbook. Tried it. I’ll take my 12″ ‘Book thanks. 13″ would be ok too. Especially if widescreen.

    iBook owners that I know like the 4:3 aspect ratio. It good for web pages. Widescreen is good for technical programs with lots of tools. Please keep the iBook as it is. You can make the case tougher though. Forget carbon. How about rubber? How about a slightly more reinforced screen backplane and a rubberized coating?

  6. Dual-core G4 might be the next step for iBooks? Or Powerbooks? Seems like dual-core G4 might be better than a low-power G5 for laptops…

    I’m not sure how Apple intends to maintain the split consumer/professional laptop lines with the Intel CPU transition…

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