Anand Lal Shimpi has done his usual thorough job of looking at Intel’s upcoming mobile version of the Core 2 Duo (Merom) vs. the Core Duo (found in Macs today) for AnandTech and comes to some interesting conclusions:
While Core 2 Duo does look nice, as long as you’ve got a good notebook today you’ll probably want to wait until Santa Rosa before upgrading (at the earliest). With Santa Rosa, clock speeds will go up slightly but more importantly we’ll get access to a faster FSB. Unfortunately a side-effect of keeping Core 2 Duo fed with a faster FSB is that while performance may go up, battery life may go down. It’ll be interesting to see what Intel can pull off with the new platform; one of the funny things about performance and battery life is that if you can complete a task quickly enough thus returning your CPU to an idle state faster, battery life will grow even though instantaneous power consumption may be higher.
For Apple users this means that early adopters of the new MacBook or MacBook Pro won’t be too pressured to upgrade again by the end of this year. Of course Apple has this way of making incremental changes irresistible.
Overall, Merom may not be as big of an upgrade to Yonah as Conroe was to NetBurst, but the bottom line is that you get equal or better performance in every test without increasing cost or decreasing battery life. Owners of Core Duo laptops really have no reason to worry about upgrading for now, and waiting for the Santa Rosa platform before your next laptop upgrade seems reasonable. Those looking to purchase a new notebook on the other hand have no reason to avoid Core 2 Duo models, assuming pricing is consistent with what Intel is promising. There will be a delay of at least a few more weeks as we await availability, and testing and validation by laptop manufacturers may delay things a bit more, but within the next month or so you should be able to get a Core 2 laptop.
Full article – pretty much required reading for those looking to make a MacBook or MacBook Pro purchase soon – here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Frank P.” for the heads up.]
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Merom notebooks to ship late August – July 27, 2006
Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors officially released – July 27, 2006
Apple chose well: Anandtech – Intel Core 2 Duo ‘the fastest desktop processor we’ve ever tested’ – July 14, 2006
PC Mag: ‘Top Ten’ list of things to know about Intel’s new Core 2 Duo processors – July 07, 2006
RUMOR: Apple to unveil ‘Mac Pro’ with new enclosure design, Intel Core 2 Duo at WWDC next month – July 03, 2006
Intel officially releases Xeon ‘Woodcrest’ processor – June 27, 2006
Patent hints Apple may incorporate Intel’s ‘unified desktop interface’ in Mac OS X Leopard – June 22, 2006
Intel’s next-gen Conroe, Merom processors to be dubbed ‘Core 2 Duo’ – May 07, 2006
Intel gets aggressive on next-gen rollout schedules: Merom MacBook Pros, Conroe Power Macs, more – May 03, 2006
Intel showcases next-gen multi-core ‘Conroe’ processors, may turn up in future Apple Power Macs – March 07, 2006