Intel Core 2 Duo vs. Core Duo

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


  1. Great comment Dankman.

    I am looking forward to buying a new laptop when Apple switches to the Core 2 Duo.

    My only fear is the quality issues Apple has been having. I would like to order one as soon as it is announced–as I usually do–but I am nervous to do so now given all of the problems people have been having.

  2. bwhaler is right. Apple produces the crappiest laptops on the planet. Version 1.0 of any Apple product means run for cover. Who wants to be a free beta site for a company? HP and Dell already have the latest in desktops and laptops with these chips. Don’t pay the Steve Jobs tax — save your money for all the programs you want that don’t run on OSX.

    Fortunately Intel is doing a great job of keeping CPU speeds up so why bother with a slow portable running shared memory video cards or the slow X1600 when you can have the fastest hardware out there from HP and Dell? Cheaper, faster and they all come with Windows; the fast, secure and reliable operating system that runs any softare you want.

  3. Mac Realist sputtered: “Windows, the fast, secure and reliable OS that runs any software you want.”

    ?WTF? I can barely even comment on this… delusional. There is plenty of software that is on OS X that pales in comparison on Windows.

    MDN Magic Word: programs. How does it do that?

  4. MacRealist,

    “Secure” LOL…

    I agree that Windows seems faster than OSX. Opening windows and folders do seem faster.

    Cheaper, yes. A friend of mine just bought an HP dual core Centrino 17 inch media center with 2 gigs of RAM and 200 gig of HD. Plus it came with a dedicated nVidia go 7300 graphics card that had 512 RAM. Sweet and all at only $1800.00 US.

    But come on, secure and reliable? Please. His computer ran like shit with Norton monitoring every move. I have an old original Athlon system that seemed faster. After we removed Norton it ran very well though. But with all of the virus and malware that gets on without you knowing, you almost can’t ride bareback.

    I’ll admit, I like to hit the porn sites sometimes. I even like to hit the serial and key gen sites too. My point, I want to be able to surf anywhere I want without fear of some “unwanted” crap being downloaded to my computer. And you can’t do that with Windows. Not without protection that makes a powerful modern system run like an old 486.

    Honestly, I don’t know what slows a system down more; all the adware and spyware shit that automatically loads at startup now, or Norton.

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