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Next iMac to use Core i7 after all?

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Thu October 15, 2009

Rumor has iMac using quad-core Nehalem

A tentative rumor ad mid-day suggests that Apple's anticipated iMac redesign may draw on Intel's mobile Core i7 processors. Most other details aren't provided in the AppleInsider tip, but any release before early 2010 would require that Apple use some or all of the quad-core "Clarksfield" designs on the market and produce the first non-workstation quad-core Macs.

The 1.6GHz and 1.73GHz Core i7 models are the most likely as they have bulk prices at ranges roughly level with the higher-end Core 2 Duo chips used in iMacs today. A 2GHz Core i7 Extreme exists but usually costs about $1,000 per part in large batches, ruling it out as anything more than a build-to-order option at most.

Whether or not they would be used at all has been a point of contention as they would require a significantly different architecture. NVIDIA is currently banned from supporting Core i7 with its integrated graphics chipsets due to a license dispute and would force Apple to either use Intel's integrated graphics or else switch to dedicated graphics.

It would similarly require a different approach to marketing Apple's computers. Although in most cases much faster than existing Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad systems, their low clock speeds in full quad-core use would likely push Apple to advertise their maximum clock speeds under Turbo Boost instead. The 1.73GHz chip runs at up to 3.06GHz when one or more cores aren't needed and may see Apple advertise the higher speed instead.

A release had been predicted for sometime this month but hasn't been narrowed down to any specific date.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    No Blu-ray

    Good, no need for Apple to bend over and take it, the restrictions to play a movie are ridiculous. BR will probably stay a 3P add-on for some time to come.

    Core i7 is good enough for me, i'm just waiting for the new and hopefully cheaper iMac or Mini to replace an aging G3.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +5

    Re: No Blu-Ray

    Restrictions? What restrictions? Oh, you mean like only allowing authorized computers play your purchased content, like you need with iTunes videos? Or do you mean the restrictions of what displays can display the video (HDCP enabling), like Apple already has shown to do with some of their videos?

    And how much cheaper do you need your mac to be to replace your ancient (and it is ancient) G3, for goodness sakes?

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Re: No Blu-Ray

    A flower power iMac. :) I just want to email and surf on this machine, it has to be cheap but not another second hand Mac. I'm seriously considering a cheap Linux or win7 machine but that would be my first non-Mac in 12 years and it frightens me a bit, the Mac i know and understand.

    Blue-Ray playback involves major DRM woven into the OS far surpassing that of iTunes, this coupled with the hardware restrictions makes it a hard decision to take. The end-result being that the user can watch a dumb movie from a disk, is it all worth the trouble?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: No Blu-Ray

    Blue-Ray playback involves major DRM woven into the OS far surpassing that of iTunes, this coupled with the hardware restrictions makes it a hard decision to take. The end-result being that the user can watch a dumb movie from a disk, is it all worth the trouble?

    That's why it would be an option. And iTunes video and macs already have DRM woven into them for playback, besides the Fairplay. Or don't you recall the complaints when people started getting errors about not being able to play some HD content on their new macs a while ago? Or that AppleTVs have this stuff already built-in? Or is it OK for that DRM, but Blu-Ray just goes over the line or something?

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