Electronista, Macrumors, 9to5macImagen
Recently Intel has let us know its plans for the launch of the next processors that have to be present in future computers, and with this, several rumors have appeared about which processors Apple is going to consider and in which computers they could be included.
Starting with the Intel Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors, these have already been included in the top iMac range offering performance that far exceeds that of the Intel Core 2 Duo processors, being even more efficient than the currently available 8-core Mac Pro. So Apple has pushed the boundaries of the “professional” with its 27-inch iMac.
So now, what you need to do in Cupertino is to put the Mac Pro back in that “outrageously powerful” computer position it should be in. And that, according to the rumours, they could achieve this with the introduction of the Core i9 processor (codenamed gulftown) in the heart of the machine , something that my colleague Pedro Santamaría told us about not long ago. Core i9 will arrive during the first months of 2010, with twice the power of current processors and with greater energy savings thanks to its 32 nm technology.
The key to the Core i9 processor is that one core is able to behave like two cores, so the processor, with 6 cores, is able to behave like one of twelve. And if we follow the Mac Pro’s habit of including two processors in parallel, we could have a real monster with 12 physical cores, 24 logical cores, and up to 128GB of RAM . This is something else, isn’t it? Apple would put the Mac Pro back where it belongs, and the Intel Core i7 iMac would no longer look as powerful as it really is.
There is another processor left, the so-called Intel Core i3. Less powerful and more economical, with two cores but that takes advantage of new Intel technologies, which the Core 2 Duo no longer does. It’s a less powerful processor than the Core i5, but it consumes too much power to be included in a laptop, so you might see it replacing the Core 2 Duo in some iMacs, or in Mac mini. Or perhaps Apple will choose to use the low-end Intel Core i5, which runs at speeds from 2.4GHz to 2.53GHz but has four cores.
Be that as it may, with this entire range of processors we could see the end of the Core 2 Duo in the Apple range with future upgrades. Knowing the pattern and taking into account that we won’t have Macworld in January this year, we should see some new additions during the spring of next year. iMacs with Core i5 in the rest of the range, Mac Minis with Core i3, Mac Pro with Core i9… we can expect some good increases in performance and power in our favourite computers.