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Intel and Apple, BFF?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 28, 2008

It’s no secret that Intel and Apple have been best buddies for the past couple of years. But the friendship seems to hit a high today when Apple announced a new top-of-the-line iMac model featuring an Core 2 processor that’s not yet list in Intel’s product catalog.

The spec sheet for the new 24-in. iMac listed the processor as a 3.06 GHz Core 2, but the TG Daily blog nailed it down as a special version of the Core 2 Duo Extreme X9100. The X9100 is in Intel’s roadmap as part of the forthcoming “Montevina” family of chipsets; the version used by Apple is a new processor with the older, i.e., currently available, “Santa Rosa” chipset.

How long before you see this sizzler on offerings from Dell or HP? It probably won’t be too much of a wait. “We provide our customers with a range of technology choices,” said an Intel spokesperson. “If a customer requires a different technology feature-set, then where possible, we will work with them to develop a solution to meet their respective market needs, as we have done in this case. That said, if other companies are developing products with similar specifications, we would offer these or similar products to those companies.”

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Reader Comments


April 28, 2008 08:54 PM

Of course, not too many other PC companies actually have different needs.

Consider Apple's iMac. They need a CPU that will fit in the iMac's relatively thin enclosure.

Dell and HP? They'll just make the box bigger. Problem solved.

Cabe Zinvinoschits

April 28, 2008 09:04 PM

Apple has released Intel stuff unavailable to the rest of the PC market, or before the market has the availability, several times in the last two years.

Steve Wildstrom

April 28, 2008 10:41 PM

@Peter--The iMac uses mobile processors. The X9100 version being used in the iMac coupld probably only be used in a relatively large laptop because it runs significantly hotter than what mis projected for the "Montevina" version of the X9100.

Ian Irvin

April 29, 2008 04:20 AM

Some of the above comments about mac needing smaller CPUs while other companys just make the box bigger doesn't quite make sense, the actual CPU is probably the smallest part on the entire computer, if you include a full sized heat sync in the size you could perhaps consider ram smaller in size but thats about it.

I still laugh every time I see that mac commercial that has the PC being calmed by the psychiatrist saying that its not his fault its because unlike mac all the PC parts come from different places while mac makes all the hardware and my mind I'm just thinking...Mac, you know you don't make your hard drives or your processors (Intel) or a plethora of your other parts right? someone should sue them for false advertising.


April 29, 2008 09:42 AM

The previous comments were not about "mac needing smaller CPUs" they were specifically about iMacs (referring to the current aluminum version) which are designed much like laptops. The physical chip size is not so important, but mobile type CPUs are necessary due to lower power usage resulting in less heat production thus decreasing large ancillary space requirements for larger heat sinks, fans, exotic cooling systems or larger air spaces to insulate other components.

The Mac commercial is a reference to the Mac OS X only being licensed to run on Apple manufactured computers, built with components that meet Apple designed specifications, tested and warrantied by Apple. This is in contrast to Microsoft Windows, which is expected to run on computers built by HP, Dell, Sony and Joe Hobbyist down the street.

I expect that you knew all this and that you were just being cranky, but I felt the need to post just in case you were honestly confused.


May 5, 2008 02:15 AM

I agree with Irvin. And i know DELL and HP are going to come out with thin Laptops that are as good as MAC.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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