Which Intel chips will go where? - Macenstein

Which Intel chips will go where?

Posted by Lab Rat

Now that Intel has begun shipping their new 65nm dual-core Yonah chips, the only question is “Which chips will find their way into which Macs?�

Here’s our take:

Dual-core Yonahs Desktop candidates

Currently there are 4 versions of the dual-core Yonah processor: the 2.16 GHz T2600 ($637), the 2.0 GHz T2500 ($423), the 1.83 GHz T2400 ($294) and the 1.66 GHz T2300 ($241).

Obviously, the $499 mac mini is not likely to get a $640 chip, so we think it is a safe bet the first Intel based Mac minis will be running somewhere in the 1.66 GHz to 1.83 GHz range.

The iMacs have a bit more pricing leeway, so the higher end 2.0 GHz and 2.16 GHz chips are good candidates, and both should provide very nice speed improvements over the current models. While we don’t expect to see new Intel iMacs at Macworld, the idea is not as unlikely as it once seemed.

In addition to the dual-core versions of the Yonah chip, Intel has a single core version: the 1.66 GHz T1300 ($209). We don’t see a place for this chip in Apple’s current line up. Even the low-end mini should hopefully see dual-cores. The price savings is only $30, and we can’t see anyone buying a single core machine to save $30.

Dual-core Yonahs Laptop candidates

The options for portables are bit more limited. Intel has announced the 1.66GHz L2400 ($316) and the 1.5 GHz L2300 ($284).

Both of these look to be destined for iBooks. While they should certainly provide a great performance boost over the current Apple iBooks, we doubt Apple would replace a PowerBook’s brain with one of these chips, and we expect to see “Proâ€? laptops closer to the end of the year alongside the new Intel PowerMacs.

It will be interesting to see just how close these come performance-wise to the current PowerBooks, as they will be running at similar clock speeds (barring a PowerBook speed bump at Macworld). There IS one more portable option Apple could pursue if they were worried about Intel iBook sales cannibalizing PPC-PowerBook sales. Apple COULD stick the 1.3 GHz Pentium M 733 ($273) into the iBook, and save the dual-cores for the PowerBook. This doesn’t seem likely, even if dual-core Intel iBooks are the equals of the current PPC-PowerBooks. There will be a great deal of media scrutiny and comparison between the new Macs and the new Windows machines running these chips. Now that Apple is entering the world of Intel, it cannot release a super slow laptop just to keep its “Pro� line from looking old.

It should be pointed out that Intel priced these chips based on orders per 1000. It’s possible Apple may be able to get lower pricing and may therefore be able to fit slightly costlier chips into its less expensive Macs. Of course, Apple isn’t going to be able to order half as many chips as other PC manufacturers such as Dell, so it looks like the move to Intel is not going to bring about a huge price drop/ price war any time soon.

Assuming Apple isn’t willing to give up its rather impressive margins, perhaps the most interesting thing about this move to Intel will be the way Apple’s marketing geniuses spin things to convince us that now that all PC hardware is essentially the same, we still need to pay 35% more for our computers.

All I can say is these things better look REALLY cool.

2 Responses to “Which Intel chips will go where?”
  1. Wolfman Mac says:

    Maybe the the 1.66 GHz T1300 will go into some new Apple product… like the wireless iPad thing, or Super Newton!

  2. Wolfman Mac says:

    No way new Intel iMacs at Macworld, too soon. But I would say by March.

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