MacBooks based on Intel's new Core i5 processors are expected to appear in the not-too-distant future. Here's some guesswork--updating a previous post--based on my discussions with Intel at the Consumer Electronics Show last week just after the chipmaker announced the new mobile chips.
Simply put, Arrandale is a Core i3 or i5 (update: or Core i7) central processing unit (CPU) package that includes graphics silicon. Until Arrandale, Intel graphics was in a separate package--referred to as the chipset. Making it part of the CPU results in lower power consumption and, consequently, better battery life. Arrandale's graphics also offers a step up in performance over the prior-generation Core 2 integrated graphics.
I should add that any laptop with a new Core i series processor is going to be faster than a laptop with the previous-generation Core 2 chip.
Turbo Boost: Why faster? For one, with the mobile Core i5 Intel's Turbo Boost is now available to mainstream laptops. This feature automatically overclocks a 2.26GHz Intel Core i5-430M processor, for example, to 2.53GHz on the fly as required by the application. (This is not possible with the Core i3 chip, however.)
One possibility is Apple getting an i5 (and/or i7, i3) made to order, as it did with the specially-packaged Core 2 Duo processor in the original MacBook Air. Or Apple could simply bypass Intel's integrated graphics by attaching an ATI or Nvidia graphics processor. The latter will likely happen in some form. Silicon Valley rival Hewlett-Packard is doing this already. Last week, HP updated its Envy 15 with the Core i5-540M Processor (2.53 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache) and Core i5-520M Processor (2.40 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache) and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5830 graphics chip from Advanced Micro Devices.
Of course, Intel is not revealing when and how Apple will use the new Core i mobile processors, but in an interview… Read more