Intel Core 2 Duo Chips Announced

Intel announced the long anticipated Core 2 Duo processors today. Intel announced 10 new chips including 5 designed for latops (Merom) and 5 for desktops (Conroe).

Core 2 Duo runs at slower clock speeds than Pentium-era chips, but is still more productive because it handles more calculations per clock cycle, said Sean Tucker, a product manager at HP. Thanks to that slower speed, Core 2 Duo chips need less electricity, drawing just 65 watts compared to the Pentium 4s 95 watts and Pentium Ds 130 watts.

Intel has already started shipping Core 2 Duo chips to manufacturers, so the first Core 2 Duo Desktop machines should reach consumers in early August. Meanwhile Core 2 Duo laptops will reach consumers by the end of August.

Conroe and Merom are successors to the Core Duo processor which was introduced by Intel early this year. The Core Duo (Yonah) was the first Intel chip used in Apple's switch to intel earlier this year.

At present Apple's lineup is as follows:

Intel: MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini: Core Duo or Core Solo (Yonah)
PowerPC: PowerMac, Xserve: PowerPC 970 (G5)

Newer processors from Intel sharing a new architecture now include:
Core 2 Duo mobile (Merom)
Core 2 Duo desktop (Conroe)
Xeon 5100 (Woodcrest)

Woodcrest is rumored to be used in the Mac Pro, which is expected be released at WWDC 2006. Apple's use of the Core 2 Duo is not yet clear, but the Core 2 Duo mobile (Merom) is pin compatible with the current Core Duo (Yonah). This means that Apple could easily upgrade the existing Intel-based Macs to the newer processor with no design changes.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Buy Now)

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