Intel Provides early 'Montevina'-Like Technology to iMac

Today's iMac updates provided a few surprising upgrades to the existing iMacs. The key changes include:

- Faster Penryn processors (2.4GHz-3.06GHz), up from 2.0-2.8GHz Merom processors.
- 1066MHz Front Side Bus, up from 800MHz.
- NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512MB on high end model
- More RAM (2GB) in mid-range models, up from 1GB

Montevina or Not?

First, some background: Intel delivers to its PC manufacturers specific "platforms" which are made up of the processor, chipset and wireless networking interface. These platforms go by specific codenames, such as "Santa Rosa" and "Montevina". While Apple technically does not adopt these platforms in their entirety, for simplicity's sake, we still refer to Macs using these specific named platforms.

Up until now, the MacBook, MacBook Pro and iMac have been based on the "Santa Rosa" platform which offers a 800MHz front-side bus. The front-side bus determines how fast the processor communicates with the rest of the computer. The "Santa Rosa" platform was first launched with the "Merom" processor, but recently gave way to the "Penryn" processors. The most recent MacBook and MacBook Pro updates adopted the new "Penryn" processors, but still on the 800Mhz front-side bus Santa Rosa chipset.

The introduction of the 1066MHz front-side bus iMac alongside faster Penryn processors suggested that Apple may have been able to launch the Montevina (1066MHz) chipset earlier than the expected June timeframe. When directly asked, however, Intel simply describes them as being "special" faster versions of the existing Santa Rosa chipset. The main difference, however, appears to be that these new chips consume more power than the upcoming Montevina chipsets.

For iMac buyers, however, it makes little difference. These new machines effectively provide the key benefits of the Montevina platform: faster processors and a faster front-side bus.

Besides the processing advantages, the addition of the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS 512MB is claimed to offer 2.2x the graphics performance of the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro.

Buy or Not?

The new iMacs should be in Apple's retail stores now. However, Apple is currently providing substantial ($250-$700) discounts on refurbished previous generation iMac stock, which may better fall in your price range if absolute performance is not your top priority. Unlike with the recent MacBook and Macbook Pros revision, however, modest retailer discounts ($50-$250) on new-in-box previous generation iMacs offer no added value over simply buying today's models. For those who can wait a few more days for delivery, MacMall is already offering $50-100 mail in rebates on the new machines, and Amazon typically follows suit with their own rebates.

Our iMac Buyer's Guide recommendation has been changed to "Buy Now" and the days-since-release counter reset. Ongoing iMac discussion can be directed to our iMac forum.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Parallels Desktop 16 Brings macOS Big Sur Support, Multi-Touch Gestures, 20% Faster DirectX, and More

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:17 am PDT by
Parallels Desktop 16 released today, bringing some notable new features and performance enhancements to the virtualization software, including full support for macOS Big Sur. When Apple introduced macOS Big Sur, it ended support for the third-party kernel extensions that previous versions of Parallels were built on. That forced the developers to re-engineer the virtualization software from the ...