With all the talk of laptop refreshes from Apple then Mac users should digest Intel’s recent official launch of its new quad-core Core i7 chips for portable computers, with Apple expected to launch its own quad-core Mac notebooks in early 2010, if not before.

Developed under code-name Clarksfield, the new chips are available in several breeds, including one which can run at up to 3.2GHz in Turbo mode. The new chips got their public debut at Intel Developer Forum.

The quad-core processors share the same Nehalem architecture and 45 nanometer process as the desktop part but are designed to consume much less power. They support hyperthreading, which makes for performance improvements, most Core i7 models ship with 8MB L2 cache.

Features such as Turbo Boost Technology and Hyper-Threading Technology deliver performance when users need it. Turbo Boost Technology can accelerate the processor clock speed up to 75 percent to match workloads, as well as offer better performance on highly threaded applications with the power of Intel Hyper-Threading Technology.

The processors also include two-channel DDR3 1333 MHz memory support and full 1 x16 or 2 x8 PCI Express 2.0 graphics.

One beneficiary of Appe’s move to Intel processors has been that the company can now compete with other manufacturers on chip speed and time to market, which makes it interesting to reflect that systems carrying Intel’s new processors are already available from Alienware and Toshiba. However, Apple is expected to use a dual-core Arrandale Core i7 processor in its future designs, as reported by Electronista.

Below is some of the Intel-sanctioned hype, which, while it doesn’t refer to the Mac, could suggest how powerful future Apple systems will become, bearing in mind the advanced Mac OS X they will run…


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