Apple Boosts Speed Of MacBooks With Intel's 'Santa Rosa' - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Apple Boosts Speed Of MacBooks With Intel's 'Santa Rosa'

The starting price for the new MacBooks includes a 2.0-GHz Core 2 Duo processor and an 80-Gbyte hard drive.

Apple on Thursday moved its MacBook laptops over to Intel's Santa Rosa chipset, boosting the processing speed of the notebooks.

In addition, MacBook Pros, which have had Intel's latest mobile platform since June, are available with a faster 2.6-GHz CPU for an additional $250. In addition, Apple's top-of-the-line notebook is available with a 250-Gbyte hard drive. Apple still offers MacBook Pros with the less-expensive 2.2- and 2.4-GHz chips.

Santa Rosa, Intel's next-generation implementation of its Centrino wireless notebook platform, includes a Core 2 Duo processor and incorporates the 802.11n spec, which has a data throughput over a Wi-Fi network of up to 74 Mbps. The previous 802.11g spec had a throughput of 19 Mbps.

In addition, Santa Rosa has 4 Mbytes of shared L2 cache and raises the speed of the front-side bus in the MacBook to 800 MHz from 667 MHz. Both features contribute to the boost in processing speed.

The starting price for the new MacBooks is $1,099, which includes a 2.0-GHz Core 2 Duo processor and an 80-Gbyte hard drive. For $400 more, the MacBook comes with a 2.2-GHz processor and 160 Gbytes of storage. All MacBooks come standard with 13-inch displays and 1 Gbyte of memory.

The move to Santa Rosa also gives the MacBooks a video upgrade to Intel's GMA X3100 graphics processor, built into the chipset. Previous MacBooks had Intel's slower GMA 950 processor. In addition, Santa Rosa has what Intel calls a Turbo Memory feature that boosts hard-drive performance with a flash-based cache.

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