Intel’s Core 2 Extreme laptop CPU coming out next month

Intel_Core_2_Extreme-tm.jpg

Intel’s new quad-core laptop CPUs are set to premiere next month. Official branding? Core 2 Extreme. It’s nice to see major CPU manufacturers follow the same paradigm that Kool-Aid, Fruit Roll-Ups and Apple Jacks discarded as “spent” in the early 90’s. Dude’s up, Intel!

The first chip to sneak past the curtain of secrecy is the 2.54GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9300. It will cost you almost as much as a top-of-the-line current laptop goes for: a sputum-spattering $1,390.

Still, our favorite Gadget Lab gadget lad (and sometimes drinking buddy) Charlie Sorrel has it right: this is probably the chip that Apple will use to launch its new MacBook Pros. To the X-TREEEEEEEEEEEEEME!

Intel’s Quad-core Mobile Chip Coming Next Month [Yahoo via Gadget Lab]

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12 Responses to Intel’s Core 2 Extreme laptop CPU coming out next month

  1. zuzu says:

    None of those apps are consuming even a fraction of one core’s capacity at any given time, and the heavyweight apps aren’t designed to be very parallelizable. The normal usage patterns of the average desktop/laptop user do not involve the use of more than one or two resource-intensive applications at a time.

    I consistently push Camino past 100% CPU utilization on my 2.6GHz dual-core laptop. However, as you and others make note, Camino’s use of threads does not apparently accommodate using more than one core. (Threads suck in general, each open tab should be its own process so that when one page crashes the app you don’t lose all 299 of your other open web pages. The Flash plugin for YouTube videos is particularly notorious for causing crashes.)

    The normal usage patterns of the average desktop/laptop user do not involve the use of more than one or two resource-intensive applications at a time.

    We’re not writing software for “average” users. Average users get by with an Asus EeePC to browse a few web pages and write email. The avant garde are who drive innovation, however. It’s the people taking the available abundance of resources and finding new productive ways of putting those resources to use. Your point is like arguing “640k ought to be enough for anybody” or “How will you ever fill that 4GB hard drive?”

    Prevailing application software design paradigms and desktop/laptop user usage patterns just don’t point to anyone benefiting from this direction any time soon.

    Imperative programming has had a death sentence for over a decade, despite people seemingly willing Java (or fucking C++) into continued use through a combination of masochism and laziness — like not seeing a dentist about your painful cavity to finally have the root canal done.

    Yet, as I’ve noted, anyone who does network programming using TCP/IP is already familiar with asynchronous message-passing concurrency, whether they realize this (in such a context) or not. At the same time, another mature and well-heeled software programming language exists that solves this problem within computers/servers nearly as well: Erlang.

    See Joe Armstrong talk about Erlang here: Part 1, Part 2

    Or read about writing declarative rather than imperative software in Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming by Peter van Roy and Seif Haridi.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Eh, I’m not buying it. A quad core in a laptop is a bit silly for 98% of anything you’d use a laptop for, and I really can’t see Apple throwing one in to a macbook pro, considering that expensive chip would either destroy their huge and precious profit margins, or cause them to have to price the macbook pro somewhere beyond the stratosphere. Especially when you consider that the next version of photoshop won’t even support 2 cores on an Apple machine, it seems silly to throw 4 cores in when there can’t be too many application around to even take advantage of it at this point. It has been discussed before that programmers are having difficulty (or are simply too lazy) writing apps for two cores, much less even more cores. The core war is starting to resemble the megapixel war in just about every way.

  3. zuzu says:

    great idea lets make a laptop that doubles as a space heater with a 10 minute battery life. Not needed

    It is in fact possible to design computers to be more powerful and consume less electricity (and thus emit less heat). Often this is done by shrinking the scale of the lithographic manufacturing process. Consider that the ENIAC was both far less powerful and far more energy consuming than your laptop.

    But seriously, this “not needed” trend in people’s thinking is a bunch of bunk. Would you take that shit from an ISP telling you that more than 1Mbps of bandwidth is “not needed”?

  4. Anonymous says:

    People that multitask using video editing and audio editing software on the road will be able to use a qaud lap top. I can’t wait for it to come out.

    It is just the people that can’t save their money that complain. They are probably still using an AT computer saying DOS 3.0 is good enough and for what they do (email) it probably is.

    Intel has been planning the multi core CPU for decades. I remember when the prototype came out it had 10 CPU’s in it. Each one did a different task. Now they refined it and have all the video seperate from the number crunching.

    People that produce television can be rendering a video file while they open the sound program and edit the sound track. Then create a title animation in another program all using a different core.

    If you are only surfing the Web and playing games online of course it will not be faster. You oinly has one application open. Multi core is not for playing games. You are better off with an extreme CPU with high Mgz and a lot of memory.

    Intel knows what they are doing. The battery may wear out twice as fast but you will be doing 4 times as much work. So while the dual core people are waiting for a file to render we will be sending in our invoices to get paid.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree with ZuZu. I often have even more than 300 tabs open in Firefox. I would bring even my old dual Opteron 250 and 2GB of RAM and RAID 0 74gig Raptors to it’s knees. It simply was too much, I am a HUGE multitasker, and I cannot find a computer fast enough handle my requirements. I am excited to see Quad cores coming to Laptops. Doesn’t mean I am going to buy it, but it could possibly lower prices of dual cores in the next few months. Just so people know my craziness, imagine 30+ AIM conversations, 50-60 Firefoxes (each with 5-10+ tabs!), 10 MSN conversations, Skype (multiple conversations), MUCH MUCH MUCH more. But, I like it like this, people say it’s excessive, maybe, but it’s how I use a computer, people always are complaining why do you need such a fast computer not like your going to use all its power, that is COMPLETELY not true for my case. I like knowing I can open a Firefox browser from 3 weeks ago, and give someone a link of a site I was on, but didn’t bookmark. It has its uses. Anyway for now I am stuck with my poor 1.4 ghz centrino with 512mb of ram… oh my life…

  6. zuzu says:

    A quad core in a laptop is a bit silly for 98% of anything you’d use a laptop for … Especially when you consider that the next version of photoshop won’t even support 2 cores on an Apple machine, it seems silly to throw 4 cores in when there can’t be too many application around to even take advantage of it at this point.

    You’re a fool. I’m absolutely fed up with this “What do you need all of that RAM for?”, “What do you need all of those cores for?” rhetoric.

    The world of software design is going massively concurrent. Ever do something called multitasking? On a typical day I have at least 300 web browser tabs open, plus mail, calendar, wordprocessor, slideware, chat, address book, itunes, terminal shell, EMACS, and a few other apps.

    It’s not about singular apps (although if they supported proper message-passing concurrency, not shared state that’d be nice too). It’s about that most people’s workflow involves keeping several tasks open at the same time, and that having to shut down or restart any of those open applications is disruptive in the extreme to that workflow. (Rebooting is the bane of my computer existence.)

    Go read Doug Engelbart’s AUGMENTING HUMAN INTELLECT: A Conceptual Framework and then come talk to me. (c.f. intelligence amplification)

    It has been discussed before that programmers are having difficulty (or are simply too lazy) writing apps for two cores, much less even more cores.

    Erlang. (also, by the way, TCP/IP.)

  7. zuzu says:

    Not to mention that Apple itself announced “Grand Central” for multicore optimization in 10.6 Snow Leopard.

    Grand Central,” a new set of technologies built into Snow Leopard, brings unrivaled support for multicore systems to Mac OS X. More cores, not faster clock speeds, drive performance increases in today’s processors. Grand Central takes full advantage by making all of Mac OS X multicore aware and optimizing it for allocating tasks across multiple cores and processors. Grand Central also makes it much easier for developers to create programs that squeeze every last drop of power from multicore systems.

    Clearly Apple anticipates using quad-core processors in upcoming laptops, since 8-cores in the Mac Pro is nothing new.

  8. rmilling says:

    What about virtual machines? Doesn’t anyone use multiple virtual machines?

    I have room in my computer bag for just one physical laptop. Yet, I carry nearly a dozen machines with me — all but one is a virutal machine. All I need to run them is disk space (I have that) RAM, and CPUs.

    Currently, RAM and CPUs are the limiting resources. I’d love to have at least 8 cores and 16GB RAM in my laptop. For now, I get by with 2 cores, 4GB (OK 3GB+) and look forward to getting a laptop with at least 4 cores and 8GB.

    Why? Well, I like to carry my client machine, DB server, web server, app. server, etc. with me when I travel. I’m not waiting for single apps that can parallelize operations for multiple cores; I need multiple cores for far simpler concurrent processing!

  9. Anonymous says:

    As for people who say it “isnt needed” that should be restated as you dont need it. I edit video on the go and currently bring a shuttle pc with me along with my 2 laptops (EEEpc for surfing and BS and a dual core for light video tasks). The more power they can squeeze out of a laptop the better.

    i gave up on decent batterylife a LONNGGG time ago

  10. dculberson says:

    Zuzu, thanks for fighting the good fight.

    “Not needed?” Pshaw.

    Oh, but Zuzu, 300 tabs? Wow. I don’t think I could handle that. I know my computer couldn’t.

  11. HunterZ says:

    The world of software design is going massively concurrent. Ever do something called multitasking? On a typical day I have at least 300 web browser tabs open, plus mail, calendar, wordprocessor, slideware, chat, address book, itunes, terminal shell, EMACS, and a few other apps.

    None of those apps are consuming even a fraction of one core’s capacity at any given time, and the heavyweight apps aren’t designed to be very parallelizable. The normal usage patterns of the average desktop/laptop user do not involve the use of more than one or two resource-intensive applications at a time.

    The fact is that we’re just seeing a symptom of the fact that it’s getting too expensive and difficult to push clock speeds higher; CPU manufacturers are trying to expand horizontally instead (that is, adding more cores) simply because they need to keep evolving in some direction to remain relevant. Prevailing application software design paradigms and desktop/laptop user usage patterns just don’t point to anyone benefiting from this direction any time soon.

    The good news is that as an avid PC game player, I won’t have to worry about my game performance becoming CPU-bound until software developers start building new game engines from scratch that are more parallelizable.

  12. bex says:

    great idea lets make a laptop that doubles as a space heater with a 10 minute battery life. Not needed

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