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Intel Ships Cheap Quad Core Mobile CPU

Gordon Kelly


Intel Ships Cheap Quad Core Mobile CPU

While netbooks may still be awaiting their first dual core Atom CPUs, owners of fully fledged (grown up?) laptops are about to get affordable quad cores...

Intel has announced it has now begun shipping the 'Q9000', a 2GHz quad core CPU that will sell for significantly less than the current QX9300 and QX9100 but comes with the compromise of 50 per cent less cache (just 6MB verses 12MB).

That said, the aforementioned savings are huge with the Q9000 shipping in bulk volumes at just $348 each, a huge reduction on the QX9300 and Q9100 which sell in similarly high quantities at $1,038 and $851 apiece. In fact the Q9000 could become the first CPU to move quad core mobile computing into the mass market - providing its 45W TDP isn't too much of a hindrance.

As for willing laptop manufacturers Acer has already shown its hand and will be bundling the Q9000 into the Aspire 8930G-7665 (an 18.4in multimedia-centric machine) while Apple is expected to unveil a quad core MacBook at MacWorld with the Q9000 thought to be taking the box seat.

Holding off that laptop upgrade a little longer? Yep, new year - same old, same old...


Intel Q9000 Information Page


January 2, 2009, 10:39 pm

Although i heartily welcome this development for the general notebook market, i still think that eliminating the HDD bottleneck by mass-adopting SSDs would do more for user satisfaction than churning out more processors that now have to wait even longer between data fetches and stores because of how far ahead they are technologically to the storage medium...!

(breathe son, breathe!!!)


January 3, 2009, 12:19 am

5400 rpm is fine for me. the problem is heat, and i don't want to imagine how much heat this thing could pump out. even if it is part of the "budget" range.

maybe if these were marketed as winter lap warmers...


January 3, 2009, 6:36 pm

5400rpm doesn't deliver the data to the RAM & GPU & CPU as fast as it could, and that's where i am thinking SSDs should be closing the gap quick. We don't need new processors per say - we need to unify/close the gaps in speed of data delivery between the various logical areas of a computer. You'll realize how fast a p4 is when you're not waiting for the hdd to seek/read/write...


January 3, 2009, 11:58 pm

will having a faster hard drive get me playable frame rates at minimal detail on my dual core pentium laptop with integrated gma x3100? or playable framerates in command and conquer generals with shadows switched on? (i don't know, myself)


January 4, 2009, 12:31 am

What do You consider when you are buying your computer? I tend to list what i'd like it to do and go out there and match as CLOSELY as i can what i want with what i can afford. If you wanted games, you'd have got a computer with a specific hardware component dedicated/deemed capable of executing that demanding task. This component is known as a discrete graphics card. I have one. Nuff said...


January 4, 2009, 11:29 am

thing is, i didn't buy this laptop. my dad gave it to me, so i didn't have a say there.

anyway, things like hard drives i consider to be much more easily replaceable than graphics chips, so if i needed to i could whack in a faster drive or larger capacity one or solid state one, if the need arose. now desktop pc's... that's a different story for me ;)


January 5, 2009, 8:10 pm

I think quad-core CPU's are a complete waste of time and space in most desktops, let alone in portables.

Reason? Virtually no code makes proper use of multi-core processing. You don't get anywhere near the best out of 2 cores yet, let alone 4. And this isn&#8217t something that&#8217s changing fast either, it&#8217s been like this for many years

If you want a fast laptop for playing games then go Dual-Core (1 to do something useful - the other to cover it's arse when something interesting happens) and get a fast graphics card. Hard disk speed is nice for loading times, but mostly irrelevant to gaming once complete.

I'd love to see a test of a dual-core version of this laptop running side by side everyday apps and games (not dedicated multi-core meaningless speed tests). I bet the difference is barely noticeable, but the hole in the pocket will be.

I really like the principle of parallel processing, but the software to make use of it needs to be as clever as the technology that provides it.


January 5, 2009, 9:45 pm

Snow Leopard for OSX will be multi-core optimized, and also have Grand Central, which they say will allow devs to more easily code for multicore cpus. So i reckon that side is covered for OSX users, and the technology will filter down to other mainstream consumer OSes (windows) at some point. I agree that it will be a very much welcome step in harnessing all this technology, and i have no doubt that SSDs will soon be NEEDED rather than sold as an option if a reseller wants to make the claim of having the fastest pc in the land. Efficient Multi-core utilization, harnessing GPU compute power AND multiplying the data fetch speeds available today from storage media will result in a much quicker system. The question is who will get there first? I can only see one company that is ticking the boxes right now... :)


January 6, 2009, 2:51 pm

Windows has been capable of using multi-core for many years. The Windows Server family do this very well indeed and the same tech is in the normal OS too. Browsers like Chrome even split tabs across processors. This isn't a shiny MAC thing.

The problem is that the vast majority of code written for these OS's doesn't bother to utilise all these cores that are available to them.

Hopefully now though as we see Dual-Core as standard, Quad core fairly comnmonly, and the i7 presenting 8 cores to the OS (which within a year will be wide-spread) the shift in software design will finally take place.

In the meantime my comments stand. 4 cores in a laptop... Useless 99% of the time.


January 6, 2009, 6:27 pm

The complete package, as will be achieved by 'shiny MACs' is something only specialist Windows servers can do (with quite a bit of work i might add), and not standard off-the-shelf home user OSes.

I am very much aware that Windows server can utilize multiple cores - what i am pointing out is that at present, there's a lot of 64-32-62 translation going on at the cost of a bit of processor overhead as far as certain applications are concerned.

Snow Leopard and Grand Central will provide a platform to

(1) eliminate the waste via overhead

(2) better utilize that 99% that you deem useless, by providing an optimized 64-bit OS environment and dev-kit.

Do you have a road-map for any home-user windows OS going fully 64-bit, multi-core optimized and multi-core application development-ready out of the box?

No? I didn't think so...


January 7, 2009, 2:52 pm

I use Windows Vista 64-bit right now. No need to wait for a .1 upgrade to my OS that I'll be charged &#163100 for.

Were Microsoft to charge &#163100 for a service pack there would be riots. Apple are no saviours of the world, merely able to gain an advantage through tightly controlled and massively overpriced shiny hardware.

Btw - I own an iPhone and (apart from the fact you notice how slow it is after a while of use) I love it.

Anyway - this is not about apple or Microsoft. This is about "do you need 4 cores in a laptop" and the answer is no.!

Even less so in a MAC as they don't run hardly any of today's top games. Well they do.. But to make them you have to dual-boot into Windows! /doh!!


January 7, 2009, 8:50 pm

Well done with Vista 64-bit, and the 32-bit application caompatibility modes you're working with as well. Is everything running on your computer multi-core optimized?

Microsoft Doesn't charge for service-packs in the same way Apple doesn't charge for it's major updates. A collection of the latest updates in a large download is free for most OS users. HOWEVER, a revision of your current OS which is fully optimized for the latest and near-future hardware is a different thing altogether. Mac users will probably pay &#16379 to bring their computers into the latest era. Windows - &#163150 minimum???

4 cores in a laptop on their own mean nothing - the same kit in a laptop that can use them from an OS and Application point of view will mean things you'll only discover in about 5 years at the earliest. Don't worry about it for now mate, it's way beyond you...:)

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