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Summary:

It may not have arrived at Macworld, as some thought possible, but it looks like we could yet see a quad-core iMac from Apple in 2009. The rumors have gained renewed strength based on news from Intel regarding new, low power quad-core processors that they’ve just […]

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It may not have arrived at Macworld, as some thought possible, but it looks like we could yet see a quad-core iMac from Apple in 2009.

The rumors have gained renewed strength based on news from Intel regarding new, low power quad-core processors that they’ve just released. The new processors are designed for desktop use, in contrast with the existing low-power notebook chips, and as such would represent a departure for the iMac line, which typically uses mobile processors.

The new Core 2 Quad processors introduced by Intel are low power, but they still use far more energy than the existing Core 2 Duo mobile chips used in current models, and generate far more heat. Intel, however, clearly is thinking about the chips with the iMac or iMac competitors in mind, saying they’re designed for “sleek and cool desktops.” I can’t think of many other machines that fit that description, can you?

Of course, there’s a big difference between wishful thinking on Intel’s part and what Apple will actually do. Even if affordable, do quad-core iMacs make sense from Cupertino’s perspective? Basic logic would seem to suggest that the move from duo to quad-core processors would be a natural next step, but there’s the question of what it would mean for Apple’s clearly delineated product categories.

Quad-core iMacs would probably sap some entry-level power users away from the Mac Pro line of desktops, since, if Apple stays true to form, pricing levels will not change with hardware improvements. It is true that eventually the line will probably have to go that way, but Apple generally makes sure that their higher-end products stand enough apart from their more widely appealing computers that corporate buyers for media professionals know where they have to put their money.

As evidence that the quad-core iMacs could indeed be based on these new chips, AppleInsider cites older rumors that suggested Apple was working on new cooling methods for their all-in-one desktop that could handle the excess heat generated by the more power-hungry chips.

  1. [...] Quad-Core iMac Now a Stronger Possibility [...]

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  2. All I want is confirmation and a timetable, I am really in the market for a new computer, but the rumor of newer hardware on the horizon is making me wait.

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  3. [...] indicating a new iMac line in March. The features vary, but most of the speculation includes quad-core processors and higher-quality Nvidia graphics. From my limited Apple experience, that seems [...]

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  4. A confirm launch date will be the best present for me.

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  5. The phrase “Sleek and cool” refers to physically thin devices that do not dissipate heat easily. The nerds at Intel are scientists and simply don’t see style – very left brained. So if you based this news article on that comment you may have been vary badly misled.

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  6. I think, other than the cooling issue, that Apple may be waiting to release Snow Leopard before introducing the quads.

    I believe that one of the changes in Snow Leopard would be more effective utilization of multiple cores, so possibly the IS will boast a new scheduler. If this is the case, they could also be getting some marketing spin from introducing both the new version of OS-X and a Quad-Core iMac at the same time?

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  7. so would the duo be lest $ when the new quad-core if it is i can get one sooner but i do not think i will get the quad-core. it would be nice and good for gaming but i think the duo would work fine for me and will cost lest too giving me more $ to upgrade the imac. then should make more game for mac and will the new call of duty mw2 be caming to macs ? ( i have a old powermac g4 and a dell laptop that dose not work

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