Macs get Intel inside

New computers run three to four times faster than PowerPC models

The Macintosh-with-Intel-inside era commenced last week with Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini, appearing on stage at Macworld in the Intel bunny suit.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced four new models during his keynote address: two iMacs and two notebooks that will now run Intel dual-core processors.

Jobs also promised that by the end of 2006 all Macs will be Intel-based. Considering that the two latest models were produced six months ahead of schedule, it doesn't seem like an unreasonable expectation. The notebook models, now dubbed MacBook Pro, both weigh 5.6 pounds and come with either a 1.67GHz Core Duo processor for $1,999 or a 1.83GHz dual-core processor for $2,499.

The new 17-inch-display iMac comes with a 1.83GHZ Core Duo processor, 512MB of DDR2 DSRAM, a 160GB hard drive, integrated Wi-Fi, and a double-layer SuperDrive with 128MB of video memory, all for $1,299.

The 20-inch-display iMac will cost $1,699 with a 2GB dual-core processor, twice as much memory, and a 250GB hard drive. Using standard industry benchmarks both the notebooks and iMacs recorded performance numbers three to four times faster than the current PowerPC chips, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64, a market research company.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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