Apple is tapping Intel chips for its desktop lineup in a way it never has before.
Unveiled Tuesday, updated the iMacs have, for the first time, adopted Intel's Core i3 processor, with some distinct differences between the i3, i5, and i7 models, while the refreshed the Mac Pros tap Intel's most advanced six-core processor, also a first.
So, what should consumers zero in on inside the box? Here's a quick rundown.
Core i3/Core i5 Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading--most have both, but a of couple processors don't: Apple has gone with Core i3 processors for the first time. The Core i3, as the number suffix indicates, is Intel's low-end core i series desktop processor. In addition to the most salient differences--clock (gigahertz) speed and processor core counts--the biggest variation among the various Core i3 and Core i5 models is that a couple of the iMacs don't have both Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading. The size of the cache memory is also a distinction.
A primer, first.
Hyper-Threading: This can double the number of tasks--or threads--a processor can execute. So, a two-core processor can handle four threads. This technology is not offered on prior-generation Core 2 chips. Apple describes it as follows: "When you're running multiple applications at once,… Read more