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"Merom" runs hot, "Yonah" might be the better chip for notebooks

Intel began releasing specifications of the new Merom processor to its motherboard partners today.  For those expecting Merom to increase performance over Yonah while simultaneously decreasing the thermal envelope, think again.

The top of the line Yonah processor, the T2700, has a TDP of 31W at 2.33GHz clock frequency.  All Core 2 Duo Merom processors have a TDP of 34W, including the lowly 1.66GHz T5500.  In comparison, the 1.66GHz Yonah rings in at 27W. 

Surely with Enhanced Speed Step these numbers get better, we'd think.  In "Battery Mode," all Merom processors clock down to 1GHz and 0.75V -- yet amazingly the TDP is still 20W.  Yonah, which also clocks down to 1GHz in Battery Mode with a 0.95V core has a TDP of 13.1W. 

Those expecting to pop in a Core 2 Duo Merom processor to alleviate an overheating MacBook Pro, look not here.  Merom is a better performing processor than Yonah, but its thermals on paper show its advantages are only in performance and not in thermals at all. 

Intel will counter these poor thermals with more "Low Voltage" and "Ultra Low Voltage" processors.  Just a few weeks ago, Intel announced an Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) Yonah processor running on a TDP of just 9W.  Intel's newest roadmap includes the U7500, an ultra-low voltage version of Merom.  However, given the fact that the normal voltage Yonahs have a lower TDP than the average Merom processor, we'd be hard pressed to think U7500 could possibly run cooler than its Yonah predecessor.




"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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