Print 22 comment(s) - last by crystal clear.. on May 10 at 11:24 AM

HP Pavilion HDX

Lenovo ThinkPad T61

Dell Latitude D630
Intel rolls out the red carpet for its next generation Centrino platform.

Intel today announced its next generation Santa Rosa Centrino platform. Over the past years, details of various aspects of the platform have leaked out such as the processors used, Robson NAND flash technology and the new Draft-N wireless adapter.

"When we introduced Intel Centrino 4 years ago, Intel changed the computing landscape with our mobile innovations," said Intel Mobile Products Group VP and general manager Mooly Eden. "Now, simply said, we have improved virtually all aspects of Intel-based notebooks, the most popular and fastest growing computing market segment in the world."

The new Merom-based Core 2 Duo processors are still based on a 65nm manufacturing process but now feature an 800MHz front side bus (up from 667MHz). Intel has also introduced Super Low Frequency Mode (Super LFM) and Enhanced Intel Deeper Sleep to reduce power consumption when idle.

The chipset used with Santa Rosa is the Intel Mobile 965 Express (PM965). It is essentially a rejigged version of the 965 Express Broadwater chipset introduced for desktop last year. The PM965 northbridge is paired with the ICH8M southbridge. It supports 10 USB 2.0 connections, three 3Gbps SATA ports, GbE and six PCIe x1 lanes. ICH8M also supports Intel Active Management Technology 2.5 (AMT 2.5).

Another welcome update is in the area of graphics. For notebooks not using discrete graphics solutions from ATI or NVIDIA, there is the new GMA X3100 IGP. The GPU is clocked at 500MHz and supports Windows Vista Aero Glass.

Although notebook manufacturers still have the option of using the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wireless network adapter, most will opt for the new Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 4965AGN Draft-N network adapter. The adapter supports 802.11a, 802.11b/g and 802.11 Draft-N standards. When operating in 802.11n mode, the adapter offers theoretical transfer speeds of up to 300Mbps while giving twice the range of 802.11g solutions.

Another new feature included with Santa Rosa is Intel Turbo Memory (formerly known as Robson). We first saw Intel Turbo Memory in operation at last year's Computex, but today the technology is actually ready for prime time. As previously detailed on DailyTech, notebook manufacturers will be able to install 512MB or 1GB of dedicated NAND memory in systems to improve application load times, reduce Windows Vista boot times and increase battery life due to less reliance on the physical HDD.

As you may have noticed, Santa Rosa-based notebooks have been popping up all over from Sony, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Asus and HP. The announcements continue to pour in with new Santa Rosa notebooks from HP and two more from Dell.

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Good news...
By TheWizardofOz on 5/9/2007 1:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
Santa Rosa is definately good news for mobile users.

Besides the Turbo Memory, though, it offers no big changes after the last generation Centrino platform. I doubt that 133Mhz FSB increase will make it significantly faster. 4945 Wireless adapter has still Draft-N, but that's mostly a delay from IEEE. Hopefully when the standard gets finelized, Intel will offer a firmware update for these WI-Fi adapters to be fully Wireless-N compliant.

I would still wait for Peryn based 45nm CPUs to buy a new laptop though...

RE: Good news...
By Brandon Hill on 5/9/2007 1:37:14 PM , Rating: 6
I'd say the power management advances and the X3100 graphics core are noteworthy additions.

RE: Good news...
By Aikouka on 5/9/2007 1:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, if I can find one of these for around the $1000 mark, I'd be tempted to upgrade my laptop, even though I don't use it often. I'm pretty happy with my current Intel desktop setup (also based on the 965 chipset), so that'd ease qualms about switching from an AMD notebook to an Intel notebook.

RE: Good news...
By TheWizardofOz on 5/9/2007 2:09:15 PM , Rating: 1
X3100 is good. Especially when it's the only integrated solution that supports DX10. But X3000 was already out, and AFAIK 3100 and 3000 have no differences, just the bugs of x3000 have been fixed.

Power manangement is always good.

My point was only considering the CPU. I want to wait until 45nm Peryn-M is out.

RE: Good news...
By jak3676 on 5/9/2007 4:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
The X3100 is supposed to be a nice jump over the old GMA 950, but I cannot find anything on Intel's website that says its DX10. It looks like DX9.0c to me. Here's what I'm looking at, can someone come up with a good source that says it's DX10?
Acceleration for all Microsoft DirectX 9 and SGI OpenGL 1.5

"Supports a Pixel shader 3.0 (for DirectX 9 applications)"

RE: Good news...
By Brainonska511 on 5/9/2007 6:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
The integrated graphics structure is Direct X 10 compatible. It is just Direct X 9 at the moment until the appropriate driver is released by Intel to enable Direct X 10 comptability.

RE: Good news...
By Storkme on 5/9/2007 5:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
Have we got any figures for battery life on santa rosa based laptops?

RE: Good news...
By crystal clear on 5/10/2007 11:01:56 AM , Rating: 2
Multitude Of Innovations Boost New Intel-Based Laptops

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 9, 2007 – Faster processors and chipsets. Great-looking video and graphics. Stronger and faster wireless signals. Better security and manageability. Designed for energy efficiency to enable great battery life. An option to turbo-speed boot time and software application loading

RE: Good news...
By crystal clear on 5/10/2007 11:24:10 AM , Rating: 2
The most quoted link on all major websites-

Besides the Turbo Memory

Testing Turbo Memory:

On paper, Intel's Turbo Memory appears to be a sure win and seemingly the type of thing you'd want on every system. The problem is that despite what you'd expect, we have yet to see any tangible performance increase from using Intel's Turbo Memory.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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