Intel Arrandale Reviews

Seems to be quite a few Arrandale reviews popping up around the ‘Net– most reviewers got their hands on the Arrandale Core i5-6XX units it seems. Early results are really promising; same power usage as the Core 2 Duo and insane gains in calculations per second. Just…nutty.

It’s almost a guarantee that Apple will announce new MacBook Pro’s at the end of the month. Most of the geeks I know and around the web seem to think that the Arrandale chips are destined to be in the next MBP’s. Based on what I’ve seen so far of package sizing, I’m projecting the following:

  • 17″ MacBook Pro Core i7-620M (2.66 Ghz -> 3.33 Ghz Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
  • 15″ MacBook Pro Core i5-520M/540M (2.4/2.53 Ghz -> 2.93/3.06 Ghz Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
  • 13″ MacBook Pro Core i3-350M (2.26 Ghz No Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
  • I’m basing this on two theories: First, that Apple isn’t going to want to change their architecture around too much. I’m betting every MBP motherboard will support rPGA pin arrangement to make things easier. Considering there’s only one rPGA processor listed coming out this month in that pack, I’m assuming they’ll go the same way with the 15″ and 13″. Secondly, there are some lower powered (25 watts) processors that would be suitable for inclusion in a revised MacBook Air. My only problem with this theory is that the integrated IGP units that are now on the same die as the main processor apparently suck. Like, majorly suck. They get remotely close to the last gen’s Nvidia 9440GM chipset but apparently don’t exceed it. Not good news. No one wants to buy a “new” machine that has weaker graphics than the last one.

    CES is nearly upon us, with the Ballmer keynote kicking off tomorrow night at 6:30 PM PST. I’ll post my predictions of the coming show this year tomorrow before everything kicks off. The Net is abuzz with all kind of gadgets coming out this year…anyone see the hovering drone thing on Engadget?

    Outlook 2010 + Google Calendar Sync

    I’m actually really digging the new Outlook 2010 technical preview– wow nested email messages. Who knew that it would greatly simplify my life? Anyways, if you also maintain a Google Calendar and have it sync up through their nifty little app, you’re probably in for a bit of pain as you discover that this version of Outlook refuses to sync.

    Grr… Not to fear! Here (http://wesmcclure.tumblr.com/post/156968222) there are some friendly instructions if you feel comfortable using a Hex Editor. Do make a backup before you go editing things! After a quick version switch, I’m back to using Google Calendar again.

    Holiday Binge on Apps…

    I spent New Years “untethered-but-tethered” so to speak. I took my Mini hoping to do a bit of coding, but quickly realized that it just wasn’t going to happen. This wasn’t a bad thing– I can guarantee any code written would’ve been horrible. I did however, spend some QT with my iPhone downloading apps (over AT&T’s Edge network no less)… There were some great apps on sale for cheap prices, and some new ones that I just hadn’t come across before. Here they are:

    Tap Tap Revenge 3
    Cost: Free (with some In-App purchases to extend the game beyond the 200 or so free tracks)

    I don’t know, something about this app’s similarity to Rock Band or (Guitar Hero if you prefer) is engaging enough that I don’t find it to be a rip-off. The tracks are fun, it can be challenging at times, and there seem to be a ton of free tracks associated with the game. Granted, most of the artists probably won’t be recognizable at first glance but you’ll find some neat music here.

    F My Life
    Cost: Free (AdMob Supported)

    When I wasn’t using my phone, my girlfriend was rather obsessively checking this app. Conveniently titled, this app is an extension of the popular web site FMyLife. It supports rating posts, and will use badges to alert you of new posts. You can go back and read (what seems to be) limitless archive of this stuff. A great time waster.

    Boxcar
    Cost: Free, $.99 for additional services tied to the app beyond your first.

    Boxcar came out of a recommendation from one of my favorite blogs, TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog), (which also has an app here). In short, it adds Push notifications to services you choose. @DM’s on Twitter come to my email, but I wanted them to be sent as alerts. Boxcar’s services watch your accounts, and send you an alert, and then delegate to the app of your choice. I like Tweetie 2 on the iPhone, so Boxcar gets the popup alert, and then opens Tweetie to get the message in greater detail. Slick, eh? Support for just about every major Twitter client for the iPhone is there. Boxcar also supports other services such as: Growl, Twitter Search, Facebook, and Email.