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Intel Designing Power Mac Motherboards?

Intel Designing Power Mac Motherboards?

by , 4:20 PM EST, December 27th, 2005

Apple has enlisted Intel's help with creating motherboards for the next generation of Power Mac computers, according to a report at AppleInsider. The article cites "reliable sources" who said that Intel's Oregon facilities have formed an Apple Group to take on the chore because Apple's internal resources have been taxed by the task of getting iMacs, 15-inch PowerBooks, 13-inch widescreen iBooks and Mac minis ready for Intel processors.

According to AppleInsider's sources, those four computers will debut during the first four months of 2006 while the first Intel-based Power Macs will ship during the third quarter of that year. The article also speculated that the new Power Macs will use Intel's upcoming Conroe processor, which apparently uses a different architecture than Pentium 4 processors.

Apple will continue to design the exterior of its new computers, however, sources told the Web site.

Gartner Research analyst Mark Margevicius told the Web site that Apple's decision to enlist Intel's help will yield the same manufacturing cost benefits seen by Windows PC makers.

"While I have no insight how much this will save Apple, let's not also forget that Intel also offers marketing dollars (several hundred million, if I'm not mistaken) to [computer manufacturers] who display the 'Intel Inside,' 'Pentium,' and 'Centrino' logos on their hardware," Mr. Margevicius said. "I would expect Apple to do the same."

However, an analyst who wished to remain anonymous said that the move could make it harder for Apple to maintain the secrecy that it has always held over product development. "It'll be interesting how Apple retains its proprietary architecture -- which I assume will be more than software," the analyst commented. He also speculated that Apple and Intel may work together to create a custom chip set that will ship only in Macintosh computers.

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