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Welcome to the world's fastest laptop, brought to you by Intel and ATI

by Tarinder Sandhu on 3 April 2008, 09:09

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Intel will release its Centrino 2 platform (Montevina) in June of this year. Comprising of support for 1,066MHz FSB Penryn mobile chips, sat on top of a Mobile 45 Express chipset (Cantiga) with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, the fifth-generation platform looks, on first glance, to be an incremental upgrade over incumbent Santa Rosa.

However, the release of Centrino 2 is likely to coincide with ATI's return to high-end CrossFire multi-GPU rendering in the mobile space, enabling high-quality gaming on desktop-replacement laptops.

Currently known by its codename of M88, ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 will be supported on the Centrino 2 Intel PM45 chipset, and Intel had an engineering-sample setup on display at Spring IDF 2008.

Intel will also be releasing a quad-core mobile Penryn, most likely at 2.8GHz, operating within a 45W TDP, that's said to be highly overclockable. As such, Intel's mobile division will also roll out an extreme tweaking utility, formerly known as Iron City, aimed at easy-to-use OS-based overclocking for the CPU and memory.

Speaking of memory, here we see the provision for XMP overclocking, right up to DDR3-1,334. Note, though, that an additional 0.2V has to be pushed through the SO-DIMMs to achieve the speed, and responsible ODMs will need to ensure that there's adequate ventilation through the chassis.

And here's the engineering-sample on display. Whilst the setup may not look to be indicative of a laptop's, it's a proof of the Centrino 2/CrossFire concept in action.

The MXM-based Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 attached to a x16 PCIe Gen 2 slot. 

And here's an overview.

Just a dual-core CPU in this test-rig.

The distinction between desktop PCs and DTR notebooks is blurring to the extent that it's difficult to tell them apart. That point is reinforced with the kind of system available to buyers of a high-end Centrino 2 system. Imagine a quad-core Penryn operating at an overclocked 3.2GHz, 4GiB DDR3 memory at 1,333MHz, and a Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 to paint pretty pixels. How many readers' desktops are faster than that?

HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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My desktop doesn't hold a candle to that!

The line between desktops and laptops is blurring quicker than ever. Already, I can't see myself having much need to ever build another PC. I can see myself getting another laptop somewhere down the line, and hooking that up to an external monitor.
The main bottlekneck is still the hard drive, but SSDs are sorting that out (unless you have a Macbook Air where the SSD is no better performing than a spinning disk)
If they actually make it into a laptop, I doubt it would be very portable… not sure about how reliable it would be with all the heat that must give out. I don't think they will ever replace desktops properly. Plenty of reasons, eg:
-hard drive space
-limited connectivity
-limited upgrades
-limited customisability

Laptops are nice to have but since getting my laptop, I still use my desktop a lot more!
The main bottlekneck is still the hard drive, but SSDs are sorting that out (unless you have a Macbook Air where the SSD is no better performing than a spinning disk)

Lol… the main bottleneck is surely going to be the price.

It might well be fast, but as I'll never be able to afford one I would think that my desktop will still be able to massively outperform a non-existent laptop…
wow… thjat thing is going to be extremekly expensive. Considering how expensive a full-bled 3870X2 is, this thing is going to be almost ludicrous… really fast, though, but IMO it is excessive for a laptop