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Intel 965GM is considerably hotter than its predecessor

Hello Crestline, goodbye Calistoga
Mon Jul 24 2006, 14:30
CALISTOGA CA, is a small and pretty town at the north end of the Napa valley, wine lover's paradise, and also (perhaps more relevantly) the codename for Intel's mobile 945 chipset, which is not long for this world.

While the 945GM will have a lease of new life at the end of this month with the launch of Merom and the refresh of the current Centrino Napa platform (see the link here?), details have started to leak to the world of the new Crestline 965GM chipset that will form part of the Santa Rosa platform.

You may recall that we looked into the desktop version of the 965 chipset, and found that it was more than a little toasty using 23.1W even without the graphics enabled; this didn't bode too well for a mobile chipset.

Well Intel have clearly been beavering away trying to get this down for the mobile version, and TDP is claimed to be 13.8W; quite a decent drop it might seem. For this you get 800MHz bus, support for 2 gigabit memory chips (allowing 4GB with 16 chips, or 2 SO-DIMMs), DirectX 10 compatible graphics, a 50% increase in video performance over Calistoga with a 400MHz clock, and finally a full 24-bit LVDS interface integrated into the north bridge.

But hang on, I thought to myself; that is not an insignificant amount of power in itself... a ULV Yonah takes only 9W for two 1.2GHz CPU cores! In comparison, 945GM is very frugal:

Chipset North Bridge Power South Bridge Power Total Power
Calistoga 7.0W 1.7W 8.7W
Crestline 13.8W 2.4W 16.2W
Increase 97% 41% 86%

Ouch. Well, of course, these are TDPs, and typical power will be lower, as we all know, but factor in Vista's poncey graphics engine, and your battery will be sucked up much faster on these new platforms.

So all in all, personally, I think I'd rather stick with Calistoga for a future Merom laptop, and just get one with a decent discrete GPU only if I manage to kid myself I'm going to get the time to do any mobile gaming!

But then I'm a stick-in-the-mud who likes battery life and doesn't need the latest, greatest performance, and I also have a soft spot for the little town of Calistoga, with its great wine, excellent real ales, mud springs and beautiful lesbians (but that's a whole different story)! µ

See Also
Intel P965 is heavy on the juice


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