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Intel's Centrino 2 (aka Montevina) arrives tonight

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Professor MD   Monday, 07/14/08 09:43:21 PM
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Intel's Centrino 2 (aka Montevina) arrives tonight

Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:29PM EDT

Whatever you do don't buy a new computer this afternoon: Intel's long-anticipated new chipset/wireless/CPU combo, formally named Centrino 2 and previously known by the code name "Montevina," officially arrives this evening after nearly a month of delays. Virtually every computer maker will have upgraded models for sale come tomorrow... and big discounts on older machines that are still lingering in the channel.

Centrino 2, as I've previously written about at the above link, includes a whole host of new and upgraded features. Here are the key features you'll find in machines that use the new chipset:

> An updated Penryn-class Intel Core 2 Duo CPU will be standard, with clock speeds of up to 3.06GHz available. The new Penryn isn't just faster, it also consumes less power: 29 watts vs. the first-generation's 34 watts, and that means a significantly cooler-operating (and longer-running) laptop.

> For machines without dedicated graphics cards, a new integrated graphics chipset called the GMA X4500 will be included, and which should offer a modest improvement on graphical and gaming tasks on machines without a real graphics card.

> Integrated wireless is upgraded to 802.11n Wi-Fi, with a WiMax add-on module available as an option.

> Support for the new DisplayPort monitor/TV connector will now be available.

> A collection of upgrades to other components including Gigabit Ethernet LAN and RAM (with support for DIMMs up to DDR3-1333) are included. Intel's TurboMemory caching system also gets an upgrade.

Unfortunately, not all of the features in the Centrino 2 package are ready immediately; Intel has stated that it will be August before all processors and chips in the collection are universally available. Higher-end notebooks, especially those with discrete graphics, are more likely to include all (or most of) the Montevina features.

Want Montevina? Check your laptop for the Centrino 2 sticker or pay close attention to the specs when you're doing your research. There's really no reason not to jump for it if you're buying a new machine.

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