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Intel gives Apple early access to Z68 platform

Posted: Thu May 05, 2011 8:07 am
by bluesky
Intel gives Apple early access to Z68 platform
updated 12:25 pm EDT, Wed May 4, 2011

Apple planning to support Smart Response?

The 2011 iMac is already making use of Intel's BD82Z68 platform controller hub, various investigations show, including one by TonyMacx86. The Z68 platform is not officially scheduled to debut until May 11th, meaning that Intel has once again given Apple early access to new technology. Apple is for example the only computer maker with access to Thunderbolt, a 10Gbps port standard.
Z68 may have more significance in relation to a rumored Intel feature for SSDs, known as Smart Response Technology. Mentioned in documentation for a leaked "Larsen Creek" series of SSDs, Smart Response would allow an SSD to serve as a cache for a regular hard drive. Up to 20GB could potentially be cached, dramatically boosting access speeds in some cases.

Apple is reportedly pushing out delivery of combo SSD/HDD iMacs to between 2 and 3 weeks for 21.5-inch models, and 4 to 6 weeks for 27-inch systems. It's speculated that Apple could therefore be waiting for the arrival of Larsen Creek drives. It may also have to produce an update for Snow Leopard, and/or implement support in Lion.

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Re: Intel gives Apple early access to Z68 platform

Posted: Thu May 05, 2011 8:16 am
by Stephen Hart
This has always seemed to me the obvious first step toward an allSSD. SSD is still way too expensive to replace hard drives, but the prices will come down in the next few years.

My favorite use of a huge SSD is for Time Machine. Not for the speed, but for the silence. The internal hard drive in my iMac is barely loud enough to be noticeable. But my external TM drive is loud enough to notice, even though it's under a desk.