In a comment left yesterday by Davewrite under my story about the new, speedier iMacs noted that the Intel Core Duo Extreme processor found in the new iMacs is not yet available in any PC. In fact, the chip isn't officially rolled out by Intel yet.
According to Silicon Valley Insider:
Want Intel's newest chip? Don't buy a PC -- buy a Mac. Apple (AAPL) has upgraded its iMac line with Intel's "Core Duo Extreme X9100". That's not an energy drink, but a processor that isn't available anywhere else -- and in fact hasn't been officially rolled out, according to tech site TGDaily.'
TGDaily goes on to explain:
Intel told us Monday afternoon that this new processor in fact is not the X9100, but rather a "special" SKU of the 45 nm Penryn processor for the company's Santa Rosa platform. We can’t imagine that HP and Dell are happy about the fact that Apple can officially ship a Core 2 Duo processor that matches most of the specifications of an unannounced Intel product - the only technical differentiator is the CPU's power thermal design power (TDP), which is 11 watts above the 44 watt X9100.
So it's not the Core Duo Extreme X9100 but it is a "special" processor that almost matches the specifications of the 45 nm Core 2 Duo Extreme X9100 processor which will officially launch with Intel’s Montevina refresh.
Montevina is the successor of Santa Rosa according to Intel representatives presenting at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing in April 2007. The new chip features 40 percent smaller components and will include integrated hardware decode for high-definition video. Montevina will be Intel’s first Centrino processor technology for notebooks to offer the option of integrated Wi-Fi and WiMAX wireless technologies.
This isn't the first time that Apple has been able to first to ship an Intel chip, according to TGDaily:
A little over a year ago, Apple announced the availability of an Intel 3.0 GHz quad-core-processor, which, at the time, was not officially announced and appeared to be exclusive to Apple back then. When we asked Intel about this “special” CPU, which turned out to be the Xeon X5365, we were told that the chip was shipping in “limited” quantities.
There are plenty of examples of Apple adopting Intel chips many months after its PC bretheren (witness notebooks) but I guess that being a Mac owner can have its privileges.