The debut of the long awaited Montevina platform finally made its way down to our local region after having been launched at San Francisco on 14 July. While we would love to have been there for the initial launch, Intel hasn't let the speed of the Internet slow them down one bit with an exciting launch event held at the One Degree 15 Marina Club over at Sentosa Cove. Before we go into details on the event itself however, let's take a quick review of what the Montevina platform actually is and how it will affect you, the consumer.
Intel has decided to brand the new Montevina notebook platform under the same Intel Centrino branding that most people are familiar with, but positioning the Montevina platform as the second generation, i.e. the Centrino 2. It isn't really accurate, as the Montevina platform is actually the fifth generation of the Centrino platform, but Intel's deliberate branding by using Centrino 2 to differentiate the current generation from the older platforms may be the right kind of touch it needs to compete against AMD's equivalent new Puma notebook platform.
Let's start with the basics first. The Intel Centrino 2 platform's favorite number is 45, as the new platform will support the latest 45nm Penryn/Wolfdale based processors (similar to the Santa Rosa refresh) but offers up to 1066MHz FSB support compared to the 800MHz FSB support of the Santa Rosa platform. 45 also used for their Mobile Intel G45 Express Chipset, which promises to deliver a whole load of performance boosts in 3D graphics and decompression/acceleration of HD videos, thanks to the newer integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics engine. The graphics engine also boasts of DirectX 10 capabilities for quality integrated graphics gaming performance, but well, let's be fair here, we don't expect Crysis to run on "Very High" settings.
Apart from these newer features though, the Montevina platform seems more like a gradual increment that we've all have been used to since the days of the Napa, with minor enhancements that continue to build on the previous platform. While 45nm may seem like a big deal in Intel's marketing scheme, the availability of Penryn/Wolfdale based processors have been on notebooks since the beginning of this year for the Santa Rosa Refresh platform. As such, we aren't really too excited (yet) about the newer platform and while we do want to test out the newer laptops featuring the Centrino 2 platform, we aren't really expecting much of a performance boost (but we're still keen on being surprised).