Intel Ivy Bridge chip candidates for MacBook Pro, Air to arrive in May

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  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,629member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    You could have seen the data six months ago to show that you wouldn't see Airs in the top spots by next year. Apple currently employs basically all options in the ULV category in the Air already. What would be the point in underclocking other components? At 45W they run pretty close to their thermal limits at times.



    I figured Intel would have capped the mobile TDPs at 25-35W as part of their new strategy so a redesigned chassis wouldn't mean a compromise. They're only competing with AMD and if they still end up being faster, they may as well cut the power so that only their chips can fit into sleeker designs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69


    What is the problem with two 13" or for that matter 15" machines? All Apple really needs to do is put a 35 watt processor in the 13" MBP, maintain RAM expand ability and storage flexibility and they will have a machine that appeals to many. There is nothing messy about choice.



    If they ditch the optical, the designs for both the 13" Air and Pro could easily be very similar to the point that some would wonder why they'd bother keeping both models. USB 3 support is coming with Ivy Bridge so you don't really need FW800 any more, nor ethernet. The 13" model can have 4x USB 3 and a Thunderbolt port.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Apple could easily put a 35 watt chip (Ivy Bridge) into the 13" Pro and I don't think anybody would complain. Yeah a discreet GPU would be nice but such a machine would still have significant capability beyond what an AIR would have.



    I constantly see this baloney about how the 13" AIR and Pro over lap. Honestly folks they aren't even in the same class.




    The hype may have died down a bit at intel for the moment. The internet was full of articles, rumors, etc about how Intel wished to get their mainstream chips to the power level their ULV chips occupy today. I think they've been a bit on edge with concerns over ARM. In server technology the ARM thing was to go for core count sort of to the extreme rather than what Intel is doing where they're still using faster cores but many servers are run over hypervisors. They've been concerned about ARM so they obviously don't want to appear poor on battery life by comparison if software engineering goes the direction of scaling to an increasing number of cores. Currently with desktop applications a big problem is the performance hit of shuffling information around for minor tasks.



    I agree the pro isn't going away, especially not yet. So many silly people have been expecting the 15" pro to be redesigned into an Air next year. If they think it runs hot now well .... anyway... I was telling a design student on macrumors yesterday not to buy an Air for 3d rendering, but I don't think the point made it through. Picking a machine designed to be light and compact for something like that is a massive compromise, but many people don't get it unless they experience the difference. Even the display on the pro is better. I couldn't imagine squinting at nurb curves on a 13" Air display .



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I figured Intel would have capped the mobile TDPs at 25-35W as part of their new strategy so a redesigned chassis wouldn't mean a compromise. They're only competing with AMD and if they still end up being faster, they may as well cut the power so that only their chips can fit into sleeker designs.







    If they ditch the optical, the designs for both the 13" Air and Pro could easily be very similar to the point that some would wonder why they'd bother keeping both models. USB 3 support is coming with Ivy Bridge so you don't really need FW800 any more, nor ethernet. The 13" model can have 4x USB 3 and a Thunderbolt port.



    They talked about doing that months ago, but even then the biggest changes were supposedly scheduled for Haswell. I don't know if they were having trouble with that. Ditching the optical would allow for better heat spreading, but I don't see 25W macbook pro cpus coming next year.



    I think the macbook pros could use even more differentiation. Standard quad cores and discrete graphics like I mentioned would help appeal to a wider audience between the two lines. Some people may disagree with me here, but I think the macbook pro should stay mostly as it is. Having a potentially quieter machine that runs cooler even under heavy load with discrete graphics throughout the line would provide a real choice between power and form/aesthetics. Common complaints with the macbook pros on the Apple store comments and forums really are integrated graphics, glossy screens (they have matte options now thankfully), run extremely hot, fans are noisy during things like gaming (not that they're ideal for that). The point being they might have the opportunity to address some of the concerns of those that aren't swoon solely by compact and light.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I figured Intel would have capped the mobile TDPs at 25-35W as part of their new strategy so a redesigned chassis wouldn't mean a compromise. They're only competing with AMD and if they still end up being faster, they may as well cut the power so that only their chips can fit into sleeker designs.



    It isnt that simple. The AMD chip is actually a better solution in some regards. We are talking about AMDs fusion chips here. Intel has to be very aggressive to keep up with AMDs GPU performance. For many users it is the GPU that makes for the good computing experience.



    Now one wouldn't go AMD if they are looking for CPU performance, still most of us want to buy both CPU & GPU performance. Combine this with Intels poor GPU reputation and you can see why they would have leveraged the power savings to significantly improve the GPU.



    In the end the power profiles suggest that Intel is taking customer demands seriously.

    Quote:

    If they ditch the optical, the designs for both the 13" Air and Pro could easily be very similar to the point that some would wonder why they'd bother keeping both models.



    You keep trying to spin this as the platforms being identical, yet they aren't even close. The 13" MBP has a much faster processor and Ivy Bridge means the delta gets even bigger. The Pro is expandable RAM wise and you can configure secondary storage to fit your needs. Again a totally different class of hardware.

    Quote:

    USB 3 support is coming with Ivy Bridge so you don't really need FW800 any more, nor ethernet. The 13" model can have 4x USB 3 and a Thunderbolt port.



    Obviously you don't understand Ethernet.



    As to USB 3 and Thunderbolt, well I'm not sure what sort of mix I'd want to see. The Pros though could really use two TB ports. Beyond that though I do find two USB ports to be a significan constraint on my MBP. The problem with these ports is it can mess up your power profile on the machine.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,483member
    By this I mean that the current MBPs don't even come close to being the type of machine that many users need. Thus the real need to keep moving laptop performance forward. I've stated else where but I don't see the AIRs and the MBP even playing on the same field. I'm not sure where the idea comes from that the platforms are the "same".



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    The hype may have died down a bit at intel for the moment. The internet was full of articles, rumors, etc about how Intel wished to get their mainstream chips to the power level their ULV chips occupy today.



    I suspect that the goal is to get laptop chips to that point. It certainly would help the laptop market if they also move core count and clock rate forward.

    Quote:

    I think they've been a bit on edge with concerns over ARM. In server technology the ARM thing was to go for core count sort of to the extreme rather than what Intel is doing where they're still using faster cores but many servers are run over hypervisors. They've been concerned about ARM so they obviously don't want to appear poor on battery life by comparison if software engineering goes the direction of scaling to an increasing number of cores. Currently with desktop applications a big problem is the performance hit of shuffling information around for minor tasks.



    Look up "SuVolta" if you want to get a taste for what is coming. I truly doubt that Intel will ever be able to compete with ARM on power. Plus Intel has lost it as far as System on Chips go. Until Intel comes to grips with SoC tech they will be exposed to attacks from underneath.



    As to the core count issue, people are now putting hundreds of Atom chips into servers so it isn't impossible for Intel to play in the field. The problem is with ARM you can effectively put several entire servers on a chip.

    Quote:

    I agree the pro isn't going away, especially not yet. So many silly people have been expecting the 15" pro to be redesigned into an Air next year. If they think it runs hot now well .... anyway... I was telling a design student on macrumors yesterday not to buy an Air for 3d rendering, but I don't think the point made it through. Picking a machine designed to be light and compact for something like that is a massive compromise, but many people don't get it unless they experience the difference. Even the display on the pro is better. I couldn't imagine squinting at nurb curves on a 13" Air display .



    Interesting because I was offering similar advice to an engineering student on Reddit. There is this idea in some quarters of the public that discreet GPUs are only for gaming. Sad!

    Quote:



    They talked about doing that months ago, but even then the biggest changes were supposedly scheduled for Haswell. I don't know if they were having trouble with that. Ditching the optical would allow for better heat spreading, but I don't see 25W macbook pro cpus coming next year.



    The only place a 20-25 watt Chip might work out well would be in a 15" AIR like device. I say AIR like because I expect a little more from such a device.

    Quote:

    I think the macbook pros could use even more differentiation. Standard quad cores and discrete graphics like I mentioned would help appeal to a wider audience between the two lines. Some people may disagree with me here, but I think the macbook pro should stay mostly as it is. Having a potentially quieter machine that runs cooler even under heavy load with discrete graphics throughout the line would provide a real choice between power and form/aesthetics. Common complaints with the macbook pros on the Apple store comments and forums really are integrated graphics, glossy screens (they have matte options now thankfully), run extremely hot, fans are noisy during things like gaming (not that they're ideal for that). The point being they might have the opportunity to address some of the concerns of those that aren't swoon solely by compact and light.



    Complaints will happen no matter what Apple does! The thing is let's say the Pros go retina. So now the GPU has to drive all of those pixels, fine , process shrinks give us more performance but since there are more pixels to drive, power isn't really cut all that much.



    What happens is that each time significant power savings happen, the savings go to support new features and technology. I just don't see these cycles stopping anytime soon.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post




    Interesting because I was offering similar advice to an engineering student on Reddit. There is this idea in some quarters of the public that discreet GPUs are only for gaming. Sad!



    Well workstation grade gpus have even better features, especially for displaying antialiased spline curves, and there's a lot more to it. Students always buy the wrong thing in an effort to save money. It happens. To me a macbook pro would already be a compromise for that kind of thing, so why take it a step further?
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,483member
    Look at this way these are students, students involved in technical pursuits where graphics come into play, sometimes 3D graphics. So they have to buy a laptop* to get themselves through 4 or 5 years of school, with all the varied needs that laptop will have to serve. The question you seem to be asking is laptop 3D acceleration (via a disctete GPU) worth it - I'd have to say yes.



    Why? Well even in a laptop the difference in performance can be vast compared to the current crop of Intel GPUs. Is it a workstation class GPU, nope but then again it doesn't have to be. All they really need is the capability to handle student level tasks and any part time work they may take on. Over the 4 years of a college students career that GPU will pay off handsomely.



    Now maybe the middle of next year that advice might become more debatable with the advent of Ivy Bridge, if IB lives up to expectations. Go outside of the Apple / Intel world and look at some of those new AMD powered laptops and I suspect that the industry is already at the tipping point where integrated GPUs have respectable performance for this lower end need.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    Well workstation grade gpus have even better features, especially for displaying antialiased spline curves, and there's a lot more to it. Students always buy the wrong thing in an effort to save money. It happens. To me a macbook pro would already be a compromise for that kind of thing, so why take it a step further?





    * as a side note, for a long time I actually wondered about the wisdom of buying laptops for students in these more demanding programs. The advent of low power high performance chips though have changed my mind. It is very possible to buy a laptop to get a student through a 4 year engineering program these days. That is a machine that is responsive enough that it doesn't end up embedded In a wall some place.



    You have to understand context here, back in the day I spent a lot of time in front of a state of the art Mac Plus trying to do whatever for college. Talk about no joy. Don't even ask me about floating point processing times. Restraining the temptation to punt the machine was difficult at times. To this day I'm quick to frustration if I find myself waiting on a machine to do something.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    * as a side note, for a long time I actually wondered about the wisdom of buying laptops for students in these more demanding programs. The advent of low power high performance chips though have changed my mind. It is very possible to buy a laptop to get a student through a 4 year engineering program these days. That is a machine that is responsive enough that it doesn't end up embedded In a wall some place.



    You have to understand context here, back in the day I spent a lot of time in front of a state of the art Mac Plus trying to do whatever for college. Talk about no joy. Don't even ask me about floating point processing times. Restraining the temptation to punt the machine was difficult at times. To this day I'm quick to frustration if I find myself waiting on a machine to do something.



    I do understand your points here. Regarding laptops, I was only suggesting that many people are drawn to the Air because they think it's cool. On a budget it's possible to get superior performance in that price range.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I do understand your points here. Regarding laptops, I was only suggesting that many people are drawn to the Air because they think it's cool. On a budget it's possible to get superior performance in that price range.



    I don't know about the cool factor, I've never been cool. What I do know is that the AIR would be very good for students that don't involve themselves in demanding graphics. At times the machines are slow but like the iPads they have other qualities that make up for that. For me the big concern about AIRs would be battery lifetimes for student use.



    As to superior performance that is what I see in the 13" MBP. You get better battery lifetimes and a significantly faster processor. You don't get discrete grahics but the Ivy Bridge based model ought to be able to address this. Ivy Bridge itself has a vastly improved GPU and if they drop the optical a discrete GPU might be possible. Maybe the 13" MBP isn't cool, but for many users it is a better buy.



    One other thing to address. When Steve alluded to the idea that AIRs where the shape of things to come I don't think he meant that in a very literal sense. Instead I see Pro level machines adopting concepts from the AIRs. Things like extended sleep, SSD & SSDs on printed circuit boards, dropping the optical and other concepts. Even after adopting all of these features there is still good reason to keep the MBPs a little more substantial and suitable for power users. So thinner might be possible, but not so thin that they have to give up performance.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    One other thing to address. When Steve alluded to the idea that AIRs where the shape of things to come I don't think he meant that in a very literal sense. Instead I see Pro level machines adopting concepts from the AIRs. Things like extended sleep, SSD & SSDs on printed circuit boards, dropping the optical and other concepts. Even after adopting all of these features there is still good reason to keep the MBPs a little more substantial and suitable for power users. So thinner might be possible, but not so thin that they have to give up performance.





    I could see them going that thin if tdp allowed for it. I really do hate the wedge design overall though. It feels kind of limiting just to shave a few mm off in the front. For power users, laptops can be very useful during periods of travel. I'd like the macbook pros to have exceptional stability and possibly lowered heat. Everyone always says that if they get too hot they'll shut down, but if the machine is doing a lot of number crunching that would suck (as it would have to potentially start over) and a lot of issues generated or accompanied by high heat do not necessarily cause a shut down before damage occurs. Just as an example a common symptom of an overheating gpu is screen artifacts. If you're seeing them often, that thing is on its way out.



    Anyway the macbook airs do look cool to a lot of people. Apple in general has used coolness factor heavily in their marketing at times. Lately it's been all about multitouch but the original ipod ads come to mind. I can personally live with an ugly computer if it functions better (not referencing anything specific). You may be correct on the macbook pro. It wouldn't surprise me greatly if it gets a minor design tweak without going to an ultra thin factor, but there have been a lot of posts from people who just don't get it, such as the ones suggesting the optical drive is the only thing in the way of building the pro into an air form factor. I commented before that you'd lose at least half a pound with the ssd type you mentioned there + ODD removal. From there something like a 15" pro would most likely be less than a pound heavier than a 15" air.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I could see them going that thin if tdp allowed for it.



    Sure they could but should they? For me the whole point in buying my MBP 3 years ago was to get really good performance, relative to the state of the art. Right now and it looks like for next year that state of the art performance will still be coming from 35 watt class processors or better. So while they certainly could do something AIR like with a lower wattage processor they would be shooting themselves in the foot. People don't buy MBP to get slightly better performance than run of the mill machines.

    Quote:

    I really do hate the wedge design overall though. It feels kind of limiting just to shave a few mm off in the front.



    Sure it is a compromise but I do believe it improves usability a bit. This is one reason why I expect that the IB MBP will be approximately the same thickness, that simply to maximize the battery. More so I'd be very happy to see Apple supporting a mix of Storage devices in the coming pros. That is a conventional storage bay along with two or three SSD slots. The world isn't ready to completely leave the magnetic drive behind and a MBP needs to continue to support such drives for at least a few more years.

    Quote:

    For power users, laptops can be very useful during periods of travel. I'd like the macbook pros to have exceptional stability and possibly lowered heat. Everyone always says that if they get too hot they'll shut down, but if the machine is doing a lot of number crunching that would suck (as it would have to potentially start over) and a lot of issues generated or accompanied by high heat do not necessarily cause a shut down before damage occurs. Just as an example a common symptom of an overheating gpu is screen artifacts. If you're seeing them often, that thing is on its way out.



    Heat is destructive but just how hot is it? I ask this because I run into the problem all the time supporting automation equipment. People assume that if it is hot to the touch it is running to hot (note that it doesn't matter what we are talking about here). Often that is not the case.



    A common example here is stepper motors which can have very hot cases. Sometimes these motors even come with stickers that say HOT Do Not Touch. Even then we will get pulled in and "told" this motor is running to hot (coffee break time) when in reality it is running normally or maybe even cooler than similar motors. Could it be too hot, certainly but that is easy to verify with a temp probe or a look at power into the motor. Five years later someone new comes along and says this motor is running too hot, it isn't of course in fact it is the very same motor checked a five years ago.



    In any event I drift away here. The point is if the processors where running too hot there would be significant field failures which I've seen no sign of. On top of that processors are now capable of dynamically managing their power / temperature so I not too sure your fears are even valid anymore.

    Quote:

    Anyway the macbook airs do look cool to a lot of people.



    They do look nice, don't get me wrong here. The problem I have is that I look at my HD in my MBP and the external drive that tags along all the time and wonder how I would manage with the current batch of AIRs. Probably not all that well, especially considering that I want to get rid of the tag along. In a nut shel the problem with the AIRs is that the technology just isn't there yet for what I need or want. IB brings us a little closer as do other coming technologies. I just don't think these will be ready by even 2013.

    Quote:

    Apple in general has used coolness factor heavily in their marketing at times. Lately it's been all about multitouch but the original ipod ads come to mind. I can personally live with an ugly computer if it functions better (not referencing anything specific). You may be correct on the macbook pro. It wouldn't surprise me greatly if it gets a minor design tweak without going to an ultra thin factor, but there have been a lot of posts from people who just don't get it, such as the ones suggesting the optical drive is the only thing in the way of building the pro into an air form factor.



    The optical bay thing is funny, some love it some hate it. For me the reason to get rid of it is to have a standard solution to the desire to have a magnetic drive in the machine supporting the SSD solution they implement. I'd actually like to be able to put a 2TB drive in a future MBP sitting along side a SSD of greater than 350GB capacity.

    Quote:

    I commented before that you'd lose at least half a pound with the ssd type you mentioned there + ODD removal. From there something like a 15" pro would most likely be less than a pound heavier than a 15" air.



    Well we can focus on weight but that isn't a problem for me. Rather capacity, performance and serviceability are big factors in a machines selection. Actually the thickness of the machine means little weight wise from the stand point of the case. It is what goes into the machine that adds weight. Frankly if the added weight comes form a bigger battery i'm not about to complain. Well no lead acid batteries but you get the idea.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Sure it is a compromise but I do believe it improves usability a bit. This is one reason why I expect that the IB MBP will be approximately the same thickness, that simply to maximize the battery. More so I'd be very happy to see Apple supporting a mix of Storage devices in the coming pros. That is a conventional storage bay along with two or three SSD slots. The world isn't ready to completely leave the magnetic drive behind and a MBP needs to continue to support such drives for at least a few more years.



    There are quite a few varied opinions on that. Part of it comes from a lack of understanding. People feel it speeds "everything" up because they're running too low on ram, and now that problem is less noticeable. It's remarkable how many people factor an issue like ram by what sounds like a lot. Even going simply by what applications they run isn't completely effective given that so many modern applications can load with 2GB of ram yet consume many times that when working on large files. Then of course there's the fact that most people have more than one thing open.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Heat is destructive but just how hot is it? I ask this because I run into the problem all the time supporting automation equipment. People assume that if it is hot to the touch it is running to hot (note that it doesn't matter what we are talking about here). Often that is not the case.



    There's a lot of bad information out there on this at times. One thing is sample variation. Components that aren't perfectly manufactured are more likely to fail under high temperatures. It's quite easy to develop an association there. Regarding things like cpus, many people report temperatures on their laptops that are at the thermal limits specified by Intel. It would be nice to see them designed to run with a little more breathing room at least when new. Heat can also affect performance depending on the component. I remember my old G5 had far more hiccups in performance during summer months. If I ran the AC, performance improved even though the cpus only got up to around 170F or so at most (and the fans hadn't even kicked into high gear). Thinking about it now, it may not have been the cpus, but some part of it didn't take the heat well.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    They do look nice, don't get me wrong here. The problem I have is that I look at my HD in my MBP and the external drive that tags along all the time and wonder how I would manage with the current batch of AIRs. Probably not all that well, especially considering that I want to get rid of the tag along. In a nut shel the problem with the AIRs is that the technology just isn't there yet for what I need or want. IB brings us a little closer as do other coming technologies. I just don't think these will be ready by even 2013.



    HDD shortages have probably encouraged SSD development. I agree they're not entirely ready, and they still have plenty of issues just like HDDs. I did suggest an SSD as a scratch drive the other day for someone who needed to do heavy amounts of photoshop /lightroom work on a mini or macbook pro, but photoshop especially has always been IO intensive.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The optical bay thing is funny, some love it some hate it. For me the reason to get rid of it is to have a standard solution to the desire to have a magnetic drive in the machine supporting the SSD solution they implement. I'd actually like to be able to put a 2TB drive in a future MBP sitting along side a SSD of greater than 350GB capacity.



    I just don't care whether it stays or goes, but people do still ship disks. If they're only sending information, ftp, email, etc. works. When they're fedexing something physical along with large data files, a dvd is still the most common method.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Well we can focus on weight but that isn't a problem for me. Rather capacity, performance and serviceability are big factors in a machines selection. Actually the thickness of the machine means little weight wise from the stand point of the case. It is what goes into the machine that adds weight. Frankly if the added weight comes form a bigger battery i'm not about to complain. Well no lead acid batteries but you get the idea.



    I know. I think it's that people look at the Air and it's thin and light. Drawing a connection there is silly, but people do it anyway. If you compare the 13" Air to the 13" Pro it's 4.5 pounds compared to 2.96 pounds. I looked up some generic references for optical disks and a few of the hard drives Apple has used in the pro, which gave me roughly half a pound between those two items, so you've got a little over a pound of weight without those two items factored. Comparing the 13" Air to the 15" Pro is just a bit silly.
  • apple in ciderapple in cider Posts: 9member
    So the Mac Pro will probably be updated before anything else. May is so late, I bet they will have minor speed bumps in January for the iMac and mini like they did recently for the MBP.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,907member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple In Cider View Post


    So the Mac Pro will probably be updated before anything else.



    Eh, I see the laptops getting an update before the Mac Pro, even.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Eh, I see the laptops getting an update before the Mac Pro, even.



    It kind of depends on what they choose for it. If we're talking Sandy Bridge E, then most likely early next year. I don't see them holding out for Ivy Bridge equivalents. If they are waiting for them it would likely be a chipset thing. Part of the reason for irritation is Intel. Part of it is that the hexacore setup is still $3700 with 3GB of ram . It shouldn't surprise anyone that sales are slow.
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