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Future updates for rest of Mac line

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
So, now that Sandybridge has been installed in the Macbook Pros, when do you think we can expect to see updated iMacs and Macbook Airs? I have one of the aluminium Macbooks and it got dropped a few months back. It's ok at the moment but every now and then behaves a bit sick. Given I have a system at home I could manage with an Air on the move but assume a SandyBridge equipped Air would be far superior to the current Core2Duo system if I don't have to purchase now.
post #2 of 53
iMac to Sandy Bridge in a few months. At least one Thunderbolt port there.

Mac Pro to Sandy Bridge this fall. At least one Thunderbolt port there.

Mac Mini to Sandy Bridge when Steve Jobs remembers it exists. Likely two Thunderbolt ports.

MacBook Air when a Sandy Bridge chip exists that can be put in it. Single Thunderbolt (two and no USB?).

Oh, MobileMe's EOL, so what about hard drives in the future?

Originally Posted by Marvin

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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
Haven't heard any confirmation that MobileMe is EOL. In fact the opposite - that it was to be beefed up and some of it meant to be free.
post #4 of 53
Hi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

iMac to Sandy Bridge in a few months. At least one Thunderbolt port there.

Could you elaborate more in timetable? Around June, maybe? Plan to buy one in a few months...

Will also buy a MBP, but for this I'm in the safe side!
post #5 of 53
I reckon the iMac line is next as there are already CPUs out for it. I think their issue right now will be the display change. I don't get the whole 21.5"/27" deal. 24" is right in the middle and would be better for a number of reasons. It's one panel for the entire lineup. It's going to be cheaper to buy anyway. It's more affordable to get a dual display setup.

The iPad release will come first though so I'd expect iMacs at the end of next month, possibly coinciding with ruining the Mini with Intel IGPs.

I expect just one thunderbolt port on every machine though the Mac Pro may have two. Then the next Air update should see an end to the macbook - I suspect this won't happen until Ivy Bridge but they could just be waiting for Toshiba to get their 25nm NAND out so that the storage meets a certain minimum standard.

A ULV quad i5 + Ivy Bridge GPU + 128GB SSD will handily kill off the white Macbook.
post #6 of 53
Thks Marvin!

Would Apple hold all iMacs in one panel only? On the other hand, I totally agree that it's a big gap from 21,5" to 27"!
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I reckon the iMac line is next as there are already CPUs out for it. I think their issue right now will be the display change. I don't get the whole 21.5"/27" deal. 24" is right in the middle and would be better for a number of reasons. It's one panel for the entire lineup. It's going to be cheaper to buy anyway. It's more affordable to get a dual display setup.

The iPad release will come first though so I'd expect iMacs at the end of next month, possibly coinciding with ruining the Mini with Intel IGPs.

I expect just one thunderbolt port on every machine though the Mac Pro may have two. Then the next Air update should see an end to the macbook - I suspect this won't happen until Ivy Bridge but they could just be waiting for Toshiba to get their 25nm NAND out so that the storage meets a certain minimum standard.

A ULV quad i5 + Ivy Bridge GPU + 128GB SSD will handily kill off the white Macbook.

Thanks for this Marvin. I'm sorry - I'm Ivy Bridge illiterate. What's the expected timescale on those?
post #8 of 53
Now that the MBPs have quad-core chips, I think it is time for the iMac to move to quad- and 6-core ones, with the exception probably of the lowest end. Are there any viable 6-core options?
post #9 of 53
iMac
  • Thunderbolt port.
  • SDXC card slot.
  • Quad-core across the board with a possible "entry" model using the dual-core i7.
  • Anti-glare screen option.
Mac mini
  • Will most likely get the same components as the 13" MacBook Pro. If Apple is not going to put AMD Radeon graphics in, hopefully, they put in the 2.0 GHz quad-core i5.
MacBook
  • One speed only, the 2.3GHz dual-core i5.
  • Intel's integrated graphics.
  • Thunderbolt port.
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alvaro View Post

Thks Marvin!

Would Apple hold all iMacs in one panel only? On the other hand, I totally agree that it's a big gap from 21,5" to 27"!

I don't know if they would, they might bring one in the middle or just bump up the low-end. I think they should do it though. 1080p on a 24" is an ideal size IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw_amherts

I'm sorry - I'm Ivy Bridge illiterate. What's the expected timescale on those?

They are supposed to be due in the second half of this year. Last year Otellini said they already had 22nm samples ready. I would expect them at CES 2012 but you never know.

The new Xeon chips should have 8-cores per chip and are also due in the 2nd half of the year so maybe they will be 22nm. This will be when an updated Mac Pro arrives.
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

iMac
  • SDXC card slot.

Already has it...

http://www.apple.com/imac/features.html#ports

Originally Posted by Marvin

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Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Already has it...

http://www.apple.com/imac/features.html#ports

My bad. I knew it already had a slot for an SD card, but I did not think it supported SDXC.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Mac mini
  • Will most likely get the same components as the 13" MacBook Pro. If Apple is not going to put AMD Radeon graphics in, hopefully, they put in the 2.0 GHz quad-core i5.
MacBook
  • One speed only, the 2.3GHz dual-core i5.
  • Intel's integrated graphics.
  • Thunderbolt port.

maybe this is just me, but now that the MBP is i5 and i7, and the iMac will probably follow suit, I think the Mac mini/MacBook/MBA will go up from Core2 to i3 to keep a difference in the ranges.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post

maybe this is just me, but now that the MBP is i5 and i7, and the iMac will probably follow suit, I think the Mac mini/MacBook/MBA will go up from Core2 to i3 to keep a difference in the ranges.

i3 is not really any better than C2D on the mobile side though, only the desktop side. They have to go i5 minimum for mobile to see any real benefit.

The dual-core vs quad-core will make the difference between the higher and lower end. If they put a quad i7 in the Mini, that would be very nice but likely too expensive.
post #15 of 53
The AIR:

It could be awhile before the AIR gets a Sandy Bridge like processor. The obvious problem is processor power. Intel will very likely have ultra low power Sandy Bridges in the pipe line but honestly I don't keep up to speed on this stuff anymore. Well other than I've heard new Sandy Bridge spins are slated for the second half of the year. The big problem here is that the AIRs would loose the NVidia chipset.

I'm still holding out for an AMD chip in the AIRs so that might paint me as crazy. My hope would be that AMD would have a very low power chip with suitable performance available by then.

The iMacs

These could be updated anytime. Or they could wait for Lion.

Why wait for Lion, well to support whatever new feature Lion might have in hardware. Here I'm thinking/hoping that would mean higher resolution displays. Eventually Apple will need to support resolution independence, even though it doesn't look like Lion is getting it (at least at this point in time).

Another reason to delay the iMacs is simply to wait for Intel to catch up production wise. Just for that reason alone we could be talking a couple of months. This of course depends upon the processor choosen for the iMac rev. However any rev to the iMac that doesn't have a Sandy Bridge derived processor is dead in the water as far as I'm concerned.

When it comes down to it the iMac is a hard machine to nail down.

The Mini:

Obviously this machine could be updated anytime. Everything is inplace for an update to happen. One could assume that the Mini will get the Thunderbolt chip and the ports. Somebody else brought up the idea of two Thunderbolt ports and frankly this would be nice, but that capability has to be already built into the TB chip. I honestly think there is a good chance it is built in, the chip is awfully big for two ports in and two ports out.

If the Mini does get TB you can say good buy to anysort of external GPU. The likely hood is that will happen without TB anyways. Since the SB GPU is about parity with the current NVidia this can be seen as a regression. On the other hand the Mini will get an incredible performance bump when it gets SB and TB.

In any event this sort of update can happen anytime and only depends upon Intel being able to ship parts in the required quanities. The performance of the CPU out to go up in a manner similar to the 13"MBP. Not bad really.

The Mac Pro:

Who cares? Really it is out of the price range for most of us. Further if you really need the Mac Pro you wouldn't be on this site asking about it!

The XMac:

I couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. XMac will come after Lion is out. The goal of this machine is to fill the gap between the Mini and the Mac Pro. They will wait for Lion simply to be able to increase the marketing chatter to drive sails.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw_amherst View Post

So, now that Sandybridge has been installed in the Macbook Pros, when do you think we can expect to see updated iMacs and Macbook Airs? I have one of the aluminium Macbooks and it got dropped a few months back. It's ok at the moment but every now and then behaves a bit sick.

Which generation Aluminum? I ask because dropping it could have dislodged a cable that needs to be reseated. It is worth checking out, especially if it is a disk drive cable.
Quote:
Given I have a system at home I could manage with an Air on the move but assume a SandyBridge equipped Air would be far superior to the current Core2Duo system if I don't have to purchase now.

Well yeah when such a machine is shippable. It might be better to get your current machine up to speed because it could be months before a SB based AIR ships. If a process shrunk SB is needed it could be a year or more. If you don't want a full size laptop then you either need to wait or get the current AIR and suffer with a dodgy CPU. It isn't good to be waiting with a flaky computer.
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The XMac:

I couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. XMac will come after Lion is out. The goal of this machine is to fill the gap between the Mini and the Mac Pro.


You're like a 50-year-old man who believes in Santa Claus.

Quote:
They will wait for Lion simply to be able to increase the marketing chatter to drive sails.

Insert Titanic/xMac reference here.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #17 of 53
I think it is wrong to reserve the most powerful CPU's for the 27" iMacs.

I'd prefer the 21.5" for luggability, but would be forced to take the 27" if I wanted the i7. Hope Apple changes that with the next line-up.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

I think it is wrong to reserve the most powerful CPU's for the 27" iMacs.

I'd prefer the 21.5" for luggability, but would be forced to take the 27" if I wanted the i7. Hope Apple changes that with the next line-up.

You are 'right' of course, but I doubt that Steve would agree. He tends to be like that.
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post

maybe this is just me, but now that the MBP is i5 and i7, and the iMac will probably follow suit, I think the Mac mini/MacBook/MBA will go up from Core2 to i3 to keep a difference in the ranges.

Keeping the Mac mini dual-core would not cause it to pose a threat to the iMac line, even using an i7. I was thinking about putting the i3 for the MacBook, but by using the i5, Apple could get those processors for less. I originally didn't include the Thunderbolt port for the MacBook, but Apple wants to push this connector so I included it.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Keeping the Mac mini dual-core would not cause it to pose a threat to the iMac line, even using an i7. I was thinking about putting the i3 for the MacBook, but by using the i5, Apple could get those processors for less. I originally didn't include the Thunderbolt port for the MacBook, but Apple wants to push this connector so I included it.

Adoption of Thunderbolt would be nearly pointless if not adopted across the product line during refreshes.
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Adoption of Thunderbolt would be nearly pointless if not adopted across the product line during refreshes.

Actually from a profit perspective it is pointless to put a Thunderbolt port in a Mac Mini at this time. The Mac Mini will need two of them and when that happens USB and Firewire will probably be eliminated from the Mini. It does make sense to put it in every Mac notebook, the iMac and the Mac Pro as soon as they are refreshed.

There is also another reason why a midrange xMac desktop should come out the same time as Lion. There's no longer an Xserve and it appears the server software will be included in Lion. Such a midrange headless desktop that can also be used as a server could be much more lucrative for Apple than the Xserve ever was and as long as it has a separate graphics card it can have a Thunderbolt port too.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddan View Post

Actually from a profit perspective it is pointless to put a Thunderbolt port in a Mac Mini at this time. The Mac Mini will need two of them and when that happens USB and Firewire will probably be eliminated from the Mini. It does make sense to put it in every Mac notebook, the iMac and the Mac Pro as soon as they are refreshed.

There is also another reason why a midrange xMac desktop should come out the same time as Lion. There's no longer an Xserve and it appears the server software will be included in Lion. Such a midrange headless desktop that can also be used as a server could be much more lucrative for Apple than the Xserve ever was and as long as it has a separate graphics card it can have a Thunderbolt port too.


I don't disagree about the mid-range desktop/server, but I am not the one who needs convincing. Apple seems to have come to a crossroads and can't decide which way to go. There is supposedly a new 'small business' support unit, which is all fine and well, but is Apple abandoning the larger enterprises and the Edu clients?

As to the Mini, it needs Thunderbolt as badly as any other product. External drives are one of the first things many users or prospective users are interested in. I know that I have not purchased one because of the lack of eSATA...I know you can hack them, but it seemed senseless to buy one and void its warranty the first thing you do to it.

As to USB, there will be a need for a USB port on the MIni for the foreseeable future so that someone can hook up a keyboard and mouse to a headless unit if need be, but, looking forward, Firewire is history as far as I can see. What Apple does need is a Thunderbolt hub with eSATA, Firewire 800, and USB 2 or 3 for people to attach legacy devices. People will not just throw them away because Thunderbolt is neat.

Cheers
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddan View Post

Actually from a profit perspective it is pointless to put a Thunderbolt port in a Mac Mini at this time. The Mac Mini will need two of them and when that happens USB and Firewire will probably be eliminated from the Mini. It does make sense to put it in every Mac notebook, the iMac and the Mac Pro as soon as they are refreshed.

There is also another reason why a midrange xMac desktop should come out the same time as Lion. There's no longer an Xserve and it appears the server software will be included in Lion. Such a midrange headless desktop that can also be used as a server could be much more lucrative for Apple than the Xserve ever was and as long as it has a separate graphics card it can have a Thunderbolt port too.

The mini will still need USB and The high speed Thunderbolt is not for low speed USB keyboard and mouses.
post #24 of 53
I am quite disappointed that new Mini and iMacs did not turn up yesterday. Can I reasonably maintain hope for the 11th? Or should I set my expectation out for a month or more? I have $1200 from tax refund with Apple's name on it! I disagree that the 21.5" iMac should be dropped, as that is the largest format I can reasonably fit into my home office!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

I don't disagree about the mid-range desktop/server, but I am not the one who needs convincing. Apple seems to have come to a crossroads and can't decide which way to go.

Cringely has an interesting idea for this. Since that was published, Apple has annouced Thunderbolt and Server being built into Lion! The only thing missing is the Mini having a more rack-friendly form factor (and having two Thunderbolt ports).

Quote:
As to the Mini, it needs Thunderbolt as badly as any other product.

Agree. The Mini already has the Mini Display Port (same form factor as Thunderbolt). I think the only questions are is if the Firewire 800 stays. Does anyone know if Thunderbolt supports Target Disk Mode?

Quote:
What Apple does need is a Thunderbolt hub with eSATA, Firewire 800, and USB 2 or 3 for people to attach legacy devices.

I don't think Apple will make such a hub themselves, but that 3rd parties will. I expect Apple to build such functionality (well, probably not eSATA) into their Cinema displays. You will also external drives that can be daisy chained, with Display Port capable monitors as the last item in the chain. This is what Apple shows on their Thunderbolt page!
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle View Post

I am quite disappointed that new Mini and iMacs did not turn up yesterday.

At the iPad event. Right.

Quote:
Can I reasonably maintain hope for the 11th?

From the beginning of recorded human history to March 10, you have had absolutely no reason to have ANY "reasonably maintained" hope for these updates on the 11th.

Quote:
Or should I set my expectation out for a month or more?

Yes.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle View Post

I don't think Apple will make such a hub themselves, but that 3rd parties will. I expect Apple to build such functionality (well, probably not eSATA) into their Cinema displays. You will also external drives that can be daisy chained, with Display Port capable monitors as the last item in the chain. This is what Apple shows on their Thunderbolt page!

Apple probably won't make it themselves, but someone at the mother ship should definitely work closely with "the usual suspects" to see that such a product comes to market soon. (TBolt port(s), eSATA ports, FW800, USB (2or 3) ports. Did I miss anything?

Slightly off topic, but about yesterday's event. The still pix of Steve I saw concerned me, but then I saw a WSJ video of Walt Mossberg right after the event and he said that Steve moved around well, seemed to have energy and all that. I wish him the best.

[Edit] P.S. Thanks for the link. That is an interesting idea. I saw an article yesterday that someone or other had put together a $150k Intel Atom based server system so people are beginning to take the idea of smaller, lighter, and quicker, if not necessarily "faster" seriously. Sooner or later I would not be surprised to see Intel get into the ARM fight with something based on their SCC "many core" concept.

Cheers
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Slightly off topic, but about yesterday's event. The still pix of Steve I saw concerned me, but then I saw a WSJ video of Walt Mossberg right after the event and he said that Steve moved around well, seemed to have energy and all that. I wish him the best.

Watch the video of the event available at apple.com. He is thin but he definitely had good energy.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're like a 50-year-old man who believes in Santa Claus.

How did you know?
Quote:
Insert Titanic/xMac reference here.

Whatever my personal opinion is with respect to XMac you have to admit that Apple will need to try different configurations of the Mac Line up to keep the line up form becoming stale. The Mac Pro is dyeing and there is little room for innovation in the iMac line up. I actually see the Mini as the one Mac that has a future as Apple seems to be a little freer to redesign this platform. The problem is the Mini will never meet everybody's needs. So I still maintain the thought that a XMac like device is coming.

It might not be a machine to sit between the Mac Pro and the Mini but rather a machine designed to replace the Mac Pro completely. I sales of the Mac Pro lag much more is will surely go the way of the XServe. I actually think it is well on its way there, but Apple will need something to feed the demand from the mac Pro crowd.
post #29 of 53
Not that it is a bad thing but you seem to miss that the way TB is suppose to work is that devices can be daisy chained. In this case the monitor simply needs to be the last device in the chain.

Two TB ports would obviously be better so I'm not dismissing that as the preferred way to go. I'm just saying it isn't required for the Mini. I don't really think two ports will be a problem considering the size of the chip supporting the TB ports.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddan View Post

Actually from a profit perspective it is pointless to put a Thunderbolt port in a Mac Mini at this time. The Mac Mini will need two of them and when that happens USB and Firewire will probably be eliminated from the Mini. It does make sense to put it in every Mac notebook, the iMac and the Mac Pro as soon as they are refreshed.

Which makes no sense at all. If they should put TB into the iMac ad the Pro then they really can't afford not to do so on the Mini. In some ways the Mini is the device that needs the TB port the most. Think about it, the machine needs I/O more than most of the other platforms.
Quote:
There is also another reason why a midrange xMac desktop should come out the same time as Lion. There's no longer an Xserve and it appears the server software will be included in Lion. Such a midrange headless desktop that can also be used as a server could be much more lucrative for Apple than the Xserve ever was and as long as it has a separate graphics card it can have a Thunderbolt port too.

You may be surprised to hear that I don't expect XMac to have a separate graphics card. Rather I expect it to be built into the motherboard, either via a integrated chip (Sandy Bridge) or as a discrete chip set. In any event the big draw for the XMac would be internal expansion bays for a suitable number of storage devices. I use the word devices there because they may or may not be disks depending upon the users preferences. Such a platform would be a huge draw and would be even better with one of more PCI-Express slots.

Like you I see a demand for a Mac with expandable storage be it for server or other duties. Frankly XServe could have filled that roll if it was a lower cost platform.

Dave
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Why would Mini need two ports?

  • To make creating a Mini array (true xServe replacement) dead easy.
  • The current Mini support dual monitors, I don't expect Apple to drop that feature.
The current Mini has Mini DisplayPort, Firewire, and HDMI. Obviously, the Mini DisplayPort will be replaced by Thunderbolt. I am guessing that Apple does not have a Thunderbolt to Firewire dongle ready, or the new MacBooks would not have kept Firewire. Keeping HDMI would be short sighted, but would save Apple the cost of including a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI dongle in the box. Directly supporting dual (Display Port) monitors out of the box would be elegant, and provide users with older Mini (and dual monitors) a straighforward upgrade path (although, they would need at least one new dongle).

A single Thunderbolt port has the bandwidth to run two displays, but a Mini with a single Thunderbolt port and no HDMI would need some kind of ugly (and currently unavailable) dongle to run two monitors, or a display that can be daisy chained (also currently unavailable, but Apple might add such a feature to their Cinema Displays). I don't see Apple making an updated Cinema Display a required and necesary component to running two monitors on a Mini.

Apple has a "four corners" marketing strategy (distinct consumer and profession desktops and laptops). We are lucky to have the Mini, there is just no room for another model.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle View Post

  • To make creating a Mini array (true xServe replacement) dead easy.
  • The current Mini support dual monitors, I don't expect Apple to drop that feature.
The current Mini has Mini DisplayPort, Firewire, and HDMI. Obviously, the Mini DisplayPort will be replaced by Thunderbolt. I am guessing that Apple does not have a Thunderbolt to Firewire dongle ready, or the new MacBooks would not have kept Firewire. Keeping HDMI would be short sighted, but would save Apple the cost of including a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI dongle in the box. Directly supporting dual (Display Port) monitors out of the box would be elegant, and provide users with older Mini (and dual monitors) a straighforward upgrade path (although, they would need at least one new dongle).

A single Thunderbolt port has the bandwidth to run two displays, but a Mini with a single Thunderbolt port and no HDMI would need some kind of ugly (and currently unavailable) dongle to run two monitors, or a display that can be daisy chained (also currently unavailable, but Apple might add such a feature to their Cinema Displays). I don't see Apple making an updated Cinema Display a required and necesary component to running two monitors on a Mini.

Apple has a "four corners" marketing strategy (distinct consumer and profession desktops and laptops). We are lucky to have the Mini, there is just no room for another model.

Apple have blurred the "four corner" model to the point that it is questionable it still exists, even if Apple believe they are adhering to it.

Certain models are plainly "pro", such as the very high end Mac Pro, but many actual pros have been pushed into the iMac because of a misfit of capabilities of the various models. In truth, the iMac is the only model which is a fit for many professional uses which do not require an all out work station and, nice as it may be, it lacks a lot of flexibility, though Thunderbolt will help resolve some of the issues with it.

Speaking of Thunderbolt, it is not as fast as everyone seems to be assuming. The present Thunderbolt can be saturated by a simple three drive RAID array...and then there is the matter of the display. A single display can use up sufficient bandwidth that there is not all that much left over so the simple fact of the matter is that there are needs for more than one Thunderbolt port. The aesthetic of a single cable on the desktop, while possible in some instances, is not a one size fits all solution. Plainly, Intel and Apple need to get a much faster Thunderbolt to market if they wish to actually accomplish this goal in the desktop world. They also need to do this if there is to be any hope of Thunderbolt achieving widespread adoption in the PC world. Otherwise it becomes just another proprietary footnote to history.

AMD (whose financial interest is obvious) makes these nevertheless accurate observations. AMD's comments, however, presume that Thunderbolt is not version 1.0 with more to come. Still, it will be in Intel's interest to get a faster version out quickly to promote its adoption. If I had to guess, I would guess that much of the PC community will be taking a 'wait and see' approach to Thunderbolt because of the obvious limitations of the present deployment. It may not be worth the effort of most of their customer base to adopt what seems to be a very short term technology, especially when the expense of the change is factored in. If the PC community does adopt Thunderbolt, I would expect to see multiple ports. Even if there are a handful of Thunderbolt connectors running around, there will still be less clutter than there was before which can't be all bad.

The importance of the PC community to Thunderbird adopting it is fairly obvious. IF not adopted by enough manufacturers of PCs and peripherals there simply will not be a critical mass. Apple could continue using it, but with limited choices of devices.

The question no one outside of Intel and Apple seems to know the answer to at the moment is whether the Thunderbolt chip being deployed is maxed out at its current transfer rate or can be throttled up with firmware updates. If it is the former, when will the replacement chip surface?
post #32 of 53
Lately I have been thinking that the next-gen MacPro may well be a new, smaller design. As such they could actually make it a box that can stand upright like a tower or lay flat like a desktop model.

From there it would not be a big step to have optional rack ears and with that you could substitute your xServe.

Just thinking out loud.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Apple have blurred the "four corner" model to the point that it is questionable it still exists, even if Apple believe they are adhering to it.

True, and I think it is even fuzzier with the laptops, but this only makes an xMac even less likely. Do you disagree that, even with the corners a bit rounded, Apple sees clear benefit to a streamlined product line?

Thanks for the AMD sour grapes link, very amusing! I find their characterization of Intels position at odds with their actual press release!
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Certain models are plainly "pro", such as the very high end Mac Pro, but many actual pros have been pushed into the iMac because of a misfit of capabilities of the various models. In truth, the iMac is the only model which is a fit for many professional uses which do not require an all out work station and, nice as it may be, it lacks a lot of flexibility, though Thunderbolt will help resolve some of the issues with it.

------------------

The importance of the PC community to Thunderbird adopting it is fairly obvious. IF not adopted by enough manufacturers of PCs and peripherals there simply will not be a critical mass. Apple could continue using it, but with limited choices of devices.

A) Indeed. I am a potential high-end iMac user. The top-spec i7 27" with SSD and HDD could be a reasonable fit for me, except that it's too large and ideally I'd like three internal HDD's. What makes the base spec quad-core MacPro such a hard sell is that its CPU is basically overclassed by the top-spec iMac. That means users needing expandibility take a performance hit at a higher price. Not sure how to explain that away.

B) I think you're right, but the PC community did not take to FW either. The videocams did, though, and the audio interfaces. That gave it the momentum it needed.
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle View Post

True, and I think it is even fuzzier with the laptops, but this only makes an xMac even less likely. Do you disagree that, even with the corners a bit rounded, Apple sees clear benefit to a streamlined product line?

Thanks for the AMD sour grapes link, very amusing! I find their characterization of Intels position at odds with their actual press release!

I think that Apple will continue to "rationalize" the product line. That is to say that they will provide a limited number of choices for customers and will not take a "let us build one for you" approach. That helps inventory, manufacturing and cost control in ways that are beneficial to the company.

Apple have taken an investment position in many of the core component manufacturing companies. Though the details are not public, it is not unreasonable to presume that, in doing so, Apple have acquired a "most preferred customer" position not only as to supply, but as to price. There have been articles, for example, about how Apple have tied up the majority of NAND RAM production for themselves. :-) The same is true for some of the suppliers of touch screens and I am sure there are more examples available. The one area which Apple does not seem to have attached any particular priority to is the matter of separate displays used by Mac Pro and other computers. I suspect this is a reflection of the reality that Mac Pro sales represent a small and apparently declining portion of Apple's sales.

So, yea, Apple will maintain a streamlined product line, but there is a danger that, in doing so, they may leave gaps in the line.

Let's face it, Apple believe that the overwhelming majority of their customers purchase a computer and never open it up. Where a lot of us disagree is the loss of the ability to open one up, pop in a new RAID card or a PCIe SSD boot drive (very, very trick I am told) and so on. If Apple were to at least give us multiple Thunderbolt ports we would be able to have a number of high speed peripherals.

Oh, it is not addressed in this thread, but one thing which is driving a lot change in the computing world, not just the Mac world is "the cloud". Let me spell it a different way..."thin client". That's right, sealed box thin clients. The iPad and MacBook Air are previews of this trend.

Cheers
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

What makes the base spec quad-core MacPro such a hard sell is that its CPU is basically overclassed by the top-spec iMac.

I don't follow. My understanding was that the 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon W3530 is notably faster than the 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7. Please provide a link where I can educate myself!
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle View Post

I don't follow. My understanding was that the 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon W3530 is notably faster than the 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7. Please provide a link where I can educate myself!

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

i7/870-2.93GHz scores 6100
Xeon W3530-2.8GHz scores 5016

Or more Apple-related:

http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/

iMac i7/870/2.93GHz scores 9084
MacPro Quad Xeon W3530-2.8GHz scores 8360

disclaimer:
This is not to say that the MacPro can't be faster for general computing.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Oh, it is not addressed in this thread, but one thing which is driving a lot change in the computing world, not just the Mac world is "the cloud". Let me spell it a different way..."thin client". That's right, sealed box thin clients. The iPad and MacBook Air are previews of this trend.
Cheers

...and that is another reason why my next puter may well be a rackmount PC. The writing is on the wall.
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

MacBook Air when a Sandy Bridge chip exists that can be put in it.

Released 20 February:
2649M\t2.3 GHz\t25W suitable for 13" MBA
2629M\t2.1 GHz\t25W suitable for 13" MBA
2657M\t1.6 GHz\t17W suitable for 11" MBA
2617M\t1.5 GHz\t17W suitable for 11" MBA
2537M\t1.4 GHz\t17W suitable for 11" MBA

What I really want is a 15" MacBook Air.
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

iMac i7/870/2.93GHz scores 9084
MacPro Quad Xeon W3530-2.8GHz scores 8360
disclaimer:This is not to say that the MacPro can't be faster for general computing.

I am reading 9723 and 10544, but still that is a 8% to the bad for a chip that is 5% slower and only $40 more expensive. Quite disappointing, and certainly a disincentive to purchase. Sure, the MacPro probably is faster for general computing, but why give your high-end customers any pause for doubt?
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