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Review: Apple's early 2011 Thunderbolt MacBook Pros - Page 2

post #41 of 127
Has anybody done performance reviews between the 2.2 GHz and the BTO 2.3 GHz option? I've been searching the web, but can't find any direct comparisons. Just trying to figure out if the extra $250 is a good investment for 0.1 bump in speed and 2MB increase L3 cache. Is the Turbo Boost upper limit any higher on the 2.3 GHz chip?
post #42 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

OS X has no Bluray playback capabilities and most likely never will.

And that's nothing but intentional silliness on the part of apple. They could provide it if they wanted, they just choose not to.

(cue sycophants parroting "bag of hurt" sound byte...)
post #43 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

A blu-ray player option in a notebook is pointless without a HDMI port so you could connect it to a high resolution tv/display. Since the MBPs don't have that either I doubt they will ever get a blu-ray option.

-kpluck

Got $13?

http://www.amazon.com/Menotek-Displa...9689980&sr=8-4
post #44 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

While by no means an ideal viewing scenario, is it too much to ask that a $2,200 laptop be able to read the discs people have been buying since 2006, as opposed to being restricted to 14 year old optical technology?

If you want to playback Blue Ray, buy a Blue Ray player. You don't need a $2,200 laptop for that. The new MBP's are real working horses, I would hate to have them cluttered with all kind of entertainment electronics. That's actually what I love about apple. They have Pro products, which are really built for Pro users, and without all this superfluous junkware, they can keep their laptops slim and affordable.
post #45 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post

What i really don't get is why apple has not updated their slow disk drive to at least make them be able to run at 32x or faster.

Do they even exist for the drive sizes they need? How reliable are they? How many decibels are they when running at full tilt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

And that's nothing but intentional silliness on the part of apple. They could provide it if they wanted, they just choose not to.

You dont think there is a purpose to their reasoning? Thats just a frivolous absurdity that somehow got overlooked?
post #46 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Do they even exist for the drive sizes they need? How reliable are they? How many decibels are they when running at full tilt?

You insert a slightly inbalanced CD once and it's cooked.
post #47 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Has anybody done performance reviews between the 2.2 GHz and the BTO 2.3 GHz option? I've been searching the web, but can't find any direct comparisons. Just trying to figure out if the extra $250 is a good investment for 0.1 bump in speed and 2MB increase L3 cache. Is the Turbo Boost upper limit any higher on the 2.3 GHz chip?

This, NO ONE has done a comparison yet except:

2.2 - 7526
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...QM+%40+2.20GHz

2.3 - 7860
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...QM+%40+2.30GHz

To me the differences aren't justified. CPUMark claims a 1% difference.

 

 

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post #48 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny mozzarella View Post

i would love to be able to connect an ipad to a mac via thunderport. When plugged in the ipad could be charged, used as a secondary display and be in disk mode for syncing with itunes.

+++

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post #49 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

I'm waiting for the updates to the 13" MacBook Air with a comparable Sandy Bridge processor and the Thunderbolt port.


We'll most likely see an upgraded MacBook Air before June with Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt and AMD graphics. Though I believe Apple will restrict the faster Core i7 and AMD Radeon 6750M for the MBP 15"/17" models and opt for the Core i5 and AMD Radeon 6490M for the MacBook Air. This would then faze out the MacBook Pro 13" model.
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post #50 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Don't expect MacBook Airs to get Thunderbolt. They don't even backlit keyboards currently.

I never understood the obsession with backlit keyboards (some people refusing to buy a laptop because of that). I turn mine off completely, since it's such a gimmick and it loudly advertises "I can't touch type".

Seriously, take some time (about 6 months half hour to hour a day of practice in the evening before sleep) and learn to touch type and reap the benefits for the rest of your life.

Here's an excellent and free online course:

http://www.typing-lessons.org/

Mac Pro, 8 Core, 32 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 285 1 GB, 2 TB storage, 240 GB OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, 30'' Cinema Display, 27'' iMac, 24'' iMac, 17'' MBP, 13'' MBP, 32 GB iPhone 4, 64 GB iPad 3

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Mac Pro, 8 Core, 32 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 285 1 GB, 2 TB storage, 240 GB OWC Mercury Extreme SSD, 30'' Cinema Display, 27'' iMac, 24'' iMac, 17'' MBP, 13'' MBP, 32 GB iPhone 4, 64 GB iPad 3

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post #51 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland

You did see the size of the chip required for TB, right? That may never happen.

That's the chip for the motherboard controller. Does anyone know what sort of chip is needed for devices on the bus? That chip could be a much smaller, less complex chip. Has anybody seen this chips yet?

I am hoping that we see the device chip in an Ifixit teardown -- say, early this Saturday.

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post #52 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

MacBook Pro 15" should have an HDMI port. Thy should be done.

Why downgrade? You do know that a DisplayPort is better.. it even can even run higher resolutions than HDMI is capable of. Its only like $15 for a little adapter so you can plug it into HDMI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

The comment about the enhanced graphics coming on when an external monitor is plugged in explains a ton. My unit was plugged into my 27" Apple display, and the fan ran all the time, which is why it went back.

Your fan always runs all the time.. the fans never turn off. They just change speed. They idle at 2000 rpm and get faster if it gets hotter. I can turn on my AMD GPU, watch some videos, and my fans are still at 2000 rpm... it will get loud if I push the machine really hard and it gets hot though. But even at max RPM its still not annoying in any way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

A blu-ray player option in a notebook is pointless without a HDMI port so you could connect it to a high resolution tv/display. Since the MBPs don't have that either I doubt they will ever get a blu-ray option.

-kpluck

you can do HDMI fine on the machines... why does everyone think you need a lower end port when you have a better one that s cheap adapter can let you downgrade it for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

I never understood the obsession with backlit keyboards (some people refusing to buy a laptop because of that). I turn mine off completely, since it's such a gimmick and it loudly advertises "I can't touch type".

Seriously, take some time (about 6 months half hour to hour a day of practice in the evening before sleep) and learn to touch type and reap the benefits for the rest of your life.

I can touch type fine... I can actually type very very fast... but I'm not always sitting just writing letters or typing up long wordy documents, or replying to posts... sometimes I like to see the keyboard, it saves a ton of time. I absolutely love the backlit keyboard, and I wouldn't buy another machine without a decent one.
post #53 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

what has a fish to do with a strawberry cake?

Mmmm, strawberry fish cake...
post #54 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

This, NO ONE has done a comparison yet except:

2.2 - 7526
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...QM+%40+2.20GHz

2.3 - 7860
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...QM+%40+2.30GHz

To me the differences aren't justified. CPUMark claims a 1% difference.

Thanks for the links. Oh, but your math is off, from their results it's a 4% difference. Still of questionable value when you are adding at 10-15% premium.

I'll still be curious to see direct comparisons using actual systems on real-world tasks. After reading the descriptions of the tests in the links above, it does not appear their tests would include the performance of Turbo Boost since most of their tests seem to saturate all 4 cores in the CPU.

If the 2.3 GHz processor also includes higher Turbo Boost speeds for non-parallelized tasks, that would help better justify the price increase. Apple's online store seems to imply that the faster processor has a higher Turbo Boost speed when it says, "You can upgrade the processor in your MacBook Pro to the 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, featuring 8MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.40GHz." But they don't say anywhere was the limit is for the 2.2 GHz processor.
post #55 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While Intel isn't as good at graphics as NVIDIA, Intel's SATA disk controller performance is significantly better than that of NVIDIA's; the new models also now support 6Gbps SATA 3.0 for the first time, so the fact that the new MacBook Pros use Intel's chipsets again means that disk performance is improved, particularly when using a Solid State Drive. Note that only the hard drive supports SATA 3; the optical drive is still connected to a 3GBps SATA 2.0 interface.

So - I've just picked up the fully-loaded 15" and want to add a SSD. OWC has an awesome looking kit with a 120gb SSD and bracket for under $300. Keeping in mind that the optical drive is connected to a slower port, I assume this means I should move the traditional hard drive into the optical drive bay (and its slower connector) and then install the SSD into the traditional drive back to take advantage of its faster connector? Seems to me that having a 5400 RPM drive installed in a SATA 3 port is a bit of a waste...
post #56 of 127
I would be buying a brand new MBP 15" Matte screen, loaded memory, if:

1- it could play Blu-Ray
2- Blu - Ray output could go out via lightnight bolt to HDMI cable.

it is frustrating being an apple consumer, they seem to like to decide what they will allow their consumers to do, instead of letting us decide on our own options.

hmm... maybe a sony Vaio will hit the spot.
post #57 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post

I would be buying a brand new MBP 15" Matte screen, loaded memory, if:

1- it could play Blu-Ray
2- Blu - Ray output could go out via lightnight bolt to HDMI cable.

it is frustrating being an apple consumer, they seem to like to decide what they will allow their consumers to do, instead of letting us decide on our own options.

hmm... maybe a sony Vaio will hit the spot.

What an asinine comment. "Lightnight bolt? Really? Youre making a argument that Apple decides what options they will offer to their consumers when every company does that. Just because you dont like the options doesnt make it wrong. I just looked on Dells site, and there is no option for ½ notebook with 3 Blu-ray drives and 128 terabytes of storage for $300. Those assholes!
post #58 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

So - I've just picked up the fully-loaded 15" and want to add a SSD. OWC has an awesome looking kit with a 120gb SSD and bracket for under $300. Keeping in mind that the optical drive is connected to a slower port, I assume this means I should move the traditional hard drive into the optical drive bay (and its slower connector) and then install the SSD into the traditional drive back to take advantage of its faster connector? Seems to me that having a 5400 RPM drive installed in a SATA 3 port is a bit of a waste...

Yes, I will do the same and put a spare 7k2 HD in the bracket. . I went with BTO Apple SSD, though, because it is the only drive that is currently supported by Snow Leopard's TRIM (added in the custom 10.6.6 SL running on the new MBPs) and, for now, Lion betas.

I will later replace my MBP's Apple-branded SSD by a C300 or a Vertex 3. Even without TRIM, they are far far superior to the the rather low-end Apple SSD (custom Hitachi ?).

But :
1- Prices are too high for now on SATA III SSDs
2- I am waiting to see if an official support of third party SSDs by Apple is coming : I read people had problems with their C300 because of a conflict with the way Sudden Motion Sensor (although it is of any use only of platter-based HDs) was managed by OS X. If OS X's TRIM could manage third party SSDs in a few months, it would be all the better
post #59 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post

I would be buying a brand new MBP 15" Matte screen, loaded memory, if:

1- it could play Blu-Ray

Given that OS X can not only play Blu-ray disks but that installing your own Blu-ray drive in a MacBook Pro would be cheaper than any BTO option that Apple would offer...

Quote:
hmm... maybe a sony Vaio will hit the spot.

Enjoy 50% less battery under normal conditions and two hours of battery playing Blu-ray for whatever reason.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

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post #60 of 127
Come on. Blu-ray isn't useless... ON A DESKTOP

Apple SHOULD offer the option of blu on the iMac and the Mac Pro.

The notebooks need to get their ODDs stripped off once and for all. (No, I will never stop saying that )

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Early 2010 MacBook Pro 2.4GHz, soon to be replaced with a Retina MacBook Pro, or an Asus U500

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post #61 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

Come on. Blu-ray isn't useless... ON A DESKTOP

Apple SHOULD offer the option of blu on the iMac and the Mac Pro.

The notebooks need to get their ODDs stripped off once and for all. (No, I will never stop saying that )

You can put your own drives in a desktop. I've had a BD-RE/HD DVD-ROM drive for years. I use it to rip HD DVDs to iTunes and I did it with a Blu-ray disk, as well.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #62 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Don't expect MacBook Airs to get Thunderbolt. They don't even backlit keyboards currently.

I disagree. With the rollout of Thunderbolt as the port of the future, I think we'll see this standardized on each and every Mac as they get refreshed.

We'll see.

I expect the swap of the current C2D + 320M for an i5 (Sandy Bridge) w/ HD 3000 integrated graphics + the Thunderbolt chip will ultimately be a wash.

11" MBA (the 320M is highlighted in orange):


15" SB MBP (Thunderbolt controller chip is highlighted in blue):

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post #63 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

Come on. Blu-ray isn't useless... ON A DESKTOP

Apple SHOULD offer the option of blu on the iMac and the Mac Pro.

Apple typically use very slow drives so they'd likely go with 2-4x. At 2x, a disc takes 45 minutes to burn and 45 minutes to verify. DVD is painful enough when you get a burn error after 15 minutes, if I waited over an hour and had to do it all again, I'd thrown my computer across the room.

Not only this, people have reported burning important data to Blu-Ray and verified it only to find that a few months down the line, they are unreadable and have subsequently lost years worth of data because they assumed it was reliable storage.

Hard drives don't have a long shelf-life but are way faster to copy data to. If you have maybe 3-4 hard drives and cycle them every week with copies of important data, maintaining 3 at a time, data should be much safer than on discs that you can't properly verify.

I think Blu-Ray does have some uses for playing movies and for sending lots of data so including it in the desktops shouldn't be a problem. It will probably create an issue though where a desktop user who also owns a laptop could burn a BD-R only to find that they can't access them on a laptop in which case they'd have to buy an external drive. It makes more sense to me that Apple would just leave the optical external on all models and a family can share a drive or it can be shared between computers and is more cost-effective, easier to replace/upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appleinsider

Strong CPU and GPU update for all models

Out of the 5 models, the GPUs were downgraded on the 3 entry models.
post #64 of 127
I would have liked HD3000/320M comparisons in the review
post #65 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

In the sense that there's no TB peripheral drive to plug into it, the answer has to be nofor now.

If you put a new MBP into Target disk mode and plug it into another Mac Book Pro the drive is visible but not bootable.
post #66 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

what has a fish to do with a strawberry cake?

Transgenic DNA!
post #67 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Don't expect MacBook Airs to get Thunderbolt. They don't even backlit keyboards currently.

They already have miniDisplayPort.

Granted, the TB controller currently is too big to fit, and likely way over power budget for the MBA.

Give 'em time.
post #68 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Now if we could only get USB3 on there as well.

Talk to Intel. They're the ones claiming that they'll have USB3 support included in their chipset next year. No sooner.
post #69 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

MacBook Pro 15" should have an HDMI port. Thy should be done.

agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

I'm surprised Apple still keeps damn DVD drive there. Have you seen the size of that thing? It's the size of the mainboard on a13" MBP. It's a luxury that people hardly use.

so i should throw all my dvd games in the garbage????
and i play movies almost every day
ands i burn cd and dvd back up discs
on and on
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Pointless unless you own a movie on BRD and you want to be able to just pop it in your laptop and watch it. People seem to ignore the whole compatibility point.

most blurays come w/ a digital DOWN LOAD AND OIR A DVD INCLUDED



of note i received the MATTE VERSION and i returned it

the screen looked 5 yrs old and the movies looks pastel like
my 14 month old 2 chip 15' glossy I still own looked a million times better

DO NOT BUY MATTE

TRUST NO ONE


9
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post #70 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

Mmmm, strawberry fish cake...

post #71 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

of note i received the MATTE VERSION and i returned it

the screen looked 5 yrs old and the movies looks pastel like
my 14 month old 2 chip 15' glossy I still own looked a million times better

DO NOT BUY MATTE

I took a look at both in the store as I was having a hard time deciding (my 1st gen was not available in glossy, I got used to it, but found the glossy appealing). When I saw them side-by-side I opted for matte and have absolutely no regrets. I love it!
post #72 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

II actually hate Blu-Ray and upper end HD...I can see too much detail and I feel as though I'm watching an amateur production (unless it's animated).

Perhaps you haven't experienced Blu-ray and HD in a properly installed and calibrated home theater. With the right equipment, and done right, BD home theater easily surpasses the quality of many commercial cinemas.

And while no laptop is necessarily an ideal way to appreciate the better picture clarity of BDs (or the higher quality lossless audio on most of them), many BDs offer supplements of interest to many (particularly film students, to stick with that example), supplements that often do not appear on the included DVD of BD + DVD combo packs.

ODDs are definitely on their way out of MacBooks, which I think is a good evolutionary step. Keeping them in Apple's desktop offerings makes more sense, even if only as a BTO option. Mac OS X should incorporate BD and lossless audio playback though. Apple could then allow third parties to offer TB-enabled BD player peripherals for users who want to invest in them.

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post #73 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

I took a look at both in the store as I was having a hard time deciding (my 1st gen was not available in glossy, I got used to it, but found the glossy appealing). When I saw them side-by-side I opted for matte and have absolutely no regrets. I love it!

really
well to each his own i guess

i had to copies of avatar and the glossy looked so juicy
the matte' looked flat


peace

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post #74 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

I took a look at both in the store as I was having a hard time deciding (my 1st gen was not available in glossy, I got used to it, but found the glossy appealing). When I saw them side-by-side I opted for matte and have absolutely no regrets. I love it!

Fully agree on the non-glossy decision. I got the 30 inch Cinema Display the moment Apple announced it would be discontinued. Can't stand the reflection on those glossy screens either.

Cheers,
PhilBoogie
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post #75 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Bootable from the Thunderbolt port?

"Thunderbolt is not only fast, but also smart, supporting Target Disk Mode (something no version of USB can handle) and networking as a switched fabric interconnect."
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post #76 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

really
well to each his own i guess

i had to copies of avatar and the glossy looked so juicy
the matte' looked flat


peace

9

Yup, to each his own. But I think it's a preference of "juicy" or realistic. I can see how a movie like Avatar would look very nice on a glossy display. But since the colors are unrealistic to begin with (in terms of shades and saturation) how do you know it was accurate on the glossy screen? It would be better to use a movie with real-life scenes or photographs that you've taken to make the comparison.

Some digital cameras do the same thing to your photos, and I know of people who crank up the saturation on their camera's settings even more because they think it looks better. More isn't always better.

If your preference is for punchy or juicy or deep saturation, get the glossy screen. If your preference is for accuracy, get the matte screen.
post #77 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Given that OS X can not only play Blu-ray disks but that installing your own Blu-ray drive in a MacBook Pro would be cheaper than any BTO option that Apple would offer...

Are you saying that OS X can play Blu-ray movies straight from the Blu-ray disk? Is this using the DVD Player application or some other program? And can you also navigate the menus like you would on a standalone player?
post #78 of 127
Thunderbolt will one day make having lots of USB ports unnecessary, but today all three on my 17" MBP are filled (external kb/mouse, iPod touch, USB headset for Skype).

At home I have a mini with 5 USB ports and I've had to add a hub just to keep everything connected: keyboard/mouse, two external drive cases, printer, music keyboard, mini USB cable for my portable HD, iPod cable, and a port for my SD card reader. No I don't need all of them plugged in all the time, but it sure is convenient having the big things connected permanently and an array of extension cables handy.

If buying a BluRay disc gives you a digital copy then including BD players in notebooks is unnecessary. I do think Apple should have made BluRay an option in their iMacs though. Why buy a television for your apartment or condo if you've already got a 27" screen with superior resolution and image quality?

Can't Apple find a happy medium between gloss and matte? Art galleries have done that and Apple considers their products works of art....
post #79 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

I'm surprised Apple still keeps damn DVD drive there. Have you seen the size of that thing? It's the size of the mainboard on a13" MBP. It's a luxury that people hardly use.

Don't pretend you speak for most people - I use it all the time. And guess what? It has to be big enough to fit a CD/DVD into.
post #80 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Are you saying that OS X can play Blu-ray movies straight from the Blu-ray disk?

Yes.

Quote:
Is this using the DVD Player application or some other program?

It's one of those programs with MKV in the name. Totally blanking it right now, but CaveMan has a nice tutorial on MacRumors. You open the disc with that and stream the feed through VLC, I think.

Quote:
And can you also navigate the menus like you would on a standalone player?

I believe so.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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