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Supply chain sources say all remaining Macs to receive update in coming months

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
According to one analyst's check with sources along Apple's supply chain, Apple plans to refresh the rest of its Mac lineup, which would include the MacBook, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and MacBook Air, "in upcoming months."

Analyst Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee issued a note to investors on Wednesday claiming that all Mac products that have yet to see a refresh this year are "due for refreshes" soon.

Not included on Wu's list are the MacBook Pro, which underwent a refresh in February, and the iMac, which saw a new version on Tuesday. Both products saw a transition to Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors and the addition of the new high-speed Thunderbolt input/output port.

Wu believes the MacBook refresh is especially important because the entry-level notebook represents roughly one-third of Apple's portable business, which itself has grown to 73 percent of all Mac sales. The last update for the MacBook came in May 2010.

As for the other Macs, the Mac Mini was most recently refreshed in June 2010, while the Mac Pro saw an update last July and the MacBook Air received a substantial upgrade last October. Wu sees the upcoming Mac refreshes as offsetting "a very minor cannibalistic impact" that the iPad 2 could have on Apple's Mac business.

In February, a report claimed that Apple will replace the MacBook Air's aging Core 2 Duo chip with the current Sandy Bridge processors in June.

In his note, Wu told investors that Tuesday's iMac refresh stands as "a worthy upgrade" and should help "reinvigorate" Mac's desktop business, which has declined to 27 percent of Macs shipped. Sales of Mac desktops actually dropped by 12 percent year over year last quarter, compared to 53 percent year over year growth for portable Macs.



Wu maintains a Buy rating and a price target of $445 for Apple.
post #2 of 66
Problem with that is all of their computers are always getting updates "in coming months". Could that be more vague?

This just in: Apple will release a new thing some time. Later, they will refresh said thing.
post #3 of 66
In a related note, Apple also plans to introduce previously unannounced products in the future at an unspecified intervals.
post #4 of 66
I hope the upcoming revised MacBooks don't have an internal optical brick.
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post #5 of 66
I think Stevo has been pretty clear about the laptop line. He said the MBA is the future of laptops.

I can see a steady path towards matching the MBA's specs to that of the MBP as far as speed/pwr.

Maybe even adding a 15" MBA.

Essentially have two lines and then letting the sales numbers decide when to meld the two and have one line without any optical drives. Apple has a penchant for telling us when we don't need something. And more often than not, they're correct.

Best

PS. I have to believe that having everything made in aluminum and then to have this one MB plastic white hold over really bothers someone like Stevo. But it sounds like it is still selling well.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

In a related note, Apple also plans to introduce previously unannounced products in the future at an unspecified intervals.

An unnamed source who is sometimes correct has checked with some component suppliers, and this is in fact correct! I'm definitely going to put off buying something until these other things come out - or should I wait for the second generation so they can work out the problems?
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

An unnamed source who is sometimes correct has checked with some component suppliers, and this is in fact correct! I'm definitely going to put off buying something until these other things come out - or should I wait for the second generation so they can work out the problems?

Nah. You should wait for google to come up with something similar in a new version of Android. Since open is always better.
post #8 of 66
How about you update the chart to show three categories:

Desktop, Portable and Embedded

Then lets see how different the Desktop to Portable gap closes.
post #9 of 66
I hope the next MacBook and MacBook pros have SIM card slots for 3G!
post #10 of 66
It'd make sense specifically if they want to roll out Thunderbolt ports in all their machines. Having collaborated with Intel on the spec, I'm sure they're very mindful of the peril of leaving any long-standing gaps in their own support for it at this vulnerable, early stage in its life cycle.
post #11 of 66
I think the MacBook Airs will be revved at the WWDC in June, which means maybe they'll expand the line by adding a 15-inch model, and/or add other features like 3G.
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post #12 of 66
AI reported last week that the new MBAs are getting the TB port. Good thing i didnt get a refurb last month...:-]........whew...........
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/allanmichael/
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post #13 of 66
The products that haven't been refreshed lately...are going to be refreshed. Tell your friends.
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

Problem with that is all of their computers are always getting updates "in coming months". Could that be more vague?

This just in: Apple will release a new thing some time. Later, they will refresh said thing.

I get your point, but ultimately it just seems like you're playing with semantics. Sure, one could say that iOS 5 will launch "within days" and really mean "within 180 days" and be strictly true.

It's not meaningless to claim that the entire Mac line will be refreshed in coming months. Perhaps it's a bit vague, but I take it to mean that within 6 months or so, every line will be refreshed. That's nothing to scoff at. That's different than saying, "everything will be refreshed within 2 years", which is a near-certainty.
post #15 of 66
It's so refreshing to hear that Apple is going to refresh....something.
post #16 of 66
Why did I bookmark Apple Insider and why do I even bother looking at their posts? Hey news flash Apple will update their Mac products some time in the future to remain a competitive business. Seriously. Come on guys. You getting paid for that bit of tantalizing and insightful, unique and informative "inside" news about Apple? You need a raise.
post #17 of 66
Perhaps they want to ensure all hardware will utilise all new features in Lion.
post #18 of 66
The whole idea With rumor sites is to tell us something we don't know that might reflect future hardware from Apple. I already know updates are coming. What I want to hear is what is new in those updates.
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

It's not meaningless to claim that the entire Mac line will be refreshed in coming months. Perhaps it's a bit vague, but I take it to mean that within 6 months or so, every line will be refreshed. That's nothing to scoff at. That's different than saying, "everything will be refreshed within 2 years", which is a near-certainty.

It's pretty much a near certainty for the next 6 months though. You can even predict the order fairly accurately just from the product cycles and Intel's releases.

Last time the MBP was to be updated, AI had an article saying they would be updated in some very long timeframe but it was clear Apple would release almost immediately after Intel brought out the new chips as the update cycle had been stretched to the longest it had ever been and sure enough, the updates arrived the same week.

The iMac chips had been out a while but didn't fit with the product refresh cycle but the refresh cycle was due after the MBP.

It seems clear that the Mini is next, followed by the Air but I reckon Toshiba moving to 19nm NAND is going to have some impact here. If Apple can manage to get 256GB SSD blades into the Mini and Air at the entry-level, that's going to make a big difference. The Mini form factor can be reduced even further. Although it needs to have lots of storage, especially in the server model, Thunderbolt allows you to have as much fast external storage as you need, like these little guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk5KdOSjYHw

The concern with the Mini is the inevitable downgrading to Intel-only graphics but I guess it suffices for who they intend to use the Mini. The only hope for good graphics here is if AMD or NVidia sell one of their mobile chips as a Thunderbolt add-on. They could put a 1GB 6970M in a tiny box and sell it as an add-on.

The Macbook may get another refresh but I think its days are numbered and once the NAND gets updated and the MBA goes core-i with Thunderbolt, there's no reason to maintain the only white plastic model they have.

I expect this refresh to happen around August/September.

The Mac Pro refresh could come soon if they use some of the Xeon chips out now but it seems likely they will use the chips coming in Q4 2011 so I'd expect there to be a refresh for the MP in November.

If I had to put dates on it, I'd say:

May/June = Mini, dual core i5/i7 with Intel graphics, Thunderbolt, possibly SSD
July/August = iPhone, if not at WWDC, same design, A5 chip
August/September = Macbook Air, Macbook discontinued, double SSD capacity, dual core-i ULV, Intel graphics, Thunderbolt
October/November = Mac Pro, 8-cores per CPU for high-end to reach 16-cores, 32-threads, PCI-3.0, new design, Thunderbolt
January 2012 = Ivy Bridge, starting with MBP refresh again in Q1
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If I had to put dates on it, I'd say:

May/June = Mini, dual core i5/i7 with Intel graphics, Thunderbolt, possibly SSD
July/August = iPhone, if not at WWDC, same design, A5 chip
August/September = Macbook Air, Macbook discontinued, double SSD capacity, dual core-i ULV, Intel graphics, Thunderbolt
October/November = Mac Pro, 8-cores per CPU for high-end to reach 16-cores, 32-threads, PCI-3.0, new design, Thunderbolt
January 2012 = Ivy Bridge, starting with MBP refresh again in Q1

Mini gets Intel craphics [sic], maybe SSD options if they are still being used a lot for servers. MacBook unlikely to be discontinued this year. The next Mac Pro is going to be an absolute BEAST, CPU and architecture wise.

Mah 2 cents
post #21 of 66
I hope the notebooks aren’t updated until after Lion is released so it has the option of coming with double-resolution displays.
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post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If I had to put dates on it, I'd say:

May/June = Mini, dual core i5/i7 with Intel graphics, Thunderbolt, possibly SSD
July/August = iPhone, if not at WWDC, same design, A5 chip
August/September = Macbook Air, Macbook discontinued, double SSD capacity, dual core-i ULV, Intel graphics, Thunderbolt
October/November = Mac Pro, 8-cores per CPU for high-end to reach 16-cores, 32-threads, PCI-3.0, new design, Thunderbolt
January 2012 = Ivy Bridge, starting with MBP refresh again in Q1

Marv,

I think you're right on the money here. I suspect that the macBook Air move to Core i processors may actually come a bit sooner, since high capacity 20 Nm SSD is already on a critical path for delivery to computer vendors. It is pointless releasing a revised MBA without offering 512 Gb hard drives (and ones that are subsequently upgradable to 1 TB when SSD prices drop).

Once Ivy Bridge is launched in the MacBook Pro, the architecture in addition to the loss of the onboard DVD drive should allow for a significantly smaller and thinner form factor. The question is will the 15" and 17" simply look like larger Airs or will they simply be thinner Pros?

I'd like to see all of Apple's laptops converge into a single range of as thin and light as possible 'MacBooks' with screen sizes of 11", 13", 15" and 17".
post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's pretty much a near certainty for the next 6 months though. You can even predict the order fairly accurately just from the product cycles and Intel's releases.

Last time the MBP was to be updated, AI had an article saying they would be updated in some very long timeframe but it was clear Apple would release almost immediately after Intel brought out the new chips as the update cycle had been stretched to the longest it had ever been and sure enough, the updates arrived the same week.

The iMac chips had been out a while but didn't fit with the product refresh cycle but the refresh cycle was due after the MBP.

It seems clear that the Mini is next, followed by the Air but I reckon Toshiba moving to 19nm NAND is going to have some impact here. If Apple can manage to get 256GB SSD blades into the Mini and Air at the entry-level, that's going to make a big difference. The Mini form factor can be reduced even further. Although it needs to have lots of storage, especially in the server model, Thunderbolt allows you to have as much fast external storage as you need, like these little guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk5KdOSjYHw

The concern with the Mini is the inevitable downgrading to Intel-only graphics but I guess it suffices for who they intend to use the Mini. The only hope for good graphics here is if AMD or NVidia sell one of their mobile chips as a Thunderbolt add-on. They could put a 1GB 6970M in a tiny box and sell it as an add-on.

The Macbook may get another refresh but I think its days are numbered and once the NAND gets updated and the MBA goes core-i with Thunderbolt, there's no reason to maintain the only white plastic model they have.

I expect this refresh to happen around August/September.

The Mac Pro refresh could come soon if they use some of the Xeon chips out now but it seems likely they will use the chips coming in Q4 2011 so I'd expect there to be a refresh for the MP in November.

If I had to put dates on it, I'd say:

May/June = Mini, dual core i5/i7 with Intel graphics, Thunderbolt, possibly SSD
July/August = iPhone, if not at WWDC, same design, A5 chip
August/September = Macbook Air, Macbook discontinued, double SSD capacity, dual core-i ULV, Intel graphics, Thunderbolt
October/November = Mac Pro, 8-cores per CPU for high-end to reach 16-cores, 32-threads, PCI-3.0, new design, Thunderbolt
January 2012 = Ivy Bridge, starting with MBP refresh again in Q1

Sounds like Marv' is on the money.

The Mac Pro should be one hell of an update. (Wonder if they'll get better gpus than the iMac?) A redesign and a price drop wouldn't go amiss. I remember the days when these boards used to be all about the next 'Power Mac' update. Mind you, back then...who would have dreamed of dual 8 cores with 32 threads...and a gpu running a display at 2500 x 1400?

Mini. They'll finally have an i5 in them? And what about a 6970? And a price cut to take it back to £395.

Macbook. Used to be such a hot ticket. I don't understand why it's languishing. Maybe Apple has something special lined up for it..? Maybe the 'Air' is its successor.

Air. As sure as there is night and day. Looks like this is the new 'Macbook'. Seems very hot. Thunderbolt it and give it Sandy bump spec and watch the sales thunderbolt.

By Christmas all of these will have been bumped. iPhone 5 as well.

Maybe I'll jump on board a new Mac when Ivy comes around. Any chance of 6-8 core iMacs with a 'retina' display? Perhaps even a 30 inch display? Seems like 27inches is the gold standard for now. It's not like the 24 inch iMac I have is tiny... :o

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

How about you update the chart to show three categories:

How about updating the chart to indicate something meaningful... Q106, Q406, Q307, Q208, Q109, Q409, Q310, Q201... what sort of progression is that?
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post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The Mini form factor can be reduced even further.

Some of us want the mini to get bigger. Some of us like internal storage. But lots of us can't afford to chunk out $2499 for the mac Pro just to get a little bit of easy to access internal space.

I'm hoping that Apple wakes up this time and offers something in between the mini and the Pro.
post #26 of 66
All I know is the next Mac Mini will not drop the price, nor provide decent graphics. I will have some hope that maybe the price will be cheaper to bring the Mac Mini back into where it used to be, or that they will crowbar a low end AMD GPU in there too, but in the end I know they won't.

So I'll sit there and think - nah.

However it will have a Thunderbolt port, so there is the hope that someone will make an external GPU for the Mac Mini in a casing that fits under the Mac Mini itself. Given the limitation to PCIe x4 I guess it won't be a HD6970, but maybe a Turks (like in the new iMacs) or Barts (like the new top-end iMac) based chip would be nice. This expansion could also stick a couple of USB3 ports on.
post #27 of 66
Model refreshes are due sometime. What shocking set you back in your chair story! Yet another amazing news coup for AI!
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

In a related note, Apple also plans to introduce previously unannounced products in the future at an unspecified intervals.

Thank you. What a load. How people get paid and make headlines with craptastic crud like this, I have no idea.

I mean "soon" could very well mean taking the below and subbing 2011 for 201.

Quote:
Originally Posted by article

The last update for the MacBook came in May 2010.

As for the other Macs, the Mac Mini was most recently refreshed in June 2010, while the Mac Pro saw an update last July and the MacBook Air received a substantial upgrade last October.

This is why it's important not to depend on brokers for advice on specific companies when investing. Unless they've got a fetish for something and are studying it compulsively, even the "best" don't say jack.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

However it will have a Thunderbolt port, so there is the hope that someone will make an external GPU for the Mac Mini in a casing that fits under the Mac Mini itself. Given the limitation to PCIe x4 I guess it won't be a HD6970, but maybe a Turks (like in the new iMacs) or Barts (like the new top-end iMac) based chip would be nice. This expansion could also stick a couple of USB3 ports on.

I've wondered about that too. This looks like the perfect Asus XG Game Station implementation. Now you're not just talking laptops, but every Mac short of a PowerMac as your potential market.
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

However it will have a Thunderbolt port, so there is the hope that someone will make an external GPU for the Mac Mini in a casing that fits under the Mac Mini itself. Given the limitation to PCIe x4 I guess it won't be a HD6970, but maybe a Turks (like in the new iMacs) or Barts (like the new top-end iMac) based chip would be nice. This expansion could also stick a couple of USB3 ports on.

A PCIe 2.0 x4 link is more than enough to leverage a high-end GPU; you'll get between 90-95% of the performance depending on resolution and whether or not the situation is actually being bottlenecked by the bandwidth at that station.

This has been done with ExpressCard slots for a long time, and those are just PCIe x1 links.
post #31 of 66
Any chance Apple is holding back on releasing 10.6.8 so it will boot on all these new products and be the OS to "unite them all"? As it stands, there is no one OS that will boot all current models. The 10.6.7 that you all can update to via Software Update on your previous Intel Macs will not boot the latest MacBook Pros and iMacs; they have their own separate 10.6.7 updaters. It's very frustrating to those of us who maintain a standard corporate image for our employers' Macs.
post #32 of 66
In other news, today Shaw Wu announced that in one month's time, water would continue to be wet and LA would still be smoggy! OMG this man is a genius!! I can't imagine we will go past September w/any of the products still having C2Ds in them. I still think the white Macbook will shift to education only, but that's me. It doesn't have much of a place left when a low end MBA 11" is the same price and an iPad is half it's cost and just as effective for a lot of people. Upgrade it to Sandy Bridge, drop the price $100 or so and then drop it in Education land.
post #33 of 66
This article is mostly pointless in that it doesn't give any timeline, but basically confirms that all the Macs will transition to TB upgrades in the next few months as Apple wants to take full advantage of it's 1-year head start on the rest of the industry with TB drives.

I think Marvin's upgrade cycle is probably fairly correct, though you'd think they'd wanna upgrade the MacPro's sooner, since the people most likely to take advantage of the TB in external peripherals would be pro users, who have only had access (Mac-wise) to eSata through PCI cards. (Edit: Maybe USB3.0 through PCI cards as well, either way, the pro users will take the most advantage of TB, so they should get it ASAP)

I think the only correction is an earlier refresh on the Airs, though I might be biased because I want them to refresh them so I can buy one, heh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Some of us want the mini to get bigger. Some of us like internal storage. But lots of us can't afford to chunk out $2499 for the mac Pro just to get a little bit of easy to access internal space.

I'm hoping that Apple wakes up this time and offers something in between the mini and the Pro.

In a perfect world, Apple would keep the Mini in it's current form, and offer a non-server "Performance" model that included a quad core i7 and high-end graphics (6970), with the optical drive removed to accomodate the vastly increased heat outputs. Then I could forgo buying a top-of-the-line iMac or building a Hackintosh. But it'll never happen.

P.S. while we're totally , the mini would also provide a 256 SSD drive standard and give you access to the (still included) HDD compartment for storage drive upgrades. Oh, an access to RAM.
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post #34 of 66
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_B...ver_processors

Based on what is shown there, we could see single and dual proc Xeon refreshes of the Mac Pro in Q4 2011, but imagine if they hold off until Q1 2012 and can throw together a 4 processor Mac Pro at the high end. Granted, they could refresh in Q4 and just add a new top end 4 proc model when it's available.

I'm expecting the iPhone more around September, then my wife and I can both pick one up and after taxes next year get Ivy Bridge MBPs
post #35 of 66
I want to update the MM I use as my HTPC. How big a difference would it be between the i5 and i7?

Or would I be better of getting the current model at the discount when the new model comes out?
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbeFroman View Post

I want to update the MM I use as my HTPC. How big a difference would it be between the i5 and i7?

Or would I be better of getting the current model at the discount when the new model comes out?

Sandy Bridge beats the snot out of the c2d when it comes to encoding video. The i7 will have hyperthreading active, so being able to throw more cores at your media can't be a bad thing. Wait for the new ones and i5 or i7, you'll smoke the current model.
post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Sandy Bridge beats the snot out of the c2d when it comes to encoding video. The i7 will have hyperthreading active, so being able to throw more cores at your media can't be a bad thing. Wait for the new ones and i5 or i7, you'll smoke the current model.

Thanks!
post #38 of 66
How does this jibe with Wikipedia's info: Intel's Sandy Bridge Xeons won't be available until Q4 2011 or Q1 2012. That would seem to suggest Mac Pros won't be updated until much later.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nvidia2008

Mini gets Intel craphics [sic], maybe SSD options if they are still being used a lot for servers. MacBook unlikely to be discontinued this year.

The Macbook could certainly have another refresh in it but it would normally be updated soon after the MBP and MBA sales seem to be taking off now that it has hit a decent entry price. They would cannibalise each other and affect inventory. Getting rid of the plastic model would likely make a big difference to their manufacturing. It would be metal and glass for everything except some peripherals.

With the established App Store to counter the lack of an optical, decent SSD capacity, Thunderbolt to take care of lack of ethernet and FW, core-i series that exceeds C2D, I'd say now's as good a time as any to make the transition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I suspect that the macBook Air move to Core i processors may actually come a bit sooner, since high capacity 20 Nm SSD is already on a critical path for delivery to computer vendors.

19nm and 20 nm are rumoured for production in the 2nd half but it could come sooner than August/September - I think that date hits a good spot for education buyers and the refresh cycle and may ensure enough supplies:

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...d-flash-memory
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...and-flash-chip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

The question is will the 15" and 17" simply look like larger Airs or will they simply be thinner Pros?

After eliminating the FW800 and ethernet, they can shrink them down a bit to match the height of the Mini-DP and TB ports like the laptop at the top of the following picture:



That was a mockup I made of what I expected from the latest MBA but obviously the tapering adds a more dramatic effect. I like the uniformity of the above design for the normal laptops though and means less compromise for the battery. I suspect the tapered design is the eventual route though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon

The Mac Pro should be one hell of an update. (Wonder if they'll get better gpus than the iMac?)

Seeing the performance of the 6970M, I wonder what the point is in desktop graphics cards any more. They just suck down so much power and people aren't buying Mac Pros to play games. People who go for the Pro do so for the CPU because you can't run multiple high-end cards in there anyway with a 300W limit across the slots.

It's not a popular idea to everyone but I think Apple should go with similar graphics to the iMac in the Mac Pro, have 4 Thunderbolt ports and maybe 2 low-powered PCI expansion slots instead of 4. If they use a similar kind of slot in the iMac for the GPU, they can still sell upgrades in future and the machine will be much easier to cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon

Mini. They'll finally have an i5 in them? And what about a 6970? And a price cut to take it back to £395.

The 6970M wouldn't fit as it draws 100W or so and I doubt they'd even go for the 6490 that's in the MBP. But this being the case, they should drop the price down. I'd say £499 is what we could hope for at best. I'd be happy for it to stay at £599 with 256GB SSD and 4GB RAM but if the SSD upgrade doesn't happen until later, £499.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon

Macbook. Used to be such a hot ticket. I don't understand why it's languishing. Maybe Apple has something special lined up for it..? Maybe the 'Air' is its successor.

I think the Air is its successor. Plastic laptops are not that durable and it feels cheap. When you get the aluminium machines, you feel like you are getting a premium product. The white design is nice and has been part of the Apple brand for so long but to go green, they have to ditch the plastic or figure out how to make nice looking white metal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon

Any chance of 6-8 core iMacs with a 'retina' display? Perhaps even a 30 inch display? Seems like 27inches is the gold standard for now. It's not like the 24 inch iMac I have is tiny.

I was hoping they'd give up on the 21.5"/27" route and instead opt for a 2200 x 1240 24" across the board. I can see why they go with 27" screens as it's immersive but I feel they are too big and I hate to think what the repair bill for one would be ($1000+ probably).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac

Some of us want the mini to get bigger. Some of us like internal storage. But lots of us can't afford to chunk out $2499 for the mac Pro just to get a little bit of easy to access internal space.

I'm hoping that Apple wakes up this time and offers something in between the mini and the Pro.

I've always seen the Mini as a very small modular component that allows you to make the machine into what you want. This is why I have high hopes for Thunderbolt.

I would love for the Mini to become like the Apple TV and you'd just plugin as much or as little as you wanted. If you want games, plugin a powerful GPU, if you want fast storage, plugin a Thunderbolt RAID system, if you want to process audio, plugin an audio card, if you want to capture HD video, use a capture card, if you just want a media centre, it's as small and efficient as it can be.

It's your flexible friend and the iMac your inflexible (and now powerful) enemy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig

However it will have a Thunderbolt port, so there is the hope that someone will make an external GPU for the Mac Mini in a casing that fits under the Mac Mini itself. Given the limitation to PCIe x4 I guess it won't be a HD6970, but maybe a Turks (like in the new iMacs) or Barts (like the new top-end iMac) based chip would be nice. This expansion could also stick a couple of USB3 ports on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufwork

I've wondered about that too. This looks like the perfect Asus XG Game Station implementation. Now you're not just talking laptops, but every Mac short of a PowerMac as your potential market.

Yes, this kind of solution sounds ideal. The Asus solution looks like they just have an x16 slot running at 1x speed and you can plug any x16 card into it. Thunderbolt would run at just over double the speed of the Asus product and would easily allow a high-end card to run at sufficient speed.

They could go one of a few ways with it. A company can either release a generic x16 slot for any PCI card with a big PSU or GPU manufacturers can custom build special branded GPUs. I like the idea of the specially built GPUs as they'd need to be Mac versions anyway but a single PCI product would have more uses.

I'd really just like to see something already. The products are in the open, we need some adaptors. I don't know why Apple doesn't do this themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ailos

In a perfect world, Apple would keep the Mini in it's current form, and offer a non-server "Performance" model that included a quad core i7 and high-end graphics (6970)

I'd be happy with the 6490M for cost, heat and power consumption. It's an upgrade over the 320M. The quad i7 would be nice too but pricey. I doubt the CPU will exceed the entry MBP. It won't matter when Ivy Bridge comes though as it's quad-core across the board and Apple can't do anything to stop this happening and they are using some 3D transistor design for lower power consumption.
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicron View Post

How does this jibe with Wikipedia's info: Intel's Sandy Bridge Xeons won't be available until Q4 2011 or Q1 2012. That would seem to suggest Mac Pros won't be updated until much later.

Apple has often been the first company to get access to new Intel product. So if the official release of those chips was happening in October, you could easily see Mac Pros released the same month. Apple sat on an upgrade to the Mac Pro for quite awhile, but that could have been a decision based on availability.
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