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Ivy Bridge probably won't make it to the next MBP

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
http://gizmodo.com/5826905/intels-iv...t-macbook-pros

http://www.besttechinfo.com/intel-iv...-delayed-2012/

Looks like the Pro's won't get Ivy Bridge although I wish they would, IB won't be ready until Q1 2012. Its going to be like when Apple introduced the new battery, they knew Intel's next and best wouldn't be ready in time so they gave another selling point. Looking at the Mini getting the ODD axe, I think its safe to say the MBP will next and it will get a thinner chassis as a result. So this won't be a big performance improvement, but it will at least be lighter, and perhaps have more battery capacity.


Too bad, Ivy Bridge's GPU improvements would have been a boon for the MBP 13'. But maybe without the ODD, that too will get a discreet card? That would be sweet. They would have more room for a dGPU, or perhaps more room for the battery to sustain a quad core like its older brothers. They'll have to do something like that to keep its appeal over the Air for long, IMO.
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

Looks like the Pro's won't get Ivy Bridge although I wish they would, IB won't be ready until Q1 2012.

They'll just wait until it's ready. There's no way they will redesign it with the current power-hungry quad-core i7s and they wouldn't redesign it for one revision.

The longest refresh has been 317 days (which was the last one) so from the end of Feb 2011 to April 2012, that's about 400 days.

The alternative is 200 days x 2 i.e a refresh in September but there's nothing major to change except as you say removing the optical and this would cut the price by $100 in time for the schools starting but it leaves a big space inside the machine. They could possibly offer SSD boot drives + HDDs to fill the space and options with dedicated GPUs but I think they can easily wait it out.

Ivy Bridge goes quad-core and cuts power in half. Next year's MBPs are going to be great machines. Think of having Mac Pro performance and a 15 hour battery life in a 15" ultraportable with instant-on and never having to shut down. It'll have 2-4 x USB 3 ports + Thunderbolt and no fan noise. That is a dream machine and well worth waiting for.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I just don't think they would skip a whole upgrade cycle. Like I said, when the unibody and new batteries were introduced, Apple saw a lul in Intel processor progress, so they gave us something else to bite into. This seems likely to be the same case, an aesthetic change and perhaps more battery this refresh, and then IB's huge performance as well as further battery improvements due to IB's 22nm and better architecture next refresh.

There will be dual core Ivy Bridge CPU's, but they arrive after the quads. I hope the 13' Pro gets a quad, without it or a discreet GPU (or both!) it wouldn't be very appealing over the Air. Without the ODD, what else would differentiate it, larger HDD capacity aside?
post #4 of 25
I don't know how something can be delayed if it was scheduled for next year anyways.


Gizmodo lacks credibility so I'm not sure why you even link to them.
Quote:
http://www.besttechinfo.com/intel-iv...-delayed-2012/

Looks like the Pro's won't get Ivy Bridge although I wish they would, IB won't be ready until Q1 2012. Its going to be like when Apple introduced the new battery, they knew Intel's next and best wouldn't be ready in time so they gave another selling point.

Refreshing an on going model is nothing new.
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Looking at the Mini getting the ODD axe, I think its safe to say the MBP will next and it will get a thinner chassis as a result. So this won't be a big performance improvement, but it will at least be lighter, and perhaps have more battery capacity.

Nothing is a given with respect to optical. Opticals obviously have no place in the AIRs but that isn't the case with the MBPs. It is a case of finding the right balance of components to best meet customer needs.

That being said I have no need for an optical drive in any future MBP I might buy. I do need extra internal storage though.
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Too bad, Ivy Bridge's GPU improvements would have been a boon for the MBP 13'. But maybe without the ODD, that too will get a discreet card?

IB appears to be so good that I'd suggest to people asking to hold off buying. Honestly we are half way through the year now, if you don't need it hold off.
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That would be sweet. They would have more room for a dGPU, or perhaps more room for the battery to sustain a quad core like its older brothers. They'll have to do something like that to keep its appeal over the Air for long, IMO.

Nah. One of the biggest draws for the MBPs is the extra internal storage capacity. Yes disks are slow but they do store lots of bits cheap. For me it is one of the most frustrating things about the current AIRs. My current MBP has a 200GB drive which is awfully small these days and that is before you start counting media files. The issue is even bigger on a SSD because you really should have excess capacity to allow wear leveling and garbage collection to work well.

As to quad cores I beleive they will become the default for laptops with the arrival of IB. Quad core seems to be the sweet spot for system performance right now.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They'll just wait until it's ready. There's no way they will redesign it with the current power-hungry quad-core i7s and they wouldn't redesign it for one revision.

The longest refresh has been 317 days (which was the last one) so from the end of Feb 2011 to April 2012, that's about 400 days.

Apple will do pretty much exactly what it wants to do. The lack of IB would not stop them from introducing a redesigned MBP.

As to being delayed to the first quarter that could mean January and that is if the are talking calendar quarter. As an early 2008 MBP owner I'm well aware of Apples ability to do a quick update following a previous release. So it is not impossible at all to see a MBP update in October and then have another early in 2008.
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The alternative is 200 days x 2 i.e a refresh in September but there's nothing major to change except as you say removing the optical and this would cut the price by $100 in time for the schools starting but it leaves a big space inside the machine. They could possibly offer SSD boot drives + HDDs to fill the space and options with dedicated GPUs but I think they can easily wait it out.

MBP sales are still pretty huge for Apple I don't think they would want to risk a drawn out update to wait for a target date that isn't all that firm. As for what is in the update they could simPly add RAM and harddisk storage. It is all about marketing and being able to use that word "new".
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Ivy Bridge goes quad-core and cuts power in half. Next year's MBPs are going to be great machines. Think of having Mac Pro performance and a 15 hour battery life in a 15" ultraportable with instant-on and never having to shut down.

Knowing Apple though we might have a much thinner battery and the same run time. Where IB will be fantastic though is in the AIRs. It won't just be an issue of slightly faster CPUs but a considerably improved GPU with OpenCL goodness.
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It'll have 2-4 x USB 3 ports + Thunderbolt and no fan noise. That is a dream machine and well worth waiting for.

A very nice thought that is for sure. Honestly it is a wait and see as we really don't know how the processors will perform in the real world. Intel constantly has let us down with GPU performance and they are awfully optimistic about power usage. Even if we only get 80% of the offered up improvements though these chips will be very very compelling in laptops. So a 6 to 9 month wait is highly suggested.
post #6 of 25
To me that is a very interesting question because it would be extremely interesting to see a quad core in a MBA. Even if they need to keep the clock rate relatively low, the extra cores would make for a very nice performance profile.
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Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

I just don't think they would skip a whole upgrade cycle. Like I said, when the unibody and new batteries were introduced, Apple saw a lul in Intel processor progress, so they gave us something else to bite into.

I'm well aware of the Uni-Bodies arrival! In a way it kinda sucked for me, but I don't see it as giving us something to bite into. The Uni allowed Apple to address a lot of design issues with the then current MBP. It certainly improved things for the user but Apple benefitted too.
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This seems likely to be the same case, an aesthetic change and perhaps more battery this refresh, and then IB's huge performance as well as further battery improvements due to IB's 22nm and better architecture next refresh.

I suspect a more modest update until IB is ready.
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There will be dual core Ivy Bridge CPU's, but they arrive after the quads. I hope the 13' Pro gets a quad, without it or a discreet GPU (or both!) it wouldn't be very appealing over the Air.

I'm actually hoping that a quad core can go into the AIR. In any event the better GPU would help the AIR out.

As to the 13" MBP it's attractiveness is in it's storage capacity and much better processor performance. These qualities won't go away with IB.
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Without the ODD, what else would differentiate it, larger HDD capacity aside?

I'm nit sure you are actually asking that question. First off the extra storage space is not insignificant at all. I'm actually hoping all MBPs get the split storage capability where the OS and apps are on the SSD and the home directory is on the magnetic. On top of that MBPs come with significantly more powerful CPUs. Hopefully they will retain or in the 13" case gain a discrete GPU. By doing so we are also hoping that they can maintain support for more that one external monitor. If we are real lucky the machines might even come with dual TB ports. Don't tiger the user upgradeable memory too. Beyond that there are numerous way in which Apple can effectively add to the MBPs. Cellular support being one feature.

This constant focus on the supposed need to differentiate the products is silky as they are obviously different. I'm not sure why this is even brought up. Currently the machines are significantly different.
post #7 of 25
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Gizmodo lacks credibility so I'm not sure why you even link to them.

They do but there are leaked slides from Intel:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Intel...s-213968.shtml

The last image looks like production starts mid-December and can be ready for launch at the end of February. The dual-core versions could still be used by Apple in some models where the launch could be the end of March.

That's exactly in the timeframe of the last MBP revision (February 24th).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69

The lack of IB would not stop them from introducing a redesigned MBP.

It's not cost-effective to change all the tooling for a 6 month run of machines. Plus if they could design a smaller form factor with the current chips, they would have done it. Those 45W chips couldn't go into a MBA style enclosure but 25W chips certainly can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69

Knowing Apple though we might have a much thinner battery and the same run time.

True, they'll have to in order to reduce the enclosure size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69

we really don't know how the processors will perform in the real world. Intel constantly has let us down with GPU performance and they are awfully optimistic about power usage.

There was an Ivy Bridge engineering sample tested measuring a dual-core 1.8GHz model vs a quad-core Sandy Bridge model underclocked to 1.8GHz. Not a great test comparing quad to dual-core but some conclusions can be drawn.

http://vr-zone.com/articles/benchmar...ple/12853.html

As one of the commenters pointed out, the Cinebench score is the best to go by as it scales very well and shows 38% improvement over Sandy Bridge. Naturally, if Apple chooses to put quad-cores in the lower models, we would be looking at nearly double performance over this year. If they put dual-cores in the lower models, those refreshes will be a bit later on and 38% improvement or possibly more if the final batch gets better results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo

I hope the 13' Pro gets a quad, without it or a discreet GPU (or both!) it wouldn't be very appealing over the Air.

I personally think it's time to merge the two so that the 13" MBP becomes the 13" MBA.

Right now, you get:

13" MBA 1.7GHz dual-core i5
4GB RAM
128GB SSD
HD3000

$1299

13" MBP 2.3GHz dual-core i5
4GB RAM
320GB HDD
HD3000

$1199

All they have to do is get a 256GB SSD and an Ivy Bridge i5. Taking the optical out of the 13" reduces it by $100. To get an extra 128GB SSD would cost about $205 so that would suggest a $1299 price point but maybe they can take a hit on that and get to a $1199 price.

I don't think it makes sense to separate the lines any more either if they all go MBA style.
post #8 of 25
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Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They do but there are leaked slides from Intel:

The point remains Ivy Bridge wasn't due this year.
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The last image looks like production starts mid-December and can be ready for launch at the end of February. The dual-core versions could still be used by Apple in some models where the launch could be the end of March.

Yes but I still wonder if they will even bother with the dual core versions. I'd rather have a quad core in an AIR even if I ended up losing a bit on clock rate. Compilers and build tools run really well on multi core machines.
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That's exactly in the timeframe of the last MBP revision (February 24th).

Just in time for an after Christmas present.
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It's not cost-effective to change all the tooling for a 6 month run of machines. Plus if they could design a smaller form factor with the current chips, they would have done it. Those 45W chips couldn't go into a MBA style enclosure but 25W chips certainly can.

You have said this before and frankly Marvin it is BS. Ask any early 2008 MBP owner (like me). There is nothing to stop Apple from updating today and then coming out with a totally redesigned model in 6 months.
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True, they'll have to in order to reduce the enclosure size.

Ivy Bridge might be able to offer up a radically redesigned motherboard. In other words a much smaller one. I could see a sizable battery moved to the rear of the machine with maybe a quarter of that length taken up by the circuit board. In the end you might have a more radical taper.
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There was an Ivy Bridge engineering sample tested measuring a dual-core 1.8GHz model vs a quad-core Sandy Bridge model underclocked to 1.8GHz. Not a great test comparing quad to dual-core but some conclusions can be drawn.

Well they ran a bunch of useless benchmarks. This is no surprise as these so called leaks are nothing more than Intel manipulation of the market. From what I've heard the CPU cores really haven't been reworked all that much, primary enhancements went into the GPU which of course wasn't really tested. Even worst the one thing perspective AIR buyers want to hear about was never measured which is power draw.
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As one of the commenters pointed out, the Cinebench score is the best to go by as it scales very well and shows 38% improvement over Sandy Bridge. Naturally, if Apple chooses to put quad-cores in the lower models, we would be looking at nearly double performance over this year. If they put dual-cores in the lower models, those refreshes will be a bit later on and 38% improvement or possibly more if the final batch gets better results.

That 38% number is wishful thinking in anything other than Cinebench. It would be interesting to know what instruction set that bench is compiled for though. In general though the performance increase is flat.
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I personally think it's time to merge the two so that the 13" MBP becomes the 13" MBA.

NO NO NO and Double NO. There will be a need for a very long time for a 13" machine that is more powerful than the AIR. Sometimes power means things like faster CPU, a real GPU, longer battery life or what ever your poison is.

In my case I'm frustrated by AIRs lack of internal storage.
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Right now, you get:

13" MBA 1.7GHz dual-core i5
4GB RAM
128GB SSD
HD3000

$1299

13" MBP 2.3GHz dual-core i5
4GB RAM
320GB HDD
HD3000

$1199

All they have to do is get a 256GB SSD and an Ivy Bridge i5. Taking the optical out of the 13" reduces it by $100. To get an extra 128GB SSD would cost about $205 so that would suggest a $1299 price point but maybe they can take a hit on that and get to a $1199 price.

I don't think it makes sense to separate the lines any more either if they all go MBA style.


A restyled MBP doesn't imply trimming to AIR standards. They have lots of options to keep it a pro class machine while giving it a fresh look.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You have said this before and frankly Marvin it is BS. Ask any early 2008 MBP owner (like me). There is nothing to stop Apple from updating today and then coming out with a totally redesigned model in 6 months.

What I mean is, they wouldn't redesign it to work around an optical drive removal and then change the tooling all over again. If you look at the evolution of the MBP, the same design was used from early 2006 until late 2008. Then the unibody design has been in use from early 2009 until now.

You're right there can easily be a spec change of some sort but no major enclosure redesign until the Ivy Bridge chips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

From what I've heard the CPU cores really haven't been reworked all that much, primary enhancements went into the GPU which of course wasn't really tested. Even worst the one thing perspective AIR buyers want to hear about was never measured which is power draw.

They are using new 3D transistors, cutting power while improving performance:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20059431-64.html

On top of that they are moving to 22nm. If they didn't cut the power draw, the performance jump would be incredible. It'll be interesting to see if they can be significantly over-clocked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There will be a need for a very long time for a 13" machine that is more powerful than the AIR. Sometimes power means things like faster CPU, a real GPU, longer battery life or what ever your poison is.

The point about Ivy Bridge though is not that Apple would be able to compromise by using ULV processors. Apple has helped drive Intel's roadmap so that now all Intel processors will be ULV. They can do this with Ivy Bridge without severely hampering performance.

This means there's no point in having a thicker 13" MBP because the Ivy Bridge chips don't need an enclosure like that. All manufacturers will use the same chips too but they will continue to weight them down and bulk them out with a multitude of ports and optical drives.

Apple can simply make one line of ultraportable laptops renamed back to Macbook in 11", 13", 15" and 17" sizes. All ULV, all SSD (11" and 13" start with 128GB and max out at 256GB, 15" and 17" start at 256GB and top out at 512GB).
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

What I mean is, they wouldn't redesign it to work around an optical drive removal and then change the tooling all over again. If you look at the evolution of the MBP, the same design was used from early 2006 until late 2008. Then the unibody design has been in use from early 2009 until now.

I'm not so certain it is a big deal. They can easily reprogram the production line. That is if they stay with the Unibody approach.
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You're right there can easily be a spec change of some sort but no major enclosure redesign until the Ivy Bridge chips.

I suspect this has a high probability to happen. Actually relatively soon too. The only compelling reason not to would be a significant chance that IB will be in mass production earlier than anyone thinks.
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They are using new 3D transistors, cutting power while improving performance:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20059431-64.html

Yeah I know but I don't thin they are redoing the ALU significantly. It appears that they wil do a process Shrink and rework the GPU's.
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On top of that they are moving to 22nm. If they didn't cut the power draw, the performance jump would be incredible. It'll be interesting to see if they can be significantly over-clocked.

I have no doubt we will be seeing 4GHz CPU's in the near future. AMD already hits that mark on some of their chips when speed stepping. Also note that the power cut is what gives them the ability to up clock rates.
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The point about Ivy Bridge though is not that Apple would be able to compromise by using ULV processors. Apple has helped drive Intel's roadmap so that now all Intel processors will be ULV. They can do this with Ivy Bridge without severely hampering performance.

Err no, if they go low voltage than that impacts what the top frequencies will be. I would have to think the desktop market would demand significantly faster processors instead of ULV ones.
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This means there's no point in having a thicker 13" MBP because the Ivy Bridge chips don't need an enclosure like that. All manufacturers will use the same chips too but they will continue to weight them down and bulk them out with a multitude of ports and optical drives.

That is assuming that ULV models won't have an wide operating range power wise. I still believe that there will be demand for a machine that is faster than the AIRs and that has additional capabilities.

You are also making an assumption that Apple would trim the laptop line up down to one model type, the AIRS. This would be crazy, from a marketing standpoint, if you ask me.
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Apple can simply make one line of ultraportable laptops renamed back to Macbook in 11", 13", 15" and 17" sizes. All ULV, all SSD (11" and 13" start with 128GB and max out at 256GB, 15" and 17" start at 256GB and top out at 512GB).

Yeah that is what I thought you where trying to suggest and to be honest I really think it is crazy. For one thing pro users have legitimate needs that can't be delivered in an ultra thin machine like a MBA. Over a century ago Ford had to give up on the one size, one color fits all mentality. If Apple tries to push such an array of machines onto the industry I don't think they will be well received.
post #11 of 25
Wizard69

i think you're right about Apple being able to offer a redesigned enclosure regardless of whether Ivy Bridge is available or not. Will they do it come October or will they wait until IB is ready in February / March 2012?

I don't think they can afford to wait until the new year. There is pent-up demand for new MacBook Pros. Many users are simply buying the new MacBook Air instead.

As things stand, the new Air is an excellent machine but with three significant disadvantages. One is the price, another is the lack of hard disk space and the third is its very average GPU. Actually, I think Apple has been very careful not to give the Air a large hard drive or better GPU. They don't want to encourage the wholesale migration of the MacBook Pro user base to the Air before a new Pro model is ready.

So, what exactly is Apple's future product strategy game plan?

With the latest generation of chips, the distinction between standard and pro machines has become somewhat blurred. I can't believe how quick the 13" Air is. It questions whether the extra horsepower of the 13" MBP is really worth it? If the price were the same as the 13" MBA, then the answer would be no. Luckily the MBP is cheaper, so you're paying less for a better chip. The fact of the matter is that people are prepared to pay for a smaller form factor because the perceived difference in processing power between the chips is not considered to be that substantial.

So what I think we're looking at is a single range of laptop computers, possibly branded simply as MacBooks, with 11", 13" and 15" versions. All will utilise the latest MacBook Air blade-like tapered enclosure design. All will ultimately get Ivy Bridge processors, with anything up to 8 GBs of RAM, SSDs up to 1TB, dramatically better Intel GPUs in 11" and 13" and a discrete processor in the 15" version.

I think the 17" MacBook Pro will die.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Err no, if they go low voltage than that impacts what the top frequencies will be. I would have to think the desktop market would demand significantly faster processors instead of ULV ones.

Only the mobile chips will be ULV as standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Yeah that is what I thought you where trying to suggest and to be honest I really think it is crazy. For one thing pro users have legitimate needs that can't be delivered in an ultra thin machine like a MBA.

With 4 USB 3.0 ports and 2 Thunderbolt ports, they can do anything the Pro does. Ethernet and FW800 need to go as does the optical.

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Originally Posted by Tailpipe

All will ultimately get Ivy Bridge processors

There's no way they'd fit the current quad-core i7s into a thinner chassis. They already get burning hot so I think the redesign and Ivy Bridge update have to coincide.

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Originally Posted by Tailpipe

I think the 17" MacBook Pro will die.

The ultra thin design IMO would mean the opposite. Big screen and very light and portable would be great for mobile film editing and photography.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Wizard69

i think you're right about Apple being able to offer a redesigned enclosure regardless of whether Ivy Bridge is available or not. Will they do it come October or will they wait until IB is ready in February / March 2012?

Apple of course can do whatever they want. If they can I think they will bump the platform in some manner, it is another six months if the IB machines ship Feburary/March.
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I don't think they can afford to wait until the new year. There is pent-up demand for new MacBook Pros. Many users are simply buying the new MacBook Air instead.

I'm not sure what Intel has waiting or available for a MBP, but if nothing a RAM upgrade would do a lot for the machine.

However think you mis an important issue, most users don't need a Mac Book Pro. Especially when the machine is very responsive.
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As things stand, the new Air is an excellent machine but with three significant disadvantages. One is the price, another is the lack of hard disk space and the third is its very average GPU. Actually, I think Apple has been very careful not to give the Air a large hard drive or better GPU. They don't want to encourage the wholesale migration of the MacBook Pro user base to the Air before a new Pro model is ready.

This is baloney. They are marketing AIRs at prices nobody can beat. As to a migration away from MBPs, people that need the power will buy them without thinking. Frankly you wouldn't expect people to buy them if they don't need the power.
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So, what exactly is Apple's future product strategy game plan?

With the latest generation of chips, the distinction between standard and pro machines has become somewhat blurred. I can't believe how quick the 13" Air is.

You see this is your problem the machine is responsive not fast. MBP are considerably faster.
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It questions whether the extra horsepower of the 13" MBP is really worth it? If the price were the same as the 13" MBA, then the answer would be no. Luckily the MBP is cheaper, so you're paying less for a better chip. The fact of the matter is that people are prepared to pay for a smaller form factor because the perceived difference in processing power between the chips is not considered to be that substantial.

This is making about as much sense as arguing about why people use to buy a MacBook.
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So what I think we're looking at is a single range of laptop computers, possibly branded simply as MacBooks, with 11", 13" and 15" versions. All will utilise the latest MacBook Air blade-like tapered enclosure design. All will ultimately get Ivy Bridge processors, with anything up to 8 GBs of RAM, SSDs up to 1TB, dramatically better Intel GPUs in 11" and 13" and a discrete processor in the 15" version.

The last thing Apple needs is one line of Laptops.
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I think the 17" MacBook Pro will die.

Not a chance.
post #14 of 25
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Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Only the mobile chips will be ULV as standard.

Yes but I take that to mean they will be the mainstream option. Higher wattage processors will still be available.
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With 4 USB 3.0 ports and 2 Thunderbolt ports, they can do anything the Pro does. Ethernet and FW800 need to go as does the optical.

Every time I hear this I want to scream. First off Ethernet is a basic requirement for Pro usage. Second none of those other ports make up for internal capacity that a MBP allows for. What internal capacity you may ask. Well for one expandable memory. Closely following is the need for greater internal storage.
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There's no way they'd fit the current quad-core i7s into a thinner chassis. They already get burning hot so I think the redesign and Ivy Bridge update have to coincide.

The wedge makes for the possibility of innovation.
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The ultra thin design IMO would mean the opposite. Big screen and very light and portable would be great for mobile film editing and photography.

All of those require a machine with more capacity than can be had in an AIR type machine.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Yes but I take that to mean they will be the mainstream option. Higher wattage processors will still be available.

I'd expect higher power chips to be available, which may cause some problems when it comes to the competition. Even if the faster chips come with a premium, they could still outperform a ULV MBP for a lower price.

But, as always it comes back to the areas of emphasis that are important for laptops. A current generation quad i7 MBP is as fast as a powerful desktop. If they cut the power down to 75% and get the performance up by 30% at the same time, it's going to be a great machine.

Would people rather have a 5.6lb machine that runs another 50% faster or one that weighs 40% less?

The answer will differ depending on what you value most but at this stage, I'd say the vast majority would rather have a lighter, cooler, quieter laptop than a burning hot powerhouse that scalds your leg watching Youtube in HD.

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Every time I hear this I want to scream. First off Ethernet is a basic requirement for Pro usage. Second none of those other ports make up for internal capacity that a MBP allows for. What internal capacity you may ask. Well for one expandable memory. Closely following is the need for greater internal storage.

Ethernet can be handled with a gigabit USB 3 adaptor. USB 2 ones exist but won't reach fast enough speeds:

http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPa...duct_Id=281799

As for memory, I'd expect the Pro to support 8GB of RAM and there's enough room to fit in a 2.5" HDD but they should restrict the height to only allow 9.5mm drives (they go up to 1TB now anyway) - current laptops can take 12.5mm drives so that's a good couple of mm that can be trimmed down and still have breathing space. SSD-only would be nice but they'd likely ship with 256GB and have a $400 upgrade for another 256GB as opposed to 1TB HDD for $100 or less. I think they should do it but there are benefits to having lots of internal space.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'd expect higher power chips to be available, which may cause some problems when it comes to the competition. Even if the faster chips come with a premium, they could still outperform a ULV MBP for a lower price.

I'm not sure how you come up with that perspective. How would a laptop built with a higher performance and more expensive chipset come in at a lower price than a MBP? Mind you to make the platform worthwhile it needs to have higher performance parts to match the higher performance CPU.
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But, as always it comes back to the areas of emphasis that are important for laptops. A current generation quad i7 MBP is as fast as a powerful desktop. If they cut the power down to 75% and get the performance up by 30% at the same time, it's going to be a great machine.

The savings in power alone should make for a great machine. Given of course that Apple doesn't shrink the battery to much. Mind you I'm running relatively old hardware so I see the beach ball more than I'd like so seeing the new AIR's and at the same time knowing the potential of Ivy Bridge has me biting at the teeth. I really need to stretch out the life of my current machine as the IB machines will be very desirable. But man all of the current laptops are lightyears ahead of my current machine.

Sometimes begin informed can be very frustrating.
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Would people rather have a 5.6lb machine that runs another 50% faster or one that weighs 40% less?

In my case the faster the better. Seriously it is very easy to put all those cores to work. Yeah it is something that comes in spurts but lots of fast cores can make writing code in "C whatever" similar to writing code in Python.
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The answer will differ depending on what you value most but at this stage, I'd say the vast majority would rather have a lighter, cooler, quieter laptop than a burning hot powerhouse that scalds your leg watching Youtube in HD.

Now you know that is nonsense. All of Apples recent laptops make use of hardware decoders and even if you have a stream that isn't suitable for those encoders you can decode them on the CPU barely suing all the resources there.
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Ethernet can be handled with a gigabit USB 3 adaptor. USB 2 ones exist but won't reach fast enough speeds:

Yeah I would imagine you are learning slowly how I feel about using USB adapters for ports that should be built into the hardware. To put it simply it is the wrong solution.
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http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPa...duct_Id=281799

As for memory, I'd expect the Pro to support 8GB of RAM

Actually I'd expect the pros to move beyond that. 16GB should be the upper limit, which frankly is only for the well heeled today. Actually I see Apple putting a bigger gulf between the AIR or mainstream hardware and the Pro lineup. The Pros can be engineered to support a wide array of usage that simply can't be done well on the AIRs. That would mean lots of RAM and far better GPU support.
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and there's enough room to fit in a 2.5" HDD but they should restrict the height to only allow 9.5mm drives (they go up to 1TB now anyway) - current laptops can take 12.5mm drives so that's a good couple of mm that can be trimmed down and still have breathing space.

Yep one bay for traditional bulk storage or solid state depending upon the users needs. Mainly because Apple needs to be able to support users with data needs greater than what SSD's can manage these days.

Speaking of which I suspect traditional magnetic drives will be around longer than some imagine. Flash seems to be already hitting a brick wall so I'm expecting magnetic drives to be here another 5 years until a sold state replacement for Flash arrives.
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SSD-only would be nice but they'd likely ship with 256GB and have a $400 upgrade for another 256GB as opposed to 1TB HDD for $100 or less. I think they should do it but there are benefits to having lots of internal space.

It should be easy for Apple to keep a slot for a conventional profile HD "module" and at the same time provide a few "blade" type slots for Solid State Storage. From the standpoint of outsiders such a machine could be seen as a transitional platform. That is something for Pro users that allows tim to maintain the bulk storage they need while the solid state market matures and becomes more cost effective. For the most part I think Pro users would really go for such a platform, it bridges the technology gap while affording the benefits of both.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

How would a laptop built with a higher performance and more expensive chipset come in at a lower price than a MBP?

PC manufacturers have always managed this. You can get a 2GHz quad i7 with Geforce 540M for $750:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834215106

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

All of Apples recent laptops make use of hardware decoders and even if you have a stream that isn't suitable for those encoders you can decode them on the CPU barely suing all the resources there.

HD footage in Flash is very taxing on a computer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_azMBStJnY

I think Apple needs to use lower voltage parts and keep the temperatures down a bit. The performance right now is great. I hope that's the focus for 2012 - cool and quiet.
post #18 of 25
Bulldozer officially arrives on September 26th.

On another topic I found this blog article from AMD quite a nice read:

http://blogs.amd.com/home/2011/07/26...-of-computing/
post #19 of 25
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Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Bulldozer officially arrives on September 26th.

Don't tease! Considering how much I would love to see Apple balance it's line up with AMD hardware I don't see it happening.

This really saddens me because much of AMDs technology seems to be almost ideal for where Apple is going. Especially as AMD moves towards heterogeneous computing with it's Fusion line up. AMDs road map for Fusion is inspiring and Bulldozer seems to have a performance balance that would really make OS/X shine.
Quote:
On another topic I found this blog article from AMD quite a nice read:

http://blogs.amd.com/home/2011/07/26...-of-computing/

While I don't agree with him completely he does offer up some interesting insight. For example Launchpad for me is an attempt to address issues people have with Macs. Of course they would borrow concepts from other devices. In the end though this is Apple addressing work arounds and the various utilities out there that people use to over come the docks shortcomings.

In any event AMD has some great product ideas but unfortunately a terrible web site promoting then. I was actually on their Fusion site yesterday and became very frustrated trying to find info. This for hardware I know exists. There are some interesting Fusion related PDFs though but I'm not going to try finding them again.
post #20 of 25
@Marvin and Wizard 69

The thing about the latest Air is that it is quite a lot better than the Core2Duo 13" MacBook Pros that so many of us have been using for a couple of years. So, yes, a large number of potential customers don't need the power of a MacBook Pro including many existing MacBook Pro users.

For MacBook Pro users like myself, who are ready to replace 2-3-year old machines with something new, it puts us in a bit of a quandary. Do we go for the MacBook Air safe in the knowledge that it is a considerable upgrade versus existing MBP hardware, or do we wait for a revised macBook Pro to come along?

With processing power now being less of an issue than it was, the form factor of the 13" Air is mighty compelling. So is the SSD drive. So is the better screen resolution. Which begs the question what do we really need in the next generation MacBook Pro?

I would love an early 2011 15" MacBook Pro in a 13" MacBook enclosure. But that isn't going to happen until Ivy Bridge shrinks the chipset sufficiently for it to fit such a footprint.

I also need a 500 Gb hard drive that doesn't cost the national debt of a small South American country. That's also wishful thinking until the 20 nm process comes on line and prices drop.

I also want a discrete GPU or a much better on-board intel GPU. The latter is also a big ask at this time. So, all in all, we are constrained by current technology. This may not stop Apple junking the ODD. Doing so will save weight and reduce costs for a machine based on existing internal components minus the DVD drive.

Apple may well introduce a new MacBook Pro with a smaller form factor because customer perception of packaging benefits will make it worthwhile for them to do so. However, what is not clear to me is whether waiting for Ivy Bridge may allow them to produce a much thinner machine than they could do with existing Core i7 motherboards?
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Do we go for the MacBook Air safe in the knowledge that it is a considerable upgrade versus existing MBP hardware, or do we wait for a revised macBook Pro to come along?

Waiting would assume that a MBP update is imminent. But there's nothing to update the MBP with - they cannot redesign the chassis with the current chips or it would have been done. There are no significant CPU upgrades before Ivy Bridge. Any MBP update that comes soon would simply be a very minor refresh and it collides with a new iPhone rollout.

I think this year, there will be a new iPhone and a new Mac Pro and that's it. The MBP would be next in line in late February or earlier if they get a special deal from Intel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I also need a 500 Gb hard drive that doesn't cost the national debt of a small South American country. That's also wishful thinking until the 20 nm process comes on line and prices drop.

A 256GB Macbook Air is $1599. The 500GB HDD dual-i7 MBP is $1499. I suspect Apple will manage to offer a 512GB SSD option for a $400 upgrade.

They should also have USB 3 so you can carry along a fast portable drive if you edit movies or store large files. I reckon the 256GB SSD will suffice for most commonly accessed files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I also want a discrete GPU or a much better on-board intel GPU. The latter is also a big ask at this time.

Intel's next GPU should be a bit better as it supports OpenCL but rumour has it, will only use 16EUs vs 12 right now so 30% performance jump. This definitely brings it past the 320M but that will be 2 years old at that point. I was hoping for 24EUs but lower wattage is good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

However, what is not clear to me is whether waiting for Ivy Bridge may allow them to produce a much thinner machine than they could do with existing Core i7 motherboards?

I think it's certain that Ivy Bridge represents a major change. This article paints a clear picture - not surprising considering what happened with IBM:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...nsumption.html

Intel is going ahead with the ultra-book marketing. They are aiming to cut power draw in half. They might not manage that but 50-75% is expected combined with a 30% performance increase all round.

AMD is moving to 28nm GPUs too down from 40nm:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4548/2...r-amd-says-yes

Remove the optical drive and there's plenty of room for decent cooling.

I think the 13" MBP and Air will merge into a single product. If they use dual-core chips, I wouldn't expect this refresh until later on. The 15" will use the quad-cores so due in February.

e.g 15" Air-style MBP, quad 1.8GHz i7, 4GB RAM (still up to 8GB due to 2 slots), Radeon 7490 256MB, 256GB SSD, 4 x USB 3.0, TB (no Ethernet, no FW800, no optical) $1799.
post #22 of 25
[@Marvin

Thanks for that. Interesting and informative. When do you think a 500 Gb SSD will be a BTO option for the MBA?
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

@Marvin and Wizard 69

The thing about the latest Air is that it is quite a lot better than the Core2Duo 13" MacBook Pros that so many of us have been using for a couple of years. So, yes, a large number of potential customers don't need the power of a MacBook Pro including many existing MacBook Pro users.

Well yeah the new AIRs improve upon earlier models, are you really that surprised? However I can flip this around and just as easily say that many users can't accept the limitations of the AIRs.
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For MacBook Pro users like myself, who are ready to replace 2-3-year old machines with something new, it puts us in a bit of a quandary. Do we go for the MacBook Air safe in the knowledge that it is a considerable upgrade versus existing MBP hardware, or do we wait for a revised macBook Pro to come along?

That is up to the user. I can say personally that AIR limitations like storage and CPU capability currently frustrate me. If they are no problem for you then that is great.
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With processing power now being less of an issue than it was, the form factor of the 13" Air is mighty compelling.

This is what I object to, the AIRs are still limited as far as processing power goes. People seem to confuse responsiveness with computational power. Personally I won't accept anything less than 4 cores in my next machine. My experience on my current machine tells me that anything less would be a mistake.
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So is the SSD drive. So is the better screen resolution. Which begs the question what do we really need in the next generation MacBook Pro?

More cores, more RAM and more graphics processing power. This doesn't discount that the current AIRs are an excellent value and are all that many need. Rather it highlights that many can't accept the machines limitations.
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I would love an early 2011 15" MacBook Pro in a 13" MacBook enclosure. But that isn't going to happen until Ivy Bridge shrinks the chipset sufficiently for it to fit such a footprint.

I'm certain that it could be done right now with Sandy Bridge. In fact I was a bit shocked that the last 13" MBP update was so conservative.
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I also need a 500 Gb hard drive that doesn't cost the national debt of a small South American country. That's also wishful thinking until the 20 nm process comes on line and prices drop.

Go to the smaller process geometries for flash and reliability goes out the window. So until that is fixed no high capacity drives at a decent price. This is the primary reason I want future MBP to be hybrid machines with support for blade storage plus a traditional hard drive.
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I also want a discrete GPU or a much better on-board intel GPU. The latter is also a big ask at this time. So, all in all, we are constrained by current technology. This may not stop Apple junking the ODD. Doing so will save weight and reduce costs for a machine based on existing internal components minus the DVD drive.

So what you are saying is that the AIRs really don't do it for you.
Quote:
Apple may well introduce a new MacBook Pro with a smaller form factor because customer perception of packaging benefits will make it worthwhile for them to do so. However, what is not clear to me is whether waiting for Ivy Bridge may allow them to produce a much thinner machine than they could do with existing Core i7 motherboards?

It depends upon how Apple sees the MBP evolution and what future user needs may be. Just remember IB is just part of the MBP.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

When do you think a 500 Gb SSD will be a BTO option for the MBA?

Apple use Toshiba and Samsung drives and Toshiba are switching to 19nm NAND. I expected the MBA refresh to coincide with it for lower cost and more storage as they were supposed to be shipping in the 2nd half of 2011 but it doesn't seem like this has happened yet. Samsung have just started shipping 512GB parts to OEMs:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4606/s...2gb-capacities

That's the next iteration of the models Apple uses. This can be introduced into the lineup without a major refresh at any time. It will likely cost $800 for that drive but obviously in a machine that uses SSD exclusively, it can be factored into the price and offered as a $400 upgrade.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

[@Marvin

Thanks for that. Interesting and informative. When do you think a 500 Gb SSD will be a BTO option for the MBA?

The higher density chips have real problems which might make them less appealing to Apple. I've heard things that indicate that it has been taking Apple much longer to validate the recent chips. If true that could indicate that flash chips at the smaller feature sizes arent meeting Apples quality standards.

Of course larger notebooks imply more room so they could always switch to larger cards with more flash chips on them. This actually isn't that bad of an idea because the price of flash drops regularly. Traditionally the MBPs have had more volume so this shouldn't be a limitation. Remember 8GBs of flash doesn't cost much at all, (talking volume purchases here) the problem becomes one of placing them all on a board so drive makers tend to use higher density "chips" I put chips in "" because what you see as a chip on a PC board might actually be a stack of wafers.

In any event I see $300 as a lot of money for a 250GB flash module. Especially if is just a delta over the cost of 128GB. On the AIRs they charge $300 extra for 128GB of flash. That is pretty stiff but likely reflects the need to use higher density chips and of course make a stiff profit for Apple.

So at this point I have no idea when the AIRs will have a 512GB option. The chips are available but it could be an issue of cost or reliability. Frankly I don't really think Apple cares about the cost, as long as they can make a profit, so I suspect that they are concentrating on reliability right now.

Honestly for a boot/application storage module I'd be happy with 300GB, 250GB is just to thin for my needs. In any event this message doesn't really answer your question but it does offer up a different perspective. Then you have the reality that Apple might look at the AIRs as low end machines and put the larger SSDs in the MBPs. There are so many factors at work here that giving you a fixed answer is just guess work.
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