Originally Posted by hmm
The fact remains you'd have to rethink the hardware used completely, especially in terms of logic board design. This would be more likely on a tock cycle given that they could use the board for two generations that way.
I've been looking at TB, and to me it's still a first generation product.
Exactly! It has barely left the cradle, this is something many on this forum don't grasp.
Coupling with a display is one issue that hinders its use in place of a desktop with a lot of ports and bandwidth. I don't know what the total PCI lane allocation is on mobile boards, so I don't know if they could output both thunderbolt and display signals on separate ports with independent bandwidth pools.
this is a very interesting question as Apple is know to have put the PCI Express bridge to TB on different ports. This could conceivable impact performance but I've yet to see sound benchmarking. If TB sits on the other side of the chipset interface then it has to contend with all traffic across QPI.
You mentioned slowing down the computer. I thought thunderbolt carried a very low cpu overhead, or is the concern that it can saturate the QPI on a laptop? Or are you talking about trying to push too many devices through one port?
Actually to much data. This would especially be an issue if data has to go both ways over QPI.
The mac pro base system cost is out of line for what really goes in it. They used the internals comparable to budget configurations from other retailers. As you go toward higher end configurations and dual cpu package models, it evens out. Overall though I don't see the imac adopting that socket type anytime soon. I doubt it would fit, and Intel's went with 130W cpus this round.
I don't disagree with this but the problem with the low end model is that it still has to cover the same infrastructure as the higher end machines.
Anyway the current macbook pro actually pushes some impressive numbers, and I was looking at one because I look at everything. I'd own a laptop either way. It just gets updated less frequently. Bandwidth and ports were an unfortunate problem. When at my desk, I like to use 1-2 large displays. I have some basic hot swappable JBOD storage + backups. I have two dongle key licenses, a wide format printer, a large intuos tablet, random thumb drives, and a couple idevices to synch. In certain cases there are things that have to be plugged into certain ports.
This is another issue that supports mymposition that USB won't go away anytime soon. Those dongle keys can be a big pain in the rear.
Interestingly you seem to describe needs that will mesh well with the coming new Mac Book Pros. In any event in little over a week you will get to see just how good the new machines mesh.
With my displays, I'm not sure if they can be calibrated running off a hub. The colorimeter plugs into the display on one, which is a nice feature. The tablet has to plug into a port with full power. It won't run off a hub. Overall my bandwidth needs aren't too terrible outside of saving files. Not wanting to deal with raid means that I accept slower speeds there, but I may be forced to go to a RAID configuration in the near future for bandwidth reasons. SSDs are not appropriate for this yet. They have too many issues, especially in RAID 5. I've banged my head against the wall many times trying to explain to others not to use cheap drives in their RAID 5 setups or that RAID 1 does not cover them for backups.
A single RAID in and of itself should never be considered as ones only backup solution. At is something else people don't understand which leads to more head banging.
The point of all of this was that even from a cpu perspective they're often pretty close, the capability to run cool for long periods of time and deal with higher bandwidth needs when necessary is still kind of limited to desktops in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to shared bandwidth.
Even if Apple goes to usb3 this year, will it be like firewire 800 +400 on older imacs where they were running off a single bridge? If you don't remember, it used to be that if both were populated, you ran at firewire 400 speeds due to a shared bridge.
Whatever the configuration it I'll be defined by the Intel hardware if they go Intel. Sadly it seems like Intels USB 3 efforts are half hearted at best.
I really don't mind a trend toward smaller hardware. With a lot of software that I've used, it doesn't always address all cores efficiently outside of really long tasks. The point was that Apple would need to change many things before the ceiling available to one becomes identical to the other. If instead they just go for thinner is better and continue to strip bandwidth in favor of better battery life due to fewer parts receiving power, then it will take much longer for such a thing to be feasible. It's important to look at the direction of each product line. If the focus of the lower one stayed on maximizing throughput, it would be different. As of right now the macbook pros still only have 2 usb ports, and i'm not sure if they're on a shared bandwidth pool.
My point is that Apple needs a different approach to Pro hardware if they ever expect to get the base model within a reasonable price range. Many users can benefit from a higher performance machine but don't need an expensive solution like the Mac Pro. Apple really needs to hit $1200 or so for a base performance machine. That may mean a desktop processor with integrated graphics, with the jump to XEONs occurring further up the ladder.