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Apple expected to launch 13" Retina MacBook Pro by early Oct. - Page 3

post #81 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post

Looking at the current pricing scheme, I can guess that the 13" MBPR will start at $1,599

 

 

You missed one big thing in your calculations - the 13" MacBook Air. Your calculations look at the price differences between the 'old' 15" MacBook Pro and the retina 15" MacBook Pro and then extrapolate those same calculations to the 13" Pro. What you failed to take into account is that the 13" Air with 8GB RAM and Core i7 processor (which is what's in the base 15" retina Pro) costs $1699, $100 more than your calculation. If your calculation was right, no one would buy the top-end Air. Based on this I would predict any retina 13" Pro to be priced around $1899 - for that price you get the retina screen, much faster processor and more ports.

post #82 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This however I have to disagree with. The 4000 series isn't all that great and as noted elsewhere doesn't even beat last years AMD solution. Of course the real test isn't against AMD rather it is ability to drive a retina display. It is not a given that Intel will be acceptable here.

I have trouble understanding this argument. The older 13" MBP had Intel 3000 graphics - and it was the best selling MBP. The MBA had 3000 graphics and also sold well. Apple has upgraded the graphics of the MBA to 4000 and would presumably do the same thing with the 13" MBP if they deliver one. Since the 4000 series is twice as fast as the old one, why would that not be acceptable?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I would agree that they have the best laptop line up in the market. On the desktop they have nothing but crap.

Let's see:
iMac. Where can you get a better 27" AIO computer for anything approaching Apple's price?

Mini. There are cheaper 'mini solutions', but not all that much, and mostly significantly inferior.

Pro. You can't touch the price of the two CPU Mac Pro with equivalent hardware from anywhere. The MBP holds is own against any other high end workstation.

So where do you get 'nothing but crap'?
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post #83 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I have trouble understanding this argument. The older 13" MBP had Intel 3000 graphics - and it was the best selling MBP. The MBA had 3000 graphics and also sold well. Apple has upgraded the graphics of the MBA to 4000 and would presumably do the same thing with the 13" MBP if they deliver one. Since the 4000 series is twice as fast as the old one, why would that not be acceptable?
Let's see:
iMac. Where can you get a better 27" AIO computer for anything approaching Apple's price?
Mini. There are cheaper 'mini solutions', but not all that much, and mostly significantly inferior.
Pro. You can't touch the price of the two CPU Mac Pro with equivalent hardware from anywhere. The MBP holds is own against any other high end workstation.
So where do you get 'nothing but crap'?

I decided to check on this.  I've seen way too many problems with the imac. Most are display related (purple edges, image persistence, weird smudgy looking glass, etc.), and they share the sealed in hard drive thing which really shouldn't be necessary on a desktop. I don't have a problem with the specs of the imac relative to its price. There are a couple options I think should be standard that remain upgrades, but it's typical. The mini is an example of a typical Apple thing. When they added a discrete gpu, they went with minimal vram. 256MB is below the minimum requirement for many applications and games with gpu requirements. The same was true last year the day those started shipping. When they go with a single option there, they could do better.

 

I don't think the mac pro is crap. I think it's neglected. A Dell T5600 with dual E5 2630s can be configured just under $3000. With 2620s it drops to $2465. This is roughly equivalent to the expansion available in a mac pro chassis. The T7600 accommodates a much wider range of hardware than the mac pro which is why I didn't use it as a starting point. I tried to do the same with HP. I know they're more expensive than Dell (and I don't want to be biased), but HP's site kept bugging out on me. Right now the Mac Pro is stuck with nehalem/westmere hardware (mixed) and older gpus. This should be one of the easier machines to keep up to date. If it was up to date, that $3800 12 - core could be rocking dual 2630s too (they're roughly the same price in today's pricing).

 

I like the macbook pro, but it's not necessarily built with the same design goals as a workstation. Usually if you're building something to be pushed hard for long periods of time, you want it to run cooler than that. This is in case of eventual dust buildup. You don't want anything running near its limit. The mobile cards really aren't designed to be beaten up during after effects rendering either. They get scary hot. Mobile workstations on Windows or tower based workstations would have Quadro or Firepro cards. These are typically clocked lower for stability, but they do perform well when it comes to double precision math. It's still better using a desktop for something like this. In case you're wondering, I have caused thermal shutdown before :D. I saw it as an achievement and laughed about it. This kept me from getting angry.

 

Anyway it's not an Apple hate post. I just wanted to respond to some of those points.

post #84 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I have trouble understanding this argument. The older 13" MBP had Intel 3000 graphics - and it was the best selling MBP. The MBA had 3000 graphics and also sold well. Apple has upgraded the graphics of the MBA to 4000 and would presumably do the same thing with the 13" MBP if they deliver one. Since the 4000 series is twice as fast as the old one, why would that not be acceptable?
This is fairly easy, you would have far more pixels to push. I'm not saying the 4000 series is not a huge improvement over other "Intel" GPUs, I'm just not convinced it can drive a retina display.
Quote:
Let's see:
iMac. Where can you get a better 27" AIO computer for anything approaching Apple's price?
The iMac is rejected for reasons other than price.
Quote:
Mini. There are cheaper 'mini solutions', but not all that much, and mostly significantly inferior.
The Mini is not a bad machine but it is extremely underpowered. They tried to address that in the last rev and failed
Quote:
Pro. You can't touch the price of the two CPU Mac Pro with equivalent hardware from anywhere. The MBP holds is own against any other high end workstation.
So where do you get 'nothing but crap'?

The Mac Pro is extremely outdated. Further the last rev turned it into a joke for the entire industry to laugh at.
post #85 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I decided to check on this.  I've seen way too many problems with the imac. Most are display related (purple edges, image persistence, weird smudgy looking glass, etc.), and they share the sealed in hard drive thing which really shouldn't be necessary on a desktop. I don't have a problem with the specs of the imac relative to its price. There are a couple options I think should be standard that remain upgrades, but it's typical. The mini is an example of a typical Apple thing. When they added a discrete gpu, they went with minimal vram. 256MB is below the minimum requirement for many applications and games with gpu requirements. The same was true last year the day those started shipping. When they go with a single option there, they could do better.
This thing with every single revision to the Mini being a castrated example of engineering is really getting to me. I realize there is a real need for a low end machine, it is a fact of life that won't go away. As you note they decide to beef up one model and thoroughly screw it up. It is like the community asks for a more powerful machine but Apple goes out of it's way to make sure it can't even compete with other Apple hardware.

Sadly I see the Mini as the Apple desktop right now that has the best potential of morphing into something I might buy. I don't think Apple has the Mojo to build an iMac that I'd buy and right now the Mac Pro is way to expensive. So the Mini has potential as a desktop sale but they really need to get over this Apple thing and produce a real line up with models that can perform reasonably well.
Quote:
I don't think the mac pro is crap. I think it's neglected.
Neglect leads to crap. I'm not even a current Mac Pro user but the last rev really burnt me bad. It is the combination of the micro upgrade to the Mac Pro and the ignoring of the rest of the desktop line up that really has me in a hostile mood relative to Apple.
Quote:
A Dell T5600 with dual E5 2630s can be configured just under $3000. With 2620s it drops to $2465. This is roughly equivalent to the expansion available in a mac pro chassis. The T7600 accommodates a much wider range of hardware than the mac pro which is why I didn't use it as a starting point. I tried to do the same with HP. I know they're more expensive than Dell (and I don't want to be biased), but HP's site kept bugging out on me. Right now the Mac Pro is stuck with nehalem/westmere hardware (mixed) and older gpus. This should be one of the easier machines to keep up to date. If it was up to date, that $3800 12 - core could be rocking dual 2630s too (they're roughly the same price in today's pricing).
Those are mainstream vendors, you can buy server hardware from a number of vendors that are more state of the art than the Mac Pro.
Quote:
I like the macbook pro, but it's not necessarily built with the same design goals as a workstation. Usually if you're building something to be pushed hard for long periods of time, you want it to run cooler than that. This is in case of eventual dust buildup. You don't want anything running near its limit. The mobile cards really aren't designed to be beaten up during after effects rendering either. They get scary hot.
Define scary hot. My MBP is rather old and I can load it to the point it becomes non responsive with a compile and other tasks running and it still runs fine. Supposedly all machine after this one got progressively cooler running.

Frankly I would be more worried about the retina MBP when it comes to heat. It will be interesting to see if they where able to prevent thermal throttling.
Quote:
Mobile workstations on Windows or tower based workstations would have Quadro or Firepro cards. These are typically clocked lower for stability, but they do perform well when it comes to double precision math. It's still better using a desktop for something like this. In case you're wondering, I have caused thermal shutdown before 1biggrin.gif. I saw it as an achievement and laughed about it. This kept me from getting angry.
So you are one of those guys. I have to ask which model and year this machine was because I'm under the understanding that today's hardware would simply throttle performance to remain within operating temperatures.

As to desktops being better machines for this sort of work, isn't that obvious?
Quote:
Anyway it's not an Apple hate post. I just wanted to respond to some of those points.

I'm hoping nobody takes my posts as hate against Apple. Sitting here typing on my iPad, with an iPhone plugged into my old MBP I suspect thatnI'm a typical Apple customer. However they more than tarnished my attitude towards Apple with this run through at WWDC and the disdain for the desktop demonstrated.

Look at it this way I bought my MBP in 2008 because Apple had nothing in that performance class for the desktop. Note: that even in 2008 I rejected the iMac out of hand as a suitable machine. In that time Apple has yet to wise up in regards to the desktop, they push the same old platform line up even though sales lag more and more every year. With the MBP getting on in years I have to consider a replacement just as in 2008 my preference is for a desktop. My fear is another tiny bump to the Mini line that keeps it squarely in last place performance wise.
post #86 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The Mac Pro is extremely outdated. Further the last rev turned it into a joke for the entire industry to laugh at.

Your lack of any facts to support your claim is noted. The Mac Pro is still a very powerful, extremely high quality, very price competitive machine.

If you need every 0.1 GHz available, it's probably not the computer for you. But for people who want a solid, well-built, reliable, fast workstation, it's a great machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I decided to check on this.  I've seen way too many problems with the imac. Most are display related (purple edges, image persistence, weird smudgy looking glass, etc.), and they share the sealed in hard drive thing which really shouldn't be necessary on a desktop. I don't have a problem with the specs of the imac relative to its price. There are a couple options I think should be standard that remain upgrades, but it's typical. The mini is an example of a typical Apple thing. When they added a discrete gpu, they went with minimal vram. 256MB is below the minimum requirement for many applications and games with gpu requirements. The same was true last year the day those started shipping. When they go with a single option there, they could do better.

The problem is that your knowledge of the iMac is greatly outdated. The screen color problems were many years ago. While there are undoubtedly occasional lemons in any device sold by the millions, there are no recent widespread iMac video problems.

The fact that you're arguing about 255 MB VRAM further proves that your information is out of date. The cheapest iMac you can buy today has 512 MB of VRAM. Furthermore, your requirement that 256 MB is below the minimum requirement is purely arbitrary. Many people never play hard core games or do anything that requires more than 256.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I don't think the mac pro is crap. I think it's neglected. A Dell T5600 with dual E5 2630s can be configured just under $3000. With 2620s it drops to $2465. This is roughly equivalent to the expansion available in a mac pro chassis. The T7600 accommodates a much wider range of hardware than the mac pro which is why I didn't use it as a starting point. I tried to do the same with HP. I know they're more expensive than Dell (and I don't want to be biased), but HP's site kept bugging out on me. Right now the Mac Pro is stuck with nehalem/westmere hardware (mixed) and older gpus. This should be one of the easier machines to keep up to date. If it was up to date, that $3800 12 - core could be rocking dual 2630s too (they're roughly the same price in today's pricing).

Let's use your example. I went to Dell's site to configure their dual CPU T5600 to match the Mac Pro. Here's what I came up with:
Mac Pro $3,799
Dell $4,237
I made the following changes:
The base Dell as 2.0 GHz CPUs. I upgraded to 2.2 (which is still below the Mac's 2.4). Since you agree that they're roughly the same price, this is probably the best comparison.
The base Dell only has 8 GB of RAM, the Mac pro has 12. You can't get the Dell with 12, so I upgrade both to 15 to be fair.
The Dell has a Radeon 2770 while the Mac has a 5770. I'm not going to dig into it because neither is a very expensive card, but there may be a difference (or Dell might simply rebrand the 5770)
Apple's power supply is 980 Watt, so I upgraded the Dell, but their max is only 825 Watt.

So, even though the Dell system is inferior, it still costs more. And that doesn't even include the superior case design on the Mac and vastly superior OS.

So you managed to prove my point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I like the macbook pro, but it's not necessarily built with the same design goals as a workstation. Usually if you're building something to be pushed hard for long periods of time, you want it to run cooler than that. This is in case of eventual dust buildup. You don't want anything running near its limit. The mobile cards really aren't designed to be beaten up during after effects rendering either. They get scary hot. Mobile workstations on Windows or tower based workstations would have Quadro or Firepro cards. These are typically clocked lower for stability, but they do perform well when it comes to double precision math. It's still better using a desktop for something like this. In case you're wondering, I have caused thermal shutdown before 1biggrin.gif. I saw it as an achievement and laughed about it. This kept me from getting angry.

Why in the world would you expect a laptop to have the same design goals as a workstation?

Furthermore, where's your evidence that the MBP's components are being pushed to their limits and/or unstable? That paragraph is nothing more than pure FUD. In reality, Mac laptops are consistently rated as the most reliable laptops available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm hoping nobody takes my posts as hate against Apple. Sitting here typing on my iPad, with an iPhone plugged into my old MBP I suspect thatnI'm a typical Apple customer. However they more than tarnished my attitude towards Apple with this run through at WWDC and the disdain for the desktop demonstrated.
Look at it this way I bought my MBP in 2008 because Apple had nothing in that performance class for the desktop. Note: that even in 2008 I rejected the iMac out of hand as a suitable machine. In that time Apple has yet to wise up in regards to the desktop, they push the same old platform line up even though sales lag more and more every year. With the MBP getting on in years I have to consider a replacement just as in 2008 my preference is for a desktop. My fear is another tiny bump to the Mini line that keeps it squarely in last place performance wise.

Mac sales lag more and more every year? Have you even looked at the figures?

Admittedly, laptop sales are growing faster than desktop sales, but since the margins are probably better, there's nothing wrong with that.
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post #87 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Your lack of any facts to support your claim is noted. The Mac Pro is still a very powerful, extremely high quality, very price competitive machine.
If you need every 0.1 GHz available, it's probably not the computer for you. But for people who want a solid, well-built, reliable, fast workstation, it's a great machine.
That 0.1 GHz doesn't mean a whole lot, it is the system as a whole that is extremely dated.
Quote:

The problem is that your knowledge of the iMac is greatly outdated. The screen color problems were many years ago. While there are undoubtedly occasional lemons in any device sold by the millions, there are no recent widespread iMac video problems.
The fact that you're arguing about 255 MB VRAM further proves that your information is out of date. The cheapest iMac you can buy today has 512 MB of VRAM. Furthermore, your requirement that 256 MB is below the minimum requirement is purely arbitrary. Many people never play hard core games or do anything that requires more than 256.
First he is talking Mini yet you are talking iMac. There is nothing arbitrary about VRAM sizes, software packages often come with very specific requirements. Further you need to disconnect the gaming culture from video acceleration. Many apps having nothing to do with gaming have real hard VRAM requirements. Apples underhanded configuration of the Mini keeps that machine from running a number of Apps that can otherwise run on Apples notebooks. It is a real problem with Apple hardware that marketing decisions like this are made. One should have to buy a laptop because it is the only mid range machine Apple has that you would consider.
Quote:
Let's use your example. I went to Dell's site to configure their dual CPU T5600 to match the Mac Pro. Here's what I came up with:
Mac Pro $3,799
Dell $4,237
I made the following changes:
The base Dell as 2.0 GHz CPUs. I upgraded to 2.2 (which is still below the Mac's 2.4). Since you agree that they're roughly the same price, this is probably the best comparison.
The base Dell only has 8 GB of RAM, the Mac pro has 12. You can't get the Dell with 12, so I upgrade both to 15 to be fair.
The Dell has a Radeon 2770 while the Mac has a 5770. I'm not going to dig into it because neither is a very expensive card, but there may be a difference (or Dell might simply rebrand the 5770)
Apple's power supply is 980 Watt, so I upgraded the Dell, but their max is only 825 Watt.
So, even though the Dell system is inferior, it still costs more. And that doesn't even include the superior case design on the Mac and vastly superior OS.
The case design if far from superior.
Quote:
So you managed to prove my point.
Why in the world would you expect a laptop to have the same design goals as a workstation?
Furthermore, where's your evidence that the MBP's components are being pushed to their limits and/or unstable? That paragraph is nothing more than pure FUD. In reality, Mac laptops are consistently rated as the most reliable laptops available.
While his approach may be questionable the reality is if one wants to buy a midrange machine your only choice with Apple is its laptop line up. As such it is not unreasonable to expect to run them at full bore the entire work day. Or to try too.
Quote:
Mac sales lag more and more every year? Have you even looked at the figures?
Yes I have, have you? Apples positive sales growth is almost entirely in Laptops in the USA with a slide in Mini and Pro sales and the iMac flat. You should ask yourself why that is while taking a critical look at Apples crap desktop line up
Quote:
Admittedly, laptop sales are growing faster than desktop sales, but since the margins are probably better, there's nothing wrong with that.

Laptop sales are the only thing growing. The problem is if you want a decent performing Mac, considering the current state of the art, you have no choice but to consider the laptops.
post #88 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Laptop sales are the only thing growing. The problem is if you want a decent performing Mac, considering the current state of the art, you have no choice but to consider the laptops.

If we look only at Apple's desktop sales I am pretty sure their desktop sales are increasing YoY.

Furthermore, if a 13" RMBP doesn't appear before an RiMac I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a desktop for the first time since 1998. I've been using notebooks for a very, very long time since before it was common and you could buy a new car for the cost of one.

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post #89 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


The fact that you're arguing about 255 MB VRAM further proves that your information is out of date. The cheapest iMac you can buy today has 512 MB of VRAM. Furthermore, your requirement that 256 MB is below the minimum requirement is purely arbitrary. Many people never play hard core games or do anything that requires more than 256.

That was relative to the macbook pro last year. I was also referring to both games and OpenGL applications relative to the early 2011 model.  A year later it wouldn't make minimum requirements for many things. Considering that the discrete gpu is one of  the things you pay for on the 15", they could do better. It seems like that is one of the areas where they balance their costs as fewer people will notice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Your lack of any facts to support your claim is noted. The Mac Pro is still a very powerful, extremely high quality, very price competitive machine.
If you need every 0.1 GHz available, it's probably not the computer for you. But for people who want a solid, well-built, reliable, fast workstation, it's a great machine.
The problem is that your knowledge of the iMac is greatly outdated. The screen color problems were many years ago. While there are undoubtedly occasional lemons in any device sold by the millions, there are no recent widespread iMac video problems.
The fact that you're arguing about 255 MB VRAM further proves that your information is out of date. The cheapest iMac you can buy today has 512 MB of VRAM. Furthermore, your requirement that 256 MB is below the minimum requirement is purely arbitrary. Many people never play hard core games or do anything that requires more than 256.
Let's use your example. I went to Dell's site to configure their dual CPU T5600 to match the Mac Pro. Here's what I came up with:
Mac Pro $3,799
Dell $4,237
I made the following changes:
The base Dell as 2.0 GHz CPUs. I upgraded to 2.2 (which is still below the Mac's 2.4). Since you agree that they're roughly the same price, this is probably the best comparison.
The base Dell only has 8 GB of RAM, the Mac pro has 12. You can't get the Dell with 12, so I upgrade both to 15 to be fair.
re probably better, there's nothing wrong with that.

I don't bother configuring ram typically, but are you really measuring cpus of different generations by ghz? The mac pros are using Westmeres as opposed to Sandy Bridge E ones. I went by cpus using similar retail pricing. It's not possible to really line up the gpus as you pay a lot for workstation drivers. The OSX gpus are balanced a little differently. Under Windows good luck working with a Radeon card in most OpenGL applications. Under OSX it's fine as OSX applications tend to be balanced around the cards that are available. This doesn't mean that Quadros and Firepros have zero advantage, but the one available under OSX has half the features you'd get under Windows with it anyway. They're just not a big OSX market. Bumping the ram for dual package compliance to 8GB brings it to $3235 (I think you can still order it the other way, I upgrade my own on any machine). I used E5-2630 cpus which are slightly more expensive than the ones in the mac pro. They also came out in 2012 as opposed to 2010. The dell has a 3 year warranty standard, and their business model warranties aren't bad. I didn't bother to add that to the mac. The Firepro 2270 is around the same price as a 5770.

http://ark.intel.com/products/48768/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5645-%2812M-Cache-2_40-GHz-5_86-GTs-Intel-QPI%29 That's the mac pro $3800 12 core.

 

http://ark.intel.com/products/64593/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-2630-%2815M-Cache-2_30-GHz-7_20-GTs-Intel-QPI%29 That's the cpu I configured on the Dell. Note that it is faster, not slower. Ghz aren't a reasonable metric of comparison when comparing cpus that debuted 2 years apart. They also cost more than those used in the mac pro as shown by intel's site.

 

Given the other costs in there, I'm not going to argue over something as silly as ram when you could place in 16GB of third party ram for $100 in either case. If you're wondering how I configured, I just used the base configuration and went from there. With oems you have a certain amount of markup built into any changes you make from a standard configuration. They're not all guaranteed to reach the same totals if you start from different spots. Now to get something that matches the benchmarks of that Dell that I noted, you're still looking at over $5k on the mac pro. Sandy Bridge E is a considerable boost. Actual performance varies by application, and I have seen some that do better under OSX, but it's usually within 10%. Some things are worse. It depends how well they're ported. Obviously native OSX runs best.

 

On the topic of the imac, the more recent complaints were the yellow screen thing. I've seen the other issues on the current design, but I haven't seen any on 2011 models. I also haven't seen that many 2011 models, so even if I saw it once, it wouldn't mean much.

 

By the way, I missed the power supply. When did Apple go back to such a big power supply? The biggest they ever used was a 1000 or 1200 or something on the quad G5. I thought this one was much lower.

post #90 of 115

Has anyone here read about the Asus UX32VD? I bring this up because it's 3.2 lbs with a 13-inch display, and they managed to fit a discrete graphics card in the chassis. Granted, the GeForceGT 620M is a low-end graphics card, but it's still a step up from integrated, and illustrates an instance of discrete graphics fitting inside a notebook of approximately the same size. If Asus can pull it off, I'm wondering what's stopping a talented company like Apple from including at least an entry level discrete card?

 

Also, given the fact that the 17-inch MBP was axed in favor of the Retina 15-inch MBP, wouldn't one similarly expect the Retina 13-inch MBP to perform well enough for it to serve as a viable upgrade option for those who own a previous-generation 15-incher (given the fact that a Retina 13-incher would have a larger viewing area than the previous-gen 15-incher)? I will definitely be disappointed if Apple does indeed release the 13-inch MBP solely with integrated graphics.

post #91 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

I wonder if such a machine could even run the Retina display at satisfactory performance using integrated graphics? 

My thought exactly. I really hope that if not the 650M Apple manages to fit in a lesser discreet graphics card like the 640M. The 640M is only 32 W TDP compared to 45 W for the 650M so it would give better battery life and run cooler to suit the 13"'s smaller case and battery.

I think it's easily possible that Apple can fit a 640M. They've included discreet graphics in the 13" MBP before and that was using larger fabrication processes and older battery technology. By removing the optical drive, replacing magnetic with flash-based storage and other general motherboard optimisations I'd be very surprised if they can't find room for it.

I'd be willing to forgo a 16 Gb maximum RAM for 8 Gb if it means we can have discreet graphics! I'm really hanging out for a retina 13" laptop Apple, please don't let me down!
post #92 of 115

Can anyone provide info about the generation of Intel GPUs that will be incorporated in Haswell-equipped machines? My understanding is that they will represent a genuine leap in GPU performance and capability. I believe there will be three different models and that even the lowest will be equivalent to a 650M. 

post #93 of 115

If people want to buy a gaming notebook, they can buy a gaming notebook and there are tons out there. Having said that, when people spend the money on a MacBook Pro they want it to play at least a few games adequately.

 

I don't think anyone buys a MacBook Pro in order to play Crysis 2 at max settings though if they can't play it at least at medium to high settings with possibly a configure to order option, it's kind of sad. No?

post #94 of 115
Not in the USA. IMac sales are flat or seeing very minor year over year growth. Both the Mini and the Mac Pro are seeing significant regressions in sales.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

If we look only at Apple's desktop sales I am pretty sure their desktop sales are increasing YoY.
Furthermore, if a 13" RMBP doesn't appear before an RiMac I'm pretty sure I'll be buying a desktop for the first time since 1998. I've been using notebooks for a very, very long time since before it was common and you could buy a new car for the cost of one.

That is interesting because I can see myself going to a desktop model if Apple had something I wanted. The current iMac design won't do it for me though. I'm really hoping for an overhauled Mini / XMac sort of machine.
post #95 of 115
I still believe that AMD offers a better option for notebook computing, especially the smaller machines. Doesn't matter though as I agree there is nothing technically keeping a descrete GPU out of the 13" MBP. Removal of the optical drive would be a huge win for both battery and GPU space.

As to RAM 8GB max is something I could live with as long as they don't get cheap on VRAM for the GPU. Apple has this nasty habit of configuring the machines in odd ways to apparently ensure up sells. A 13" MBP with only 256GB of VRAM, supporting a descrete GPU, would be worthless in my eyes. it wouldn't shock me one bit to see Apple do this on the 13" machine though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

My thought exactly. I really hope that if not the 650M Apple manages to fit in a lesser discreet graphics card like the 640M. The 640M is only 32 W TDP compared to 45 W for the 650M so it would give better battery life and run cooler to suit the 13"'s smaller case and battery.
I think it's easily possible that Apple can fit a 640M. They've included discreet graphics in the 13" MBP before and that was using larger fabrication processes and older battery technology. By removing the optical drive, replacing magnetic with flash-based storage and other general motherboard optimisations I'd be very surprised if they can't find room for it.
I'd be willing to forgo a 16 Gb maximum RAM for 8 Gb if it means we can have discreet graphics! I'm really hanging out for a retina 13" laptop Apple, please don't let me down!

I think it is a given, but when is harder to say. I can't see them releasing anymore laptops until late fall. So if you can hold out that long do so.
post #96 of 115
I have no info and frankly don't trust any leaks from Intel when it comes to their GPUs. Ivy Bridge hasn't really lived up to its billing when tested objectively, it is still a second class GPU.

So when it comes to Intel GPUs I'm a wait and see guy. More so if Haswell comes on time you are still talking a year from now. Being on time hasn't been one of Intels strong points lately.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Can anyone provide info about the generation of Intel GPUs that will be incorporated in Haswell-equipped machines? My understanding is that they will represent a genuine leap in GPU performance and capability. I believe there will be three different models and that even the lowest will be equivalent to a 650M. 
post #97 of 115
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
A 13" MBP with only 256GB of VRAM, supporting a descrete GPU, would be worthless in my eyes. it wouldn't shock me one bit to see Apple do this on the 13" machine though.

 

A discrete GPU with 256 GB of VRAM would be awesome! Probably a bit expensive, though...

 

On a serious note, I do hope that if they go with a discrete card, it's one that's actually semi-useful. Too low-end would be a waste of space that could've been used for extra battery capacity (not that it matters much to me, since I'm probably not buying one without a discrete GPU).

post #98 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post


I really hope that if not the 650M Apple manages to fit in a lesser discreet graphics card like the 640M. The 640M is only 32 W TDP compared to 45 W for the 650M so it would give better battery life and run cooler to suit the 13"'s smaller case and battery.
I think it's easily possible that Apple can fit a 640M. They've included discreet graphics in the 13" MBP before and that was using larger fabrication processes and older battery technology.

 

No they haven't. The only non-Intel graphics used in the 13" MacBook Pro to date have been the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 320M, which are both integrated graphics controllers (they used main memory for graphics, incorporated the memory controller, and were used alongside the Intel Core 2 Duo). Admittedly they were much better than Intel's integrated graphics at the time. That route is no longer an option due to Intel not allowing third party integrated memory/graphics controllers with recent processor families.

 

Quote:
By removing the optical drive, replacing magnetic with flash-based storage and other general motherboard optimisations I'd be very surprised if they can't find room for it.

 

Have you seen how compact the 15" RMBP logic board is already? Now try to squeeze that into a smaller case, while leaving enough room for a battery and cooling system which are almost the same volume as the 15" ones. I don't think it could be done without a significantly thicker body.

 

Not including a discrete GPU (and its associated graphics memory and graphic switching circuitry) would save some logic board space, require less power therefore less battery capacity, and produce less heat to manage, possibly allowing space savings in the cooling system.

 

Apple's goal is likely to be to produce a 13" RMBP which is similar in thickness to the 15" model, without sacrificing operating time from the battery. Even without a discrete GPU, I think it would have to be a little thicker.

 

post #99 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Not in the USA. IMac sales are flat or seeing very minor year over year growth. Both the Mini and the Mac Pro are seeing significant regressions in sales.

D: Hope this doesn't spell doom for the mini down the road. I don't think it will but you never know.

post #100 of 115
😂😂😂😢😢😢😱😱😱

Well that is one serious mistake! Hopefully people will auto correct that in their minds!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSkyline5 View Post

A discrete GPU with 256 GB of VRAM would be awesome! Probably a bit expensive, though...

On a serious note, I do hope that if they go with a discrete card, it's one that's actually semi-useful. Too low-end would be a waste of space that could've been used for extra battery capacity (not that it matters much to me, since I'm probably not buying one without a discrete GPU).

This is what I was getting at. Apple consistently screws over the 13" MBP, the Mini and other machines for no apparent reason! It really burns the behind if you know what I mean. In the Mini it is extremely frustrating because it is something that has been asked for, for years and then we get a half bake implementation. I'm certain a few engineers at Apple wrung their hands after that Mini was delivered with so little VRAM because they would know better than anybody that it is far below reccomendations for many apps. It is like Apple designs the Mini to fail. It isn't like they don't have a baseline Mini, so why not make a model with a GPU that an actually run a good portion of the software out there requiring a GPU.
post #101 of 115
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Originally Posted by dempson View Post

No they haven't. The only non-Intel graphics used in the 13" MacBook Pro to date have been the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 320M, which are both integrated graphics controllers (they used main memory for graphics, incorporated the memory controller, and were used alongside the Intel Core 2 Duo). Admittedly they were much better than Intel's integrated graphics at the time. That route is no longer an option due to Intel not allowing third party integrated memory/graphics controllers with recent processor families.
He maybe talking before Intel. We actually had a performance regression when they went to Intel if I remember correctly. If that is in fact what he is referring to, then his point is valid. Just about everything about the PPC machines was bigger and power hungry.
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Have you seen how compact the 15" RMBP logic board is already? Now try to squeeze that into a smaller case, while leaving enough room for a battery and cooling system which are almost the same volume as the 15" ones. I don't think it could be done without a significantly thicker body.
That board also offers hope. We can conserve space bumpy reducing RAM banks, removing a TB port and using lower wattage CPUs. Obviously it won't be easy but then again I don't think any of Apples recent laptop designs where easy.
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Not including a discrete GPU (and its associated graphics memory and graphic switching circuitry) would save some logic board space, require less power therefore less battery capacity, and produce less heat to manage, possibly allowing space savings in the cooling system.
True but can it drive a retina screen without a significant performance regression? That is the only thing that matters, we don't want to go backwards.

The other option is AMDs A10 "Trinity" APUs. They have GPUs that are notably better than Intels and the CPUs aren't that bad. The goal being of course an integrated GPU that doesn't regress performance wise driving a retina screen.
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Apple's goal is likely to be to produce a 13" RMBP which is similar in thickness to the 15" model, without sacrificing operating time from the battery. Even without a discrete GPU, I think it would have to be a little thicker.

I'm not convinced that it has to be thicker, without a descrete GPU it might be thinner. Let's face it Apple doesn't have a lot of I/O to support on a laptop. RAM soldered in becomes low profile and the SSDs can go into the area where the GPU and optical might go.
post #102 of 115

A 13" retina should be interesting.  If it follows the form of the 15", which seems likely, the 13" retina will be of interest to me.  In a 13" I don't mind losing the optical drive, although I do dislike losing the ability to upgrade RAM and storage. 

 

Pricing will be interesting also - I could see the base retina 13" being the same as the top end non-retina ($1499) or even $1599.  I shudder to think of what a 13" retina with 512 GB storage and 16 GB RAM could cost . . .

post #103 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Automaticftp View Post

A 13" retina should be interesting.  If it follows the form of the 15", which seems likely, the 13" retina will be of interest to me.  In a 13" I don't mind losing the optical drive, although I do dislike losing the ability to upgrade RAM and storage. 

 

Pricing will be interesting also - I could see the base retina 13" being the same as the top end non-retina ($1499) or even $1599.  I shudder to think of what a 13" retina with 512 GB storage and 16 GB RAM could cost . . .

Of course, by the time the 13" RMBP arrives, 1TB SSDs will be available while 512 GB SSDs will have dropped in price. We're really starting to see SSD grow in the same way that flatscreen LEDs suddenly became mainstream about a decade ago. I am hoping Apple offer 512 GB and 1TB options. Hang the cost.

 

The screens themselves should also improve. Better yields, there could even be a bump in pixel count as other suppliers invest in production to jump on the bandwagon. 

 

Even if the 13" RMBP appears in October, which may be an optimistic forecast, I don't think it will be optimised until Haswell architecture comes along in August / September next year. Far better if the processor has an integrated GPU rather than a discrete one - but only if Intel can really start to pull the rabbit out of the hat interns of performance. 

 

In the interim, I can't make up my mind between the 15" RMBP and the revised 13" MBA. The new 15" RMBP weighs the same as my current 13" MBP - and that's too much on long road trips. But, boy, is that screen worth it. 

post #104 of 115
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Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Of course, by the time the 13" RMBP arrives, 1TB SSDs will be available while 512 GB SSDs will have dropped in price. We're really starting to see SSD grow in the same way that flatscreen LEDs suddenly became mainstream about a decade ago. I am hoping Apple offer 512 GB and 1TB options. Hang the cost.
The problem with SSDs is that each incremental increase in size requires a new process technology. Further each shrinkage in process size results in reduced reliability. I would not be shocked to see SSDs hit the wall in the near future. This is one of the reasons I was hoping for multiple blade slots in the MBPs this year. I just don't see SSDs increasing in size fast enough to meet users growing needs by module swaps.
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The screens themselves should also improve. Better yields, there could even be a bump in pixel count as other suppliers invest in production to jump on the bandwagon. 
You still have the problem of putting enough horse power into the 13" frame to drive a Retina display. I have this suspicion that we didn't see a 13" retina machine due to some sort of performance problem.
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Even if the 13" RMBP appears in October, which may be an optimistic forecast, I don't think it will be optimised until Haswell architecture comes along in August / September next year. Far better if the processor has an integrated GPU rather than a discrete one - but only if Intel can really start to pull the rabbit out of the hat interns of performance. 
If performance with Ivy Bridge (admittedly a big if) is a problem Apple could very well wait for Haswell. The gluten for punishment in me would have Apple using Trinity. It all depends upon just how bad the current integrated GPUs actually perform driving a retina screen alone. I've yet to see extensive testing to look into this, so maybe this is all BS.
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In the interim, I can't make up my mind between the 15" RMBP and the revised 13" MBA. The new 15" RMBP weighs the same as my current 13" MBP - and that's too much on long road trips. But, boy, is that screen worth it. 

The new AIRs are certainly impressive performers considering their size. You can get close to last years MBP performance. Well at least in spurts. The big problem with Intels new processors is that they speed step which means many benchmark numbers are in a sense bogus. The machines can certainly burst through certain benchmarks with amazing performance. The problem of course is sustained performance, if you need that sort of capability.

When I look at the new AIRs I don't worry about performance anymore, as they are good enough in that regards for many users. I do worry however about internal storage and the single SSD module. The size and the limited upgrade options are a pain to think about. At least now you can get a machine with 512 GB which eliminates headaches for many users.
post #105 of 115

I'll believe this when I see it - strikes me as extremely unlikely. Marco Arment talked at length on his podcast this week about his previous hunch that new iMacs and Mac Pros were waiting for Retina 27" screens to be available, and admitted that was almost-certainly wrong because he no longer believes that there will be any other Retina Macs before next year at the earliest. I'm inclined to follow his line of reasoning, which included the prediction that a 13" Retinal MacBook Pro would probably be the last model to get a Retina screen.

 

The 13" MacBook Pro only exists to the be the 'budget' laptop for people who need (or think they need) lots of storage and an optical drive. They sell a ton to students, switchers, or anybody else who is budget-constrained (they also sell to traveling photographers who remove the optical drive, install an SSD, and move the stock HD into the optical bay, but that's a small market). Even the just-updated model has the same lousy 1280x800 screen that it's had for years, which strongly hints that this is a form factor that Apple sees no reason to invest in at the expense of profit margins.

 

A 13" RMBP adds more questions than it answers, since they can't kill the existing model because of the place it holds in their model lineup (all budget buyers won't be happy with the 11" MBA). So, a 13" RMBP would become the THIRD different 13" laptop in Apple's lineup, something they got rid of last year with the elimination of the plastic MacBook. It can't fill the 'budget' slot no matter what they do - all it can do is steal sales from the 15" RMBP or the 13" Air.

 

If they ever do a 13" RMBP, I think Apple waits until the price (for both screen and storage) and power issues have been improved enough for them to eliminate the 'classic' 13" MBP at the same time. If the 13" MBP can't fill the 'budget' slot, there's no reason for it to exist. The 15" RMBP is already slightly lighter than the current 13" MBP, and anybody for whom smaller/lighter is a major issue should just get a 13" MBA and be done with it. There's just no place in the lineup for a 13" MacBook Pro that isn't cheap - that's its defining characteristic, and doing a Retina version now just doesn't make sense.

post #106 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

I'll believe this when I see it - strikes me as extremely unlikely... There's just no place in the lineup for a 13" MacBook Pro that isn't cheap - that's its defining characteristic, and doing a Retina version now just doesn't make sense.

 

I just cannot agree with you. The price premium a MacBook Pro commands is no longer about processor power, (although professional users will always find a way to use any extra power you give them). What i mean is that we're reaching a point of diminishing returns where individual software programs won't run any faster no matter how powerful the chip that drives them. Look at MS Word or iWork's Pages. Will they run faster on a new 13" MacBook Air or a new 15" Retina MacBook Pro? The answer is probably the latter, but is that additional speed significant enough to be a key factor in anyone's buying decision? I'm not sure it is anymore. If that is true for word processing today; it will be equally true for video editing within the next few years.

 

So the difference between Air and Pro is screen quality. When you spend 6 or 7 hours a day plugged into your computer life support system, screen quality is a big deal. The question is whether people are prepared to pay extra for a retina display? I think early demand for the new RMBP shows that the answer is 'yes'. The other issue is hard drive space and the cost of SSD. SSD is clearly the future of on-board storage, but large capacity drives are still punitively expensive. Again, some people are happy to pay for 512 GB drives or even 1 TB drives, while others simply don't need them or can't afford them. Add Retina displays and large capacity SSDs together and you have perfect justification for two highly differentiated laptop line-ups. In time, i am sure that Apple's laptop line-up will merge into a single range of 11", 13" and 15" laptops. But not just yet. 

post #107 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

 

I just cannot agree with you. The price premium a MacBook Pro commands is no longer about processor power, (although professional users will always find a way to use any extra power you give them). What i mean is that we're reaching a point of diminishing returns where individual software programs won't run any faster no matter how powerful the chip that drives them. Look at MS Word or iWork's Pages. Will they run faster on a new 13" MacBook Air or a new 15" Retina MacBook Pro? The answer is probably the latter, but is that additional speed significant enough to be a key factor in anyone's buying decision? I'm not sure it is anymore. If that is true for word processing today; it will be equally true for video editing within the next few years.

 

So the difference between Air and Pro is screen quality. When you spend 6 or 7 hours a day plugged into your computer life support system, screen quality is a big deal. The question is whether people are prepared to pay extra for a retina display? I think early demand for the new RMBP shows that the answer is 'yes'. The other issue is hard drive space and the cost of SSD. SSD is clearly the future of on-board storage, but large capacity drives are still punitively expensive. Again, some people are happy to pay for 512 GB drives or even 1 TB drives, while others simply don't need them or can't afford them. Add Retina displays and large capacity SSDs together and you have perfect justification for two highly differentiated laptop line-ups. In time, i am sure that Apple's laptop line-up will merge into a single range of 11", 13" and 15" laptops. But not just yet. 

 

Interesting theory, but I think it's clear that Apple will go Retina across the board as quickly as it's practical - I just don't think it's going to be practical in the near term. Battery life with a Retina display will be an issue for the MacBook Air line, no question, but it's one that will probably be addressable as battery efficiency and more power-efficient processors roll out over the next year or two.

 

The way I see it, there's no compelling reason to do a 13" Retina MBP at any point in the near future - anybody who puts that much importance on the screen will pony up for the 15" (which is, as I pointed out, already lighter than the 13" MBP). The weight savings on a 13" RMBP will be minimal (1/2 pound, maybe a bit more - these machines are mostly battery now), and it will still be very expensive due to the cost of the screen and flash storage. Why would Apple undercut its flagship laptop so soon? Like I said, no good reason - if you want a lighter laptop with similar battery life, the 13" MBA is ideal, and can already be configured with more storage than the base 15" RMBP. You have to know you 'need' both the power of a quad-core processor and the Retina screen to justify the RMBP, and why would Apple then complicate the decision by offering a somewhat smaller, somewhat slower 13" RMBP? Doesn't make sense.

post #108 of 115

Some people value portability, that's where a RMBP would shine.  It's a great solution for someone who does most of their serious work on a desktop but needs a laptop for presentations and lighter work on the go.  Or if you're just using a laptop for writing and messaging, a bigger screen isn't really needed.  Not everyone runs Photoshop and FCP on their MacBook.

 

Of course at the other end of the spectrum are the graphic designers and artists who do most or all of their work on a laptop.  Apple just told these users to go to hell when they axed the 17" MBP.  Yeah, it had low sales, well maybe it needed some improvements to increase sales, ever think of that, Apple?
 

post #109 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

 

I just cannot agree with you. The price premium a MacBook Pro commands is no longer about processor power, (although professional users will always find a way to use any extra power you give them). What i mean is that we're reaching a point of diminishing returns where individual software programs won't run any faster no matter how powerful the chip that drives them. Look at MS Word or iWork's Pages. Will they run faster on a new 13" MacBook Air or a new 15" Retina MacBook Pro? The answer is probably the latter, but is that additional speed significant enough to be a key factor in anyone's buying decision? I'm not sure it is anymore. If that is true for word processing today; it will be equally true for video editing within the next few years.

 

So the difference between Air and Pro is screen quality. When you spend 6 or 7 hours a day plugged into your computer life support system, screen quality is a big deal. The question is whether people are prepared to pay extra for a retina display? I think early demand for the new RMBP shows that the answer is 'yes'. The other issue is hard drive space and the cost of SSD. SSD is clearly the future of on-board storage, but large capacity drives are still punitively expensive. Again, some people are happy to pay for 512 GB drives or even 1 TB drives, while others simply don't need them or can't afford them. Add Retina displays and large capacity SSDs together and you have perfect justification for two highly differentiated laptop line-ups. In time, i am sure that Apple's laptop line-up will merge into a single range of 11", 13" and 15" laptops. But not just yet. 

I wouldn't declare quality solely based on resolution. It's just another line item on a checklist of things that can be improved. Regarding diminishing returns, if everything isn't running in real time, the potential is there. The issue is where it's bottlenecked or if the programming simply doesn't scale well with the hardware changes. Very few programs have true n-core scaling. the recent trend is to unload certain types of processing on the gpu whenever possible, but such functions to fit within the gpu's own ram and benefit from this kind of parallel processing. Anyway you can still see performance differences, but we're in an era where no one should be choking the hardware doing word processing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

 

 

Of course at the other end of the spectrum are the graphic designers and artists who do most or all of their work on a laptop.  Apple just told these users to go to hell when they axed the 17" MBP.  Yeah, it had low sales, well maybe it needed some improvements to increase sales, ever think of that, Apple?
 

Most of those users are better served by desktops unless they truly need to take their work with them.

post #110 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not convinced that it has to be thicker, without a descrete GPU it might be thinner. Let's face it Apple doesn't have a lot of I/O to support on a laptop. RAM soldered in becomes low profile and the SSDs can go into the area where the GPU and optical might go.

1) I think we were both surprised by the soldered RAM and lack of 2nd drive space in these new machines.

2) Do you think that a 13" Retina Display on a MBP can feasibly use an Intel iGPU or do you think that will require a dGPU?

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post #111 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) I think we were both surprised by the soldered RAM and lack of 2nd drive space in these new machines.
2) Do you think that a 13" Retina Display on a MBP can feasibly use an Intel iGPU or do you think that will require a dGPU?

1) I'm surprised that you were surprised.

2) I think they'll have tried it without and seen it fall short of actual usability. A 13" rMBP with a dGPU would probably be a killer machine.

Do you imagine they'll price it in between the standard 13" and standard 15"?

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post #112 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Some people value portability, that's where a RMBP would shine.  It's a great solution for someone who does most of their serious work on a desktop but needs a laptop for presentations and lighter work on the go.  Or if you're just using a laptop for writing and messaging, a bigger screen isn't really needed.  Not everyone runs Photoshop and FCP on their MacBook.

 

Of course at the other end of the spectrum are the graphic designers and artists who do most or all of their work on a laptop.  Apple just told these users to go to hell when they axed the 17" MBP.  Yeah, it had low sales, well maybe it needed some improvements to increase sales, ever think of that, Apple?
 

 

You're aware of the MacBook Air line, right? It's a much better fit for your entire first paragraph than any feasible iteration of Retina MBP in the near term, as a 13" RMBP will not be that much lighter than the 15".

 

The 15" RMBP is the replacement for the 17" MBP - the highest equivalent screen resolution (1920 x 1200) is exactly the same as the 17" MBP, but with higher quality because of the scaling, and in a much smaller, more portable package. Those high-end users are the target market for the 15" RMBP, and are the reason why I'd be stunned if a 13" RMBP appears in the near future. Why would Apple confuse the market with a lower cost Retina laptop so soon? I think they give the 15" a solid year of exclusivity to ensure that every user who values any aspect of its design (whether that be the screen, the flash storage, the power/weight ratio, or any combination thereof) buys a $2200-3500 machine.

post #113 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I just cannot agree with you. The price premium a MacBook Pro commands is no longer about processor power, (although professional users will always find a way to use any extra power you give them). What i mean is that we're reaching a point of diminishing returns where individual software programs won't run any faster no matter how powerful the chip that drives them. Look at MS Word or iWork's Pages.
Look at VI/VIM/GVIM/MacVIM. Back in the day the same noise was heard about how well a 486 or Pentium could run the VI text editor. Yet given today's hardware nobody would want to go back to running VI on a 486. We are a very long ways from an era where processor speed isn't significant.
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Will they run faster on a new 13" MacBook Air or a new 15" Retina MacBook Pro?
That is a certainty. More importantly they can run along side other demanding processes without completely constraining the user.
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The answer is probably the latter, but is that additional speed significant enough to be a key factor in anyone's buying decision? I'm not sure it is anymore. If that is true for word processing today; it will be equally true for video editing within the next few years.
Maybe? But hasn't this always been the case? That is many people will make do with less even as others clamor for more speed. As for video editing the future just becomes more demanding with things like 4K, 3D and new special effects. I just don't see the need for more powerful machines going away anytime soon.

Beyond today's apps you need to think about what might be possible on a laptop in the future that current requires large server type machines or even clusters. More powerful laptops simply mean that apps that couldn't run there in the past now can. A perfect example here is CAD software. A few years ago you had o be a gluten for punishment to run CAD on a laptop, now it is common place. In fact it is practicle to run 3 D and even solid modeling (to an extent) on a laptop. I'm certain that many doing so would love an even faster machine.
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So the difference between Air and Pro is screen quality. When you spend 6 or 7 hours a day plugged into your computer life support system, screen quality is a big deal. The question is whether people are prepared to pay extra for a retina display? I think early demand for the new RMBP shows that the answer is 'yes'.
I would tend to agree, people are willing to pay a little extra. However don't look at today's RMBP numbers as they most likely reflect early adopters or those with little self control. We need to see what demand is like six months from now. We especially need to see sales relative to the standard MBPs.
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The other issue is hard drive space and the cost of SSD. SSD is clearly the future of on-board storage, but large capacity drives are still punitively expensive. Again, some people are happy to pay for 512 GB drives or even 1 TB drives, while others simply don't need them or can't afford them.
if you don't need them then price isn't an issue. Further if you really need them then price isn't an issue. The problem is for those in the middle, it becomes hard to justify big SSDs when the magnetic options are readily available. In the end the option of big cost effective magnetic drives in the old design MBPs will drive sales of these machines.
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Add Retina displays and large capacity SSDs together and you have perfect justification for two highly differentiated laptop line-ups. In time, i am sure that Apple's laptop line-up will merge into a single range of 11", 13" and 15" laptops. But not just yet. 

I don't ever see a line merger. The fact of the matter is that MBP still can pack more horsepower especially if a descrete GPU is supported. Beyond that even minor capacity differences can appeal to buyers.
post #114 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) I think we were both surprised by the soldered RAM and lack of 2nd drive space in these new machines.
I'm not sure I would call myself surprised by the soldered RAM, frankly I never thought about it a lot or at least not with a great deal of focus. I kinda assumed expandability wold be there.

The lack of a second drive space though does boggle the mind. Shocked might be a better word to describe the response to the single drive slot. In the case of SSDs, I really think you need the extra slot due to the lack of affordability when it comes to large SSDs. Well affordability and the fact that larger SSDs aren't all that large. If here is anything to complain about it would be the lack of a second SSD slot.
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2) Do you think that a 13" Retina Display on a MBP can feasibly use an Intel iGPU or do you think that will require a dGPU?

Wow that is a tuff one. Frankly I wouldn't get to wrapped up in trying to answer that question until after Mountain Lion ships. The idea here is that Mountain Lion should have some solid drivers for Ivy Bridge. At that point we might better understand just how good or bad the Intel GPU is.

Even then I suspect we would take a big hit when it comes to driving 3D. Granted we are talking Windows here, but the Intel chip nose dives when driving high res screens with 3D content. So when in retina mode I wouldn't expect to see a great improvement over the old machines.
post #115 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

You're aware of the MacBook Air line, right? It's a much better fit for your entire first paragraph than any feasible iteration of Retina MBP in the near term, as a 13" RMBP will not be that much lighter than the 15".
For many weight means nothing, they buy for either the physical size or the cost. There is more to portability than weight.
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The 15" RMBP is the replacement for the 17" MBP - the highest equivalent screen resolution (1920 x 1200) is exactly the same as the 17" MBP, but with higher quality because of the scaling, and in a much smaller, more portable package.
You forgot to mention the much smaller screen! Honestly though I'd never consider a 17" machine, they are just to damn big.
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Those high-end users are the target market for the 15" RMBP, and are the reason why I'd be stunned if a 13" RMBP appears in the near future.
How would a 13"RMBP appeal to those power users? Seriously this likely has zero impact on Apple when it omes to timing a 13 RMBP release. They realize users aren't dumb and can actually see the difference between the two machines.
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Why would Apple confuse the market with a lower cost Retina laptop so soon?
Because there would be zero confusion. One machine will have. Thirteen inch screen the other won't. Pretty simply if you ask me.
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I think they give the 15" a solid year of exclusivity to ensure that every user who values any aspect of its design (whether that be the screen, the flash storage, the power/weight ratio, or any combination thereof) buys a $2200-3500 machine.

The simpler explanation is that the technology isn't ready to spread across the entire line yet. It could be the lack of production capacity or integrated GPU problems. Apple is not a barrel of fools, they will strive to get product to market as fast as possible.
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