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Intel shows off 4th-gen Core processors bound for Apple's MacBook lineup

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Intel on Monday demoed a number of upcoming processors set to hit market later this year, including low power versions of the company's "Haswell" fourth-generation Core series CPUs slated to roll out in Apple's inevitable 2013 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air refreshes.

Kirk Skaugen
Intel Vice President and Manager of Intel's PC Client Group Kirk Skaugen introduces the new Core series lineup at CES. | Source: Intel


While Apple wasn't specifically mentioned in Intel's keynote, which focused mainly on the chip maker's push into smartphones and Ultrabooks, the processors outlined on Monday will likely be powering the MacBook lineup later this year.

According to the head of Intel's PC client group, Kirk Skaugen, the fourth-gen Core family of processors are the first to be designed specifically for the Ultrabook initiative. The new silicon is said to bring the most significant battery life improvement in Intel history, with laptops using the CPUs boasting 9 to 13 hours of continuous on-the-go use.

"The 4th generation Core processors are the first Intel chips built from the ground up with the Ultrabook in mind," Skaugen said. "We expect the tremendous advancements in lower-power Core processors, and the significant ramp of touch-based systems will lead to a significant new wave of convertible Ultrabooks and tablets that are thinner, lighter and, at the same time, have the performance required for more human-like interaction such as touch, voice and gesture controls."

Intel is making a strong push for touch capabilities in this year's thin-and-light lineup, requiring OEMs to include the functionality in return for "Ultrabook" branding. The company is also mandating that Ultrabook manufacturers incorporate Intel Wireless Display technology into 2013 machines, allowing users to view digital content on an HDTV.

As Apple does not participate in the Ultrabook initiative, a category believed to be a response to the MacBook Air, the Cupertino, Calif., company is not required to incorporate touchscreen tech into its laptop products. There have been no reports pointing toward multitouch capable MacBooks and industry sources claim Apple will merely debut refreshed units in June with existing designs.
post #2 of 29

Do we still get a good performance upgrade, or was it sacrificed for energy savings?

post #3 of 29
Also bound for all other laptops.
post #4 of 29
Didn't Intel initially tell Steve to "get bent" when he told them the best innovation they could make would be in the area of low power consumption?

I don't get what an "ultrabook" is supposed to be anyway. It's just a computer without quite so many of the usability compromises as a netbook. They still run Windows software which makes them about as desirable as a doorstop.

Seems like Intel is trying to drive the design as some sort of recognisable standard to drum up corporate customers by getting their customers to ask for laptops using a proprietry name. It's the same racket VISA and Mastercard have been pulling for a while - encouraging customers to shift all their purchasing to credit under vague notions of "increased security" because they know desperate businesses will swallow the fees to retain customers.
post #5 of 29
That is a good question. I'm really hoping for a lot more performance at the same power levels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Do we still get a good performance upgrade, or was it sacrificed for energy savings?
post #6 of 29

Yeah, yeah. Where are the server-class Xeons, Intel?

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post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Didn't Intel initially tell Steve to "get bent" when he told them the best innovation they could make would be in the area of low power consumption?

I don't recall anything like that, especially not such a pejorative retort. Apple was the one to get Intel to put into production their SFF (small form factor) ULV (ultra-low voltage) CPU that would be used in the first MBA and which set in motion what is now Ultrabooks. Note, while it was Apple that got Intel to produce these chips it appears that Intel likely already had the chipsets designs.
Quote:
I don't get what an "ultrabook" is supposed to be anyway. It's just a computer without quite so many of the usability compromises as a netbook. They still run Windows software which makes them about as desirable as a doorstop.

There are no netbook compromises. No cramped keyboard, no Atom processor. These are ULV processors but they are still modern Core chips. It's really just the MBA minus anything from Apple which for us is a deal breaker but for the many Windows users out there these notebooks could be ideal, especially as people are realizing (thanks to Apple, again) that they really don't need an ODD.
Quote:
Seems like Intel is trying to drive the design as some sort of recognisable standard to drum up corporate customers by getting their customers to ask for laptops using a proprietry name. It's the same racket VISA and Mastercard have been pulling for a while - encouraging customers to shift all their purchasing to credit under vague notions of "increased security" because they know desperate businesses will swallow the fees to retain customers.

I'm not quite sure it's working out for them. I've seen plenty of quality Ultrabooks but they are at prices that are well beyond the average Windows PC price. Maybe this will spark something in buyer to invest a little more but I have to think it's hard to create a new PC category in this iPad/post-PC era.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/7/13 at 8:14pm

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post #8 of 29
Thank goodness Apple doesn't need the Ultrabook label. The last thing I want is a touch screen laptop that needs the screen cleaned every day.
post #9 of 29

I love how Intel and Microsoft are betting on touch screen laptops, even though it's not clear that's what people want.

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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I love how Intel and Microsoft are betting on touch screen laptops, even though it's not clear that's what people want.

It's all they can think of doing and yet we still have the latest version of Windows still half-assing it's way to a touch-based GUI.

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post #11 of 29
Quote:
"The 4th generation Core processors are the first Intel chips built from the ground up with the Ultrabook in mind," Skaugen said. "We expect the tremendous advancements in lower-power Core processors, and the significant ramp of touch-based systems will lead to a significant new wave of convertible Ultrabooks and tablets that are thinner, lighter and, at the same time, have the performance required for more human-like interaction such as touch, voice and gesture controls."

 

This is kind of what I meant back when I suggested intel's "ultrabook initiative" was actually good for Apple. They couldn't afford to do something like this without a sizable customer base for the cpus.
 

post #12 of 29

I love the 'inspired by Intel' bullshit ultrabook branding. Really? Does anyone actually think any of these ultrabooks got a shred of inspiration from intel? Since pretty much all of them look like MBA clones, its painfully obvious where the 'inspiration' came from, since this is the machine that defined this category and made the formfactor mainstream- right after it was mocked to hell and back. 

 

NO OPTICAL DRIVE??! NO ETHERNET PORT??! LOL WHAT IS APPLE THINKING

post #13 of 29

Imagine if Apple gained too much traction with the MacBook Air and then decided to move away from Intel processors again.  That's why they drive the "Ultrabook" initiative.  They don't want to be obsoleted by a design/technology shift from Apple.

 

That and they have to make their move into mobile properly or ARM will obsolete them when mobile products become more important.

 

Either way, Apple gets better chips for MBAs and users get longer battery life!

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I love how Intel and Microsoft are betting on touch screen laptops, even though it's not clear that's what people want.

 

Actually, there's been a fair amount of discussion in these forums about the potential benefits and liabilities. The objections are "gorilla arm" and a UI that's not really tuned for touch input, while those who want it say that some touch input is better than none, and that having it doesn't mean having to throw away your keyboard and mouse. It's just one MORE way of interacting with the machine, not a replacement for anything else.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

[...] The last thing I want is a touch screen laptop that needs the screen cleaned every day.

 

Then don't touch it. Just because it has that capability doesn't mean you're required to use it. My wife hates trackpads and has never used the one on her MacBook Pro, but you won't find her campaigning against them just because she doesn't like it.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I love how Intel and Microsoft are betting on touch screen laptops, even though it's not clear that's what people want.

I think it is clear that people don't want a touch screen laptop. Not me, so I can't speak for everone else. I have a bt keyboard for my iPad mini but even when using it I still don't classify it as a laptop whatsoever. If anything it makes the mini a netbook - one that I would actually use.

Plus MS is doing it's patented kill the product because the market wouldn't support it. By this I mean using a touchscreen on a laptop and by doing so they price it out of the intended market…
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I love the 'inspired by Intel' bullshit ultrabook branding. Really? Does anyone actually think any of these ultrabooks got a shred of inspiration from intel? Since pretty much all of them look like MBA clones, its painfully obvious where the 'inspiration' came from, since this is the machine that defined this category and made the formfactor mainstream- right after it was mocked to hell and back. 

 

NO OPTICAL DRIVE??! NO ETHERNET PORT??! LOL WHAT IS APPLE THINKING

Intel's keynote was nothing more than SH*T.

 

The demo was a joke. 2 guys talking and doing something on screen, one of them could barely speak english and no one was filming what they were doing. But, the best part clearly was:

 

"We INVENTED the ultrabook". (yes, they had the nerve. "invented")

Them they talked about everything and everyone (mics, touch, laptop prototypes, etc) without mentioning anything relevant.

 

It is pathetic that all these so called "great" companies are powerless against Apple simply because their leaders have the same vision as some baboon, so they try to gang up against apple, even on marketing (marketing for stupid and irrational people).

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

 

Actually, there's been a fair amount of discussion in these forums about the potential benefits and liabilities. The objections are "gorilla arm" and a UI that's not really tuned for touch input, while those who want it say that some touch input is better than none, and that having it doesn't mean having to throw away your keyboard and mouse. It's just one MORE way of interacting with the machine, not a replacement for anything else.

 

 

 

 

Then don't touch it. Just because it has that capability doesn't mean you're required to use it. My wife hates trackpads and has never used the one on her MacBook Pro, but you won't find her campaigning against them just because she doesn't like it.

No. Touch on laptops is nothing more than a useless random list on the "feature sheet" that people are learning to ignore (unless you are a samsung costumer).

 

Why focus on touch when the OS is still ugly, unconventional, with bugs, slow, the hardware is still poor (trackpad, keyboards, elements connecting memory and CPUs, lack of decent ecosystem, etc)?

 

I'm at an engineering college, we all have access to a free copy of windows 8 and there's not a single hybrid/tablet/phone with it that I can see. Meanwhile, Macs and iPads are everywhere, just like Android phones and iPhones, even if Microsoft is polluting TV and public spaces with their ads that only work on morons that need attention. 

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Then don't touch it. Just because it has that capability doesn't mean you're required to use it. My wife hates trackpads and has never used the one on her MacBook Pro, but you won't find her campaigning against them just because she doesn't like it.

If that's the way it works out then there would be no objection. However, what has happened in the past was that something that was optional at first eventually became nearly required in order to get your work done. Remember when the mouse was optional on PCs and the same statement could be made ("You don't have to use it if you don't want")?
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post #19 of 29
I think Sony would object to Intel saying they invented the "Ultrabook". lol.gif all Intel invented was the stupid name. Then PC OEM's said lets make a laptop that looks like a MBA/MBP, slap a premium price on it, give it this new name and it will get all the buzz in the media. 1rolleyes.gif
post #20 of 29
jragosta View Post
v5v View Post
Then don't touch it. Just because it has that capability doesn't mean you're required to use it. My wife hates trackpads and has never used the one on her MacBook Pro, but you won't find her campaigning against them just because she doesn't like it.
If that's the way it works out then there would be no objection. However, what has happened in the past was that something that was optional at first eventually became nearly required in order to get your work done. Remember when the mouse was optional on PCs and the same statement could be made ("You don't have to use it if you don't want")?

 

Technically, Windows and OS X can still be used pointer-free. You have to dig through the Accessibility / Universal Access pane to set it all up, and it's considerably less practical today than with the simple interfaces of 1980s software, but it is possible.

 

More to the point: Over time, the vast majority of consumers (as in, other than UNIX greybeards) actually preferred the mouse. Usability tests on desktop/laptop touchscreens are not as favorable. I would speculate it's due in part to immature touch software, since most of the tech world has moved beyond the atrocious 'resistive' touchscreen systems.

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post #21 of 29
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post
I don't get what an "ultrabook" is supposed to be anyway.

 

"MacBook Air ripoff" is the official definition.


Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
Thank goodness Apple doesn't need the Ultrabook label. The last thing I want is a touch screen laptop that needs the screen cleaned every day.

 

Of course not: they invented it! Without the MacBook Air, there wouldn't be "ultrabooks".

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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Do we still get a good performance upgrade, or was it sacrificed for energy savings?

It's both really as they can scale it as they need it. There is a good graphics demo of Haswell here:



They are running Unigine Heaven benchmark on chips targeted at Ultrabooks. You can see the Ivy Bridge HD 4000 choking quite badly. It gets under 15 FPS. You can see it runs very smoothly on the other one though and is easily real-time (25-30 FPS). They then show it running at 7W and it still gets a higher FPS than Ivy Bridge running at 17W.

Machines like the MBA will still throttle down when they get too hot but it shouldn't have nearly as bad an effect on what you're doing. For all of the low-end models like the Mini, 13" MBP etc, if they can sustain Heaven running in real-time for that demo in 17W, their power envelopes should allow double the sustained performance of Ivy Bridge. This does mean the CPU might not go up much but given that they can ramp the GPU down so low, they can sustain higher clocks on the CPU side. I'm still not expecting more than 15% improvement on the CPU.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins 
Touch on laptops is nothing more than a useless random list on the "feature sheet" that people are learning to ignore

I see it as more of a bridging mechanism. It seems to me that tablets will be the new ultrabooks for a lot of people so allowing developers to incorporate touch features without having to switch fully to a less productive platform. I don't expect the features to be used much in a laptop form factor in much the same way portait orientation in a desktop display doesn't get used much but it's nicer to have the feature than not. If you put the same spec laptop with touch next to one without, the only difference is that the touch one has an extra feature.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Do we still get a good performance upgrade, or was it sacrificed for energy savings?

 

I'm on an early 2011 (1st-gen Thunderbolt) MBP with what was then the top-of-the-line CPU (2.3ghz Quad i7), slow by today's standards and yet this thing screams. However, my battery life is anemic (which may have something to do with the fact that at least 2/3rds of my time spend on this machine involves running W7 on Parallels with two instances of Apache and MySQL running, one each in the host and guest OSes). With all this stuff going on, I get roughly two hours of battery (although I can sometimes coax three). Even with my guest OS and MySQL shut down I generally don't get more than 4 hours of battery. This on a laptop advertised to get eight.

 

I'd be thrilled if I could get another hour or two of battery life at the expense of a few extra CPU cycles per second.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

"MacBook Air ripoff" is the official definition.

Exactly that. Why Apple haven't jumped all over these for copying i'll never know.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Exactly that. Why Apple haven't jumped all over these for copying i'll never know.

I'm not sure what Apple could sue for. The use of CULV processors and eschewing of the ODD has made them more inline with the MBA look and feel but I don't see how any of that is protectable. All the ones I've seen look different enough to me and not an attempt at a Chinese knockoff.

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post #26 of 29

I can't speak for Apple, but these are Air clones in appearance only. They still don't compete on build quality; my SO's metal Macbook has dents that would shatter most Ultrabooks. To say nothing of usability; find a trackpad that is reviewed higher than Apple's.

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post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If that's the way it works out then there would be no objection. However, what has happened in the past was that something that was optional at first eventually became nearly required in order to get your work done. Remember when the mouse was optional on PCs and the same statement could be made ("You don't have to use it if you don't want")?

 

Understood. Of course, over the period of time that the mouse went from "optional" to "essential" the UI, software design and OS all evolved significantly, so that using a mouse was no longer a real inconvenience, and all major apps continue, to this day, to provide keyboard shortcuts for most functions.

 

I would expect touch on laptops to follow the same path. Just another alternative for now, used mostly in collaborative settings, perhaps becoming more commonplace only if/when the UI evolves in a way that makes it genuinely useful.

 

I don't think it's really a big deal personally, but I occasionally run across situations when I think it would be helpful to be able to perform some basic operations by touching the screen. Mostly they occur when two or more people are looking at something together, and someone is pointing at the screen already. If they could push a button or zoom in or go back -- simple things like that -- it would be handy, that's all.

post #28 of 29
Ok they require a touch screen on ultru books, well something Steve jobs refused to support, a computer that has real keyboard touch screen, I would prefer this to be in future but the modern laptops, (apple) are better than a touch screen interface.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I think Sony would object to Intel saying they invented the "Ultrabook". lol.gif all Intel invented was the stupid name. Then PC OEM's said lets make a laptop that looks like a MBA/MBP, slap a premium price on it, give it this new name and it will get all the buzz in the media. 1rolleyes.gif


I didn't expect anyone to remember Sony's ultra portables. They were quite expensive relative to their performance, which is partly why fewer people know about them. Computing requirements haven't scaled equally with hardware, so it's left a decent niche for this kind of product. Asus released an IPS option in theirs. I don't think Apple will do that for a while, as they won't want to cost themselves sales of the rMBPs.

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