or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Is it time to bring the MacBook back?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is it time to bring the MacBook back?

Poll Results: Do you think Apple will ever bring back the MacBook? (on top of the Air and the Pro)?

 
  • 14% (2)
    Yes
  • 78% (11)
    No
  • 7% (1)
    Maybe
14 Total Votes  
post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

So, as everyone knows, the MacBook has been discontinued since 2010, or 2011 (can't remember). To me, this wasn't necessary. This was their economy Mac. This was for the consumer that wanted a Macbook, but didn't want to pay the extra couple hundred dollars for a Macbook Pro. 

 

Yes, it's true that the MacBook Air 11 inch now serves as the economy MacBook, but what about the consumers that don't want an 11 inch screen? That want a full sized notebook? There's no option for $999 other than the 11 inch MacBook. 

 

Also, the naming scheme doesn't make sense to me. How is there going to be a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro, but no MacBook? That's like having a PS3 Slim and a PS3 Pro without having a PS3.

 

I believe that Apple will probably change the MacBook Air into just "MacBook." But I think there still should be a MacBook in the middle, something that has better specs as the MacBook Air, but not as great as the MacBook Pro. 

post #2 of 32

By the time it would be ‘needed’ again, they’ll have stopped selling laptops entirely.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #3 of 32

The Mac Book is gone forever.It was good in it's time.

post #4 of 32

Better specs than the MBAir? ... wouldn't that also make it MORE expensive than the MBAir? ...

so the MBAir would STILL be the only $999 option.

From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 

No, they could easily bring the bring the price of the MacBook Air down even further, as it should be, or they can keep the 11-inch $999 and the regular MacBook at $999, also. Pretty Simple. 

 

Better yet, they should make the MacBook $899-$799, or that price for the 11-inch Air. Great solution.

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Better specs than the MBAir? ... wouldn't that also make it MORE expensive than the MBAir? ...
so the MBAir would STILL be the only $999 option.

The Macbook Air uses low voltage processors, which Intel charge more for. The processor in the entry $999 11" Air costs $342:

http://ark.intel.com/products/75028/

Once you add the margin on, the processor alone makes up about half the retail price of the laptop. The Macbooks used to use similar processors to the entry 13" Pro and they cost less:

http://ark.intel.com/products/67355/

They wouldn't fit into an Air shell easily though with the same size battery as the TDP is more than double. But you can see with the price difference there, this would mean roughly $170 retail price difference (slightly offset by the bigger battery). A Macbook with this sort of spec should be able to be priced around $849. They used to sell an educational Macbook Air with a cheaper $250 CPU:

http://ark.intel.com/products/56858

I'm not sure how much cheaper it was. They seem to just knock $50 off now for the same spec.

Going back to a plastic shell isn't a good idea as it would end up being heavy. The unibody metal Macbooks were ok though.

The main thing I can see them doing is removing the Air from the name. It's a redundant descriptor now that it's the only design in that range. If it pans out that they are making a 12" model to replace both the 11" and 13" models:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/10/12/apple-planning-to-launch-all-new-12-macbook-higher-res-sixth-gen-ipad-in-2014

that would probably work out ok. It could still be an Air-like design but called Macbook and starting at $999. There's only $100 retail difference between the 11" and 13" so I'd have liked them to drive the 13" in at the $999 price point eventually but if they pay by the inch for displays then 12" is a good enough compromise. 12" laptops are great for portability. While they are a bit small for productive use, getting a large external is not a big deal. Students can take the laptop to class and have a 23"-27" display in the dorm room for 'work'.

I've always felt they could do with a more affordable 15" and I'd rather that the Air line was one size at 14" with smaller bezels but if they can't get the displays cheap enough then it can't happen. A higher-end option might work though e.g $1299 14"/15" Air.

They have to make design choices around what is best for their business and what they can source from suppliers. It generally works best for them to be able to upsell to higher priced models. I suspect they will continue to lower TDP at the entry level so that it extends battery life and eventually, they may even become passively cooled as some laptops are now. They can use some sort of convection current setup to help. This will always keep people who buy for processor intensive tasks buying the higher TDP models and keep consumers that don't like charging batteries getting longer usage times.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyarbrenden View Post

So, as everyone knows, the MacBook has been discontinued since 2010, or 2011 (can't remember). To me, this wasn't necessary. This was their economy Mac. This was for the consumer that wanted a Macbook, but didn't want to pay the extra couple hundred dollars for a Macbook Pro. 
The AIR fills that role now.
Quote:
Yes, it's true that the MacBook Air 11 inch now serves as the economy MacBook, but what about the consumers that don't want an 11 inch screen? That want a full sized notebook? There's no option for $999 other than the 11 inch MacBook. 
That is true but Apple really needs a laptop that starts below $700 and isn't a crap machine. This is where I see an ARM powered laptop as being very desirable. Apple could easily shave 2-300 dollars off the cost of a laptop going with an ARM based solution.
Quote:
Also, the naming scheme doesn't make sense to me. How is there going to be a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro, but no MacBook? That's like having a PS3 Slim and a PS3 Pro without having a PS3.
They are product names, nothing more!!!! You are otherwise reading too much into names, Apple could call them the Cortland and Jonathan series if it wanted too.
Quote:
I believe that Apple will probably change the MacBook Air into just "MacBook." But I think there still should be a MacBook in the middle, something that has better specs as the MacBook Air, but not as great as the MacBook Pro. 

Which makes no sense at all. First the a AIRs are already close to the performance of the Pros in many respects. Second to offer better performance Apple would essentially have to build a variant of the 13" MBP. In effect the 13" MBP is already in between the AIRs and the 15" MBP, so effectively you are trying to fill a slot that is already filled.

This is why I see Apple as having only one slot to fill and that is for a dramatically cheaper laptop. Ideally something with a $650 price tag to start. To do that though they need a motherboard that maxes out at $100 which can't be done well with Intels current lineup of hardware. Thus the interest in an ARM based solution. Apple could certainly do this with an enhanced A7X. With quad cores it would be more than competitive with the low cost Intel offerings.
post #8 of 32

The MacBook is gone forever. The MacBook Air sort of took it's place as the "economy" Apple laptop, but it's very possible that it will be renamed to just "MacBook", as lightweight devices slowly become more of an expected standard in the industry.

post #9 of 32
I voted yes, but maybe wasn't thinking about MacBook in the sense you are. Rather I see an ARM based device filling in the low price keyboard included market
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyarbrenden View Post

So, as everyone knows, the MacBook has been discontinued since 2010, or 2011 (can't remember). To me, this wasn't necessary. This was their economy Mac. This was for the consumer that wanted a Macbook, but didn't want to pay the extra couple hundred dollars for a Macbook Pro. 
Apple needs to hit the 600-700 dollar mark. The only way to do that is to shave off a huge slice from the processors cost. Interestingly Intel is under a lot of pressure to lower laptop parts cost so maybe something Intel based will ship.
Quote:
Yes, it's true that the MacBook Air 11 inch now serves as the economy MacBook, but what about the consumers that don't want an 11 inch screen? That want a full sized notebook? There's no option for $999 other than the 11 inch MacBook. 
$999 is way too high.
Quote:
Also, the naming scheme doesn't make sense to me. How is there going to be a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro, but no MacBook? That's like having a PS3 Slim and a PS3 Pro without having a PS3.
Doesn't matter.
Quote:
I believe that Apple will probably change the MacBook Air into just "MacBook." But I think there still should be a MacBook in the middle, something that has better specs as the MacBook Air, but not as great as the MacBook Pro. 
post #10 of 32

Very good concept indeed.

post #11 of 32
No. I do hope by next year, the 13" cMBP will be completely gone and I am not too keen on the 11" MBA. Some people could make the argument about the Mac mini to which I say, limit it to 1 model.
post #12 of 32

I have a "cheap" laptop already, it's call a PC  - I only use due to work platform is PC.

My Mac Book Pro is a workhorse I use it for my personal life.

The world doesn't need to "dumb down" or "go cheap" - to much of that going around in hardware & software & most important - HUMANS that can't keep up ( and I don't mean materially)  but want everyone to think so.

post #13 of 32
This thinking is totally bogus in my mind. The number one problem is that people think that Apple couldn't maintain quality in a far less expensive laptop. People need to grasp that the single most expensive part in Apples laptops is the processor. Now we can't say what Intel charges for those chips but list is very high at around $350 dollars each. If Apple can get an equivalent chip for $40 bucks they can almost immediately shave $300 dollars off the price of their laptops. Further because they control the design of their SOC they can tailor that chip to have most of the required electronics built into the SoC. This saves them space and greatly lowers cost.

Think about an iPad for a minute and imagine that SoC was built for performance not low thermal power. We would have a chip that could make for a very passable laptop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTE APPLE View Post

I have a "cheap" laptop already, it's call a PC  - I only use due to work platform is PC.
My Mac Book Pro is a workhorse I use it for my personal life.
So? The ARM based laptops we are talking about would be similar work horses. They would still run OS/X, still have large internal SSD storage, WiFi and what have you.
Quote:
The world doesn't need to "dumb down" or "go cheap" - to much of that going around in hardware & software & most important - HUMANS that can't keep up ( and I don't mean materially)  but want everyone to think so.

See this is where I have a big problem with your post. Lower cost doesn't mean dumbed down or cheap by any means. All we are talking about here is using modern technology eliminate Intels high margin chips to allow Apple to offer a better value in the marketplace. As for your comment about humans I have no idea what you are talking about.
post #14 of 32

As much as I would like to think the Macbook will make a return, I don't see it happening. I think Apple is content with there mac lineup, and if anything we should see a revamped Macbook air "hopefully with a retina display" sometime next year. Don't get me wrong though, if Apple were to ever release a 800 dollar 13inch Macbook people would be all over that, myself included.

post #15 of 32

Apple really is not that expensive in what you are getting in good quality control and excellent customer service compared to the other companies that stink in customer service and also durability of their computers which break down a lot.

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angels1527 View Post

As much as I would like to think the Macbook will make a return, I don't see it happening. I think Apple is content with there mac lineup, and if anything we should see a revamped Macbook air "hopefully with a retina display" sometime next year. Don't get me wrong though, if Apple were to ever release a 800 dollar 13inch Macbook people would be all over that, myself included.
It does look like Apple is slowing down Mac development. As for an $800 Mac Book it is really up to Intel to price a chip set that can power such a machine reasonably. Make no mistake Intel is under huge pressure to hit better price points for its processors. Even if Intel did debut a more price sensitive chip set I'm not convinced that Apple is that concerned about its laptops anymore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

Apple really is not that expensive in what you are getting in good quality control and excellent customer service compared to the other companies that stink in customer service and also durability of their computers which break down a lot.

This is true but it is often very difficult to explain to people that are more concerned about price. This is where I see ARM allowing Apple to drastically lower the price of a laptop like machine. Since so much of the current AIR's price is wrapped up in the processor they could immediately shave a couple of hindered off the machines price. Note also that I do not imagine a "laptop" modeled on what we currently think of as a laptop if Apple implemented an ARM based device. So if anything new does come from Apple it probably won't be called a Mac Book.
post #17 of 32

why add another model to the lineup? both the Pro and Air are impressive pieces of technology and quite capable machines, to bring back the standard MacBook would not create more market share for Apple and may actually hinder the new consumer's decision about which laptop to purchase. Or possibly they (consumer) may decide to stick with a PC. more choices doesn't always translate into more sales and it usually creates more confusion for the less savvy end-user.

post #18 of 32
Apple needs to address the lower cost segment of the market. A $600 laptop from Apple does not confuse the market due the wide price disparity. Beyond that I don't see Apple positioning a "regular" Mac laptop in this slot, I'd suspect some sort of hybrid between a Mac and a tablet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Patrick View Post

why add another model to the lineup? both the Pro and Air are impressive pieces of technology and quite capable machines, to bring back the standard MacBook would not create more market share for Apple and may actually hinder the new consumer's decision about which laptop to purchase. Or possibly they (consumer) may decide to stick with a PC. more choices doesn't always translate into more sales and it usually creates more confusion for the less savvy end-user.

Your agreement has some validity but on the other hand Apple gives up considerable potential due to limited breadth of its Mac line up. Some sales simply aren't possible because Apple doesn't have the hardware for suitable for many markets.
post #19 of 32

I understand what you're saying, however I think Apple's unspoken mantra is to not make their products attainable to every consumer. It's kind of in the vein of they see themselves as the Mercedes (Bugatti, Ferarri, etc.) of the computing world. And like Mercedes' tagline of "A Mercedes in every garage." they know it's just not possible, but it's something the marketers and consumers strive for because it's not only a beautiful, well functioning machine, but it's also a status symbol for some. Just like a Bugatti Veyron.

Cheers

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Patrick View Post

I understand what you're saying, however I think Apple's unspoken mantra is to not make their products attainable to every consumer. It's kind of in the vein of they see themselves as the Mercedes (Bugatti, Ferarri, etc.) of the computing world.
I never really have bought into that idea. Apple is simply focused on quality systems which to an extent costs money, but quality isn't as expensive as some people think. Apples laptops are expensive in part due to using Intels top of the line chips, now Apple doesn't pay retail and likely gets the best wholesale price going but those Intel chips are a significant portion of the cost of Apples laptops.
Quote:
And like Mercedes' tagline of "A Mercedes in every garage." they know it's just not possible, but it's something the marketers and consumers strive for because it's not only a beautiful, well functioning machine, but it's also a status symbol for some. Just like a Bugatti Veyron.
Cheers
This is also baloney. At least in my case I went Apple because it offers a better alternative to Linux with just as much power available to the user. And really is an obviously beat up old MBP really a status symbol?
post #21 of 32

Intel chipsets and processors are expensive across the computing spectrum, not only for Apple. As for an alternative to Linux, that's a choice we all have to make. I've set up a media server running Linux Mint, it's great and I don't think I'll be changing that out any time soon. My Mac is for video and audio editing, and my PC is my work horse for daily messing about, database creation and other work. We could argue until we're both blue in the face about the pros and cons of each operating system, but in the end neither of us will convince the other that our way of thinking is superior. However I stand by my assertion of Apple's customer base being driven by the unspoken desires of Apple's marketing. To the point that they see their product as the best in the world and then charging a price that reflects this mentality. Because in the end all the sheeple of the world see is that Apple logo on the back of your beat up MBP. Nothing else really matters to them (sheeple) beyond that.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love my MBP, my iPhone and iPad, the Apple culture, and so on. But I'm also not going to disregard one OS over another because it doesn't conform to the standards of independent tests conducted by others, or because I'm anti-Bill Gates/Steve Jobs/Linus Torvalds. I like to think I'm knowledgeable enough in technology as a whole to be completely at ease moving from one OS to another -seamlessly- and building a system from scratch to come to my own conclusions about how well it truly works. I'm far from some kind of genius, but I'm just as far from dumb. Different strokes for different folks, mate.

post #22 of 32
Originally Posted by Shawn Patrick View Post

Dont get me wrong, I love my MBP, my iPhone and iPad, the Apple culture, and so on. But

 

This is not a guideline of what to do.

 
However I stand by my assertion of Apple's customer base being driven by the unspoken desires of Apple's marketing. To the point that they see their product as the best in the world and then charging a price that reflects this mentality. Because in the end all the sheeple of the world see is that Apple logo on the back of your beat up MBP. Nothing else really matters to them (sheeple) beyond that.

 

How is this statement inapplicable to ANY company’s marketing department, except for the part where they’re not actually making the best products in the world?

 
I'm also not going to disregard one OS over another because it doesn't conform to the standards of independent tests conducted by others, or because I'm anti-Bill Gates/Steve Jobs/Linus Torvalds.

 

No, nor should you. If you hate something, get to know it better. Either you’ll keep hating it–but for correct reasons–or you’ll accept that it’s just not worth using, otherwise. No sense in blind hatred.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Patrick View Post

Intel chipsets and processors are expensive across the computing spectrum, not only for Apple.
Yes Intels top of the line chipsets are expensive but in the alternative OS world you have many machines built with far cheaper chip sets. Those chip sets can come from Intel or AMD. Frankly I haven't even looked at low end laptops in over a year now, but AMD's BRAZOS platform was very popular in the extreme low end machines awhile ago. So too cheaper Intel and AMD chipsets.

The point is a couple hundred dollars of an Apple laptop costs are directly related to the cost of Intels Chipset.
Quote:
As for an alternative to Linux, that's a choice we all have to make. I've set up a media server running Linux Mint, it's great and I don't think I'll be changing that out any time soon. My Mac is for video and audio editing, and my PC is my work horse for daily messing about, database creation and other work. We could argue until we're both blue in the face about the pros and cons of each operating system, but in the end neither of us will convince the other that our way of thinking is superior.
The intent wasn't to convince you of anything! I bought a MBP and the Mac OS echo system because it is a far better platform, especially for a laptop. Frankly one could suggest that it is far better than any other platform right now for mobile computing. You basically get the power of UNIX in a very power efficient machine.

By the way I have Linux systems at home and a VM on the laptop. At work it is no choice other than Windows.
Quote:
However I stand by my assertion of Apple's customer base being driven by the unspoken desires of Apple's marketing. To the point that they see their product as the best in the world and then charging a price that reflects this mentality. Because in the end all the sheeple of the world see is that Apple logo on the back of your beat up MBP. Nothing else really matters to them (sheeple) beyond that.
In many aspect the Mac is the best in the world. I have exposure to all of the major platforms and frankly Mac OS is the most trouble free of the lot. Does that mean it is perfect - no but it is certainly worth a few dollars more.

I have to wonder if a Mac user peed in your cereal this morning as you seem to be really upset with Mac users for some reason.
Quote:
Don't get me wrong, I love my MBP, my iPhone and iPad, the Apple culture, and so on. But I'm also not going to disregard one OS over another because it doesn't conform to the standards of independent tests conducted by others, or because I'm anti-Bill Gates/Steve Jobs/Linus Torvalds.
Where are you pulling this from? Nobody here was talking about disregarding other OS's, I did say something about moving to a Mac as my primary machine from Linux. It was the right thing to do unless you are really into the constant tinkering and incompatible system updates that come out every six months.
Quote:
I like to think I'm knowledgeable enough in technology as a whole to be completely at ease moving from one OS to another -seamlessly- and building a system from scratch to come to my own conclusions about how well it truly works. I'm far from some kind of genius, but I'm just as far from dumb. Different strokes for different folks, mate.

OK! Again I don't know what set you off here but what in the hell does building your own system have to do with the viability of bringing the Mac Book back or Apple slotting in a new machine into the line up.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This is not a guideline of what to do.

How is this statement inapplicable to ANY company’s marketing department, except for the part where they’re not actually making the best products in the world?
Some people just don't grasp what marketing is. I see this all the time in the various Apple forums, in fact more so in Apple forums than others I view. The number one thing about marketing is that you can only sell or market if you will, those products that you have available at the moment.

We often see people bring up comments Steve Jobs made about the iPad and having to sharpen fingers. It is just some of Steve marketing genius at keeping people focused on what they had to sell at the moment. This doesn't have anything to do with the fact that iPhones existed at the time with much smaller screens or that the iPad Mini was already under development. It is simply selling the product that they where introducing at the time. Why people don't grasp this is beyond me.

Apple beyond a doubt is a company with a highly evolved marketing arm.
Quote:
No, nor should you. If you hate something, get to know it better. Either you’ll keep hating it–but for correct reasons–or you’ll accept that it’s just not worth using, otherwise. No sense in blind hatred.
No sense at all in blind hatred. However I'm not sure how saying the Mac is the best platform out there for many (most) users is somehow twisted into a statement that implies the alternatives are crap.

Frankly the message that you are responding to made no sense to me at all. Like I said in the other reply it is like a Mac user peed in his cereal this morning.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Think about an iPad for a minute and imagine that SoC was built for performance not low thermal power. We would have a chip that could make for a very passable laptop.
So? The ARM based laptops we are talking about would be similar work horses. They would still run OS/X, still have large internal SSD storage, WiFi and what have you.

And they would lose all the x86 apps until ported to ARM and ARM chips "built for performance" are still only going to be bay trail range in power. If apple was satisfied with "passable" they'd have made netbooks which is what you are suggesting.

No thanks for now. Core i5 is far superior for laptop workloads. Maybe in a few years but by then intel would also be further along and our laptop workloads will be even more demanding.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

And they would lose all the x86 apps until ported to ARM and ARM chips "built for performance" are still only going to be bay trail range in power. If apple was satisfied with "passable" they'd have made netbooks which is what you are suggesting.
A7 is a lot better than bay trail and if you up the clock by 1GHZ it would deliver nice single core performance. The idea here is that you are saving significant power over the i86 solutions. Add more cores and you wouldn't notice the difference between this A8ish ARM and an Intel i3 maybe even an i5.
Quote:
No thanks for now. Core i5 is far superior for laptop workloads.
It certainly is if you compare a 1.3 GHz chip to a 3GHz chip. The real question is this how much overhead does Apple have clock wise in their A7. Will it run at 2, 2.5 or even 3 GHz? I don't know but the point is the chip is relatively slow at the 1.3 GHz clock range and it probably runs at that clock rate for thermal reasons and nothing else.
Quote:
Maybe in a few years but by then intel would also be further along and our laptop workloads will be even more demanding.

The thing here is that Apple can tailor the chip to their specific needs. This is especially important in the realm of GPU performance and optimizations for OpenCL. Not that Intel is still behind the eight ball there, but it took them a long time to take GPUs seriously.

Would it take Apple years to catch up to Intel? Hard to say, but we have seen some amazing strides of late. If they double core performance yet again will the gap with Intel be significant? I don't see anything stopping Apple from producing such a laptop, one that they can sell at a significantly reduced price relative to the AIRs. Maybe it ends up as an iOS device, which frankly I don't want to see, or something in between. I just see Apple with an opportunity here to shake up the PC industry even more.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A7 is a lot better than bay trail and if you up the clock by 1GHZ it would deliver nice single core performance. 

 

A lot better?  It looks like Bay Trail is on par with the A7 if not better in terms of raw compute power.

 

"Update: Intel responded with a Bay Trail run under IE11, which comes in at 329.6 ms."
 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/5

 

"But the Bay Trail's Geekbench score of 2,935 surpassed those of the LG G2 (2,154) and the Apple iPhone 5 as loaded with iOS 7 (1,296) by a significant margin."

 

"To put it nicely, the Bay Trail reference model obliterated the Atom Z2760–based systems that have come before it. Its PCMark 7 score of 2,560 was markedly higher than those of the closest contenders, the Asus VivoTab Smart ME400C (which scored 1,438) and theLenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 (1,410). Whereas those systems required huge chunks of time to complete our HandBrake video conversion test (Lenovo's tablet was the fastest, needing 5 minutes 16 seconds), Bay Trail wrapped up the task in just 2:17. Its rendering score in CineBench R11.5 was an eye-popping improvement as well: 1.47, almost two and a half times the next-highest result (the 0.63 of the HP ElitePad 900).?

 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424262,00.asp

 

iPad Air scores 2643 on Geekbench vs 2935 for Bay Trail.

 

http://www.primatelabs.com/blog/2013/10/ipad-air-benchmarks/

 

And Bay Trail is infinitely faster than the A7 at running x86 apps.

 

Quote:
The idea here is that you are saving significant power over the i86 solutions. Add more cores and you wouldn't notice the difference between this A8ish ARM and an Intel i3 maybe even an i5.

 

If you up the clock of the ARM by 1GHz you're going to significantly increase power use.

 

Add more cores and you're going to significantly increase power use.

 

The distance between Bay Trail/A7 performance and i5 performance is large.

 

The MBA geekbench score is 4471 for the 1.5 Ghz dual core i5.

 

By the time you've bridged that performance gap you've lost any power advantage vs the lowest power Haswells.  

 

And you've lost x86 app compatibility.   Any any Rosetta-like hack will cost you a lot in terms of performance as well.

 

Quote:
It certainly is if you compare a 1.3 GHz chip to a 3GHz chip. 

 

It certainly is if you compare a 1.4 Ghz A7 (iPad Air) vs a 1.3 Ghz dual core i5 (MBA).

 

1465 single core vs 2366 for the i5

2643 multi core vs 4471 for the i5

 

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/primatelabsblog/~3/pzWGX26-fmg/retina-macbook-pro-benchmarks

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/primatelabsblog/~3/fNJU6q41xM0/ipad-air-benchmarks

 

Quote:
The real question is this how much overhead does Apple have clock wise in their A7. Will it run at 2, 2.5 or even 3 GHz? I don't know but the point is the chip is relatively slow at the 1.3 GHz clock range and it probably runs at that clock rate for thermal reasons and nothing else.

 

Thermal and power.  Not thermal and nothing else.  And as you say, there's no certainty that the A7 will clock all that fast.

 

Quote:
 The thing here is that Apple can tailor the chip to their specific needs. This is especially important in the realm of GPU performance and optimizations for OpenCL. Not that Intel is still behind the eight ball there, but it took them a long time to take GPUs seriously.

 

The thing here is that the iPad Air is amazingly fast for iPad workflows while the i5 MBA is just okay for laptop workflows.  Given that the A7 is half the speed of the i5 in the MBA it would make for a 3 year regression in MBA performance back to slightly above the 2010 Core 2 Duo MBA.

 

And tailor all you want…it still won't run x86 apps and would still be slow for running things like iMovie, Xcode, Eclipse, Pixelmator, Aperture, etc which is pretty much all I turn my Mac on for these days.  

 

My kids use a Core 2 Duo mac mini (about par with iPad Air geek bench scores) and OMG, even with a SSD the thing is slow for more than just browsing.  Even in comparison to my 3 year old Core i5 MBP which is also nothing much to speak of these days.

 

Quote:
 Would it take Apple years to catch up to Intel? Hard to say, but we have seen some amazing strides of late. If they double core performance yet again will the gap with Intel be significant? I don't see anything stopping Apple from producing such a laptop, one that they can sell at a significantly reduced price relative to the AIRs. Maybe it ends up as an iOS device, which frankly I don't want to see, or something in between. I just see Apple with an opportunity here to shake up the PC industry even more.

 

Given that the Bay Trail SOCs are more or less price competitive with ARM SOCs I see no real price advantage in losing x86 compatibility to go A7.  And the MBA running either an A7 or Bay Trail ends up in netbook range of performance.

 

That isn't going to shake up the industry at all.

 

What stops Apple from producing such a laptop today is that it would suck as a laptop in comparison to the MBA, have crappy ASP and cheapens the brand.  Maybe in a few years the performance penalty won't be as bad as moving from 2013 to 2010.  Today it is.

post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post
 

 

A lot better?  It looks like Bay Trail is on par with the A7 if not better in terms of raw compute power.

 

"Update: Intel responded with a Bay Trail run under IE11, which comes in at 329.6 ms."
 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/5

 

"But the Bay Trail's Geekbench score of 2,935 surpassed those of the LG G2 (2,154) and the Apple iPhone 5 as loaded with iOS 7 (1,296) by a significant margin."

 

"To put it nicely, the Bay Trail reference model obliterated the Atom Z2760–based systems that have come before it. Its PCMark 7 score of 2,560 was markedly higher than those of the closest contenders, the Asus VivoTab Smart ME400C (which scored 1,438) and theLenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 (1,410). Whereas those systems required huge chunks of time to complete our HandBrake video conversion test (Lenovo's tablet was the fastest, needing 5 minutes 16 seconds), Bay Trail wrapped up the task in just 2:17. Its rendering score in CineBench R11.5 was an eye-popping improvement as well: 1.47, almost two and a half times the next-highest result (the 0.63 of the HP ElitePad 900).?

 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424262,00.asp

 

iPad Air scores 2643 on Geekbench vs 2935 for Bay Trail.

 

http://www.primatelabs.com/blog/2013/10/ipad-air-benchmarks/

 

And Bay Trail is infinitely faster than the A7 at running x86 apps.

 

 

If you up the clock of the ARM by 1GHz you're going to significantly increase power use.

 

Add more cores and you're going to significantly increase power use.

 

The distance between Bay Trail/A7 performance and i5 performance is large.

 

The MBA geekbench score is 4471 for the 1.5 Ghz dual core i5.

 

By the time you've bridged that performance gap you've lost any power advantage vs the lowest power Haswells.  

 

And you've lost x86 app compatibility.   Any any Rosetta-like hack will cost you a lot in terms of performance as well.

 

 

It certainly is if you compare a 1.4 Ghz A7 (iPad Air) vs a 1.3 Ghz dual core i5 (MBA).

 

1465 single core vs 2366 for the i5

2643 multi core vs 4471 for the i5

 

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/primatelabsblog/~3/pzWGX26-fmg/retina-macbook-pro-benchmarks

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/primatelabsblog/~3/fNJU6q41xM0/ipad-air-benchmarks

 

 

Thermal and power.  Not thermal and nothing else.  And as you say, there's no certainty that the A7 will clock all that fast.

 

 

The thing here is that the iPad Air is amazingly fast for iPad workflows while the i5 MBA is just okay for laptop workflows.  Given that the A7 is half the speed of the i5 in the MBA it would make for a 3 year regression in MBA performance back to slightly above the 2010 Core 2 Duo MBA.

 

And tailor all you want…it still won't run x86 apps and would still be slow for running things like iMovie, Xcode, Eclipse, Pixelmator, Aperture, etc which is pretty much all I turn my Mac on for these days.  

 

My kids use a Core 2 Duo mac mini (about par with iPad Air geek bench scores) and OMG, even with a SSD the thing is slow for more than just browsing.  Even in comparison to my 3 year old Core i5 MBP which is also nothing much to speak of these days.

 

 

Given that the Bay Trail SOCs are more or less price competitive with ARM SOCs I see no real price advantage in losing x86 compatibility to go A7.  And the MBA running either an A7 or Bay Trail ends up in netbook range of performance.

 

That isn't going to shake up the industry at all.

 

What stops Apple from producing such a laptop today is that it would suck as a laptop in comparison to the MBA, have crappy ASP and cheapens the brand.  Maybe in a few years the performance penalty won't be as bad as moving from 2013 to 2010.  Today it is.

 

You're delusional if you think Intel's Bay Trail is on par with the industry's system-wide adoption of ARM.

post #29 of 32
Don't be taken in by the media.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

A lot better?  It looks like Bay Trail is on par with the A7 if not better in terms of raw compute power.
The fact remains that the A7 is cooler and running on an older generation process. That pretty much by definition makes it a lot better. Besides in mobile it isn't just about raw CPU compute power! it is what the whole SoC offers that is important.
Quote:
"Update
: Intel responded with a Bay Trail run under IE11
, which comes in at 329.6 ms."
 
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/5

"But the Bay Trail's Geekbench score of 2,935 surpassed those of the LG G2
 (2,154) and the Apple iPhone 5
 as loaded with iOS 7
 (1,296) by a significant margin."

"To put it nicely, the Bay Trail reference model obliterated the Atom Z2760–based systems that have come before it. Its PCMark 7 score of 2,560 was markedly higher than those of the closest contenders, the Asus VivoTab Smart ME400C
 (which scored 1,438) and theLenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2
 (1,410). Whereas those systems required huge chunks of time to complete our HandBrake video conversion test (Lenovo's tablet was the fastest, needing 5 minutes 16 seconds), Bay Trail wrapped up the task in just 2:17. Its rendering score in CineBench R11.5 was an eye-popping improvement as well: 1.47, almost two and a half times the next-highest result (the 0.63 of the HP ElitePad 900
).?

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424262,00.asp

iPad Air scores 2643 on Geekbench vs 2935 for Bay Trail.
I suppose if geek bench was important to me I'd be a little concerned. On the other hand this just highlights that Bay Trail isn't really all that incredible. Atom has been around for awhile now and basically Intel latest effort barely pulls ahead of the first ARM 64 bit machine to be delivered. Do you not see a problem here, even with Intels advanced process technology they can't deliver an overwhelming win on a poor synthetic benchmark.
Quote:
http://www.primatelabs.com/blog/2013/10/ipad-air-benchmarks/

And Bay Trail is infinitely faster than the A7 at running x86 apps.
Who really gives two hoots about X86 apps. That is why I have a laptop.
Quote:

If you up the clock of the ARM by 1GHz you're going to significantly increase power use.
Certainly but will you be in the same territory as the "I" series chips from Intel. If they hit ten watts it is still far better than the Intel offerings.
Quote:
Add more cores and you're going to significantly increase power use.
Cores themselves don't add significant power. If I remember correctly Global Foundries indicated some time ago that the basic ARM core was pulling 500 milliwatts. Often most of the power goes to supporting hardware especially the caches.
Quote:
The distance between Bay Trail/A7 performance and i5 performance is large.

The MBA geekbench score is 4471 for the 1.5 Ghz dual core i5.

By the time you've bridged that performance gap you've lost any power advantage vs the lowest power Haswells.  
We really don't know that. Engineers are always coming up with new architectures. Sometimes the architectures are really radical like the "Mill" processor, sometimes they are simply improvements to an existing design.
Quote:
And you've lost x86 app compatibility.   Any any Rosetta-like hack will cost you a lot in terms of performance as well.
Again the desire to be compatible with a dying platform is not a big concern for me. Apple would have a massive software library right out of the gate if they simply provide a compatibility mode to run iOS apps as well as native ARM Mac OS apps. Frankly Apple already has most of the infrastructure in place on Mac OS to do this. All they need to do is make it transparent to the user.
Quote:

It certainly is if you compare a 1.4 Ghz A7 (iPad Air) vs a 1.3 Ghz dual core i5 (MBA).

1465 single core vs 2366 for the i5
2643 multi core vs 4471 for the i5
That really isn't that bad and is the whole point of my proposal. That gap can be easily narrowed by improvement to the core and adding more cores.
Quote:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/primatelabsblog/~3/pzWGX26-fmg/retina-macbook-pro-benchmarks
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/primatelabsblog/~3/fNJU6q41xM0/ipad-air-benchmarks


Thermal and power.  Not thermal and nothing else.  And as you say, there's no certainty that the A7 will clock all that fast.


The thing here is that the iPad Air is amazingly fast for iPad workflows while the i5 MBA is just okay for laptop workflows.  Given that the A7 is half the speed of the i5 in the MBA it would make for a 3 year regression in MBA performance back to slightly above the 2010 Core 2 Duo MBA.
In return we get a laptop that is $300 cheaper if not more. That is if the current A7 chip is used. I don't expect the current A7 to be used as is.
Quote:
And tailor all you want…it still won't run x86 apps and would still be slow for running things like iMovie, Xcode, Eclipse, Pixelmator, Aperture, etc which is pretty much all I turn my Mac on for these days.  
So? Really .that is you, many users have other usage patterns where the machine would be fine. Even then the specifics of how each of those apps would perform on an ARM platform is unknown.
Quote:
My kids use a Core 2 Duo mac mini (about par with iPad Air geek bench scores) and OMG, even with a SSD the thing is slow for more than just browsing.  Even in comparison to my 3 year old Core i5 MBP which is also nothing much to speak of these days.
But it is good enough for your kids right?
Quote:

Given that the Bay Trail SOCs are more or less price competitive with ARM SOCs I see no real price advantage in losing x86 compatibility to go A7.  And the MBA running either an A7 or Bay Trail ends up in netbook range of performance.
I see no good reason to be x86 compatible anymore. That was a big issue for me when I purchased my 2008 MBP all those years ago, it isn't anymore though. In fact i86 is a big drag on innovation if you ask me.
Quote:
That isn't going to shake up the industry at all.

What stops Apple from producing such a laptop today is that it would suck as a laptop in comparison to the MBA, have crappy ASP and cheapens the brand.  Maybe in a few years the performance penalty won't be as bad as moving from 2013 to 2010.  Today it is.

You are assuming the machine would come with iPad AIR performance levels and you also seem to discount the importance of the GPU and other hardware in the SoC. As for the nonsense about cheapening the brand, they sell the Apple TV for less than $99, they still sell the iPad 2 and frankly this year they learned that the can't command the high prices on the laptops that they would like to have.

A company Apples size won't remain in business without reasonably priced hardware relative to the rest of the market. They learned that lesson this year when they had to discount and promote the laptops that where introduced with very high prices. An ARM based machine gives them the option to create an entry level machine (I don't want to call it a laptop) that is low enough in price that it is considered a different product from the AIR and MBP lines. The only thing I can see as being really important here is that it supports a version of Mac OS as its primary OS, to allow user access instead of a buttoned down iOS machine.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You're delusional if you think Intel's Bay Trail is on par with the industry's system-wide adoption of ARM.

Did you notice that most of that post was about benchmarks that don't really matter? Apple has been making very significant progress with their DIY SoC. I have complete confidence that they can keep this up for at least a couple of years more. Even if thesis laptop/undefined device, doesn't exist there are solid rumors about a larger iPad floating around. Such a machine would require a more powerful version of the A7 so if these near term rumors are correct I would expect a beefed up A7 would be available early next year.

Of course what gets beefed up in the chip might not be what some want to see improved. The likely hood is that the chip would be accelerated GPU wise to drive far more pixels. Of course to address the bandwidth issues new caches or maybe a wider memory interface would likely happen. Apple has a history of being able to tweak their "A" series chips to get the performance they need for a specific machine, so I could see all sorts of tweaks happening to the current A7 architecture. We aren't even talking about what might be in an A8 chip here.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

You're delusional if you think Intel's Bay Trail is on par with the industry's system-wide adoption of ARM.

 

You're delusional if you think your post responded to mine in any relatable fashion.  Who was talking about adoption rates?  Nobody.

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The fact remains that the A7 is cooler and running on an older generation process. That pretty much by definition makes it a lot better. Besides in mobile it isn't just about raw CPU compute power! it is what the whole SoC offers that is important.

 

The Bay Trail tested by Anand showed 2.5W at the SoC level under load which is on par with estimates of the A7 TDP.  That Intel is a half node ahead isn't an issue for Intel going forward given they'll be at 14nm before anyone else.

 
Quote:
I suppose if geek bench was important to me I'd be a little concerned. On the other hand this just highlights that Bay Trail isn't really all that incredible. Atom has been around for awhile now and basically Intel latest effort barely pulls ahead of the first ARM 64 bit machine to be delivered. Do you not see a problem here, even with Intels advanced process technology they can't deliver an overwhelming win on a poor synthetic benchmark.

 

ARM has been around longer than Atom.  So what?  The fact is that Intel has vastly improved the power consumption part of the performance per watt equation across it's entire line up as fast as ARM (including the A7) has increased the performance part of the performance per watt equation AND can still move up the performance envelope to the Core i7 performance levels.

 

Nope, I don't see a problem at all given 11.5W TDP Haswells with 4.5W SDPs in the works.  The primary advantage that ARM still enjoys is die size.

 

Quote:
Who really gives two hoots about X86 apps. That is why I have a laptop.

 

Because you're advocating replacing the Core i5 with an uber A7 in a new MacBook model.

 

"Think about an iPad for a minute and imagine that SoC was built for performance not low thermal power. We would have a chip that could make for a very passable laptop.
So? The ARM based laptops we are talking about would be similar work horses. They would still run OS/X, still have large internal SSD storage, WiFi and what have you."

 

The answer is that no, they wouldn't be similar work horses for laptop workflows NOR would they run x86 apps.

 

Quote:
Certainly but will you be in the same territory as the "I" series chips from Intel. If they hit ten watts it is still far better than the Intel offerings.

 

If you hit 10W you are not "far better" than an 11.5W TDP Core i5.  While the Y series Haswells are a bit MIA at least they exist.

 

Quote:
Cores themselves don't add significant power. If I remember correctly Global Foundries indicated some time ago that the basic ARM core was pulling 500 milliwatts. Often most of the power goes to supporting hardware especially the caches.

 

LOL.  Some time ago is the operative word.  ARM cores are not so basic anymore. 

 

Quote:
Again the desire to be compatible with a dying platform is not a big concern for me. Apple would have a massive software library right out of the gate if they simply provide a compatibility mode to run iOS apps as well as native ARM Mac OS apps. 

 

LOL.  Macs are a dying platform?  So why build an ARM based OSX laptop at all?   And iOS apps would run about as well on a MBA as OSX apps would run on iPad.  Poorly since they are designed for different user interaction.

 

Quote:
 Frankly Apple already has most of the infrastructure in place on Mac OS to do this. All they need to do is make it transparent to the user.
That really isn't that bad and is the whole point of my proposal. That gap can be easily narrowed by improvement to the core and adding more cores.

 

Gee, all Apple needs to do is improve their leading edge ARM processor and add more cores.

 

Quote:
 In return we get a laptop that is $300 cheaper if not more. That is if the current A7 chip is used. I don't expect the current A7 to be used as is.

 

If Apple wanted to make $699 laptops it can.  And Bay Trail is going to be price competitive with ARM SoCs according to Intel and geared toward $599 tablets.  It would still suck but at least it maintains app compatibility with the rest of the Mac line.

Quote:
 So? Really .that is you, many users have other usage patterns where the machine would be fine. Even then the specifics of how each of those apps would perform on an ARM platform is unknown.

 

While every pickup truck owner does different things with their trucks the base requirements remain the same.  Which is why they have beefier engines than subcompacts.

 

Every time a real world example, benchmark, use case is provided all you do is get upset and wave your arms around even harder.  No, it's not just "me".  It's everyone that has stuff that even the iPad Air would be asininely slow in comparison to the MBA.

Quote:
But it is good enough for your kids right?

 

Only for tasks the iPad can do.  Which except for MS Office is all it does.

 

Quote:
I see no good reason to be x86 compatible anymore. That was a big issue for me when I purchased my 2008 MBP all those years ago, it isn't anymore though. In fact i86 is a big drag on innovation if you ask me.

 

So you see no good reason that an "entry level" Macbook should be compatible with the rest of the Mac lineup in terms of applications.  

 

What?  You're going to replace all the MBPs and iMacs and MPs with more magical A7 cores?

 

Quote:
You are assuming the machine would come with iPad AIR performance levels and you also seem to discount the importance of the GPU and other hardware in the SoC. As for the nonsense about cheapening the brand, they sell the Apple TV for less than $99, they still sell the iPad 2 and frankly this year they learned that the can't command the high prices on the laptops that they would like to have.

 

I can show you an Intel x86 SoC running in a reference platform with similar performance to the A7 SoC.  You cannot show me a running ARM based SoC with similar performance to the Core i5 in a reference platform.  The GPU is a wash.  The Bay Trail FFRD is about 30% slower than the Tegra 4 GPU and slightly faster than the Adreno 225 GPU.  Cloverview was paired with the PowerVR SGX545. Merrifield will be paired with a PowerVR 6 Rogue GPU.  It's a SoC and Intel will use PowerVR when it thinks it needs to and has done so in the past.

 

Cheapening the brand isn't price.  It's providing a slow laptop to save $300 when the iPad Air can already do everything an ARM based laptop can do by adding a keyboard and the MBA is about as low as you want to go for laptop workflows.  Otherwise we'd see Core i3 Macbooks.

 

Quote:
 A company Apples size won't remain in business without reasonably priced hardware relative to the rest of the market. 

 

Oh bullshit.  Apple has based it's entire business in not providing "reasonably priced hardware relative to the rest of the market" but instead "exceptional hardware at a higher price relative to the rest of the market".

 

Really...listen to yourself with the Apple is Doomed TM bullshit.  OMG they're going to go out of business without an xMac.  Oh way, ARM laptop.

 

Quote:
An ARM based machine gives them the option to create an entry level machine (I don't want to call it a laptop) that is low enough in price that it is considered a different product from the AIR and MBP lines. The only thing I can see as being really important here is that it supports a version of Mac OS as its primary OS, to allow user access instead of a buttoned down iOS machine.

 

AKA Netbook.  No shit you don't want to call it a laptop.  If you're going to wish for unicorns you're better off wishing for an xMac.  At least it wouldn't suck.

 

Mac price points have been marching north for over a decade and Apple has not changed despite your assertion otherwise.  In fact, if they don't simply cancel the Mac Mini, I expect the Mac Mini price to really jump up.  There's no need for a $599 Mac Mini anymore in Apple's thinking for "switchers".  The iPad/iPhone halo took care of exposing folks to OSX.   They don't really make "entry level" anything.

 

If they keep the mini at all I expect to see just a $999 somewhat slower quad core i7 base model without Iris Pro, with 1TB Fusion standard and a $1199 slightly faster quad core i7 server model with Iris Pro and dual 1TB drives.  BTO would just be for RAM and a couple SSD options.

 

If you need a truck Apple will sell you one with a beefy V8 and not a V6.


Edited by nht - 12/11/13 at 8:50pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Is it time to bring the MacBook back?