Originally Posted by Marvin
It's one of their best-selling models, I reckon they'll go Haswell refresh with 800 series GPUs but if they plan to ditch the 13", they might update them at the same time.
Of course they could do something like that but it really wouldn't be the update many are hoping for. That coming die shrink would likely mean a very cool running but high performance computer.
I thought a quad-i7 13" with Iris Pro would be quite good but it's a higher powered chip so they'd have to ship a different PSU for that model. Plus, how many people who want that raw performance would want a 13" screen? The reason for the power is productivity and 13" is small. I'd say a cheaper, lighter 15" model would be more appealing to lower-end buyers than a faster 13" model.
That is sorta of the point with waiting for Broadwell. Broadwell would potentially provide a processor cool enough to go into the 13". I say potential because it appear all bets are off and Intel isn't even sure what they will be shipping.
As for a faster 13" id certianly consider such a machine! Being small isn't always a problem and certainly isn't for the improving circuit density one can have. As such I really have an expectation that the 13" will go quad if Broadwell ever ships. The technology would be about right for that to happen.
Thunderbolt wouldn't be any more flimsy than mag-safe and it's not really all that much power for the Air at least.
That is sorta my point. Mag Safe is far from a good example of something Apple has done well. The cable is unreliable in the sense that it breaks down at the Mag Safe connector and often runs hot.
The Air has a 45W PSU but doesn't draw anywhere near that. That just helps it charge up faster. If the port supplied 20-30W, that would keep the MBA powered. The MBP would be a bit different but it depends on what it's being used for. The MBP is rated for 8 hours of use with a 95Wh battery so that's under 12Watts continuous. If it was being used under heavy load for long periods like with gaming, it would need to be supplied with much more. The 15" MBP ships with a 95W PSU.
There is some hope that Broadwell will help here if Apple stresses power savings. As you note though running flat out Intel laptop processors do use a lot of power. Generally I think such users should be running a desktop if they do that often.
They might struggle to find the PCIe lanes to support that but they don't have to all operate at full speed. A future revision of TB was also noted to be compatible with USB 3 so it may be possible to get TB to USB 3 cables in which case inexpensive USB 3 peripherals could plug into a TB port. For mice with USB adaptors, it would make sense to leave one USB port but certainly one of the existing USB ports could be switched for two more TB ports so you'd have 4x TB + USB 3 on the MBP and 3x TB + USB 3 on the Air.
I don't see a lot of value in mixing port functionality keeping USB, USB and TB, TB; just makes it easier to understand the functionality of the machine. In the end I don't see multi function ports as a big problem I just see it as making the amchine inconvenient.
As for PCI Express lanes that is an interesting question and I don't really know what Intel has planned for the Broadwell lineup. I was under the impression that they had the intentions to integrate TB into the SOC. At least I heard something to that effect but that could be targeted for SkyLake.