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Intel rolls out faster Haswell CPUs possibly bound for MacBook Pro refresh - Page 2

post #41 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think the design works pretty well as it is but it generates a fair bit of noise when the fan is going. Maybe a Mac Pro-like cylinder would work out ok. It wouldn't need a triangular heatsink but they could have the PSU at the base, a single 2.5" HDD in the middle so the cylinder diameter would be just larger than the width of a 2.5" HDD - just under 3" and the height would be just larger than the length - around 4". I'm not sure if the 3" fan would be as quiet as the Mac Pro but that design should have better airflow. They can supplement the internal HDD with an optional SSD to keep the price down. With both HDD and SSD, it would make a Fusion drive and there can be an SSD on its own.
I like the idea of a new platform as long as it does not compromise performance. Actually Id prefer more performance via support for higher wattage processors. The gap between the Mini and the Mac Pro is just massive performance wise and continues to get wider. Many see the Mini as entry level and I suppose the bottom end machine can be seen that way, however I'd rather see it as a machine that is a serviceable desktop machine for people that need good performance without investing in a Mac Pro.

A cylinder desogned Mini has a lot of potential in this regards. Make it half the size of the Pro and you would still have plenty of room for a strongly performing desktop.
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When HDDs eventually go away altogether, the design can be shortened.
For a long time I was instant upon the idea of internal expansion via hard disk bays. Im to the point now where that just doesn't show up on the check off list. Far better I/O ports have solved that problem.

However that being said I hting it would be easy to build a Mini in a cylinder type housing with room for a blade SSD and a standard format hard drive "bay". Todays high integràtion chips would allow for the CPU card to support memory and a SSD mezzanine on one side of a heat sink with the bad side a mounting point for a "disk". In otherwords imagine a machine like the Pro but instead of a triangle heat sink it has hollow slab in the center, one side for the CPU board and one side for the option. These days you could easily do such a machine in a 3-4" diameter tube.
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The CPU and RAM (possibly soldered) would go at the back beside the ports and there could be a flat heatsink with fins vertically that the top fan draws air through and this setup would cool the PSU and HDD.
I think you are describing something very similar to what I'm thinking about. However I'm also thinking single board computer here, there would be no secondary boards for ports and the like. We would have one power supply board and one computer board. Connection to the expansion or hard drive would be via cable.

Note I used the word expansion there, the latest HD standards support both PCI and SATA ports. The PCI ports might be a way to offer optional expansion in the form of a "disk" format device.
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The other route would be to keep flattening it like the laptops. The cylinder design would leave empty space inside, the square design lets them pack everything in tight.

I don't know why they skipped the Haswell chips in the Mini. A lack of refreshes typically points to something being EOL but it could still be the thing about moving manufacturing to the US. They also couldn't update it before October 2013 as they needed dual-core processors for the low-end. The 13" rMBP actually moved to ULT dual-cores.
The Haswell skip is just plain stupidfity and arrogance on Apples part of you ask me. They could have had 9 months of solid Haswell sales if they had pulled head from ass here.
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An Iris Pro mini would be a nice desktop but if the mini is more effort to build than the revenue it generates, they'll just get rid of it. I think the lower priced entry iMac is evidence of trying to push people away from the low-end.
Actually I think it is an attempt to recognize that Apple hardware is seen as being very expensive. The problem with the Mini is there is little difference between the entry level machine and the high end models. The high end models struggle to fill the role of a midrange desktop work station. The problem Apple has is the lack of a decent desktop I between the Mini and the Mac Pro.
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What are people who typically buy a quad-i7 Mac going to do without the Mini? If they are invested in the Mac platform, which most people would be, they'll migrate up to a MBP or iMac, both double the revenue. People who want the entry model Mini will either go for an entry iMac or entry Air again both almost double the revenue for Apple. They're not going to lose significant amounts of customers.
I have to say that people will leave the platform. The Mini is in a niche but a very useful nice. The fact that the likes of Lenovo and others have been trying to take a piece of that niche should highlight that the form factor is coming into its own. Unfortunately it looks like it is coming into its own just about the time Apple will abandon the form factor. I've seen the Mini and other SFF machines stuffed into all sorts of places where a normal desktop could go. Headless tiny boxes are very useful for automation, use specific servers and providing intelligence embedded into machine controllers.
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That move would leave the question of their server OS as you can't really use an iMac or laptop as a server but they can make an ARM server running an iOS Server OS. This would work in the enterprise too:

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/42296.wss

iOS is a lightweight OS that works with very small amounts of memory (under 1GB and no virtual memory). This is great for servers and virtualization. They can make an x86 version of iOS server to run on generic hardware too. Most of the software intended to be run on it will be compiled for it anyway. Apple could then make a low-cost personal server product or put an ARM chip into the Airport to use as a personal server.

Actually an ARM based server is a good idea. However I think Apple is scared of the server market.
post #42 of 72
DDR4 is exactly what the modern APUs need! Every APU made these days has bandwidth issues that limit the systems over all performance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I could see any of those options as options. My estimates are fairly conservative. I look at options tangential to what they have done within 2 major refresh cycles. I can say that even if you stuck completely with the mobile cpus, Apple has options at the same "recommended customer pricing" levels as those from the ivy bridge generation. The skus are there, but they aren't the same as the ones Apple uses in the retina macbook pros. The cpus in the Airs would be a backstep, so they won't go that route. Considering that the mini is often the last thing refreshed and Broadwell won't be around for some time, I don't see why they couldn't refresh it with Haswell apart from higher than desired building costs.

I know what you mean about DDR4, when it's used in place of dedicated vram, and I still do like AMD. You just reminded me, I've been looking at compute shaders lately. The reason is that they run on practically everything, including iphones. They're just slightly more limited on math operations, and I don't think they even support bitfield operations. I have to be careful in that regard, but on anything involving arithmetic, especially with floating point values, I try to stick to calling well tested code. I don't even mix simple arithmetic operations into the higher level code. Anyway.... the talk of DDR4 prompted me to drift into nerd talk.
post #43 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think the design works pretty well as it is but it generates a fair bit of noise when the fan is going.

 

The Pro cylinder is actually noisy when stressed, too. The difference is that it's so hard to stress it to where it actually puts up a fuss. The mini gets worked up pretty easily. I like the way you're thinking though -- a change in design that makes it quieter definitely would be desirable, as long as it doesn't adversely affect usefulness.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

What are people who typically buy a quad-i7 Mac going to do without the Mini? If they are invested in the Mac platform, which most people would be, they'll migrate up to a MBP or iMac, both double the revenue.

 

And, unfortunately, both much less suited to the task for which they seem to be most often used (based on what I read here, anyway), specifically home entertainment device and headless slow-but-steady cruncher.

 

In both of the applications I use the mini, an iMac is out of the question because there's just nowhere to put it. Well, maybe on the floor behind the desk, but even that won't work in my living room. It's conceivable that I could use laptops instead, but it wouldn't be a very elegant or cost-effective solution since they'd be closed up and used with an external keyboard and display.

 

To be honest, I'd be more likely to switch to a little Windows box than spend $2000 to replace a device that cost half that. I wouldn't WANT to, but I probably would. I can't say what anyone else would do, but if they feel the same way, dropping the mini wouldn't be a money move for Apple.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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post #44 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

the Mini has now skipped two generations of chips, that is just weird, as such they must have something big planned.

 

Or, maybe they have NO plans for it anymore.

 

Here's hoping you're right.

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post #45 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Or, maybe they have NO plans for it anymore.
I hope not.
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Here's hoping you're right.
Something new certainly wouldn't hurt. As you note though the current form factor is extremely handy in that it is easily placed anywhere.
post #46 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

both much less suited to the task for which they seem to be most often used (based on what I read here, anyway), specifically home entertainment device and headless slow-but-steady cruncher.

In both of the applications I use the mini, an iMac is out of the question because there's just nowhere to put it. Well, maybe on the floor behind the desk, but even that won't work in my living room. It's conceivable that I could use laptops instead, but it wouldn't be a very elegant or cost-effective solution since they'd be closed up and used with an external keyboard and display.

To be honest, I'd be more likely to switch to a little Windows box than spend $2000 to replace a device that cost half that. I wouldn't WANT to, but I probably would. I can't say what anyone else would do, but if they feel the same way, dropping the mini wouldn't be a money move for Apple.

I don't think home entertainment and headless setups would be the biggest uses. Most average buyers would have no idea how to setup a Mini for that and using a computer UI on a TV screen is not comfortable. The iMac takes up the majority of Apple's desktop sales. In late January 2013, Tim said iMacs were down 700,000 units after being delayed until late December. For that quarter, they had no iMac sales for 2 out of 3 months. So assuming that 700,000 makes up 2/3rds, they would typically sell around 1m units. According to their 10K 2012, they only sold 4.6m desktop units the whole year. So by far the iMac is making up the majority of the desktop unit sales.

In the most recent results, Apple said notebooks were driving Mac growth, particularly the Air with a lower entry price. Desktops are continuing to die down and they were already below 25% of their lineup.

With the new lower priced iMac, that will further erode the share of the Mac Mini.

For people who do want a media center, a $600 Mini is far from ideal. Amazon's best seller is the following Chromebox for $169 with an x86 Celeron processor:

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-CHROMEBOX-M004U-ASUS-Desktop/dp/B00IT1WJZQ

That's all that's needed, just plug in a USB portable HDD or push media over the network. But that's not much different from the $99 Apple TV.

The quad-i7 Mini is a decent price for the CPU power but the target audience for that is small. If they want to keep OS X Server going, it makes sense to keep selling the Mini but I can see them moving this to iOS and ARM.
post #47 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I don't think home entertainment and headless setups would be the biggest uses. Most average buyers would have no idea how to setup a Mini for that and using a computer UI on a TV screen is not comfortable. The iMac takes up the majority of Apple's desktop sales. In late January 2013, Tim said iMacs were down 700,000 units after being delayed until late December. For that quarter, they had no iMac sales for 2 out of 3 months. So assuming that 700,000 makes up 2/3rds, they would typically sell around 1m units. According to their 10K 2012, they only sold 4.6m desktop units the whole year. So by far the iMac is making up the majority of the desktop unit sales.
This has been the case for years. That however doesn't justify dropping the Mini just as it doesn't justify dropping the Mac Pro. The Mini like the Mac Pro was never meant to be a high volume machine as it was introduced way back in time when it wasn't even possible to get decent performance out of a box that size. Effectively it was a powerful SFF machine back in the day when SFF meant a highly compromised machine.

Today the Mini, thanks to modern chips, is a viable computer. However I believe there is this legacy in the minds of consummers that a desktop that size couldn't possibly be performant.

The other problem with the Mini is that Apple doesn't try hard enough. Revs are far apart and lacking in modern componentry. This becomes obvious when one looks at Mac Book AIR and then the Mini. About the only thing you can say is "what the hell Apple".

Given that I understand the need for an entry level machine. However would it really be that difficult to ship a Mini that supports two motherboards. One a low end board the other targetted at performance. The are obviously doing so with the iMac.
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In the most recent results, Apple said notebooks were driving Mac growth, particularly the Air with a lower entry price. Desktops are continuing to die down and they were already below 25% of their lineup.
This has also been an industry trend for years. However there is no way that the desktop market can be totally ignored because there will always be some demand for the hardware.
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With the new lower priced iMac, that will further erode the share of the Mac Mini.
The products serve two different markets and as such the low cost iMac will have zero impact on Mini sales. That given that we have a modern well engineered Mini to work with. The fact of the matter is people will go to other platforms before even considering an iMac.
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For people who do want a media center, a $600 Mini is far from ideal. Amazon's best seller is the following Chromebox for $169 with an x86 Celeron processor:

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-CHROMEBOX-M004U-ASUS-Desktop/dp/B00IT1WJZQ

That's all that's needed, just plug in a USB portable HDD or push media over the network. But that's not much different from the $99 Apple TV.
Apple TV could use some modernizing. Support for Apps would be fantastic.
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The quad-i7 Mini is a decent price for the CPU power but the target audience for that is small. If they want to keep OS X Server going, it makes sense to keep selling the Mini but I can see them moving this to iOS and ARM.

That little platform is excellent if you don't need advance GPU support and can get by with the relatively low clock rates for a desktop. In fact many developers find that the machine is ideal for their trade. Well as long as they aren't into development requiring great GPU support or more cores than the i7 provides. The shipping Mini is however outdated which can be an issue for developers.
post #48 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
 
there is no way that the desktop market can be totally ignored because there will always be some demand for the hardware.

 

Unfortunately Apple has demonstrated that it doesn't care about products that make short coin. "Demand" isn't enough. There has to be BIG demand. There is still a market for servers but they don't make those anymore. Same for 17" laptops. If the pool of buyers is smaller than they want, Apple seems to be willing to let it go. I don't know if they expect those people will buy some other Apple product or if they're willing to lose those buyers altogether, but they obviously perceive such moves as beneficial in some way.

 

I'm not qualified to say whether it's a good practice or bad.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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post #49 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That's all that's needed, just plug in a USB portable HDD or push media over the network. But that's not much different from the $99 Apple TV.

 

If Apple made it possible to connect a drive full of media directly to the TV rather requiring a computer to feed it, about half of our use for the living room mini would be satisfied. Allowing it to access NAS would be even better -- then the same drive could feed both the TV in the living room and the one in the bedroom.

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post #50 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Unfortunately Apple has demonstrated that it doesn't care about products that make short coin. "Demand" isn't enough. There has to be BIG demand. There is still a market for servers but they don't make those anymore. Same for 17" laptops. If the pool of buyers is smaller than they want, Apple seems to be willing to let it go. I don't know if they expect those people will buy some other Apple product or if they're willing to lose those buyers altogether, but they obviously perceive such moves as beneficial in some way.

I'm not qualified to say whether it's a good practice or bad.

That does seem to be Apples attitude. I will go out on a limb and say yeah it is bad practice. Why? The uniqueness of Apples hardware means those with needs not meant have no choice but to leave the family altogether.
post #51 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Unfortunately Apple has demonstrated that it doesn't care about products that make short coin. "Demand" isn't enough. There has to be BIG demand. There is still a market for servers but they don't make those anymore. Same for 17" laptops. If the pool of buyers is smaller than they want, Apple seems to be willing to let it go. I don't know if they expect those people will buy some other Apple product or if they're willing to lose those buyers altogether, but they obviously perceive such moves as beneficial in some way.

In some cases they are willing to let go customers, you can see that in their professional software. When the volumes are so low, the risk from losing customers is similarly low. Where possible, they make suitable compromises. When it came to the XServe, they turned the Mini into a Server. For the 17" MBP, they increased the screen resolution on the 15" to offer the same workspace. This ensures at least some customer retention. The ones who feel really strongly take to Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/macbook.pro.17.retina.display
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Xserve/175367599142822

In 2 years, the MBP one managed to get 518 likes, the XServe one managed 31 likes in 4 years.

The same thing is going to happen with the hugely popular iPod. They're not selling any more so there's no point in Apple making them.
post #52 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

In some cases they are willing to let go customers, you can see that in their professional software. When the volumes are so low, the risk from losing customers is similarly low. Where possible, they make suitable compromises.
And sometimes they improve a product causing mass hysteria in the customer base.

The big problem right now though is that they are pursuing the business or professional market on one hand while dropping others. The link up with IBM is an example here.

On the other hand a lot of Apples software products spend too much time in stasis. This leads to professional disinterest. Aperture is just one example here. In fact Aperture should have been getting meaningful updates every six months. Unfortunately Apple is like this with lots of its non operating systems software. The software debuts and then just sits on App Store forever without an update. This isn't good because in some cases a package may sit for multiple year with no update from Apple.
Quote:

When it came to the XServe, they turned the Mini into a Server. For the 17" MBP, they increased the screen resolution on the 15" to offer the same workspace. This ensures at least some customer retention. The ones who feel really strongly take to Facebook:
The entire market for 17" machines isn't there or better stated is crashing hard. For many they tried a 17" machine but realized it was too big! The problem here is that Apple has plenty of laptop models to repalce the 17" laptop. What they don't have is something that replaces the Mini.
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https://www.facebook.com/macbook.pro.17.retina.display
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Xserve/175367599142822

In 2 years, the MBP one managed to get 518 likes, the XServe one managed 31 likes in 4 years.

The same thing is going to happen with the hugely popular iPod. They're not selling any more so there's no point in Apple making them.

The only thing that makes sense here is to optimize Touch. In fact it is strange here that they don't upgrade Touch more often as it is the only iPod with legs. That is it is the last remaining iPod with sales that aren't an embarrassment. This comes back to the problem of stasis, letting your only remaining good seller languish is just stupid.
post #53 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The entire market for 17" machines isn't there or better stated is crashing hard. For many they tried a 17" machine but realized it was too big!

 

I don't think that's true. In fact, I don't think you could find a single person on this forum that bought a 17" and regretted it because it was too big.

 

You and I have been down this road before and you didn't change my mind about the benefit of the larger screen and I know I'm not going to change yours. I accept that it's entirely up to Apple whether or not they want to sell a 17" laptop, but I do not believe that those who bought them became unhappy with them.

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post #54 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The entire market for 17" machines isn't there or better stated is crashing hard. For many they tried a 17" machine but realized it was too big!

I don't think that's true. In fact, I don't think you could find a single person on this forum that bought a 17" and regretted it because it was too big.

You and I have been down this road before and you didn't change my mind about the benefit of the larger screen and I know I'm not going to change yours. I accept that it's entirely up to Apple whether or not they want to sell a 17" laptop, but I do not believe that those who bought them became unhappy with them.

The size difference isn't that big between them:



The larger screen's sole benefit is scaling everything up a small amount, they both have the same 1920 x 1200 maximum resolution.

A few people have been forced to go to the Retina model because of a failure of the old model or just needed an upgrade and found they prefer the improvement in display quality. It's now an IPS display with sharper text, improved viewing angles, better colors etc. Some people might like the extra scale of the 17" but it's such a small scale difference. It's not even as big as the 13" to 15" difference. You'd probably have to live with a 15" before being comfortable with it but people get conditioned to prefer things that's hard to change. It's the same deal with the larger screen iPhone. It's been 7 years people have used 4" or less and now the possibility of something significantly larger is floating around and people dig the heels in. We are always having to adapt to change, sometimes it works out better, sometimes not but we hardly ever get absolute control over what's available.
post #55 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

I don't think that's true. In fact, I don't think you could find a single person on this forum that bought a 17" and regretted it because it was too big.
I can only base my opinion here on what I've seen in a corporate environment. In this case engineers ended up rejecting the large laptops because they where cumbersome to work on. This especially if you had to travel a lot. Personally I have an older 15" MBP and sometimes that amchine is more in the way than useful, it is very inconvienent when traveling that is for sure.
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You and I have been down this road before and you didn't change my mind about the benefit of the larger screen and I know I'm not going to change yours.
Obviously you don't understand what I'm saying. The benefits of a larger screen are clearly understood. It is the bulk of the machine that is the problem. Try using one on a plane or out in the field.
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I accept that it's entirely up to Apple whether or not they want to sell a 17" laptop, but I do not believe that those who bought them became unhappy with them.

In happy might not be the right word here. The trend has been towards the smaller easier to use machines.

If you think about it we are on the same roller coaster ride with iPhone. People are whining (literally) about a large screened iPhone and likely will get it. The question how long will it take for the fascination to wear off? You will certainly have people swearing by the large screened device and probably very up set when Apple drops it. In the end people will settle in on the optimal size based on experience.
post #56 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The size difference isn't that big between them:



The larger screen's sole benefit is scaling everything up a small amount, they both have the same 1920 x 1200 maximum resolution.
Apple could change the resolution, that might actually work out well for many users. But you would still have the volume problem due to size. Apple might be able to change the aspect ratio to narrow the machine some but then you have special order panels.
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A few people have been forced to go to the Retina model because of a failure of the old model or just needed an upgrade and found they prefer the improvement in display quality. It's now an IPS display with sharper text, improved viewing angles, better colors etc. Some people might like the extra scale of the 17" but it's such a small scale difference. It's not even as big as the 13" to 15" difference.
Interesting observation.
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You'd probably have to live with a 15" before being comfortable with it but people get conditioned to prefer things that's hard to change. It's the same deal with the larger screen iPhone. It's been 7 years people have used 4" or less and now the possibility of something significantly larger is floating around and people dig the heels in. We are always having to adapt to change, sometimes it works out better, sometimes not but we hardly ever get absolute control over what's available.

The problem with both the rumored larger iPhones and the 17" MBP is that they are both the results of fads. As you note some will get attached to the larger screens and at times even leverage them in the work they do. The problem is some doesn't cut it in manufacturing like this. Further the majority will settle in on the optimal size. Frankly there is little Apple can do about this. A cell phone that is too big will eventually stop selling just as the 17" dried up sales wise.
post #57 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


The problem with both the rumored larger iPhones and the 17" MBP is that they are both the results of fads. As you note some will get attached to the larger screens and at times even leverage them in the work they do. The problem is some doesn't cut it in manufacturing like this. Further the majority will settle in on the optimal size. Frankly there is little Apple can do about this. A cell phone that is too big will eventually stop selling just as the 17" dried up sales wise.

I actually liked the 17" and didn't mind carrying it. 15" is still the undisputed most popular size with every other brand, which is why I wasn't so sure Apple would hike their starting price there relative to the older one. Their sales may be more skewed toward the 13" models due to relative pricing. 17" models gained popularity due to a time when they were being purchased by people who might have otherwise used desktop crts of 17-19". 21" wasn't that common outside of creative fields. The trend in phones is a similar one. It's a matter of trying to get more functionality out of a portable device until it reaches a point where something is lost in convenience or usability. Losing comfortable one handed use would be annoying, and at some point it becomes uncomfortable to carry in your pocket. I figured larger phones and iPad minis might end up more popular among women that carry handbags, but I haven't really spotted too much correlation there.

 

Anyway I think phones are at a pretty good size right now. I played with a Note 2 some time ago (maybe a year?), and it wasn't comfortable to use. I doubt Apple will approach that size, but they might shift a little from where they are now.

post #58 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The larger screen's sole benefit is scaling everything up a small amount, they both have the same 1920 x 1200 maximum resolution.

A few people have been forced to go to the Retina model because of a failure of the old model or just needed an upgrade and found they prefer the improvement in display quality. It's now an IPS display with sharper text, improved viewing angles, better colors etc. Some people might like the extra scale of the 17" but it's such a small scale difference.

 

Except that the image quality of the 15" Retina is NOT better once you switch away from the "native" resolution by setting it to 1920x1200. You do get an increase in usable viewing angle, but the image is softer and less detailed than even the older, larger native 1920x1200 17".

 

Further, I find the UI just too small at 1920x1200 on a 15" screen. You say the difference is small, but my experience is that the 17" is already pushing the lower limit for acceptable screen size at that resolution, so dropping to 15" seems to me to cross a "threshold" that makes it uncomfortable. Obviously, others' mileage may vary.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The benefits of a larger screen are clearly understood. It is the bulk of the machine that is the problem. Try using one on a plane or out in the field.

 

I understand what you're saying. I just haven't felt that way. I had a 15" and carefully compared before upgrading to the 17". To be honest, I found the degree of hassle involved in transporting them pretty similar. The 15" was already heavy and bulky. I didn't even notice the addition of a little more weight and a bit more bulk, and I haul the thing around everywhere I go.

 

It's all utterly irrelevant since Apple doesn't make a 17" model anymore so I want to stress that I'm no longer "complaining," I'm simply defending the concept. There's no doubt that a 15" rMBP is a reasonable compromise, but in my opinion it IS a "compromise," not an "equivalent" or "improvement." That's all.

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post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Except that the image quality of the 15" Retina is NOT better once you switch away from the "native" resolution by setting it to 1920x1200. You do get an increase in usable viewing angle, but the image is softer and less detailed than even the older, larger native 1920x1200 17".

Further, I find the UI just too small at 1920x1200 on a 15" screen. You say the difference is small, but my experience is that the 17" is already pushing the lower limit for acceptable screen size at that resolution, so dropping to 15" seems to me to cross a "threshold" that makes it uncomfortable. Obviously, others' mileage may vary.
I crossed 50 a few years ago so things like the UI feature sizes do matter. Even then the 17" is just a big machine to carry around.
Quote:

I understand what you're saying. I just haven't felt that way. I had a 15" and carefully compared before upgrading to the 17". To be honest, I found the degree of hassle involved in transporting them pretty similar. The 15" was already heavy and bulky. I didn't even notice the addition of a little more weight and a bit more bulk, and I haul the thing around everywhere I go.
After having an iPad for a couple of years now I have an even stronger appreciation for small. However that needs to be balanced against the fact that vision is a problem that didn't exist in the past. So while I might be tempted by a 13" if I did get another laptop it probably would be a 15".
Quote:
It's all utterly irrelevant since Apple doesn't make a 17" model anymore so I want to stress that I'm no longer "complaining," I'm simply defending the concept. There's no doubt that a 15" rMBP is a reasonable compromise, but in my opinion it IS a "compromise," not an "equivalent" or "improvement." That's all.

The discussion is relevant though because the discussion highlights to Apple people's desires. Yes I believe that threads like this get reviewed at apple. Well at least by at least a few there. As such Im pretty sure Apple knows that there is disappointment out there with the lack of a large MBP.

Does that mean Apple will bring back the 17" machine? I don't know but the rumors about the 12" machine has me seriously thinking that Apple might go to a two inch increment thus a line up of 12" , 14", & 16" machines. It would be even better if they played with the aspect ratios a bit to make the screens taller at each increment. In otherwords 16:9 screens are as much a problem as screens that are too small.
post #60 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Except that the image quality of the 15" Retina is NOT better once you switch away from the "native" resolution by setting it to 1920x1200. You do get an increase in usable viewing angle, but the image is softer and less detailed than even the older, larger native 1920x1200 17".

Further, I find the UI just too small at 1920x1200 on a 15" screen. You say the difference is small, but my experience is that the 17" is already pushing the lower limit for acceptable screen size at that resolution, so dropping to 15" seems to me to cross a "threshold" that makes it uncomfortable. Obviously, others' mileage may vary.

There's a video review here comparing the two, the 15" wasn't set to the highest resolution:



Image comparisons are around 1:47. The review is here:

https://caseyfriday.com/2012/07/retina-macbook-pro-vs-17-macbook-pro/

That guy liked the 17" model and the audio quality came out better. The 17" has a subwoofer.

"The retina MacBook Pro’s display is stupid good. When it was announced, I thought Nah, 1900 x 1200 on 17 inches is as good as it can get. I was wrong. I can run 1920 x 1200 on this 15″ rMBP, and it’s clearer than the 17″. Some applications aren’t retina-ready yet, so they look pretty blurry at the moment, but I’m sure that will be remedied in the next month or two.

To be honest, the display on the rMBP is so good, it’s the reason I’m selling my 17″ and keeping the 15″. 1920 x 1200 feels “small” on the 17″ – meaning it’s hard for me to read words on it. On the 15″ though, the text is so crisp that it doesn’t look as small. It’s easy to read at any resolution.

I like that I can switch between 1440 x 900 and 1920 x 1200 on the rMBP. When working on the 17″, I want the resolution to be 1920 x 1200, but if I’m just going to be doing some writing or web browsing, I’d like a more readable resolution. Anything besides the native 1920 x 1200 on the 17″ looks blurry, whereas all resolutions on the rMBP look great."

Then later says:

"I actually decided to sell the Retina MBP and keep my 17″. After another day with the rMBP, I just don’t like that I can’t take it apart and tinker with it like I can my 17″. The retina display is amazing, but it also makes non-retina apps look relatively terrible.

The speakers in the 17″ are better, as I mentioned before, and since my wife and I use the MBP to watch movies, the 17″ display provides better viewing at a distance.

The Real Reason

Really? I don’t like Lion."

That was back in 2012. He eventually upgraded the OS to Mountain Lion on the 17".

Fast forward to 2014 and his 17" MBP is suffering from the GPU failure so he's spending money building a hackintosh desktop:

https://caseyfriday.com/2014/07/im-building-a-hackintosh-part-1/

Spent over $1200 to get a quad-i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, although he had $654 of parts already on top. He could have sold his laptop for spares for $300-400 (the display still works and he could have sold the SSD separately). Then bought a 2013 refurb:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE293LL/A/refurbished-154-inch-macbook-pro-20ghz-quad-core-intel-i7-with-retina-display

$1659 - 300 = $1359 vs $1209 and he doesn't have to mess around with building some hacked together monstrosity that likely won't even work properly.
post #61 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There's a video review here comparing the two, the 15" wasn't set to the highest resolution:

 

A comparison of both at Native resolution will certainly favour the Retina. Once the Retina display is scaled to 1900x1200, not so much.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

"The retina MacBook Pro’s display is stupid good. When it was announced, I thought Nah, 1900 x 1200 on 17 inches is as good as it can get. I was wrong. I can run 1920 x 1200 on this 15″ rMBP, and it’s clearer than the 17″.
 
He's wrong. Either he didn't make the comparison side-by-side or he has a case of novelty blinders. With both displays set to 1900x1200, the old 17" display looks better than the 15" Retina. I *think* I can make that statement as an absolute -- or is that perception subjective?
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

"The retina display is amazing, but it also makes non-retina apps look relatively terrible.
 
A problem that sadly persists to this day. Unfortunately his prediction that it would be solved "within a few months" didn't come true. Too bad.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

$1659 - 300 = $1359 vs $1209 and he doesn't have to mess around with building some hacked together monstrosity that likely won't even work properly.
 
And with that, whatever credibility he might have had goes "poof!" ;)

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #62 of 72

I recently (Finally!) purchased a new MacBook Pro but I still have & adore the 17-inch MacBook Pro that was my workhorse the past 5+ years.  I really like the new one but would have preferred buying another 17-inch model except they don't make it any more so I got the 15. :(

You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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post #63 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

He's wrong. Either he didn't make the comparison side-by-side or he has a case of novelty blinders. With both displays set to 1900x1200, the old 17" display looks better than the 15" Retina. I *think* I can make that statement as an absolute -- or is that perception subjective?

The statement that the 17" display looks better than the 15" is too generic to say in an absolute way - they guy above has both so maybe he could take photos of the two side by side at 1920. The text can't look better, nor can imagery that is higher resolution than the display. Possibly lower resolution image content. But the color reproduction isn't better, nor black levels, nor are the viewing angles. The 15" display is better in more areas than the old 17". The same issues with the 15" would be true if they made a Retina 17" anyway, though I suspect they'd be conveniently overlooked if a 17" option was available. This sort of thing happens with everything that changes, people who preferred the predecessor scrutinize and criticize the changes more heavily than they normally would in order to arrive at the conclusion they've already decided on, which is that they prefer the old one. Remember the motion sickness people with iOS 7 demanding that an iOS 6 UI option be made available.
post #64 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The statement that the 17" display looks better than the 15" is too generic to say in an absolute way - they guy above has both so maybe he could take photos of the two side by side at 1920. The text can't look better, nor can imagery that is higher resolution than the display. Possibly lower resolution image content. But the color reproduction isn't better, nor black levels, nor are the viewing angles. The 15" display is better in more areas than the old 17". The same issues with the 15" would be true if they made a Retina 17" anyway, though I suspect they'd be conveniently overlooked if a 17" option was available. This sort of thing happens with everything that changes, people who preferred the predecessor scrutinize and criticize the changes more heavily than they normally would in order to arrive at the conclusion they've already decided on, which is that they prefer the old one. Remember the motion sickness people with iOS 7 demanding that an iOS 6 UI option be made available.


I think the rmbp looks better in most ways, at least judging from the ones I have seen. I don't like the higher reflectivity so much, but overall it's a bit smoother in gradation, which is to be expected with an IPS display over the older TN. Resolution is a bit higher, although the 17" is still quite good in that regard. Prior to recent 4k options, 1920x1200 was the standard resolution for 24" displays. Having that at 17" makes for some very crisp text, albeit not with quite the same feeling of sharpness achieved in the rmbp models. The biggest complaint I've noticed is one of yellowish screens, which could be poor greyscale tracking or a shift in convergent color temperature throughout its range, but I haven't had the chance to personally verify it. It wasn't obvious in any of the models I've seen, and a portion of that will be people that are used to very cold whites compared to the much closer to D65 convergence exhibited by the rmbp.

 

Overall I don't see it ever coming back. If they intended to bring out a 17" rmbp, they would have kept the old one around on life support as an interim model. I can't find a single case where they truly resurrected a subset of a product line that was previously killed, although I'm open to being corrected there.

 

I'll add that the old ones also have their design flaws. It's more likely that the iris pro model can hold a charge while maxed out, whereas that wasn't possible on 2011 models. They really ate through battery if cpu and gpu were simultaneously taxed, regardless of the presence of a charger. They also had annoying things such as vents toward the bottom of the screen. It compromised the display uniformity somewhat toward the bottom third if the thing was running really hot, and I've seen that across enough of them to know it wasn't just a fluke. I've been very notebook reliant lately due to not staying in one place and not doing so much in the way of graphically heavy computational tasks compared to a couple years ago. I'll probably use the one I have now until it actually fails, then switch to whatever is out at the time. I kind of hope it makes it to broadwell.

post #65 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

But the color reproduction isn't better, nor black levels, nor are the viewing angles

 

I agree that the viewing angle is better with the new screen (it's plain and obvious), but I don't know if I agree about colour reproduction or black level. Blacks may actually be darker on the new screen, but there appeared to me to be less detail in shadows than with my 17".  I also thought the Retina screen exaggerated areas of heavily saturated, bright colour. Of course, both of those issues could be due to relative calibration.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

This sort of thing happens with everything that changes, people who preferred the predecessor scrutinize and criticize the changes more heavily than they normally would in order to arrive at the conclusion they've already decided on, which is that they prefer the old one.

 

Yup, good ol' "Confirmation bias." I can't claim to be immune, but having so carefully compared prior to what I *thought* was going to be a purchase of a new 15" Retina machine, I like to think that my decision was based on something more substantial. This time. Maybe.

 

For now I don't have to worry about it too much because my existing machine is working fine. When it no longer does, it still won't matter whether I prefer the larger screen because I can't get one anyway! :lol:

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #66 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

I agree that the viewing angle is better with the new screen (it's plain and obvious), but I don't know if I agree about colour reproduction or black level. Blacks may actually be darker on the new screen, but there appeared to me to be less detail in shadows than with my 17".  I also thought the Retina screen exaggerated areas of heavily saturated, bright colour. Of course, both of those issues could be due to relative calibration.

If there was a new Retina 17", you'd have to find the same issues though in which case you'd stick with the old one for those reasons? If you would get a Retina 17" then the sole thing holding you back from the Retina 15" is the small scale difference and maybe the speaker quality.
post #67 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If there was a new Retina 17", you'd have to find the same issues though in which case you'd stick with the old one for those reasons? If you would get a Retina 17" then the sole thing holding you back from the Retina 15" is the small scale difference and maybe the speaker quality.

 

Oh, I see what you mean. Good point.

 

I'm pretty sure I could deliver a convincing argument that even though I like the increased speed and faster peripheral connections and better resolution of the new 17" Retina, I still found the colour reproduction more accurate on the old one... ;) Unfortunately it doesn't seem likely that I will find myself in a position of having to defend such a choice.

 

On another point, what you call a "small scale difference" I consider rather significant. It seems like you're trying to subtly suggest that my preference is somehow invalid. I don't understand why.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #68 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

On another point, what you call a "small scale difference" I consider rather significant. It seems like you're trying to subtly suggest that my preference is somehow invalid. I don't understand why.

There are areas where an extra 1.6" can make a huge difference but I use the 'scale difference' part of the phrase to reiterate that the difference is solely in scale and not workspace. It was common for people to suggest that you could fit more on a 17" display. That's distinct from the 13" model for example that has a smaller workspace. I call it small because I think that difference in scale is small. You only have to sit closer by about 1.5" to get the exact same experience of the 17" display.

I realise it may be more significant to others but that could be the case if someone said they preferred a 16" display vs 15". I'd similarly call it a small difference no matter how much that difference meant to them. That description doesn't invalidate the significance to them but it can help explain why the sales of that model were so low and why it was discontinued. It wasn't significant enough to enough people.
post #69 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There are areas where an extra 1.6" can make a huge difference...

I get emails about that nearly every day.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #70 of 72
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I get emails about that nearly every day.

 

Sometimes even from Apple (note the address).

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #71 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You only have to sit closer by about 1.5" to get the exact same experience of the 17" display.\

 

??? I think you've miscalculated or mistyped. Sitting 1.5" closer to my wife's 15" set to 1920x1200 does not make text and UI elements as big as on my 17".

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #72 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You only have to sit closer by about 1.5" to get the exact same experience of the 17" display.\

??? I think you've miscalculated or mistyped. Sitting 1.5" closer to my wife's 15" set to 1920x1200 does not make text and UI elements as big as on my 17".

It's based in mathematics:

http://www.mathopenref.com/similartrianglesparts.html

but the difference in closeness depends on how far you normally are from the screen. If your head is normally 18" away from the 17.0" screen then for a 15.4" display to match it, the ratio of the distance to the diagonal would be the same at a distance of 15.4*18/17 = 16.3" or 1.7" closer.

You can try it yourself, if you put yours and your wife's (I assume Retina 15") laptops side by side at the same resolution and same display angle, setup an image with a shape like a square/rectangle on each open at the same resolution but the image is moved off the right side of the display on one and off the left on the other and slide the 17" back until the edges of both shapes line up, that will show the scale difference. Feel free to take a photo of the difference if it's more significant than I'm suggesting.
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