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A closer look at Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro

post #1 of 63
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The first Intel-based Apple MacBook Pro professional notebook computers have begun to arrive in the United States, allowing sources and contacts to take a closer look at the system's internals.

Processor not upgradable

One of the most interesting finds so far is that the MacBook Pro's Core Duo processor is soldered to the main logic board, rather than on a socket, and therefore is not not upgradeable after purchase. The only way to upgrade a MacBook Pro to a faster processor is to select the 2.16GHz (+$300) option when ordering a 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Core Duo from Apple's online store.

No more wireless combo card

Similar to changes made to the iMac as it transitioned to Intel chips, the MacBook Pro's AirPort and Bluetooth wireless controllers are now located on two separate system boards. Apple's previous line of PowerBook G4 computers used a single "combo card" for the wireless technologies.

In what appears to be a huge step for Apple, the new AirPort card is a mini-PCI Express card that should improve bandwidth and compatibility. Mini-PCI express is a standard socket, which allows for a variety of upgrades to be done internally, however it's unclear if Apple will fully support the technology in this fashion.

Meanwhile, a closer inspection of Apple's Bluetooth implementation reveals that the antenna has been repositioned to rest in front of the MacBook Pro's hard drive, in the front left corner of the unit.

MagSafe and SuperDrives

Interestingly, sources note that the magnets used to connect the MagSafe power adapter connector are located inside the MacBook Pro unit, rather than on the MagSafe connector itself. As a result, Apple has reportedly asked some of its service partners to warn customers about placing magnetized items near the power port of the MacBook Pro.

The 85W portable power brick which ships with the notebook also appears to be somewhat larger than the brick Apple shipped with its now discontinued 15-inch PowerBook G4.

While the SuperDrive included with the MacBook Pro is incapable of burning double-layer DVD+R discs, it can read them, sources added.

System software

The first batch of MacBook Pros leaving Apple's manufacturing facilities in the Far East are shipping with Mac OS X 10.4.5 build 8G1453, Boot ROM version 0044.02, System Management Controller version 1.2f7 and Infrared Firmware v109, sources said.

The only other Mac OS X software distinction noticed with the notebooks is the addition of "Play Front Row sound effects" option under the Sound Effects tab of the Mac OS X Audio preference pane.

Apple's online store continues to list wait times of up to four weeks for new MacBook Pro orders, regardless of the configuration. Sources have recently weighed in with their assessment of the delays, which they blame on a shortage of unspecified common components that are shared between both the Intel iMac Core Duo and 15-inch MacBook Pro.
post #2 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
One of the most interesting finds so far is that the MacBook Pro's Core Duo processor is soldered to the main logic board, rather than on a socket, and therefore is not not upgradeable after purchase.

What about a hack upgrade by resoldering a resistor like the old Powerbooks?

http://www.voelker.com/service/void_...owerbookg4.php

Did this to mine (for educational purposes, of course) and it worked like a charm.
 
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post #3 of 63
Ohh boy....I just got a mental picture of a case screw being sucked into the power connector of some poor macbook pro user....<POW>!
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post #4 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by rittmuller
Ohh boy....I just got a mental picture of a case screw being sucked into the power connector of some poor macbook pro user....<POW>!

That shouldn't happen, since the Mac is magnetic, not the cable. Right?
post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
That shouldn't happen, since the Mac is magnetic, not the cable. Right?

Right, but having the magnet inside the connector on the Mac makes it possible for a small screw to get pulled into it, which would be very difficult to get out (needle-nose pliers or tweezers to get it out maybe?). It would be much easier to get a screw off the male ended cable than out of the female ended connector (no innuendo intended).

The service manual for the MacBook specifically states that technicians who are servicing it should put tape over the connector to avoid this from happening.
 
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post #6 of 63
"No more wireless combo card?"

....now located on two separate system boards. ..


NO. Why does they system say "Intel Pro Wireless Chipset"? If you look these up it's all under one chip.

Is there any pictures showing bluetooth and wifi separate? Intel has the "pro wireless chipset"
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by auxio
Right, but having the magnet inside the connector on the Mac makes it possible for a small screw to get pulled into it, which would be very difficult to get out (needle-nose pliers or tweezers to get it out maybe?). It would be much easier to get a screw off the male ended cable than out of the female ended connector (no innuendo intended).

Um, completely wrong. If you look at pictures (or a real MBP), you'll see that it's a flat surface that just happens to be magnetic. There is no "in" into which things get sucked. If a screw sticks, it just sticks onto what is, for all intents and purposes, the side of the MacBook Pro. Easy as hell to remove.
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post #8 of 63
This seems strange to me. Why would Apple put the Airport and Bluetooth on a separate card instead of just soldered to the mobo? Are there no Intel mobos that include these chips?

Using a separate card I can see if these were BTO items, but they are not.

Sheesh, if they are going to waste space on a socket and a card, they should do that with the video instead of the wireless. Who the hell is going to upgrade their wireless?
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post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
This seems strange to me. Why would Apple put the Airport and Bluetooth on a separate card instead of just soldered to the mobo? Are there no Intel mobos that include these chips?

Using a separate card I can see if these were BTO items, but they are not.

Sheesh, if they are going to waste space on a socket and a card, they should do that with the video instead of the wireless. Who the hell is going to upgrade their wireless?



maybe it was cheaper to have it on two separate cards
post #10 of 63
So, does that mean something could ground it out? Not a likely senario but definately something I will consider when (and if) I decide to take the plunge and purchase one since I tend to be around stuff like that on a daily basis. Although I do have to admit that it would be funny to watch how fast they would change the connector (make the cable magnetic) if this does indeed prove to be a problem.

Quote:
Originally posted by m01ety
Um, completely wrong. If you look at pictures (or a real MBP), you'll see that it's a flat surface that just happens to be magnetic. There is no "in" into which things get sucked. If a screw sticks, it just sticks onto what is, for all intents and purposes, the side of the MacBook Pro. Easy as hell to remove.
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post #11 of 63
Interestingly, sources note that the magnets used to connect the MagSafe power adapter connector are located inside the MacBook Pro unit, rather than on the MagSafe connector itself."

That's a VERY good choice. I can keep track of where my laptop is easily... but the power brick's cord could flop around all over my bag. This way you don't have to keep track of "is the end of my power cord going to shift close to my iPod?" etc.
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by rittmuller
So, does that mean something could ground it out? Not a likely senario but definately something I will consider when (and if) I decide to take the plunge and purchase one since I tend to be around stuff like that on a daily basis. Although I do have to admit that it would be funny to watch how fast they would change the connector (make the cable magnetic) if this does indeed prove to be a problem.

How would it ground out? The power is going INTO the computer. If the cord were magnetic, that could attract metal and short out since it's connected to the wall. On the computer, the connector isn't a source of power so it wouldn't do anything. If you took the plug on an unplugged lamp and connected the two prongs with a piece of metal, would it do anything? Of course not.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
How would it ground out? The power is going INTO the computer. If the cord were magnetic, that could attract metal and short out since it's connected to the wall. On the computer, the connector isn't a source of power so it wouldn't do anything. If you took the plug on an unplugged lamp and connected the two prongs with a piece of metal, would it do anything? Of course not.

But a lamp doesn't have a battery in it either! have you ever short circuited a battery? They get very hot very fast!
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post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
This seems strange to me. Why would Apple put the Airport and Bluetooth on a separate card instead of just soldered to the mobo? Are there no Intel mobos that include these chips?

Using a separate card I can see if these were BTO items, but they are not.

Sheesh, if they are going to waste space on a socket and a card, they should do that with the video instead of the wireless. Who the hell is going to upgrade their wireless?

I can think of several reasons.

I think the reason is to make FCC, CE and other certifications easier. The same card could be used across the entire model line, and have fewer certification hassles to deal with, certifying one wireless card rather than certifying the wireless portion in every model revision, every board revision and potentially every speed bump.

It might also be cheaper from a volume perspective, if it is an off the shelf Intel component, then the economies of scale may mean it is cheaper to put the card in a slot than it is to solder it to the main board. Another might be maintainability, if the wireless dies, the entire system board would have to be replaced to fix the problem.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by m01ety
Um, completely wrong. If you look at pictures (or a real MBP), you'll see that it's a flat surface that just happens to be magnetic. There is no "in" into which things get sucked. If a screw sticks, it just sticks onto what is, for all intents and purposes, the side of the MacBook Pro. Easy as hell to remove.



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post #16 of 63
Any word on what battery life is like, real-world use, on these new MacBook Pro machines?
post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders



Indeed... but it still seems fairly easy to remove a screw if it would get stuck in there...
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Quote:
Originally posted by m01ety
Um, completely wrong. If you look at pictures (or a real MBP), you'll see that it's a flat surface that just happens to be magnetic. There is no "in" into which things get sucked. If a screw sticks, it just sticks onto what is, for all intents and purposes, the side of the MacBook Pro. Easy as hell to remove.




No need to post pictures -- I saw three real ones ones at the CambridgeSide Apple store just today.

Yes, there's an indentation. Obviously. But it's not "in", as in the sense that the PowerBooks have a deep hole that goes in, into which things can get lodged, especially if magnetic.

If there's a screw on the MagSafe port, you flick it off with your finger. It's not deep enough, for *me* at least, to count as something that's "in".
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post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by ct77
Any word on what battery life is like, real-world use, on these new MacBook Pro machines?

When I unplugged one at the Apple Store, it said "18 hours remaining". Briefly. Then it said 3 hours.

So it's around 3 hours with normal settings.
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post #20 of 63
BATTERY LIFE is about 3 hours and 20 minutes. I have one and after one-time calibration process I was getting 3 hours 20 minutes with the screen at the brightest setting and some websurfing.

and it should improve as LiPo battery gets improved.
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by syklee26
BATTERY LIFE is about 3 hours and 20 minutes. I have one and after one-time calibration process I was getting 3 hours 20 minutes with the screen at the brightest setting and some websurfing.

and it should improve as LiPo battery gets improved.

plus if you are on battery power you probably wont want/need full screen brightness
post #22 of 63
I saw one at the student store today at my college.

Anyone know what the new symbols on the F8, F9, and F10 keys are? Maybe they increase and decrease the brightness on a connected monitor?
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Gamrin
I saw one at the student store today at my college.

Anyone know what the new symbols on the F8, F9, and F10 keys are? Maybe they increase and decrease the brightness on a connected monitor?

nah, those keys have been dedicated to controlling the brightness of the backlit keyboard for a while.
post #24 of 63
Ah. That makes sense. I've been using the 12" Powerbook, so I've never actually seen those F keys mapped that way. Thanks.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by auxio
Right, but having the magnet inside the connector on the Mac makes it possible for a small screw to get pulled into it, which would be very difficult to get out (needle-nose pliers or tweezers to get it out maybe?). It would be much easier to get a screw off the male ended cable than out of the female ended connector (no innuendo intended).

The service manual for the MacBook specifically states that technicians who are servicing it should put tape over the connector to avoid this from happening.

Why not use an oppisite polarised magnet that is just a litle stronger?
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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I can think of several reasons.

I think the reason is to make FCC, CE and other certifications easier. The same card could be used across the entire model line, and have fewer certification hassles to deal with, certifying one wireless card rather than certifying the wireless portion in every model revision, every board revision and potentially every speed bump.

It might also be cheaper from a volume perspective, if it is an off the shelf Intel component, then the economies of scale may mean it is cheaper to put the card in a slot than it is to solder it to the main board. Another might be maintainability, if the wireless dies, the entire system board would have to be replaced to fix the problem.

Also, Apple might decide to upgrade them for newer (faster) laptops that use the same mobo.

I thought I read that Apple was not using Intel's solution, but was using a Broadcom chip, or possibly some other.
post #27 of 63
I don't see magnetic media being much of a problem (who uses that anymore?) But I bet more than a few credit cards get zapped when someone throws a wallet or something in their computer case without thinking.

Someone who has played with one, how strong is the magnet? It would be funny if it were strong enough so that a Mac in a light case set next to someone's purse zapped their cards.

Corey
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Corey
I don't see magnetic media being much of a problem (who uses that anymore?) But I bet more than a few credit cards get zapped when someone throws a wallet or something in their computer case without thinking.

The use of miniDV tapes is still pretty common for video. The HDV standard uses those tapes too. There is a bit of a movement toward hard drive or optical storage for that, most of the market still seems to be miniDV.

I do use floppies, though rarely, and never with my Mac. For one, a very rare firmware update, or when I can't find the thumb drive for transferring a small file to a customer computer, or when I can't find my newer digital camera. I also use it to make backups from an old DOS based CNC machine.

I highly doubt that such a small static magnetic field would hurt any magnetic media though.
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by m01ety
Um, completely wrong. If you look at pictures (or a real MBP), you'll see that it's a flat surface that just happens to be magnetic. There is no "in" into which things get sucked. If a screw sticks, it just sticks onto what is, for all intents and purposes, the side of the MacBook Pro. Easy as hell to remove.

Well, I'm just quoting the official service manual. Not sure why Apple would recommend a technician cover it with tape if it wasn't a potential problem. I'll test it out with my MacBook tomorrow and let you know (just letting the battery fully charge and so I don't want to unplug it yet).
 
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post #30 of 63
Just over 3 hours battery life huh... Anyway good on ya guinea pigs working out all the rev A kinks for us
post #31 of 63
i ran my battery from 100% down to 1%... was under 3 hours and 38 minutes of use, and 2 hours of sleep.

guess it all depends how you use it... but id say 4 hours would be max if i was doing ultra power saving. Id list it as 1.5 hours to 4 hours in general
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by doh123
i ran my battery from 100% down to 1%... was under 3 hours and 38 minutes of use, and 2 hours of sleep.

guess it all depends how you use it... but id say 4 hours would be max if i was doing ultra power saving. Id list it as 1.5 hours to 4 hours in general

That SUCKS! I thought they said the same as the 15" PPC version? Apple claims 5.5 hours on their website for it.

Do you think with a less bright screen setting, no BT and WIFI turned on that it would get close to 5.5 hours?

I may have to wait for a better battery life and pickup a Core Duo something else (iMac or hopefully something else cheaper) for our upcoming project.
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post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by doh123
i ran my battery from 100% down to 1%... was under 3 hours and 38 minutes of use, and 2 hours of sleep.

guess it all depends how you use it... but id say 4 hours would be max if i was doing ultra power saving. Id list it as 1.5 hours to 4 hours in general

Well, not correct.

Quoting Nades:

5 hours 39 minutes illumination lowest, low CPU performance, WLAN deactivated, Bluetooth deact.

4 hours 23 minutes illumination medium, low CPU performance, WLAN activated, Bluetooth act.

3 hours 36 minutes illumination high, high CPU performance, WLAN activated, Bluetooth act.

Link to this information.
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....73252&tstart=0

A new battery wont preform as well as a "used" battery. (*with used I don't mean 2 years.)
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post #34 of 63
Boy, that's better! I am glad you chimed in. I was begining to freak out over it.
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post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
That SUCKS! I thought they said the same as the 15" PPC version? Apple claims 5.5 hours on their website for it.

Do you think with a less bright screen setting, no BT and WIFI turned on that it would get close to 5.5 hours?

I may have to wait for a better battery life and pickup a Core Duo something else (iMac or hopefully something else cheaper) for our upcoming project.

I think, based on these reports, Apple should release a model with the 1.5ghz Core duo ultra low voltage. This could be in either a 12in MacBook Pro or in the iBook line. I know the price is a bit steep for the iBooks. I wonder if intel droped the price on it when they droped the prices on the other core duo chips?
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
That SUCKS! I thought they said the same as the 15" PPC version? Apple claims 5.5 hours on their website for it.

Which you only get with light use and the absolute lowest settings on everything. There have been a couple side by side tests, and it looks like battery life is about the same - for DVD playback, the G4 lasted about four minutes longer.
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
Boy, that's better! I am glad you chimed in. I was begining to freak out over it.

O'Grady did some real world tests. Here is his article:

http://www.powerpage.org/archives/20...ks.html#008641
post #38 of 63
I also vaguely remember that you can turn off one of the processor cores to conserve power. I'd assume that that would help quite a bit. 3+ hours does seem very low. I can easily get 2+ out of PIII IBM Thinkpad (6 years old, I think).
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post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by mynamehere
I also vaguely remember that you can turn off one of the processor cores to conserve power. I'd assume that that would help quite a bit. 3+ hours does seem very low. I can easily get 2+ out of PIII IBM Thinkpad (6 years old, I think).

I had no idea turning off one of the processors was an option.
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post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by syklee26
BATTERY LIFE is about 3 hours and 20 minutes. I have one and after one-time calibration process I was getting 3 hours 20 minutes with the screen at the brightest setting and some websurfing.

and it should improve as LiPo battery gets improved.

I have been buying macs for some years now, but still i cannot believe why there is no data on the apple website about the life of the battery, after all, that is one of the MAJOR items of a notebook, no ?

Why dont they just say it like it is.. or is it becasue steve said..it's all about the power/watt ??

I have changed my order today to a 2.16cpu.. i guess my battery life will be ever lower!!
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