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Apple's next-gen Macs to have something special under the hood - Page 2

post #41 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I'm still picturing some kind of specialized high-performance SSD controller where the SSD contains key components of the OS and other software. But, I'm not overly aware of what chipsets are currently available for that type of application to speculate further. I could easily envision some kind of near instant-on and loading of apps scenario.

Intel and HDD manufacturers have such options on the market that use SSD for fast booting and laoding of apps, but so far the results have been less than stellar.
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post #42 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Don't other vendors use chipsets from AMD, Nvidia, Via ect? How does that distinguish Apple from the rest of the pc vendors.

The AMD chipsets are supposed to be really nice but will it make *that* big of a difference? When you boil it all down performance is mostly tied to the cpu.

Processors do not use a common interface. In addition Intel and AMD use very different connection technology. VIA, SIS, and Nvidia make separate third party chipsets for intel and AMD CPUs and to be perfectly honest you don't see VIA or SIS selling too many. ATI used to make third party intel chipsets, but after being acquired they stopped intel development and got rolled in as a first party AMD solutions. If you're going to use a AMD chipset that isn't like three years old, you have to use an AMD CPU with it.
post #43 of 204
Looking at the MacBook Pro range, Apple strives to sell a product that at the cutting edge. They try to use top of the line chips to get maximum performance, but like any laptop maker they are forced to deal with two major issues: life of battery for a given charge and heat. I believe that any laptop maker than can provide extra performance while solving either or both of these issues gets to move past the competition in a big way. Hopefully Apple has something in terms of a solution here.

I can't see Apple changing to a chip that uses a different instruction set, since that would hamper the goal of reducing the footprint of the OS in Snow Leopard.

As for propriety hardware Apple has always had a certain amount in their computers, but I think that they have in recent history managed to take of advantage of off the shelf components for most things. Maybe to understand the direction of the Mac portables we may need to see some of the developments that occurred in the iPhone? I am sure certain engineering lessons there are likely to be passed on to other teams within Apple.
post #44 of 204
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Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

Even after you see it, you won't believe it.

But will you buy it after you see it?

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post #45 of 204
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new generation of personal computers on the way from Apple Inc. may sport some of the most significant architectural changes since the Mac maker made the jump from PowerPC processors to those manufactured by Intel Corp., AppleInsider has learned.

However, with Apple striving to maintain Mac sales growth of more than two times the industry average, it's again looking to differentiate the architecture of its personal computer systems through alternative technology that will afford it an advantage beyond the reach of its competition.

It seems unrealistic that Apple would abandon Intel entirely so soon, particularly given the success of their collaboration thus far. Plus, Intel's Nehalem processors and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard are sure to be a very powerful combination.

The recent shift toward multi-core processing (the race for the fastest processor seems to be moot) suggests Apple's strategy may be to not only increase the number of multi-core processors in their Macs, but to diversify the types of multi-core processors employed by any given Mac (e.g., Intel processors for the CPUs, AMD processors for the video, PA Semi for something else, etc.).

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post #46 of 204
This probably means Apple will use hardware- accellerated god-knows what.

Could be H264 en/decoding, special SSD controllers for max performance, 3G chips,...

I remember once reading somewhere the original Apple Computer had an optional FPU-unit, programmers could adress this FPU-unit in their software, but if it wasn't there the instructions were handled, be it much slower, by the main processor. They could do something similar, yet slightly different if they incorporate supplementary chips. They could either make their own extensions to the X86 instruction set only used in OSX-software, or they could offload X86-instructions to their own specialised chips that would handle those isntructions faster.

I'm not really an expert in this area so people that know more about it may feel free to correct me.
post #47 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

This probably means Apple will use hardware- accellerated god-knows what.

Could be H264 en/decoding, special SSD controllers for max performance, 3G chips,...

I remember once reading somewhere the original Apple Computer had an optional FPU-unit, programmers could adress this FPU-unit in their software, but if it wasn't there the instructions were handled, be it much slower, by the main processor. They could do something similar, yet slightly different if they incorporate supplementary chips. They could either make their own extensions to the X86 instruction set only used in OSX-software, or they could offload X86-instructions to their own specialised chips that would handle those isntructions faster.

I'm not really an expert in this area so people that know more about it may feel free to correct me.

You are talking about 68000...and 8086?
post #48 of 204
Y'know, this sounds a lot like a leak to suss out a "leaker" at Apple.

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post #49 of 204
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Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Processors do not use a common interface. In addition Intel and AMD use very different connection technology. VIA, SIS, and Nvidia make separate third party chipsets for intel and AMD CPUs and to be perfectly honest you don't see VIA or SIS selling too many. ATI used to make third party intel chipsets, but after being acquired they stopped intel development and got rolled in as a first party AMD solutions. If you're going to use a AMD chipset that isn't like three years old, you have to use an AMD CPU with it.

I didn't explain myself well. Other vendors use and can use the 'other' non-Intel chipsets. That won't separate Apple from other pc manufacturers. Using an AMD chipset, and AMD chip, won't provide an advantage either. Even thought the AMD chipset is nice and better in many respects to Intel's chipset, the overall system performance is weaker because the AMD cpus are so much more inferior to Intel's cpus.

Now your left with a custom chipset. Like Booga said that's a 'high risk' proposition that's been tried before. If there is a decided performance advantage it may be worth it. But that's an 'if' at this point.

Time will tell.
post #50 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnqh View Post

You are talking about 68000...and 8086?

I'm talking about the 56000 DSP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_56000

And for the record, a device uniquely qualified to do h.264, onboard in real-time, would be a big kick in the pants.
post #51 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Y'know, this sounds a lot like a leak to suss out a "leaker" at Apple.

+++...
post #52 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

they already have to write code in universal binary to be used on intel and powerpc chips... are they going to now need to write code in universal tertiary?

This doesn't seem to have anything to do with processor architecture -- and there is no reason for Apple to jump ship to AMD for processors. AMD's processors are simply sub-par to Intel right now in every aspect of Apple's market. If they are changing anything it will be the chipset used to support the processor, and I can't even begin to speculate in what potential that could offer. I suppose wonderful things could happen, or it could be mediocre. Something significant must be happening, though, for it to be associated with the statement made about 'a product people can't complete with'. It has to be a marketable change for that to matter. Apple won't be changing the computer world by changing a chipset, even if it is incredible (and could be great for us), because that is not one of the important marketable aspects of the computer.

Whatever it is, I can't imagine Apple will be breaking compatibility at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Is anyone else rolling their eyes and saying "here we go again?" Apple tried going their own way for years, and mostly what they got out of it was being slower than the competition and having serious supply constraints. If this article is true, I wouldn't want to be long on Apple.

Same as mentioned above. I'm not sure how people are getting out of the article that Apple is going to be forging ahead with a PPC->Intel type transition again. That wouldn't make sense anyway! It is the adoption of familiar technology that is doing so many wonderful things for their platform right now. Anything proprietary (in the sense that it breaks compatibility) at this point will probably be received harshly. Apple's got too good a thing going right now.

Paying to use Intel processors with custom architecture, though, opens up the doors for Apple to innovate on the motherboard in ways that the world has never imagined. That could be significant. This might have absolutely nothing to do with the direction in which Apple is headed -- and the article doesn't give any real information about that either -- but anything that allows them to employ their innovation in a new aspect is generally a good thing.
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post #53 of 204
Is it possible that the modification to the chipset could be for something so
mundane as to prevent future versions of Mac OS X from working anything
but genuine Apple macs (as opposed to cloned macs)?
post #54 of 204
Custom Apple designed chipsets for product classes that do not exist yet. Come on people; use your brains.
post #55 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Is it possible that the modification to the chipset could be for something so
mundane as to prevent future versions of Mac OS X from working anything
but genuine Apple macs (as opposed to cloned macs)?

This is an I, too, had and would require a new chipset to best implement HW authentication. But with so many other Macs in use and supported for a solid 3 years I don't see Apple wanting this knowledge to be released to the public until they have an OS that will only install on this new, specific hardware.
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post #56 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't see that happening at all. Not one mention of P.A. Semi in all that BS talk of IBM, AMD and Via.

LOL. That's what I was thinking
post #57 of 204
I can see it having the glass multi-touch track pad for functionality while computer is "off". This smaller processor would run iTunes, email, etc. Why use a powerful CPU for doing low intensity tasks? In this way, it would be two products in one.
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post #58 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I think people are confusing processors with chipsets.

The article doesn't suggest a move away from Intel PROCESSORS (though Apple might certainly add other compatible processor brands to the mix one day).

The article is about the chips that ACCOMPANY and support the main processor. That's what "chipset" refers to.

QFT. Thank God some people have their heads on straight.
post #59 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I think people are confusing processors with chipsets.

Thank you!! I can't believe I had to get to the 19th post before reading a comment from someone who actually read article!
post #60 of 204
Hopefully these will make up for the last two minor speed bumps.
post #61 of 204
Companies are often bought for one specific product. Perhaps P.A. Semi shopped something around and Apple saw it and decided they wanted it so much they were willing to buy the company...

I can't see what can be so interesting that the chipset is worth redesigning myself, it's functionality is fairly standard...
post #62 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi-Wan Kubrick View Post

Hopefully these will make up for the last two minor speed bumps.

According to AnandTech's preliminary testing of Montevina the performance increase is on par with the other updates, but as usual that comes with a faster MHz rating for the same price as the previous model and much better power usage, which is arguably more important on a notebook.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

I can't see what can be so interesting that the chipset is worth redesigning myself, it's functionality is fairly standard...

The only thing I see is a way for Apple to lock the OS to the system with a proprietary chipset.
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post #63 of 204
Apple will have to prove this line of crap to me about leaving the competition scrambling etc. After the "top secret" options never showed up in Leopard that Steve talked about, I'll believe anything once I see it.
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post #64 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

Custom Apple designed chipsets for product classes that do not exist yet. Come on people; use your brains.

Agreed, they can make very Apple specific features widening the gap over other manufacturers using off the shelf sets while still using the latest CPUs from Intel. This is good news for sure as it means they have something up their sleeves in Cupertino.
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post #65 of 204
Sounds to me like Apple wants to use a standard Intel CPU with a proprietary northbridge and/or southbridge.

It could be something as simple as Apple wanting to support more than 4GB in their pro laptops/iMacs. Shouting about 64-bit doesn't make a whole lot of sense when your hardware only supports 4GB.

Hasn't Apple been designing custom silicon for years with the iPods?

Perhaps Apple are planning on parking the OS on silicon? That could be sweet?
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post #66 of 204
I didn't read all the post cause too many people pissed me off for not reading correctly...so I thought I'd do it too.

Anyhow.
They did not say they were replacing the main processor (intel) with a new one. They said they would replace other parts of the motherboard, separate chipsets that work along with the main CPU. Best believe apple will continue to use Intel CPU's it keeps them in the game speed wise and on the same upgrade pace (if they want) as their competitors. What I would guess, and they already do it, is that they would use alternitives for USB, FIrewire, bluetooth, video card, wifi, and like some said here, 3G.

There are more chips on the board than just the CPU, it will be ok. In fact it might just get better. DO you really think that apple hasn't learned from the past. The way it's looking they have only shown a glimpse of how much they learned. Apple is the future of mainstream computing.

A couple things. 1. as long as there system speed remain on par with windows systems (easy) and 2. as long as it (a mac) can run windows natively (for the time being (5 years)) than don't worry about it.
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post #67 of 204
DUDDDEEE i cannot wait 6-8 weeks. i was riding on the late july-early august refresh. if i buy one now, (or this weekend) how long do i have to return it? does anyone know. will i even be able to return it for the new one?
post #68 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I know the difference between a CPU and a chipset. My point was that the more custom chips you have, the more risk you're at for manufacturing and supply delays, bugs, etc., that affect only you.

This could be good, but it's also a very high-risk move if true.

Actually, it's lower risk since you control the process yourself and have more options for suppliers. And it means that you are less likely to be affected by problems that affect everyone else.
post #69 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Intel and HDD manufacturers have such options on the market that use SSD for fast booting and laoding of apps, but so far the results have been less than stellar.

Eventually people will realise that SSDs, as they stand today, are by and large slower than HDDs. The future might fix that.
post #70 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I'm still picturing some kind of specialized high-performance SSD controller where the SSD contains key components of the OS and other software. But, I'm not overly aware of what chipsets are currently available for that type of application to speculate further. I could easily envision some kind of near instant-on and loading of apps scenario.

SSD drives are not even near exceeding the capacity of SATA.

Personally, I don't see a point in replacing the chipset. Those are very complex now, and even in Apple's volumes, I don't see being near competitive in price and performance combined, versus an off the shelf chipset. I really don't think the chipsets are the weak link.

Something i see more likely happening is maybe something like a coprocessor that takes a PCIe lane. I mean, an H.264 encoder or decoder would only need a PCIe lane and likely can encode or decode in better than real time without hogging the CPU or consuming nearly as much power. If it's two PCIe lanes, then you can handle uncompressed HD going in and out at the same time.
post #71 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamisen.sc View Post

DUDDDEEE i cannot wait 6-8 weeks. i was riding on the late july-early august refresh. if i buy one now, (or this weekend) how long do i have to return it? does anyone know. will i even be able to return it for the new one?

I agree...why would they wait this long? And how would these awesome new products affect Q3 margins if they don't come out until the end of September? I think they have to come out in August.
post #72 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I didn't explain myself well. Other vendors use and can use the 'other' non-Intel chipsets.

Not on the mobile platform though. They haven't licensed their mobile sockets since VIA used its license to introduce a socket 479 version of their C7 CPU.
post #73 of 204
and i thought the whole reason we were waiting this long for the overdue MB/P revision was Montevina. now they are ditching it, and we have to wait longer... i need one for college
post #74 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Is anyone else rolling their eyes and saying "here we go again?" Apple tried going their own way for years, and mostly what they got out of it was being slower than the competition and having serious supply constraints. If this article is true, I wouldn't want to be long on Apple.

Hardly, for the majority of the time they were faster. Towards the end mind they were utter crap.But that was Motorola's fault.
post #75 of 204
These leaks regarding regarding the next macbooks & mb pros seem to be turning up more and more frequently. Makes me wonder if the timeframe aspect of this story isn't the least accurate part of it (hopefully). Seems plausible that there may still be an announcement in the coming weeks. Even if they don't ship for another few weeks after.

If Apple waits until just after the pre-college buying spree to announce this new line then there are going to be a fair number of angry new laptop owners.
post #76 of 204
1) H.264: now that this codec seems to be running the table (or at least penetrating) on everything from next-gen DVDs, to iChat, to youtube, iMovie, and Steve would LOVE to give flash even more of a performance disadvantage, now would be the time to embraceH.264 in hardware.
2) Could "grand central" be something that requires hardware?
3) By hiring another firm to design a chip in your chipset, you probably have a tough time convincing them to make it an exclusive, since there are such economies of scale. However, if apple really does own the chip design and just outsources the manufacture, they can really keep it for themselves, meaning (a) you can't build a clone, and (b) you benefit from whatever the hell this key ingredient does and none of your competition can have exactly that.
post #77 of 204
Maybe Apple could do something along the lines of Toshiba's Qosmio G55? It sure would be nice to have a Cell as co-processor. Should be even easier for Apple to code for since the Cell is part of the PowerPC family that Apple is familiar with. With all that additional horsepower onboard that can be used for graphics among other things, people could stop whining about how Macs suck at gaming. Throw in some seriously fast h.264 encoding/decoding using the Cell and we'd have a winner.
post #78 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by hook View Post

...If Apple waits until just after the pre-college buying spree to announce this new line then there are going to be a fair number of angry new laptop owners.

right here. i'm gonna have to setlle for the one that will be outdated next month.
post #79 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by benny-boy View Post

1) H.264: now that this codec seems to be running the table (or at least penetrating) on everything from next-gen DVDs, to iChat, to youtube, iMovie, and Steve would LOVE to give flash even more of a performance disadvantage, now would be the time to embraceH.264 in hardware.

Montevina already has support for this built in. I don't see Apple going out of their way to incorporate another system if what is available already works.

Quote:
2) Could "grand central" be something that requires hardware?

I think GC is all coding, but OpenCL may need a controller chip to aggregate GPU and CPU cycles as one.

Quote:
3) By hiring another firm to design a chip in your chipset, you probably have a tough time convincing them to make it an exclusive, since there are such economies of scale. However, if apple really does own the chip design and just outsources the manufacture, they can really keep it for themselves, meaning (a) you can't build a clone, and (b) you benefit from whatever the hell this key ingredient does and none of your competition can have exactly that.

As previously stated, I think this is the key to it all. Apple can't litigate every time a clone pops up so they have to out-tech them in order to stay ahead.. and this means HW authentication.
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post #80 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamisen.sc View Post

right here. i'm gonna have to setlle for the one that will be outdated next month.

I don't know about you, buddy, but I went to an Apple store last week and bought myself a shiny new MacBook Pro. The damn thing is a screamer! It runs all my games wonderfully, let's me work with video and graphics wonderfully and speedily. Plus it's really, really shiny (the case, not the screen).

If you want a brilliant machine, go out and get what Apple is offering now.

Just because Apple might offer something that greatly outclasses it in a few weeks (or months) doesn't mean that the current hardware is terrible. Take a good long look at what you need in a machine, and what you just want. 99 times out of 100, you'll find that the current lineup fits the bill just fine. And if something newer comes out....just be happy and keep working (and playing) with what you have.

Sometimes I think the whole "I must have the next latest and greatest because it will be so much better than what they have now" thing is pretty ridiculous. \
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