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New MacBook case leaks question FireWire's future - Page 8

post #281 of 322
I'll reserve final commentary for tomorrow but I'm hoping to see a FW Apple laptop remain at 1499 or less.

Frankly FW isn't that expensive of a technology to implement which makes the decision to drop it fairly inscrutable of Apple IMO.

We'll see tomorrow.
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post #282 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thanks.


Just to be clear, my argument that a sub-$1000 Mac would be targeting typical non-Mac users who don't use FW and that the current MacBook models would still have FW included.

By focusing on non-Mac users, and ignoring Mac users, you are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
post #283 of 322
The price lists from the link below look pretty legitimate to me.
http://www.macrumors.com/2008/10/13/...s-899-macbook/ Like with the other major PC OEMs, offering an $899 entry-level price may work out well. But I'm guessing that this low pricepoint will come with a combo-drive, 1GB RAM, and a slower CPU (perhaps even Montevina/Merom, that can all be upgraded to just under the speed of the the next highest MacBook at $1,299.
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post #284 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

By focusing on non-Mac users, and ignoring Mac users, you are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

1) If Apple didn't focus on "non-Mac users" they would not be having the current growth spout we are witnessing.

2) I never said, nor implied, that Apple should forego their MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro line of computers. I merely stated that they need to move into new areas in order to maintain their current growth. I even outlined some ways in which Apple can achieve this growth rate.

3) What is it with the "all or nothing" attitude of some posters around here. I mention that Apple would benefit from offering a lower priced PC to stimulate new growth which somehow make implies that Apple is going to drop the rest of the it's Mac market? That is as ridiculous as the claims that Apple's foray into iPods and iPhones means that they don't care about their PC market any longer.
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post #285 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The price lists from the link below look pretty legitimate to me.
http://www.macrumors.com/2008/10/13/...s-899-macbook/ Like with the other major PC OEMs, offering an $899 entry-level price may work out well. But I'm guessing that this low pricepoint will come with a combo-drive, 1GB RAM, and a slower CPU (perhaps even Montevina/Merom, that can all be upgraded to just under the speed of the the next highest MacBook at $1,299.

Lets hope that it comes with 2gbs of RAM and Super Drive. If not most users will completely skip this model. This is supposed to be the model that will grow the addressable market by nearly 70% so it really ought to to a legitimately usable machine and not a crippled machine used to upsell buyers to the next model up.

If anything put in a slower CPU. OSX runs quite well on a 2.0 ghz core 2 cpu. Even the old 65 nm Meroms. But put in enough RAM so that the new to Mac users have a good experience with their first Mac instead of wondering why their machine is slow.
post #286 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

If anything put in a slower CPU. OSX runs quite well on a 2.0 ghz core 2 cpu. Even the old 65 nm Meroms. But put in enough RAM so that the new to Mac users have a good experience with their first Mac instead of wondering why their machine is slow.

Absolutely. That's a no-brainer area to cut costs. Frankly, a DVD burner, 2GB of RAM, and a decent-size hard drive are a lot more important than a really fast CPU to the audience this machine would be targeted at.
post #287 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) If Apple didn't focus on "non-Mac users" they would not be having the current growth spout we are witnessing.

2) I never said, nor implied, that Apple should forego their MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro line of computers. I merely stated that they need to move into new areas in order to maintain their current growth. I even outlined some ways in which Apple can achieve this growth rate.

3) What is it with the "all or nothing" attitude of some posters around here. I mention that Apple would benefit from offering a lower priced PC to stimulate new growth which somehow make implies that Apple is going to drop the rest of the it's Mac market? That is as ridiculous as the claims that Apple's foray into iPods and iPhones means that they don't care about their PC market any longer.

Not quite, You are comfortable with the MacBook dropping FW in order to produce an attractive price point for switchers, and many of us are not. That is not an all or nothing attitude, why should we as loyal Mac users be forced to pay the much higher of a MacBook Pro in order to get FW, just to draw PC users into our MacBook?
post #288 of 322
My theory on the ports
post #289 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

Not quite, You are comfortable with the MacBook dropping FW in order to produce an attractive price point for switchers, and many of us are not. That is not an all or nothing attitude, why should we as loyal Mac users be forced to pay the much higher of a MacBook Pro in order to get FW, just to draw PC users into our MacBook?

i think what solipsism is referring to, if i may be forgiven for speaking for him, is the lowest priced MB (ie. aimed at a new new market) dropping firewire. We don't know how the whole range will be spec'd out yet.

fwiw, i agree with those who need FW for audio and video, on both the technical and fiscal points... i hope there is some fw support in at least one model of MB.
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post #290 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

The funny thing is both USB and FW were supposed to reduce needed ports. USB via hubs and FW via daisychaining yet that's not quiet how reality has worked out. What a paradox.

I think this is why combining firewire with the ethernet network interface is the next logical step. Think how easy it will be to share devices this way. Simply plug your firewire drive straight into a compatible wireless router and you've got a wifi Time Machine backup.

It's also far better for live recording because it supports much longer cable lengths and at a push you might even get away with wireless (HDV is only 25 Mbps). Imagine being able to position a camera absolutely anywhere while shooting and recording live. You can probably split a wired connection much more easily too.

The ideal scenario IMO is that we have one interface for everything. In the end, no matter if you are running a mouse, a display, a hard drive, it's all computer data. The only reason we have multiple interfaces is that they are created by different people for different reasons with different licensing and different performance.

Take bluetooth - why aren't we running our mice and keyboards over wifi? We have 802.11n capable of 300 Mbps max with a range of hundreds of meters and yet we use a 2 Mbps standard with a range of a few feet.

One reason I think FW 400 should disappear is due to the issue with the plug. There has been major damage caused to computers by inserting a worn plug in the wrong way round. This is a huge design flaw. I always triple-check a FW 400 plug before putting it in.

The cables and plugs are also very heavy.

If there is no FW capability at all, it will be disappointing but if it has combined FW/Gig-E, it will be a big step forward. S800T is an IEEE standard and published in June last year. This means that it's relatively new and it's about time someone started using it. Given that Apple developed firewire, it makes sense they should be the first to implement it.
post #291 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't disagree with your reasons for wanting FW, but I have to ask why the products you linked to above can't be used via USB2.0. Does it need the extra power of FW400?

1. Can't daisy chain USB devices, need a Hub.
2. If you carry a hub, you'll then need to carry the power adapter.
3. If you have Combo external HDD kits with 1394 + USB, they will operate off 1394 bus power but not USB bus power; therefore, you'll need to carry the extra power adapters.

I'm figuring if I bought a new MacBook without 1394, I'd end up having to schlep an extra 4 to 6 pounds of weight just from the #@$%!&*!# power adapters. So, all that effort by Apple in reducing the weight of the laptop is now more than swallowed up by additional extraneous materials that must accompany the new laptop due to it's weaknesses as a portable machine.

Add to that the reduced WiFi range of aluminum vs plastic, and what's the point? If all of this is true, the new MacBooks are a huge step down from the last generation.

Adding a $4 TI PHY/LINK 1394 Combo chip, a few cents in R's & C's and a 50c 6 pin 1394 connector just doesn't blow the BOM cost out of the water, it's completely illogical. And space is NOT a consideration here; Fujitsu can jam 3 USB2.0 & one 1394a ports into their 12.1" portable - why can't Apple do this in a 13" portable? There's no excuse.

Why the degradation? It just makes no sense.
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post #292 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

i think what solipsism is referring to, if i may be forgiven for speaking for him, is the lowest priced MB (ie. aimed at a new new market) dropping firewire. We don't know how the whole range will be spec'd out yet.

fwiw, i agree with those who need FW for audio and video, on both the technical and fiscal points... i hope there is some fw support in at least one model of MB.

Thanks, that is exactly what I was saying. I thought I was quite clear in my statement. I will not be buying any Mac that doesn't have FW, but I forge that some on this forum (perhaps it's just the nature of some) only have an "all or nothing" perspective, so if I saw that sub-$1000, entry-level MB wouldn't have FW, it somehow means to others that no MB would have FW.
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post #293 of 322
I have no doubt that the persons responsible for this leak meant to get the Mac base up in arms about the lack of Firewire. Generating buzz is priority one in Cupertino.

While Jobs is crazy enough to use FW as a Pro differentiator, it comes with several downsides.

1) It relegates an Apple-technology to obscurity. It's hard enough to find FW peripherals now.
2) It condemns FW3200 to failure. Considering the interest Apple's shown in development, this is nuts.
3) It removes a vital feature. Target Disk Mode.
4) It kills any chance of a sleek docking solution. Apple's current portable are connected to a maze of wires on the desk.
Windows users can attach everything with one plug. Why can't a Mac?
5) It takes away one more point that Macs have over PCs.
6) It takes away from the iLife experience.
7) It angers users for no good reason. The miniscule savings are not comparable to the original iMac's embrace of USB.
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post #294 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

1. Can't daisy chain USB devices, need a Hub.
2. If you carry a hub, you'll then need to carry the power adapter.
3. If you have Combo external HDD kits with 1394 + USB, they will operate off 1394 bus power but not USB bus power; therefore, you'll need to carry the extra power adapters.

I'm figuring if I bought a new MacBook without 1394, I'd end up having to schlep an extra 4 to 6 pounds of weight just from the #@$%!&*!# power adapters. So, all that effort by Apple in reducing the weight of the laptop is now more than swallowed up by additional extraneous materials that must accompany the new laptop due to it's weaknesses as a portable machine.

Add to that the reduced WiFi range of aluminum vs plastic, and what's the point? If all of this is true, the new MacBooks are a huge step down from the last generation.

Adding a $4 TI PHY/LINK 1394 Combo chip, a few cents in R's & C's and a 50c 6 pin 1394 connector just doesn't blow the BOM cost out of the water, it's completely illogical. And space is NOT a consideration here; Fujitsu can jam 3 USB2.0 & one 1394a ports into their 12.1" portable - why can't Apple do this in a 13" portable? There's no excuse.

Why the degradation? It just makes no sense.

Beat me to it. The cost of adding FW is negligible, not adding any significant cost to a computer. While the absence of one creates unnecessary difficulties.

If this rumor is true, count me in the loss of FW as brain dead.

Just to clarify, my opinion includes the lowest priced laptop in these rumors. I would predict FW not being dropped from any laptops starting @ $1299 if Gruber's conjecture is true.
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post #295 of 322
Sadly. I can see Apple doing this, removing the firewire, because honestly this company makes some pretty dumb mistakes from time to time. The craziest thing is they do them for no good reason. You can go out there right now and buy a $800 PC laptop that comes with USB, firewire, HDMI, VGA, Expresscard, ect. So what's the issue keeping the firewire around? It's not like dropping firewire is suddenly going to make the price $200 cheaper.

If this rumor is true, it's just Apple being retarded and I won't buy one.
post #296 of 322
Removing the firewire port is not a great move on the surface, but we don't have enough information to determine if there is a backup solution, or something else entirely that will make up for it. The cat-5 firewire idea has merit, although unlikely, could be implemented in software.

We'll have to see what's coming.

Also, I think that idea that that mystery opening in the front of the MBP being the battery display is right.
post #297 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePi View Post

can go out there right now and buy a $800 PC laptop that comes with USB, firewire, HDMI, VGA, Expresscard, ect. So what's the issue keeping the firewire around? It's not like dropping firewire is suddenly going to make the price $200 cheaper.

Maybe the FW-less model is just the lowest MB (the rumored $900 one?) and all others will actually sport a normal FW connector.
post #298 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Maybe the FW-less model is just the lowest MB (the rumored $900 one?) and all others will actually sport a normal FW connector.

I think it's obvious that FireWire 400 is dead as far as Mac laptops are concerned. The best that can be hoped for is that there will be 13" MacBook models with FireWire 800, but don't hold your breath.
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post #299 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Maybe the FW-less model is just the lowest MB (the rumored $900 one?) and all others will actually sport a normal FW connector.

I think it's been established that the $899 price point is intended for a new 24" display. I know; expensive for a 24" unless there are some extraordinary new features.
post #300 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I think it's been established that the $899 price point is intended for a new 24" display.

I am not yet convinced ; the alleged $900 model belongs to the same "code family" (MB-something) as the rest of the Apple notebooks.
post #301 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think it's obvious that FireWire 400 is dead as far as Mac laptops are concerned. The best that can be hoped for is that there will be 13" MacBook models with FireWire 800, but don't hold your breath.

Is there not some compatibility between the two?
post #302 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

I am not yet convinced ; the alleged $900 model belongs to the same "code family" (MB-something) as the rest of the Apple notebooks.

I hope you're right!
post #303 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Is there not some compatibility between the two?

there is perfect compatibility with the 2. You simply replace your FW400/FW400 cable with a FW400/FW800 cable.

post #304 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Is there not some compatibility between the two?

Yes, 800 is backwards compatible. You can connect FireWire 400 devices to an 800 port with an adapter. edit: or with a 400/800 cable as mentioned above by Outsider.
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post #305 of 322
Thanks guys. Problem solved then. Well, actually not yet; Apple has yet to prove that it kept at least one FW-equiped MB.
post #306 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think it's obvious that FireWire 400 is dead as far as Mac laptops are concerned. The best that can be hoped for is that there will be 13" MacBook models with FireWire 800, but don't hold your breath.

What exactly is obvious about it? What facts do have to support that? Or, is this all conjecture, as I suspect? It would be great if Apple put FW 800 in the MacBook, but I'm not holding my breath.
post #307 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think it's obvious that FireWire 400 is dead as far as Mac laptops are concerned. The best that can be hoped for is that there will be 13" MacBook models with FireWire 800, but don't hold your breath.

I disagree. I think Firewire 400 and 800 are dead. Firewire 3200 is ready, is backward compatible, and has the exact same connector as FW800.

Why not just put the next-gen standard on right now across the line?

Apple has the tech in-house. Maybe Apple has a surprise for us in the next two hours.
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post #308 of 322
There must not be a lot of musicians commenting here because for us music makers, Firewire on a MacBook is vital.

Many of the audio interfaces out there rely exclusively on Firewire, and for fast backup, Firewire hard drives.

If the new MacBook does not have Firewire, I'll be buying the previous model MacBook.
post #309 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

I disagree. I think Firewire 400 and 800 are dead. Firewire 3200 is ready, is backward compatible, and has the exact same connector as FW800.

Why not just put the next-gen standard on right now across the line?

Apple has the tech in-house. Maybe Apple has a surprise for us in the next two hours.

You think that Apple is going to put FW 3200 into a laptop when it's net yet available on the MacPro?
post #310 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

You think that Apple is going to put FW 3200 into a laptop when it's net yet available on the MacPro?

Everyone knows the Mac Pro is coming soon, so that's not a huge issue.
And the economies of scale involved in putting it on the MacBook will help get peripheral makers onboard faster.
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post #311 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

What exactly is obvious about it? What facts do have to support that?

Photos of new MacBook casings, none of which have FireWire 400 ports?
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post #312 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Photos of new MacBook casings, none of which have FireWire 400 ports?

For at least another 19 minutes, that is conjecture.
post #313 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

For at least another 19 minutes, that is conjecture.

Yeah, you keep believing that if you want. It's possible that Apple will keep an old plastic MacBook at the bottom end and not update the 17" yet, but none of the new aluminium MacBooks (13" & 15") will have a dedicated FireWire 400 port.
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post #314 of 322
No Firewire at all on the 13" MacBook. Terrible decision.
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post #315 of 322
post #316 of 322
We now know that Apple has indeed removed both FW400 and FW800 from the MacBook --without replacing it with an alternative.

I've read through this entire thread, and not one person has yet answered my question:

WHAT IS THE NEW PROCEDURE FOR TRANSFERRING FILES FROM THE MACBOOK TO ANOTHER COMPUTER??

Until now, the only really efficient, quick and reliable way to do that was by connecting a FireWire cable and restarting while holding down the T key. USB doesn't work like that. So . . .

So how -- specifically -- are we supposed to transfer files from/to the new MacBook?

Thanks.
post #317 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by iedsri View Post

WHAT IS THE NEW PROCEDURE FOR TRANSFERRING FILES FROM THE MACBOOK TO ANOTHER COMPUTER??

USB2.0, 802.11n and 1000BASE-T are all great for transferring files. If you are actually referring to the Migration Assistant app, you can currently use WiFi since the MBA doesn't have FW, so I'm sure Apple will do the same thing for these MBs.
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post #318 of 322
There are uses for Firewire, like 8 track audio capture that is very cool, and not USB (but maybe if I looked there could be), but...

I just think Apple said "what would be more beneficial to a low end user so we can keep the price low", have to have only one of these A or B.

A. True Performance Video Chip?
B. Firewire?

And they decided A.

Low end users can have a laptop that will play games.

If you do video, you probably might just have the money for MBP.

Laters...
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post #319 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

I disagree. I think Firewire 400 and 800 are dead. Firewire 3200 is ready, is backward compatible, and has the exact same connector as FW800.

With the paucity of existing FW devices, and Apple itself effectively deprecating FW, why would any vendor jump on the FW3200 bandwagon? Intel owns the USB standard and has effectively quashed FW on the PC side by ignoring it, while eSATA external disks are so much easier to find than FW ones despite its newness. A whole lot of people think of USB only in terms of peak bandwidth, while ignoring Firewire's superior sustained bandwidth, latency, timing, and the ability to chain devices. You can't beat that kind of ignorance. On a form-factor constrained design like a notebook, you'd think the ability to attach several devices with only 1 port, without an external hub, would make FW very popular. You would be wrong, apparently notebook designers prefer spending space and dollars on multiple USB ports. Firewire has made itself the repeat of Beta.
post #320 of 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by randian View Post

With the paucity of existing FW devices, and Apple itself effectively deprecating FW, why would any vendor jump on the FW3200 bandwagon? Intel owns the USB standard and has effectively quashed FW on the PC side by ignoring it, while eSATA external disks are so much easier to find than FW ones despite its newness. A whole lot of people think of USB only in terms of peak bandwidth, while ignoring Firewire's superior sustained bandwidth, latency, timing, and the ability to chain devices. You can't beat that kind of ignorance. On a form-factor constrained design like a notebook, you'd think the ability to attach several devices with only 1 port, without an external hub, would make FW very popular. You would be wrong, apparently notebook designers prefer spending space and dollars on multiple USB ports. Firewire has made itself the repeat of Beta.

I had no problem walking into Costco and buying a Half Terabyte Western Digital FW/USB drive for 104.99.

I had multiple options there as well but didn't want to spend $40 more for 750GB.

Though to answer your question. Vendors that use FW3.2Gbps will be the ones that must leverage the architectural benefits of FW. USB thusfar has been a connection that is decent on burst transfers but doesn't have the latency numbers to effectively deal with some times of data (audio namely)

USB 3.0 will support duplex read/write so latency should go down but it's still a host based connection meaning it needs that computer in the chain.

I fully agree with you. Apple's reticence in promoting Firewire has been egregious. I sit here and read posts where many of us are awaiting for that next major product that is a game changer but honestly I'm worried. Does Apple even have the desire necessary to create such a product?

Time will tell but today it seems like Apple is focused mainly on differentiation via software and like a sports player consumed with stats Apple is enjoying success like they've never seen on Wall Street and this could color their views on all products. Microsoft has entered and then vacated different technological areas once it became clear they wouldn't have a new billion dollar product line.

Apple appears to be heading down that same path.
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