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Inside the new MacBooks: FireWire, USB, and the NVIDIA Controller

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Apple's new MacBook and MacBook Pro models contain more innovation than just their case design, graphics, and the improved accessibility of their internals. Here's a look at other details related to FireWire, USB, and the new NVIDIA-based controller that replaces Intel's chipset.

FireWire

Only the MacBook Pro supports FireWire; it supplies the faster FW800 (800Mbps) standard, which is backwardly compatible with the original FW400 (400Mbps). A FW800 port can handle a chain of devices running at either 400 or 800Mbps, and manages data transfers over the bus at the top speed of the device. FireWire does not slow the entire bus down to the speed of the slowest device attached.

The complete lack of FireWire on the standard 13" MacBook means it can't be used in Target Disk Mode, as USB lacks the bus intelligence to support such a system. This also means that MacBook users will need to use the Ethernet-based Migration Assistant developed for the MacBook Air to import files and settings from their previous system, although in the case of the MacBook, this will be considerably faster due to its support for Gigabit Ethernet; the MacBook Air is limited to 10/100 Fast Ethernet, and that is only available when using the optional Ethernet dongle. Out of the box, the Air only supports importing files from an older Mac using Migration Assistant over wireless networking, which many reviewers reported to be very slow and problematic.

Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps) is nominally faster than FireWire 400, although it also incurs more overhead related to Ethernet networking than FireWire does. It is far faster than wireless 802.11n, which has a comparable throughput throughput maximum of 300Mbps, a feat that can only be approached in ideal wireless signal conditions.

Another alternative to FireWire Target Disk Mode is the use of Migration Assistant with a USB-connected Time Machine backup, or a direct import from a USB volume containing the previous system's files. This may require removing the hard drive from the old system and installing it into a USB hard drive enclosure. Of course, that's far less convenient than booting it up into FireWire Target Disk Mode.

To perform the reverse (exposing the data from the new MacBook's internal drive as if it were in Target Disk Mode), users will have to remove the MacBook's hard drive and insert it into a USB hard drive enclosure that supports a mini-SATA drive connection. Note that many cheap USB disk enclosures only support notebook drives with mini-ATA connectors, or full size PATA or SATA connectors.

While there are some workarounds to the MacBook's lack of FireWire Target Disk Mode, the missing port is also a problem for users with FireWire peripherals. FireWire is used by musicians to patch together audio equipment and by video filmmakers to connect to FireWire camcorders for video import. Apple's push for FireWire adoption was successfully thwarted by Intel's USB 2.0, leading to a market reality where high volume PC manufacturers overwhelmingly aligned behind the simpler, cheaper USB in favor of adopting the more functional, intelligent, and faster, but subsequently more expensive, FireWire standard.

Apple was forced to respond by first adding USB support to the iPod, and has since removed FireWire support entirely on the iPod and iPhone to cut costs and complexity. Its removal from the MacBook will force users who need FireWire to consider the old white MacBook on the low end, or the full size MacBook Pro on the high end. The MacBook also lacks an ExpressCard expansion slot to add FireWire features as an aftermarket option. Likewise, the MacBook Air lacks FireWire as well and any way to add support for it. The promise of FireWire was not only derailed by USB 2.0 on the low end on most peripherals, but has also been supplanted by SATA and eSATA on the higher end in hard drive applications, leaving FireWire with an increasingly small niche.

USB

Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro supply two USB 2.0 ports, of which Apple's documentation says that only one of which is "high powered." In the USB 2.0 specification, high-powered means suitable for powering certain peripherals that require more than 100mA. Any device that draws significant power or charges itself over USB, such as an iPod, a USB hard drive, or a USB scanner lacking a power source, needs to be plugged into a high-powered USB port.

A low powered port is fine for keyboards, mice, or other passive devices, as well as any devices that supply their own power, such as a printer or full sized USB hard drive that has its own power adapter. An external, powered USB hub will supply the necessary power when using either USB port. However, both USB ports actually supply at least 500mA, enough to each power and charge an iPhone or similar product at the same time.

The two ports are two separate, 480Mbps high speed USB 2.0 busses. The front port is shared internally with the built-in iSight camera. Apple's documentation says the first USB device to be plugged in that demands more than 500mA will get 1000mA, and other devices will all be limited to 500mA or less. This indicates that users will have nothing new to worry about; anyone using higher-powered devices may need to use a powered USB hub, but this does not represent a change for MacBook Pro users.

Internal Busses

As with earlier MacBooks, the slower 12Mbps USB 1.0 is used internally to drive the keyboard, trackpad, Bluetooth, and IR remote sensor, none of which have any need for a faster USB 2.0 connection. As noted above, the internal iSight camera connects internally to one of the faster USB 2.0 busses.

AirPort wireless networking is interfaced with the NVIDIA 'chipset on a chip' via PCIe, and all other peripherals, drives, audio, video, and RAM are similarly managed by the same chip. While most Intel-based PCs use two primary support chips to interface the various components, the new MacBooks use one. The MacBook Pro uses the same architecture while also supplying an additional, dedicated NVIDIA GPU.

Conventional Intel PCs traditionally split controller chipset functions into two components, a "northbridge" that interfaces with the CPU and manages the high performance system RAM and the fast PCIe bus that typically drives dedicated video and expansion slots, and the southbridge chip, which handles the less demanding general I/O functions, including audio, Ethernet, USB, system clock, power management, and other functions that don't demand the fastest possible bus. This split helps keep the northbridge as fast as possible while allowing the southbridge to run slower, and therefore handle cheaper components.

The definition of northbridge and southbridge have shifted slightly with new technologies and between manufacturers; Intel now refers to the northbridge as the Memory Controller Hub or MCH, and the southbridge as the I/O Controller Hub or ICH.



Chipsets and Platforms

When Intel talks about its "platforms," such as the Centrino Santa Rosa, it's branding a CPU, a chipset, and wireless controller under an umbrella brand. Last year's MacBooks used the "Santa Rosa" combination of Intel's Core 2 Duo Merom CPU, paired with the Intel Mobile 965 Express series chipset. That chipset included the GM965 Crestline MCH northbridge using Intel's GMA X3100 graphics technology and ICH8M southbridge.

However, the definition of Intel's Centrino-branded Santa Rosa platform also includes the Intel WiFi Link 4965AGN Kedron wireless chip. Apple didn't use Intel's part for WiFi on the 2007 MacBooks; it used the Broadcom BCM4328. The "Santa Rosa MacBook" was therefore not really Santa Rosa nor a Centrino notebook. That's why Apple never refers to it as a Santa Rosa or Centrino Mac.

Many PC makers are content to source all their components from one vendor, and Intel is obviously happy to bundle all of its components together under a brand name that suggests to consumers that "Centrino" is a feature they need. However, Apple has historically always selected the best parts available for its desired design goals. Last year, that meant skipping Intel's WiFi chip. In the year since, Apple has been plagued with reports of problems related to MacBook graphics, forcing the company to rethink its use of Intel's relatively uninspiring integrated graphics options.

Add in the fact that NVIDIA could offer a replacement northbridge/southbridge controller in one chip combined with far better integrated graphics performance, and it's no wonder why Apple dropped Intel's 2008 Montevina Centrino platform entirely for its new generation of MacBooks. The new MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro all use continue to use Intel's Core 2 Duo Penryn CPUs, but pair NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M G chipset and integrated graphics along with AirPort WiFi supplied by a Broadcom BCM94322USA. Apple is expected to continue its expansion of using competitive components, and possibly even custom parts of its own design, rather than simply branding Intel "platforms" as Macs. This will also make it harder for observers to guess what features Apple's next Macs will have, although that's obviously not Apple's primary motivation.



Other Segments from our Inside the new MacBooks series
Apple details new MacBook manufacturing process
A closer look at Apple's move to NVIDIA chipsets, DisplayPort
Inside the new MacBooks: LSI, Battery, HD, and RAM
Inside the new MacBooks: Audio and Video
post #2 of 59
Just a correction...
In your first diagram it states that the late 2008 MacBooks use DDR2 1067 RAM when in fact they use DDR3 1067
post #3 of 59
Interesting, didn't know the new MBP USB, 1 is high powered and the other is not. I wonder how is the previous MBP USB?
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post #4 of 59
I think this was a very smart move. Reducing the number of chips on the logic board while increasing performance. Brilliant.
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post #5 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

I think this was a very smart move. Reducing the number of chips on the logic board while increasing performance. Brilliant.

Get back in your cube before Steve walks by.
post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmac93 View Post

Just a correction...
In your first diagram it states that the late 2008 MacBooks use DDR2 1067 RAM when in fact they use DDR3 1067

Yep! Thanks a bunch. Should be corrected now.

K
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post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Yep! Thanks a bunch. Should be corrected now.

K

Shouldn't that be 667Mhz for the DDR2 memory, not 533Mhz?
post #8 of 59
So not only does it only have 2 USB ports, one of them is not even fully powered. Where do I insert the crank to start it?
post #9 of 59
No firewire blows as target disk mode was a life saver. These look nice but I am passing this time, and that in itself is a feat.
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post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

No firewire blows as target disk mode was a life saver. These look nice but I am passing this time, and that in itself is a feat.

Probably a good decision. I want to see what Apple does with Nehalem and frankly if I'm going to have to give up FW then I want the nextgen CPU.
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post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

To perform the reverse (exposing the data from the new MacBook's internal drive as if it were in Target Disk Mode), users will have to remove the MacBook's hard drive and insert it into a USB hard drive enclosure that supports a mini-SATA drive connection. Note that many cheap USB disk enclosures only support notebook drives with mini-ATA connectors, or full size PATA or SATA connectors.

I wanted to clarify. (because I couldn't find relevant mini-SATA links on google)

I was confused (horrified!) about a new SATA connection, I assume that by "mini-SATA connection", you mean a 2.5 inch SATA drive (standard sata laptop drive). The connection is the same for both full size (3.5) SATA drives and 2.5 inch drives. And while the drive might not be snug in a full-size SATA USB enclosure, it will defiantly work. (This is one of the beauties of the SATA connection).
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Yep! Thanks a bunch. Should be corrected now.

K

Almost! For some reason, the page loads two versions of otherwise the same image, one with DDR2 and one with DDR3.
post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

FireWire

Only the MacBook Pro supports FireWire; it supplies the faster FW800 (800Mbps) standard, which is backwardly compatible with the original FW400 (400Mbps). A FW800 port can handle a chain of devices running at either 400 or 800Mbps, and manages data transfers over the bus at the top speed of the device. FireWire does not slow the entire bus down to the speed of the slowest device attached.

Does this mean that no matter how the FW 400 and FW 800 devices are daisy chained on the FW 800 connection, when only one device is being accessed at a time, the device will get the full bandwidth supported by its FW bridge and also that when both are accessed at the same time, they will each get 50% of the bandwidth.
post #14 of 59
Careful, yet another newbie coming through! *stumbles through the crowd*

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps) is nominally faster than FireWire 400, although it also incurs more overhead related to Ethernet networking than FireWire does.

This sounds like a good point to ask a question that has been nagging me since the "No FireWire" revelation this week.

I currently got a Mac Mini (first-gen) with an external FW drive (M9-DX with FW-400 and USB 2.0), and I'm considering to switch to a Macbook. My lesser question is how USB 2.0 performance is in real life, compared to FW-400 (Yes, I could just check that myself, but I'm lazy right now, and since I'm posting here anyway... ).

My much bigger question pokes the quote there: How is Gigabit Ethernet doing against FireWire 400 in real life (as opposed to "nominally, but there is some unspecified overhead"), and would I really notice a difference? I'm considering to pick up a Time Capsule after getting the laptop, or I might keep the Mini+M9 setup around as a sort of at-home base station (or hey, maybe both - more storage space is always welcome, especially once Time Machine goes wild, I figure).

Background: I mostly use the FW drive for storing larger files (for example the odd movie file) and files I don't need on a daily basis. I would like to watch said (non-HD) movies directly from that disk, and I'd like not to wait ten hours just to copy a GB to it. No heavy-duty real-time movie editing/recording, no 10GB Photoshop files, nothing fancy-intensive. I'm also not the kind of guy who sits next to the computer with a stopwatch while a file is being copied, so I wouldn't really care if one of them copied File X in 10 minutes while the other one needed 11 minutes. As long as we're not talking about factors, I'd be cool.

So: Could I switch to a non-FW Macbook without worrying about the lack of FW?
post #15 of 59
FIREWIRE FOR REPAIRS. Via Target Disk Mode. That is absolutely needed on both MacBook Air and MacBook. NO FIREWIRE, NO PURCHASE.
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

FireWire does not slow the entire bus down to the speed of the slowest device attached.

Please cite a reliable source for this. My understanding of the previous gen MBP is that the fw800 and fw400 ports share the same bus and if any fw400 device is connected the fw800 port slows down to fw400 speed. I've run basic transfer tests and my personal results show this to be true. Mac Pros have two separate buses (one fw400 and one fw800) so they do not have this same issue

Now you're saying that a person could mix fw800 and fw400 devices in a chain connected to the new MBPs single fw800 port and the fw800 devices will continue to operate with 800mbps throughput? I need proof to believe this.
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChibiR View Post

My lesser question is how USB 2.0 performance is in real life, compared to FW-400

I remember some barefeats test a while ago that showed Firewire 400 to be roughly 50% than USB2 (on Macs, under Windows the difference was less) and Firewire 800 to be roughly 50% faster than Firewire 400 (but here the limiting factor might also have been the drive speed). Moreover, to see the difference between Firewire 400 and 800 you needed a 7200 drive.
Quote:
My much bigger question pokes the quote there: How is Gigabit Ethernet doing against FireWire 400

The 'perceived' performance of Gbit Ethernet with my TC is slower than USB2 but maybe it was TM that is slow and not the network interface. Doing my initial backup with my TC (over Gbit Ethernet) took close to 24 hours, doing a clone over Firewire 400 took maybe six hours.
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

FIREWIRE FOR REPAIRS. Via Target Disk Mode. That is absolutely needed on both MacBook Air and MacBook. NO FIREWIRE, NO PURCHASE.

Just got one yesterday after the folks at the Apple Store showed me that they use USB 2 booting for repairs. Tried it at home and it worked. Having to format the external drive and reinstall the OS was a pain though.... Thanks to Carbon Copy Cloner this is somewhat easier.

I guess the only really interesting aspect about Target Disk Mode that is not addressed by USB booting is migration. Guess I´ll have to depend on transfering my files to an external disk and then retransfering to my new Mac. Bummer!

My point is that the critical issue -REPAIRS- can be tackled by booting from an external USB drive.
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

I remember some barefeats test a while ago that showed Firewire 400 to be roughly 50% than USB2

...as in "half the speed"? Or were you missing a "faster" somewhere in that sentence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

The 'perceived' performance of Gbit Ethernet with my TC is slower than USB2 but maybe it was TM that is slow and not the network interface. Doing my initial backup with my TC (over Gbit Ethernet) took close to 24 hours, doing a clone over Firewire 400 took maybe six hours.

Okay, that sounds pretty scary. I'm willing to accept "YMMV" style disclaimers (and I do hope that others made better experiences), but thanks for this glimpse at least!
post #20 of 59
I went to the store to check them out, the glass screen is horrible, it reflex everything. Add the lack of fire wire and you just have an over priced Sony with OSX slapped on it. My guess is Apple is going after the PC crowd which is why it looks so PC but with those prices why would a PC user buy something that looks like every other PC but cost $600 more?

If this is the direction Apple is going with it's portables then my trusty MBP will be the last one I ever buy. Once this one goes I'll have to decide on a Mac Pro, a Dell or nothing.
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

The 'perceived' performance of Gbit Ethernet with my TC is slower than USB2 but maybe it was TM that is slow and not the network interface. Doing my initial backup with my TC (over Gbit Ethernet) took close to 24 hours, doing a clone over Firewire 400 took maybe six hours.

That's normal, what do you expect from Ethernet? Your data is encapsulated in a TCP/IP frame, itself encapsulated in a Ethernet frame. That's a big overhead, compared to FireWire which has never been designed to support anything else than raw data transfer over a pretty reliable media.
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post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChibiR View Post

...as in "half the speed"? Or were you missing a "faster" somewhere in that sentence?
Okay, that sounds pretty scary. I'm willing to accept "YMMV" style disclaimers (and I do hope that others made better experiences), but thanks for this glimpse at least!

Sorry, I meant Firewire 400 being roughly 50% than USB2 (I'm prone think faster than I type).

My TC experience was two nights (maybe 8PM till 8AM) for the first backup (during the day the computer, like me, was not at home).
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

I went to the store to check them out, the glass screen is horrible, it reflex everything. Add the lack of fire wire and you just have an over priced Sony with OSX slapped on it. My guess is Apple is going after the PC crowd which is why it looks so PC but with those prices why would a PC user buy something that looks like every other PC but cost $600 more?

If this is the direction Apple is going with it's portables then my trusty MBP will be the last one I ever buy. Once this one goes I'll have to decide on a Mac Pro, a Dell or nothing.


Sony Vaio TZ screen is not glass and it has firewire.
post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Sorry, I meant Firewire 400 being roughly 50% than USB2 (I'm prone think faster than I type).

Here are some links:
http://barefeats.com/hard55.html
http://barefeats.com/hard66.html
http://barefeats.com/note04.html

Please note that speeds for USB 2 have improved somewhat on Intel Macs compared to PPC Macs but are still noticeably slower than Firewire 400 (links are in chronological order). Firewire 800 is the fastest bus-powered, daisy-chainable interface. E-SATA, essentially the internal harddrive connection with a longer cable is faster for fast storage setups like RAID.
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Here are some links:
http://barefeats.com/hard55.html
http://barefeats.com/hard66.html
http://barefeats.com/note04.html

Please note that speeds for USB 2 have improved somewhat on Intel Macs compared to PPC Macs but are still noticeably slower than Firewire 400 (links are in chronological order). Firewire 800 is the fastest bus-powered, daisy-chainable interface. E-SATA, essentially the internal harddrive connection with a longer cable is faster for fast storage setups like RAID.

Ahhhhh, thanks a bunch, that clears up a lot! Review sites like that are usually not my thing (because I rarely feel the need to compare performance specs), but I think I might/should check them out a bit more in-depth later on.
post #26 of 59
"FireWire does not slow the entire bus down to the speed of the slowest device attached."

Since when?
post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

"FireWire does not slow the entire bus down to the speed of the slowest device attached."

Since when?

Since Apple said so

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post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChibiR View Post

Careful, yet another newbie coming through! *stumbles through the crowd*



This sounds like a good point to ask a question that has been nagging me since the "No FireWire" revelation this week.

I currently got a Mac Mini (first-gen) with an external FW drive (M9-DX with FW-400 and USB 2.0), and I'm considering to switch to a Macbook. My lesser question is how USB 2.0 performance is in real life, compared to FW-400 (Yes, I could just check that myself, but I'm lazy right now, and since I'm posting here anyway... ).

My much bigger question pokes the quote there: How is Gigabit Ethernet doing against FireWire 400 in real life (as opposed to "nominally, but there is some unspecified overhead"), and would I really notice a difference? I'm considering to pick up a Time Capsule after getting the laptop, or I might keep the Mini+M9 setup around as a sort of at-home base station (or hey, maybe both - more storage space is always welcome, especially once Time Machine goes wild, I figure).

Background: I mostly use the FW drive for storing larger files (for example the odd movie file) and files I don't need on a daily basis. I would like to watch said (non-HD) movies directly from that disk, and I'd like not to wait ten hours just to copy a GB to it. No heavy-duty real-time movie editing/recording, no 10GB Photoshop files, nothing fancy-intensive. I'm also not the kind of guy who sits next to the computer with a stopwatch while a file is being copied, so I wouldn't really care if one of them copied File X in 10 minutes while the other one needed 11 minutes. As long as we're not talking about factors, I'd be cool.

So: Could I switch to a non-FW Macbook without worrying about the lack of FW?

Apple has made improvements to their USB implementation over recent years. A couple of years ago you were lucky to get 1/2 of FW400 speed. On current gen Macs it's almost caught up. But remember it's also more CPU dependent than FW, so if your CPU is already loaded with tasks, data transfer will be even slower. FW's advantage increases with larger file sizes.

My set-up includes a PPC mini acting as a music/video/file server. It's connected via Ethernet to an Airport Extreme (Gigabit). However, keep in mind that your mini, like mine, only has Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps). The mini has 4 FW400 hard drives daisy chained for storage. I also have a PowerBook G4 and a MBP, both with Gigabit Ethernet and FW 400/800. When I first got theh MBP in March I did a bunch of stopwatch-based speed tests. I don't have the results in front of me, but in general I found:

- USB on the MBP is much faster than USB on the PB
- FW400 on the MBP was still faster than USB
- Gigabit Ethernet was about as fast at FW400. However, Ethernet performance lags FW400 when transferring a large number of small files.
- Wireless N is about as fast as Fast Ethernet. Note, wireless is even less efficient than Ethernet when transferring a large number of small files.

In practical use, the MBP > N > Airport Extreme > Fast Ethernet > mini > FW400 drive chain can easily handle most Time Machine backups. Several times I've had 30-40+GB TM updates complete over that setup. The only hickup is rarely the "Preparing" stop of a TM backup takes forever. In those instances, replacing the N wireless link with an Ethernet cable for that one backup makes things go more quickly (I suspect if a large number of files need updating in the back up then the huge inefficiencies in the wireless protcol is killing me).

My usual set up can also handle wirelessly streaming a ripped DVD from a drive connected to the mini, playing the video_TS files in either FrontRow or DVDPlayer on my MBP with only an occassional dropped frame.

For bulk file transfers, my setup isn't as fast has directly connecting a FW drive to my MBP. However, I suspect if my mini could connect via Gigabit Ethernet then I'd have near FW400 speed whenever I plugged the MBP into the Extreme via Ethernet (N speeds still being the bottleneck over the wireless work).
post #29 of 59
FireWire
While there are some workarounds to the MacBook's lack of FireWire Target Disk Mode, the missing port is also a problem for users with FireWire peripherals.

First time here - bear with me.
I've not seen mention of firewire external disks. We have a house full of firewire external drives, for various backups and and archives. Job's rationalization about camcorders not needing firewire hardly covers that. The lack of a Target drive is a big problem, but suddenly useless hard drive is a bigger problem.

Upgrading to a MacBookPro isn't a solution. We use MacBooks because of the 13-inch screen and extensive travelling, where the size and weight of a 15-inch "pro" is unacceptable.

Is there a solution to using the smaller/lighter MacBook and still having a fast and simple backup/archiving solution?
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmac93 View Post

Just a correction...
In your first diagram it states that the late 2008 MacBooks use DDR2 1067 RAM when in fact they use DDR3 1067

The previous MacBooks also used a 800MHz FSB coupled with DDR2-667 memory rather than a 533MHz FSB and DDR2-533. In fact, I'm pretty sure no Intel Mac laptop has shipped with a 533MHz FSB or DDR2-533 memory.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/...907170824.html

I should point out that the advantage of smaller footprint with the nVidia chispet could have been achieved just as easily by staying with Montevina, since the GS45 variant with a small form factor ICH9M southbridge has a 1415mm² total area compared to 3342mm² total area for a full size GM45/ICH9M combination. The small form factor GS45 also has the same feature set as the full GM45, including the ability to switch between the IGP and a discrete GPU just like nVidia chipsets.
post #31 of 59
It is so surprising that Jobs is unaware or unconcerned that the 15" MBP is the industry standard notebook for 1000's of high-end commercial photographers using medium format digital backs. Most of these backs have only one way to interface while shooting tethered and that is Firewire 400. Photographers will not be running out to replace their $25k digital back, they will be looking at other laptops and I guess it won't be an Apple.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcam067 View Post

It is so surprising that Jobs is unaware or unconcerned that the 15" MBP is the industry standard notebook for 1000's of high-end commercial photographers using medium format digital backs. Most of these backs have only one way to interface while shooting tethered and that is Firewire 400. Photographers will not be running out to replace their $25k digital back, they will be looking at other laptops and I guess it won't be an Apple.

Most of my gear from 2,5" harddiscs to cameras feature FW400. But even if I'd upgrade to the new MBP I would have to use an adapter, and would be stuck with this even-more-glossy-than-before screen. So I'll stick to my old MBP as long as possible and then...we'll see..

Seems that Apple only wants the machines used by students and for home entertainment.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcam067 View Post

It is so surprising that Jobs is unaware or unconcerned that the 15" MBP is the industry standard notebook for 1000's of high-end commercial photographers using medium format digital backs. Most of these backs have only one way to interface while shooting tethered and that is Firewire 400. Photographers will not be running out to replace their $25k digital back, they will be looking at other laptops and I guess it won't be an Apple.

Yeah, but doesn't the 15" MBP still come with FW800? Don't the folks dropping $25K on a digital back (and god knows how much on glass) have the extra $500 to pony up for the MBP anyway?
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcam067 View Post

It is so surprising that Jobs is unaware or unconcerned that the 15" MBP is the industry standard notebook for 1000's of high-end commercial photographers using medium format digital backs. Most of these backs have only one way to interface while shooting tethered and that is Firewire 400. Photographers will not be running out to replace their $25k digital back, they will be looking at other laptops and I guess it won't be an Apple.

The MBP does have Firewire, it has a fw800 port. A fw800->fw400 cable will run you about $10. No need to replace the camera back. Hell, the most likely scenario for a photog is that they will attach a fw800 hard drive to the MBP's fw800 port and then connect the camera to the fw400 port on the hard drive (almost every fw800 drive enclosure also has a fw400 port). So you wouldn't even need the adapter cable.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by robb01 View Post

Since Apple said so

Where did they say that?
post #36 of 59
Today morning I ask the fallowing question to nvidia knowledge base:


Regarding the Hybrid SLi limitation of the new MacBook Pro, that's an Hardware or a software limitation?

In case of software,is nvidia planning the release of a bootcamp Driver for windows Vista 32/64 bits?

And on last question.
Is the Chipset and Mobo, limited to 32Bits, then limiting the amount of RAM? Will 64bits OS take full advantage of this new Nvidia 9400 (Graphics / Chipset) ?
Thanks for you time


Nvidia Response:

Hello Jorge,

Thank you for contacting NVIDIA Customer Care.

This is Farzana and I will be assisting you with the query you have.

I understand from your email that you would like to know if the Hybrid SLI limitation on the new MacBook Pro is hardware or software limitation. Also, you would like to know if the GeForce 9400 Chipset is limited to Windows 32 Bit OS or if the GeForce 9400 Chipset can take full advantage of the Windows 64 bit OS.

Please be informed the new Macbook Pros feature both motherboard GPUs (GeForce 9400M) and a discrete GPUs (GeForce 9600M GT). Apple has chosen to design their own hybrid graphics technology. As a result, this feature will only work under Mac OS and not under Windows OS and this is Hardware Limitation. Motherboard chipsets have to meet certain requirements to support this feature.

Regarding the support for Windows Vista 64-bit OS, yes the new Macbook Pro supports the Windows Vista 64 bit OS. Apple supports Windows Vista x64 only on their Pro hardware. Apple has started supporting Windows Vista x64 with the introduction of the Mac Pro 3,1.

Please feel free to contact us for any further clarifications.

Best regards,
Farzana,
NVIDIA Customer Care
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrui View Post

As a result, this feature will only work under Mac OS and not under Windows OS and this is Hardware Limitation.

I can't wait to hear the feedback on that. Fun Fun Fun!
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post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by imjeffro View Post

The MBP does have Firewire, it has a fw800 port. A fw800->fw400 cable will run you about $10. No need to replace the camera back. Hell, the most likely scenario for a photog is that they will attach a fw800 hard drive to the MBP's fw800 port and then connect the camera to the fw400 port on the hard drive (almost every fw800 drive enclosure also has a fw400 port). So you wouldn't even need the adapter cable.

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as an 800 to 400 adapter. A simple solution! And @RC03 .. of course I have a MBP and always will, as long as I can continue to connect my gear to it.
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

My set-up includes a PPC mini acting as a music/video/file server. It's connected via Ethernet to an Airport Extreme (Gigabit). However, keep in mind that your mini, like mine, only has Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps). The mini has 4 FW400 hard drives daisy chained for storage. I also have a PowerBook G4 and a MBP, both with Gigabit Ethernet and FW 400/800.
[snip]
In practical use, the MBP > N > Airport Extreme > Fast Ethernet > mini > FW400 drive chain can easily handle most Time Machine backups. Several times I've had 30-40+GB TM updates complete over that setup.
[more snip]
My usual set up can also handle wirelessly streaming a ripped DVD from a drive connected to the mini, playing the video_TS files in either FrontRow or DVDPlayer on my MBP with only an occassional dropped frame.

For bulk file transfers, my setup isn't as fast has directly connecting a FW drive to my MBP. However, I suspect if my mini could connect via Gigabit Ethernet then I'd have near FW400 speed whenever I plugged the MBP into the Extreme via Ethernet (N speeds still being the bottleneck over the wireless work).

Thanks for the input! Very glad to hear that this is actually a working solution for backups and some streaming. I was afraid that my potential plans (which would ultimately look a lot like your setup) would have snail speed. Then I guess I'll keep the Mini as my base station and let it handle the attached drives while I get a regular MB. And some time later maybe a Time Capsule to spice things up a bit.
post #40 of 59
Am I the only one who thinks its a bit awkward to be talking down about Intel hardware, while using that as the example for switching to Nvidia, in the same week that Apple has mentioned Nvidia video cards have been a problem in the past?
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