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Apple updates white 13-inch MacBook to NVIDIA architecture

post #1 of 119
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post #2 of 119
I find this a bit weird. It's a bit too extensive to just be an error on the site.

On the other hand, I don't think a new chipset+gfx is just a dropin replacement on the old mobo, but if it is a new mobo, the DDR2 seems a bit strange... does the GeForce 9400 even support DDR2?

If it is an entirely new mobo, one would thin the old MacBook design is here to stay...
post #3 of 119
I find this as good news. The plastic MacBook was a great design. I have the new aluminum MacBook, and my daughter has the white. The white appears much more durable. And the 999 is important.

The aluminum still wins on the trackpad and lower weight.
post #4 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by hledgard View Post

I find this as good news. The plastic MacBook was a great design. I have the new aluminum MacBook, and my daughter has the white. The white appears much more durable. And the 999 is important.

The aluminum still wins on the trackpad and lower weight.

I just saw this today as well and even wandered in to make sure my eyes weren't tricking me.

I think those netbooks might be taking a bigger bite than people want to admit and some bean counters at Apple are finally declaring that design aesthetic (especially going green), while awesome is starting to hurt the margins.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #5 of 119
Apple this week quietly upgraded its previous-generation white 13-inch MacBooks to NVIDIA's 9400M architecture, a move aimed at boosting sales of its most affordable notebook during a period of reduced consumer spending.

The $999 entry level model now includes the same 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 1,066MHz front-side bus employed by the mid-range aluminum unibody MacBook, and also adopts the same NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared memory.

As part of the upgrade, the white MacBook also saw a doubling of its default memory configuration to 2GBs, though the system still employs 667MHz DDR2 memory rather than the faster 1,066MHz DDR3 breed of its aluminum cousins.

Outside of an upgrade to Bluebooth 2.1 from 2.0, the remainder of the notebook's specifications remain largely unchanged, including its 120GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive, non-backlit keyboard, and 8X SuperDrive.

Of some significance is that Wednesday upgrade delivers a 13-inch MacBook that offers the benefits of NVIDIA's new 9400M platform in addition to FireWire (400). Apple specifically withheld FireWire from its new unibody MacBooks introduced this past October, a move that was met with considerable criticism from owners of FireWire-only digital video cameras and eventually drew an email response from chief executive Steve Jobs.

The revised white MacBook also retains its legacy Mini-DVI port rather than jumping up to the company's emerging Mini DisplayPort standard (proposal), meaning its secondary display support remains limited to a full native resolution of up to 1920 by 1200 pixels, or the equivalent of the 20-inch Apple Cinema Display.

Apple offers a build-to-order option to upgrade the system with a 160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm for $50 more, a 250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm for $150 more, and a 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm for $250 more.

The Mac maker's move to further embrace its legacy polycarbonate MacBook suggests demand for the notebook remained relatively strong during the recent holiday shopping season despite speculation that the system was destined to be phased out.



A better than expected mix of the sub-$1000 notebook may also explain why the average selling price (ASP) of Macs during the month of December remained relatively flat instead of rising 12 percent as some analyst on Wall Street had been expecting.

The upgraded 13-inch MacBook is expected to ship in 4 to 6 business days.

MacMall is currently offering AppleInsider readers an additional 3% off its entire inventory of 13-inch MacBooks with coupon code APPINSDRMWB17065, which recently brought the cost of the now previous model to $910.83. The retailer has yet to update its website with the NVIDIA-based model, but is expected to do so shortly. Meanwhile, ClubMac is offering AI readers 3% off its inventory of MacBook Pros with coupon code APPINSDRCWB02822. Details of both promotions are available here.
post #6 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple this week quietly upgraded its previous-generation white 13-inch MacBooks to NVIDIA's 9400M architecture, a move aimed at boosting sales of its most affordable notebook offering during a period of reduced consumer spending.

The $999 entry level model now includes the same 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 1,066MHz front-side bus employed by the mid-range aluminum unibody MacBook, and also adopts the same NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared memory.

As part of the upgrade, the white MacBook also saw a doubling of its default memory configuration to 2GBs, though the system still employs 667MHz DDR2 memory rather than the faster 1,066MHz DDR3 breed of its aluminum cousins.

Outside of an upgrade to Bluebooth 2.1 from 2.0, the remainder of the notebook's specifications remain largely unchanged, including its 120GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive, non-backlit keyboard, and 8X SuperDrive.

Apple offers a build-to-order option to upgrade the system with a 160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm for $50 more, a 250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm for $150 more, and a 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm for $250 more.

The systems are expected to ship in 4 to 6 business days.

They actually did upgrade the White Macbooks memory to 1,066MHz DDR3... At least thats what the website says
post #7 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by venti21 View Post

They actually did upgrade the White Macbooks memory to 1,066MHz DDR3... At least thats what the website says

Where? The FSB is labelled as 1066MHz but the RAM itself appears to be 667... which seems pretty strange to me anyhow, must be a way of deliberately crippling this machine.
post #8 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple this week quietly upgraded its previous-generation white 13-inch MacBooks to NVIDIA's 9400M architecture, a move aimed at boosting sales of its most affordable notebook offering during a period of reduced consumer spending.

You would think that anybody who has been complaining about the New MacBooks sans FireWire would be happy. But then who the hell would be so stupid to think that?
post #9 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by hledgard View Post

I find this as good news. The plastic MacBook was a great design. I have the new aluminum MacBook, and my daughter has the white. The white appears much more durable. And the 999 is important.

The aluminum still wins on the trackpad and lower weight.

I'd take the aluminum over the plastic anyday in terms of durability. The plastic may *look* more durable but I'd almost guarantee the unibody aluminum would mop the floor with it in durability tests (dropping, hitting, etc).

This is now a really good system for the money, give it the good graphics and RAM (thanks venti) all while keeping the FW for $300 less, that's probably the best 1k system Apple has ever put together.

Edit: Ok, well maybe the RAM isn't DDR3 but doubling the base to 2GB is still enough for most consumers and a great starting point for the cheapest laptop offering.
post #10 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

Where? The FSB is labelled as 1066MHz but the RAM itself appears to be 667... which seems pretty strange to me anyhow, must be a way of deliberately crippling this machine.

What a stupid conclusion.
post #11 of 119
I believe the unibody's screen while not as good as the MBP's, is a better display than the old white MB's.

Me wonders why Apple didn't just keep the white MB as is, but simply dropped the price by another $150. At least a $850 MB is at least more competitive to those cheapo $500 PC laptops.
post #12 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

What a stupid conclusion.

Oh I don't know. Hopefully it's a typo. If not, it does create a minor bottleneck.
post #13 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

What a stupid conclusion.

Sarcasm? I sure hope so, 'cause, although I'm not a hardware specialist, it seems to be that this isn't just a drop-in replacement in the old motherboard. If it would be, I stand corrected and completely understand why the memory is still 667. But with the 9400M combining chipset and gpu on one die and all...

DDR2 RAM is much cheaper of course...
post #14 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Me wonders why Apple didn't just keep the white MB as is, but simply dropped the price by another $150. At least a $850 MB is at least more competitive to those cheapo $500 PC laptops.

Cause Apple doesn't do cheap. It would damage their premium brand status. When you buy an Apple you know that you just forked out an additional 150$ just for the name.

But guess what ? I am happy.
post #15 of 119
This is the first thing that Apple has done in the last couple of years that makes me really happy. A great system at a great price, that DOESN'T have something important taken away for no good reason. I'm going to buy one right away, and a second one in a month or two.
post #16 of 119
A pretty nice upgrade really, especially if you don't care about the case and want Firewire.

I just wish Apple would hurry up and give the Mac mini the same treatment.
post #17 of 119
They probably want to be able to say that all currently shipping Macs can utilize Grand Central when 10.6 comes out. This is actually a pretty sweet machine. I agree, probably the best $1000 machine Apple has sold (when compared to $2000 machines sold at the same time)
post #18 of 119
I guess that blows the theory some had that Apple will be discontinuing the polycarb MB.

Does this prepare the desktop Macs for a new release next week?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hledgard View Post

I find this as good news. The plastic MacBook was a great design. I have the new aluminum MacBook, and my daughter has the white. The white appears much more durable. And the 999 is important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

I'd take the aluminum over the plastic anyday in terms of durability. The plastic may *look* more durable but I'd almost guarantee the unibody aluminum would mop the floor with it in durability tests (dropping, hitting, etc).

The unibody Mac notebooks are considerably more durable than the polycarb MBs and previous aluminium MBPs. With as much abuse I put on my machines Apple should hire me for stress testing. My current unibody MB has taken several falls from 6 feet up or higher, sometimes with the lid open and other times with the lid close, and it works the same and their are no dents or dings. My previous machines have all goteen cracks and been slightly bent out of shape with the same abuse, though they have all continued to work fine, sans the optical drive which I don't use anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

You would think that anybody who has been complaining about the New MacBooks sans FireWire would be happy. But then who the hell would be so stupid to think that?

If only it were that simple.


Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Me wonders why Apple didn't just keep the white MB as is, but simply dropped the price by another $150. At least a $850 MB is at least more competitive to those cheapo $500 PC laptops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

Cause Apple doesn't do cheap. It would damage their premium brand status. When you buy an Apple you know that you just forked out an additional 150$ just for the name.

I'd agree with the the cheap statement, but also think that since Apple already has the parts that it may have gotten to a point that it would be financially beneficial to stop buying the other internal HW andstart using the new MB's internal HW. The unibody, on the other hand, is of course very expensive compared to a polycarb case, and DDR2 is still prevalent and cheap. How much money/time/effort would it have taken Apple to redesign a new MoBo? Probably not much.
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post #19 of 119
Quote:
The revised white MacBook also retains its legacy Mini-DVI port rather than jumping up to the company's emerging Mini DisplayPort standard (proposal), meaning its secondary display support remains limited to a full native resolution of up to 1920 by 1200 pixels, or the equivalent of the 20-inch Apple Cinema Display.

The resolution mentioned isn't for the 20" monitor, it's for the 23"/24" monitor.
post #20 of 119
in this "period of reduced consumer spending" Apple would see the white MacBook's sales go through the roof if -- if -- they saw the light and reduced the price as well. There's simply too much competition at lower price points. Dollars are scarce right now. No one's asking Apple to do "cheap," but a lower entry point to the Macintosh laptop line is right for the times.
post #21 of 119
Dammit, where is my updated mini?

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post #22 of 119
Dammit, where is my updated mini? If they can update the whitebook they can update the mini...

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post #23 of 119
Quote:
I'm going to buy one right away, and a second one in a month or two

This can't be overemphasized. If you consider your laptop to be a mission critical machine, you really should be buying two of these, as opposed to one $2000 machine. That way, when one goes down, you can just clone from your backup to the other while you send the first off to be repaired. Also, you have a backup machine sitting on your shelf that you can use to test your backups. (You do test your backups, right? To see if you can indeed re-create your system from the backup? Right?....)
post #24 of 119
So now the least expensive notebook has firewire, the mid-priced ones do not, but the most expensive ones do.

Give in Apple, and just give the aluminum macbooks firewire.

Also seconding (thirding?) the updated mini. It now looks even more dated than it already was.
post #25 of 119
More interesting to me than the specs of the new machine is Apple's making smaller changes to keep their products relevant and more price-competitive. Hopefully they start quarterly refreshes all over their product line instead of one big splash a year followed by half a year of stagnation. You can still have the splash when you change the case or add some critical new technology (Blu-Ray or something), but bumping chipsets and processors should just happen all the time.
post #26 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Dammit, where is my updated mini? If they can update the whitebook they can update the mini...

The Mini, iMac, and Pro are all desktops. I have a feeling that Apple will be introducing these machines along with a SL* demo (wishful thinking) in 1 to 4 weeks.

* This is an Apple-centric site and Apple would not be demoing Second Life, so it should not take your gray matter more than 2 seconds to realize I'm referring to Apple demoing Snow Leopard?
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post #27 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadMilkman View Post

So now the least expensive notebook has firewire, the mid-priced ones do not, but the most expensive ones do.

Give in Apple, and just give the aluminum macbooks FireWire.

Their is no "so now" about it. The polycarb MB has always had a FW400 port.

PS: I'm convinced that space issues are the reason that FW400 was removed from all unibody Mac notebooks with no replacement added. I'd est, no additional USB or FW800 added. If only we can get rid of that damn optical drive!
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post #28 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

Sarcasm? I sure hope so, 'cause, although I'm not a hardware specialist, it seems to be that this isn't just a drop-in replacement in the old motherboard. If it would be, I stand corrected and completely understand why the memory is still 667. But with the 9400M combining chipset and gpu on one die and all...

DDR2 RAM is much cheaper of course...

I the "stupid conclusion" that was meant, was that this configuration was intentionally crippled by Apple.

Why do people always have to immediately assume Apple is "up to no good" when they have never shown any such indications throughout the entire life of the company? As far as corporations go, Apple is one of the most responsible and the most customer focussed, they have ridiculously high levels of customer service, excellent reviews by those same customers and are pretty good to their employees overall. I just don't understand why so many people's first reactions to something Apple has done is to assume some nefarious plot is in the works.
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post #29 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

Sarcasm? I sure hope so, 'cause, although I'm not a hardware specialist, it seems to be that this isn't just a drop-in replacement in the old motherboard. If it would be, I stand corrected and completely understand why the memory is still 667. But with the 9400M combining chipset and gpu on one die and all...

DDR2 RAM is much cheaper of course...

No, they must have redesigned the motherboard. But 667MHz memory is still faster than the FSB.
post #30 of 119
This just seems to make the alu models a tougher sell... slightly faster RAM, alu case, slightly more HDD, LED backlit display, and no firewire for $300 more?

I'll take that white model. ca-ching.
post #31 of 119
NVIDIA and firewire? Done. Applecare is up on my iBook G4 next month - so this settles it. No way I'm paying for aluminum and some speed if I have to scrap my video cam and repurchase many external hard FW drives as USB drives. Thanks, Apple! maybe once these sales take off, they'll consider swapping a USB for a FW on the alu MacBooks. It's much cheaper to buy a USB hub to solve that problem.
post #32 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowayout11 View Post

This just seems to make the alu models a tougher sell... slightly faster RAM, alu case, slightly more HDD, LED backlit display, and no firewire for $300 more?

I'll take that white model. ca-ching.

In terms of the specs i agree a 30% price bump makes the aluminum a harder sell...but i LOVE that trackpad.
post #33 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Dammit, where is my updated mini? If they can update the whitebook they can update the mini...

IF they can do anything else, they can update the Mini, but they won't.

Apple should call themselves "Apple Mobile Computer and iTunes Music Store, Inc." and be done with it.
post #34 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

No, they must have redesigned the motherboard. But 667MHz memory is still faster than the FSB.

Could you explain how? Does it have to do with there being 2 RAM modules that can be accessed at the same time?

And yeah my choice of words with deliberately crippling might seem a bit harsh. I totally understand and accept this "product line differenciation" or whatever. If I were Apple, I'd do the same. The list of arguments to go for the bottom line alu MacBook has gotten small enough as is.
post #35 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

I believe the unibody's screen while not as good as the MBP's, is a better display than the old white MB's.

Me wonders why Apple didn't just keep the white MB as is, but simply dropped the price by another $150. At least a $850 MB is at least more competitive to those cheapo $500 PC laptops.

It makes me wonder what the price point of the new mini will be. The original PPC mini started at $500, but ever since the switch to Intel the base mini price has been $600. Assuming the mini will be similarly spec'd to the updated white MB, keeping the MB at $1000 probably means the new mini will remain at $600. I was kind of hoping they'd get the base price back down to $500.

If they lowered the price of the MB to $850, a $600 mini (no monitor, keyboard, trackpad/mouse) would be tough sell. If those were the prices, I'd almost be tempted to get a MB as a media center instead of a mini. The flat profile would sit much better under my TV than a mini would!
post #36 of 119
This is a very interesting development by Apple which might indicate some other product changes.

1) That they didn't make a similar "quiet update" to the mini today might suggest a larger change is in store for the mini that involves more than just a change to the NVIDIA chipset and probable bumped CPUs.

2) This certainly debunks the notion that the motherboard change is what kept Firewire off of the aluminum MacBooks. Could this new model with FW400 indicate that Apple has listened to the cries and will restore Firewire of some flavor across the product line?
post #37 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post


2) This certainly debunks the notion that the motherboard change is what kept Firewire off of the aluminum MacBooks. Could this new model with FW400 indicate that Apple has listened to the cries and will restore Firewire of some flavor across the product line?

It could just be that it was too expensive to redesign the case without the Firewire port. Apple would never leave an unused hole in the case or plug it with a blank (like some other manufacturers do).

Could they have simply used the motherboard from the MBP, which supports Firewire, but use the MB's chipset for CPU and graphics? Of course, I guess they'd still need to get the DisplayPort converted to mini-DVI. But that would allow them to update the white MB without creating a whole new motherboard or a new case.

Guess we'll juset have to wait until someone gets their hands on one and tears it apart.
post #38 of 119
The lack of a Mini DisplayPort connector is a disappointment.
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post #39 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Apple would never leave an unused hole in the case or plug it with a blank (like some other manufacturers do).



I bet you didn't think they'd go 18 months without updating an entire product line or its price, did you?
post #40 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

A pretty nice upgrade really, especially if you don't care about the case and want Firewire.

I just wish Apple would hurry up and give the Mac mini the same treatment.

I think this is a good sign that Apple sees it needs to be more competitive with it's low-end models.
Hopefully we will see a well specd Mac mini for $499 or $599.
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