Evidence points to new MacBook Pros on horizon

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
After examining the configuration files included in the latest build of OS X, a new report has discovered references to two new MacBook Pro models.



The 10C531 build of the 10.6.2 update contained the configuration files in question, according to Spanish-language site Applesana.es. The models referenced are the MacBook Pro 6.1 and the MacBook Pro 6.1b. The current crop of MacBook Pros have a 5.(x) designation, spanning 5.1 through 5.5.



The MacBook Pro line was not updated during the latest Apple refresh, when Apple introduced Intel's Core i5 and i7 processors to the newly redesigned iMac line.



The Intel Core i7 mobile processors, formerly code named Clarksfield, reportedly offer better performance with multi-threaded applications and can increase the processor clock speed up to 75 percent to match workloads.



According to the report, all indications point to two new MacBook Pros with Quad Core Mobile processors and ATI series 4500 GPUs.



The MacBook Pro line was last updated at the beginning of June at the Worldwide Developers Conference where Apple announced 17, 15, and 13 inch versions of the Pro. These models all featured Intel Core 2 Duo processors and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT GPUs.







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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 134
    EDIT: My bad, I didn't know what I was talking about. .
  • Reply 2 of 134
    Too bad Nvidia and Intel didn't make nice with each other. Now we're back to Intel chipsets.
  • Reply 3 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by clexman View Post


    Too bad Nvidia and Intel didn't make nice with each other. Now we're back to Intel chipsets.



    You'll get your nvidia on these boxes as dedicated GPUs. That isn't the problem with the business Nvidia is exiting--the custom controller market where Nvidia replaces the Intel north/south bridge set up with their own.



    Folks you'll still see nvidia or ati chipsets in a hybrid format on the Macbook Pro.
  • Reply 4 of 134
    Great. New MacBook Pros. The question is: When? January?
  • Reply 5 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by clexman View Post


    Too bad Nvidia and Intel didn't make nice with each other. Now we're back to Intel chipsets.



    That only affects computers that use Intels integrated graphics (mac books).
  • Reply 6 of 134
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Drow_Swordsman View Post


    A much needed update - though I'd be surprised if the i5 or i7's get in the MBP's, I'm thinking it'll be the Xeon's.



    Why? There aren't any Xeons marketed for notebook use, and it's needlessly expensive. There are some very low power Xeons, but still, it goes back to the price again.
  • Reply 7 of 134
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    I guess we are down to ATI as the only mobile graphics provider. That's what you get for being greedy Intel.



    I wonder if i5 or i7 will make it into MBP13... though i7 will probably be 17' only. Also I predict 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Reply 8 of 134
    There are always new MacBook Pros on the horizon.
  • Reply 9 of 134
    mr. kmr. k Posts: 114member
    Why the suggestion of the Radeon 4500s? That's a step sideways if not backwards. If the new MBPs are going the ATI graphics route, They should be using the midrange 5500/5600 series (which should be out by the time the refresh happens). Or, hell with it, a 4670.
  • Reply 10 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to the source, all indications point to two new MacBook Pros with Quad Core Mobile processors and ATI series 4500 GPUs.



    Normally I'm a supporter of ATI, especially with them on a role since the HD4000 series, but please no. Despite the ever creative marketing names the Mobility HD4500 series is not a mid-range GPU, but a low-end GPU. Even the fastest, HD 4570 is slower than the 9600M GT.



    The 9600M GT has a TDP of around 23W. Direct replacements candidates include the nVidia GT240M which has 48 SPs (50% increase) with higher clocks and the ATI HD4600 series which looks to be faster than the GT240M. Both are DirectX 10.1 parts and are produced on a 40nm process. Personally, I'd love to see a Mobility Radeon HD4670 in 512MB and 1GB configurations, but I could live with the GT240M in 256MB and 512MB configurations which is probably more likely.



    I'm also curious about what Apple is going to do about quad core Clarksfield. There are only 2 models that have the lower 45W TDP (reasonable given the previous 35W CPU + ~10W northbridge), but 2 models isn't enough to make a whole MacBook Pro product line. The clock speeds are also pretty unimpressive with the lower clock Core i7-720QM at 1.6GHz in quad core mode and 2.4GHz Turbo in dual core mode and the Core i7-820QM at 1.73GHz in quad core mode and 2.8GHz Turbo in dual core mode. The means that it's quite possible that the average user who only really needs a dual core could see no performance gain or could even lose performance compared to the generally higher clocked dual cores we have now with their larger L2 cache which is more useful in common desktop applications and games than a small, fast L2 cache and large, slow L3 cache as in Clarksfield. Hopefully, if Apple can't squeeze the 2GHz Core i7-920XM into the MacBook Pro as a BTO, they'll be able to convince Intel to release a 45W 1.86GHz Clarksfield early. Presumably either Apple will get first dibs on dual core Arrandale this year or will wait for Arrandale next year until they refresh the MacBook Pro lineup. Certainly the 13" MBP will be completely Arrandale and perhaps the 15"/17" models will come with Arrandale standard too, and leave Clarksfield as a BTO.
  • Reply 11 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by astrosmash View Post


    There are always new MacBook Pros on the horizon.



    +1 to this... MacBooks are updated 2 or 3 times every year so this is no news...
  • Reply 12 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    I wonder if i5 or i7 will make it into MBP13... though i7 will probably be 17' only.



    MacBook Pros get hot enough as it is. You'll never see these hot, power-hungry CPUs in any laptop Apple makes.
  • Reply 13 of 134
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by clexman View Post


    Too bad Nvidia and Intel didn't make nice with each other. Now we're back to Intel chipsets.



    It is too bad. I have been hoping to get the IGP and GPU switching without restarting working, and even hoped that both could work together using OpenCL. C?est la vie.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post


    Great. New MacBook Pros. The question is: When? January?



    If it?s in this developer build I would guess that they are coming out shortly. This holiday season, which means an announcement before Black Friday.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Also I predict 16:9 aspect ratio.



    Please, no! Going to 16:10 already reduced the height of my 13? display despite having a 12? PB before it. I know we can?t go back to 4:3, but these wider screens are simply horrible for reading text on a small display.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daniel84 View Post


    MacBook Pros get hot enough as it is. You'll never see these hot, power-hungry CPUs in any laptop Apple makes.



    If they remove the optical drive they can position the GPU and CPU farther away and with larger heat sinks, like they did in the new wider iMacs. I can dream, can?t I?
  • Reply 14 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    It is too bad. I have been hoping to get the IGP and GPU switching without restarting working, and even hoped that both could work together using OpenCL. C’est la vie.



    The preferred solution for Arrandale models, particularly the 13" MacBook Pro is to have the Intel GMA and a low-end discrete GPU. Intel IGPs can do dynamic GPU switching as well.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    If it’s in this developer build I would guess that they are coming out shortly. This holiday season, which means an announcement before Black Friday.



    I thought Apple usually has a fall MacBook Pro refresh so I'm hoping for a November release.
  • Reply 15 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    You'll get your nvidia on these boxes as dedicated GPUs. That isn't the problem with the business Nvidia is exiting--the custom controller market where Nvidia replaces the Intel north/south bridge set up with their own.



    Folks you'll still see nvidia or ati chipsets in a hybrid format on the Macbook Pro.



    I'm talking about chipsets. You are mixing up graphics & chipsets.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post


    That only affects computers that use Intels integrated graphics (mac books).



    It affects every portable mac. Currently they all use an nvidia chipset. No current portable macs use intel chipsets. Currently there are only Intel chipsets for Core i5 & i7 processors.



    For a computer to use a Core i5 or i7 it will need to run on either:



    A 2 chip system with an intel CPU & intel chipset/GPU or

    A 3 chip system with an intel CPU, intel chipset & AMD or Nvidia GPU.



    All the current portables use a 2 chip system with an intel CPU & an Nvidia chipset/GPU, with the higher end models adding a 2nd GPU that can be turned off to save power.



    So, I'm willing to bet that no low end portables (or the Air) will get a Core i5 or i7 chip anytime soon because they will use more power if they go the 3 chip route or have worse graphics performance if they go the 2 chip route.
  • Reply 16 of 134
    Doesn't surprise me. Another indicator is that the default HD configuration on the current 13" MBP is 120GB, while the new macbook has a 160GB HD. So I would expect at least a minor update before main holiday season...
  • Reply 17 of 134
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by isaaclev View Post


    Doesn't surprise me. Another indicator is that the default HD configuration on the current 13" MBP is 120GB, while the new macbook has a 160GB HD. So I would expect at least a minor update before main holiday season...



    Actually, the size difference is more extreme than that. The 13? MBP is 160GB while the new MB is 250GB at their default configurations.
  • Reply 18 of 134
    Historically, Apple does have a fall notebook refresh, but with so many notebook refreshes this year, I'm wouldn't be surprised if we don't see one. Certainly, it'd seem in Apple's best interest to wait for Arrandale which is due next year, although it's possible they'll split the product line with Core 2 Duo and Core i7 like they did in the iMac although that is a lot of extra design work unlike Arrandale and Clarksfield which can share chipsets.



    Seeing the LCD manufacturers are pushing toward 16:9 displays, even if I hate it, I think there's not that much Apple can do to stem the tide without having to pay more for 16:10 displays as volume production moves toward 16:9. As such it wouldn't surprise me to see Apple move to 14" 1366x768, 15.6" 1600x900, and 17.3" 2048x1152 displays. Still with this change, maybe they can bring back the ExpressCard slot for the 15" model.



    Assuming Apple convinces Intel to give them Arrandale early for a November MacBook Pro refresh, my guess on a lineup would be as follows:



    14.0" 1366x768 Low-End MacBook Pro

    ~2.26GHz Core i5 Arrandale with 3MB L2 cache (OEM model like current 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo)

    2GB DDR3 1333MHz

    250GB HDD

    Intel GMA + nVidia GT210M with 256MB GDDR3



    14.0" 1366x768 High-End MacBook Pro

    2.4GHz Core i5-520M Arrandale with 3MB L2 cache

    4GB DDR3 1333MHz

    320GB HDD

    Intel GMA + nVidia GT210M with 256MB GDDR3



    15.6" 1600x900 Low-End MacBook Pro

    2.4GHz Core i5-520M Arrandale with 3MB L2 cache

    4GB DDR3 1333MHz

    320GB HDD

    Intel GMA + nVidia GT210M with 256MB GDDR3

    ExpressCard Slot



    15.6" 1600x900 Mid-End MacBook Pro

    2.53GHz Core i5-540M Arrandale with 3MB L2 cache

    4GB DDR3 1333MHz

    320GB HDD

    Intel GMA + ATI 4830 with 512MB GDDR3

    ExpressCard Slot



    15.6" 1600x900 High-End MacBook Pro

    2.66GHz Core i7-620M Arrandale with 4MB L2 cache

    4GB DDR3 1333MHz

    500GB HDD

    Intel GMA + ATI 4830 with 1GB GDDR3

    ExpressCard Slot



    17.3" 2048x1152 MacBook Pro

    2.66GHz Core i7-620M Arrandale with 4MB L2 cache

    4GB DDR3 1333MHz

    500GB HDD

    Intel GMA + ATI 4830 with 1GB GDDR3

    ExpressCard Slot



    Both the High-end 15" and the 17" MacBook Pro can have the 1.73GHz Core i7-820QM Clarksfield as a BTO.



    Given the low clock speeds of the 1.6GHz Core i7-720QM especially in dual core mode where it can only Turbo to 2.4GHz, I can't see Apple being very enthused with using it, since you could actually lose performance in the average dual core application compared to current 2.66GHz+ Core 2 Duos in comparable MacBook Pros. So I didn't include the 1.6GHz Core i7-720QM Clarksfield as a regular configuration even though it's priced similar to the 2.66GHz Core i7-620M Arrandale.



    I don't see USB 3.0 since there is no chipsets with integrated support and I don't see Apple devoting motherboard space for dedicated chips. It's still early for fibreoptic connections. I'm hoping for Firewire 3200 and Bluetooth 3.0 though. The 15" MacBook Pro would hopefully see the return of the ExpressCard slot and all models would still have SD slots including the 17" MacBook Pro which currently doesn't. It'd be interesting to have bi-directional Displayport support too, although it would be kind of a niche feature. Apple could also use the presumably extra width of a 16:9 transition to put in 4 SODIMM slots like in the iMacs. That would better allow 8GB configurations in a 4x2GB configuration to avoid paying the high prices for 4GB SODIMMs. Although I don't think many laptops have 4 SODIMM slots.



    For graphics, I figured that combining Intel GMAs with at least a dedicated low-end GPU is a good compromise for OpenCL support. Intel GMAs do support dynamic GPU switching. An alternate GPU arrangement to what I proposed to incorporate the HD4500 series rumour would be to replace the nVidia GT210M with the HD4530, which would be slower, knowing Apple that makes it more likely, but still an improvement over the 9400M. The HD4830 is an aggressive choice being 40nm for mid-range GPU power consumption for the 15"/17" models and not very likely since it's so rare, so I'd settle for a nVidia GT240M (still DX10.1 compliant) or the faster Mobility Radeon HD4600 series. It wouldn't surprise me either if Apple stuck with 256MB and 512MB VRAM configurations.
  • Reply 19 of 134
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daniel84 View Post


    MacBook Pros get hot enough as it is. You'll never see these hot, power-hungry CPUs in any laptop Apple makes.



    The mobile C2Q and mobile i7s both run at 45W. The current C2Ds are 35W. But don’t the i7s integrate a chip that uses 8W(?) thereby making them a solid upgrade option for notebooks while keeping within similar TDP?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    I thought Apple usually has a fall MacBook Pro refresh so I'm hoping for a November release.



    They do, but the last MBP update wasn’t that long ago. 140 days when the average is 200, according to MacRumors’ Buyer’s Guide. That puts the mean average in December, a horrible time to release anything. I’d say it could both ways, but this revelation in the 10.6.2 Beta tips the scales to the Autumn release, or Spring for the australs.



    edit: nice post above (#19), ltcommander.data.
  • Reply 20 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by isaaclev View Post


    Doesn't surprise me. Another indicator is that the default HD configuration on the current 13" MBP is 120GB, while the new macbook has a 160GB HD. So I would expect at least a minor update before main holiday season...



    new macbook has 160?
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