New MacBook Pro?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Hi, I will be going to college starting next fall of 2011 and I was wondering if the chances of a MacBook Pro or even a MacBook update in summer 2011 is pretty good? I want to have a good computer and I don't want to buy something weeks before a newer version of it comes out.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,150member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jag9 View Post


    Hi, I will be going to college starting next fall of 2011 and I was wondering if the chances of a MacBook Pro or even a MacBook update in summer 2011 is pretty good? I want to have a good computer and I don't want to buy something weeks before a newer version of it comes out.



    The MacBook pro will not ne updated this summer.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    I know Apple usually keeps a pretty tight-lip on future releases, but is there going to be a MacBook Pro update this fall or by the end of 2010? I got an iPhone back in February and I LOVE it. I want to make the switch over to a Mac and have my eye on the 13" MBP. However, I don't want to get one now because it still has a C2D. Is it realistic to expect the 13" MPB to have an i5?
  • Reply 3 of 19
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,150member
    I would say core i5 in the next go around. But suffice it to say I think the MacBook pro models out now will be with us until October.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Yeah, here's the deal. MBP 15"-17" feature 'discreet' graphics, meaning a hefty graphics card with its own, dedicated, high speed memory. This guy has a clear roadmap for Apple.



    Below this, are the MBPs with less graphics power. For cost reasons, Apple uses 'integrated' graphics that are less hefty and share memory with the rest of the system, for lower performance and lower cost. These guys are in limbo, because Intel basically forbids third party (NVidia, ATI/AMD) integrated graphics from working with their CPUs. This is so that Intel can force their utter garbage graphics solution, which sucks by any metric, on the market/you. This applies to all core i3/i5/i7 chips. So only discreet graphics work here.



    So the reason, or rather, one reason, why Apple ship Core2 Duo CPUs in so many Macs is that Intel's market bullying in the integrated, non-hefty graphics department don't apply. Intel's new rules only apply to their new chips. For Apple, it's that, or put discreet graphics cards in their lower end machines, which frankly would be great, but isn't going to happen. Or, use Intel's graphics solutions, which as mentioned, make all other options look pretty good.



    For this reason, Apple doesn't have a clear Intel chip future strategy, and may shift to AMD/Radeon solutions in the future.



    Long story short, I bet it's going to be a long while before a meaningful upgrade comes to the 13" MBP. If you buy now, you likely aren't going to kick yourself in 4 months.



    The problem, to be clear, is Intel, and the solution is something only Apple knows. All PC makers are facing this issue, from Atoms all the way to i7s. Intel make great CPUs, but the company itself seems to be run by douches.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post


    Is it realistic to expect the 13" MPB to have an i5?



    Nope. Intel's integrated graphics chips don't support OpenCL, which Apple went to all sorts of lengths to put through an open standards body. Instead they use their own Ct code:



    http://software.intel.com/en-us/data-parallel/



    It is C++ so will work on AMD chips but not on the GPU. OpenCL works on all of them.



    But with an i5 and no dedicated GPU (which won't go in Apple's 13" due to price), OpenCL code will only run on the CPU i.e not very fast. Plus, it downgrades all graphics performance including apps like Motion/After Effects etc to a much lower level.



    I think it will be Core 2 Duo + 320M until 2011. The 13" MBP will be popular among students and I'm sure they appreciate the gaming abilities - Apple just need to make it more affordable. I would love to see them even make an attempt to get the unibody MBP down to a $999 entry point.



    The iMac line needs the overhaul next so I think that's where the main focus will be after the Mac Pro update. The iMac needs a better GPU on the low-end and the CPUs need to switch to 32nm chips.



    There's a very real possibility nothing will happen to the laptop line until next year. To fit with the average update suggests another update around November, which doesn't happen usually. To push it into January 2011 isn't a stretch if we assume that AMD's LLano is on the cards.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    akhosrofakhosrof Posts: 11member
    Thanks for all the info guys. I'm just curious, how likely are these AMD/Apple rumors? Would Apple dump Intel if they started producing MBPs with AMD CPUs (and obviously ATI GPUs)? It seems like there is a lot of frustration with Intel on Apple's part.



    Also, there are two 13" MBP models. Any chance one of them might have a dedicated GPU and the other not? I am probably not going to get another laptop until winter time (my current Dell laptop is four years old). I am tired of all the problems I am having with PCs and Windows, so I am definitely going to switch over to a Mac for my next purchase. I'm just trying to get a feel for what will be available this winter.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Well, ATI make the best mobile GPUs, by far. I've never understood Apple's obsession with NVidia in portables. NVida GPUs want to be in desktops with massive fans and huge power supplies.



    The AMD-Macbook theory is just that - a theory. No one knows what Apple is thinking. It's all just conjecture.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,833member
    First don't buy anything until you understand the colleges specific requirements. Your number one priority should be meeting the needs of the program if any.



    Second there are likely to be two and possible three upgrades to the line up by the fall of 2011. If you want the latest hardware then you are way ahead of the game. In any event why is the latest hardware so important?



    The common advice is to buy hardware when you need it. There will always be updates.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post


    Well, ATI make the best mobile GPUs, by far. I've never understood Apple's obsession with NVidia in portables. NVida GPUs want to be in desktops with massive fans and huge power supplies.



    You aren't looking at the specs very closely, NVidia is doing mobile pretty good. At least reasonably competitive with ATI. More so the video acceleration from NVidia is pretty good.

    Quote:

    The AMD-Macbook theory is just that - a theory. No one knows what Apple is thinking. It's all just conjecture.



    It certainly is but AMD Fusion is pretty compelling for small machines. Intel has nothing even remotely similar. In any event the possibilities are good enough to wait till Apple lays out it's hand. One way or the other something new should show up by the spring. Possibly much sooner.



    In the end I still think you are way ahead of the game. Chill out. By the time you are in school a iPad and a Mini might be a better choice.







    Dave
  • Reply 9 of 19
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post


    Thanks for all the info guys. I'm just curious, how likely are these AMD/Apple rumors? Would Apple dump Intel if they started producing MBPs with AMD CPUs (and obviously ATI GPUs)? It seems like there is a lot of frustration with Intel on Apple's part.



    They have supposedly had meetings with AMD execs and the demos of the Fusion processors at the recent Computex event looked pretty impressive. CPU-wise they won't rival Intel and they don't intend to, they are banking on the GPU offering a better experience. Obviously this goes against Intel's strategy because Intel don't know how to make a good GPU yet (we'll see if the Larrabee tech actually has an impact). Intel gave a pretty lame demo of their Sandy Bridge GPU:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwW2Wc9XSD4



    Even if that GPU performs well, chances are it won't run OpenCL so Apple won't be using it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post


    Also, there are two 13" MBP models. Any chance one of them might have a dedicated GPU and the other not?



    No, I don't think that's a possibility.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post


    I am probably not going to get another laptop until winter time (my current Dell laptop is four years old). I am tired of all the problems I am having with PCs and Windows, so I am definitely going to switch over to a Mac for my next purchase. I'm just trying to get a feel for what will be available this winter.



    If it was me, I'd get the 13" MBP now because I don't think anything else is coming until next year. Apple's updates tend to be in October anyway and by that time, you could be 2-3 months away from a major update - major because they switch to Sandy Bridge or AMD. That won't happen this year. If you buy now, the updates will be 6-7 months away so you won't feel so bad. If they do put a little media pad on the Macbook, big deal, it's just a gimmick.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R


    Well, ATI make the best mobile GPUs, by far. I've never understood Apple's obsession with NVidia in portables. NVida GPUs want to be in desktops with massive fans and huge power supplies.



    AMD chips weren't low power enough and I don't think they had features like Optimus. Plus their OpenCL drivers were behind NVidia's by a long way.



    edit: didn't read the Fall 2011 bit. Yeah I wouldn't be deciding about what machine to use in 2011 just now but you can still get a MBP just now to end the PC misery. Then just sell it on if there's a compelling upgrade.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    It seems to me that the pressure is on nVidia to develop a low-cost, low-power discreet GPU for the MBA and 13" MBP that supports OpenCL. Performance just has to be good, not spectacular.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Quote:

    You aren't looking at the specs very closely, NVidia is doing mobile pretty good. At least reasonably competitive with ATI. More so the video acceleration from NVidia is pretty good.



    Well, they are second place. Out of two competitors

    Quote:

    AMD chips weren't low power enough and I don't think they had features like Optimus. Plus their OpenCL drivers were behind NVidia's by a long way.



    I don't know of any OpenCL uses in apps, which isn't to say there aren't any, but rather that that may not be a dealbreaker. Also, I recall reading elsewhere ATI/AMD have surpassed NVidia in OpenCL, certainly as far a 200-300 series cards. 400 series NVidia cards won't be in MacBooks... er... anytime soon. Unfortunately TDP and size weren't really considered during the 400series design phase(?). For any given TDP category, ATI generally offers more graphics power.



    Apple, supposedly, doesn't use Optimus, though they may be using the same hardware features and calling it something else.



    NVidia's mobile strategy is to ship their products from 4 years ago, on a modern process, for laptops. ATI's strategy is to pair down their current offerings to fit laptop power/thermal envelopes.



    according to notebookcheck:

    Quote:

    The Nvidia GeForce GT 330M is the successor of the GT 230M and technically a faster clocked GT 240M (but it should still maintain the power envelope of the GT 230M as the naming suggests). Therefore, the GT330M is a mid-range laptop graphics card that offers DirectX 10.1 effects.



    The performance of the GT 330M is similar to the GeForce GT 240M and therefore located in the range of the Mobility Radeon HD 4650. The card supports DirectX 10.1 and all the features of the GT 230M / 240M (as it is based on the same GT216 core). The modern ATI Radeon HD 5650 offers DirectX 11 effects and performs better.



    Modern and demanding DirectX 10 and 11 games (like Crysis or Risen) can only be played fluently with medium detail settings and resolution settings. Less demanding games like Sims 3 run in high details and resolutions. See the gaming list below for detailed benchmarks.



    The 48 shader cores of the GT216 are based on the desktop GTX 200 architecture and are therefore a bit improved compared to the 48 cores of the GeForce 9700M GTX. According to Nvidia, the micro architecture was improved regarding battery runtime and performance. The stream processors / shaders are 1-dimensional (1D) and can therefore not directly compared to the 5D shaders of current AMD / ATI cards like the Mobility Radeon HD 5650.



    To use the calculation performance of the GeForce GT 330M for other applications, the card supports CUDA, OpenCL, and Direct Compute. For example encoding videos using the stream processors is considerably faster than using a fast CPU.



    The GT330M supports the hardware decoding of HD videos using the integrated PureVideo HD engine. The integrated VP4 video processor is able to fully decode H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 ASP (e.g., DivX, xVID). Hardware decoding of MPEG-1 encoded videos is not supported, but this can be handled by every CPU without high load. In conjunction with an Core i5-520M, the GT 330M decoded H.264 with 1-6%, VC1 in 5-10%, and WMV with 3-9% CPU load (1080p over HDMI on a Sony Vaio Z11).



    As with the GT 230M, the performance depends on the used graphics memory. With slow DDR2, the card can be up to 20% slower than with faster memory. Usually the GT 330M is paired with cheap and relatively fast DDR3 memory. GDDR3 would be a bit faster. GDDR5 is not supported according to Nvidia.



    A low power version of the GT 330M is also available for laptop manufacturers featuring a minimal slower clock rate and less power consumption (Codename N11P-LP).



    Quote:

    The AMD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 is a middle class DirectX 11 graphics card for laptops. Its based on the Madison (LE, LP or Pro) chip and is produced in 40nm. Like its predecessor, the Mobility Radeon 4650, the HD 5650 features a 128 Bit memory bus for dedicated DDR3 and GDDR3 memory chips. GDDR5 is rumored to be not supported on the HD 5650 (only in the higher clocked versions like the 5700 series).



    In our benchmarks with the HD 5650, the GPU is performing on a level with the previous Mobility Radeon HD 4670 or the Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M (with DDR3 graphics memory). This means the performance is sufficient for high details in nearly all DirectX 10 games (only Crysis and GTA4 are not fluently playable in high details - see gaming list below). Upcoming and current DirectX 11 games (like DIRT2) may not run in full detail settings. That means some of the new DirectX 11 features (Tesselation e.g.) may not run fluently on this gaming graphics adapter. Currently the HD 5650 is a good gaming pick for well priced laptops with a 15 inch screen and a resolution of about 1366x768.



    The Mobility HD 5650 supports Avivo HD to accelerate HD videos using the graphics card. The improved UVD2 processor in the DirectX11 models of the Radeon HD 5000 series is able to decode up to two streams in parallel (if the card offers enough memory bandwidth). It is not clear if the HD 5650 using (G)DDR3 offers enough bandwidth for this task.



    Another novelty of the HD 5650 is the possibility to transport HD Audio formats (8-channel Dolby True HD, DTS Master) over the HDMI port.



    Thanks to Eyevision, up to 6 monitors can be used with the HD 5650 in 3D and 2D applications. In most laptops this number will be limited to max. 3 (2 external and the internal display).



    The power consumption should be (due to the modern 40nm process in 2009) relatively low and according to rumors about 10-15 Watt.



  • Reply 12 of 19
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post


    I don't know of any OpenCL uses in apps, which isn't to say there aren't any, but rather that that may not be a dealbreaker.



    OpenCL is a foundation for developers to use when the user-base is high enough so they shouldn't break support just because Intel have other motives that have no proven benefit (unlike OpenCL). The product line has had full support now for 1.5 years so that'll be at least 15 million people. But they still need to figure out how they can get it to work for consumers but they could be using it in Motion and Final Cut already. The scientific community already use it.



    MainConcept have an OpenCL encoder:



    http://www.mainconcept.com/products/...l-h264avc.html



    but I don't know of commercial products using the engine.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post


    Also, I recall reading elsewhere ATI/AMD have surpassed NVidia in OpenCL



    Surpassed them in compute performance perhaps, not OpenCL support. NVidia has a 1.1 preview, AMD's will arrive with Stream SDK 2.2 next month or so. NVidia's and Apple's implementations are more alike - both use LLVM/Clang - and NVidia have a broader range of GPUs that support it. I don't think any integrated GPUs made by ATI support it. This will naturally change with the 5xxx class GPUs bundled with Fusion.



    I think in recent years, Apple made the right choice with NVidia. Once the OpenCL 1.1 spec is ratified and AMD keep up with the updates and deliver their Fusion chips, they look like the better choice for next year. But who knows what Apple can get NVidia to do. AMD admit their CPUs will be slower as they are just Phenom cores so they are putting the efforts into power consumption and graphics. If Apple can use the superior Intel CPUs with custom-built NVidia graphics like the 320M (which is a great chip), that could be the better option for them.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    True.



    I was just looking into my claims of OpenCL performance, and they (both NVidia and ATI) really are all over the place. NVidia seems more 'complete.' Some tests don't run on Radeons at all.



    The spec itself seems to be ticking along quite quickly. i think ATI/AMD have a huge vested interest in getting OpenCL-esque instructions up and mature before this fall/winter, when Llano et al debut. I think they see it as a huge opportunity to kick NVidia and Intel in the balls, by leveraging their weaknesses. NVidia won't be able to 'integrate' graphics anymore, and Intels IGPs are just terrible.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    guinnessguinness Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    You aren't looking at the specs very closely, NVidia is doing mobile pretty good. At least reasonably competitive with ATI. More so the video acceleration from NVidia is pretty good.



    Dave



    Apple has terrible video acceleration by and large, just H.264 and only on a handful of GPU's. The 4850 in the Core i5 iMac is more than capable of Flash acceleration for example, but only the Nvidia 9400, 320, and 330 are supported. Even the Nvidia 8600/9600 supports Flash acceleration in Windows, so I don't know why Apple is so restrictive; you basically need a Mac that is at worst, a year and a half old.



    In the mobile front, I have no idea when Nvidia will launch their mobile Fermi line, but if it's anything like the desktop counterparts, pass. More power hungry, louder, and not much benefit than older AMD Radeon 5xxx-series cards, which have been on the market 6+ months before Fermi came along. I have a Radeon 5770 in my PC, and it fully supports OpenGL 4.0 and OpenCL 1.0. It's a good gaming GPU, and it was only $170.



    Additionally, I'm still surprised that Apple et al, are so forgiving of Nvidia, after the problems with the 8600m. Must be more with do with Intel and AMD/ATI front, as it's very hard to find Core 2010 and Radeon Mobility 5xxx GPUs in laptops, and them not wanting a competitor in their lineup.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by guinness View Post


    more than capable of Flash acceleration



    Do you expect Flash to be supported in 10.7? Will there even be much flash content on the web a year from now?
  • Reply 16 of 19
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    Do you expect Flash to be supported in 10.7? Will there even be much flash content on the web a year from now?



    This is an irrelevancy. Flash support for MacOS X web browsers is through an Internet Plugin written by Adobe and downloadable from Adobe's website.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,833member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post


    True.



    I was just looking into my claims of OpenCL performance, and they (both NVidia and ATI) really are all over the place. NVidia seems more 'complete.' Some tests don't run on Radeons at all.



    NVidia is split between CUDA and OpenCL while ATI seems to be more on the band wagon with OpenCL. Yes their actual support of OpenCL is thinner but they are putting a massive effort into OpenCL.

    Quote:



    The spec itself seems to be ticking along quite quickly. i think ATI/AMD have a huge vested interest in getting OpenCL-esque instructions up and mature before this fall/winter, when Llano et al debut.



    They have come close to saying as much themselves. If the integration is as I imagine it to be, the fusion product line will be a huge advantage for ATI. Latenacy should be massively reduced, with the GPU offering significant parallel processing capabilities. In the end the GPU becomes more useful for a wider range of acceleration tasks. This is just what the rev one hardware will do for us, ATI/AMD have plans to make fusion an even better place to run GPGPU code.

    Quote:

    I think they see it as a huge opportunity to kick NVidia and Intel in the balls, by leveraging their weaknesses. NVidia won't be able to 'integrate' graphics anymore, and Intels IGPs are just terrible.



    Exactly! Fusion ought to put AMD back on the map and maybe even at the top of the heap. It will certainly make for impressive results in lower end equipment. The high integration ought to allow slotting this into the new Mini with impressive results.



    I'm very optimistic about AMDs Fusion family. It is certainly a gamble for AMD but they will have a chip that Intel will not be able to compete with. Unless of course Intel actually developes a modern GPU.





    Dave
  • Reply 18 of 19
    I remember going into an apple store one day during the summer last year and literally asked if there was going to be anything new coming out soon, like a smaller computer I could carry around, and the sales person just laughed at me and said "Apple doesn't give information like that in order to protects its shareholders". I was pretty annoyed but then the Ipad came out hahaha.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    First don't buy anything until you understand the colleges specific requirements. Your number one priority should be meeting the needs of the program if any.



    Second there are likely to be two and possible three upgrades to the line up by the fall of 2011. If you want the latest hardware then you are way ahead of the game. In any event why is the latest hardware so important?



    The common advice is to buy hardware when you need it. There will always be updates.





    Dave





    There's a quirk to the timing of the college purchases, though. Many students begin in late August, not after Labor Day, so you have to pull the trigger well in advance of most school year timed releases. I've been pretty much resigned to getting the current MBP for my daughter (though I'm still waiting to the last minute) though I know there might be a slight refresh too late for us. She's a photography major so unfortunately there's nothing around the house that will fit the bill, except of mine which I'm nailing to the floor! : )
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