Intel's 'Core M' chip announcement suggests Broadwell-based MacBook Pros won't arrive until 2015

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  • Reply 101 of 112
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    Marvin wrote: »
    Putting aside the environment temperature, if a chip is designed to work at <5W, it can't produce any more heat no matter what processes are being run on it. Take an iPad for example that has no fan:
    This isn't entirely true. It really depends upon what spec is being quoted and the design of the machine. The often quoted TDP or thermal design power can be exceeded by Intels chips. For a long time you couldn't realistically compare Intel and AMD's power ratings naively.

    As for the iPad most of the time it's thermal problems are related to backlight driving. It has been noticeable with the latest version of IOS because there appears to be a bug that turns back light lighting up to 100% randomly. I can know this has happened due to my iPad 3 getting very warm. That being the case we don't even know what the thermal rating of the chip in the iPads is. Given that I'd have to agree with the idea that Apple designs the machine to work within the thermal limits of the case.


    It doesn't matter how long they run those games, the iPad can't get hot enough to cause problems because it's designed to operate in those power limits. iPads and iPhones can overheat due to the environment though:
    Err don't you see a problem with what you have said here. It doesn't matter if the chip is running within specs you can still run hot due to other factors. In PC hardware this running hot is often addressed by throttling the CPU. Depending upon the architecture this can mean a 50% cut in clock rate. This can be a significant problem if realtime CPU bound loads happen to be running. Flash can be considered to be such a load.

    This might not be such a huge concern for laptop owners as the sun usually wouldn't be heating up the laptop base but they can always have an emergency solid-state fan:
    If they need a fan they might as well design in a conventional one in the normal way.

    In any event my problem with Broadwell or 14 nm in general, is that I really don't think we are there yet to deliver a fanless Mac that I'd want. I already have an iPad for light work, web browsing and the rest. For the Mac end of things I want to see performance move forward. I'd rather see vastly enhanced CPU/GPU performance in the next Air rather than a fanless design. That is name of course but a quad core Air has huge appeal.

    It doesn't have to be that design. They might not be able to call it fanless but it doesn't really matter. It would only kick in under extreme temperatures. They can come up with some other marketing term that emphasizes the quietness of the operation.
    I'm not really opposed to a fanless machine, I just don't want to give up the performance that would be possible with a 15 watt or so Broadwell chip in the Air. That might be enough to pull me off the MBP line. I'd rather see Apple market a new line of fanless machines at least until technology catches up. Frankly this is no different than what we have seen with the Air, tech advanced to the point that the machine could effectively replace their entry level machine. It would likely take three to five years for a fanless design to hit the performance point needed to effectively replace the Airs.
  • Reply 102 of 112
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,218moderator
    wizard69 wrote: »
    If they need a fan they might as well design in a conventional one in the normal way.

    A conventional fan would take up more space and they would hardly ever need it except in extreme scenarios.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    I really don't think we are there yet to deliver a fanless Mac that I'd want.

    They never will because you'll keep updating what you want every year to be higher performance. They also have to move early to create growth in demand. If they start out with quad-i7 in a fanless design then nobody will buy one and then another one, they'll keep sticking with the fast model.

    The features get spread out so they move to a new design that's lighter, thinner, Retina display. Then they make that model faster.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    It would likely take three to five years for a fanless design to hit the performance point needed to effectively replace the Airs.

    The 4.5W Core M already matches the 15W Air CPU performance and is close enough to the 13" rMBP.
  • Reply 103 of 112
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    Marvin wrote: »
    A conventional fan would take up more space and they would hardly ever need it except in extreme scenarios.p
    You would have trouble convincing me of that. Last I heard those piezo based fans where not very effective at cooling anything.

    It probably doesn't matter because I can see Apple taking an approach where the machines case ends up being the heat sink for the CPU. There would be no place for a fan in that instance. They already CNC machine the housing so adding features to turn that case into a heat sink would be a snap.

    Even if they took this approach airflow is still an issue. The case could become uncomfortably hot when sitting on objects that do not permit air flow around the frame.
    They never will because you'll keep updating what you want every year to be higher performance. They also have to move early to create growth in demand. If they start out with quad-i7 in a fanless design then nobody will buy one and then another one, they'll keep sticking with the fast model.
    Actually no I won't be updating every year, I simply don't buy into that madness for anything I own. I still have an iPhine 4 and an IPad 3. The old MBP 2008 is on the blink right now so I might have to upgrade soon there. However I won't upgrade if I don't see the right performance at the right price.

    By the way I wasn't thinking about a quad core in a fanless machine, rather I want a quad core in the current Air frame. That frame would continue to have a fan in place.
    The features get spread out so they move to a new design that's lighter, thinner, Retina display. Then they make that model faster.
    The 4.5W Core M already matches the 15W Air CPU performance and is close enough to the 13" rMBP.
    Actually I'm not convinced that is true. The power savings going to 14 nm isn't that great so something more would have had to happen to the architecture. I really don't think we have a long wait here though to find out positively.

    Speaking of cores and what is happening at Intel, the latest rumor is that there will be no Broadwell chips for the MBP's. Instead they will hold off until mid 2015 to deliver mobile SkyLake chips in that class. The best we will see in early 2015 is 15 and 28 watt chips that would likely go in the Air if they keep the current design around. If this is at all true we could see a significant speed up for the MBA.

    I don't know if there is any truth in the rumor so take it with a grown of salt. However the situation at Intel is unique and I could see them doing this. If true it also means no MBP updates until mid to later 2015. This isn't a total surprise as that is close to Apples usual release cycle. New airs in March / April would be nice though.
  • Reply 104 of 112
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,218moderator
    wizard69 wrote: »
    You would have trouble convincing me of that. Last I heard those piezo based fans where not very effective at cooling anything.

    This setup here cooled an i7 ok:

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/12/ge-dual-piezo-jets/

    That's an older 17W chip from 2012. A 4.5W chip would be no trouble and like I say, only needed in extreme cases. It can be programmed as a speaker. I wonder if they could turn it into a subwoofer.

    The fan in the above article is only 1mm x 40mm x 40mm, the normal one takes up a good bit of space:

    1000

    The extra space can be used to offer more RAM options, although higher density DDR4 will allow that anyway. It can be used for something.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Actually no I won't be updating every year, I simply don't buy into that madness for anything I own. I still have an iPhine 4 and an IPad 3. The old MBP 2008 is on the blink right now so I might have to upgrade soon there. However I won't upgrade if I don't see the right performance at the right price.

    I was saying you'll keep updating your expectations every year. If you say in 2011 that you want quad-i7 performance in an Air and a 2016 Air matches that, you'd then say you want 2014 quad-i7 performance in the Air and the one that's on offer isn't fast enough.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Actually I'm not convinced that is true. The power savings going to 14 nm isn't that great so something more would have had to happen to the architecture.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/205084/first-intel-core-m-broadwell-benchmarks-surface.html
    Cinebench 2.48
    Macbook Air = 2.57
    http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/macbook-air-2014-benchmarks-3529359/

    It's not a prolonged test and thermal throttling could affect results over longer periods but that remains to be seen.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Speaking of cores and what is happening at Intel, the latest rumor is that there will be no Broadwell chips for the MBP's. Instead they will hold off until mid 2015 to deliver mobile SkyLake chips in that class.

    That would be an odd move but I wouldn't complain about it. Skylake increases the Iris Pro to 72 EUs vs 40 in Haswell. An 80% boost would take it close to the NVidia 850M.
  • Reply 105 of 112
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    Marvin wrote: »
    This setup here cooled an i7 ok:

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/12/ge-dual-piezo-jets/

    That's an older 17W chip from 2012. A 4.5W chip would be no trouble and like I say, only needed in extreme cases. It can be programmed as a speaker. I wonder if they could turn it into a subwoofer.

    The fan in the above article is only 1mm x 40mm x 40mm, the normal one takes up a good bit of space:
    It is space directly above the processor so other than thickness it doesn't impact other features much.

    The extra space can be used to offer more RAM options, although higher density DDR4 will allow that anyway.
    This is Apple we are talking about here. I'd love to see more RAM in these machines especially if it is faster DDR4. My fear is that Apple will be stingy with RAM and more so will look to low power options.
    It can be used for something.
    I was saying you'll keep updating your expectations every year. If you say in 2011 that you want quad-i7 performance in an Air and a 2016 Air matches that, you'd then say you want 2014 quad-i7 performance in the Air and the one that's on offer isn't fast enough.
    My big concern is that we not go backwards. As long as real sustainable performance is increasing we are moving in the right direction.
    You see numbers like that just make women want a Mac Book Air with a 15 watt processor even more. Given the extra power handling capability it ought to be a massive upgrade of the MBA line.
    It's not a prolonged test and thermal throttling could affect results over longer periods but that remains to be seen.
    It probably isn't a problem for the traditional markets for the Air and iPad. However if you are one to work your hardware a bit aggressively it might be a problem. We have seen in the past where Intel processors throttle easily often drastically reducing performance. Hopefully the various web sites out there will test the hardware closely when it comes out to clear up the validity of this fear.
    That would be an odd move but I wouldn't complain about it. Skylake increases the Iris Pro to 72 EUs vs 40 in Haswell. An 80% boost would take it close to the NVidia 850M.
    It is more than just a count of EU's as supposedly the EU's have been overhauled in SkyLake. As for Intel actually skipping Broadwell for the high end laptops, it is all rumor and speculation at this point. I put as much faith into the rumors as I do the stories printed on AI.
  • Reply 106 of 112
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,218moderator
    wizard69 wrote: »
    It is space directly above the processor so other than thickness it doesn't impact other features much.

    The fan isn't directly above the processor. You can see in the above image, the CPU is in the middle and the fan is over to the right. There's a heatsink attached to the cpu and the fan blows over the other end of the heatsink to draw heat away from the CPU. A 1mm high piezo fan could be placed above the CPU and blast air outwards from it without requiring the heatsink or the fan. Given that it can cool a 17W chip suggests it would be capable of handling Broadwell ok.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    You see numbers like that just make women want a Mac Book Air with a 15 watt processor even more. Given the extra power handling capability it ought to be a massive upgrade of the MBA line.

    The Air line doesn't need that performance just now though. The MBP is the power user machine. The Air and 13" rMBP have always been about half the speed of the 15" Pro in CPU and GPU. From a buyer perspective, it would be good to be able to avoid buying a more expensive 15" MBP but from Apple's point of view, that'll just drive ASP down.

    Every model has a selling point. The entry model selling point would be very lightweight, very thin and silent no matter what you do with it. The high-end selling point is still highly portable but twice the performance with the downside of some fan noise and a bit extra weight.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    As for Intel actually skipping Broadwell for the high end laptops, it is all rumor and speculation at this point.

    The info is from Intel themselves:

    http://forwardthinking.pcmag.com/none/329777-intel-updates-roadmaps-for-2015

    1000

    They're still going to bring Broadwell chips at the beginning of the year but Skylake in the 2nd half of the year. The following site (quoting Digitimes) pins it down to August-October 2015:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/05/intel_skylake_processor_release_data_slipping_reports/

    That would be ok for the rMBP as it was updated in July this year. If there's a Broadwell quad-i7 in Spring then they can update the 15" rMBP early and then again near the end of the year with Skylake. Either way, it will be a good result.
  • Reply 107 of 112
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    Marvin wrote: »
    The fan isn't directly above the processor. You can see in the above image, the CPU is in the middle and the fan is over to the right. There's a heatsink attached to the cpu and the fan blows over the other end of the heatsink to draw heat away from the CPU. A 1mm high piezo fan could be placed above the CPU and blast air outwards from it without requiring the heatsink or the fan. Given that it can cool a 17W chip suggests it would be capable of handling Broadwell ok.
    I'm still wanting to beleive Apple would go more radical in a machine with a 5 watt processor.

    The Air line doesn't need that performance just now though.
    Sure it does. Performance is what allows Apple to add new features to its operating systems.
    The MBP is the power user machine. The Air and 13" rMBP have always been about half the speed of the 15" Pro in CPU and GPU. From a buyer perspective, it would be good to be able to avoid buying a more expensive 15" MBP but from Apple's point of view, that'll just drive ASP down.
    The one thing you are consistent with is your approach to tech as you apparently believe that the MBP would suddenly become static performance wise. I would fully expect that the MBP will retain it's performance crown. The performance advantages of the low power Broadwell / SkyLake chips will tend to mean that a MBP will become even faster with additional capabilities.
    Every model has a selling point. The entry model selling point would be very lightweight, very thin and silent no matter what you do with it. The high-end selling point is still highly portable but twice the performance with the downside of some fan noise and a bit extra weight.
    The info is from Intel themselves:

    http://forwardthinking.pcmag.com/none/329777-intel-updates-roadmaps-for-2015

    1000

    They're still going to bring Broadwell chips at the beginning of the year but Skylake in the 2nd half of the year. The following site (quoting Digitimes) pins it down to August-October 2015:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/05/intel_skylake_processor_release_data_slipping_reports/
    These reports are always in conflict we really don't know when Intel will ship anything. Sometimes I'm left with the impression that Intel doesn't know.

    That would be ok for the rMBP as it was updated in July this year. If there's a Broadwell quad-i7 in Spring then they can update the 15" rMBP early and then again near the end of the year with Skylake. Either way, it will be a good result.

    Good is certainly an understatement. If the chips are half as good as Intel is implying then waiting for these machines will be worthwhile. With the breakdown of my laptop it is something I'm struggling with right now.
  • Reply 108 of 112
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    Hey Marvin;

    What I find most interesting about this link: http://forwardthinking.pcmag.com/none/329777-intel-updates-roadmaps-for-2015 you posted was the comments about custom chips from Intel. Especially in the case of custom Zeon solutions. It looks like Intel is having more success here than I expected. 35 custom Xeons is a lot of custom chips.

    Of course this makes me wonder if Apple and Intel might be working on custom chips. I'm not thinking big data center solutions but rather advancement to drive voice processing and AI capabilities. I still see AI features in Mac OS as a way to move the platform into the future, the same with voice processing. On the other hand a FPGA array in a Mac Pro might be very useful.

    In any event I see Apples ability to customize the Intel hardware as being almost as important as it is for them to be able to customize the A series chips. In this respect the article was a more interesting read, talk about delivery dates for Intel chips has just gotten too old and speculative for me.

    Of course talking about custom Intel chips for Apple is speculative too.
  • Reply 109 of 112
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,218moderator
    wizard69 wrote: »
    you apparently believe that the MBP would suddenly become static performance wise.

    Not the 15" model but with Broadwell, I'd see most of the power going to the GPU. I'm really happy they're moving ahead with Skylake, there's even samples out:

    http://chinese.vr-zone.com/131337/intel-skylake-s-cpu-sampling-greenlow-platform-will-on-schedule-as-2015-q2-10192014/

    That gets round that whole Haswell refresh rubbish this year. If they skip Broadwell, it'll be like two generations in one go. It also supports PCIe 4 so they can potentially get 5K support into the Mac lineup for standalone 5K displays.
    wizard69 wrote: »
    I see Apples ability to customize the Intel hardware as being almost as important as it is for them to be able to customize the A series chips.

    Being able to set the GPU up how they want is good for OpenCL processing. Besides that, I don't think they'd benefit much from customization of the chips.
  • Reply 110 of 112
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member

    Yeah I wouldn't want to drastically curb performance for fanless, but I would like it, if it's basically staying at the same level or perhaps the tiniest dip.  I don't know for a face but I imagine even the fan itself uses power.  So fanless would go hand in hand with huge battery increase right? That'd be neat.  wizard yes I see it is Intel here we are waiting on some next gen stuff from.  

     

    As for Flash, Apple and people have been saying that for a long time. well I find myself using it daily, and don't see that changing for another half decade. (I watch TV on my computer like Daily Show etc) It's here to stay.  In my opinion both Apple and Adobe gave up too soon. Frankly HTML5 was not ready three years ago and it's still not ready, for a plethora of applications. Mostly because developing Flash was/is so darn easy, is why so much content is still in it. And DRM is easy to control, hah.  The spec may be final but most video on the net is still Flash and that's just how it is and will continue to be for a while. I will be happy to get rid of it myself once we can, of course. And I know one reason Flash gained scorn from us users and Apple is its crap performance.  That can only be blamed on Adobe. They shot themselves in the foot, and have no one to blame but themselves for losing the their powerful platform dominance.  The irony is Flash works great on my Galaxy Note 3, although of course phones have become vastly more powerful in the past few years and Jobs was right that at the time, Flash would bog a phone down into uselessness. But for the past year or two at least on Samsung phones Flash is a champ.  Yes, I enjoy Daily Show on my phone. 

     

    MacBook Air mostly I just want to see a 14 or 15" screen. I'm getting more tempted to upgrade next year... Just waiting and watching this next round of MBA / MBP with interest...And this thread..

  • Reply 111 of 112
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    Marvin wrote: »
    Not the 15" model but with Broadwell, I'd see most of the power going to the GPU. I'm really happy they're moving ahead with Skylake, there's even samples out:
    Broadwell should allow for higher clocks in the same model computers which ought to provide a performance boost. Intel is certianly focused on the GPU, possibly due to Apple pushing them in that direction. I actually see this as a good thing as it makes the integrated processors acceptable for a much wider array of users.
    http://chinese.vr-zone.com/131337/intel-skylake-s-cpu-sampling-greenlow-platform-will-on-schedule-as-2015-q2-10192014/

    That gets round that whole Haswell refresh rubbish this year. If they skip Broadwell, it'll be like two generations in one go. It also supports PCIe 4 so they can potentially get 5K support into the Mac lineup for standalone 5K displays.
    This would certianly make for a very interesting MBP.
    Being able to set the GPU up how they want is good for OpenCL processing. Besides that, I don't think they'd benefit much from customization of the chips.

    I don't know about that. I could see Apple adding their own IP harvested directly from the A series chips. For example the camera and video processing hardware. Voice processing is another area that Apple continue use to develope in the A series chips. The advanatge for Apple to putting the same IP in the Intel chips is that they have commonality across platforms leading to a reuse of code. Further it makes a custom chip uniquely Apple.

    In any event I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple putting huge development efforts into new features for Mac OS and IOS to leverage all of that new hardware. Frankly if they don't try new things they would risk loosing the lead they have with both systems. Depending upon what those new things are there may be a need for custom hardware.
  • Reply 112 of 112
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,791member
    aquatic wrote: »
    Yeah I wouldn't want to drastically curb performance for fanless, but I would like it, if it's basically staying at the same level or perhaps the tiniest dip.  I don't know for a face but I imagine even the fan itself uses power.  So fanless would go hand in hand with huge battery increase right? That'd be neat.  <span style="line-height:1.4em;">wizard yes I see it is Intel here we are waiting on some next gen stuff from.  </span>
    Frankly if they come out with a fanless machine I'm hoping it is a new product that doesn't imoact the Air product line. That way the Airs can get all the benefit possible out of a 15 watt Broadwell.

    As for Flash, Apple and people have been saying that for a long time. well I find myself using it daily, and don't see that changing for another half decade. (I watch TV on my computer like Daily Show etc) It's here to stay.  In my opinion both Apple and Adobe gave up too soon. Frankly HTML5 was not ready three years ago and it's still not ready, for a plethora of applications. Mostly because developing Flash was/is so darn easy, is why so much content is still in it. And DRM is easy to control, hah.  The spec may be final but most video on the net is still Flash and that's just how it is and will continue to be for a while. I will be happy to get rid of it myself once we can, of course. And I know one reason Flash gained scorn from us users and Apple is its crap performance.  That can only be blamed on Adobe. They shot themselves in the foot, and have no one to blame but themselves for losing the their powerful platform dominance.  The irony is Flash works great on my Galaxy Note 3, although of course phones have become vastly more powerful in the past few years and Jobs was right that at the time, Flash would bog a phone down into uselessness. But for the past year or two at least on Samsung phones Flash is a champ.  Yes, I enjoy Daily Show on my phone. 

    MacBook Air mostly I just want to see a 14 or 15" screen. I'm getting more tempted to upgrade next year... Just waiting and watching this next round of MBA / MBP with interest...And this thread..

    A nicer screen on the Air would be helpful. The question is do you need two different sizes of MBA? A 14" retina screen would just rock.
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