Low-end Intel Kaby Lake processors detailed, MacBook Pro version absent

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Intel has shed some specific details for the first time about the new seventh generation Kaby Lake processors suitable for the MacBook and MacBook Air, but as expected, processors suitable for the MacBook Pro have yet to materialize.




Corporate Vice President Navin Shenoy unveiled the technical information for two of the five new Intel Core processors on Tuesday. Intel's U-series is aimed at MacBook Air-like laptops, and the Y-series is intended for slightly higher-end devices like the Retina MacBook and PC convertible laptops.

Intel claims that overall the Kaby Lake architecture gives up to 19 percent better Web performance over similar sixth generation Skylake processors, and 12 percent faster general performance gains. Video processing of 4K streams is said to be over 6 times faster than a computer from five years ago.

Also included with Kaby Lake processors are power efficiency improvements. Intel claims up to 9.5 hours of 4K video playback is possible from laptops shipping in the fall with the new processor.

While the "GT2" integrated graphics in the Kaby Lake U-series processors are capable of better performance than existing processors for Apple's MacBook Air, Apple has historically used slightly higher end graphics in the line. It has been some time since the last product update, with the last revision dating back to March 2015.

The Y-series processor could ultimately find its way into the Retina MacBook, and would be an improvement in every regard over the Skylake processor currently found in the model. However, the Retina MacBook is Apple's most recently updated macOS product, and a refresh less than half a year after the last revision is not expected so rapidly.



The pair of Kaby Lake S-series processors suitable for iMac, MacBook Pro, and other higher-end deployments have been teased by Intel, but not yet detailed. Wide release of the S-series isn't expected any sooner than the beginning of 2017.

Intel revealed in late July that Kaby Lake processors had just started arriving in volume to unspecified manufacturers.

«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,927member
    May be it's time for Apple to design/build it's own multi-core ARM M-Processor(Macbook) like current A-processor (iPhone/iPad) and migrate MacOS to it. No need to reply on Intel's CISC processor schedule though Intel can build both Apple's processors in it's 10nm fab. Intel can also help build integrated A-processor CPU/GPU/Wifi/LTE.BT/GPS/etc on single chip like this news --- Samsung launches first Exynos chip with all radios built in( to handle LTE, FM, Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.)
    edited August 2016 repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    wood1208 said:
    May be it's time for Apple to design/build it's own multi-core ARM M-Processor(Macbook) like current A-processor (iPhone/iPad) and migrate MacOS to it. No need to reply on Intel's CISC processor schedule though Intel can build both Apple's processors in it's 10nm fab. Intel can also help build integrated A-processor CPU/GPU/Wifi/LTE.BT/GPS/etc on single chip like this news --- Samsung launches first Exynos chip with all radios built in( to handle LTE, FM, Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.)
    I think that's inevitable, at least with the lower-end of the Mac (or Mac-like) range, within 5 years.
    repressthisbkkcanuck
  • Reply 3 of 32
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,821member
    I think Apple is working toward this. They've made huge gains in their currently processors for iOS devices since their original CPU/GPU. One thing that may go missing is Windows compatibility. I think a lot of people still rely on this with a Mac and it currently works flawlessly (better than some PC's). That could be a huge sticking point is getting people to purchase a Mac with an Apple CPU in it. 

    BTW people this is exactly why Apple hasn't updated their Mac lineup. There's nothing significant to upgrade to! What do you expect Apple to do if nothing is available that makes a difference? Would a 200 MHz speed bump satisfy you just for the sake of Apple releasing updated products? This has nothing to do with Tim Cook, and everything to do with the fact that there isn't anything to update to. And to me, it makes no sense for Apple to release a totally new iMac or MacBook Pro with last years technology inside it which would basically be what they'd have to do if they were to release any significant updates to their Mac lineup. 
    edited August 2016 mwhiteDeelronrepressthisbadmonkration al
  • Reply 4 of 32
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,660member
    Does Apple still have an arrangement with Intel to get certain processors before other companies? In the early days of switching over to Intel they did have such an agreement.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,411administrator
    welshdog said:
    Does Apple still have an arrangement with Intel to get certain processors before other companies? In the early days of switching over to Intel they did have such an agreement.
    If they still do, they haven't used it in a decade since the Core Duo days.
    repressthis1983
  • Reply 6 of 32
    welshdog said:
    Does Apple still have an arrangement with Intel to get certain processors before other companies? In the early days of switching over to Intel they did have such an agreement.
    If Intel will be doing fab for the A-Series processors, maybe Apple would have included preferential access to Intel's processors as part of the agreement?
    repressthis
  • Reply 7 of 32
    Soli said:
    wood1208 said:
    May be it's time for Apple to design/build it's own multi-core ARM M-Processor(Macbook) like current A-processor (iPhone/iPad) and migrate MacOS to it. No need to reply on Intel's CISC processor schedule though Intel can build both Apple's processors in it's 10nm fab. Intel can also help build integrated A-processor CPU/GPU/Wifi/LTE.BT/GPS/etc on single chip like this news --- Samsung launches first Exynos chip with all radios built in( to handle LTE, FM, Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.)
    I think that's inevitable, at least with the lower-end of the Mac (or Mac-like) range, within 5 years.
    I don't think it will take 5 years. No one knows how fast the A9 chip is because it runs underclocked in all the products that use it. The current benchmarks put the A9 chip on par with my 2008 Macbook Pro.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,752member
    macxpress said:
    I think Apple is working toward this. They've made huge gains in their currently processors for iOS devices since their original CPU/GPU. One thing that may go missing is Windows compatibility. I think a lot of people still rely on this with a Mac and it currently works flawlessly (better than some PC's). That could be a huge sticking point is getting people to purchase a Mac with an Apple CPU in it. 

    BTW people this is exactly why Apple hasn't updated their Mac lineup. There's nothing significant to upgrade to! What do you expect Apple to do if nothing is available that makes a difference? Would a 200 MHz speed bump satisfy you just for the sake of Apple releasing updated products? This has nothing to do with Tim Cook, and everything to do with the fact that there isn't anything to update to. And to me, it makes no sense for Apple to release a totally new iMac or MacBook Pro with last years technology inside it which would basically be what they'd have to do if they were to release any significant updates to their Mac lineup. 
    Further evidence that Quiller Media needs to be sent packing by AI. These forums suck so bad it is beyond belief. I wanted to do a preview post but instead got a submission that left out all the text I had written. This software is destroying what was once an interesting and active forum.
    edited August 2016 elijahgmacxpresspscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,752member
    macxpress said:
    I think Apple is working toward this. They've made huge gains in their currently processors for iOS devices since their original CPU/GPU. One thing that may go missing is Windows compatibility. I think a lot of people still rely on this with a Mac and it currently works flawlessly (better than some PC's). That could be a huge sticking point is getting people to purchase a Mac with an Apple CPU in it. 

    BTW people this is exactly why Apple hasn't updated their Mac lineup. There's nothing significant to upgrade to! What do you expect Apple to do if nothing is available that makes a difference? Would a 200 MHz speed bump satisfy you just for the sake of Apple releasing updated products? This has nothing to do with Tim Cook, and everything to do with the fact that there isn't anything to update to. And to me, it makes no sense for Apple to release a totally new iMac or MacBook Pro with last years technology inside it which would basically be what they'd have to do if they were to release any significant updates to their Mac lineup. 
    ARM based Macs would be very nice. As for Windows support that can be critical to SOME people and is the reason I considered a MBP in 2008 after years of running other systems. The need for that Windows capability never really cropped up though and Apples software base has expanded rapidly. Combine that with people now running iOS devices all over the planet and you don't have the critical need for Windows anymore. Frankly Microsoft is actually driving people away from Windows with its 64 bit systems and the half assed XP virtual machine. So the point is Windows compatibility is becoming a very niche need. As for the lack of viable upgrade hardware I don't think people realize just how much of a performance wash the current processors are. Yes better GPU performance but the processors themselves gained very little. Kaby Lake will hopefully rectify this some. It is unfirtunate thought that Intel could not manage quad cores in the chips. Even so I suspect the GPU performance will be good enough to give us a resolution boost in the new MBA. The whine about the low res screens will be a thing of the past with the new MBA. Well one can hope.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    I smell a rehash of WWDC 2005. Just take the script from there, change all uses of “IBM” to “Intel” and all uses of “Intel” to “our new, in-house chips.”

    I mean, I get it. Intel is just stretching out “Moore’s Law” as long as possible so they have more time to come up with something to increase performance once Tigerlake is eventually released (in 2020, if they keep pushing everything else back). But it’s causing everyone to suffer for it.

    Why can’t things just be like the good old days.  :p


    edited August 2016
  • Reply 11 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    bdkennedy said:
    Soli said:
    I think that's inevitable, at least with the lower-end of the Mac (or Mac-like) range, within 5 years.
    I don't think it will take 5 years. No one knows how fast the A9 chip is because it runs underclocked in all the products that use it. The current benchmarks put the A9 chip on par with my 2008 Macbook Pro.
    1) And ahead of the the 2015 MacBook.

    2) Note, I stated within 5 years. I wouldn't be surprised if we see something within a year. The technology is there, but there are other, more logistical, considerations to allow for this to start happening with Apple's low-end "PCs."
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 12 of 32
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,908member
    wood1208 said:
    May be it's time for Apple to design/build it's own multi-core ARM M-Processor(Macbook) like current A-processor (iPhone/iPad) and migrate MacOS to it. No need to reply on Intel's CISC processor schedule though Intel can build both Apple's processors in it's 10nm fab. Intel can also help build integrated A-processor CPU/GPU/Wifi/LTE.BT/GPS/etc on single chip like this news --- Samsung launches first Exynos chip with all radios built in( to handle LTE, FM, Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.)
    When the A7 came out I thought there was a good chance Apple would move the Mac over to a SOC based on a cyclone derivative. I still think Apple is fully capable of making that work. But I'm becoming increasingly skeptical that Apple will actually do it. There are essentially three reasons:

    1. AMD's Zen will be ballpark competitive with Intel's Core and AMD is actively marketing themselves as a custom x86 SOC producer. Apple could perhaps have AMD make custom SOCs for the Mac that would include Apple-specific bits (like the secure enclave for TouchID) along with an AMD GPU (not as good as Nvidia, but certainly better than what Intel offers) and the perfectly cromulent Zen. All for a much lower price than what Intel charges. 

    2. By switching to ARM, Apple would lose some customers who need x86 compatibility to run legacy Windows apps. I don't know how many customers we're talking about. My guess is maybe 5% or less of the Mac installed base. Not huge, but not totally ignorable -- there would have to be a benefit to offer this cost. 

    3. In order for a custom ARM SOC to make sense, it needs to beat a hypothetical Zen SOC in price/performance and performance/watt. And the margin of victory needs to be big enough to attract enough new customers to offset the loss from issue #2.  In theory I think Apple could do that. But in practice I'm skeptical that Apple will put forth the effort to do it. No doubt they can afford it financially.... but for reasons that I cannot really fathom, Apple's enthusiasm for pushing the Mac platform forward just doesn't seem to be there. This disinterested attitude about the Mac makes no sense to me, but it sure does seem to be Apple's attitude nonetheless. 
    fastasleepelijahg
  • Reply 13 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,752member
    bdkennedy said:
    Soli said:
    wood1208 said:
    May be it's time for Apple to design/build it's own multi-core ARM M-Processor(Macbook) like current A-processor (iPhone/iPad) and migrate MacOS to it. No need to reply on Intel's CISC processor schedule though Intel can build both Apple's processors in it's 10nm fab. Intel can also help build integrated A-processor CPU/GPU/Wifi/LTE.BT/GPS/etc on single chip like this news --- Samsung launches first Exynos chip with all radios built in( to handle LTE, FM, Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.)
    I think that's inevitable, at least with the lower-end of the Mac (or Mac-like) range, within 5 years.
    I don't think it will take 5 years. No one knows how fast the A9 chip is because it runs underclocked in all the products that use it. The current benchmarks put the A9 chip on par with my 2008 Macbook 
    This is the key here, A9 is very impressive considering its low clock rate. Of course you don't want to just push clock rate for better performance. In that regard Apple could do much to improve on A9 by adding faster main memory and better caches. These are things easily done in a laptop where more power is available. RAM speed is a significant performance barrier in APU type chips and faster RAM could do wonders. This is where TSMC new fan out / stacked chip technology, could have a huge impact. Imagine an A10 with RAM as fast as AMD's HBM or Memory Cube tech. In any event if we don't get a process shrink this year, a good possibility, we are likely to see significant performance gains from TSMC stacked chip tech. We could see an A10 that is 30% faster at the same power levels. That would make for a chip that is faster than the current Mac Book solution. This without taking advantage of the performance a laptop platform offers. Interesting times for sure.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    blastdoor said:
    wood1208 said:
    May be it's time for Apple to design/build it's own multi-core ARM M-Processor(Macbook) like current A-processor (iPhone/iPad) and migrate MacOS to it. No need to reply on Intel's CISC processor schedule though Intel can build both Apple's processors in it's 10nm fab. Intel can also help build integrated A-processor CPU/GPU/Wifi/LTE.BT/GPS/etc on single chip like this news --- Samsung launches first Exynos chip with all radios built in( to handle LTE, FM, Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.)
    2. By switching to ARM, Apple would lose some customers who need x86 compatibility to run legacy Windows apps. I don't know how many customers we're talking about. My guess is maybe 5% or less of the Mac installed base. Not huge, but not totally ignorable -- there would have to be a benefit to offer this cost.
    You assume it would be all-or-nothing instead of simply adding an ARM-based system to their low-end desktop and/or notebook line. I think it's foolish to assume that Apple won't do this until they move the Mac Pro and MBPs to ARM.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,686member
    macxpress said:
    BTW people this is exactly why Apple hasn't updated their Mac lineup. There's nothing significant to upgrade to! What do you expect Apple to do if nothing is available that makes a difference? Would a 200 MHz speed bump satisfy you just for the sake of Apple releasing updated products? This has nothing to do with Tim Cook, and everything to do with the fact that there isn't anything to update to. And to me, it makes no sense for Apple to release a totally new iMac or MacBook Pro with last years technology inside it which would basically be what they'd have to do if they were to release any significant updates to their Mac lineup. 
    The quad core Skylake chips with Iris Pro 580 (6770/80/90-HQ) which have been widely speculated to be destined for the next MBP only recently seems to have emerged, so far as I'm aware only in the Intel Skull Canyon NUC and nothing else yet. THAT, and AMD Polaris just coming out is why I believe they haven't been updated yet. 

    I'm confused as to why this is not reported at all despite AI previously reporting these would be the ones to watch for. All signs point to Kaby Lake chips suitable for the MBP later in 2017. 
    Soli
  • Reply 16 of 32
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,779member
    blastdoor said:

    By switching to ARM, Apple would lose some customers who need x86 compatibility to run legacy Windows apps. 
    Parallels to the rescue. So long as an ARM based Mac has enough horsepower to run a VM reasonably well, Windows people will be able to get by. Besides I bet even less than 5% of Mac users use Windows exclusively. The big test will be if the major Mac software publishers will get onboard quickly or will Apple need to write another version of Rosetta?
    ration al
  • Reply 17 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    volcan said:
    blastdoor said:

    By switching to ARM, Apple would lose some customers who need x86 compatibility to run legacy Windows apps. 
    Parallels to the rescue. So long as an ARM based Mac has enough horsepower to run a VM reasonably well, Windows people will be able to get by. Besides I bet even less than 5% of Mac users use Windows exclusively. The big test will be if the major Mac software publishers will get onboard quickly or will Apple need to write another version of Rosetta?
    Unless MS allows you to use their ARM-version of Windows, a VM won't be usable in an ARM-based Mac. They could allow emulation, but no matter how fast ARM becomes it'll still be a poor experience due to the overhead for emulating an entirely different processing architecture. If and when Apple does release an ARM-based "PC," if you need to also run Windows, then you're not a candidate for their low-end machines.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 18 of 32
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 211member
    I don't think ARM Macs are terribly likely. I think Apple would be more likely to license an IA64 core from either Intel or AMD, make their own modifications, then have somebody fabricate it for them.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 19 of 32
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,049member
    In the old days, computers used more dedicated chips for specialized tasks because the CPU couldn't do everything yet. We're coming back to that situation again. Software and operating systems are so much more complex and so much more is expected of computers, but they're no longer improving in raw power leaps like they used to.

    Everyone here predicting a move to ARM architecture for Macs... You realize this would require some kind of Intel architecture compatibility mode transition or it would kill the Mac developer community and Mac software library, right? Switching to Intel killed lots of good software that never got ports (because it upset the developer's income or the developer lost interest in the product enough that rewriting it for a new architecture was out of their scope of motivation). 

    It DID improve the likelihood of ports from Windows, but it took six years of frustrating transition, WITH a PPC emulation layer present to fill in the gap left by big monolithic developers refusing to change with the systems they sell software on (looking at you, Adobe). I'm not sure, but can ARM even provide usable performance on an Intel emulation layer?

    What's the real problem here? Faster CPUs? I don't think so. It's the overall system architecture that people want improved, right? Intel has badly lead thunderbolt and almost ignored Apple's lead on high-PPI display tech (how many Windows machines can you buy with retina-equivalent displays? I know this stuff matters not at all to tech geeks, but it matters to content creators). Apple should be building their own support chipsets for these things to work with existing Intel CPUs so they can move on to DisplayPort 1.4 and standalone retina displays for Mac mini and Mac Pro. They already were forced to create their own display driver chip for the retina iMac, so why not keep going?

    Intel has zero motive to get the current standards into their slowed release cycle. In fact, it's in the Intel shareholders' best interests to drag out product releases as long as possible and with as few changes as possible. 

    Bundling so much of the computer into one chip (the so-called "application processor") works in their interest and against the interests of customers like Apple who still try to distinguish their hardware from other builders (because, as already noted, the PC world doesn't care about things like transitioning to high-PPI). 

    Intel reached the end of what can currently be done with rapid upgrading and probably has to invest much more into development of each new step (if they can even physically accomplish any further gains with shrinking this architecture). Shareholders don't like that. Capitalism never was fond of physics (or reality).

    Moving to another architecture would be mostly transparent for the average consumer of Apple products (so long as Apple gets ALL of their own software ported by day one, and Microsoft has a version of Word and Excel), but it will absolutely suck for 3rd-party developers and any professional users (content creators relying on third party music and art tools currently available on Apple's Intel platforms). 

    The transition would probably be worse than the PPC-to-Intel transition. Since Apple doesn't give a damn about the professional market anymore, I don't see this as a problem that would stop Apple doing it. Apple is still arrogant but less sensible about their design choices than they were a few years back. This change could be the final "Apple is doomed", but only for those of us that prefer to do their content creation on Apple hardware with Mac OS. 

    iOS users will be fine (and no, iOS isn't ready to replace all the professional tools; the music side has only just started to look like it might reach near-parity in a few more years). Hell, I'm STILL waiting for Apple to fix text selection & autocorrect in text views on Safari. Is that too "pro" a function for them to care about??

    Less reliance on Intel is the key, but abandoning an entire architecture is a myopic control freak "all or nothing" reaction. Relying on monolithic architectures isn't the solution to anything but intel's desire to sell everything to everyone, but leaving it entirely is another type of self-inflicted injury. 

    Like Apple building their own chips to make a retina iMac possible, we need the business to go back to custom chips for unique improvements and dedicated processors for specific tasks, instead of a CPU doing everything and one company being the only provider of chipsets. We need competition again. 

    Where is AMD? They still make desktop and server CPUs, right? What's their DisplayPort support level?

    The games industry gave us the GPU as one third of the processor trinity needed. When will a computer maker team up with an audio hardware company to include an audio-dedicated DSP chipset in this architecture as standard equipment? Then the CPU can be left to power the OS and support functions of general computing, relieving the need for faster CPUs every year (which seem unlikely to arrive any more). 

    Intel isn't going to make such a partnership. Apple could and should. They could convert the native VST and AU plugin business into a DSP-run plugin business. Current music software industry developers selling DSP solutions are fewer than they used to be, but they have a strong following among their users. Buying out the UAD2 DSP & plugin business from Universal Audio, for example, is within Apple's financial ability. Integrating the DSPs with Mac hardware and adding the UA-branded plugins into Logic would strengthen Apple in the pro audio world. It would go hand-in-hand with the notion of Apple being a one-stop-shop for music listening AND creation.

    These DSPs could be used to boost current Apple initiatives like Siri & speech to text, and provide local processing for other such audio analysis products like music identification.

    But this would be an expensive and risky investment that would either succeed and change the whole computer industry for decades to come, or fail and lose millions. Apple doesn't really seem to care about the computer industry anymore. They're going to force people to redefine what computers are so Apple can exit one computer business and dominate a new one. I don't disagree that computers need to be redefined, but they can't be redefined as "consumer gadgets only". The transition of desktops to tablets can never be 100% across all use cases.

    Ok, even with the iOS business they still need to free the CPU from being in charge of everything. CPU for operating system glue and applications. GPU for visuals. A dedicated DSP for audio (and likely more). In fact, a dedicated DSP could be even more important for iOS devices than desktops because these devices can never support CPUs with the raw processing power of desktop workstations used by big content creation shops. iOS devices have a much nearer end-point on raw computing power growth.

    ...but today's Apple won't do things like this. They're stuck in a rut of dragging out as much profit with as little investment as possible. Just like Intel. I don't know how the board was convinced to let Apple spend billions on building a car (I'm still hoping this rumor is absolutely wrong), but these same people see no value in professional users and content creators... mostly because they're not creators themselves. Typical myopic "one size fits all" corporate thinking.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Intel themselves added some kind of DSP to their future chipsets or the CPU package itself, and marketed it as "the next step in PC performance for musicians and studios". Once they can no longer sell CPUs that make big sales, they'll have to offer something else to this market. GPU as DSP hasn't caught on and it shouldn't. Attempts at it have failed because the GPU isn't suited to it, and it needs to do its primary task of running the graphics and display.

    Apple ought to get there first.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    toddzrxtoddzrx Posts: 194member
    wizard69 said:
    Even so I suspect the GPU performance will be good enough to give us a resolution boost in the new MBA. The whine about the low res screens will be a thing of the past with the new MBA. Well one can hope.
    As stated elsewhere: a Retina MBA, retaining the same battery life as the current MBA, would basically be the same size as a MBP.  Indeed, what other than the processor would distinguish a 13" MBP from a 13" MBA?  Apple usually doesn't blur the distinction between product lines (at least historically), so I have a hard time seeing the point of a new, Retina Air.  Besides the fact that the processors for such a machine were released by Intel months ago.
Sign In or Register to comment.