15-inch MacBook Pro refresh could have Intel's new six-core i9 processor

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Intel on Tuesday unveiled its latest laptop processors based on the Coffee Lake platform, most notably bringing its high-performance Core i9 line to laptops for the first time in the same thermal profile that the existing 15-inch MacBook Pro design can accommodate -- but the new chips still don't support LPDDR4 RAM.




The Core i9-8950HK is a six-core chip with a base clock speed of 2.9 gigahertz, and Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.8 gigahertz on a single core, Intel said. It nevertheless has the same 45-watt thermal design power as the quad-core, 2.8-gigahertz Core i7 in the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro.

While likely vastly more powerful and expensive than the average person needs, Apple could theoretically adopt the chip as a customization option for Pro buyers who run extremely demanding apps such as Final Cut Pro X. In December Apple updated the video editing suite with 8K video support, and the extension of 360-degree VR video to Motion and Compressor.

Those buyers could also take advantage of macOS 10.13.4's external GPU support to provide performance closer to the level of an iMac Pro with the flexibility afforded by a laptop.

Intel has also refreshed its mobile Core i3, Core i5, and i7 lines, including two six-core i7 chips clocked at 2.2 and 2.6 gigahertz, and a quad-core one rated at 2.7. The new i5 chips are quad-core models coming in at 2.3 and 2.5 gigahertz, though there are actually two processors at the 2.3-gigahertz level: one with a 3.8-gigahertz Turbo Boost, a 6-megabyte Smart Cache, and 28-watt TDP, and a second with a 4-gigahertz boost, an 8-megabyte cache, and 45-watt TDP. The current 13-inch MacBook Pro has a 28-watt TDP.







The processors do not support LPDDR4 memory, sticking with the same LPDDR3 as found in the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro limiting RAM to 16GB. As a result, should Apple choose to bring 32GB of RAM to any new MacBook Pro, it would have to use DDR4 RAM, and implement a controller for it with both having large impacts on battery life.

Rumors have yet to gather steam for this year's MacBook Pro updates. Apple is reportedly planning to switch to its own custom Mac processors as soon as 2020, though, which for some people could make 2018 models the last they get before Apple transitions away from Intel.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,867member
    Apple gets frustrated with Intel processor schedule,performance,TDP and price so no wonder getting serious about making it's own CPU/GPU SoC for MACs.
    netroxrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 58
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 431member
    All gen8 Intel processors now have access to both types (SSD & ram) of Optane memory developed by Intel.  I would suspect that Intel will provide an Optane solution for laptops to resolve the 16Gb limit on RAM.  In fact the i9 specifically notes that it can access 32Gb RAM in laptop configurations.
    rcfa
  • Reply 3 of 58
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    emoeller said:
    All gen8 Intel processors now have access to both types (SSD & ram) of Optane memory developed by Intel.  I would suspect that Intel will provide an Optane solution for laptops to resolve the 16Gb limit on RAM.  In fact the i9 specifically notes that it can access 32Gb RAM in laptop configurations.
    Yes, with DDR4 RAM. NOT LPDDR3, and there is no LPDDR4 support at all.
    Soliracerhomie3fastasleepGG1repressthis
  • Reply 4 of 58
    freshh20freshh20 Posts: 19member
    the 2 tables indicate LPDDR4 RAM not the LPDDR3.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    freshh20 said:
    the 2 tables indicate LPDDR4 RAM not the LPDDR3.
    Nope. They indicate DDR4. LPDDR4 and DDR4 RAM are not the same.

    Read the Ark, that we've linked in the article, and here too:

    edited April 2018 racerhomie3fastasleepsphericrepressthis
  • Reply 6 of 58
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,011member
    Goodbye Intel .
    You will not be missed on the Mac.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    Sam123Sam123 Posts: 10member
    Intel 8 generation processors for laptops have been on the market since last fall. Its Apple who has decided to stay one and two generations behind.
    On the PC side all major laptop producers have 8 generation models for sale for months now. Apple CPU's will never have the number crunching power of Intels processors.
    The only advantage Apple will have is extracting better battery life with their CPU's but never better raw power. Intel has been in this business for decades. 
  • Reply 8 of 58
    edrededred Posts: 48member
    ...but the new chips still don't support LPDDR4 RAM.

    anomeautomaticftp1
  • Reply 9 of 58
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 893member
    We will still have people blaming Apple for not supporting > 16 GB RAM on the MBP. Yes, Apple could do it with a larger form factor/greatly reduced battery run time. If you really need that much RAM in a laptop, go get yourself something like an Alienware from Dell (prices start at $2300) which weighs 7.69 pounds and gets around 4 hours on battery.
    StrangeDaysRayz2016repressthis
  • Reply 10 of 58
    indiekidukindiekiduk Posts: 284member
    I've found a 32GB hackintosh desktop as a good interim replacement while we wait on a proper upgrade from the last MBP that wasn't a toy (the 2015).
  • Reply 11 of 58
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,787member
    Sam123 said:
    Intel 8 generation processors for laptops have been on the market since last fall. Its Apple who has decided to stay one and two generations behind.
    On the PC side all major laptop producers have 8 generation models for sale for months now. Apple CPU's will never have the number crunching power of Intels processors.
    The only advantage Apple will have is extracting better battery life with their CPU's but never better raw power. Intel has been in this business for decades. 
    If you only get 4hrs of battery life out of a more powerful processor than the power is useless in the end. Honestly, if you're doing so much work on your MacBook Pro that its putting you behind because of the CPU generation then you bought the wrong Mac to begin with. The PC side as always, just cares about specs, not usage. Having the latest and greatest in everything isn't always the best idea. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 58
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    I've found a 32GB hackintosh desktop as a good interim replacement while we wait on a proper upgrade from the last MBP that wasn't a toy (the 2015).
    Did you whine like this in 1998 when you first saw USB?
    StrangeDaysRayz2016
  • Reply 13 of 58
    Sam123Sam123 Posts: 10member
    Macxpress, read the PC reviews on the Dell XPS with the 8th generation processors and you see that both battery life and processing power have increased both on the Intel i-5 and i-7 processors. Your just plan wrong or misinformed.  
    automaticftp1
  • Reply 14 of 58
    urashidurashid Posts: 92member
    Still waiting for a 13-inch MB Pro with the 8th gen quad core processor. Don't need the touch bar, can live with two USB-C ports, but gimme those 4 cores :smile: 
    indiekidukcgWerks
  • Reply 15 of 58
    croprcropr Posts: 914member
    linkman said:
    We will still have people blaming Apple for not supporting > 16 GB RAM on the MBP. Yes, Apple could do it with a larger form factor/greatly reduced battery run time. If you really need that much RAM in a laptop, go get yourself something like an Alienware from Dell (prices start at $2300) which weighs 7.69 pounds and gets around 4 hours on battery.
    A Dell XPS 15 also support 32 GB RAM and has s better battery life than the Macbook Pro.  (I have both running in my company)
    rcfamuthuk_vanalingamcgWerksavon b7automaticftp1
  • Reply 16 of 58
    netroxnetrox Posts: 716member
    Unbelievable that there's no support for more than 16 GB of RAM for those who need ultra high speed access for large datasets.
    automaticftp1
  • Reply 17 of 58
    LOl one day the A13, the next day the I9 but Apple has proven incapable of even realising mac models. Years go by and ain't noting happening so hooey with the chip gossip.
    Time for little timmy cookie and his loser minions to ride out of town!
    Bring back the Guy and let the good times roll again...
  • Reply 18 of 58
    mavemufcmavemufc Posts: 326member
    Just sold my Mid 2015 MacBook Pro so hopefully I won't be without one for too long and we can get some new models later this year.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I notice there are two mobile Xeon on the first table in the article. I wonder if Apple could do the same thing with the Macbook Pro they did with the iMac, that is, release a model with workstation class components, to keep the pros happy.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,787member
    cropr said:
    linkman said:
    We will still have people blaming Apple for not supporting > 16 GB RAM on the MBP. Yes, Apple could do it with a larger form factor/greatly reduced battery run time. If you really need that much RAM in a laptop, go get yourself something like an Alienware from Dell (prices start at $2300) which weighs 7.69 pounds and gets around 4 hours on battery.
    A Dell XPS 15 also support 32 GB RAM and has s better battery life than the Macbook Pro.  (I have both running in my company)
    But it still runs Windows....
    StrangeDays
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