MBP roadmap: the next 2 iterations

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I've been thinking about starting this thread for a little while, as i'll probably look at getting a new MBP early next year...



I know there are threads on processors, GPUs, B-R vs HD-DVD, etc, and whilst not wanting to trample on anyones toes, i thought it might be good to have a consolidated thread to see if we can get an overall picture of where the MBP is going...



So whilst trying to be realistic and knowing that apple can be both innovative and conservative in terms of technology adoption, rather than simply making a wishlist, where do ppl think the 15" & 17" MBP is going over the next two releases (c.May07 & 1q 08) in terms of:



CPU: Santa Rosa May 07. Penryn Q1 08. clock speeds: c.2.33-2.66?

[nehalem, a big step forward, perhaps the next (3rd from now) iteration again in second half of 08? - as a video editor/dvd author, i've read this chip potentially has the biggest improvement for this area]



GPU: in the MBP GPU thread onlooker hopes for a GeForce Go 7800, while BenRoethig suggests the GeForce Go 8600 or Radeon Mobility x2600HD. i admit i know little about GPUs, so i won't try to add to this beyond asking if they are going to go beyond 512mb in mobile GPUs anytime soon?



Optical Drive: options: B-R, HD-DVD, combo B-R/HD-DVD, standard superdrive. considering Apple hasn't yet released DVDSP for B-R (nor HD-DVDi) and the cost of the drives atm, i can't see these formats being available in the MBP til early next year at the soonest.



HDD: May 07 as now? Q1 08 perhaps a small increment upwards? any recent developments that might make their way in by this time next year?



Screen Technology: backlit LED? lol, multi-touch??



Connectivity: gigabit ethernet/USB2/FW400/FW800/BT. will eSATA get a look in? anything else?



Case/Design: Perhaps a redesign after Leopard is released? although with the OS pushed back, perhaps May will bring a new design. There is always the 'if it ain't broke...' argument as well. i'd imagine they'll stick with similar dimensions, so no additional drive/battery bay (sorry, Brian Green :P )



Other features: built in NAND flash memory? WiMax, etc etc?





ideas/contributions? i've made a half-assed start, hopefully we can get an overall picture by the time this thread runs its course...
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    GPU: in the MBP GPU thread onlooker hopes for a GeForce Go 7800, while BenRoethig suggests the GeForce Go 8600 or Radeon Mobility x2600HD. i admit i know little about GPUs, so i won't try to add to this beyond asking if they are going to go beyond 512mb in mobile GPUs anytime soon?




    No, I said I thought we should have options if it's a pro machine. My suggestions were the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3500M, and the GeForce Go 7950 GTX The GeForce Go 7800 would have been the base configuration for people with less ambitious Graphics needs.



    There is no such card as a GeForce Go 8600... ???
  • Reply 2 of 32
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    There is no such card as a GeForce Go 8600... ???



    There will be.



    http://www.electronista.com/articles...e.8600.laptop/

    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=38291
  • Reply 3 of 32
    halcyonhalcyon Posts: 36member
    With deep-sleep states in the new cpus and better power reduction in the gpus & backlighting, I'm hoping 15-35% longer battery life (it would be a welcome addition).



    For wireless, I assume non-draft level 802.11n will become standard this year and next. I think WiMax is probably still 2 years off.



    For HDD, hybrid drives with flash and moving mechanism will be launched probably in models during 2008/2009.



    Dual screens (one on the cover) is possible, but I'm not sure it's likely until another OS upgrade.



    Case: thinner (if only 1-2mm) if backlighting goes leds and they are able to trim the form factor.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member


    Then a Quadro, and that card as upgrades. Good catch. That will probably make my entry level base configuration card something with more bite as well.



    halcyon:



    The dual screen idea seems a bit foolish IMO. A screen with a swivel could get the same results if you wanted to use it as a tablet if that's what your suggesting. I don't understand why one would need two screens on a laptop to begin with. If you were a teacher and used it as a classroom display monitor you would be better off buying a monitor. That way everybody that would never use that monitor wouldn't have to pay for the cost of it.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    mwswamimwswami Posts: 166member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    CPU: Santa Rosa May 07. Penryn Q1 08. clock speeds: c.2.33-2.66?

    [nehalem, a big step forward, perhaps the next (3rd from now) iteration again in second half of 08? - as a video editor/dvd author, i've read this chip potentially has the biggest improvement for this area]



    Santa Rosa supports 800 MHz FSB. So, the new Merom and Penryn mobile CPUs will have speeds as multiples of 200 MHz - 2.4, 2.6, and 2.8 GHz. Merom based 2.6 (X7800) and 2.8 GHz (X7900) Extreme editions (unlocked) are already on the Intel roadmap for Q3 and Q4 respectively. Also at the last IDF, Intel announced a 4-core mobile CPU for 2008. I assume that it would have to be a single die solution ... most likely from the Nehalem family.



    (Unofficial) Intel mobile CPU Roadmap ...
  • Reply 6 of 32
    "dual screen idea seems a bit foolish IMO."



    Yes, but it's a fad now going through ALL the notebook manufacturers (Wintel).



    Apple may be able to resist it, time will tell.



    It has nothing to do with table form factor. It's like the second (small) screen on clamshell form factor mobile phones.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by halcyon View Post


    "dual screen idea seems a bit foolish IMO."



    Yes, but it's a fad now going through ALL the notebook manufacturers (Wintel).



    Apple may be able to resist it, time will tell.



    It has nothing to do with table form factor. It's like the second (small) screen on clamshell form factor mobile phones.



    As a rule, if you claim someone is doing something, or have proof you post a link to it. Not everyone has seen a dual screen Laptop. I have not. Post a link to one. \ I have no idea what your talking about.



    I did a search and found no proof that
    Quote:

    it's a fad now going through ALL the notebook manufacturers (Wintel).



    I can't even find a reasonably known manufacturer that is making one. \
  • Reply 8 of 32
    rolorolo Posts: 686member
    If the Santa Rosa version of the MBP comes out in May, that'll be 7 months since the last update. The next update, to Penryn, would be late this year or early 2008. Same logic board, just different CPUs. Nehalem would follow around June, 2008.



    The great thing about Nehalem will be the onboard memory controller. Lots of advantages with that.



    I have a 1.25 GHz PB I bought in September, 2003. I'm due for a replacement. I'll be happy with a Santa Rosa MBP. I don't think I'm wiling to wait for Penryn, let alone Nehalem. I'm certainly not going to wait just for Leopard. I plan to get Final Cut Studio 2 and Aperture for the new MBP and I'm sure they'll run fine on it.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    I'm still waiting for a 1080p HD screen option. But Apple might have to wait for Leopard's resolution independence before they can introduce a MBP with 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 resolution.



    There's also been a lot of speculation whether Apple will introduce a new ultrasmall and/or uberbig model to round up the palette.

    Those would favor the 'if it ain't broke' argument: be very conservative upgrading today's models but introduce two new models with the more radical new features like e.g. solid state HD (doesn't have to have huge capacity in an ultrasmall) and introduce a new highend powerhouse which could have B-R/HD DVD, dual GPU SLI configurations and perhaps larger LCDs offering HD resolution. If the screen's bigger than 17" Apple might not have to wait for Leopard's resolution independence.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    halcyonhalcyon Posts: 36member
    I'm in no obligation to do googling or learning for you, but here goes:



    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/laptops/0,39...9284115,00.htm



    If you read electronics weekly industry magazines you will notice that all Asian manufacturers are looking into this type of design.



    It may turn out to be a fad only. Time will tell.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by halcyon View Post


    I'm in no obligation to do googling or learning for you, but here goes:



    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/laptops/0,39...9284115,00.htm



    If you read electronics weekly industry magazines you will notice that all Asian manufacturers are looking into this type of design.



    It may turn out to be a fad only. Time will tell.



    Yes you should. It's not our job to back up what you say. You should be the one to do that. It's a forum courtesy. It probably took you the two days since my post "googling" to find it because I googled the Shit out of that and never found one.



    LIke I said there is not a shred of proof that.
    Quote:

    it's a fad now going through ALL the notebook manufacturers



    It's only one notebook. I hardly call that "ALL the notebook Manufacturers"

    Besides. That thing looks stupid. Apple would do it better if they bothered.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    ideas/contributions? i've made a half-assed start, hopefully we can get an overall picture by the time this thread runs its course...



    I wouldn't call your efforts half-arsed. Everything appears totally reasonable. I'd expect Apple to stick with ATI GPUs as I believe these still have heat/power-consumption advantages.



    In May, I expect Santa-Rosa, and LED backlighting in the 15". I think it's about 70-30 that we'll see a tweak to the case designs to eliminate the screen catches (replacing them with the "magnetic latch" of the MacBook) and to provide for easier HDD upgrades (also a la MacBook).



    In January, I think we'll see the upgrade to Penryn processors, LED backlighting in the 17", if it hasn't come out already, an ultra-portable, and higher screen resolutions on the 15" and 17" machines. I reckon it's a 20-80 chance that the ultra-portable will have multi-touch, but I really don't expect to see it on the larger-screened MacBooks any time soon.



    I think we might see HD-DVD and Blu-Ray drives as options in January, but the enclosure thickness of the machines might still be an issue then.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mwswami View Post


    Also at the last IDF, Intel announced a 4-core mobile CPU for 2008.



    The cooling requirements for that rule it out of a 1" thick enclosure. So far, Apple have shown no interest in making uber-thick, uber-heavy, uber-powerful "desktop replacement" portables and I don't expect that to change.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    The cooling requirements for that rule it out of a 1" thick enclosure. So far, Apple have shown no interest in making uber-thick, uber-heavy, uber-powerful "desktop replacement" portables and I don't expect that to change.



    Might find its way to the iMac.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Might find its way to the iMac.



    Indeed. I'm expecting that.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    I wonder whether the delays to Leopard haven't left Apple in a bit of a pickle.



    I suspect that their product roadmap has long included a May/June refresh of the iMac, MBP and MacBook timed to fit with (i) Intel releasing Santa Rosa and (ii) Apple releasing Leopard. I'd figure that an MBP update aimed at Santa Rosa & Leopard could include:



    Santa Rosa chipset

    Merom processors at the current clock rates but with the 800Mhz FSB

    HDD's with flash RAM

    An uprated GPU

    A much improved screen, with a much higher resolution to take advantage of Leopard's resolution independence, and perhaps with LED backlighting



    I'd expect some degree of case redesign too, but who's to say if it's a small tweak (magnetic latches say) or something altogether new.



    I think that spec is quite realistic for an MBP on sale in June. Problem is, if Leopard's not here till October then would Apple still press ahead and release an MBP with a high resolution screen in June? Or would they hold it back until October so that fanboys can see the high-res screen in all it's Steve-ness glory?



    I'm in the market for an MBP, and I've been holding off for a Leopard/Santa Rosa refresh. My current notebook has a 1680x1050 15" screen and I've come to really appreciate the extra screen real-estate and I'm not that keen to trade down to 1440x900. I feel sure that Leopard will see Apple roll-out higher-res displays, but I can't hold off till October to buy.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by virtualmark View Post


    I wonder whether the delays to Leopard haven't left Apple in a bit of a pickle.



    Probably.



    Quote:

    I think that spec is quite realistic for an MBP on sale in June. Problem is, if Leopard's not here till October then would Apple still press ahead and release an MBP with a high resolution screen in June? Or would they hold it back until October so that fanboys can see the high-res screen in all it's Steve-ness glory?



    I'm in the market for an MBP, and I've been holding off for a Leopard/Santa Rosa refresh. My current notebook has a 1680x1050 15" screen and I've come to really appreciate the extra screen real-estate and I'm not that keen to trade down to 1440x900. I feel sure that Leopard will see Apple roll-out higher-res displays, but I can't hold off till October to buy.



    Assuming higher-rez displays and June release were in the plans anyway I would say that their decision would be based on whether they wanted to maintain the current growth if they saw a softening in their notebooks sales in anticipation of an updated MBP.



    My, I just spend a lot of words saying "Who knows...could go either way".



    Vinea
  • Reply 17 of 32
    wawaxwawax Posts: 10member
    it will be great if MBP have card reader and biometric sensor, maybe it will be great
  • Reply 18 of 32
    coreycorey Posts: 165member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by halcyon View Post


    With deep-sleep states in the new cpus and better power reduction in the gpus & backlighting, I'm hoping 15-35% longer battery life (it would be a welcome addition).



    For wireless, I assume non-draft level 802.11n will become standard this year and next. I think WiMax is probably still 2 years off.



    For HDD, hybrid drives with flash and moving mechanism will be launched probably in models during 2008/2009.



    Dual screens (one on the cover) is possible, but I'm not sure it's likely until another OS upgrade.



    Case: thinner (if only 1-2mm) if backlighting goes leds and they are able to trim the form factor.



    I think it would be cool if they could just change the existing light up Apple logo into a programable screen instead of just a light up Apple. Could do a lot of cool stuff with it. That said, I expect it would be hard to do it right and still keep the lid thin.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    [QUOTE=Corey;1075310]change the existing light up Apple logo into a programable screen instead of just a light up Apple./QUOTE]

    That could be cool. And I think it could easily be done with today's OLED technology. Those screens are as thin as the white logo's plastic.



    However I don't think Apple would do it. Certainly not a color screen as Jobs moved Apple away from a color logo: first removing the colored stripes and replacing them with solid color logos, and finally even removing the solid color. I do not believe they would want to go back to color logos any time soon.



    Which leaves them with an OLED displaying a plain white Apple logo. Wait, we already got that...



    Might still be useful to display some extra text info there, but with the shape of an apple it would rather be a design feature than anything else. And I don't believe it would make sense to spend so much on a separate screen to mostly get a design feature that we have already.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    fulmerfulmer Posts: 171member
    Vista includes "Windows SideShow" as standard, which is basically Windows Mobile built into the 2nd screen (no boot time, easy access to mail/contacts/etc). This is a standard feature of Vista, so I'm expecting more and more manufactures to start putting this into their mid-to-upper range laptops. No, it's not happening quite yet, but Vista has only been out for a few months. Maybe we'll see more and more of this in the future, then again, maybe not...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    Yes you should. It's not our job to back up what you say. You should be the one to do that. It's a forum courtesy. It probably took you the two days since my post "googling" to find it because I googled the Shit out of that and never found one.



    LIke I said there is not a shred of proof that.



    It's only one notebook. I hardly call that "ALL the notebook Manufacturers"

    Besides. That thing looks stupid. Apple would do it better if they bothered.



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