2018 Macbook Pro Lineup

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xkam1x, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. xkam1x, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018

    xkam1x macrumors member

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    Dec 15, 2014
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    #1
    What I would like to see apple do.

    Across the board:
    Improved camera for low light performance.
    HDR display.
    Improved cooling performance.
    Improved battery.
    Improved keyboard that is resistant to a speck of dust.
    Stereo microphones, left and right.
    Thin and light should not be a priority of 'PRO' models.

    MacBook Pro 13

    Config 1
    CPU: Intel i5 Quad-Core, i5 8250U
    GPU: Integrated
    Ram: 16GB
    Storage: 256GB
    ThunderBolt: 4x

    Config 2
    CPU: Intel i7 Quad-Core, i7 8705G
    GPU: Dedicated, AMD Vega M GL 4GB VRAM
    Ram: 16GB
    Storage: 512GB
    ThunderBolt: 4x
    CPU and GPU in this config might have to be under clocked to stay within 65W system power requirement. Probably unlikely.

    MacBook Pro 15

    Config 1
    CPU: Intel i7 Quad-Core, i7 8706G
    GPU: Dedicated, AMD Vega M GL 4GB VRAM
    Ram: 32GB (Now possible as VRAM is integrated into CPU dye and its space can be used for DDR4?)
    Storage: 512GB
    ThunderBolt: 4x

    Config 2
    CPU: Intel i7 Quad-Core, i7 8709G
    GPU: Dedicated, AMD Vega M GH 4GB VRAM (should be 8GB but HBM2 is expensive and intel didn't release it)
    Ram: 32GB (Now possible as VRAM is integrated into CPU dye and its space can be used for DDR4?)
    Storage: 1TB
    ThunderBolt: 4x

    Config 3
    CPU: Intel i7 Quad-Core, i7 8709G
    GPU: Dedicated, AMD Vega M GH 4GB VRAM (should be 8GB but HBM2 is expensive and intel didn't release it)
    Ram: 32GB (Now possible as VRAM is integrated into CPU dye and its space can be used for DDR4?)
    Storage: 2TB
    ThunderBolt: 4x

    What would you like to see?

    UPDATE:

    There have been some confusion about the above proposed hardware configs.
    Firstly, the config 2 for MacBook Pro 13 is a hope but as I said probably unlikely due to thermals of current model are designed for 35W TDP and G series chip has minimum 65W requirement.

    Secondly for MacBook Pro 15, the current model has 42mmx28mm for CPU, 4x 14mmx12mm for 16GB LPDDR3, Radeon GPU 27mmx27mm and 4GB GDDR5 4x 14mmx12mm. Total area of 3250mm^2.

    If apple uses G series chips which are 31mmx58mm which will incorporate a GPU dye and VRAM, which means if they are to use 8x current ram chips, total area used is 3142mm^2. Therefore it would be physically possible to offer the 32GB option. It was not available before because the max LPDDR3 density available is 32Gb per chip and if they were to use 8x LPDDR3 chips, it would shrink the battery size as logic board would be bigger and hence reduce battery life.
     
  2. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #2
    A 13" MacBook Pro with a 65W CPU/GPU package (i7-8705G)? That's definitely not gonna happen.

    And a high-end 15" MacBook Pro that's stuck with a Kaby Lake quad-core CPU? I also can't see that happening. Also, why should 32 GB RAM be possible "since VRAM is integrated"? HBM2 might be more power efficient, but it still requires the use of DDR4 instead of LPDDR3, and the space saved by Kaby Lake G won't be sufficient for that.
     
  3. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #4
    Space is not the reason that ddr4 has not been used in 32gb it’s a lack of low power ddr4 and hence a massive battery drain that has kept Apple on low power ddr3.
     
  5. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

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    Apr 29, 2003
    #5
    Would love to see the G-series of chips in the new Macbook Pros, but that is highly unlikely due to the massive jump in TDP the G-series chips present. There may be something lower powered from Intel/AMD that we are not yet privy to.

    Would also love to see a choice of AMD's Ryzen chips.

    That aside, a new lineup of thicker and more upgrade-able Macbook Pros similar to the pre-retina ones would be awesome.
     
  6. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #6
    The only things that were upgradeable in those notebooks were the hard drive and the RAM. Since the SSDs in the new MacBook Pros already pretty much use the maximum speed the bus is capable of, upgrading them for speed reasons wouldn't make sense. And Apple offers up to 2 TB capacity, which I think is sufficient for most users. As for RAM, well, the CPUs wouldn't support more than 16 GB LPDDR3 anyway, so no point in making the RAM user exchangeable.
     
  7. xkam1x thread starter macrumors member

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    Bristol, United Kingdom
    #7
    The current 15" had 45W TDP for CPU and 35W TDP for GPU with a total of 80W (potentially arguable as apple maybe running custom clock speed). But a low-end G series chip has 65W TDP, therefore it would work perfectly in a 15" model.

    I really hope Apple does not make it "thinner" since they would now have less heat to dissipate.
     
  8. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #8
    Yes, but you proposed a G-Series chip for the high-end 13" MacBook Pro, even though this chip far exceeds the 28W TDP of the CPU Apple currently uses there.

    For the 15", it would be a bad choice too, at least for the higher end SKUs, considering we'd potentially give up two CPU cores for pretty much no gain (the Vega Mobile 20 / 24 are available standalone too, which should fit in the 15" MBPs thermal limits in addition to an H-series CPU).
     
  9. xkam1x thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Intel G series chips are all 4 core and 8 threads. Are you implying that we are likely to see 6 core 12 thread H series SKU?
     
  10. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #10
    Yes, that's what I expect. For Kaby Lake G, Intel simply reused 7th gen Kaby Lake CPUs. 8th gen H-series CPUs should run at 6 cores, and at least the i7 parts should offer 12 threads. All the corresponding desktop parts were moved to six cores too, so continuing this to the mobile SKUs makes sense. Also, they're building 15W quad-core chips now, they absolutely can build 45W six-core ones.
     
  11. xkam1x thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    In that case I truly hope we get 6 core, 12 thread H series 45W CPU along with a good dedicated GPU.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    Threads like this pop up all the time.
    There's no way to really know yet what Apple's going to do for the 2018's.
    Only time will tell...
     
  13. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #13
    True. I just want them to stick a quad-core in the 13", which should be pretty much a given now. So they just need to release it already.
     
  14. Maxx Power, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018

    Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

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    Apr 29, 2003
    #14
    But that is what most users I personally know have upgraded in their Macbook Pros or PCs. The point is not capacity, it is the initial purchase price. I would love the choice to pay for a lesser model up front and upgrade it later as my needs and finances evolve. That way, one also benefits from latest improvements in technology. My 2011 Macbook Pro as it was equipped from Apple had 8GB of RAM, which was the max the initial firmware/specs indicated. Later on, 8GB modules became available and cheap and I promptly jumped on the deals for 80 bucks getting a total of 16GB at 1600 Mhz in my machine. That would have been utterly impossible without upgrade-able RAM. Ditto the SSD. When the 2011 model first came out, there were no 500GB SSDs (afaik). Later on, they became rampant and affordable, so I made the jump. I don't care about the 15% improvements to CPU performance over 3 years or so, but a whopping 2 times the RAM and 4x the speed of file access made the machine quick as new again. All the upgrades allowed me to run a VM well enough that I ditched Bootcamp. It also allowed new life into the machine that avoided an early obsolescence. That generation of machines did not use LPDDR3, so it is obvious that the move to LP RAM was in large part due to the form factor and its battery capacity restrictions. Again, my wish is to have the choice. If you feel that you do not need to upgrade, then that is fine. Given the choice, I would pick the older pre-retina form factor if they were upgrade-able.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2018 ---
    Whoops, I meant to specify the 13 inchers. They would work well in the 15s.
     
  15. Antairez macrumors regular

    Antairez

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    Mar 17, 2015
    #15
    I believe its 35W TDP for the Touch Bar 13" model? But mine is a bit dated, its a 2016 model.
     
  16. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

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    #16
    15W for non Touch Bar, 28W for Touch Bar. Apple obviously gives the CPUs some headroom as long as the cooling can manage it, but these are the TDPs.
     
  17. Antairez macrumors regular

    Antairez

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    Mar 17, 2015
    #17
    Thanks for the info, I must have gotten the numbers wrong.
     
  18. tkwolf macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2012
  19. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #19
    I think your configurations are rather realistic. I doubt we will get DDR4 due to battery concerns, but reducing the CPU/GPU package on the 15" model would theoretically free up the space for 32GB LPDDR3... Also, G chips in 13" MBP are rather unlikely IMO (also because Apple needs to have some means of differentiating between 13" and 15" lineup).

    Few other remarks:

    - thin and light have been priority for MacBook Pro since at least the times it was called Powerbook, so its the core philosophy of the product. One is of course free to disagree with this (and I understand the motivation), but then Apple is simply not the right company to look at since they never made a laptop that was not classified as thin and light (2.5kg 8 years ago was very much thin and light btw).

    - about HDR displays... I do not think this is truly achievable before we have micro-LED displays. If I understand it correctly, HDR TVs achieve high dynamic range by using an array of backlights (instead of a single one) which can be controlled individually, thus increasing the contrast. However, while this might be ok for TV that mostly shows moving picture scenes, for a computer display where people mostly work with detailed UI/text, this approach is most likely to be rather problematic since it leads to lack of uniformity. We really need a way to change the brightness of individual pixels here... I might be mistaken though :)
     
  20. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #20
    32 GB LPDDR3 is NOT a space limitation – Intel CPUs simply do not support more than 16 GB LPDDR3.

    G-Series chips in the 13" MacBook Pro are not possible - the TDP is more than twice as high as what Apple uses now. This would require a thicker redesign with beefier cooling and a much larger battery.

    Differentiating the 13" and 15" MacBook Pros beyond the screen size has not been a priority for Apple. Before the first mobile quad-core CPUs were available, Apple even used very similar CPUs between both sizes, and for example the entry level 15" 2009 one did come with the same iGPU as the 13" ones. The 15" is currently simply more powerful because Apple can't stretch the thermals of the 13" to accommodate a 45W CPU / 35W GPU combination.
     
  21. Shamgar macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2015
    #21
    Intel briefly talked about the ability to scale the power targets of these packages using "Dynamic Tuning." An OEM could set the envelope at 45 watts (their specific example) and the CPU/GPU balance would shift within that limit as necessary. Depending on the actual thermal limits of the 13" current design and the tuning options available, it is possible that Kaby Lake G packages could make it into the 13" MBP.

    On the 15" side, Apple seems to bias in favour of the CPU, so I would expect Coffee Lake chips for the extra cores, possibly with Mobile Vega if AMD produces anything at the right TDP target. But Apple would have the option to take the 100 W Kaby Lake G parts and tune them for an 80 W SDP, and they might prefer that route if it offers better battery life.
     
  22. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #22
    Judging from the throttling of the current 28W CPUs, I doubt there's too much headroom there. And when limiting a 65W part to a 28W TDP, performance might well be worse than an actual 28W quad-core chip with GT3e iGPU.

    I agree on your 15" prediction though.
     
  23. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #23
    Are you sure about this? I was always under impression that this is solely chip density issue — DDR4 has double the density and thus can accommodate double the RAM on the same surface area. Intel documentation also doesn't seem to state any limitations in LPDDR3 support...

    In principle, there should be nothing preventing Apple from using a custom 30W configuration, if they really wanted. But I agree that this is not likely to happen.
     
  24. Shamgar macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2015
    #24
    I didn't think TDP was that tight on the 13", but I haven't really looked into it. If 28 W throttles, then yeah, there's no advantage.
     
  25. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

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    Apr 29, 2003
    #25
    I think since many years ago, you could TDP-up or TDP-down on CPU packages. Apple typically has allowed higher maximal sustained TDP on their 13" Macbook Pros.

    What I'm worried about with dynamic tuning of TDP values is that every architecture and process node has a sweet spot for performance per watt. If you push too much below or above, you might as well go for a different setup all together. That same 65 Watt chip, if ran at 45 Watts may not be competitive with a 15 Watt CPU + 30 Watt GPU combo, due to it operating way out of its sweet spot. That's a general principal, but conceivably, AMD and Intel could design a lower TDP chip from the ground-up for Apple's 13" Macbook Pros, but I have no idea how realistic this expectation is. Should this actually happen, I would love to have that in the Mac Mini as well.
     

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